Sunday 1 April 2012

The Gestaltbunker opens its doors

The Gestaltbunker – Selected Poems 1965-2010 – by Paul A. Green is now available from Shearsman Books.

And here's the blurb:

The Gestaltbunker encapsulates the range of Paul A Green’s output. His briefings on nuclear apocalypse, global melt-down and the excesses of media landscaping are transmitted through surreal inscapes and an intensifying torsion of language. He moves from mid-life probes into the basement of a psyche to domestic praise-songs and celebrations. The riddles of time and consciousness continue to pre-occupy him, whether encountered through magick, music or the mysteries of the city.

“Thrillingly dystopian...” John Goodby

“His interests have coaxed him deep into the occult, surrealism and pop culture; his investigations meld and come into outstanding idiom...”  J. Michael Yates

“From his cloister, Brother Paul emerges,  jazzed & weaponized. As raw as a Delta Blues in a sharecropper's shack, yet as sinister as Flash Gordon playing Faustus on the Mongo fault-line abyss.”   Lawrence Russell

And here's my mythology:

Paul A. Green grew up in London.  He studied at Oxford and the University of British Columbia, on the MA Creative Writing Programme.  He’s worked as a radio presenter, teacher,  used-book operative and as Lecturer in Media at the Royal National College for the Blind.  Currently based in Hereford, he will shortly be moving to Hastings.
His poetry has appeared  in magazines ranging from  New Worlds to Poetics Journal, while he’s appeared over the decades in pubs, clubs, colleges and festivals, often in musical or multi-media collaborations.  Recordings have been broadcast on CBC, WFMU-FM,  and  Resonance-FM or disseminated on-line by
Plays performed include The Dream Laboratory (CBC Radio),  Ritual of the Stifling Air (BBC Radio 3), The Voice Collection (RTE), The Mouthpiece (Resonance-FM),  Terminal Poet (New Theatre Works)  and Babalon (Travesty Theatre), a celebration of  occultist/rocket scientist Jack Parsons.  Recent short fiction includes The Poets of Radial City in  Unthology 2, published by Unthank Books.  His first novel The Qliphoth  was published in 2007. A sequel awaits publication.

Monday 19 March 2012

Over a year since the last post.  Beneath the Pleasure Zones has been completed and is melting in various slushpiles.  A Beginner's Guide  to Radial City  has been published as a Kindle e-book. The Gestaltbunker - Selected Poems 1965-2010  should be appearing in a few weeks from Shearsman Books.
And shortly afterwards we'll be leaving Hereford for Hastings...

Friday 11 March 2011

A Sequel to The Qliphoth - extract

Here are the opening paragraphs of Beneath the Pleasure Zones ,  the evolving sequel to  The Qliphoth:

1.1 Special Effects of the Rupture
“The post-Qliphothic aeon.”  As time passed, the phrase seemed increasingly cryptic each time Lucas wrote it.  This time he was using a cracked biro on the back of some old spread-sheets salvaged from a ruined tax office. He hoped that this latest attempt at a memoir would finally create an explanation, an exegesis that made sense of the Qliphothic Intrusion,  the Yesodic Leakage, or as the authorities now termed it, desperate to sanitise its terrors, “The Rupture.”
Over a decade  now since that brief aperture in the consensus of what then passed for reality, the daily time-line. A  sudden blinding fissure in the sky; an eruption of darkness across the cities ; a crack in the shell of Malkuth, our root-world,  according to the wandering street-prophets, that admitted the dark side of the Yesodic zones. The dark energies of the Qliphoth broke in and out.  Everyone had a pet creed, a broken pot of theory that didn’t quite hold up.  “No-one can develop a workable practice to cope fully with the afterbirths of the Rupture, ” wrote Lucas, cautiously. And yet again, paused.
For this was personal history.  His dead parents, Nick and Pauline,  became vessels and he was an agent, blundering into forbidden zones, who “let something fly in,” as the Lore of the Rupture had it. That’s all he could tell himself.
Rain drummed on the roof of his shelter, a ramshackle extension to an old Carbon-Age observation post  dug out of the woody  hillside in those wild years when our defence mechanisms were launch-keys in plutonic silos.  Now everyone was into  psychic self-defence.  He sensed a remote  inner-ear distant babble, perhaps from the squabbling sages of nearby Leynebridge- and the moment of self-recollection was gone.
He pushed the precious paper to one side of the table. So much for his Neuro-Saxon chronicle.  His left temple ached.  Focus on language became more difficult after the Rupture; and now it was impossible to concoct a narrative that he could live in comfortably.
Comforts in general were in short supply, especially here in the Borderlands, where the followers of the Lore had  congregated,  to live close to the Earth.  He surveyed his improvised living space, his bunk, his books leaning on the rusty shelves that would have housed  a  short-wave radio console  or a geiger counter.  His late mother’s imported Chairman Mao alarm clock  told him it was  approximately  eight-thirty. Simple  tinplate mechanisms usually worked.  So he  peered out under the heavy concrete lintel into his extension, a  crazy parody of a suburban conservatory cobbled together from plastic sheeting, corrugated iron and discarded pallets. It was  raining heavily, as Vivienne had predicted. He must try not to think too hard about dreamy Vivienne. But it stopped him thinking about Carla. Or Leila. Or Robyn. All his lost girls.
Time to work if he was  going to eat today , to go to Leynebridge and share the battered ornaments of his knowledge at the Learning Repository. With  the kids. Damned kids.
He still couldn’t believe he’d fallen into his late mother’s vocation as an educator , albeit in modes she never anticipated in her Age of Ideology ( Marxist-Leninist)  But in the chaos of the immediate post-Rupture period,  it was his  best chance of keeping his head down. Someone had to deal with the thousands of young persons traumatised by their new-found powers and the bombardments of  a para-psychic  society.  Flash-back: the ghost of himself barely out of his teens, helping his mother instill some simple left-brain skills into moaning semi-children huddled in the shell of Westway Community School.  The least he could do. All he could do.  His encounters  in the alt-worlds, which still try to entrap him  in dream-frames, had given him some immunity against the Special Effects of the Rupture.  He had survived.  If only to talk it through.
Problem was that he was still talking it through ( or its voices were talking through him)  years later in the Borderlands, with nowhere to go but round and round. Except on his solitary shift at the “community”  radio station.  Leynebridge 930 AM. Which was about to close. It looked as if the community didn’t want his communications.
He pulled the plastic sheeting off his trike and checked the battery. Hopefully it might  last another season.  The motor whined fitfully. Then, with his bag of books over his shoulder and his greatcoat flapping in the drizzle,  he bumped down the grass-fissured track towards Leynebridge.
The route curved down through a copse, passed an abandoned pub, its picnic tables chopped up for firewood, and crossed sloping pasture lands where huddles of sheep ruminated. As he cycled, he noticed a faint tremor in his right temple.  The glistening hedgerows are signalling, alive with biomorphic energy.  Then he controlled the reflex - it was  surely  a slight breeze. Or  the animals simply stating their presence-in-itself.  The   dim murmur in his head merged with the hum of the motor as the trike gathered speed.
As he reached the fork between Leynebridge  and Old Hallows, he overtook a dented pick-up carrying a sagging pyramid of potatoes. The driver  was mouthing something, probably some mantra intended to keep him focussed on the road, but his fuel trailer full of methane was swinging everywhere,  so Lucas gave him a wide berth. He could see the turrets of the Leynebridge Tower  through the haze.
The road skirted a burying ground, another  mass grave from Rupture-times. Between the  yew trees and the crooked wooden markers, he noticed  three Harvesters and looked away quickly.  Hooded in grey they slowly moved their snaking detectors along  the overgrown paths. Refugees from the Urbs often assumed they were  using metal detectors to salvage precious metals - a saw blade, a claw hammer, a lock-knife. But Lucas knew their modus operandi. Even now, they still claimed an ancient  right to harvest souls; and on their vigils they claimed to see  a bluish orgone-flicker of astral  energy hovering over the grassy mounds, to be gathered as a life-feed in their secret ceremonies.  The Leynebridge Elders discouraged the micro-sect and it was unusual to see them after sun-rise.  Another sign that the precarious social order was collapsing?

Wednesday 23 February 2011

The Qliphoth on Kindle

The Qliphoth  is now available  for Kindle e-read and Kindle apps    on this page at the Amazon UK site  and  here at the US Amazon site.  To quote the blurb: 

"Paul A Green's cult novel, first published by Libros Libertad in 2007, is now available on Kindle. It's a dazzling fusion of occult fantasy and speculative fiction that evokes a wild transmutation of everyday life. Magick collides with physics to create a fissile reality - a voyage into dangerous zones that veers between hilarity and horror...

Lucas, a bewildered student, seeks out his dad Nick, psychedelic-era wreck and self-proclaimed channel for "Qabalistic knowledge", now confined to a mental hospital alongside Wolfbane, a forgotten rock & roll icon. Pauline, his rationalist teacher mother dreads their encounter. 

Her nightmares seem realised when Nick escapes and Lucas disappears - to enter a parallel world, peopled by a rogues' gallery of bohemian riff-raff and sexy priestesses, whose operations - artistic, erotic, criminal or magickal - are scribed with hallucinatory intensity. Think Mervyn Peake meets William Burroughs - and add a dash of Aleister Crowley...

This genre-bender is worm-holed with dark wit and satire. The manias of an imploding alternate world are revealed as a modulation of our obsessions, here at the base of The Qabalistic Tree, amid the broken shells and wreckage - the Qliphoth - of our Creation. And sea-side resorts will never seem the same again..."

Sunday 6 February 2011

The Web as Akashic Record?

Odd how technology acts out the  dreams of magic  in weird parodic form.  A recurrent theme in estoteric  tradition is the notion of the Akashic Record,  in which all human thought and activity is imprinted  on the fluid matrix of the astral plane, to be accessed by the seer or prophet.  Now, of course, as long as the infrastructure of the web  survives so do all the intimacies of our  tweets, blogs, downloads, mailings and postings.

So the cyberhistorian  of future generations could - on some obscure impulse - rummage through the code  and learn that since my last post I've been  reading Robert Sheppard's When Bad Times made Good Poetry,   the (recently)  late Kenneth Grant's Cults of the Shadow,   and listening to Ornette Coleman, Ruth Brown, The Clovers and John Coltrane.  The BBC turned down the Graham Bond play  but I've been working on  a film treatment for Blackdog Productions, an independent  production company  in Lancashire.  The digital edition of The Qliphoth  for Kindle is progressing, with the aim of publication in mid-February.

Sunday 23 January 2011

Projects for 2011

I'm trying to blog more frequently this year.  Various projects on the horizon:  a Kindle edition  of  The Qliphoth is in the pipeline, as is A Beginner's Guide to Radial City,  a compilation of  short fiction and poetry texts, some published already in print or on-line, others new which form a multi-media collaboration with digital artist Jeremy Welsh.  Later this year Shearsman Books should be bringing out my Selected Poems  and I await a decision from  BBC Radio  about  The Magus of Klook's Kleek,  my play about occult jazz rocker Graham Bond.

Thursday 29 July 2010

Michael McClure at Ledbury Poetry Festival July 2

Michael McClure.  Along with Lawrence Ferlinghetti,  a survivor of the San Francisco Beat scene, who read at the Six Gallery reading in 1955, when Ginsberg unleashed "Howl" on the world.  As a teenager I read him in "Evergreen Review" where he logged  his peyote experiences, bewildering transmissions from archeopsychic time that hinted at the possibilities of a poetry beyond the compulsive ironic self-deprecation of the Philip Larkin acolytes.  And now he's in the cosy market town of Ledbury, in a small beige-draped hall next to the swimming pool, in front of a full house. The Brit poetry establishment, epitomised by the literary  journalist James Fenton, hate him. Which is a good reason to start liking him before he's even started.

He's 78,  supposedly losing sight in one eye.  But he's still leonine, an old grey lion in a straw hat and blue shirt, and as he mounts the stage he's in total command of the space, the microphone, the expectant and (slightly puzzled?) audience. He's reading solo tonight, no backing from ex-Doors keyboard man Ray Manzarek, and most of the work is from the new book Mysteriosos, which includes a dive into personal memoire ( a trip to India, intimate time with his wife) and the deep time of the human genome  ( "Double Moire for Francis Crick").  The title alludes, of course to Thelonius Monk, and McClure's syntax, its rhythmic shifts  and  broken lines that suddenly aggregate fresh meaning, recall Monk's jabbing chords and abrupt clusters of notes. But Mc Clure voices it  seductively, with the deep breath and tone control  of a master tenor  saxist.

McClure celebrates  the mysteries of time, memory and  biology. He talks us into the existential moment of encountering  one's self as a life-form among other life-forms - lions, elephants, mice, eagles - linked by shared molecules, proteins, subtle architectures of tissue and meat.  Such an awareness drives his rage with the destruction of the natural world and our alienation from it, as well as his disgust with human self-destruction. "SMALL WARS/ARE/THE ART FORM/OF PRESIDENTS".    Inevitably,  the transformations  of time and the enigma of death are recurrent themes.  The new book features several elegies for poets , including my favourite American surrealist  Philip Lamantia; and a recognition of his own mortality, delivered tonight with a wry smile: "Now at last I am here/loving only you with your lynx eyes/ and displaying myself/as a sensual/ and wrinkled/crisis."