Reading Julien Poirer's Poetry
One of the most beautiful, calm, profound, anti-power, subVERSElive BOOTIES OF WORK on the poetry pirateship deck today is the poetry of Julien Poirier.
Has anybody read it? It is drifting perilously close to the "best kept secret in Poetry today" cliché pit. Where can it be found? In fabulous online mags like PUPPYFLOWERS and TURNTABLE BLUELIGHT. In his own magickel handcrafted chapbooks he makes for his Gneiss Press: BACK ON ROOSTER, SHORT STACK, SILENT FILMS ON RAINY NIGHTS and ZOCO HARPO. (Listen to the sound in the titles as it opens pome-nostrils for inhalation of perfumes brought back from Atlas Mountains, Lisbon Puppet Museum, Monmartre midnights, Allentown motel mirrors.) In tender poems-and-comics volume ABSURD GOOD NEWS published by Insert Press. In a form he invented, the "newspaper novel", called LIVING GO AND DREAM from Ugly Duckling Presse. In the unpublished, incredible trilogy of travel epics THE WAX SPRINTER / ELEMENT / 3ITY.
Such inspiring, generous, and generative poetry is hard to find, but when it is found, as I and my friends have found it, it is half kept a secret and half babbled about to everybody one knows in terms so glowing and ecstatically incoherent the listener grows suspicious. Hopefully curiosity overwhelms suspicion and his work is read, shared, discussed.
Julien Poirier, you've taught me more or less everything I know about writing, thank you! Forgive me for imitating you in my more lost moments, but you always direct me back into myself, where the real digging is done. I have a search-engine deep inside my soul, I type in silly wordstrings and the poetry rolls. Don't call it a comeback, the Practice of Inside's been here for years. For those who dare GO inside. Poirier always DARES. As Burroughs wrote, writers are "cosmonauts of inner space." Poirier is a Genius in the classical sense: a resident spirit of Poetry, arcangeling words through the top of one's lifted head—balmy tropical winds relax mental censors to sleep so probingy-dingy spelunkers in us can GO DEEP into inner cosmos beyond decapitated millioneyed guard Argus slain by Hermes, holy messenger of codes, thieveries, turle-lyre-modes.
Poirier's poetry reveals and revels in deep ocean scenes of sensuality, his eardrums are strong enough to take immense pressure at Atlantis-ruin-depths and listen to the sounds of the world and report back. He is a public investigator who reports openly to anybody who'll pause and listen.
But this only airily begins to hint at vasty scope of polytropic trickster Poirier sledding down snow of Atlas mountains in Morocco or wherever else he travels to to deliver lucidity from present strangeness—eagle vision seeing ignorance snake miles below clouds and swooping down to eat it and digest it for strength, flight, continuing vision—MORE LIFE—
"The sea's galoshes"—"and viziers / counting rice by gaslight"—"the thumb's sweet adept / astronomical / croupier in a lifeboat / multiplied by sirens"—"the very slow / crow / doing time in monochrome / with apricot brain"—"teams of Belugas / playing knickknack / backpack / in galactic Morocco / beetle crepe bistro / humungous hairy cook in apron / popping corks from fizzing / blossoms / with cigar-chomping / pet opossum / on Saturn's waterwheel / it's all Blonde / Sadie's rage / Blonde Sadie / the Berkeley City Council Whisperer / who pierced my brain / with balconies"—"BLONDE SADIE"—"My soda is a police aquarium"—"His crimsons blend in,"—"Molecular caravans of ladyfingers. Fire so bright and tiny that it bounces. And then it stops."—"Her fingernails look like scraps in a kaleidescope."—"You heard the one about those two guys who wake up in twin beds in Modesto, and there is a stranger beating one of them with a sausage and sprinkling spice on the other."—"Harry kept his spoon / frozen over a bowl of soup"—"The full transformation / took years, months and days / off his life / (It is hard to say / where the event went / in the process)"—"a one-man equinox"—"Chrome is but a frog, / Lazy at the grand finale / On an atlas of beds"—"MANAGEMENT NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR STOLEN UNIVERSE"—"In New York City / everyone is living / on pain of poetry"—"You must be confident / that what you're doing / is extraordinary"—"Know nothing / go nowhere / start over"—"and step in homeless smoke // from Martian husks on the panicked stage / to light the wind like a long cigar"—"only homeless snowflakes hold / fire of atomic gold"—"paint our rooms blue … so we can … disappear"—"But it doesn't get any better it gets worse and I find I am able to leave the room and venture back into town to inform the crowd of friends and aquaintances that I am dead and tell them what it is like, I am unbearably lonely, and though I accept the foul play and take responsibility for my anger my death is a mistake as well, and the panel of academics have misjudged me and in fact never bothered to ask for my version of events."—"THE BERKELEY BOOK OF THE DEAD"—"Rebirth Stations"—"dark bars in / Element / portal to Marrakech"—"He smoked so much there was a spider building a web on his lips"—"(in the diner of course)…and being there / was like being in the belly of a dragonfly"—"We call him Bill the Tight"—"All reversals sing / Umbrellas burn the papercuts"—"I loved Matvei Yankelevich. I still do."—"From here we planned our invasion of the Lower East Side."—"Slow astronauts are obliged / to bright opportunities."—"I like poetry and friendship / the dandelion. / Please turn the page."—"ah a bruise on cement / a purple tetanus / with reedy shores / still shrinks / from the rip of the clutch // what night time insect eats our eyes / until they glow / long past closing / yet whisking / like mopwater?"—"Death / the Mystery Endearing / deeper than the velvet grabbag / of caves"—"oh, it's useless / like a mortuary organ / in July / every day is a festival / for everyone who's died"—"Silver Star Diner / Allentown, PA"—"A LETTER FROM SILENCE"—"I know you as I know / rare records on the lost street reborn as raincoats" / "You're the law I live to break // time to leave a clue / before the ice melts"—
READ POIRIER'S POETRY, LUXURIATE IN'T, AND WRITE LIKE YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF WRITING BEFORE IN YOUR LIFE, FOR NOBODY AND NOTHING BUT THE INTERGALACTIC PLEASURE, ACUPRESSURE, AND LIBERATION, DENIZENS OF THE UNIVERSE, IN THE ACT ITSELF.