Douglas J. Martin in Kickass Review



Homer went blind staring at the sun.
We smirk at the moon through our shades.

The sophisticate despises sentiment.
The ignorant despise irony.
The fearless vault over both.

Irony and sentimentality are two ends
of the same ass.

The animal expresses nature within.
Reason reflects nature without.
To become nature, we must make nature one.

Naivete is our end—
not the ignorant innocence of the child,
but the joy of the prodigal reclaiming Eden.

We have cheered, like drunken laggards, the post-enlightenment, the post-romantic, the post-victorian, the post-modern, the post-post-modern. Let us cast off our wine-skins and tear down the goalposts!


I was strolling my garden with William Blake, when I stopped to boast the novelty of my prize rose. The poet grimaced, sweating acid over a brow of copper: "Oh how these mills have ground to chaff the exhausted senses of your age! Where once the modest crimson of a wild bloom delighted bee and man alike, now a thousand artificial hues crowd for your shrunken desire." Reaching into the heart of the rose, he pulled out a tiny grub: "Monstrous arms, legs of iron, bowels belching blood and smoke, stumble over this tiny plot, and yet your eyes, your tongue, your ears, are as this invisible worm's, choked and dulled by your own excrement."

"I cannot see my heart," was my lament through a dark ale, while Sir Philip Sidney grinned at me through his carbuncles. "You are looking for a familiar word," he said, "but your heart is a strange muddle of clay and fire that you will scarcely recognize, and fear to own." "You are wrong," I sputtered, "that gelding, that pervert, that sophist, that dullard—it is not mine; and what is more, it does not exist!" "Let it speak." he assured me, "Everyone will swear that you have stolen their own tongue, and everyone will swear that they have never heard such golden words before."

I sat, with Dante, on the hills of the moon, our eyes on distant blue seas, while he swept an arc from Pole to Paradise. "From here," he sang, "it is all one chord. Everything changes, and everything is always the same; every circle is full, and every circle is necessary; and even the damned smile, behind their masks, at the reader's joy." Then, looking within, he blanched and saddened: "Below this sphere it is Guelf and Ghibelline, and what the blood hungers for here and now is not what the blood will hunger for there and then, and today's brief good must become law, and yesterday's laws must be broken."


To be original, by definition, is to be profoundly derivative.

Trains, radios, television, p.c.'s, ipods, feed our nostalgia. Bread and wine are always fresh.

The anarchist loves to be feared, but fears to be ignored.

Hail the nude, naked of politics!

You have seen nothing new, but your eyes are new.

Love truth more than the love of truth.

On this side—paradox, on the other—lobotomy.

The bison painted in smoke and ochre, the crosshatch scraped in the cavern wall—there are your schools of art!

The artist wants eternity now, and will work a lifetime to get it.

When sworn enemies forge an exhausted peace—that is tradition.

Paint is real. Photographs are imaginary.

Look in the mirror, once.

Every aphorism must be a lie.

Either the father devour the child, or the child devour the father.

For every god a hymn.

The black velvet puppy, the motel Elvis, are the beginnings of beauty.

When you tire of the funhouse, smash the mirrors.

I am invaded from within by self-replicating acids, from without by nomadic words. I am the city at the crossroads.

Long live the King—but not too long.


Sobriety. Chastity. Fancy. Verse.

Gabriela Anaya Valdepeņa: Beauty returns, without shame.

Delight in symmetry. Swallow chaos.

Olga Garcia: The Rape of Barbie.

If an image hides the naked thought, strip it off. If a thought pins the living image, pull it out.

Guy Lombardo: poop, plastic, politics.

This body. This wife. This house. This garden. This city.

Anna Zappoli: the bones in the tar pit.

Pentatonic Polyphony. The Cycladic Idol. Numbers.

Dan Adams: dog, light, oils, motion.

Paint your abstractions on the wall itself.

Chris Vannoy: The Cyborg's Progress.

The old self kills a new making. The new self makes the dead sing.

Richard Denner: wood, ink, word, vision.

Suburbs without satire.

David Bromige: nonsense, like speech.

Shadow. Space. Silence.

Paula Jones: Ezekiel's new bike.

There is room for the besotted bard, for the outraged child, for the self-consuming scholar, for the quilting bee—but not much room.

Attila Lukacs: history will never end.

And all the rest is "poetry".

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