Locust Zero - June 1998

Locust Zero
ISSN 1529-0832  Vol 1 No 0 - July 1998

FOREWORD


The first issue of Locust Magazine is now online. Although it is only a proof, there is certainly some interesting material. What you will find in this issue has been created and put together single-handedly by the editor in a state of frenzy. To tell the truth, he asked a few people to contribute, but the ones he asked kindly turned down his proposal as they had more lucrative engagements to attend to. The only hope is that the kind reader of these few words may have a kinder heart. If you have already made up your mind, just rush to Locust Contribution Note. The editor hopes to survive on the cyber scene for some time. Plans for the future include adding a real voice to this small web-mag. Please, do keep on visiting Locust Magazine!

June 1998

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WE NEED A REVOLUTION, A REAL REVOLUTION
~ An Article ~
By Patrick Gasperini


Let's sum up: more or less, both the 19th and the 20th centuries began with a literary revolution. Romanticism was certainly a revolution of themes and style, which, unfortunately, was marred by Victorian authors. In spite of that, Romanticism taught us an everlasting lesson of unity: the sense of infinity and transcendence. Even all those artistic movements which sprouted up at the outset of the 20th century aimed to revolutionize the entire universe of arts. However, if we focus on how the so-called Modernism carried out its ambitious revolution, we immediately notice that its outcome is nothing but fragmentation. Fragmentation, not variety. Fragmentation implies inability to organize; variety, ability to systematize. Someone may also regard fragmentation as a unifying feature, but this approach is clearly faulty and unsatisfactory.


When The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot appeared in the early 1920s, it was hailed as new life in poetry, though the world it depicted was only a heap of debris, from both spiritual and stylistic points of view. Its influence was appallingly enormous. From that year onwards, the marriage of discomfort & experiment started to tyrannize literature. Most poets have so far successfully complied with that attitude--if not in spirit, often in style. What I can say to slightly excuse the sickly 20th century poet is that history is also to be blamed. The two World Wars were certainly heavy millstones round his neck. History penetrated into literature in a most understandable way: debris and destruction outside, debris and destruction inside, and, consequently, in art. To a certain extent, fragmentation may be tolerated, but we must no longer wallow in it!


Now, it is high time to move forward. We must have the cheek to move away from T. S. Eliot and J. Joyce all the others. We should shun all those university geniuses and bunch of reverent high school teachers who still take satanic pleasure in feasting on, say, Joyce's or Virginia Woolf 's cerebral fluctuations. We should advocate a REAL postmodernist attitude (so far we have only witnessed scattered attempts), which should not be AGAINST, but just developing FROM. I have often wondered why the 20th century has been unable to create a poetical dimension projecting outwards and engulfing both space and time, and I have only spotted scattered talents struggling in a net of frustration and impotence. Now it is time to stop mourning and burst out creating! The task of poetry, and, generally speaking, of art, is NOT to teach or discuss or propose or merely give pleasure, but to expand, engulf and transcend: the complete fusion of space and time. Space and spaceless, time and timeless should be indissolubly welded together by means of a true poetical act.

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Extracts from
JOURNAL OF A METAPHYSICAL MUTATION
~ A Poem ~
By Patrick Gasperini

*

Many thanks to Jay Woodman of Woodman's Press, Selby, N Yorks, UK, who published part of the poem in Rustic Rub Magazine #8 (July 1997).

*

[A Note for the Reader: The poem is woven round the story of an unhappy marriage, although its development is not narrative at all. A young woman passes through four main levels of experience: illusion, awareness, rebellion and freedom.]

*

O Curtia! said the tavern witch,


While contemplating the largo of a painted lake,
As if it were a window where rats and prayers had just disappeared,
Images, garlic flowers, useless gases.


You have not eaten anything for weeks,
Can a gem of rum give you back a spark of divinity?


It was raining, tropical meteors, perhaps bats,
The horses were in the stable, eating cobwebs and green gleams
(Their manger could not contain anything else),
Drunk as miraculous trees in the rain;
A signboard had announced the downfall of angels,
Home-made preserves and cheap tequila,
Velvety fumes of spirits and flesh,
Under a shroud of tatters, a car transformed into a shapeless monster of rust.


You said you would never return, my child,
But I have been waiting for you ever since,
In my languid wound;
Spirit of my memory.


[. . . . . . . . . .]


(Strange to say,
Your husband reminded me of my ascetic husband;
He wished to be buried under an ancient telegraph-pole,
Where he had first heard the Voice of the Astral Grass.


The episode is well known everywhere:
A keg of imported stout had put a divine spell on his hair,
When he sat down on a marble stool on his way home,
His ears were no longer donkey's ears but a bishop's mitre,
For he was a new apostle in the shade of their feathery halo.


That very night he told me that God was an emerald ocean,
The angels were scallops and shrimps,
And we would all become seaweed sooner or later.


When the police looked in around two o'clock one rainy morning,
I thought they would tell me he had been taken away by an angelic horde,
But instead of prayer-books they found ten quarters of Cuban tobacco in our storeroom.


I spent that night in jail and seven more nights, but my husband did not turn up;
He turned up neither the following autumn nor the following winter,
Nor ever again.)


As you were walking upstairs beside your husband (sometimes holding him by the hand),
My Curtia! the key a flashing flower,
What did you think would become of you?


[. . . . . . . . . .]


My husband is a warehouse minstrel,
Boxes of Mediterranean oranges, lemons, Malaysian tea;
At supper-time, after his ten-hour shift,
He talks with a bowl of stewed rabbit about forms, prostitutes and silver rats.


Newspapers! a hotchpotch of wonders and bitumen!
The radio is the song of the Ever-Living!


Turn on the radio! What do you think I bought it for? Just to make old Rottenburg fatter than he is? Aren't you interested in the story of the skull hidden in a shopping-bag fished up last night? Isn't this a riddle worthy of one of your penniless poetasters?


The soft skull of a diner waitress, fed up of her husband and underpaid position,
Who decided to run off with a Mexican truck-driver,
A ravenous prince who called at her diner at eight sharp one sweltering evening, saw her and fell for her!
Probably, in spite of what she thought, he was neither Mexican nor a truck-driver,
But something of a vampire!
He took her in his sticky wings,
Promised he would love her much more than ninety gallons of petrol,
But after cooking two romantic hot dogs with rat-poison sauce,
He chopped her up into minuscule flowers of flesh.


O!
I thought he would give me peaceful spring days, endless, divine from sunrise till nightfall,
Perfect dawns, heavenly mirrors,
Cool mornings and afternoons, impalpable nights, happy and innocent;
I thought he could give me at once an impenetrable mystery and the revelation of an eternal answer.


I was only a pale beggarwoman in a puddle by an orchard gate!


I do not want to be like my mother:
Her bed always full of scorpions,
A yellow-eyed husband who raped her twice a week;


Besides,


Dirty sheets
Sweaty shirts
Swollen hands and feet
Guts tormented with fetid air
Rachitic eggs
Scabby bread
Smell of gin and phlegm
Scarlet spittle
Pustules
Drops of vaginal slime...


(The first man was certainly made from a handful of camel's excrement...
Eve from a hazel branch...)


I want to be a queen!


Queen of archipelagoes with my sylvan God!
Queen of the lightning hill,
Innocent equators, systems, metaphysical planets,
Queen of the ethereal barque that casts anchor behind green shadow rocks,
Queen of mechanical intrusions!


Queen of all the goldsmith can melt in his divine palm and the poet can stir in his satanic pail!


But where is my god of leaves and clouds?


His flowering eyes at midnight?
His hair that can snare dreams as in a musical web?
His hands that can stop the orbit of time?
His chest with islands afloat on lavender waves?


Why the hell do you want a child now?
Another hobbling hominid, another head smelling of rancid milk,
Two teeth swimming like eels in greenish saliva!


Isn't your life crammed enough with junk?
Can you imagine the weight of a damned case of tea?
And those rats, fatter than hogs, ever so eager to snap at the treasure of your trousers,
If on the devil's advice you happen to have a nap near one of their holes?


Look here!
I'll buy you a straw-headed doll.

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