SMOKE & MIRRORS

S M O K E  &  M I R R O R S


Smoke...

Dear Poet,

Please do tell us,

Do say. SPEAK

Of what is “Human”?

Shakespeare

Writing writing writing

Again & again

About love &

Betrayal.

And Mr. Blake,

Always writing

About all those winged angels above

Whilst Lucifer

Sits alone in his

Basement still sulking over

His big breakup

With God.

To be

Or not to be

Love, love me do,

Do you still love me?

Are we through

Etc etc etc.

Etc….”Blah.

But the real, the same question

Still and always remains.

What is love?

What does it mean?

And is it ever enough?

Ever?

For the sirens

Are still all singing upon

the shores,

And the muses are all still

Dancing upon

The waves

Of Humanity

To inspire.

The next.

The last.

The true.

The dead.

So is this what it

Is to be? Or not to

Be?  Exist or to not exist at all

As the universe merely spins away.

To feel

With consequence

Or hate?

But my dear poet;

God or savior

It all forever stays the same.

As you light up another cigarette

And slowly exhale the smoke

Into the dark night

Like words.

For it’s all done

With smoke & mirrors

_____________

R.M. Engelhardt  2011

Franz Kafka’s Daughter Meets the Evil Nazi Empire!!!: The Heroism of Roaches Holocaust-Tainted Poems

Franz Kafka’s Daughter Meets the Evil Nazi Empire!!!: The Heroism of Roaches Holocaust-Tainted Poems

BY ELLIOT RICHMAN

While many books have been published about the nightmare of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, none have the unique mixture of horror, black comedy and existential bile that poet Elliot Richman brings to the subject. Traveling deep into the recesses of the human psyche, Richman mines a dark vein and brings us back to the surface sweating and terrified, yet somehow better for having been there with him.

Franz Kafka's Daughter Meets the Evil Nazi Empire!!!: The Heroism of Roaches: Holocaust-Tainted Poems

Happy NATIONAL POETRY MONTH! If you like dark humor? Great poetry?

I highly recommend this book of poems by author Elliot Richman.

Check it out … R.M.

The Poems Of Twenty-Odd Six.

Poe...

Ahhhhhhh… Poetic

Thomas Wolfe and Jack Kerouac
Unicorns, God and the bible
Rimbaud, Venus and Lucifer 
 
All in a dream, and a smoke.
 
Death and the quiet of night
Gunshots romantic and sad
And Tupac, Cobain & Lennon
All sitting in a cafeteria 
 
                              Drinking coffee
                              Reading books
 
                              And discussing them
 
With Poe
 
 
Who nods and says...
 
                                          "Deep"
 
 
 
R.M. Engelhardt 2006


Love In The Mid-West
 

LOVE IN THE MID-WEST

In this dream.

You are a painting by Thomas Hart Benton with luxurious black hair and beautiful pale white skin

Asleep.

An old hillbilly a mid-west aging Pluto attempts to touch you, looks at you from around the corner in awe and sublime wonder and its obvious and plain to see that he is complete and completely in love with you as you lie in a Cinderella-like ecstasy naked in the middle of a rural Kansas field. Persephone he is softly saying, Persephone. But you cannot hear him speak and he cannot bear to take you. into the underground of his place, and his hell. In the back ground there is a wheat thresher and FDRs America, there is a wide open blue & empty sky full of white clouds and depression era beliefs, and you are Beautiful he murmurs Beautiful because Cupid has overtaken him and you have overtaken all his senses and he cannot ever leave.

So in this dream. …. you are a painting

In this dream. you are the spring and the awakening of all ancient wonders and all ancient things, hidden away among the fears and jealousies of all men who cannot see

The very things that makes you beautiful

“You”

R.M. Engelhardt 2006

In The Poetry Supermarket

In The Dysfunctional Poetry Super Market

Oh what fresh
New hell
Is this?
 
 
Looking at the expiration date I
Pick it up and then just as quickly
Put it back upon the shelf,
Leave it for some other poor
Bastard to find.
 
 
Besides, Ive already got a poem
Just like it
 
At home.
 
 
R.M. Engelhardt 2006






Pharaoh 

PHAROAH

So here we go again. I had to bail him out of jail in a place that you probably never heard of near Thebes. You see, back in those days he was kind of like one of your celebrities. The first “bad boy” on the scene before all your Colin Farrell’s & Sean Penn’s, Billy The Kids or Genghis Khans, before the setting sun ever came. Back then bad ass wore a scarab necklace, black eye mascara and a headdress. Fought the 12 snakes and the 12 arrows of the dead and got regularly fucked up like every other weekend. And the last time I saw him we were hanging out at a club called “The Underworld” doing shots with some girls off their navels. I don’t remember the names of the two girls I fucked but I do remember my buddy Set hooking up with some chick from outta town named Kali & immediately they hit it off like they were meant for each other or something and way too much alike. It was like heaven in the 9th sky where the indestructibles liked to hang. It was like climbing the pyramid, a resurrection machine and coming back to life time after time after time. It was a rush, it was a high like no other that you could ever experience. Screw your ecstasy & your science fiction. This was the shit. Long before all of your myths & legends we made your wild nights, necromancers & satanic worshipers look like a Christian book club and a kindergarten class on Halloween. And for awhile, Set & Kali went out on the town and raised hell. Had some fun, caused death, mass destruction and chaos. Broke some hearts and ruined some lives permanently. And then one night, it happened. Kali met some other guy, a local Hindu deity and Set and this boy got into a fight and the night sky blazed with bolts of lightning and thunder. Vedic boy lost and got his ass kicked”dead”. And anyone will tell you that there is nothing more useless than a dead god. Kali freaked and attacked Set and he got arrested by the advanced ones and that’s where I came in. Babysitting the Pharaoh & saving his assagain. So you see? Here we go again. Repeating history and time, repeating all the mistakes of the past. And where’s the lesson you ask? The lesson, is this. Stay away from the angry & insane and all of the vindictive people in this life and step off of the ego trip. Kill the drama and stop killing yourself and get rid of all of your long undead & overdue hate and outgrow your angry adolescence. Because after all, do you think that you’re immortal? A rock star or maybe even a president? Do you think that you’re a pharaoh or a god? Because even after just 100,000 years you like everything else will be forgotten, nothing but dust and sand and a useless footnote between the man-made histories of time. And no one, I say no one will ever give a fucking damn. So what do you want? A gravestone that says that you lived or a legacy that says you’re alive? Or how about just living your life for a change

“Instead”.

R.M. Engelhardt 2006

Houdini & The Afterlife

Houdini & The Afterlife

Houdini & The Afterlife

And now,

Your attention please
Ladies and gentlemen

Join hands…

In a “Séance”

Halloween.

The gone goodbye. The last touch for the last time
all dies and memories all linger & all fade

Leave.

Requiem.

Invite the ghosts for all the
night and all the long
days which they have waited

energies ionized
multiplied and magnified,
minimized by all of their shells
and souls, thoughts &
incantations. the beings who you no longer want or
even want to be. wanted to see glamorized
and desensitized. all once originals off the shelf.
For you must now sleep ~ dream manifest and bury all their
remains. For life is like a lion or a goddess,
a secret history of all these things of being awake….and walking

without the privilege of being seen the
never meant to be that was never meant into being again
which slips away. into the real and in the incomprehensible darkness,

Like the mysteries & the chains

this life and you the  E C H O

We wait… for the sign;

E

S C A

P E

IN TO

THE VAST

LIGHT

OF

BE –

ING

Where.

At a table, we all sit

The electricity. In a room where the voice was lost,
darkness gone eyes closed as the magician enters

They awaited the message

“Turn out the light”

http://www.hulu.com/watch/184742/biography-houdini-the-great-escape

__________________

R.M. ENGELHARDT 2011 

Comte Lautremont~The Songs of Malador

The First Voyage…

Here on my blog it’s one thing to read or check out my work but as I have been doing now for some years I wish to share and explore the works of poets & writers whom I’ve labeled “Un-Sung Heroes”. Among these writers, musicians and poets in the past have been Steve Kilbey (Poet, Painter & Musician) of the band The Church, Michael Stanley (Musician), Aragon, Thomas Wolfe & many others In the future I now intend to explore more of the writings and poems of many other gifted writers of the past & the present, among them the American, British & French Surrealists and what have been referred to also as the “Vagabond Poets”Among them? Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud , The Marquis De Sade, Edgar Allan Poe & others such as Francois Villion, William Blake, Dante & Voltaire.

So to begin with, I have chosen Comte de Lautréamont whose real name was Isidore  Ducasse, 1846–1870. Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, he moved to Paris in 1867, where he lived like a hermit until his death at the age of 24. In 1870 he published a volume of poetry, Poésies. He is best known for his only other work, Les Chants de Maldoror (1868, tr. 1943), a nightmarish epic poem replete with grotesque, often erotic, imagery. Because of his hallucinatory, nonrepresentational style, Lautréamont was viewed by the surrealists as a progenitor.”

Isidore Lucien Ducasse-Malador

Les Chants de Maldoror is a poem of six cantos which are subdivided into 60 verses of different length (I/14, II/16, III/5, IV/8, V/7, VI/10). The verses were originally not numbered, but rather separated by lines. The final eight verses of the last canto form a small novel, and were marked with Roman numerals. Each canto closes with a line to indicate its end.

It is difficult to summarize the work because it does not have specific plot in the traditional sense, and the narrative style is non-linear and often surrealistic. The work concerns the misanthropic character of Maldoror, a figure of absolute evil who is opposed to God and humanity, and has renounced conventional morality and decency. The iconoclastic imagery and tone is typically violent and macabre, and ostensibly nihilistic. Much of the imagery was borrowed from the popular gothic literature of the period, in particular Lord Byron’s Manfred, Charles Robert Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer and Goethe’s Faust. Of these figures, the latter two are particularly significant in their description of a negative and Satanic anti-hero who is in hostile opposition to God. The last eight stanzas of the final canto are in a way a small novel dealing with the seduction and murder of a youth.

At the beginning and end of the cantos, the text often refers to the work itself; Lautréamont also references himself in the capacity of the author of the work; Isidore is recognized as the “Montevidean”. In order to enable the reader to realise that he is embarking on a “dangerous philosophical journey”, Lautréamont uses stylistic means of identification with the reader, a procedure which author Baudelaire already used in his introduction of Les Fleurs du Mal. He also comments on the work, providing instructions for reading. The first sentence contains a “warning” to the reader.

FIRST CANTO

Stanza 1: The Reader Forewarned

God grant that the reader, emboldened and having become at present as fierce as what he is reading, find, without loss of bearings, his way, his wild and treacherous passage through the desolate swamps of these sombre, poison-soaked pages; for, unless he should bring to his reading a rigorous logic and a sustained mental effort at least as strong as his distrust, the lethal fumes of this book shall dissolve his soul as water does sugar. It is not right that everyone read the pages that follow: a sole few will savour this bitter fruit without danger. As a result, wavering soul, before penetrating further into such uncharted barrens, draw back, step no deeper. Mark my words: draw back, step no deeper, like the eyes of a son respectfully flinching away from his mother’s august contemplation, or rather, like an acute angle formation of cold-sensitive cranes stretching beyond the eye can reach, soaring through the winter silence in deep meditation, under tight sail towards a focal point on the horizon, from where there suddenly rises a peculiar gust of wind, omen of a storm. The oldest crane, alone at the forefront, on seeing this, shakes his head like a rational person and consequently his beak too, which he clicks, as he is uneasy (and so would I be, in his shoes); whilst his old, feather-stripped neck, contemporary of three generations of cranes, sways in irritated undulations that foreshadow the oncoming thunderstorm. After looking with composure several times in every direction with eyes that bespeak experience, the first crane (for he is the privileged one to show his tail feathers to the other, intellectually inferior cranes) vigilantly cries out like a melancholy sentinel driving back the common enemy, and then carefully steers the nose of the geometric figure (it would be a triangle, but the third side, formed in space by these curious avian wayfarers, is invisible), be it to port, or to starboard, like a skilful captain; and, manoeuvring with wings that seem no larger than those of a sparrow, he thus adopts, since he is no dumb creature, a different and safer philosophical course.

– Isidore Lucien Ducasse.

Born April 4, 1846 in Montevideo, Uruguay
Ethnicity: French
Residences: Paris, Tarbes, Pau, France, Montevideo, Uruguay,
Died November 24, 1870 in Paris, France
Nationality: French
Language: French

Little is known about Isidore Lucien Ducasse, who later took the pseudonym Le Comte de Lautreamont. He was born in Montevideo, Uruguay on April 4, 1846 to a French Consular Officer and his wife. His mother died when he was 18 months old, a suspected suicide. His youth in Uruguay remains a mystery, though we know that during this Ducasse’s youth civil wars and outbreaks of cholera beset the region.

When Isidore was 10, his father returned to France briefly and left young Ducasse with relatives in Tarbes to finish school. Isidore attended a couple of lycées in Tarbes and Pau where he was remembered as sullen introvert with a sharp voice and a distant, haughty demeanor.

At school, Lucien displayed a dislike for Latin and Mathematics, but showed interest in literature. He dismayed his teachers with ‘excesses of thought and style’, which, oddly, would later earn him a permanent place in French literature. After leaving school at 19, it is speculated that Ducasse traveled, perhaps to visit his father in Uruguay or in the Bordeaux region in France where he may have made literary contacts. Lucien received an allowance from his father that ensured him a comfortable living situation during his travels.

In 1867 or 1868, Lucien moved to Paris to study at the Polytechnic or School of Mines, though no enrollment records exist. While in Paris, most scholars assume he began composing Maldoror, (a name that has received various interpretations, from ‘dawn of evil’ to ‘evil from the beginning.’). Lucien took his own pseudonym, Lautreamont, presumably from Eugene Sue’s novel “Lautreamont”, which features an arrogant and blasphemous hero similar to Lucien’s Maldoror character. His publisher said that Lautreamont ‘only wrote at night seated at his piano. He would declaim his sentences as he forged them, punctuating his harangues with chords on the piano.’

In 1868, Lautreamont traveled to Uruguay to show his father the first part of Maldoror and get him to finance its publication. The first canto was published anonymously in 1868. Lautreamont arranged to have the entire work published a few months later by a Belgium printer who was partners with Lautreamont’s French publisher, Albert Lacroix, who had worked as an editor for Emile Zola, Victor Hugo, and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. The book was printed in the summer of 1869, but Lacroix and company feared prosecution because of the blasphemous and obscene nature of the work and never put the book on sale. Lautreamont pressed his publishers to release the book to no avail.

A year later, Lautreamont wrote them about his new collection of poems, a seeming negation of Maldoror that spoke of ‘hope, faith, calm, happiness and duty.‘Lautreamont did not complete this work, nor did he see his Maldoror available to the public during his lifetime.’

Lautreamont died November 24, 1870 in a Paris hotel room at the age of 24. In 1874, after the publishing house changed hands, Lautreamont’s works were finally made available to the public, but this initial publication met with little commercial success. It was not until a Belgian literary journal published Lautreamont’s work in 1885 that his work began to emerge from obscurity and find an audience among the literary avant-garde.

It was the 1927 publication of Lautreamont’s work in a magazine entitled, “At Any Cost” released by the Surrealists Philippe Soupault and Andre Breton that assured Lautreamont a permanent place in French literature, and conferred the status of The Patron Saint of the Surrealist movement.

Les Chants de Maldoror is considered to have been a major influence upon French Symbolism, Dada, and Surrealism. Several editions of the book have included lithographs by the French symbolist painter Odilon Redon. Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí also illustrated one edition of the book. The Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani used to carry a copy around in Montparnasse and quote from it. The outsider artist Unica Zürn was also influenced by it in writing her The Man of Jasmine. William T. Vollmann mentioned it as the most influenced book for his writing life.

 

To Read The Songs Of Malador In French ?

http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/readfile?fk_files=2042913

Sources:

WIKIPEDIA


A Review Of “Versus” By R.M. Engelhardt

“Versus” by R.M. Engelhardt

"Versus" ~Poems By R.M. Engelhardt 2010

Friday, June 25th, 2010~

Reviewed By Lynn Alexander * Full Of Crow

“Versus”, R.M. Engelhardt

Pushing verses

Past their limits

R.M. Engelhardt acknowledges that there is a difference between the passive participant and those who live a passion-driven life, but can often be seen in “Versus” wondering if there is a difference in the end. Passion clearly perpetuates the creative  imperative, manifest in poets like Engelhardt as non-negotiable, but to what end? There comes a time in the life of the poet where this question has to be dealt with. It is one thing to accept the terms of “the muse”. It is another to toil in the direction of some outcome, some goal. What, beyond that yielding and succumbing, is the poet desirous of? Fame, significance, appreciation, relevance? 

The poet succumbs because he or she must, but it doesn’t end there. The poet is driven to more just as the living are driven to interact in this world beyond survival. We do more than eat and breed and sleep, there is something that pushes us. But why?

In the years that I have been aware of Engelhardt’s work, it is this willingness to examine these concerns head on and in a surprisingly candid manner that I think captures my interest the most in his work, which often gets into the problematic terrain of ego, and the ways that we relate to one another through not only our life’s work but through love and community. He states rather directly in “Versus” that poetry is dead, he comments on the state of popular culture and asks the obvious questions about the poet’s role in it. Why bother, and why persist?

Persistence, I think, is the theme in Engelhardt’s work that prompts people to characterize him as “romantic” as many of the poems convey a sense of pining, portraying people desirous not only of love but of transcendent relationships. “She believes in something unseen”, (8, “Perhaps”) “I’m just sick of passing romances”. (“In Cleopatra’s Eyes”, 9)

In ‘Versus”, we see that relationship between the speakers and both issues: wanting to do more than write, wanting to do have more than a date on a Saturday night. (“toys”, 6, “More than just another dance”, 2) This idea of wanting more, wanting to believe in and have faith in that but at the same time considering one’s observations and wanting to be rational.

Persistence then is challenged by cynicism, both inner and external:

“The time for poets has passed”

“And someone once told me that honest people don’t exist anymore in the 21st century”

“And someone once told me ‘That love…is dead.”

Do we persist, press on anyway? In “Naïve”,  Engelhardt describes the urge to avoid the trainwreck. In “Truth” we see people opening boxes, digging through metaphorical “boxes” of expectations mingled with mythology. What happens when people confront truth? Some thrive, some perish, some vanish immediately in the sight of their realizations. This brings us back, again and again, to the questions in “Versus”. What are we after? And can we get there?

‘We all grow older/Still trying to find our way/Like children” (“Any Day Now”, 11)

Many poets grapple with a maturing phase not unlike the point around mid-life when one begins to really take stock about where to put energy, what to be concerned with and what to let go of. Some describe it much like finding their way, having gone through what some describe as a period similar to the honeymoon phase of a relationship. There are burdens in the poet’s world, choices about resources and time and energy and in the beginning there can be a sense of eventual payoff that in later years we learn can be quite elusive. There’s no denying that Engelhardt has love for the craft, but he pushes us to consider what that means, and to perhaps distinguish between the love of writing and the expectations. In some instances, the object of love can be easily interchangeable with “the muse” as both are subjects in these poems of that transcendent longing. The love that leaves for the man who promises everything, the “angel” who vanishes, the losses are connected: the poet wants to believe in more, wants to have faith in more, but life can be a series of losses, followed by grief.

Engelhardt closes “Versus” with a shout-out to those who persist, who don’t give up, who keep searching and don’t give in, who stay true to the realm of dreams.

A Review Of “Versus” By R.M. Engelhardt

The 2011 Albany Wordfest~National Poetry Month

2011 AlbanyWordfest

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Albany Poets is proud to

present the 2011 Albany Word Fest featuring the poetry,

spoken word, and music of upstate New York.  This year’s event will

take place on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at The Linda

(339 Central Ave., Albany).

This year’s event is the 10th anniversary of the Albany Word Fest and with

that in mind, Albany Poets is promising big things.

Thom Francis, Albany Poets President, says, “When we started

this event ten years ago on a Saturday afternoon in Thatcher Park,

we never thought it would become one of the biggest ‘mark-your-

calendar’ events of each and every year. We are very proud of

how we have been able to continue hosting one of the biggest

poetry open mics in upstate New York for ten years.”

The 2011 Albany Word Fest will kick-off with the 12-Hour Open

Mic at 7:00AM at The Linda. Albany Poets Vice President

Mary Panza says, “After the success of the last two 12-hour open

mics, we have decided to do it again, but this time, during the day.

This will give poets a better opportunity to share their work and

also give the audience more time to appreciate the talent in the

poetry and spoken word community.”  This open mic for poetry and

spoken word will be held from 7:00AM – 7:00PM.

Poets who wish to participate in the open mic can sign up online

by going to the Albany Word Fest website, www.albanywordfest.com

until 5:00pm on Friday, April 15.  Performers will also have a limited

opportunity to sign up at the event itself.  Each poet will have 10 -15

minutes to share their work. The open mic is open to all poets and

spoken word artists with no style or content restrictions. 

After the Open Mic, starting at 7:00PM, the 2011 Albany Word Fest

brings the annual Psycho Cluster F*#k to the The

Linda featuring poetry, music and spoken word from upstate New

York artists David Fey, Olivia Quillio, Avery, Daniel Nester,

Poetyc Vyzyonz, Mother Judge’s Open Mic Showcase, Metroland’s

Best Poets of 2011: Mary Panza, R.M. Engelhardt, and KC Orcutt,

and much more.

Admission for this event is $10.00. Tickets will be available for purchase on

The Linda’s website and at the door on the day of the event. This event is

open to all ages ( 21+ with a picture ID required to drink). 

The 2011 Albany Word Fest is sponsored by Albany Poets, McGeary’s,

The Linda, and the very generous donations of supporters of the arts

in upstate New York.

The 2011 Albany Wordfest~National Poetry Month

OCCUPY THE WORD… Poetry At The UAG On 01.16.2012

occupy

OCCUPY THE WORD
Poetry At The UAG!

On Monday, JANUARY 16th the Saint Poem Reading Series will be holding a special event for all those who have poems they would like to share concerning politics, wall street and the current state of the world and America! Poets & Musicians Welcome!

What do you have to say? 

SAINT POEM @ THE UAG, 247 LARK ST. ALBANY. 

7.30PM Sign Up, 8PM Start