SHARKPACK Poetry Review

An imprint of FATHOMBOOKS.

10 Acts: Ought Art Be Self-Expressive?

Self conforms to One’s own. Lacan’s minions would sputter: Cell of. I. Mine. Excavation. Troves of veins. A quelled raga before the cuckoo’s pause. The will-less insignia of any mouth that can be corrupted into worship. Self—visceral as a squid’s eye, blue as the allegory of a stone Nāga. To any questing gravity, (on) the verge of. Therefore, what localization can it posit when twinned with ‘expression’?

I love a cat. A cat is furthest from its creaturely when presenting quick catch with a yowl. It resembles a man and his memoir.

Expression. To press out. Ironed, unwrinkled, iterated. A synonym for depressed is leveled. That is to say: a thing that is depressed is a thing that is leveled, smoothed & made equal—the arc of an echo buried within a bleached quiet. An adapted unspooling of its striae. But, what is it equal to? If I believe in the immunity of this expression, I believe that I write—always the blind eel’s skulk, a peripheral groping amid the seaweed with a lamphead of the Nautilus sense—to cumber the bibelot of my intuition into a more recognizable ware? And who is to recognize my expression as mine? To speak skill into my habit of rasping the silk off its fabric’s breeze? To take the floating patch of gossamer that is any touch & translate its intent into a candled idée fixe? To place the act as the owner of the body it is acting on and through?

A relic has neither preamble nor postscript, neither lineage nor parent. It claps from the forge with extinguishment.

In Goya’s Boy Staring at an Apparition, the Abyss is the cante jondo in the native vein staring back with all its pervasive facelessness. In a good horror film, it isn’t what you can see that stalks your imagination, it is what remains invisible. The ship of Theseus. Can I speak of a/any self’s expression without giving epicenter to its programmed narcissism? And what narcissism dare parade its belle grotesque, its inceptive Monstrous without flinching towards a mandatory need for narration? Expression, then, is factored into some measured compliance to clarify a Presence which is more declarative than imaginative.

The self that is summonable in acts of art is a splinter of capable consciousness and not a drop of the lake beneath. So what is self-expression in art? Asserting you know what you know across a medium? Vanity.

Deleuze bids us—Render me sonorous. Would my self suffice to render you anything other than wind piercing arcane waters? I know I can’t love a thing into lasting. Therefore I arrange its expected & oncoming absence into a poem. A horse galvanizes a mustard field. Do I imprison the experience of beauty only so it can adorn memory? Do I express myself because the recall for what I had is always a greater voltage for self-hypnosis than what it really meant? The script for expression is carved into a sort of fixity that proposes no closures. And yet it is uncertain of desiring the hush & behold of a precipice against the appetite for knowable praxis. 

Consider the noontime difference between ensoleillé and ciel dégagé.

Memory is not portraiture, nor archival. An aubade on vinyl. It is nebulous summoning—merely suggestion; an empyreal wing in its attenuated flutter against the sable lakefront. So I’d rather sequence the self in Alienation, Alteration, Embodiment. In that (dis)order.

Do mouths survive effacement?


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