The Mirror of the Last Rite

They are hanging

from their own

Just now

the subsequent

How come?

“Time,” said the Pain Lords
“will not be denied
her tariffs.”

A skeleton crew
without its livery.

The colors of desolation
arrange their episodes,
their trade offs.

Nothing portends what it seems.

Something else perhaps.

Minimal urges, budges

across the spasm field
to something else

God send fresh Elsewheres.


Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY,  28.06.13


I am here
behind my crashed
watching a ledge
that has broken from me.

The orange sky
is sentient
and tinctures what sentience
is left of me,
looks through me.

He who knows Himself
knows his Lord. Selah.

Blue scales
scratch the snake corpse–
the watery element

We wait and wait
too long too long
for the noetic equivalent of rain.

If it come
will it soften my ledges,
scour my rust?

Yet here is my black iron intransigence,
the acrid insomnia of my lust.

Oh Draco . . .

This present moment itself
is long ago
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 28.08.11

Unspeakable You

Oh, we were standing

on the left side

of the embankment

watching the “views”

fall like water

in the shadowy gorge

there was an elephant

and the ear of one, etcetera,

but the old magician–

something like him–


on the wall

attempting to haunt

his own paradigms

but reflections and reiterations

rose from the depths


erratic, edgy,

wind howls

at any given moment

Being has us

by our thought of it

as if the indenominate background

to all our jagged sculptedness

were the calls

of an infinite mouth

sustaining the pointed, grand intenionalities

of the mind we wore

when we were

simply ourselves

wrapped up in

credible histories

that the magician

on his balconies

were the product

of those selves . . .

as their signal operation

toward a grand displacement . . .

that he appears just now

as if to rise above

again, again

all his echoing scenarios

before dissolving

in the insubstantial coils

that long and long ago

had swept him hither . . .

Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 16.07.2011



we were there

at the interstices

where all that blackness

perpetually inverted

and now we are here–

light exploding through the tooth

of what strange tumescence

that the will to being being

indeed perdures


Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 23.06.2011

a nameless derivative

A nameless derivative

the median


we collect ourselves
from a timeless

vacillation and return

you must search
my mask
for my eyes

hath no
before itself

thus the instructive
of every sentient

to slake off the erotology
of attention

for that to which we are drawn
will fall away

until the jowls of hunger
the rivers of decrudescence

the hunched and muscular shoulders
that lurk and threaten in the mist . . .

Only geometry
remains to evolve
the archetype:

an accord of diagrammatic space

such that the blue jellies survive
the holy goblet–
its shape, that is, that is
more puissant than any shadow

ululations of blueness, silver, bublets
that might be eyes

below below
skeletal incandescence

enframing outline reenters the entity

the crystalline blackness at the bottom

the incorrigible

Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 2.12.10


the yin and the yang of me

The Yang & the Yin of Me


bird of paradise

Bird of Paradise

For a long time I thought the earth

was a bird, a blue one, wounded
by a heavenhawk or who
would dare to do that to

this bright broken business

and now the image answers information
it always does, one picture
spoils a thousand words,

nobody knows what I know
nobody knows the bird it is
the bird will be

savagely like a drunken sage
indigo-winged wobbling up
to be new

we hurt nothing.
We are only who we thought we are

and the bird thought too
but the bird was right.

Apocatastasis a feather fall’n.
Robert Kelly, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, 22.05.10




navigation chart to nowhere (possibly bogus)

Navigation Chart to Nowhere (possibly bogus)

or the place itself

for there’d be no

aerial photography…

so certainly, the chart then.

The scrubboard whitenes, the horribly contaminated

puddles, wells and springs; the impossible concentration

of mammal blood, yours and mine included,

in bright sun

in May or anyway springtime the evidence

that instead of cloverleaf, interlocking crisscross

fat brush highway or outdoor parking garage–

parking garage. Familiarity and tedium

the last word of “civilization”

uttering itself.

The thinkers that imagined panpsychism

have their supposition or if you prefer insight

ghoulishly verified

in the point of view, not a point really, but the wingspan

of the last giant avian


over nowhere


without report

for a place to land.
Charles Stein, Barytown, NY, 07.05.10




german expressionism

German Expressionism

we were there

on the other side of

whatever side

it seems

that we were

(t)here on

the earth and its urbanity

riven, rifted, breaking

apart suave beauty, the ceremonial


pocketing his take without so much as a glance at

that which

he had engineered so gorgeously, egregiously

too late for that)

he waited for the griffens

to arrive, the hatter rat with the salt, the regal lobster


interrupt and entering

aerial view

the hatter magus also, his downward arrow,



And the savage masks are poised above his shoulders–

how queer those torqued horses, if they are horses

how lordly their deep savagery


and do we release our need to reprove the horror?

all parts and anthems

all cries

all untampered-with vitalities

all vitalities stripped down to their final rigor

all rigors unjoined

from their vital corporation

when all the eyes are just too small to celebrate

the happiness

removed from which

these dark and sumptuous seeings

are to be allowed their flows
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 04.16.10




I´ll see you in my dreams

I’ll See You in my Dreams (03/10)




cliff dwellers

The Cliff Dwellers


We were out in unceremonious, not to say unceremonial weather. No ceremonies recommended themselves. And it was some sort of weather. (Discourse on the nature of . . .

But we were extraterrestrial pandas caught in a tragic plight–a thing utterly ensconced
all around
in condition–a dream of rocks
on one’s neck head and shoulders, earth, enclosing, pressing round, no way to move —

existence itself
so utterly positioned
no other way for anything that is to be other than as it is
a congeries of inks and splashes, residual EMES from crashing mythologies, the utterly tortuous pathway reflected in the panda’s dark sunken eyes.

There are legs. It squats, not a panda now. But a thing jammed into its own torso, leg stumps, the earth does not jut out from a center but protrudes, from a lateral mass, every mineral type its own daemon, aztec feathery hungry angry chest rocks, an apron of recalcitrant light–recalcitrant to be light–

There are many ways to take the inescapably determinate, not all of them unhappy. And the trapped sense itself is an instruction, or can be, in recipience–the necessity of taking IN happenstance and condition. But there are two beings here, each the muzzle and gaoler of the other, each an unwitting symbiot, as if its being were the outlaw of condition, a rigid plug in a flood of unruly apparency, unyielding, unportentous, scabrous, fecund, light.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 05.01.10




the castle under the sea

The Castle Under the Sea

The quiet Queen in her castle, her garments are her crucible, her blue butterfly ear-piece a chaplet for her intellect.

Substance so surrounds, presses close, and includes her, that it seems almost absolute, but that at the top of the image, the absolute substance breaks down, the night shows through, the blue ice is surface only–thin ice–coming apart in the temperature of intellect; for thought alone suffices to elicit so particular a blueness, and the night with its own particulates–how deep is that night, how recessive its nothingness, how abstract its ocean, how inconsequential its cold biting air.

The night of the transfinite numbers communes with the space beneath the quantum and rushes through us everywhere. Every particulate and particle in their nearness vibrates at large in that remoteness, so that the nearness of All-that-Appears runs instantly through instantaneous variations–its colors of immediacy, its modalities of substance–even the quotidian stability of the common world–even now begin to loosen, to flash and to chromatize, even now resolve to resolve the transfinite, the hotness, the coldness, the Impossible–the Probable resolved in the Impossible; the Necessary in the Queen’s blue ear…
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 01.01.10

blue owl

Blue Owl

This owl flies only
in the forest of your flesh
from cell to cell across
the imaginary ocean of the self

bringing light. His flight
(it’s always masculine inside)
curves in upon itself,
testicular, deferential,

breeding the meek
diseases from which we
take something home

to heaven later,
knowledge is it?
somebody’s name?
Robert Kelly, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, 24.12.09






Iconography occulted, not dispersed. Not to be decrypted. Thought’s layerings. Fur and feathers. The beasts that regard us as the coverings between the times–pull apart. The consciousness that remains as the entrance and exodus devices: Enochian Watchers among us were disreputable angels, angels of dementia, the words come less easily to the finger pads, a quiver in the voice–if the words are not registered upon first erupting across threshold and barrier they are gone and must apply again, cross the barrier again, to seek a second chance at manifestation . . . And the 14 quadrillion white knots that sew up the cortex will have to be slashed indeed by little white knives, will they?  Quoth Holmes: Prepare then the little white knives, sir, prepare the little white knives . . .

The mutilation of the Wolf thing yields too many black eyes : BLACK EYES)  the phenomena WILL be witnessed, the wolf’s head hung on the wall, the wall torn out of what domicile, what teepee? the little patches of, as ever, extraordinary coloration–perhaps I missed the algorithm: does desire anticipate chromatics?

. . . dried blood scabs on the skin beneath the stripped fur.  The beast must live through the horrific event. Beast and beast-slayer identified in the deep heart’s core. I cannot think that I am but one of the beasts yet still I must be everyone. I must be Being Herself in excess of the cosmic horizon–13.7 billion light years anterior beyond which no data disturbs us but the goddess Aletheia, To Eon, is out there also–we can dream, can’t we?

Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 14.12.09

Baby It's Cold Outside

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

An operation has been performed

on the skull of an archly concentrated wizard;

but the wizard himself is a glyph

for the Master of Operations on the Mind,

the skull, the material substrate, no less,

than the embodiment OF the mind

and thus who is it that has carved

these hieroglyphs,

whose luminosity infiltrates the granuals

of a muted chromatisim?

Who is it that raises his fists in the dim interior

to keep the game in the House?

Who is it that signs the poem?

Between the legs of a goat,

on the turban of a dervish,

habitual habituees.

But the bird—an ibis, certainly—

the enterprise belongs to Thoth himself—

is positioning certain elixirs

into the horn

from the extremity of whose mouth piece

a blue nib

has finished its inscription.

There are other animals, other architectures.

Though London Bridge

has long fall’n down

and every other edifice

is overshadowed by

so many grim fatalities,

Being is encouraged to manifest

in anthem and in artifice

as a matter of continuous course

her mortal heraldry.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 01.12.09

the shrine inside the golden mountain inside the tappers gourd


The Shrine Inside the Golden Mountain Inside the Tapper’s Gourd (12.10.09)

the woman in the tapper's gourd

The Woman in the Tapper’s Gourd

Why image at all? And how to price it.
Against the invisible mirror
that records as it reflects.

The entire project projects us into the invisible,
our true nature
that cannot be abrogated, that cannot be portrayed.

That she is a shadow, seated, among elemental granules, that she is formed in elegance,
that she must have settled into the pregnancy of her nature with an unsettling gracefulness
(as if the shadowed thing belonged only to her past,
as its shadow presents itself, quietly before us)
without tension or restraint,
with an aura and an aureole-as if a shadow,

and because it is a shadow, can enunciate an aureole-
among the segments of an earthly canniness:
things happen,
under terrestrial pressure-
encrustations and swellings,
abrasions, reactions, combustions,
accelerations towards old age…

We shall not redress such unstoppable slippage,
for as the shadow grows on the surface,
its movement is neither arbitrary nor enjoined,
yet we must watch,
beyond the limits of her reticent discomfiture,
the spider’s exultation, the winter’s joy.

Charles Stein, Paris, 06.10.09

The Invention of Memory, II

Autumn Equinox on the High Plains

o you!

the hill of him in the palace of her — am why not ruby?

Robert Kelly, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, 21.09.09

The Hanged Man

Guardians of the Grove

(with thanks to Jenny Fox)

Oh where oh where has the goddess gone?

Behind her own veil no doubt. Therefore, everything that eclipses the goddess, retorts as indeed her veil. And through the veil, some light secretes her secrets. Therefore we read the veil as if it were no veil, but no more than a garment whose sartorial indices report the character of the one who dons it, as Thomas Carlyle in estimable detail once delivered himself.

On the other hand, if the popularity of cult and image, name, lore and free belief are to be taken as signs of the being of the object so tendered, we could say that the goddess has in recent times been shorn not only of her veil but of her garment as well. Naked she stands as if the most accessible of comely seductresses, garment and veil but enhancements and expressions of the willing flesh beneath them, by no means occlusions, baffles, or disguises, or the modest adornments of secrets, too tender or too intimate to expose to the light of common day or the eyes of the profane.

Still, the present imagery purports to render Guardians of a Grove, not veils of a goddess, and this transformation or translation itself concedes both a veiling and an act of protection, against perhaps precisely the popular profanity of an accessibility, which, though not exactly inappropriate to the goddess herself, nevertheless functions in its own right as the very veil its removal hopes to obviate entirely. For the goddess herself in her most richly adorned register would dance as a goddess who teaches the Mystery of Being, as she does in Eleatic dress, and Being Herself is naked only where she is allowed to don all apparency as her garb and ornament.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 04.09.09

The Hermit

I lied.

I never saw such light before.

It falls upon the surface,

It screeches from the fecund green abyss.

It causes little granules to erupt

Upon the skin of that void

So that what must be nowhere, everywhere does manifest.

Eyes of a she wolf-

Eyes of two inapproachable mountains.

The frozen tumult of a planet

Where no social nexus buries.

Where a shirt of molten golden magmas

Buttons with its counter-twin, not golden.

I shirk my cloak

And intemperate epaulets, unhappy shoulders

Shiver in the coldness of this caustic blossoming.

I shall tell you what a Hermit is,

You who approach in your dedicate sodalities to wonder at

This most untoward of thaumaturgies.

The reasons of your unexceptionable “Greek” orderings

I scrutinized with an inconsiderate perusal

And found them to lack necessity.

My odor alone should dissuade assault.

Assault it is that intrudes in quest of my purity.

To see such moonlight, dappling:

To manifest at all requires a vast nexus of orderings.

I snip the cord with my purity.

I require no nexus of orderings.

My dapplings will snap you blind.

What make you of my stellar lantern now?

You thought the which to have beckoned to my mountain.

Indeed it did. You have ascended

On your curt expedition,

Expecting courtesy.

I am the point of a pin. I am the quick of my lantern.

I am a Gorgon’s efficacy,

Though my snakes be invisible.

Assimilate then to my mountain. Turn to stone.

But I do invite you to inspect

The countenance on my medallion.

Do come close,

For you have unmanned a certain primitive barrier

By persisting in your ascent.

I see that you do notice

the reach of my kindness.

I suppress nothing. My generosity

Generates as it destroys.

Do you not find my maw to be comely? My screech howl

To be a mask of song?

You must play the thing both ways.

That is my teaching.

But still it is not for nothing

That I defecate the text of your mantras,

Inspire with the squalls of my flatulence

The pages of your offertory, your pechas.

Will you not come sit on my mountain?

Scotch this diffidence.

That which neither life nor death entrances

Apparently has yet to entrance you.


The worst is past.

The night is calm.

The worlds do fall away.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 17.08.09

Hungry Ghosts

(The Null Cartouche Revisited)

They are hidden by what we say.
Not only that window blinds and colors
our bodies generate upon themselves
mystify their affections.

Gaps in the rhetoric.
Blanks in the storm.

They don’t have to wander through incoherent spaces
to propagate their vast avidities
but they do,

in the exaggerated song
of cracked historical morphologies
and skittering swatches of sub-phenomenal eventualities.

In the end
we generate specters
from unremunerated time flows
that hunger for nothing else but their proper moment.

Still, there is
more to say
when it is
what we say
that obscures them.

Their sounds themselves, for instance, mishandle time-
So that, of course, we cannot hear them.

If we could they would swallow their own mouths,
their eyes would shout from our heads,
the strangled pipets of their throats
would so attenuate the worlds they seek to ravage
that no immediate satisfaction
could possibly suffice them.
That which is primordially deferred
cannot find its moment.

The cause of their anguish is thus far more obscure
than the dark worlds
they compose themselves to articulate.
Insofar as they are language too,
they too obscure the roots of their own anguish.
And insofar as it is we,
before whom they do comprise themselves,
it is our own impulse, and the crisis of its phantom ideality,
that situates the ambience of their discomfiture.

It is salutary that in their picture, however,
they are rendered in mostly emblematic cartouches along the margins,
distraught from any positive
rendering at all.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 08.08.09

Cassandra’s Mirror

They will not find my silence-

Apollo’s Navel

dislodged from that other god’s interment-

the entire confabulous arrangement-

What I knew

was an elaboration of time so incavated that even today

the ins and outs and overs of my habitude

have neither been suspected

nor, of course, perused.

Whoso would,

after the interdiction of my gnosis had been rescinded,

enter the silence from which

my supposed ravings hold their license,

must find that silence in the caustic, nuanced hues of my disarray.

I am part and parcel of Pelops’ shoulder.

The animal body is so startling, so radically diced in nearness,

so spaced without difference or diversity

from the timeless thing within its handsome lodgings

that given the opportunity

it will gaze without disturbance

straight through the spectacle

of emergence, of dissolution,

that qualifies all evasion of that gazing.

You there-your curiosity shall not importune me.


Ha Ha!

You think there is some further agitation to which I might submit myself,

some inquiry, some material insult, some salacious startle?

Ha! I say.

It is I that startle you!

And this time I think you’ll listen.

Do you not receive

the radical sun

behind that solar object,

astronomical merely,

“the god uprushing from the slime,”

the invisible folds and coils

of which the report of your own anatomy

conducts the rumor

pretending witness.

Consult not me,

but the instantaneous vertigo

of your perfected understanding.

Do you not rattle your own corpuscles?

Are you not couched in your own web?

Your blood is my grotto also.

The information to which by default

you reduce your being-

A travesty on the Possible.

I no longer amuse Apollo.

We have found the silence forever

within each other’s intransigence

and thus together incubate

within Cassandra’s cave.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 04.08.09

Resurrection of the Hermaphrodite

What will you relish

in swollen afternoons

with childhood aggression and ecstasy?

Tall ones blue ones,

infinite vertical colors of the night.

If your aura expand to the stars.

Ribbons and doors.

Vertical rows, windows.

Who are they

that they come walking,

taller than anyone.

Emissaries of heartless order.

The double gendered genitals and neurologically untoward development.

And who are these, ordinary people, to declare such conditions anomalous?

Such thoughts discount us.

Every moment subtended by intimations of abjection or terror.

The female wand.

The walking windows.

Colors stolen from night.

The indigo opens on its own shadow ecstasy.

Who would invent such chromatism

But that duplicity splurges,

Motility frozen.

Fragments of nourishing disquietude

Will neither despair of abstraction.

If there are maps here they too

Writ through with a certain duplicity.

They will take you wherever but vibrate

Inessential vestibules.

This unknowing does not cease being feral.

The skittering animals in the green of the roadside under moonlight,

Here and not here, there and then not.

Effacing the silence

Particular to other languages.

The restless dead confused among the deposition of gonads.

What if they do return-

What life do they find there, what edginess.

Though the colors are singular and beautiful.

Beautiful the singular edginess.

We are vehicular.

Up and down the middle pillar

A solace of indigo.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 01.08.09

Promises, promises

I’m up to my neck in the dark interior-

the inside of the gemstone,

the cold


of the tomb.

Promises, Promises.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 28.07.09

City of Interrupted Passage

That which surrounds is called Darkness. That which emerges from Darkness for its moment, bespeaks the Power of Darkness. Would we had strength not to rue it.

For that which rues the Power of the Darkness is of the Darkness truly, and makes of the richness that sources all things, a poverty and a scandal.

Singular identities stand forth from a luminous dream, whose heroic strength wields instruments that score a truculent surface. But the shadows as fallows punch beneath these just barely effulgent singularities, and for all their formidable potentiality, all redolence still strikes dread in the soul.

This city thus is where our infamous trajectories, although oriented most majestically, are thrust toward targets affirmed on intuition and fidelity alone, and finally truncated by the very power that releases them.

Here, fragments are their own substances, images indifferent from their referents, and all frames engaged to sequester perfection from the transitory, are transitory entities eternally.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 20.06.09

Lizard Music – Bloomsday 09

Endless Reflection

The Crystal Gazer

Bogus Maps to Nowhere, II

Besides the obvious sleight of the title,

[like the Book Of Lies, where the double negative fails to eliminate the suspicion of a proposition, recalling the Stevensian evocation of “The Nothing that isn’t and the Nothing that Is”]

-everything pertaining to this image-and indeed the image itself, if it is an image, if it is AN image-trips out on (or over)-as if in order to exhaust at last-the Negative. Hence the tireless suspicion or supposition, that something has eluded utter inanition.

is awash
in the blood.

As if the powerfully definite ramification of these vessels required a gps device, of whatever prescience and sophistication, to travel the toxins or their antigens, towards their teloi.

The map is but a speck in the territory, they say, but what a speck it is! There are bubbles and then there are bubbles, that is to say, absences exist in a number of species, depending upon the substances they exclude and whose absence they contain. An SUV full of party balloons exhibit behavior not unlike untrained mammalian pets or maniacal infants. They cannot be tethered and do not fail to disrupt the journey and its telos, uproariously. Yet continuous disruption, where disruptions, like bubbles, displace the very substance they are bubbling in-is disruption of what, exactly?

There are bubbles in thought that are quite made out of thought. That is, that which exists, in thought, where thought is not, is thought indeed. Yet there are absences that divert the entire proposition of any path of thinking. For the course down which the intellect somewhat thoughtlessly thinks itself to be coursing, with a little thought, will appear no path at all.

Now every absence, well-circumscribed, shows not a single boundary but a skein of pseudo-linear ribbons, and the interior of such an ambiguous surface, must prosecute its own desire

if desire there be,

to dwell,

relieved from monotonous contrariety, within any bounds at all. Thus not only maps, but constraining or containing forms, might very well, but sadly, suspect themselves of being inalienably bogus. And the direction that they would pursue, were they to succeed in prescribing an order to their coursing, by application of one or another protocol or algorithm,

whose halting procedure, as we know, cannot be specified,

would travel them therefore to that place whose pots of gold
at the end of,

prove (o)utopian.

Charles Stein, 01.06.09, Barrytown, NY

The Garuda Bird & the Nagas (after a text by Charles Stein)

Your Place or Mine?

Easter 2009

“After the Ball Was Over”

Recogimiento (Guillermo Gonzalez Phillips, Mexico City, 11.04.09)

“What is a nail? A nail is unity.” (Vernal Equinox, 2009)

On the morning of the equinox I underwent a surgical procedure to repair a fracture in the finger of Jupiter on my left hand, and I arranged to have the operation photographed. The image above is a derivative of a somewhat gory (and happily, transitory) object function that can be viewed here. [bialy, Cuernavaca, 23.03.09]

Farewell, Lionel

Rubies, My Dear (to the memory of Monk)

“The Black Saint & the Sinner Lady” (to the memory of Mingus)

The Mountains Where Dreams Are Born

…and where they lurk

in special potentia

as if an eye

emitted them

as if there were a chest

or breast

where they are hoarded

as if they were entities

of themselves

alive without the minds that dream in them

of local earth


of other dreams-their histories-the consequents…

but the hyperfolds and hyperrealms

inscribed in unimaginably ample

species of spaces

of which we are inscribed

as well as they
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 04.03.09


Una fantasia que contraface el arpa a la manera de Ludovico de Alonso de Mudarra (1640) con chicharras continuo :: Sonata p chicharras y continuo – More music with the “prima donna” chicharras of Malinalco (Guillermo Gonzalez Phillips, Mexico City, 16-19.04.09)

The Mirror of Hephaestus

The enemy Shekinah

in the dust.

All Use-

Abuse. [GL]

Sundered from her own existence she becomes


of the scattered parts and portions-

the events

that spring

from the maddened fountain.

The promise that the magus doesn’t have to offer to procure her

turns her beautiful locks

to the broken microtubules of her rapture-

a sullen tower

with a clock

in a bruised metropolis.

She has a spectral self

that doesn’t even wear a face.

Meanwhile ,the verticality of thought’s exaggeration

exacts its mean tariff

while sporting a tiara with too many stages.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 03.02.09

The Scorpion’s Lair

/The concept of a temple determines it

as an enclosure that defines a god.

Likewise, a lair encloses.

The one protects the numenon from alien significance.

The other protects the living thing

from alien life.

Outside the lair, the living thing within it seems an ominous embodiment.

Ogres have lairs,

and, apparently, the spirits of certain stinging things

that take form as scorpions.

For a thing to have a sting,

its form of life must provide the weaponry:

tooth or fang or tail or venomous pincer.

But to enter the lair of a pointed thing

or strenuously to envision one

is to cavort with The Menace at the bottom of one’s being.

There surely must be some attraction to motivate one’s doing so-

the presence, perhaps, (at the bottom of one’s being)

of Sacred Water. This

and a massive statement of architectural symmetry,

experienced from within the sacred edifice, not externally. These

and the manifest presence of the deity, numinously ominous-

the famous Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinosum,

which faces one frontally

upon one’s appearance

as the third face of the cubical arrangement

comprising the holy scene.

No longer a miasma of granules or random pixelations,

within which the swarm of deities,

however organized around a central axis,

needs must take on form-

the matrix of mystery manifests as that back wall-

The column of deities is localized clean within the Templum.

From beneath the throne where the deity-or his Hiereus-stands seated-

a model of himself sallies forth upon a bark, upon the water-

is this water a harbor, a canal? No matter.

But that it opens upon some more expansive water.

The fourth internal wall of the temple edifice

is missing if this is so: the Temple is frontally Open, and it is ourselves,

as witness to these proceedings,

that are most wonderfully

constituted thereby

as The Great Sea.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 01.02.09

“So, What You Get?”

The Seals of Suleiman

In the annals of devastation, it is infrequent that the instruments of same come to replace the civil edifices, not to mention the animate population, subject to the work of same. It is not impossible that that which comes to view down there, are just some such thing.

In the aereal view, which survives this singular catastrophe, however, it is impossible to deduce precisely how, in the sudden destruction of xxxx-opolis, among the curiously distributed debris, can be discerned craters, chinaware, cyclotrons and finger rings-circuloid objects and impressions, strewn inchoate about the surface of the devastated terrain. They render the scale of the site impossible to determine. A tripod of sorts, a bench, the ripped out material shadows of once incised gems, suggest, a single chamber, inhabitable or inhabited. But there we behold the fragment of the interior of an engine so thoroughly exploded, that one cannot form a surmise regarding its function, and therefore must remain in doubt regarding scale. Or what if that is A Tower toppled; and the terrain blown clean where the top of it struck the ground, while the region where the tall thing stood, is scarified, scored, rutted, coagulated, bruised by a ruinous incursion of instantaneous force the Tower, perhaps, is the source of.


Suleiman or Soloman’s, seal, incised at the bezel of a ring, compelled an entire cosmos of demonic entities, whose uncompelled habitation was not particularly that of a latter-day Christian’s Inferno. Before the Israelite king, the world had been spared the rigors of a certain species of order. There were three zones, no doubt-earth, heaven, and that which lay below-but the entire of existence had not yet been violated by an ontology sifted through the criminologist’s imagination. All sorts of circumstantial possibilities were actualized across a flat but distantly distended horizon, that did not specifically fall beneath the purview of a uniquely ethical umbrella.

The demons, daemonai, Ifrits, spirits, powers, though circumscribed entirely under Suleiman’s survey, comprised abilities and performative interests of great variety. But the completion of the very Temple they were summoned to erect, concentrated existence around it with such fury, that they could no longer be suffered their former license at large in a world now delivered up to a very different moral geometry. For the sullen Ifrit that had in fact commissioned and now inhabited said Temple, would neither acknowledge the spiritual species to which he certainly also belonged, nor countenance the free activities of his less potent though more liberally endowed kinsmen. They were thus assembled and cooped in the famous bottles by the magic of the Solomon’s famous Ring. The bottles, stashed in the basement, or buried in the grounds below the temple, were discovered by the royal Babylonian thugs who ravaged it, and were opened by them, inspired by an acquisitive curiosity that released the Ifrits within them-the Babylonians thought the bottles were stuffed with who knows what riches, much as Odysseus’ men thought the wallet that bound the winds was stuffed with gold. It was not until Dr. Jung’s senility that such a project – the deposition of material currency within earthen vessels, to be secreted as treasure indeed in whatever depositories suggested themselves – in fact was enjoined. The famous analyst, being compelled to manage his holdings after the death of his heiress wife, set out to safeguard his considerable fortune by stuffing urns and jars with Swiss Franks and Deutschmarks, and planting them about the messuages – the jars are being disinterred till this day. Of course it is no accident that the person to fulfill the mundane fantasies of ancient miscreants – Mycenaean sailors, Babylonians mercenaries – should have been the one person in the twentieth century to have secured a psychic, if not a material, abode for the demons indeed – the famous collective unconscious of his own imagination. It is for the reader of these missives to disinter the principle by which such an inversion might have performed itself.

Suffice it to say that in the Bronze Age and its aftermath, the Ifrits existed on what we consider the material plain…and as such were subject to the vicissitudes of cosmogonic evolution-i.e., historical changes in what humans conceive the cosmos to comprise. Their cosmological position has devolved, that is to say devoluted, in recent times, until a crisis point, apparently, recently was reached, regarding the energetics at the Ifrit’s command, and the devastation witnessed herein became quite inevitable.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 26.01.09

The Table at the Lake of the Beta Gods

Two servile Ifrits proffer the Lore Boss to his Beta God,

ignoring the pragmatic seizure of the middle ground

by a complex of geometrically improbable bublets,

whose motion is froward while the Ifrits head aft,

and the future of whose commity is as indefinite

as whose content portends the absolute.

We do not know for instance

if the geometry of the countenance of the Beta God

bending down upon the geography he



perhaps merely compels

is source or substance of the magic

over which he officiates;

or if in fact he is [the] or rather [a] Betagod anyhow.

“Beta be a Beta God than a Lessa one,”

quips the Lore Boss, “ha ha,”

though singularly lacking in levity is his Betaship,

as his mood spreads beyond even the object of his grim survey.

It is late in the day, two weeks after solstice,

a chill colors space with an irresolute blueness,

but The Lore Boss ponders:

“We summon ourselves to the Lake that wells beneath us

flattering gravity with the principle of Recipiency.

We break with the tendentious attitude of stasis

that the prejudice of mere vitality tediously slanders.

We would be still, not to approximate that ground state

where vitality passes under, but to attract

in the turmoil of the manifest,

the attitude at last

that has no attitude.”
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 08.01.09


it is the Ifrits who do this
to us, not alefbet not elefant
not peel not feel
it is the if of them the Ifrits
the zionists of hamas
the stern gang of the crescent moon
the Ifs, the Ifs who look
across every river and say
if that were mine and it is

save us from thugs Thuggee and all the thusses of filosofy

instead: philophily
Robert Kelly, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, 23.01.09

Few enter. Fewer return

What is the entity I see alive in my intimate interior, coiling, pullulating, being being, where I thought my being should be, which one is me, is me-the day I heard that betty died, I was on mescalin, one of those trips wherein the merely mortal fragility of the viscera, were speaking, through themselves, impossibly , through, to me. She was
too young
to die. But she hasn’t returned, as limbs and viscera, all
these many years

This is the heart
Of the heart

Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 29.12.08

Star-crossed Lovers

Welcome to the Hell Realms

The Blue in the Center of the Heart

Oh my lord, this swirls about me I swirl about me
in singular mutual embrace-

The rubies flash across the emeralds the sapphires
wreak of the Zones-

Shall we enter the cave
with our device?

If I were Mercury
I’d trade my caduceus for emptiness.

If I were Mars
I’d silence all wars.

If Venus-
But I AM Venus:

I can feel her flesh
Accumulate along my flesh.

Do I have flesh?
Such flesh as I have
Is hers.

To have a body
Is to be
a woman.

If I were night
I’d trade my stars

For the singular edges of ice
That form beneath my prayers…
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 20.12.08

A Picture Book of Everything You Think You See You Do

A picture book of everything you see


As when the inner and outer surfaces of the containing object, the volume of its interior, and the recession of the space that it prescribes, contains, articulates, and, most universally and concretely, seems to be

are equally drawn

by the same device-

O person of many devices-

Then what can we expect will fail to appear therein?

Happy reading for a kindergarden

peopled solely by Babes of the Abyss

who, having crossed the sea of (un)reason,

possess the means

of proper dispossession

such that whatever needs must be

shall not lack the occasion.

Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 19.12.08

Epiphany of the Birds

A few words are needed to avoid certain incorrect conclusions a person might reach when viewing the above. The work originates with a photograph of bird dung on a piece of scratched acrylic, and contains no images of anything that once breathed (bialy, Cuernavaca, 4.11.08).

The Rapture of Thales

God is water
or there is a god OF water
or as for water, “water’s best”
or only a drop in the bucket swills the whoruld.
I mean, like, dig the SOUND down here,
the resounding surrounding

Everything looks SWELL (from) down here
all that obstruction of daylight obscuring the stars just walks right on by and there she is
in Hathor and Nuit in all their starry splendor
Up yonder at the rim,
well shucks,
and the whole world beyond
nobody REmarks or even suspects a thing.

Things are so quiet except for an occasional frog and so forth,
so that I am able to hear my intelligence inventing calculation
and what a calculation it is!

I can SEE with projective foresight exactly when that Dragon Mouth is going to swallow the Sun but I’m not telling.
Let the bloody gods do their own calculatin’.
It’s quite enough
to KNOW.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 06.1108

Epiphany of the Birds II

We have lived long enough on the turbulent periphery.
On the stormy periphery, long enough
Have we dwelled.
Have dwelled in the storm of peripheries.


The smokey glass of the module’s forward declination
Coming in for reconnaissance
Or to gather technical data from terrain

The map will form itself and require merely supervisory attendance.
All significant judgments performed aforethought.


There are no birds here
Not even caged canaries.

The planet will not sustain
The Flight of the Zo-on.

Pine voles possibly.
Poosibly grubs.

Not even grounded avians from another time.
Not even the flight

Of stones.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY 06.11.08

The Commutative Universe of Desire

Once you have seen The Lake,
you will never have not seen The Lake

once you no longer have seen it,
never again will you have seen it

seen the lake
of the Middle
at midnight,
a thousand strange eyes
shining from the loge…

Once you have ridden the hidden
tubules to the esplanade
escape is inescapable;

And if you have never hidden
from the laughter ridden damask-shadowed plantways-

And if you have never hidden
in the laughter ridden damask-shadowed plantways-

the strange plants,
erect by the weirdness of the paddock where the barges
hearken, “for chrissake see something,”
back where the barges
hearken taken
aback but to the
weirdness where the strange plants

At the east end of the Lake

An alter to the kingdom of the sleepers
marching in straggly clattering circuloid tubules stocked with oxygen–

“What you need is oxygen
deposited on several orthographic strata, while
discriminating missives from the overhangs-”

(Reading upward through the artificial overhangs
that grow but sustain without horticulture
parity and verdure:

The flight of dragon semen
upward through the channel in the middle

until all medicines
in halogen bursts
rip open the fontinelle

zooming upward through the banked Egyptians…

“That part’s natural enough, I tell you, but as to what they do there-
identical exigencies describe to me
the very movement


moderately that enjoys me…


Across the fleshed embankment
equal but opposite fanfares
regale the dark

in such wise
that nobody ever present
reads us green.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 11.11.08

Queen of the Waning Moon

They have been quarreling for some time, as far as I can tell-the antagonists of a certain disputation twixt Surface and Depth. Profundity apparently overstayed its welcome; whereas superficiality had never quite optimally played its hand. And, as if in quasi-resolution of such ontologically fraught an enmity, there have always been, in its history, available to imagery such phenomena as skates (waterbugs) silently leaping on the surface of limpid pools; or transient thought-lets skidding across the surface of the minds of water nymphets miasmatically langoring.

The image here seems to be an image of this kind. Yet the viewer is suddenly startled into her own place-as if in front of a somewhat dusty window-but there-that is to say here, outside the image, in front of the space just above the viewing screen, in front not only of the image, but of the apparatus up onto which, as if from deep inside said apparatus, the image is projected.

Now certainly, the tehnological device that delivers this imagery is surface only. That is to say, surface all the way down. But it is a puzzle of some perplexity that I am here, outside all surfacing. And the image, by having what is lucidly its own surface, but projected all the way up out and onto the technological surface that confronts me, when I peer at said technological surface, I am by virtue of an unexpected inversion peering all the way into precisely the image’s (for it certainly is not the guts of the machinery or its pixilated digital labyrinth into which I am peering) peering all the way into the image’s depths.

So there they are-or here we are-ourselves the agonists against mere superfices-the witnesses of the depths-mystery palpably traversing and establishing, if only for the moment, materially intransigent inner zones, a shadow horse looking backwards, I say I say, embracing the ghost of a rose.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 24.11.08


“Laws of Form”

What precedes the advent of Distinction itself in the indenominable actuality of Being? It is thought, I say, that before (logically) there was Distinction, there was No Distinction. But then what side of that distinction falls this one: That which is, before Distinction happened upon ontology, and that which Being was and ever is, once Distinction cut to cull the scene?

As “fresh distortions” freak upon the surface of inscription one must think again.
For the movement of the internally forced agitation of the eye (internal to the image that is) forces distinctions drawn to seem withdrawn and yet to agitate and hyper-hesitate and, with ever greater definiteness, to articulate, ever fresh distortions of the distinguished state.

To de-clare Laws of Form re-clares its own event, for such Declaration were, even in the beginning, a distinction that cannot have come under its own laws; and yet without the essential yoking between Law and Provenance, or again between Law and its Principle of Legitimation, neither the laws declared nor the law withdrawing the very possibility of such declaration, ever might have happened even so to seem. Drawn.

Now to task. Garish color and complexity of image, without hesitation declares itself to be on the hither side of the possibility of Distinction. So MANY differences powder, chatter, scramble, and sublime the image surface, that one is not tempted to concede that such a melee might precede the advent of Distinction itself. The thought does not arise.

But do seek even one such distinction, one boundary articulating entity from entity with which the specular surface appears to be charged, and another distinction worries the first, instantly transfering definition to another site.

In Kabbalistic theosophy, the highest figure, named simply the Infinite (eyn sof) exceeds all figures; and yet the mutiple regions of the sephiroth, nowhere discontinuous with this Infinite, appear ambiguously within it and without it. So that in one’s scramble for coherence it seems that one must see the infinite potentiality for manifesting multiplicities as itself already differentiated into all the articulations the eyn sof was supposed to merely be the potentialities for. One can be no more confused than in the mind that wishes to establish for itself that there is no distinction between that which precedes Distinction and there where that Distinction lies fully drawn. Yet there She is, in all her splendor. The worst case scenario writes itself as the simplest script for the mind. And we are none the wiser. Except that Laws of Form (the image and the classical text by G. Spencer Brown) provide provisories and admirable admonitions as a site from which the “worst case scenario” and only that extremity-might proffer All Good to Come. (Kunto Zangpo).
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 06.12.08

A Lavalou Delivery Device from Jupiter

Invocation of the Heavenly Host

Any emblematic structure that might manifest

is by the fact of its manifestation

capable of iterations on other scales and on other plains-

So that when such other versions of such structures do appear, one can instantly apply a sort of zoom device of pure cognition to extrapolate or rescind

to the ideal or abstract homeland of said emblem…

And here we are

On a journey without a vehicle

In a space without parameters (without metric or distance function-whose points are intitial points of vector-spiraling-elsewheres–

in a form of kinesis that involves no change of place

because the species of motion this kinesis involves is precisely the erasure of the parameters the space is drawn from–

And here, all place inhabits its own ascesis, its own elaboration, its own wild profligacy and happiness.

To erupt to the Summit of the Real is the summit of happiness, she shouted,

ejecting from her consort’s fontinelle in a most material though momentary panic-into the local flashing fan of the aither itself-that is, the zone of purest fire

far far Beyond

all planetary conflagration

(and only to return-she does return-her panic was in fact, inspirational-a matter of accumulating charge

as a secret motivation

within the most intimate and sweetly secreted recesses

of the eternal rabbi at the Bottom of the Spine

who, for this operation, is Resident Conjurer. He stands before all Substances

that might be invisible birds

whose wings are transitional modalities,

whose calls erase device-

And is this then anything at all but His Question? A question

between the localization of Himself and this favorite nymphling of his-

A call

From the specific torment of her absence-

To the exasperating happiness

And abstraction

of her approach?

Go in fear of abstraction? Do you enunciate?

I fear

that the music he most clearly is

the orchestration of,

will have no idea at all

of why you say this.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 12.12.08

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