Exhibits in the ‘For the Poets’ Gallery

The Heads of the Towns up to the Aethyrs (For Jack Spicer)

“Roots & Branches” [Remembering Robert & Jess]

Our Lady of Good Voyage [in memory of Mr. Olson]

Odes to an Immortal Slinger 

“False fronts make the people mortal / and give their business an ‘outward’ cast”

Back of an Undisturbed Setting Sun

“The Crack We’ve Been Waiting For”

The languages we wager were not devised beyond the worlds they temporize. Yet
what appears as a limit point for life, is exit and entrance point for that which the common world cannot devise.

Eye holes or nosthrills [sic], Round and jagged stones. A spirit of animation clings to the quasi painterly surface as the image forms upon the cellular granules: flatness obsesses the picture plain where faces yet set themselves inside other faces. The stunned look that may seem to rise upon them will not resolve as an intrusion of another world, yet there it is,–there behind the screen of the manifest, another manifest vibrates oblivious to its own reception.

The silence of the impossible and its invidious stasis portends a principle:

The softer the focus, the smaller and more insidiously intransigent the matrix.


The baron behind the crime scene advises circumspection. He passes an interdiction upon final action or any suggestion thereof.


A throned old man, not yet bespoken, waits to see the issue of the comportment he has not varied since the third iteration of the function that composed him.

That which exceeds the imagery of his nature, succeeds all attribution. What comes next returns to an earlier legitimacy.


He says he says: “There is no legitimacy anywhere, certainly. Thus persons know me as an entertainment, little more. I report to the young senator from Elsewhere, and as I approach him, I am impelled to take matters into my hands, according to the principle:

“The greater the proximity, the more sullen the ubeity.”

In the offing, the military functions he mediates, are residua of an authority that rests in being itself and elsewhere nowhere.

The great-headed blot-like creatures feign their exits and manifest across the tesserae. Teserae inside tesserae, an unheard of lability to all pictorial provenance.

The world is a consequence of enframement, the application of a virtual boundary to the undecided preponderance of the materium. No measured steps will bring the indefinite to finite fruition. The provocation that masks as the informative mocks its own quantification. The advantage of methodology does not apply. Thus it is that you cannot reach the possibilities broached in the matrix, according to the principle:

The more adequately drawn the parameters, the more elusive the fringe.

But it is only the fringe that allows manifestation at all.


Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 20.04.08

The Return of SLLAB

“We have been here all along. Even if that’s what they ALL say.”

They all say.

But the timing of their arrival, from the moment of the first blank incursion of these colored impactednesses on this viewer’s consciousness seems precisely gauged to modulate the shock that their arrival quietly induces. Just as quietly, we pass, in our reflections, from the subject of permeable surfaces to the monothetic upcrop of many abandoned layerings. No sooner than the thought of a matrix arises, but that the matrix, made thinkable, induces a further, still unthinkable matrix, to put pressure on the place, not to say the space, of these continuously jittering cogitations.

There is a river coursing through a coursing river, a planar universe consisting of objects that understand themselves to be the very channel down which the signals of themselves are confidently coursing.

Or else the message massively comes towards one, through a channel that opens on the image surface and projects directly towards reception, here on the front of our body, surface accosting surface, creating surface, passing right on through.

As for the matrix, it is also the uppermost layer of itself, for the form of the matrix is tabular, optically a sort of distorted tiling-one thinks of the chess- (not the checker-) board patterns that for so many years were vanishing from Thorpe Feidt’s canvases. This one day will be a famous datum , I know it.

And yet it is the color, not the form, or the color within the form ,or the color that transmits the form, or the formal transmission of the color, that effaces all thought of matrix, layer, surface, course, or signal; demanding-as color ever has done-a fulfillment far in advance of this demanding-the inauguration of another species of registry-more instantaneous, more familiar, more insinuating than information, with its probabilistic exhaustion, ever can promote for us.

And here the entities, whether vertically stretched, minutely incised, or broadly enscutcheoned in the pseudo-painterly enjambents of scratch and edge, are slightly distressed to appear the mere matter out of which the forms that elicit them are themselves more prominently proffered. Through the ontologically foregrounded rumble of moody chromatic jostlings, we hear the somewhat crotchety, not to say disgruntled, edginess of the beings themselves. “We have almost had enough of the nervous density through which we are compelled to surface here, ” say they. “Enough of this topological jitterbugging. Soon,we too must be called forth to some more articulable nature, however transiently composited.”

We do not fear that any definitive responsive will be forthcoming. For the artist himself as well as his exegete are no less arrayed in jitterbugging topologies of their own.


Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 23.04.08

Bean News II

The Spontaneous Is always real

Happy Felton’s knothole gang on this side, but no knothole. No game today on the other side of the fence. No this side, really. Only the variegated surface, happly chromatized, of the formulae of night, of the night itself.

A book–again with formulae. A signifier in the hands of a magus is not the same species of object as the same signifier in the hands of a litigant, a general manager, or a mole in the centerfield bleachers reading with high-tech binoculars the catcher’s signs.

We will rather speak of sigils here, or the whirlwind of absence or the absent whirlwind, cold precisely where semiosis
is thought to be smoldering. Not so hot any longer, semiosis. Yet, new management is curious about
a certain residual pressure from a past that has quite unaccountably not gone by.
The Voice in the Whirlwind, it seems, will not be denied its say. “I’ll huff and I’ll
puff and I’ll blow your ballpark down,” says Semiosis-and splinters of wallboard and painted
shingles are recomposed into obstructions that even today signify the violent ecstasy that assembled them.

The evidence however is not merely of someone having composed, in an appropriate ambience, a rigorous “action” that forbids the world, only to return the world at a later date, a factor in its own equipage. Once the pitch is delivered, it matters little how you propagate the further products of your intellect.

I’m not thinking much about anything these days. That’s why I come to you, whoever you are, and append myself to a chamber that is generally believed to encompass me. It is suspiciously like an outside. The night is cold, in spite of such evidences as trainers and commissioners ahemmed onto the court record; but our curiosity has gotten the best of us as always. The knothole gang can always hear the crowd as its clamor rises and falls, though for more legitimate witnesses, there’s no one there.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 23.05.08

“The Constructive Process of Ruin”

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