Exhibits in the ‘The Counterfeit Countess’ Gallery


Taoist minister in Chinese livery with some exuberance carries-and I cannot say whether he carries this inside or out him -a dark and smokey Buddhist master-as his source or proxy-some temporizing accommodation has been reached with the local Buddhist constabulary-i.e. temple apparatus-or possibly the converse of this-the Buddhist metaphysicians regulate the polity and the Taoist bureaucrat were his factotum. The interchange twixt Taoist and Buddhist in whatever era pretended here, betokens nothing quite historical-that is, not temporizing at all-but an interchange of subtly related archetypal dominants. The local details of the arrangement; sums exchanged; moralities
exerted or compromised, are with due deliberation and in support of the transcendent aim, suppressed withal.

In any case, if I just stood around and waited, eventually, through the fog of the ambient, all things would come into view-not as a vast and all-ingratiating panoply, but one by one, disclosing the chain of intimate time as a clearing IN the fog: a tortuous compound or composite, rivers through improbable localities crossing on the moor, autumnal paths incised with blackened Cenozoic leafage, the hoofprints of variant pachyderms, petri-dish detritus of laboratories (haply) long-unfunded… for the matter itself is tortuous, diffident, almost impossible.

Still, the mind is almost like that -snap-shots and fragments, yet each one internally undulant with effluvial riches if one finds support in oneself for the leisure to explore.

To say that reality itself is a circle sans circumference revealed at the focus of some optical apparatus, perhaps is to confine one’s inquiry too exclusively to eye-born informations; though, for some millennia now, the Eye has been the favored surface of the human sensorium. The other senses hide beyond the “outline,” and to leave the outline unlimned-well that’s the argument.

Concentration, whether of Taoist or Buddhist variety, nevertheless shall be called upons to elicit even optical information; con-centration itself being an optical principal for ordering the sense: to hold one’s bearing among haptic, olfactory, or auditory data requires some other regimen. And it does take concentration to extract from the gray puppy-dog figure with extravagant ears at the top of the unlimned circle, something other than a cuddly glow, for the “function” applied succeeds in disarming such distraction: those are not ears, but a smokey zodiac that swirls round him as a crown.

In sum: Outline and liminal ambiguation alternate throughout, inducing intellect to disclose, as if in recovery of unwonted frankness, the internal disparity of its most puissant algorithms.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 27.10.08


The Crystal Mountain that Goes Through the Sky

The Mountain of Matter
compact of colored
their words

What geometry affords such compression
of irregular part(itive) entities?
What excavation must we attempt
to recover their speech?

The verticality that makes them mountain
actually passes inward to a sky
that naturally permeates
rather than soars above.

The heads are silent
if they show as crystal.

A moment before the Ifrit forms from his vessel
rising like mist smoke cloud-
a thousand bodiless entities
seek to coalesce inside him.

“Put your money away.
Can you pacify the angry owl heads?
The sullen masks
of simian green?”

The archipelago of yearning-
bodiless tidal thump smoke.

“I have never seen more bodiless a body.”

The edges match up
so that the swarm
swamp swell swill
sweet-water wallow of
edgeless happenstance
anneals with a positive rhythmos…

“We are almost inexisistent-
so close it is in here.”

Convection patterns
on the edge of turbulence
the whiteness
to come…

Every cell
an incised

every head the enthralledness
of the thought
of its own form-

every whiteness the timeless vitality
that passes beyond its own incisiveness-as if

the idea of crystal
were to wash all enthralledness
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 30.10.08


When opals (ovals) double,

but overlap to leave a median locus

ovaloid, eliptoid-

but an opening, as if an opening in nowhere,

or a nowhere opened by the doubling-

Well then, it may happen, as it does, that a certain absent person, manifests full-blown, without preamble, without a “take off roll” of any kind. The conditions of manifestation, are simply manifest. And the full-blown, full-tilt, silly-handsome, bon-ton, dapper, fishlike, mustachioed, master of chromatic, possibly vapid, happenstance-but no, no, not vapid-replete-behind all mustaches ever-and happy to be occurring so, without extraneous accoutrements, subaquatic, no shit, as if the real person seriously responsible for his manifestation, were happy too-happy to have manifested too-

And he took an antique mirror, no matter from what epoch,

and doubled it in his intent,

and placed it in a basin

of ceremonially treated water

variously bedight with lichen

and other animate if fossilized or recently grown moribund

vital encrustations

on the cement surface of the old pool

behind barbed wire

in woodland shadow


itself long abandoned for largely budgetary reasons,

and a certain institutional oblivion to communal being,

or an aggressive attitude to spontaneous social harmony or focus-

the residue of the old pool gazed into and bespoken,

so that instanter the Lord of the Episode,

should appear

his lilac colored internal ambience all he needs

for us to justify without qualification,

the resonant qualities of his being there.

And it is thus amply justified.

The New Age arrives in generationally separated installments,

with whatever subsequent corrections

wave after wave. Wave over mastering wave.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 04.11.08

Mariposa de la Manana Siguiente

Behind the still or swarming miasmatic surfaces,

the surfaces which do not say they are surfaces,

that say they are obstructive miasmatic accumulations of guashed

colors that do not say they are colors, they say they are microbes,

or hydrogens or filiations in an ontic zone forbids our ontic inquiries–

But behind all that

or lost within them

friends perhaps, or lovers, hidden lovers

lost behind inconvertible miasmas–

I suspect that they were there-heads and faces, though I did not see them,

or part-faces–eyes or breasts or snouts or spheroids only-

the heart so longs for faces-as if the heart itself

were submerged in miasmas of blood and affect,

that almost as soon as I saw this

planetary slice of decaying metal, this ruined mirror,

this acrid material for darkening Day,

I applied the magnifying function

and went for what face the moldering fabric might betray.

And I saw clowns and noses, smudged shades, blue pupils,

an ectomorphic countenance with bony nose retreating toward Black Door

and edgy blocks of Business Withheld from YOU,

along the cinched belt and its rent buckle–

Further and further inward

new part-faces emerging and deteriorating

long before the boxed pixels start to tear at all images

and replace with themselves and their perfect tesserae of color

the thought of the beings that had already

long been eaten away
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 29.08.08

Ascent of the Virgin

The ascent of the mother.

The bodily assumption of Mary.

The elevation of Malkuth to Binah.

Mary the Mother is the matrix, the potentiality for that which is differentiated before anything can be differentiated.

The assumption of the bodily: the bodily is the embodied, the grounded, the determinate, the particular, the realized.

But in a timeless prospect the ascent and the descent are the same event.

The materially articulated is precisely the potentiality to be materially actualized.

The undifferentiated is nowhere distinct from the manifestation of the potentialities for differentiation impossibly but necessarily internal thereunto.

“The earth with its many cows”

The sky cow


Among the boulevards.

The hebephrenic cowboy invisible (inaudible) among the Royals.

The Royals on the Road of Excess that opens in the prairie.

The fabulous dinner unappeased.

The shoulder blade of Pelops.

The broken herms
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 08.12.08

“Say me something, Fernandez” (01/2009)

Adam’s Rib (02/2009)

Parsifal (03/2009)

Whose Laughing Now?

Musical accompaniment with the same title (Guillermo Gonzalez Phillips, Mexico City, 28.04.09)

Whose Laughing Now, The Movie
(Jenny Fox, Barrytown, NY, 07.09.09)

Whose laughing now

Death threats from the other ether

The one where the party favors

The well-dressed

Asshole who throws the

Whole shebang

For what? A night

Of mysterious revelries

While deals are wrung

From an insidious sociality.

Death is a maw, a mouth

That covers an insatiable engine for devouring

With an insatiable appetite

For speech. Nor is it certain ever

Who is devouring, who devoured,

Who bespeaking

Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 28.04.09

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