The Green Monk Out Now!

MARCUS SLEASE POETRY, NOMADIC SURREALISM, the green monk

The Green Monk is out in the world. Collaborations with the paintings of Dali and Leonora Carrington. The green parrots of Garcia Lorca and Paul Celan. The queer erotics of swans. The mysteries of milk in Madrid. Soul suckings. Bazaars and border fluencies. Nomadic surrealist prose poems written in Krakow, Katowice, Madrid, London and more.

And not to forget the paper, the paper and design of Boiler House Press is succulent and rich and very textured. A good addition to your collections.

Available over here for ordering:

 

Bear Review

MARCUS SLEASE POETRY, NOMADIC SURREALISM, the green monk

Super happy to have my horse poem in the new issue of Bear Review.  It is from my book The Green Monk.

This poem, in the new issue of Bear Review, is surrounded by many other magical poems and art, and it is a poem, in part, about the garden of eden. It was written after immersing myself in the art and writing of Leonora Carrington. Carrington is one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, and into the 21st.

Is it also part hobby horse, from Tristam Shandy? There might be some hobby horse in there, but really it is asking for more wild horse, not the domesticated horse, although that is just one possibility. It is also whatever else you want to assign a horse.

One thing for sure. It is definitely a poem about a horse.

 

 

 

 

Psychic Marmalade

MARCUS SLEASE POETRY, NOMADIC SURREALISM, the green monk

The Green Monk is heavily influenced by Surrealist writers and painters who have lived or passed through Madrid in the first part of the 20th century. It is also influenced by nomadic surrealist wanderings around Europe. It has four movements:

  1. Built to Spill
  2. Psychic Marmalade
  3. The Green Monk
  4. Great Expectations

Here is an excerpt from the second movement: Psychic Marmalade. Written in Alchemia (Kazimierz, Krakow, Poland). A few days before Christmas 2016.

 

THE GREEN MONK

NOMADIC SURREALISM, the green monk

I am very happy and excited to announce my new book, The Green Monk, is now available for pre-order.

The Green Monk is a dreambox or a sweatbox of a sugar skull. A black hole full of hairspray and cigarette butts where the deer are twitching. It is the great urn of space dust where yellow yolk drips down the wall. These poems are migration and immigration across various physical and imaginary, spatial and temporal, fields. Journeys, healings, and transformations. The illusions of self that each new self is born into.

Written between London, Madrid, and Krakow, it engages thrillingly with various surrealist visions of artists and poets, including Leonora Carrington, Salvador Dali, García Lorca, James Tate, and Chika Sagawa. It concerns, variously, erotics, animism & magic, food, death & sublime nature, fairy tales & alchemy, & the wonders of everyday life. It is simultaneously contemporary and ancient, built on visual images and techniques of juxtaposition and collage, accompanied by entertainingly absurd narratives.

“When I read a Marcus Slease poem I am reminded that the world is made up of billions of parts, each with their own soul, each with a great ability to illuminate the sacred while also misbehaving. Slease is a poet who reminds us the wildness of life is not something we can control or even fight against but rather something we should witness and honour.”
– Matthew Dickman, author of Wonderland

Publication date is bonfire night. The 5th of November.

Boiler House Press is the best of what is happening in UK based poetry right now. I am super happy to be included with some stellar poets. And the design is absolutely brilliant. Tactile to say the least. You are gonna love these pages!

The Green Monk is part of a set of five books set to be released on the 5th November.

You can get all five beautifully designed books for £35. Or they are available for £10 individually from Boiler House Press.

THE GREEN MONK by Marcus Slease

RABBIT by Sophie Robinson

OF SIRENS, BODY & FAULTLINES by Nat Raha

SELF HEAL by Samantha Walton

SUB ROSA: THE BOOK OF METAPHYSICS  by Francesca Lisette

 

REMEMBER REMEMBER THE 5TH OF NOVEMBER!!

 

 

Warrior of Light

NOMADIC SURREALISM, the green monk

As an immigrant in America I was obsessed with ninjas and invisibility. Also pink hot dogs. I was no good with baseball but liked the slap of the leather. My first pair of American sunglasses were made of gold plastic. Every journal entry ended with I am a warrior of light.

Here is the poem. From my book The Green Monk. Forthcoming from Boiler House Press in November 2018.

BRIGHT EYES BURNING LIKE FIRE

MARCUS SLEASE POETRY, NOMADIC SURREALISM, the green monk

Did you watch Watership Down, the cartoon, as a wee lad or lass? Was it scary? I think it is still scary. The theme song, with its chorus of bright eyes burning like fire, still haunts me.

How about Roland Rat? Roland Rat with the floppy doll of my brother before we immigrated to the U.S.

Hop aboard the magic boat to childhood. Prose poems, from my book The Green Monk, forthcoming from Boiler House Press on 5th November 2018:

https://soundcloud.com/jjmars/poems-for-the-elephants

Prose poems originally published by The Elephants

TEN POEMS FROM THE GREEN MONK AT FLULAND

MARCUS SLEASE POETRY, NOMADIC SURREALISM, the green monk

Fluland published 10 of my nomadic surrealist stories/prose poems from my book The Green Monk (forthcoming from Boiler House Press on 5th November 2018). Some Las Vegas immigrant stories. Gold chains and french kissing. Aliens and fig leaves. German Edelweiss hidden in bibles. And much more!

Thank you Fluland!!

Check ’em out over here:

http://www.fluland.com/2017/05/10/ten-poems-marcus-slease/

 

 

DALI AND LONDON MUSTARD IN STOCKHOLM REVIEW OF LITERATURE

MARCUS SLEASE POETRY, NOMADIC SURREALISM, the green monk

I have two prose poems in The Stockholm Review of Literature from my book of surrealist prose poems.

The book is called The Green Monk. Forthcoming from Boiler House Press on November 5th 2018.

One of the poems is based on Dali painting. The other based on a late night in London.

They are called “Burning Giraffe” and “Mustard City”

You can check ’em out here:

https://thestockholmreview.org/the-stagnelius-section/poetry-by-marcus-slease/

 

 

WHAT IS INFLUENCE?

MARCUS SLEASE POETRY, NOMADIC SURREALISM, the green monk

Super happy to have my poem “Feedback” in Poetry magazine. It is part of my manuscript The Green Monk, forthcoming from Boiler House Press in November 2018. It was composed while ingesting everything written by the great Lydia Davis. I can’t help wondering if some of her approach to writing leaked in there, but also other writers of course, there are always others, and also whatever was happening around me, the influences, how can we frame them. What is influence anyway? It accrues and accrues, but does it disappear? Who gets to decide who is influenced by whom? Readers feel some influence of maybe something else they have read or watched or experienced, the writer feels the influence of some writers. We need an audience to hold up the mirror. And also the artist is a mirror. We are all mirrors reflecting each other’s influences. Of course art, like everything, never occurs in a vacuum, it is interdependent. You can choose how you want to frame the influences. Forget about the isolated romantic genius. Originality is a collaging of influences.

It seems maybe there is red hot writing and there is cool writing, and then there is lukewarm. Or maybe a better way to think of it is some distance. This poem “Feedback” has some distance, via the style and framing of feedback, although the content has some fire, some lyricism. It was partly collaged from feedback on a friend’s slipstream novel in progress. William May and I met in Greensboro, North Carolina, during our days in the MFA programme, and have kept in touch, on and off, since 2005. His novel in progress is a nomadic surrealist journey, with many great mysteries. Without worrying about creating a poem I collaged some of the feedback I wrote for his novel, added some more layers, allowing for some chance operations, and called it feedback.

Isn’t feedback a kind of influence. I am also thinking of feedback in terms of sound.  That rumbling, whining, or whistling sound resulting from an amplified or broadcast signal (such as music or speech) that has been returned as input and retransmitted. As in a feedback loop. Our brains are a feedback loop. How do we get out of the loop. That wheel of samsara, as Buddhists call it. And what about the connection between the inside and outside. We have a brain. It goes and goes. And also there are various stimuli happening outside of us, all around us. What do we do with it? Does all it get in there, either into the so-called conscious or unconscious brain. The surrealists, inspired by the breakthroughs of Freud, wanted to tap into the unconcious and create a holistic person. It was an optimistic avant garde movement. How many layers does it take to get to the centre of the onion. I don’t know what is behind our layers, or our words.

Feedback” is out there in the world now, echoing, maybe reverberating with all the other sounds of poetry, and I hope some folks find some use with it. I hope the words are touchstones for the creation of a reader’s journey.

And yet, how much time do we have, really, to read words. It is my main activity, in terms of my art and life, and yet I get so tired of them. These words. They are never enough.

 

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NOMADIC SURREALIST TRAVEL IN KAZIMIERZ

MARCUS SLEASE POETRY, NOMADIC SURREALISM, the green monk

My partner Ewa and I visit Poland for Christmas every year. My partner Ewa is from Katowice so that is our home base. During our summer visits we explore mountains and villages, but at Christmas it is mostly family. 

However during Christmas 2016, after 4 months of living in Madrid, our new home base after many years in London, Ewa and I decided to leave Madrid a little earlier and stay in Krakow before Christmas. 

There is some good magic in Krakow, especially in Kazimierz. Our of our favourite spots was Alchemia Club.  Alchemia is the Polish word for alchemy (as you might have guessed). At the time I was deeply immersed in the art and writing of Leonora Carrington and alchemy plays a big part in her surrealist practice, including the transformation of food. Dali is also famous for surrealism and food of course, but there is perhaps a different magic at play with Leonora Carrington, a kind of feminine sacred, the kitchen as a place of magic and transformation rather than the banality of “feminine” chores. I could relate to this transformative practice in my own art. The transformation of the banality of the everyday. A few prose poems from this nomadic journey in Kazimierz are published over at Reality Beach. The words themselves acting, hopefully, as a kind of alchemy. An engaged interaction between the physical and imaginative worlds. 

Although, maybe the so-called everyday is already magical and we just to have see it for what it is, wild and untamed and full of potential. That’s not to say, of course, that certain environments, as stimulants or aids, cannot help us see this wild reality more clearly. 

Ewa and I spent quite a few nights at Alchemia Club. It has a magical old world bohemian feel. The square with Alchemia, Plac Nowy, was a dangerous area after 1989 with the transformation of Poland from communism to democracy, but the area has since been transformed. It has 19th century buildings with a new “hipsterish” vibe. While I am usually allergic to hipster areas, with their overpriced cereals and gentrification in East London, my former homebase, there is also something different about Plac Nowy and Kazimierz in general. It hasn’t been completely sanitised and sterilised. Perhaps the gentrification/colonisation is slower in Krakow. There seems to be a good balance of old and new, not just an area for the moving capital of the upper middle class and very wealthy, at least for now.

It is hard to define authenticity. Authentic art and authentic environments. How can we define them? I did not feel authenticity in Las Vegas, the place I immigrated to in America, and lived until almost the end of my high school years, but I do feel it in other purpose-made environments, with their simulacrum of the old. Maybe it is partly to do with how well the artifice is made. All art is of course artificial/artifice.

Alchemia has a shabby chic feel and it feels real. The bohemian cafe by day and concerts at night, with some incredible experimental jazz and electronic music. It has a primitive feel  and it is useful, at least for me, as an aid or stimulant for nomadic travel. The other pubs in the square also have some good spots for absinthe/ the green fairy. In the middle of the square, with its ancient horse stands, there is late night zapiekanka. Our visits to Plac Nowy felt magical every evening, with a lot of fog covering the streets. We couldn’t see our hands in front of us at times and kept running into a German couple asking for the post office even though it was after midnight. We found out halfway into our stay that the fog was really smog, high level pollution, typical of Krakow during this time of year, but somehow it didn’t take away the magic, at least as a temporary nomadic visitor. There really is an old world magic to the place, even with some of the hipster vibes.

Do you ever feel like something is directing you, moving you towards places? Of course, this could be an illusion. We like to create meaning after the experience. It could all be a coincidence. My immersion in the alchemical art of Leonora Carrington and Alchemia in Kazimierz. Maybe we can put ourselves in a certain state of mind for these kinds of magical moments, these alchemical transformations in our lives.

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                                                    (Ewa in Alchemia Club. Picture: Marcus Slease)