from my latest book, The Green Monk (Boiler House Press 2018).
from my latest book, The Green Monk (Boiler House Press 2018).
Ancient elephants and Dalí. From my book The Green Monk.
From my book The Green Monk (Boiler House Press 2018).
Do you love zapiekanka? Me too!! Here is a poem, written during Christmas 2016 in Krakow Poland. More specifically the historic jewish quarter of Kazimierz.
It is from my book The Green Monk. Available from Boiler House Press.
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.
REMEMBER REMEMBER THE 5TH OF NOVEMBER!!
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:
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.
My poem “Feedback” (part of my manuscript The Green Monk forthcoming from Boiler House Press) was published in the November issue of Poetry magazine. Nice!
Folks published in the Nov issue of Poetry magazine were asked for readings lists.
I’ve added mine.
Some Tim Atkins, Jeff Hilson, Colin Herd, bill bissett, Victoria Brown, Isabel Waidner, Judson Hamilton, Richard Brammer, Joanne Kyger, Edouard Leve, Diane di Prima, and Ben Lerner. Check out the reading lists over here: