Esoterica in the Slipstream:
This Other Way of Rain

by Jeffrey Little

Image of Egg

For: Karoline, evolving - Meredith, becoming - and Emmett, aspiring
(and two of the greatest rescue kittens of all time, Chaplin and Shiro)


Intro: The idea was to create something like a quilt with words. That the entire text would project itself outward, but also turn in upon itself through the repetition of keywords, forms, phrasings, etc. The warp and the woof of the thing. Like a talisman or an incantation. An explosion of images and abstraction and all from multiple points of view. The secret life of the unidentified pronoun. Polyphony and the hill country blues.
      I once owned a very large egg made of concrete, I guess it was, or plaster. A heavy, heavy egg. It was beautiful, a little bit like an Arp. I always wanted another one so I could use them as a pair of bookends. Who does’t want a concrete egg or two? Or another Arp. (Please read his poems, please.) Esoterica in the Slipstream. It all begins with an egg. Ends that way, too. And in between there’s a lot of stuff left on the floor.    —  JL


  The Harmonic Nihilism of the Egg
  Esoterica in the Slipstream
  The Appalachian Congo
  Andy’s Deep Green Veranda 
  Unbecoming the Rain
  (doorknobs dream of sleep)
  The Retirement of Delay
  Paranormal Foreplay
  (inside of snake time)
  Monk’s Mood
  Fire Solves for X
  Hot Plonk and Digit
  Hunter-Gatherers and the Skin of the Eighty-Eight Drums
  Life, or, Those Other Movies Never Made
  (buzzing velvet drone)
  Impressionism Reconsidered as a Lascaux Cave Painting 
  The Uncertainty Principle
  Karaoke Wasteland
  (shake the broke light down)
  These Seven Words Didn’t Survive the Dream
  How to Knit a Brick
  This is the Sound of a Single Bone Finished Breaking
  (culled stone falls in flakes)
  Sleet, Hounds, and the Horn
  Circles and Songs About Graphs
  Blood is Semantics
  (a grid works to blank the mind)
  On the Beauty of Unlaid Eggs

Jeffrey Little: “Delaware is a strange place. Thirty miles wide. A population of, what, sixteen people? Still, it’s full of stories. Sad but apocryphal tales of Edgar Allan Poe roaming the streets of Newark. Or, a mythical Godzilla of a turtle that lives in the bubbling waters of Lums Pond. The sad tale of vibraphonist Lem Winchester. The sad tale of trumpeter Clifford Brown. At least I got to read poetry accompanied by the alto saxophonist Harry Spencer, who played on Sun Ra’s masterpiece, The Magic City. That wasn’t sad. That was a pretty great day. But Harry’s gone now, as well. And Harry the Barber, too. But our kids were both born in Wilmington. That was really great. All in all, we’ve had a good run here. It’s taken a while, but I’ve come to consider this place home, and my poems, well, I guess they’re Delaware poems. Books include The Hotel Sterno, The Book of Arcana, Five and Dime, as well as a number of Mudlarks. I am also supposed to mention that I am a 2001 recipient of an Established Poetry Grant from this strange State of Delaware, this state of sixteen people that is all of thirty miles wide.”

Acknowledgments: “The Retirement of Delay,” “Monk’s Mood,” and “Fire Solves for X” have previously appeared in Dreamstreets. “The Harmonic Nihilism of the Egg” has appeared in Permafrost. Portions of “On the Beauty of Unlaid Eggs” have appeared in Rhino.

Other Mudlarks by Jeffrey Little: (set another course again), Chap No. 70 (2021); Counting to Zero and Versus, Flash No. 136 (2020); The Secret Life of Nouns, Poster No. 154 (2018); Is Nature is as a Sound is as Zero is as the Hook Dog Blues, Chap No. 47 (2012); Biography As In Syntax: The Babble Poems, Chap No. 22 (2003); and crayola in arcana, Chap No. 15 (2000).

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