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AQC Release for Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 -
Official Launch

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The lines and cracks in the palm of one hand often recounts an argued past, recognizes an often misunderstood, anamorphically perceived present, and divines a, more-often-than-not, misinterpreted future, lacking awe.  It is fair enough that these disgruntled aspects, weighted in the palm of time-and-memory, are necessary for grounding the location of our ossuaries and strengthening the elasticity of our skin. 

In the other hand of observation, what is recounted in the past is often placidly sublime, what is recognized in the present is often beautiful, and what is divined for the future is marveled in wonder. 

The individual primordial memory, the first essence of one’s thought--whether terrifying or gifted with grace--is the beginning of one’s unraveling to self, where memories of the past and plans for the future merge their polarity into the present center.  It is in this merging of the circular cross-roads of time-and-memory that the Antique Child finds his or her self, with eyes turned inside out, embracing the ever wandering “I”, which seeks to allude itself in the further widening of the past and the future. 

The Antique Child is not greatly offended by vice nor by propriety, but finds the human in both, while mischievously adorning his or her child in the noble constitution of a benevolent mind, playing hopscotch in the squares of stasis and anti-stasis, while resisting the indifferent sophistication passed off as cultured maturity.

~Jim Lopez

 

Amidst this tumble of words and art, over time, an answer may present itself not unlike a stone washed up to shore, pleasing and smooth for the finder’s palm. Not that we intend on posing a question; the only answers worth discovering are those we aren’t looking for, the kind of answers that peer around corners we are hesitant to approach. Fiction, philosophy, illustration, photography, poetry, etc.…those ancient youths among us will weave a tapestry whose pattern will not soon present itself. For a time, a certain chaos will boil here in our famished cauldron, where bits and pieces will roll against each other until finally a flavor emerges, an aroma not recognized but namable. I am here only to stir occasionally, to ensure the quality of ingredients, but never to guide the concoction toward a desired end. It is the flow of nutrients along riverbeds of awareness that commands my attention, an awareness that widening the banks is no longer useful, only a deepening of currents. Content for content’s sake cannot achieve this, which is where you come in. Let us dig deeper, not wider, canals for contemplation’s journey toward a wanting ocean. Let us dig and loose antique soil known of yet forgotten so it might mix with our lesser notions and rage.

~Ty Gorton

Works by David Migitis, Sea Monster, Tréz, Tom Livo, and David Chaim Smith.

TINTIN Remembered
by Ginger Danto

Tintin. An improbable matinee idol, with his round head, balding but for a shock of carrot hair, his dated collegiate garb of baggy brown knickers, polo and trailing trench, and his almost indulgent mien of innocence – disconcerting in a detective hero. At times it seemed his canine sidekick Milou (Snowy in English) was sexier and smarter! But nonetheless, around the age of ten, I fell in love.

It was an uncomplicated love for a character from a comic strip that came alive full blown to my child’s imagination, and provided me with the all the vicarious adventure my own life apparently lacked. And it has lasted until this day.

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Works by Stephan Maich, Lawrence White, and S. Bell.

DREAMS OF THE LOST CHILDREN

James Miller

I was nine years old when my brother disappeared. He was twelve. He disappeared one week before his thirteenth birthday. I remember that summer, so hot and still, the endless blue expanse of the sky, the hiss and chip of crickets in the long grass, the heat a vibration, a white-noise hum like the dry rustle of insect wings, a pulse in tune to the warm blood rush in my head. The corn in the fields beyond our house grew so tall, the stems swaying slightly in the faintest of breezes. Strong, sticky smells, the seeds that clung to my socks and shirt as we ran through the fields. The corn would scratch my arms and legs, covering me in faint red marks, like the memory of a language I’d almost forgotten to speak. I remember watching the sky for UFOs, but we never saw any, just the high trails of aeroplanes and large black birds circling on endless currents and swirls of hot air. Yes, I remember that summer... 

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The Mower Now Commands the Field

Michael Wilding

Henry eased himself slowly onto the restaurant chair. He grimaced. He groaned. Dr Bee and Pawley watched him with interest. A fellow sufferer. Pleasure in another's pain.          

'Lumbago?' asked Dr Bee. 'Gout? Some painful manipulation at the Writers’ Clinic?'           

'Grass,' said Henry.           

'Grass?' said Pawley. 'I find it's a pain reliever. They even prescribe it now for multiple sclerosis sufferers.'           

'Not that sort,' Henry snapped, irritably. Pain made him irritable. 'Mowing.'           

'Mowing?' said Dr Bee. 'The grim reaper? Time's scythe slashing at your hairy heels?'           

'Lawns,' said Henry.           

'Forest Lawns?' Dr Bee offered.          

'Lawn bloody mowing,' said Henry.           

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Kind of Blue

Daniel A. Olivas

1.
“So what?” says René.  He adds a shrug for emphasis.

Silence.  René just stares at me.  And then another: “So what?”  It’s not really a question. It’s a statement.  A declaration.  A dare.

René wipes his nose using his torn shirtsleeve.  He gets most of the blood and snot off his upper lip that had been seeping slowly from his nostrils.  René holds his arm in front of him and examines the sleeve.  His dark skin peeks out from the torn blue cotton.  He blinks and then lets out a muffled laugh, as if he had just discovered five bucks in his pocket.

I can’t stand seeing René’s eyes when he gets like this so I turn and look over toward his apartment’s kitchen window which now has most of its glass piled up in jagged shards inside the sink and a few pieces on the floor. Big Man lays right there, on some of the broken glass.  He’s in a heap, like he’s drunk or something.  But he’s not.

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BOVINE X: Part 1

Craig Woods

Auntie Sheila’s trailer crouches modestly in a neglected patch of wasteground where the pylons cross the train tracks and the faded district of ruined warehouses crumbles into the estuary. The ancient castle looms in the background, perching upon its rock like a prehistoric bird looking out at the river, withered turrets tearing holes in the grey sky. Upon every red brick wall and corrugated roof, the dark sentries of crows survey this timeless vista.

This modest stretch of land, a derelict post-industrial hamlet of unseen activity, acts as a time track junction. Standing here among the ruined buildings and feral creatures - the cool fresh river scent of nostalgia invading the nervous system, the ghostly echo of dead industry reverberating against the decaying walls and timeless rocks - your Self comes sailing towards you on the melodies of long forgotten songs; subliminal flashes of ephemeral images from hazy dreams; sharp premonitory scraps of spectral conversations … Here is where the Angels drift from one time track to another; ragged figures with beautiful alert faces running guns and smuggling pipe bombs across the ethereal frontiers of dream and memory, preparing to blast a hole right through the myth of linear time.

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Works by Janiet Aeyre, Aaron Olshan, Jeffrey Scott, and Eva Anarion.

PICNICKING IN THE AFTERGLOW OF THE BOMB
THE EVIL OF BANALITY
Ron Hirschbein

The day before Kim Jong Il boasted about his first nuclear test I witnessed festivities at the site of the first American test: the Trinity Test Site--a place called "Jornada del Muetro" (the official literature didn’t mention the English translation—“Journey of Death”). Dear Leader Kim relied on 1984-style propaganda to bedazzle his hapless subjects. As I strolled between the picnickers and souvenir stands at America's Ground Zero I realized that such overt propaganda is superfluous in our not-so-brave new world. I witnessed (with apologies to Hannah Arendt) the evil of banality: the world's first nuclear blast--a portent of destruction that spewed radiation over a wide swath of America--was reduced to just another spectacle and commodity. Witnesses to the first test, those who were "there at creation," were awestruck: the effects were "stupendous and terrifying . . . it beggared description." These days all that was sacred is profaned: a realization that occurred as I munched fabled New Mexico green chili burritos and marveled at slogans emblazoned on t-shirts: "Trinity Test Site: I Glow in the Dark!"

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BLACK WORK FROM HELL:
The Poetic Philosophy of an Alchemical Mind   
'Dov Mutz'


The term ‘black work’ is used in alchemical literature to denote the first stage of an operation in which impurities are cast out by purgative action. This purgation is initiated by adding energy, usually fire, to a vessel containing the substance, which is to be refined. This piece has been excerpted from notebooks which arose from an appalling
state of addiction and depravity which I inhabited in the late 1980’s. It is a residue which might be read like secret messages scrawled on waste paper found on the street.

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Showing: Maya Deren, Henry Miller: Bathroom Monologue, Kieślowski: Cinéaste Polonais, and The Hunger Artist by Tom Gibbons.

drinking steadily through slow deaths & sudden endings
ron plath

to save money
i use old grocery bags
to line my kitchen
garbage pail

small plastic sacks
less than 1/4 the size
of the average liner

i keep tying them by
their thin handles
which rip sometimes
& tossing them
into the bin outside

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Vodka Paris, 2009
Hollace Metzger

Tonight, the bourbon
got a little too thick.
Mixed mahogany and oak
tables and chairs
were replaced with
Rashid’s plastic.
Bread, blessing the table
above which
we had said Grace,
decomposed into truth
and lay there, a mound
of bleached cocaine,
scant when the wind came
before we could bring
ourselves to breathe
it
in.

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THE INVESTIGATORS
Troy Jollimore


They will be in the dining room by now,
turning over
the miscellaneous small objects

warily, as if they might sting.
Later,
they will search the beach

in groups of two or three.
The ocean
never stops dropping clues

at their dark, official feet.
Is she pandering,
or is she sincere?

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Night Chat
Paula Varjack


We were outside smoking
Winter hours made four pm feel like midnight
The countryside sky free of air and light pollution
Had so many stars our city eyes were
Nearly blinded
I exhaled wearily and said
I was heartbroken
 
He, my friend, cast me a withering look
Said “stop wasting your time with men
You’re far too clever”
He’s a sometimes feminist
part time misogynist
I suppose he thinks
It accentuates his swagger

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Work by Horacio Bustos.

Nostalgia for an Imagined Past: An Interview with Jim Jupp of Ghost Box Recordings

Peter Bebergal


The British record label Ghost Box is something akin to a Wunderkammer, a cabinet of curiosities that contains things both fictive and real. But their proximity to each other makes it near impossible to sort out what is of the phenomenal world and what is inexplicable. Ghost Box (started by Jim Jupp and Julian House) is home to a number of remarkable musical groups, including Belbury Poly, The Focus Group, Advisory Circle, and Roj. Jim Jupp was kind enough to answer some questions about his work.

Your music plays with ideas of technological decay and natural technologies; the past haunting the future, the future finding its way back to infiltrate the past. What is about that tension that is so compelling as an artist?

You've hit on something there that I think we feel is an essential part of the labels aesthetic. Amongst the ideas that interested us when we started the label were EVP and the spiritualistic leanings of Jon Logie Baird and also Thomas Edison. There's something magical and plausible about that area where technology and spiritualism overlap.

Similarly we love the weirdness of the juxtaposition of ancient and modern, or the cosmic and the parochial. This is a common motif of British science fiction. In a John Wyndham novel, or a Nigel Kneale screenplay you will often find an archetypal English village where suddenly weird cosmic events break in, or a new technology will open up access to forbidden and ancient knowledge. Don't know if it’s known at all in the states but Nigel Kneale the creator of Quartermass wrote a one off "ghost story" drama for British TV in the 70s called The Stone Tape. In it a group of scientists trying to make a breakthrough in a new recording medium to replace tape realized that stone themselves store up a psychic imprint of events and sometimes replay them as ghosts. It’s just the kind of thing that's a real touch stone for Ghost Box. 

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When I Was A Boy I Watched The Blood Wolves!”
Being an Inquiry into the Skywald Horror-Mood, the Genius of Archaic Al Hewetson and America as Inferno.

Ron Garmon Reviews

THE COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE SKYWALD HORROR-MOOD
by Alan Hewetson. 256 pp. Headpress/Critical Vision, 2004.

If fortune should lead you to a cache of old comics magazines with titles like Psycho, Nightmare and Scream and leave you with intact memories of the Seventies, you already have a rare gift for serendipity. Once harpies, nighthags and marrow-worms come winding off the pages and up your eyestrings bearing fun and frisson in their broken teeth, you’ll know the source of a deadly knowledge that’s sustained you over the ever-worsening decades. Even if you’ve never picked up a single issue of these superb magazines, you’ll know all the same, since the era was the lesson and Skywald editor-in-chief Al Hewetson hammered it in with exquisite force and judgment. “What is horror?” jolly “Archaic” Al queried. “Horror is you.”

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D.M. Mitchell Reviews

“The Killer” by Colin Wilson (Savoy Books 2002)

In every facet of human culture we see the killer has an exalted status, irrespective of whether he/she upholds or undermines the existing ethical or religious code. In western culture, nominally or intrinsically Christian, the taking of human life has become increasingly abrogate. Life is viewed as sacred and the death penalty, even as retribution for the most hideous of unlawful taking of human life, has been abolished. Yet in our cultural expressions, popular and ‘highbrow’, the dealing of death still retains an almost fetishistic glamour. Death and sex are inextricably linked, both physically and psychologically. The killer is inescapably sexy.

Most cultures, whether they belong to the morally dualistic world-paradigm (Christianity, Islam, etc.) or otherwise, still retain the archetypal figures of the hero and villain (or anti-hero if you will). In many cultures the two figures are even interchangeable but whatever background they emerge from, even a cursory examination will reveal that they are inseparable.

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