Book Review


Un-Sight/Un-Sound (delirium X.), front cover

Un-Sight/Un-Sound (delirium X.)

By M
gnOme, 130 pp, $8.00
ISBN: 978-0692334799


Reviewed by Trena Machado:

Un-Sight/ Un-Sound (delirium X.) is published by gnOme press, which specializes in anonymous, pseudepigraphical and apocryphal works, a press that also eliminates the name of the author because “The self in no way matters…(the reader) is any one and I (the author) am also anyone….” The author, represented by the initial M, has written a text in three parts, each part its own distinct structure of fragments and each of the structures has its own specific effect. Across all three parts, the fragments of syntax elements yield each part’s content. This is not a theoretical exercise, but a language born of the body, the senses, the gut…born of the anguish and power of flesh in the world.

M’s language, constructed to explore itself, consists of fragments, not metaphor, nor an arc of narrative, although a minimalist narrative springs from the epicenter of intention, in that “a text” has been created to have an effect. The paragraphs constructed of fragments are not logical, not grammatical but with disjunctive words next to each other to form fragments within fragments, opening the cleft of being/non-being:

it breathes it does not…/ speaks from out of which it
cannot…/ the brutality of fact–is/ it screams it cannot
other than/ this is a lie as if it/ other than/

till claimed if final claims/ vertigo ice in given spasm
lock of/ exhale of nothing inhaled throughout/ it/
sonorous as flesh exposed to the indifferent eye/ yet/
balm of the non-exposed/

Language self-reflexively, as a medium, is objectively made transparent to “get at” of which it is focused(upon). Through the vacuous, persistent impenetrableness of “it,” the text moves on nothing/not nothing, language becoming fragmentary to get closer to the inexpressible, atomizing, producing magnification by way of fragmented fragments, “pointing at” what cannot be expressed. We are left feeling our existential limit as language elicits the incomprehensibleness of our place in the scheme of things,

…/it is yet a broken dam from out of which seeps the/
collapse of/ feverish/ it will eat you alive it/ it/ so it
will not or of given unto wastage/ blindness/ blah blah/
it speaks it cannot speak or else/ it does not ever now…

In Part I, “Delirium X,” M uses a brief poem or sentence by writers in the twentieth century who have pointed at the unnamable “it”: Georges Bataille, Samuel Beckett, Gherasium Luca, Jean Baudrillard, Vasko Popa, Apollinaire, and, at the same time, giving us the attempts of these writers to construct entrance to the edge of language. M responds to the writers with words that are unmoored as an escaping breath, “…desolate the zero eye unceasing” and “…a returning echo bled distant light no longer as if to.” Part II, “Meat Sequence (After Francis Bacon),” a painter who wrote about entering a butcher shop surprised that his body wasn’t there rather the other animals. The fragments of this section develop a language of embodiment and brings a feeling of touch, flesh speaking about being here, “…the bone’s vibrate/ the sinew of/ placement between death and desire […]/ scar yes or no opened up to the landscape of the meat’s being/ […].” Part III, “Ghost-Limb Tongue,” that our senses ever swim in the unknowable real, “…the wrung eye broils in silence unquantifiable.” The text thinning out as it approaches the end to three and four lines per page, “(the dissipating voice) final shards,” language, in its inability to grasp anything that leaves us with a sense of the tangible, is ever left pointing.

An aura of dissolution is created with M’s fragmented fragments, a dissolution all in the name of trying to see, trying to touch…what? Language pushed to break apart in order to express what cannot be expressed…and in so doing, we are left with the experience of the inexpressible, at least as close as we can be to the inexpressible “it.” Un-Sight/ Un-Sound (delirium X.) points at our own created language-based universe, language one of our primary ways of clamoring for a handhold, as “[…]/static light cancels out sentence of/ words impossible forays/[…]” the power of language to dissolve itself is the mutable river we travel as we are pushed towards the edge, impaled by flesh’s dread at our self-constructed known world dropping away. M offers us this powerless power of language in experiential clarity.

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