3 Pieces
by Michael Leong


from Cutting Time With A Knife


"The mind of the poet is the shred of platinum."

—T.S. Eliot




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To bleach the past involves bleaching perception, but we may demand the historical poet who would continue methods of textile production and use indispensable reactions which call for a powder of sense beyond sense;
the powder compels a simultaneous bleaching and production of order, a historical sense supporting and exporting 70,000 tons of domestic bones.
The function of the writer is important as a temporal nerve influencing the distribution of timeless fluid and as the interstitial pump which makes sense of the so-called mediated, osmotic brain.
And a writer is acutely conscious of his contemporaneity, though time (with difficulty) can be cut with a knife.
Below the poetry of metal turbines, combustors, and engines, I am alive in high temperature layers (possibly undergoing early deformation).
Decades later, powerful pedantry accelerators can be wound—particle by particle—into long, multi-strand coils which would allow for rejected poets to create a rotating pantheon of the ridiculous.
This may be because molecular learning became some bacteria-containing sensibility that affirmed life, allowing important poetic atoms to break into the sequence, even the fixation of atmospheric history.
However, in spectral drawing-rooms, we detected a red astronomer, believing that a poet will shape modes of necessary and useful knowledge upon the still, light wavelength of his signature.


A note on the poem

The prose sections that accompany the boxes are collages of Eliot's essay "Tradition and the Individual Talent" and Wikipedia articles about the chemical elements.










from Michael Palmer vs. Michael Palmer

Ambulances of disappearance, cave-in of light — Matt considered the words shifting in his gut and sensed a half-torn memory tightening. In his mind, ten or twelve little nurses were wobbling the mountain. Tucking a blank leaf in his jeans, he pushed the injured book onto a slant hole in logic. His replacement hand wasn't entirely awake as it called to him and adopted the regional doubt of the dying moment.

"So no one's been brought in here yet." Laura was out across the black earth adjusting the aerosols, closing the eyes of the final book.

"Hold on for a second. What color is the pitted page of December?" Matt asked, though he himself knew that odd could definitely switch over to even.

"Your left hand is now winding the other way through the steps of the wood," said Laura, "but it is not enough to sort the 2,000 keys before waking up."

"Then would the person be subsequently the same as the saying?"

"Matt, there is a cuffed man fiddling on a house of stones. Just ask him to fall asleep beneath a giant white ear, to challenge a green receiver with singing. He thinks that the things not yet remembered simply turned reasonable, like the worn side of a sickle."

"I think he's on the up and up — coining a wild speech beyond the edges of otherwise."

"All things aside, things are exactly the way otherwise."

"Laura, we are a pair… it is by the pleasure of toes instead of boots," Matt wanted to add but didn't.

In the nightbreeze —the moon on the floor, the private pleasure of one tile ringing.

Note: This text is a mash-up of Company of Moths (2005), the tenth book by Michael Palmer, the poet, and Fatal (2002), the tenth medical thriller by Michael Palmer, the novelist. No Michaels were harmed during the making of this composition.









from The Philosophy of Decomposition / Re-composition as Explanation: A Poe and Stein Mash-up

It is the time of all phenomena, for the war of originality to be strictly fought in the blessed province of the attainable afterward. So whether simply or repeatedly, whether naturally or automatically, we clasp the now upon the still heart of completion — to render the required refusals, to produce a deduced effect, and to think of a word not yet uttered by the mistress of Beauty for the beginning changes to properly reply and pervade. I now have to rapidly combine all that has been previously narrated into a concentrated solution — from the first act to the ending description — before the poem soon demands a moral and turns into prose. In a fantastic tone of the most profound seriousness, it spoke to me of a certain beast remaining in the syllable that was forming an elaborate window within the general arrangement, that was inventing a different time-sense, that was throwing open the very being of the inevitable.

I had seen this in writing — in fact, pages and pages of it — but I marveled to hear such a great topic spoken aloud. I immediately had to interfere by making a small but needless door above the melancholy heart of the construction through which a popular poet could take a peep, shudder, and refuse to enter. I had a wish to place a prophet of the particular in the mind of the commonplace, a simple Lord that would, step by step, constitute the irritating histrio of literature. I went on to induce a possible word to passionately clasp itself to the inevitable there and then already beginning within the contemporary limit of the here and now.

The moment matured into more than a thousand processes, troubling the already overpassed limit of its susceptibility, demanding more and more from us poets of occasion, us writers of consequence that we should dispense completely with the idea of unity and make something different: a continuous narrative of creation, with nothing inside, with simply an indented space distributed for everybody.

Note: This section comes from a larger book-length work which is a mash-up/cut-up/collage of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Philosophy of Composition" and Gertrude Stein's "Composition as Explanation." All words from the text are derived from only those two essays.