2019, Half Way On

Hello, dear readers. I hope you are well. I’m dropping in a personal letter, to say hello, thank you for your sup20190424_125310port, and share a bit of news about my work and upcoming releases. The readership of The Root of Many Returns keeps growing, and trust me, when I say I can’t wait to get to one hundred subscribers, its said with humility and sincerity; there is no room for sarcasm here. It’s been quite some trip we’ve been on it seems. Much poetry, to my surprise, has been published. I’m surprised my engines began running again. I have a few short fiction pieces I’m developing,  and I’m grateful to share.

I am happy to create something that one wants to stick around and see what happens. The biggest developments will most likely be in fiction. With the second book in the Nicholas Duke in the works, and the kick off of the fantasy series I’ve harbored for years, I think you’ll be interested if not somewhat shocked at some of the things I have planned for the site. Some may have noted the tag “Max Caufield” on the post of short fiction. This marks the beginning of a brand new series of stories for me to write. While I am gearing these tales to be short fiction ala the vignette, or something five hundred words or less, the story will be about an openly homosexual individual and some of the exploits he faces in dating and sex life. Ultimately, the Max Caufield line of short fiction will address many topics of the LGBTQ and, specifically gay, community. I recommend discretion as these stories will be descriptive in content both sexual and mature.

There is also a planned release of my newest collection of poetry. The last one I published was in 2011, so this is by all means long over due. The collection will be called “The Vanishing Poet” and will contain  several dozen poems that wvanishingpoetpromoartere originally published in the Virgogray Press chapbook line of poetry. These chapbooks published more than a decade ago are long gone and rare to the public as print quantity was severely limited. So, for the years these writings were read of the chapbook, these writings were lost, until now. The poems, of course, are not without repair. To cast a glance over the shoulder is to see the errors of the past. As these poems will be relatively new, there may be no note of revision or modification, but for the poems published in literary journal both online and in print, there should be a slight explanation. Some of the poems sucked as was, and are much better now. The choke in the developing voice unhindered by the lack of resources or fear to seize their passions, left creations slightly unpolished, and less than perfect. I am pleased with the new text. And I assure not all were revised. Some only had small editorial misses, and not complete overhauls. I wouldn’t say any poem changed its original meaning from when I first wrote, but definitely clarified them.

As current subscribers to the blog, I’m offering a free advanced copy of my book in exchange for a review, a sketch, or a blurb on what you thought of the work. Just send me a message via the contact page, or comment below and I will get in touch. I may also publish any feedback given in the final edition of the book. In fact, any reader that subscribes to my Patreon account will most likely be included in the acknowledgments page should they remain at least through book’s publication. And lastly, get ready, especially if you’re in Texas, because I will most likely hit the road with this book and see if I can’t do some book readings for support and exposure. It will be fun times. I haven’t toured a book in a long time. I know I could tackle Texas immediately. But perhaps soon I will be able to expand my footprint and tour a book throughout the U.S. All things looking forward, barring some crazy, world altering event, I’d say the only way to look is forward.

I challenge a lot of view points in life, offer some interesting angles, black mirrors to peer into, whether in my writing or my day to day. Sometimes the work is too abstract, and sometimes pretentiously blunt. I’ve been working on the balance of these in a concise and calculated form. To make my words count. It makes me happy to know I will not be alone as I discover the path we make. But know as long as I may dream up a universe, I may dream up the entire existence of what we are now, a piece of cosmic space dust glittering, the distant glow of a central star; and as long as the creativity flows I will form this dust into fully evolved worlds, whether by story or verse. Happy reading.

 

 

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The Art of Remembrance

Every now and then he comes to visit. What affinity towards, I do not understand. We understand each other. But there is much more in his solace-locked art and candor than I could ever dare to express. I never knew the man. It is safe to say I could have. Had I awakened to his craft, had I sensed him sooner, I could have. In this world of single degree separation, I may have known the man. I may have experienced his art live. But I never did. One September evening, I did meet his successor, an artist of his own vision and scope, Valor Kand.

And now the initiated know.

I actually interviewed Valor (unpublished and possibly difficult to obtain now, oh dearest technology) and manned the merch table when he brought Christian Death through Texas sometime ago. That in itself was an experience to have, and just in time for birthday season. I also had the opportunity to speak with Zara Kand, Valor’s daughter. Zara is a magnificent artist in her own right, not falling far from the family tree. Long time friends of mine, too, have toured their music with some of Rozz’ brood and relations, right down to the matriarchs themselves, Eva O. and Gitane DeMone. All this name dropping, you may say. But my point: we’re always one or two degrees from separation. It could just be small world syndrome. Or the specialized sub-culture all these beautiful people inhabit. Still, in the absence of his being, and beyond his musical creations, I sought to engage the late Rozz Williams in poetry.

Rozz Williams, born Roger Painter, was known greatly as an underground icon for the American goth and deathrock scene. He was iconographic, as many photos of him may prove. He was influenced by great artists, Bowie and Roxy Music not withstanding. But for most, the fascination of Rozz Williams ends with the seminal album Only Theater of Pain by Christian Death, a band he founded in the early 1980s. A listen to the follow-up, Catastrophe Ballet, gave fans a much deeper, and melancholic sound that took the frenetic energy and dark, punk sentiments of Only Theater of Pain and subdued them into rock and roll art that was layered and thought provoking. The combination of music and lyric let listeners know a much more substantial work was at play here. It was as if the heart of the Parisian, surrealist artist had jumped into the body of this youthful expressionist, and channeled their darkest moments through his work. Considering some of his literary influences, Jean Genet and Baudelaire included, I wanted Rozz’ poetry.

 

But for most, the fascination of Rozz Williams ends with the seminal album Only Theater of Pain by Christian Death, a band he founded in the early 1980s.

 

Readers of this blog may recall the four poems I shared at the beginning of National Poetry Month. They were tributes to Rozz and spotlights on his work, in memoriam. Rozz became physically removed from this realm on April 1, 1998, in his apartment in West Hollywood. I found him a few years later. And years since, I have discovered the various facets of his art. The man, though life short lived, was productive, a prolific artist; and a theme with most in his circle, Rozz was an artist of all trades: visually, aurally, literarily. To date only one book I am aware of exists that collects the poetry of Rozz Williams, and that is And What About the Bells? or “Le Theatre des Douleurs,” because it’s in French (I don’t own a copy, personally. It’s a trite expensive at import). It was published by Camion Blanc in 2010. The book is a biography and poetry collection. Supposedly, an English version was rumored to be in the works, but that may have been just a rumor. I can say for certain that it is a shame there is not an English version, or an American release, at that. He was, after all, an original American artist.

The Art of Rozz Williams: From Christian Death to Death, was released by Nico B. and is a collection of Rozz’ artwork. The book contains some verse, though they are presented as original copies, rough drafts, and visual art (this I do own, first edition; the second edition is hard cover and I want a copy of that). It was inspiring to see the hand-written texts, the sprawled out messages seeped from pen to page. The engaging work produced by procuring and interweaving the art of others (collage). But, again, this is a collection of his visual art, with some discography, photos and text, but by no means substantial for a deep, lengthy read of his verse. So, what then? All we have is a hard-to-get, foreign publication, and an artbook, the two providing a mere tease. There was some reprieve in Rozz Williams’ sound recordings. He had many projects, and spoken word was definitely an artform he dabbled in. He released two formal spoken word studio albums, Every King a Bastard Son and The Whorse’s Mouth (the latter being a personal fave). Visions of Bowie and Morrison and Burroughs and Ginsberg abound. Countless more, I’m sure, but my scope is limited. It is always refreshing to me to experience poetry in a different way. Spoken, is definitely one I enjoy. Spoken set to sound track is even better. Audio adds another depth to the work. It may strip the listener of free-roam interpretation by providing a focused tone or tempo, but enriches the piece nonetheless.

 

…readers may ask (and some have), about the content of the work. It’s heavy stuff. But, only a shard of the crystalline spectrum that is the art of Rozz Williams. In the case of The Whorse’s Mouth, the spoken word album dealt with heroine addiction.

 

The pieces I shared come from the album The Whorse’s Mouth, and, I believe, are some of his strongest literary works. The sophomore spoken word album was less experimental and the poetry was elevated, crafted. The writing while aligning with the music and soundcraft, does not feel like a reaction to it, or secondary, as I felt it did in Every King a Bastard Son.

As I will reblog the four poems, readers may ask (and some have), about the content of the work. It’s heavy stuff. But, only a shard of the crystalline spectrum that is the art of Rozz Williams. In the case of The Whorse’s Mouth, the spoken word album dealt with heroine addiction. He frequently looked inward at personal demons and experiences as substance for his creations, but also, as artists do, he gave an outward view, and provided perspective and commentary in regards to social issues, the metaphysical, and in a couple instances, became semi-political. These ideas swam in the deeper end of the soul, and truly there may have been some torment there. But, again, I never met the man. And in lieu of sharing the information provided by others regarding his personal and emotional state, I’d rather not say anything. While it is understandable the type of energy and emotion that his work taps into is not the most desirable feeling to linger on (as one dear friend once said to me, “But why would you want to feel that way all the time?”), it is a part of the human experience not many address, and not many are equipped to express. To take a look at his body of work, one would consider this man to be a brave artist, with bold expression, and ahead of his time.

I will disclose that I edited the four poems (structure only [and some grammar]), but not the content. I, unfortunately, do not currently own a copy of from The Whorse’s Mouth (don’t get me wrong, at one point I owned two copies), but this gem has become increasingly hard to find. Most of his work is becoming rare. Still, these were procured from the inter-webs. And if memory serves, the poems were included in the insert of the album. So these may be reputable, yet, but that’s the editor in me coming out. Enjoy the poems, start a discussion, look him up. Rozz Williams was an American, gothic icon, a pillar of the underground, and a forefather of shock and abstract rock. Still, he may yet provide something you’ve been missing or looked over, like that small, dark corner waiting to see the light.

 

“The Art of Remembrance” is an essay written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved. 

 

Maggot Drain by Rozz Williams

This is the end of the line/road come to a close.
Muted vision of the dead blends exhaustively
with the wretched night that binds it,
blinds us in wanton light—
a flight not so easily ignored
by those in whose arms death waits, enthroned…
These are the nights of wasted bones,
traced footsteps in mud, the dull thud
of laughter caught in leprous waves
crashed without mercy as a reminder
of a spent future, lost past, a void existence.
Time and again.

Wind blown
Sky scatters
Embryo in flames

But will it always incur so much unwarranted pain?
Clouds ripped open by a band of sleepless souls
intervening from the other side of life.
Throats cut like sacrificial lambs at the demon’s altar.
The seemingly endless invasions by huge, staring monsters
(those who go nameless among the largely unwanted masses)
occur every day.

I pass them by,
those gayly painted runners
in this mad dash to nowhere fast.
At last a slight relief from those
strangely demented eyes…
Seething, beaming wildly
in lonesome sunset to down.
Maggot-drain-brain-crabs/insect-larvae-sex-death strutter.
In the same breath, dusted nectar of heart’s blood gone to rust.
And I trust you’ve felt the same sharp, telling pinpricks
as our minds digress/regress.

Transformation into a new you must take place
like a pelt worn over milky skin and alabaster sheets
rolling off an unmade bed in bliss and the
Devil’s shattered kiss.
You gyrate for a dead world,
try to raise erections from its corpse.
Roll over and bite hard on that dead meat.
Beat it over and over again.

Well it has been a conscious decision on my part
to betray those digressions, although as you can see,
I sometimes fail, and lest I forget what brought me
to the first and last, it was orgasmic rush, hope, and trust
like flies with wings removed.

Paralyzed parasite that I have set my gaze upon,
how quickly you lose what I was craving,
raving mad and pleased to meat you.

…….Catch as catch can……..

 

“Maggot Drain” was written by the late Rozz Williams. This poem and other selections from his spoken word album, Whore’s Mouth. All rights reserved.

Who’s In Charge Here (Beneath the Triumph of Shadows) by Rozz Williams

Old ass monkeys swivel in the discuss/fiscuss lovers
yahtzee style. Circle of viral disease spent in whirlpools
of light hatred, beginnings of the new world…
“Jimmy trick,” the space captain moaned from beneath
the cosmic red rays of radioactive dead curl.
“You make my heart sing.”
A homosexual antibiotic
for no sex in venereal hallway sleaze.
Cross its path if you must.
Return head-burn, separate the vile
scent from a misspent youth
uncouth elders sent these children
to their demise, unrecognizable limbs
sway in palm shadow.
Rigorous waves that I ride on, endless (so it seems),
corrupt crawl, withdrawal – bent on trembling knee prayers,
thrust up, thrown to sky, eyes torn out and tattered rags of emotion.
Devotion often squandered on a heap of melting flesh, mesh,
teeth, howl aloud, “Forget me not!  Forget me not!”
Recognition blurs and spurs me on to further acts of degradation.
No boundaries, no limits, no space beyond acceptance
of the mass genocide to come.
Squealing for a fat tomorrow never known.
A quick infliction and the last convulsions of life into death begin
and while you may think it morbid, the reality will not hide repulsion.
It breeds like a plague-ridden flea from carcass to carcass,
door to door parasite, sign your name to the list of those dying.
Get a hold, grip tender with your organ…
Sugar sex on a bed of holy whoredom.
There is no bill of sale with this love.
Let it all be known.
In false dedication, I defile all before me.
Medicate the shell of a body you thought was alive.
Hobby-horse-goat… gloating/bloated,
candy cotton’s spun its web of sickening, sticky rush around you –
nothing as it seems.
Apocalyptic memory soon come true,
Riding the pale horse which taunts you,
haunts you with its wholesome/precome illusion.
Suck you fuck, and suck until I cum!
What might it entail to flaunt you as the hustler you’ve become?
Hole in the head, dreading the next image:
A haystack needle mile, descending mend-tack pile ‘o skin
and we cannot escape the inescapable.
How could they?

“Who’s in Charge Here? (Beneath the Triumph of the Shadow)” was written by the late Rozz Williams. All rights reserved.

Dear Skin by Rozz Williams

Electronic babble,
shove off with thine elastic attitude.
You condescending fuck hole, you tiny little prick,
you don’t have the persuasion to crash down my power
of hope with rationalization.

Tower of rubble,
shovel dirt back in that open hole.
My soul residing?
Hiding there.

A devilish grin of rich desire,
more fire devouring flame,
and shame on you, rust beggar,
the one I’ve longed for.
You splendid whore.

No gift perhaps to reason
on the lips of this sad, mad man.
Overtaken by a vile dream in which
I tumbled to earth on my disassembled feet,
and you must not treat me like the others.
We are not one in the same.
Removed, proved to be of higher honor,
least the trumpets wail.
Fail to find release from this anchor,
rancor of bullshit ties, these drownings.

Electronic babble,
tower of rubble,
shovel dirt back in that open hole.
No gift perhaps to reason
on the lips of this sad/madman.
God forgive my slightly shifting lines
in thought disfiguration.

Meat as meat…
defeat the source of that which spurns thee.
As for me, do not mistake my misgivings
as indifference to this madness
that surrounds me.
Often time, I flee
from this torturous
mindstyle/deathstyle
reunion.

Just another onion head.

Polished meal of spine
structure and jaundiced horns.

All the endless fragments
of this distorted view of life.
My soul, sold.
My being? Maybe.

Toss, turn, burn
the smile that tries to waste you.
There is no hope
in repetitive warfare/nightmare
but then again,
who the fuck am I to care?
Let us take heed of memories foretold,
dear skin.

 

“Dear Skin” was written by the late Rozz Williams. All rights reserved.

 

Adjusting The Blossom

Good evening dear readers,

I sit in front of my computer on a rainy December midnight. Freshly the 27th of December, I thought I’d drop a note on reblogging “In The Eye of The Blossom,” a haiku triptych I shared last month on the blog. But first, I also want to say thank you to the readers and bloggers that have joined The Root of Many Returns. Feel free to leave comments, like, share, or reblog. You can also get more involved by joining my Patreon account, or purchase any of my books.

So, speaking of reblogging, I shared this haiku again because upon reviewing my site, I realized that the triptych was mangled. See the snapshot depicted here:

 

TROMR-BP2
Capture of the original posting of “In The Eye of the Blossom” on The Root of Many Returns.

 

Readers were kind enough not to call me on it, and four bloggers kind enough to like it. Thanks for the faith, dear readers. Certainly you’ve seen I can handle my haiku. This was merely a formatting error. In my need for perfection, I’ve reblogged the corrected edition. Of course, in humility’s need for dominance, even the reblog’s formatting was mottled. But if you click on the original link, the triptych is pristine. I encourage you to take a gander, if not through the reblog, through this link:

https://therootofmanyreturns.com/2018/11/09/in-the-eye-of-the-blossom-a-triptych-of-haiku/

Haiku, as per tradition, always requires specific formatting. Hopefully the original version was not seen as a challenge to what we know and hold dear. Or didn’t make me seem like an illiterate fool. Ha ha. The triptych in particular is my favorite version of the haiku, where the meaning and the essence carries through a triad of traditional haiku. Anyway, I hope you enjoy. I will continue to share both versions of haiku, and we’ll see where I go with this mode. I hope your holidays have been well. Best regards.

 

Michael Aaron

 

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Fallen October Leaves November Insulated

Greetings, dear readers.

October was a fruitful month for me. I’m surprised at the poetry specifically because I haven’t written new verse in a while and I seemed to overflow with it. For me, anyway, that was a good hoard of new work. And I shared it here first. I hope you enjoyed. I may have mentioned it somewhere in time that I am releasing a new collection of poetry soon. I

Michael Aaron Casaresneed to finish editing a few of the poems, and it’ll be good to go. It would have been nice to have released it this year, but for quality’s sake, I foresee it sometime in 2019. I will also give more specifics about the collection soon, too. Though I can say, some of the poems may appear on this site.

I am debating how far to take you with fiction. I don’t have a pulse for preference lest I were to examine this sites stats. The poetry definitely seems popular, but the fiction? Does one prefer flash-type, micro fiction, or more? I don’t readily have a plan for the fiction I am sharing, though if you follow the tags you may see some stories will be part of a bigger piece. I plan to share plenty more short fiction, to include flash, vignettes, and whatever other mode I may feel like venturing into. I apologize I can’t give you a handle on an exact style. That’s just not my style. The Nicholas Duke series is pure fiction. It strives to be literary fiction, but it is at least that. Fiction. I wouldn’t say my preference is in the magical realism style, but I definitely enjoy taking spins on reality and what we know. I will also be doing a fantasy series. I was previously working on the fourth chapter of the first novel. I will most likely share some short stories from that series.  I also have plans for the next installment for the Nicholas Duke titles. I debated regarding a sequel to The Distance to the End, and part of the hold up was realizing that sequel or not, it is not time for that story. There is another Nicholas Duke story you must read. It’ll take him deep into the heart of Texas, it’ll be a wild experience. In the meantime be sure to get a copy of The Distance To The End, the first in the Nicholas Duke novels.

So aside from poetry and short fiction, some other changes occurred. Specifically to the website itself. The blog upgraded to a dot com. The Root of Many Returns dot com. I’ve decided to do away with most of my other extemporaneous sites and to make this site the hub of all my communications. Aside from my Patreon, but that will soon have an overhaul, too. I’ll let everyone know when that is done so you can take a look at my ideas and see if it interests you enough to support.I am not much on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, though you will note I do have accounts. I still tend to post on Instagram and will soon make the account public. I also use my Google accounts and Messenger accounts less and less, if at all. I encourage reaching out through the contact form via the Contact Page.

I can say for sure this month there will be more poetry and, perhaps some short fiction. Be sure to share and like your favorite pieces. Subscribe, and join our community of readers.