“The advantage of the incomprehensible is that it never loses its freshness.”
Each short poem in this collection presents a disjunction in the manner of what Allen Ginsberg conceptualized in the phrase “hydrogen jukebox”—originally from Howl, and later an opera by Ginsberg and Philip Glass. It’s a deliberate compression of two disparate and unexpected elements—low and high, common and uncommon—in this case to the point of surrealism, designed to produce what Ginsberg called an “eyeball kick,” or a double-take. It may well relate to Bashō’s aesthetic ideal of kōgo kizoku, or “awakening to the high, returning to the low.” I extend this idea into a sequence of poems (although the order may not matter) where the repeated phrase begins to act like a mantra. My poems written on the “seven suns” and “neon buddha” themes, and other sequences, spring from a similar impulse. Perhaps the present poems are more surreal, and less of a personal mythology. You are welcome to let them take you wherever they will.
Michael Dylan Welch