Monday, October 12, 2015

The Underworld of Lesser Degrees By Daniel Y. Harris

The Underworld of Lesser Degrees
By Daniel Y. Harris
NYQ Books
New York, NY
ISBN: 978-1-63045-000-7
148 Pages

Review by Dennis Daly

Betwixt the poetry of Bandersnatch and martyrdom’s bleakness comes Harris (Daniel Y.) the Hadean all sulphured up. Spleen-bound, prettified Priscoan, he bocks and burbles to Madame or Sir, real as the darker angels. He chirtles away behind the scenes. Consider this rite of ecclesiastical longing, an introduction, Hypostasis, an opening here,

Pray to appease Asmodai
zombied with fog horns in the dark, hollow
hole of salted ousia. Antic disposition
or ontic dispossession? Never feigned.
Always canonic. To be the tilted palm,
Packing in the prick-light of prayer,
Asmodai is Iago bloated as faith’s
Negation. Tongues are unsigned.

Notice the Bard’s bilious one cleaves into the wrathful king of nine hells, a heart of unrestrained lust. The Book of Tobit says more.

The poet propanes another bauble bilious from the scatological heap of sacred syllables, the cause before the cause, the original bubble beneath. In the sixth part of his piece, Excerpts from Seven Dead Kafkas and a Fork, credulity strained, he divulges in a way his train, his thoughts go further,

… back to the dipshittery of Holy shit:

better to be the shit, hot shit and louse shit,
than the shit of fans, etiolated and crotchety
to constipated drives to buy a shit remover:

stick it up your argumentation ex stercore
tauri—money talks bullshit walks arse up
and arching, shoots the shit on a book tour

Oh The Last Man shines his decrepitude and faltering immortality, for now in the eyes of his shadow partner fading into the synthetic sheets. As the description swells among chocolate and kelp into the new man, the modern erasure of animal flaw maximizing absolute pleasure, the porn male of nothingness crowned in misbegotten strewed  moments doomed to be first tolerated before immunity takes hold. So you think nonsense fires these Pascalian wagers! 

Well-named and prickly the Prophet Daniel demands our damned attention, preaches the Viagra vicissitudes of deadly lust and mortality celebrating the Prometheus moment of procreation telemetry.  Give us our daily climax and deliver the last Olympic player from passivity. Here Harris effectively touches the religiosity of his orgiastic subject,

…From the heights, the numen
coded in copper scrolls, redacts the tasty
shibboleth of lust. Persists a sore ganglion

below the rub-flutter of thighs, waits to
spit glitter, arches neck-face projectile in
the crease with nitric oxide. Groans and

grinds. The hung light and forepangs, this
athlete’s chemical curse to stay aroused,
tosses pillow at these gods of perineum.

Blasted by sand, a desert dirge, the parched air pirouetting out a century of beauty as souls (the unmentionable word) evaporate over the melting transcontinental highways running beside the River Styx, yes the poet dishes this and more in the entitled Threnody of Reach. He minimizes with motels, suburbia, and small bills. Charge cards would not fit the neutered world of suicide luck. The ode well-wrought, the sorrow collected in rain barrels. Says Harris in a geologic trekking out,

Fires of stone and sedge, dried below a mantle
of basalt. Walls of pink clay shaped like teeth
clenched on bone. Mineral stained arcs high-
striped in cracks. Petrified sand dunes layered
in conical rings. Evapotranspiration in a matrix
of orange runoff. Rainshadow tundra littered
with red spiked prickly pears…

Invention, like playing God for fun, comes from grave-like depths and a density beyond documentation. Demons flit about the creators as they work up a storm of life, a day of days with mockery and humor. Drink from this cup, The Fabulist, all of you. Do you hear me! Dead story tellers walk among us. The word “shard” must be cut from their flesh before cleared to jump. And they do jump into the moonlight, mid-phrase.  The poet observes the game, calculates the odds, then the rewards, and concludes thusly,

I double take standing up to flip
in stills of rote spin and win
repeat play, lost in some Rosencrantz
and Guildenstern are Dead
limbo of an uncertain likely day.
Reflexive as we are we reify
the effect the causes rebuke
and settle scores left on the edge
of an edgy place. If I anoint
you catalyst then you may
anoint me. You may go first
and share the fabulist call
to inspire, each a well of living
sight, mingling cohorts in a lit
loci of chance from which we
mime the daft and shapely puns
of circumstantial fun.

This experimental baseball breathes its uncomfortable prolepsis into the routine of everyday life and colors the rush and run etching with remnants of mystical oddness and daft ethos. Bravo the pastrami sandwich infused with mustard-seed rapture. Bravo Harris.

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