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Op. 32




Abstract Poems 


 Copyright © 2011 John O'Loughlin





1. Introduction

2. Poems 1-39





Where, you might wonder, does philosophy end and antiphilosophy begin?  Certainly not in the same place or at the same time, though we may conjecture that philosophy ends with a critique of (the highest manifestation of appearances in) language, and that this development may co-exist with an antiphilosophy that began with a revolt against appearances in a new-found concern for essences, that is to say for metaphysics as opposed to physics, for the supernatural as opposed to the natural.

     Such a revolt began, around the mid-nineteenth century, with Schopenhauer, before anyone had thought of writing a critique of language.  It was a revolt, in large part, against the Kantian critique of ethics, of appearances conceived in humanistic terms, and we may define it as a petty-bourgeois reaction against bourgeois philosophy, which, in Kant, was also veering in a metaphysical direction.  Consequently we may say that, while bourgeois philosophy wasn't entirely immune to metaphysical leanings, a predominantly metaphysical philosophy, i.e. an antiphilosophy, had to await a petty-bourgeois champion in an incipiently transcendental age.  Schopenhauer was such a champion, and although he adhered to bourgeois technical procedures (including the utilization of traditional relative genres) he yet wrote - if not exclusively then at any rate predominantly - within a metaphysical framework, given, in his concern with truth, to essences.

     So to answer our opening question more fully, we may say that philosophy ends on a petty-bourgeois level of concern for the highest manifestation of appearances in language, i.e. on the most artificial terms, whilst antiphilosophy begins on a petty-bourgeois level of concern for the lowest manifestation of essences in metaphysical speculation.

     So much for philosophy!  Let us now ask ourselves, in getting to the heart of this essay, where does poetry end and antipoetry begin?  And I think we can answer this question, pretty much as we answered the opening one, by contending that, although in practice the two kinds of poetry often overlap, the poetical ends by singing the praises of artificial beauty, while the antipoetical begins in a preponderating concern for the metaphysical ... as a vehicle for the exploration and elucidation of truth.  Thus we have good reason to believe that, as with philosophy and antiphilosophy, poetry ends and antipoetry begins on a petty-bourgeois level, the one at the climax to a concern for appearances in the most artificial context, i.e. as pertinent to the urban/industrial environment, and the other at the inception to a concern for essences in the least spiritual context, i.e. as pertinent to the intellectual elucidation of metaphysical speculation.

     Once again Western civilization affords us, in Baudelaire and Swinburne, two fairly conspicuous examples of the end of a poetical tradition and the beginning of an antipoetical revolt, which we may also date from around the mid-nineteenth century, even though the concern with appearances isn't always with the beautiful, nor even the artificial, and the concern with truth doesn't always result in metaphysical speculation but may, in its more radical guise, lead (as with Rimbaud and Mallarmé) towards the abstract, and thus to the overcoming of all appearances, including those composed, through grammatical conventions, in the name of essences - the dogmatically metaphysical.

     If we can divide petty-bourgeois poetry into a lower and a higher type, corresponding to an earlier and a later stage of evolutionary development, then I think it will be found that metaphysical poetry corresponds to the former and experimentally abstract, or quasi-abstract, poetry to the latter, so that the evolution of antipoetry, on petty-bourgeois terms, is from the pseudo-apparent to the quasi-essential, in accordance with the relativistic criteria of petty-bourgeois civilization - criteria not guaranteed, however, to endorse the establishment and development of a totally abstract poetry (superpoetry?), such that would accord with the free-electron constitution of a transcendental civilization - one less intellectual than spiritual.  There is always in petty-bourgeois poetry a degree of intellectual relativity, even when this relativity takes the form of surrealism which, while defying utilitarian reference and traditional descriptive/analytical usage, makes little or no attempt to defy grammatical convention by interfering with the usual links between, for example, adjectives and nouns, adverbs and adjectives, verbs and pronouns, adverbs and verbs, and so on, but, rather, settles for a compromise between the meaningful and the meaningless in some degree of surrealistic relativity.  Clearly, while this is compatible with the extreme relativistic integrity of petty-bourgeois civilization, it could have no place in a proletarian civilization founded on absolute values.  Only a totally abstract poetry would suffice there, and, in establishing a static community of independent words, it would signify the culmination of poetic development in the most radical essence.  It is this 'superpoetry', the quintessence of poetic endeavour, that signifies the salvation of literature; for it is the most artificial, the most difficult to compose, and the most transcendent.  And yet it frees the reader, as no other poetry ever could, from intellectual appearances.

     Finally, since the distinction between poetry and antipoetry, no less than philosophy and antiphilosophy, is with regard to the apparent and the essential, it follows that whilst antipoetry and antiphilosophy, particularly in their absolute manifestations, will be acceptable to a Transcendentalist, philosophy and poetry won't be, since their concern with different levels of appearance ... puts them beneath the pale, as it were, of what is acceptable in a transcendental civilization.  Consequently whilst antiphilosophy and antipoetry, as conceived on the most radically essential terms, will be respected in the final human civilization, neither philosophy nor poetry will be encouraged, since, together with petty-bourgeois levels of antiphilosophy and antipoetry, they pertain to a relative age, and nothing relative will be endorsed once an absolute civilization gets properly under way, not even an anti-philosophical introduction to a volume of abstract poetry!  And certainly not fictional literature, considered in its novelistic/short-story manifestations, which either predominantly stems from appearances on philosophical and/or poetical terms, is balanced between philosophy and/or poetry on the one hand ... and antiphilosophy and/or antipoetry on the other hand, or predominantly aspires towards essence on anti-philosophical and/or anti-poetical terms, depending, in each case, whether a grand-bourgeois, a bourgeois, or a petty-bourgeois epoch rules the day and, to a lesser extent, upon the class integrity of any given author.

     Whatever the case, no such literature will be considered worthy of study in an absolute age.  Only such literature, together with superpoetry, as I have composed for the benefit of a proletariat become civilized - in a word, for transcendentalists.  May they appreciate this abstract poetry as they choose, for I have no desire to dictate punctuation spaces to them!


John O'Loughlin, 1983 (Revised 2006)





Calmly soft the minus arises

poison like luxuriously cloud age

motion beginning his impervious

out nevertheless angle red in

could once truly face shaft

potatoes ghost mark the says

nor strapping with elder noise

and quick we yes on weekly

everywhere dog grant though not

implosion more for delicately song

twice neither but evening pace

wondering like modern in draught

now all and carefully pig my

does yet hot secretly down the

pulls from alike to pink grasp

the night without than saving

good her perhaps given dark

where soon energy off notice

grey him safely want through

nowhere beside dance





Each dark to led in grip

the could if seemingly point

he nerve on grapple thought like

yes cat however water desirous

not while took as ton satisfactory

cluttered you quick cotton where

too can in heavy near speaks

you there carefully together but

cake when falls front somehow

year yesterday graft scissors

there big can't by noteworthy

as finish lady wanton it night

now lintel whereby eat and

face over a flat wholly die poise





Next love day against curious

but soot thought it lack house

all window given prepare out

needless spice the quickly boat

and though her small where yet

leaf a green thoughtfully stone

because lone and thus mark

we mouse to when off wherefore

stale goading precipice teeth

angled red her see like well

moth taken left while suck on

cool pause growing spanner as

black yet good slowly gulf before

ill taught nil since securely

ran cloud iron tall whether too

dinner beneath lazy or spark can

high trickle grasp nor tusk

fortunately eel over dark we hard

by moot curious finished laugh





Doctor out make night before

lift ways purple had if glean

grace loss neither he grey

so elder safely smooth it lake

piecemeal grew job bole past

the tell off gravity hooks where

see simple to ache talking ran

pink in soft late between yes

nor eats beguiled bake through

surely heaven slice name falsely

grace nor happen gathering said

left primary and but over or

painter dent pulling nearer discard

safe took once an bell truth west





Wednesday speak off new fought

tour when yes hope greasy take

weather care needle favourite why

he think jack laughter because not

fathoms day talking plum jumper as

cape kindled six now took maybe

like do where well speed soft

in which whale couldn't space my if

raw pounces closer runs paper slow

thanks year people craftily five near

rely consequent relief no devious

pull way aghast private mellow

domiciled follow has right frail

juncture even sigh loaf continuity

breezing stake briefly tall east

monday good stalks he and talk





Saturday paused longitude dose

nascent week pallid nimble above

ache leaf caution falls created

largely passion breaking pomp feel

notwithstanding left keep placed big

and digger tack baffle too with

cautiously dimple blight wink blue

however fig spice lean captain plant

singe meek platitudinous lip

pass through if meddle cautions

now face as grew north can

limp a fat beyond sincerely magazine





Sugar oath limits pig quick

don as fief letters take wet

links motion perhaps square than

dreamily circumference exalted

cast pap leaf been when sip

truth quick will in affable

sleek cured dope ringing slack

a now crew drip safely him

bitten yellow single paint scream

hop the eat noisily tea slumming

when happen soldier maybe dash linger

fast baffled weak taking sudden

I cream limber pegs thoughtfully

cat why aiming cup her between

safe wing pass lengthily jars for

remember graft leaning soap nice it

quantity he cream more away sheath

free dig partly blow than hole

mellow on swim flesh satisfy sex





Care took draft bare half look

space mind bore race kind sore

dig meet dome fig heat comb

watch pale safe scratch ale waif

nod leaf spice god deaf dice

aim want shoe dame font glue

well fish grape bell dish cape

feat soap live feet rope hive

mouse train yes douse pain guess

ground spice dog bound nice fog

won't help staff don't yelp scarf

think stick left link prick cleft

ah toad edge bah load wedge

grey make sip day fake nip

so ever grunt no never hunt

talk way off chalk stay toff

now hiss a how miss stay





Careful non gravy preen like

peut-être something down wilful

every nimble bleu safely sod

dark hopefully deaf white oui

and engine aiming douce clear

slarf soap mop tightly favour

windows effort not hilfe sad

blinking though naar link about

south blut every before wince

therefore cut all house langsam

peel where dolce slice winter

fatto because really grown swig

never lingerie potato hop mia

right savour knows vita grasp

tearful mourir charge well his

faint escarpment tidy trup age

once finger made counting dom

snigger old tebya before cord

then bombi gracious hood father

nyet after happen growth womb





Face ten all with tent dog and

six before carefree limber I take

though neither thin four grouse lady

shoes whose wing fall ninety safe

here people wives once how nought

age have become two free thankfully

we that single live pain beyond

they before us double own sin

now it none was became goods

will men continue numbers safe

having eight space you pale

five off can't dale purple verb

all tearing sudden ground three

tightens nine beginning then last





Beast free  garden not  sex alone

party one  people all  class together

religion ours  truth revealed  hope alive

bourgeois gone  novels not  noise free

competition out  restaurants gone  army past

houses shared  meditating together  group comfort

drink artificial  peace real  goal one

alcohol banned  dope despised  orchestras out

sexism past  priests gone  sleep alone

city large  machines working  computers thinking

food immaterial  videos private  headphones on

nature out  exploitation gone  gardening past

eat alone  aristocrats not  prayer gone

awareness high  comfort there  security sure

police peaceful  health improved  spaceships large

nationalism gone  war past  drink alone





In passion thought carefully wide aloft

no dimple pause wandering so people

if safety dip naturally work needle

that seabirds pace impression stalk question

be having took anyway gone sweating

to believe ash castaway glean tonight

but sadly went beautifully shoes away

a playful could position trick happy

do suggest drape regional has never

can under life simmering doubt being

first knowledge spark inception cross rally

bank maybe tone cantankerous now liver

so clearly wan nudity singe mellow

then payment too mournfully snipe packet

this eating sand bellowing round doing

as clockwork sod emperor dice milky

grey bellow found deciding boat lettuce

last negro force impertinent well digest





Squash pond soap towel month snot

green careful south large tight dim

quickly doubtfully suddenly rightly properly

on beside over in under above to

and but or because if after

run laugh throw keep walk sit

I you they he us me

diving limping shouting dreaming hoping

his ours theirs mine yours

Ireland John Saturday Carmel Europe Sunday

squash careful in suddenly if

run you shouting mine Europe





Think nash vater mani sucre

plok ganz bella être motion

boot pittore beau dive spasibo

sucorso reve laughter veshen luder

ballon after moy ihr signora

toast otyets soldarten molto yeux

mouton nulla bub novy mixing

caprice platz dom house peau

hilfe proshay windows douce io

stoy darkening facteur bambino dumm





Has wondering said does thinks

spurt happen is tolling laughs

gave being wanted knowing will

stop calls knew thinking can

running had should are go

play don't looks fasted may

pulling dive say went speaks

have mumble took goes suggested

feels sleeping put wont stood

deafen defeated fly stays like

needs tell spelt digging finish

blocks hurried dwelt pay growing

sold teaching reaches smell known

send am wouldn't fighting lose

walking died taken spill dodges

make read seeing been was

learns dug swallowing think grasp





Blunt sip leaf to shade old nigh

single all besides wreath grew too

need do where such pace greed

pure dented safe sliding sound if

and cause been link for it rear

teat windows on rightly heap seven

fade liver island down gamble force

near spice token would under put

lead second dig why bear token a

effort so because left sudden in

axe goat by hairy focal thrower

well not eagles limber service bead

no leading happen right said for

weather reckoned sincere down or

grave poor before do terse drew

scrape like notice when pool

took why deed sudden rage off

goaded deep speaks wanton fall

bridge signed die felt tapering as

dapper weal so mentions sooty rare





Place pig people put prance pose

pimple position paying principle person

pudding priest pelt poor passion pill

peat padding piper poker plate push

prick post pall perceive pup plant

pine potato pay peel pummel precious

pollen paper pussy pillow plonk pet

puff peer pant pity pollen price

pool peace prim paddle play purpose

pimp patio pounce prove pest puddle

past pleat pornography puppy piece

peppermint paste pint pull preference

popular player pod pun pie pain

plod pancake pimple puke pennant

panache preaching pip poke peck plead

poem pandemonium picked prey plait pupil

prince posh pipe pulpit pallid





Well can no paper scope loath

bell pate note beyond sad nought

dell when pause bash fish aid

sell before mean south of keep

hell old wicked lean as little

fell why because saying hype bole

cell and crate light weed did

tell bigger on laid cart off sea

done sudden below hale tell

soft grace tale nougat cell

graft over veal reach women fell

coop by nick good lean hell

mingle tool in before as sell

capable rind pod baffle dell

market simple told was bell

pig danger pare went loft well





You dog pig hip red jaw tea

log pea bed new pip raw gig

die not boy pay cat sod had

toy sat dad rod sot day try

hag nip law bee dig bog woo

dip loo wed hog sea caw fig

rat why coy nod bad cot lay

lad dot fly bay fog joy cod





In ash bone space window penalty

be lag tape tooth darken devilry

to why foot bacon manage binding

as pen said loath market pillows

if man poor night safely quicken

on had root mince clever needles

by lap lace mount fellow steeple

oh pit daze plods corner swiftly

am cog help mouse hazard chimney

so fad lock clear dimple careful

me say road water having varnish

do fat sing happy willow crisply

he nod cast swift plenty weekday

no wig keep paper doctor foreleg

or lip nose green potato sausage

we day made roses taking compose

an sin grow never gravel rounded

at pot fade graft simple naughty





Ash coat drift bee fade

house gun keep lemon ink

make queer open pig noose

top sugar rest prove veer

window x-ray yew zipper had

many yellow xenon wife valet

up won toad day quip

orange nose mellow life keg

jaded hop gross fig inch

press edge cot bark apple





A be cot deer eagle fathom

go hip inch jumps kipper leather

mop nose opera pepper quality restrict

seer trust umpire viaduct withdraw xylophone

xylophone withdraw viaduct umpire trust seer

restrict quality pepper opera nose mop

leather kipper jumps inch hip go

fathom eagle deer cot be a





House clean pause dream south

clock watch sugar force hotel

plays north tempo twice dials

mouth space bland spice green

round wants swift bleak taken

brown feast safer empty while

doper dying mound apple clasp

moths sated chink block rouse

caper teeth saved groin think

piece drunk peace clink shake

trace brink creak hound cause

brake cream latch grand drift

beast grasp blink mouse sound

bleed grain drink patch grace

seven black hatch yeast rocks

latch never point trace whale

track grain blown fever tight

motel blond climb least brick





Apple bag coat broom arc cake

anus bun crisp ape creak bash

carp and break ample cat boat

care big amble bowl aid crisp

ask brief cold after cap bold

corn break aid ball cot avert

bit ankle clam ache beast cry

boom ate cling bid clip anger





So be or if as do my it

fat nip day why men pig ant

both each like noon fish have

truth grief bacon stick beach

happen crafty window trance

satisfy happily caution

mountain scorpion






Brave cot grave sot knave dot

tease look cease book lease hook

sand nod band cod hand sod

death fish heath wish neath dish

cope bag hope hag mope lag

place soot grace hoot space root

pig graft dig craft gig draft

house mind louse kind rouse find

host dip most lip cost rip

tin sell bin tell fin bell

nose match rose hatch pose latch

steam fit cream pit dream lit





Speak leak eke beak sneak

seek tweak peek creek meek

freak weak sleek teak break

lake stake bake drape cape

ape gape flake take shake rake

drake make shape fake grape

nape slake wake quake sake

bleak heap steep weep sleep

deep creep leap bleep jeep

sweep reap crape jake

snake ache spake cake





Meal feel deal reel seal peel

feel meal reel seal peel deal

deal peel meal feel seal reel

reel deal peel meal feel seal

seal reel meal peel deal feel

peel seal feel deal reel meal





Cow be near window if ash

full grape the so mean pitch

like as mud pinch take on

dive roses and which with do

place pick dip laugh in deep

did want while all care by

said watch for player dig of

through pass night an play hope

gave laugh why safe where at

port leg he safely switch fate

douse pat wink or house care

it may grave lip four growth

sing too pinch fathom me cover

weed bleak soap where oh dip

mice could tip ah yes ladies





Sad full blink guarded safely

where toad slowly hat sadness

motion glean room thought fad

deaf wholly ravish sat mellow

and growing prick doom lagger

briefly tone for shiver grape

know thought lemon motion six

badly fear favour too station

she pillow ached feather blue

made servant relish axe devil

old happen while moth greatly

snigger rot does lotion crape

book forward river beaten has

off grind between land trough

sell bog family which foaming

bother ask million dove where

want sudden railway pinch out

failure green pace too guards





Because fulcrum lowly staff

aspects noted taken grasping

limbs flake wise crater neat

then against latitude poison

fulsome gracious rising fade

tricked worth have ample late

once through favourite made rise

craft soldiered passionate light

fancy salmon cautious solemn

especially week graded loft

when truthful wreck havoc length

beginning craftily over linger

thoughts smear lamb worthy laughing

trough scattered where sacred

nimble ounce rattled song hinge

never band breasting prayer caught

entice radium scarf leer

wandering fleet shove clean

brightly fainting voluminous left

situated blight grave broth

token generously pallid full

bead tapping maintain scrape done

pattern surely beef which seal

could simple without fluttering

break nascent through begin

every asked couch tarnish

method softly clip smearing

wheedle flippant weather groped

backing tremble males tonight

eyes ought ventilation hung crazy





Patch seem grow basks more alley

can right draw bland head chalk

window sap gather tin pushes hop

sit gamely his fathom nor bullet

to morning so evening of friendly

careful by sweeten no doctors it

pale middle drop houses safe faster

pallid took grasps limp failed sore

sap fetch dig grope mop south

token ask light and frisk win

grey be well if pale in

he lamp or grow my does

weather manage caution supple suggests wrench

pamper growing animal decides method peopled

rope fig lane for good but

all face pip lead son down





Word mouth ginger tell massif tiger

dreads focal wind pallid itch dream

proper deep quite well price softer

drip growth anger burned grace damp

force prim damage soft trace lesson

longer space keep dance hamper past





Feast fashion form frisk for fish

favour fry fall fist fathom fop

fade fed fracas food frame fag

finger fog fresh font flask

foto flare famous flip fork

family furl flavour fat flour

force feel fad fell fodder

foam float fake flout fan

fear fob fleet fuss far

flag fly flurry forward first

feat flapper frost fame fulsome





Only asks blue dope said when

once food toad been dose kill

paid will flys done pink gape

flaw have tell over girl sink

dear left whom sake fish true

dark made back lean hell fast

blow suck dent puts deer call

late grow sack want feet daze

flag need poop dice kind lame

flow bear load soap well face

hose grim ball took year most

pack down jade nail full open

dust clad wife post bowl verb

flip glue dung nose pout leaf

seen ears poke rind grab wall

fond high sale nine cool drew

bone plan soft weak road tray

gate doss mask such fair clap

mean slay door fate pick leap





May while compost hit knife friends

lap crack running for grave through

all point station why truth railing

fat could trainer dig grand satisfy

now brick wakeful sap peace laggard

off sweet caution lip grace riddled

ton house actions lid graft plastic

hop table wadding cow bring fashion

was drink ballast sod quick trinket

are pause weekday rip chink dashing

you craft leaflet but grain toughly

are pound sharpen fig graze mention

dot blink talking out sugar doorway

war grope tension had dance watcher

him flout sharply too mound picture

god slope morning sat green disgust

way right flaccid pot slice tuesday





Pause wondered once green highroad

whole so weak dip laugh can fast

teat near wool safe behind shock

match sop after moulded gravy slit

and crawl for sound beneath danger

whip cradle like well sane night

down pleasant you ways calmly south

or air larder flown breaking care

nether plane quick song barns lame

all tickle widow melt sock wind

over jam clear mope happen low

trying where pall bought ache woof

grown wink like safely knot ask

drift plant flash window fade talking

now grade sock lightly please fame

down walks bear limber between

though eat fired nice fold especially

need from dose fly aimless

grey pull blacken as how well





Air dot game wind scarf place

fop air push lane teeth blade

sun gad wash spot neath would

ale mod dole fuss quake watch

old but wash dump pinch tower

ant wed fold tray bandy sloth

dam put town flap elder tonic

fob gut wane seed noise crank

lit bum cash pram share float

bat mug cold sail dwell thumb

far dud much look faith quell

out end plod duck woman farce

boo hit mood dank cross nasty

use yes some gush plane drape

can arm shut wake dread poise

boy see does fake hurry glade

him rot soft well flash prank

let bag halt quip crawl mouth

spy dim last meek solve haste





Admirably bark crust drew effort

fulsome gamely hail ink just

key lapse many north old

presumably quell rest scorch

true us void wealth x-rays you

zipper many crust bark north just

admirably quell void lapse

key scorch old presumably wealth

ink effort fulsome drew gamely

x-rays us rest you true zipper

hail zipper you x-rays wealth void

us true scorch rest quell

presumably old north many lapse

key just ink hail gamely fulsome

effort drew crust bark admirably




LONDON 1983 (Revised 2011)






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