Microchap Review: Diary of a Filthy Woman by Noor Hindi (Porkbelly Press, 2018) | by Kristi Carter

The only valid criticism one could possibly levy against Noor Hindi’s microchap is it leaves the reader hungry—excitedly desperate—for more. Entering the book, we might assume the Filthy Woman speaker is a kind of feminist persona for that resisting “nastiness” that so many of us have tapped into in our current political moment. Like any good art though, Hindi’s poetry is at once contemporary and timeless. These eight poems explore what embodiment means as the crux of one’s self-awareness during such a pseudo-informed time.

 

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image via Porkbelly Press

 

Specifically, Hindi’s speaker rhapsodizes on those sacred feminist tropes of embodiment and sexual hunger with new vivacity. The voice is bold and unapologetic, aware of the “filthiness” that it will be labeled with for its rebellious nature. Questions of being tokenized as “the Muslim girl” plague the speaker’s meditations on her relationships. The tension between Islamaphobic violence at large and the speaker’s own private understanding of her heritage push the reader to enter this specific intersection of the speaker’s identity. Continue reading “Microchap Review: Diary of a Filthy Woman by Noor Hindi (Porkbelly Press, 2018) | by Kristi Carter”

The Joyous Boredom of the Cathedral | by John Trefry

In transit stopping at a grocery for two large blacklabels, crackling foaminess is audible in the hermetic beercans, we are kneeling before the rising luminous white face—on the stairstepping plinth that in our knowledge is vacant by a permanent ordinance of the ADA, the vacant site of the Daemon Fount, the wellspring of Daemone, the ADA Basilica, yet—it—this heaping cathedral, this encrustation, this cenotaph of infinite barnacles—looming impenetrably in the middle of the island in the river with our beer aluminumous crackling from elliptical lips and cylindrical throat—is contrarily the site of this immaculate structure…

All vision is pareidolia, only the spongy encrustation of overly elaborate ornament—relentless in its reflexiveness and self bisection—has no ability for deception, it has no intention, but I am eager for sightings of the chasm, the ablutions of weeping it is unveiling, a sea for scalloping the thorny reflection of Cain’s lunar incarceration, a word—«encrustation»—is barely suitable for the immaculate and startling cathedral construction because it is lacking the geometric aspects that are formgiving for the blessing of visual perception—the circumspection of wordlessness—and it is lacking the sense of depth—the involution of shadowy pox and pleatings—, and simplicity is an archaism, this is not a stonecarving and is far in excess of the most hypnagogic stereotomic fantasies, this is not torchlight in a cave, exilation because of gathering sticks from an ADA median, banishment, exiling your essence to the lunar surface, or carving your crude likeness into a Martian massif, this is not a reality we are sharing, is this ether coalescing into ornament, how dead is ornament yet how translatable and monopolistic, the barnacles trabecular without the pier, overgrowing a kernel and in their fabulousness are transcending the proportions and morphology of the word—the visual identity encodingly in our construction of humanity from the morass of plurality—, in the configuration of markings upon this morass is only the potential of representation and in that potential is the ideogram of the visage collecting the compositional contraptions of rococco plenitude into the reduction of eyepoints and mouthpuckerpoint, the bizarre illogic of conflating lips and eyes into the disc of the moon…

— What are We Doing Here — · — Drinking — · — Perfection — · — And Looking Closely At This Structure And Discussing It — · — is This A Conversation — · — It is A Game — · — Ooooo — · — «The Joyous Boredom Of „La Cathedrale“» — · — Gawd — · — No No It is More Characteristically «Criticism», In That We are Understanding Something Visually Through The Dissection Of Geometric Clusterings — · — Oh Gawd — · — And What is More We are Attempting Through These Clusterings And Particularly That Overarching Perception Of Symmetry With Its Subdistinctions For Developing A Knowledgebase As To Why We are Seeing This Structure As Symmetrical When Clearly It is Not — · — How are You Saying It isn’t Symmetrical, There are Two Big Pillars — · — The Westwork — · — Two Big Pillars With Ornamentation And The Manner In Which They are Flowing Together, Where They are Meeting At Identical Heights And Blending Into One Another, Those Brocades All Tip To Tip, And The Nozzly Kind Of Elements Nozzling Each Other From Across The Chasm is An Impossibility For An Asymmetrical Strucutre — · — What are Your Beliefs About The Constraints Of Symmetry — · — Generally Mirrorimages — · — That is Rather General — · — With Equilibrium — · — Ah That is Quite Subjective Visually Without Some Other Metric — · — That And The Mirrorimaging — · — So If The Mirrorline is Very Far Away From The Subject And Its Resultant Daughter is Twice As Far As That, So Far That They Seem To Have No Apparent Relationship — · — Well That is Where The Constraint Of Equilibrium Is Pertinent — · — And If The Mirrorsurface is Not Planar, If It is A Hemisphere Or A Sinusoidal Extrusion — · — That is Obviously Not My Position — · — But I am Allowing It Into Consideration Because, Obviously, It is Useful To My Argument — · — Obviously — · — Because They are Forming A Daughter Image That is Embodying All Of The Traits Of The Subject, And Around An Axis, But Without Exact Dimensional Correspondence — · — is That Not Contingent On Relative Perspective To The Two Elements — · — Yes, Yes As is Everything, But, So The Interrogatory is This, is The Resultant Of Any Mirroring Of An Object In Possession Of A Symmetrical Relationship To Its Source — · — are You Drinking That — · — To Me This is A Matter Of Intention — · — Gawd I am Taking Your Can — · — Go Ahead, is It The Legibility of Intention That is The Establishment Of Symmetry, If You are Seeing Two Cliffs Or Two Trees, Or An Orchid, Or Even Me, Standing Here In Erection And Facing You Exactly With All Of My Bilaterality In Displayment, On The Outside Only Of Course, With No Intention Other Than Chance, is That Sufficient — · — Yes — · — So Perhaps It is The Amalgamation Of Detail, Or A Critical Mass Of Detail By Which We are Corroborating The Symmetry Of A Thing — · — So You are Not Symmetrical — · — I am, I am Allowing This Into Consideration Then, Two Cylinders, Or, Aha, More Effectively, Two Small Spheres Approximately The Dimension Of A Human Skull, And They are Simply Sitting Nearby One Another With Absolutely No External Prescription Or Intention To Their Relationship, They are Immaculate In Their Disposition, What Relationship Is Even Possible Between Them — · — Some Relationship — · — No, Not Even One is Possible, These are Spheres And Have No Orientation And are Lacking Even The Most Rudimentary Demarcation For The Allowance Of Correspondence Between Them Other Than Their Dimensions, Other Than Their Dimensions, And Their Proximity — · — Which is Equilibrium — · — Which is Irrelevant To Any Legibility Of Symmetry — · — So You are Saying — · — The Same Spheres With Distinguishing Markings, Unmistakeable, Clearly Not Accidental, A Bas Relief Septogram For Example, is The Unifying Aspect That is Bringing Symmetry To The Two Spheres Even With A Separation Of Hundreds Of Feet — · — Really, My Gawd, You Sponge — · — Cock Snowflake — · — Carpet — · — Or Perhaps Parsecs — · — «Parsecs», Really — · — Yes Absolutely, Well Yes, Within The Constraints of The Critical Definition We are Establishing — · — «We» Indeed — · — Of Course This Distance Postulate is Contingent On Memory, The Necessity That An Accurate Recollection Of The Marking Is Tenable Considering The Tremendous Distance Separating Them, Or It is Relying On The Entanglement Of Both Spheres, Which is An Issue Of Trusting, Because The Corroboration Of Their Symmetry Is Causing Their Decoherence — · — Oh For Piss Take — · — This Uncertainty is Measurable, There is Significant Documentation, The Mind In A Confrontation With Such A Vast Distance is Making The «Right Choice» Regarding The Correspondence Of The Spheres And The Debunking Of Their Symmetrical Entanglement is Impossible — · — Mmmmmmf — · — The Level Of Corroborating Detail is Enough For Outweighing Our Desirousness Of Intentionality — · — You aren’t Symmetrical — · — This is All Merely The Framework For Our Criticism, A Corpus Of Syntax For Assistance In Our Clustering — · — Yes But — · — So We are Casting Our Perceptions Back To The Object Of Scrutiny, This Heap Of Ornamentation, For The Application Of Our Critical Model — · — And Here We are, And In The Midst Of This Specious Holding Forth And With Alcohol Heightening My Perception I am In Possession Of Simple Laundrylist Of All The Shortfalls Of Symmetry Before Us On The Basis Of My Own Theory, And, You are Correct, It is Not Symmetrical — · — Ahem — · — I am Wondering Though Why It Doesn’t Simply Adhere To Classical Configurations Of Proportion — · — You, Gawd —

This is a mess, undrawable—but not illegible, interjection, not unreadable, truly—, locutus of marble flesh, this cancellous coalescence is recognizable as a thing only because it ends, but zooming in on its surface in low orbiting flyby is discovery of the heterogenous disorderliness of a planetoid with surfacearea broad enough for the suffering of a meteorstrike here or plate subduction there and magnetic anomaly here or land art there, but no clarity possible about the narrative sequencing of the events, which is fine, if you are putting on your «shoes and stockings» is the stocking outside the shoe then, you are making it functional with your execution and your performance, someone must be seeing it and the selectiveness of that «seeing» is the ordering system, not a predestination or contraption or even a recipe but a heap with edges…

— Even With All Of This, The Westwork is Bearing The Impression Of Symmetry, According To You, And Considering My Sinusoidal Mirroring Hypothesis, What is The Minimum Adherence To The Strict Critical Model Of Symmetrical Entanglement An Object Must be In Possession Of For Resonance With The Reptilian Stratum Of Our Geometric Consciousness — · — I am Of The Belief That It is Not Quantifiable — · — Generally — · — Generally It is My Assertion That The Symmetry Must Be General — · — Yes, It Must be A Construction With A Predicating Basis Of Symmetry, With An Honest And Optimistic Hope That Against All Contrariness Of The Detailing Inherent In Happenstance And In The Arising Of Uncontrollable Circumstances, That The Urging Toward Symmetry is The Pivotal Driver Of All Decisions —

An unseen force—a daemon—is feeding the genetic properties of an ellipse into an active geological system without any accompanying knowledge of human proportioning or knowledge about the misconception that human proportioning is predicating the ordering systems of antiquity—it is the physiognomy of the tree, the urtectonic, driving the slenderness ratio of the column and the fruiting aspiration of the capital—and the resultant is a grotesque of the cathedral of the cenotaph of the thing, seeing beyond the visual spectrum through a sinister occular implantation, assimilation across a fleshly surface of biomechanical detailing comprising a Borgesian cube without visible vertices or edges, folding flaking filigree across the visage of satan is rising in the smokeplumage of an exploding oilderrick, the obscure and inherent intelligence of paradisiacal acne—of the sebaceous and blossoming ilk, uncontrollable and rampant beneath hopeful white facepaint—, the triangular crosssection of the sword blade is creating a wound whose suturing is difficult but not an impossibility, a beadcurtain venting around the cavemouth, the visages of countless demons, highly vascular nodules and cells in descending scalar aggregations that are not decaying in organization or losing resolution even under the loupe—in fact acquiring strange resonance with prior expectations of form assuming the characteristic definition of a fractal, beautiful, damn hard, increasingly useful, or a figuration of components similar to the whole in some way—, the stellate crosssection of the sword blade, the abusive scattering of skulls into tumbledown heapsphalangeal defences, remarkably thick white whiskers growing chodewise in the follicle—with accompaniment of papules on the surface, nozzles or oscula, a mosquito’s foot at 500% magnification, the muscular hollowness of the strangler fig in the absence of its host tree is climbing beneath the bedazzling encrustation emerging and submerging with the appearance of stretching taffy haltingly marble while threatening failure at the level of its fibers into competing divagations of radial symmetry, luffa gourd skeletons, nanoprobes, icy phlox creeping, eyebrow dormers, raspy spicules and tetonic motherfigures, toothpaste cowlicks, basrelief mandalas, beadstrings, cruciform bevor perforations, bellowy ventails, basal lamina of crusty rustication loosely fanvaulting finely fibrous into squashen squinches of rotting away spongin into pale gray chaff, distending into ocularium ellipses distending into slashings, pulverization of bone, the knobby coxa and trochanter of slender poisonous spiders, the marble rendition of a scrotum with pilar papules and lacy capillary veiling in the fashion of Benzoni, braiding, navel scartissue, dentils on nodules on outcroppings on melty drapings from icecream corbels under vaulting, on this side the aperture is puckering and over there it is pursing, the restraint of swaths of absence—a formation of what is nominally moulding, although in this instance distinguishable from the mass by its lacking detail—in informal banding separating the attic storey from the piano nobile…

— For Awareness Of Lacunarity, Or Heterogeneity, We Must be Getting Closer To The Massif, Louping Our Fingers Around Areas Of High Ornamentation And Providing Dictation To The Other Who Is Comparing Each Loupe Inquiry To The Others For Discrepancy And Deviation And Translation Of Elements — · — Yes Let’s, I am Louper, Where are We Beginning, is It Hysteron Proteron In The Absence Of The Necessary Ordering Systems — · — In Medias Res — · — And Gawd The Way This Thing Is Collecting Dust, It is Uncleanable, It is Just Too Much, To Many Notes —

Peaky cakefrosting on the petrification of a strangler forest, synthetic sandstone in strata of 0.28 mm, 260,000,0000 distinct surfaces, 30,000,000,000 voxels of space, the toothless mouths of 5,000,000 lithophages, cakefrosting on a murmuration of viruses…

The key elements are high lacunarity or ᴧ and self avoidance and a general perception of solidity, and the clusterings of association are the two cancellous pilasters with their vulval inflection around two aediculae and a maximal concentration—in the manner of its luminous diffusion—of detailing through scalar subdivision…

— What Exactly is This Telling Us — · — Other Than We are Out Of Beer — · — It is The Tautology Of Ornament, It Necessarily is In The Case Of This Encrustation Or Polyptotonic Articulation — 
The artifacts of a visual rhetoric are disappearing with the passage of the eye onto adjacent territories, these artifacts are the discrete coalescence of meaning into the pareidolia of the other, the in lieu of, the understandable baggage we are replacing the inexplicable or the transitory with is a series of visages and bodyparts and iconographic encyclopedic detritus, it is not the thing itself, not ever…

 


 

John Trefry is an architect and the author of the novel Plats, the caprice Thy Decay Thou Seest By Thy Desire, and the forthcoming novel Apparitions of the Living. More diminutive writings have appeared in various other outlets. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas.