Deconarratif Fession

An interview with Daniel Y. Harris



 

 

 

Deconarratif Fession: Da Lit Bio


Daniel Y. Harris is is the author of The Underworld of Lesser Degrees (NYQ Books, 2015), Esophagus Writ (with Rupert M. Loydell, The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2014), Hyperlinks of Anxiety (Cervena Barva Press, 2013), The New Arcana (with John Amen, New York Quarterly Books, 2012), Paul Celan and the Messiah's Broken Levered Tongue (with Adam Shechter, Cervena Barva Press, 2010; picked by The Jewish Forward as one of the 5 most important Jewish poetry books of 2010) and Unio Mystica (Cross-Cultural Communications, 2009). Some of his poetry, experimental writing, art, and essays have been published in BlazeVOX, Denver Quarterly, Eurropean Judaism, Exquisite Corpse, The New York Quarterly, Notre Dame Review, In Posse Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Poetry Magazine, Poetry Salzburg Review and Stride. He is the Editor-in-Chief of X-Peri.


Rupert M. Loydell
: Daniel, I can't remember how we met and started working together, but you clearly have a very different past to me. Can you tell me about your life? Your biographical notes mention management posts in various organisations, fundraising activities and the fact you were President of the NYQ from 2012 to 2015. Tell us more.


Deconarratif Fession: Rupert & Daniel Meet


Daniel Y. Harris
: Rupert, we first met in 2010 when I had just completed the manuscript for what would become Hyperlinks of Anxiety (Cervena Barva Press, 2013), and was in the rigorous act of submitting to journals. I discovered Stride by doing an internet search for top English poetry journals. I submitted and the rest is history and hermeneutics. Thank you for compelling me to unleash my amygdalae through the constraints of my own narrative. I'm a tireless parodists of personal narrative with its accompanying self-sorry, self-deprecation whining child known to us all as confession, but in this case I will seek to descend through porous layers of basalt on extended wings to emerge in the colors of a chameleon.


Deconarratif Fession: Birth, Education, Nonprofit Career


DYH
: I was born in Paris, France in 1962 and moved with my family to Boston in 1968. My father, the renown composer, Donald Harris, became the Vice President of The New England Conservatory of Music, and voila we were all in the States. I attended a private elementary school, The Park School in Brookline, then a prep school, Suffield Academy in Connecticut, The University of Denver for my undergraduate work, earning three degrees in Philosophy, Religious Studies and English and finally, The University of Chicago for graduate school to study hermeneutics with Paul Ricoeur, write a thesis on the kabbalah and earn a Masters of Art in Divinity. My thesis was entitled 'Kabbalah by Writing in Moses de Leon, Gershom Shalom and Harold Bloom.' Immediately proceeding graduate school, I dallied about in the 1980s hyper-gothy Chicago theatre and comedy scenes, writing and performing several experimental pieces of theatre, while doing performance poetry with acidjazz and gothrock musicians.

I moved to San Francisco in 1987 and began my career in the nonprofit sector. My nonprofit career avalanched from a modest beginning as a program director for the Oakland-based cultural arts organization, Artship Foundation to my most recent past post as Chief Executive Officer of Hillel Foundation of Orange County. My personal expertise revolved around philanthropy and public speaking. I spent most of the last 25 years in the Jewish nonprofit sector, but also ventured into health and human services and the arts. I managed staff, managed board members, managed volunteers, managed donors, managed budgets from $350,000 to $2.1 million, created strategic plans, and was, in many cases, the public face of the organization that I was with at the time. There is a tedium to this type of career path, a genus closely related to the malady of the quotidian, but ultimately one does convince oneself that these modestly paid posts are doing Good in the world.

RML
: How does education accommodate experimental poetry in the 21st century? How, indeed, are or were you and your work accommodated within the university system?


Deconarratif Fession: Hat Tip Academe


DYH
: I have spent the last 25 years actively involved hat tipping academe by holding multiple adjunct positions in universities and adult education centres. At Lehrhaus Judaica in Berkeley, I focused on teaching the highwide subject of Kabbalah from its canonic books such as The Zohar and The Sefer Yetzirah, to its many illuminated iterations in Dante, Shakespeare, the English Romantic Poets, the French Symbolists poets and finally onward to the American Transcendentalists, Dadaism and Surrealism. Here are a sampling of course titles:

Shabbatai Tzvi: The Mystical Messiah & Jewish Messianism
Sigmund Freud and The Jewish Mystical Tradition
Anti-Prophets in Jewish Interpretation Today: Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas,
Jacques Derrida, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt
Demons, Golems and Dybbuks: Monsters of the Jewish Imagination
Shakespeare and Kabbalah: The Merchant of Venice and The Tempest
On the Edge of Literary Art, God and Culture: Franz Kafka, Paul Celan, Edmond Jabes
Mystical Anti-Semitism: The Myth of Satan

At The University of California, Berkeley, my courses focused on the intersection of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Here is a course sampling:

Poetry of the Sacred: Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī, Moses De Leon, Dante Alighieri

At Sonoma State University my courses were in Holocaust and Genocide Studies taught through The School of Sociology: Here is a course sampling:

Perspectives on the Holocaust and Genocide

Dramatis Personae emerged to speak to/through me in tongues from within/out the rarefied pedagogy of my pituitary gland and
hypothalamus: Moses de Leon, Abraham Abulafia, Isaac Luria Paul, Shabbetai Tzvi, Jakob Boehme, Paul Celan, Franz Kafka, Edmond Jabes, Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, John Ashbery, A. R. Ammons, Edmond Jabes, Octavia Paz, Federico Garcia Lorca, Ted Hughes, Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, StŽphane MallarmŽ, Samuel Beckett, George Oppen and Geoffrey Hill—contained or creasing the periphery of Romanticism, Transcendentalism, Symbolism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Modernism, Psychoanalysis, Chromaticism, Deconstruction, Hermeneutics, Modernism Postmodernism and Posthumansim.


Deconarratif Fession: Arch Volunteer


I have also had a long career as a nonprofit volunteer, including being Secretary to the Executive Committee of The Board of Directors of Artship Foundation, a Board Member of The Alliance for The Study of the Holocaust at Sonoma State University, a Board Member for the Fish Interfaith Advisory Council at Chapman University, a Board Member for The Jewish Studies Program at The University of California, Irvine, and most recently as President of The Board of Directors of The New York Quarterly Foundation.

I am most proud of my tenure as President of NYQ from 2012 to 2015, working closely with Editor-in-Chief, Raymond Hammond and Board Vice President, John Amen. NYQ increased its annual budget, increased its marketing and outreach, increased its social media presence and ushered in an era of donor and board development. We created the first sustainable 5-year strategic plan, securing the vision of NYQ Founder, William Packard. In addition, during my tenure, NYQ released over forty-five full-length collections of poetry and secured donor support to completely upgrade its website replete with app. It was an honor to be part of the NYQ legacy, publishing most of the canonic poets of the 20th Century.

RML
: Does any of that help you write?


Deconarratif Fession: Heuristic Fly Catcher


DYH
: Frankly, no! Or frankly, the equivalent, the synthetic apriori proposition is that eating helps my writing, as does sleep and the teleology of nutshells. Or frankly, I like to exercise by taking my lower lip and pulling it down under my chin with my right hand, while I pull my upper lip over my forehead with my left hand. The narrative is a bloodclot, a false idol, praying on the vanities, reaching through the innards to the pulpy dram of ego with a cosmetic mirror. I've known Artistoids who expect to receive lifetime achievement awards every time they pass gas. One's narrative is like one's hair follicles: they look so lovely coifed and held in place by a blinged fedora.

RML: Your Jewish heritage informs your work, too, yes? I see references to Paul Celan and the mystical side of Judaism; other reviewers and critics have mentioned how scholarship and knowledge informs your work. Is that directly true?


Deconarratif Fession: Hava Nagila


DYH:
Yes, that's directly/indirectly/urdirectly/antidirectly/supradirectly true. My relationship to Judaism is as an agon between a theogonic vessel of digital wings and a theosophic urvessel of blackholes with barbs. It is also my sacred bloodline. I hail from a multiverse of the following dramatix: Rashi (the seminal French Talmudist), The Gaon of Vilna (the great opponent to Hasidism and founding father of the Misnagdim), Jules Oppert (the famed Assyriologist), and Jacque-Henri Dreyfus (the Chief Rabbi of Paris). Paul Celan is my Rebbe.

Professor Beth Benedix of DePauw University wrote an exquisite essay as the introduction to Hyperlinks of Anxiety
(Cervena Barva Press, 2013), entitled 'Barely Listening: A Meditation on Daniel Y. Harris' Hyperlinks of Anxiety.'

Here is Beth Benedix creating an uncanny parallel between Paul Celan and myself, from the introductory essay to Hyperlinks of Anxiety:

And that is the cry that cuts through the persistence of monologue in this section: the cry that so much has become fickle, fading, insincere. So little continuity, so little loyalty remains. Quietly, controlled in its sense of betrayal, the poem 'Noone' peeks out, just short of center of the section. Here, in his most extended reference to Celan, Harris invokes Celan's poem, 'Psalm,' and, with him, gives voice to the underlying anxiety sharpened by so coarse a turn toward monologue. The question perhaps most starkly posed in Elie Wiesel's Nigh
t, as a young boy hangs motionless from a gallows in Auschwitz—'Where is God? Where is He? Where can He be now?'—looms over these poems as well. Here is Celan's 'Psalm':

No one moulds us again out of earth and clay,
No one conjures our dust.
No one.

Praised be your name, no one.
For your sake
we shall flower.
Towards
you.
A nothing
we were, are, shall
remain, flowering:
the nothing—, the
no one's rose.

With
our pistil soul-bright,
with our stamen heaven-ravaged,
our corolla red
with the crimson word which we sang
over, O over
the thorn.


(Translated by Michael Hamburger, Poems of Paul Celan. [New York: Persea Books, 1972], 179.)



Here is Harris's 'Noone':

Noone nullifies light
dark grey cleanses
blood

of impurity
skin of blemish

Noone prayers
pharynx

without words
soars the severed skull free
of human shape

Noone buries life

the pit
corpse
crop

unclean
geology rot
the clean
air

Noone was here/is
smile the leg
the road

without body.

It can be argued that Celan's 'No one' is creative, active, the nameless, shapeless, formless God worthy of worship, even in the midst of so much silence, so much absence. Here there is creation ex nihilo, the capacity that is so roundly defeated by Harris's 'analog.' Here there remains the gesture of 'flowering towards,' even if the object of that gesture is nothingness; here is writ large Celan's assertion that a poem should be 'en route... headed towards... a message in a bottle sent out in the—not always hopeful—belief that somewhere and sometime it could wash up on shore....' Celan's poem poses the question of theodicy as deep, rending lament; exposed, violated, broken, torn open, 'we' still sings praises to this absence.


Harris's 'Noone,' in comparison, stands wholly vacant, a mere trace of washed-out graffiti poised on a highway overpass, witness to road rage and the ceaseless traffic of strangers who never connect. This 'Noone's' first act is negation, 'nullifying,' its other acts, violent, destructive: wrenching language from a severed skull, burying life, polluting whatever wretched air remains. Here prayers, praises, are caught mid-throat, overcome by accusation. Still, in the midst of so much loss, so much wretchedness, Harris gestures more obliquely to another Celan poem, and, with it, to the prescriptive component that welcomes readers into the landscape of Part Two of the collection, Anxiety
. Quietly he references the last stanza of 'Nocturnally Pouting':

A word—you know:
a corpse.

Let us wash it,
let us comb it,
let us turn its eye
towards heave.

Read alongside of Celan, Harris's use of the term 'corpse'—'the pit/corpse/crop'—prompts an inversion of what seems to be the poem's movement towards resignation that this world is abandoned. Of course, it is far more ambiguous than that. This 'nullifying' act also 'cleanses,' it frees a broken body from the limitations of speech. This washed-out piece of graffiti is also wish inscribed for all to see and smile on: 'Noone was here,' it reads, as if to emphasize to the strangers rushing underneath that nostalgia is not misplaced. 'Noone is' propels the rushing forward, confirms the splash of hope that this rushing is also 'headed towards.'


Professor Daniel Morris also wrote an exquisite long review/essay entitled 'Tech support says 'Dead Don Walking': Tradition, the Internet, and Individual Talent' on Hyperlinks of Anxiety
, which was published in The Notre Dame Review.

Here is Daniel Morris core-catching my relationship to Jewish history and heritage from his essay, 'Tradition, the Internet, and Individual Talent':

A University of Chicago Divinity School graduate with a thesis guided by the hermeneutist Paul Ricoeur on the role of Kabbalah in the works of Moses de Leon, Gershom Scholem, and Harold Bloom, Harris's website lists a genealogical ancestry that includes a composer, members of the French Resistance during World War Two, archaeologists, the chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Paris, and an 18th Century paternal ancestor who was a prominent Lithuanian Rabbi, Talmudic scholar, and Kabbalist. Given Harris's fascination with deep genealogical personal history and its relationship to Jewish hermeneutics, mysticism, and political resistance to overwhelming state terror during the Shoah, it is fitting that although he remains a traditional - if brutally obscure - page-oriented author with a modernist disposition, his lyrics reflect on how the mediation of voice in a digital format will impact poetry's primordial function of preserving the human image across time and space. Harris regards the realm of hyperlinks as the ultimate vehicle to conserve and disseminate words and images. At the same time he worries that the new media environment for poems resembles the Kabbalist's broken vessel, shattering text, rather than shards of glass. At other times, he fears, the hypertextual environment seems like a decidedly non-kosher Octopus. Its dangerous tentacles are bent on choking out the personal voice and exhausting the human body with a vengeance reminiscent of the Shoah that his grandparents actively resisted. Harris records his sense of appearing as a trace in the aftermath of a catastrophic alteration to personal presence in 'I': 'I, barcode and libido of might am here/after rapture, extermination and fetish.'

AC Evans brilliantly highlights a sequence of dark Judaic parodies entitled 'Excepts from Un-Text,' from my 2015 release, The Underworld of Lesser Degrees (NYQ Books):


In contrast, the story of Marv Fretstein, 'an aspiring serial killer''aka the Lamed Vavnik Killer treats us to a nice touch of black humour as we discover how Fretstein (shades of Travis Bickle, we venture to suggest) aims to murder the thirty-six most righteous people of his generation. According to an enticing extract from Fretstein's evolving manuscript 'The Lamed Vavnik Killer' the eschaton of the 'end of time' is named 'Marv'. For readers with a penchant for gematria Harris/Marv helpfully provides numerological interpretations of the Hebrew letters Lamed (30) and Vav (6) and explains the significance of the Lamed-Vav-Zadikim-Vampires. Reading these, and other items in this collection that adopt a faux-encyclopaedic tone, one may be reminded, (obliquely) of the 'imaginary beings' described by Borges or, in respect of the Un-Text sequence, of the Historia universal de la infamia (Buenos Aires, 1954) by the same author.

Each of these scholars and poets probed the interior of my obsessive propensities towards the use of kabbalistic metalepsis to decode the gargantuan task of wrestling with the daemonic angels of the Hebrew Bible. Singular in his daemonic presence is the dark uber-daemon who wrestled Jacob at the Jabbok River and left a permanent brissure on/in/as The Name: the Peniel-Zone, hip-socket cracked, nocturnal demon/nocturnal emission of the eponymous ancestor, taboo of post-periphery, god-child of Gustave Dore and source code for the prick of calling. That's my Hava Nagila.


RML: What is X-Peri? I've heard you say that X-Peri has a manifesto?

Deconarratif Fession: X-Peri and the Hybrids of Posthumanity


DYH:
X-Peri publishes experimental x.poetry, x.hybrids, x.essays, x.prose, x.im/ages, x.questions and posthuman x.philosophies.

'Hybrids of Post-Humanity'
An X-Peri Manifesto
http://x-peri.blogspot.com/
Daniel Y. Harris
First Published in The Somerville Times
, Vol .3 No. 37, September 2015, and edited to accommodate multiple thought enhancements since September, 2015.


In poetry's narrative schism between the 20th and the 21st centuries, pre-lingual and post-lingual tropes vie for the dominance of a new poesis. The pre-lingual confesses. The post-lingual is post-digital and therefore post-human, now
determined by Internet detritus. Human beings can now be created out of the refuse of bandwidth. The poetic self is now a digit, an algorithm invented as a bot. Figures are now the boolean crisis of traditional form. To confess is to blog a confession from the spontaneous viral media of annihilation. The original self is an avatar of post-humanity, quicker than the emptied quick of the spammed full. Malicious software spread diseases of hyperlinks. Vessels break to account for another unbreakable form. The text is shattered like glass. The libido, ripe as anthropoid fertility, conjures the last Hebraic hermeneutics.

Post-humanity will/has broken authorial intent. Spiritus
, geist and neshamah have become the codes of Emerson's 'transparent eyeball.' Normative narratives will not relent to purple mold and the affected seasons of self. There are no confessions in post-humanity. Pellicles will evoke the future as a golemic rise of the dark prompt. Now, the hagiography is broken from She, who births a new catastrophe-creation myth as untested experiment. Place will be severed from reference. An acrostic, x-peried kabbalah will trumpet the new era. Why, ask the professors of belatedness? Because the future agon will be an ur-femmed account of creation. This pilfering of humanity is not unoriginal genius, but rather a mock arriere-gardism, now committed to recovering the new format of disregarded predecessors. Then, the rabblement will be aroused to poke through platitudes seeking the hybrid, clad in its multi-genre glam. Gray indifferences of moderation are computer viruses. Web nonce is paravisual.

The posthuman archive will betray region when invention is an android Tetragrammaton. Shattering. Severing. Haemorrhaging. Bifurcating. Decoding a rogue pastiche. Tradition and ancestral memory shatter like cheap alley glass. Notarikon and gematria vie for a registered domain. In this pivot of course there are no balms and bromides. Tradition is a hernia. Geography is a weakness of place and suspicious. The anthropoids never lived here, they never heard the monotonic chimes of recall.

As an Astute in the vintage quotidian, he orders an iced Venti Americano. Avatars are wide empty. Nothing sucks the morph out of the speaker more than the temporal sterility of address. The plea begs Harvard Yard to be Eden. Not Jerusalem, Babylon, Paris nor New York subsume the pleroma. Just the winged devarim hear. The rest stammer. Mediocrity will submit to the cicatrix. Post-humanity will reclaim the skin of hacked nostalgia and create the new poetry with X-Peri.

RML
: Art and essays are also listed, and you've recently posted lots of your own images on your blog, X-peri. Tell me about those?

Deconarratif Fession:

Icons, Mixed-Media Collages, Found Object Sculptures, Digital Art, Filters, Wormholes, Layers, Distorts, Bling Fedoras & Manbags, Hyper

Post-Ekphrastic Posting to Urborn the Golem


DYH:
To begin, a coterie of visual artists spit shards of lit-darkness into my spleen to inform my aesthetic sensibilities. My first sketches were drawn inside an art book entitled Picasso: Peintures 1900-1955, published in 1955 featuring Picasso's paintings between 1900 and 1955, in the MusŽe de Arts DŽcoratifs in Paris. The book was written in French and came equipped with an erotic poesis of tags for each of Picasso's works in the exhibition. I lost my virginity with "Guernica." It was my own Jean-Michel Basquiat moment, at least as depicted by Julian Schnabel in his 1996 film, Basquiat. I had metamorphosed into a dephinanic gnosis-droid, scrawling thick-black ink lines below Picasso's "Portrait de Femme." Thus was born my visual art form: insect scapes littered with hybrid squirts of blown India ink. Then, my baptism by fire: Joseph Cornell, Robert Rauschenberg, Jess, Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollack, Edvard Munch, Henri Fuseli, Man Ray, Louise Nevelson, Wallace Berman, Christian Boltanski, Hieronymus Bosch, Mark Rothko, Roberto Matta, Francis Bacon, Jean Tinguely, May Ray and Alberto Giacometti.

Said the dephinanic gnosis-droid, the only way to fully access the daemons, demiurges, golems and ministering angels buried in one's bicameral mind, is to create a simultaneous visual correlative to the literary trope. Not the ekphrastic, but the addition of body parts to the spark of geist. Enter the uncanny, negation, the sublime, creation out of catastrophe, Orphic self-reliance, divination, apotheosis and the gnostic pleroma melded with the kabbalistic shevirah, and witness the malady of the quotidian melt like ice sculptures in a firestorm. I am a maker of golems. X-Peri is a maker of golems.

In launching X-Peri
with Irene Koronas and Gloria Mindock, this hyper post-ekphrastic blog would demand, by spiritus and by compulsion, the rehybridization of graphenes and phonemes. In August of 2015, as X-Peri was being launched, Irene Koronas and I began to accelerate both the making of our visual art and the making of our experimental poetry. We felt summoned by the undead to introduce each published work of X-Peri writing with a visual image.

Irene and I created sixty-two posted images from a Facebook album called 'X-Peri,' honouring the Dadaists, Zombie and German Expressionistic Cinema, abandoned phone booths, street signs, fashion and Shakespeare. What each of the images have in common is that the word X-Peri is in each the sixty pieces. To paraphrase Isaiah, I have called you by name and now you are mine. Here are two examples:



The next Facebook album was called 'Di./um.' Di./um was born when Irene Koronas encountered the word 'radium' on a bathroom wall. Di./um is a shapeshifter, a gleaner of melded literary and visual forms. Di./um is an incubator and prognosticator of what would burgeon from the strange admixture of combined spiritus. Di./um was the first manuscript co-authored by the entire X-Peri staff: Irene Koronas, Gloria Mindock and Daniel Y. Harris.



Postsimulacra, engraved via portals to a multiverse, The Wormhole Series is a visual art series seeking nothing less than televisual transport to alternative infrastructures via the Einstein-Rosen Bridge. These images are Einstein-Rosen Bridge trekkers, keeping akaskic records in our index fingers to scroll the pituitary glands of our apps. The Worm Series is comprised of one hundred images, each created on a Samsung Galaxy S-5. Each piece in the album begins with a photograph taken by phone, and burgeons through a massive layering and filtering process, using dozens of apps to produce the effect of an Eisnstein-Rosen Bridge contour ascent.descent, or descent.ascent. The end product is the result of the tip of my right index finger. Here's an example:


AppleMark


Additional Facebook albums are in-progress: 'The Boston Lair,' 'The Art of Salvador Bunjie and Orbie Oran,' 'The Six Hands of Digital Lollipops,' 'Salvador Bunjie' and 'The Agon Series.'

Irene Koronas in working multiple Facebook Albums for X-Peri
as well as for her own portfolio, entitled 'Amazon,' which includes over 110 images comprised of paintings and digitally enhanced collages made by computer and phone.

We have published splendid art to accompany our published authors by Rupert M. Loydell, AC. Evans, Ed Coletti, Irene Koronas, Daniel Y. Harris, Chandra Garsson and Roberto Matta.


RML: X-peri is a new web presence you have just created. What do you hope to achieve there? How do you attract readers?


Deconarratif Fession: Glyphs of X-Peri


DYH
: Yes, X-Peri was launched in August 2015. Our X-Peri achievement hopes are to uberlace the godlings, demiurges, imps of the perverse, godmen, daemons, diaper trolls, monstrums, tetralogues, embryocons and carcinogenic normans, who live to place retrains on our schwarzschild metrics. Triumphant and deracinated, X-Peri burrows through the aether of our millennia in search of experimental deposits to place in our X-Peri vessel.

We are new territory carvers, Einstein-Rosen Bridge trekkers, keeping akaskic records in our index fingers to scroll the pituitary glands of our apps. We possess savage eyes for current and new talent. We will hunt down the new talent, place a hedge around them and protect them from the quotidian malady of the gaspassers. Who are the gaspassers? They fecal-chair our poetry academies. The tenure-stain of humanities departments. They subhump our master of fine arts vomitoriums. They bogey-clot our publishing houses. They chancellor-soil our rigged prizes. The gaspassers are a mafia of the grunt-boring normals, or normans, as we refer to them in code at X-Peri.
X-Peri is purified smart-water, coursing through the veins of our posthumanity. We will solicit you, you the ones out there who have always dream-leapt for the greater poesis

X-Peri
has a large social-media presence. We hit you with Facebook, tweet your gonads, and have been fortunate enough to have you, Rupert M. Loydell, as one of our champions spreading the good word. Our additional tactic is to reach out to those famous X-Peri precursors we admire and deposit them in X-Peri. Recently, we have published Richard Kostelanetz, Clayton Eshleman and Charles Bernstein. In the next few issues, we will be publishing Andrei Codrescu, John Matthias and Rae Armantrout.

RML
: Apart from what we've previously discussed, where do you place your work? Which writers do you see as preceeding you? Your work is a strange mix of the occult, science fiction & fantasy, sexuality, mysticism, prose and poetry.


Deconarratif Fession: Daniel's Medulla Canon


DYH
: Yes, and double-entendre Oui. Here's a tuft of Mnemosyne. Drilling into crests of my medulla oblongata, my memory retains a semi-rehaustive, bizarre and golemic meld of texts and authors that continue to pierce-twerk my brain-bits with a stravy of ravy eutics.

Ancient/Medieval

The Egyptian Book of the Dead,
The Tanakh, The Pirke Aboth, The Apocrypha, Ma'aseh Bereshit
, Ma'aseh Merkabah, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Euripides' The Bacchae, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Valentinus, Plotinus, Porphyry, Sefer Yetzirah, Sefer Bahir, Ovid's Metamorphoses, ChrŽtien de Troyes' Yvain: The Knight of the Lion, Beowulf, Rabbi Isaac the Blind, Solomon ibn Gabirol's Kingdom's Crown, The Poem of the Cid, Moses de Leon's Zohar, Abraham Abulafia, Dante's Divine Commedy and Eschenbach's Parzival.

Renaissance/Premodern

Cervantes' Don Quixote
, Vico's Principles of a New Science, Saint John of the Cross, Chaucer's The Pardoner's Tale, Spenser's Faerie Queen, Shakespeare, Dr. John Dee, Donne, Milton's Paradise Lost, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Pico della Mirandola, Rabbi Isaac Luria, The Song of Roland, Montaigne's Essays, Moliere's Misanthrope, Voltaire's Candide, Goethe's Faust, Hugo's The End of Satan, Nerval's The Chimeras, Boehme, Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil, MallarmŽ, Rimbaud, Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Wordsworth's The Prelude, Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Byron's Darkness, Shelley, Hopkins, Bruno, Pater, Carroll, Wilde's A Picture of Dorian Gray, Stoker's Dracula, BŸchner's Danton's Death, Heine, Nietzsche, Gogol's Dead Souls, Tolstoy's The Kreutzer Sonata, Emerson, Dickinson, Whitman, Poe, Melville's Moby-Dick, James The Varieties of Religious Experience, Charles Sanders Pierce and Miguel de Unamuno.

Modern/Postmodern/Posthuman


George Bataille, Celine, Genet, Jarry, Cocteau, Breton, Apollinaire, Henri Michaux, Edmond Jabes, Tristan Tzara, Maurice Blanchot, Yeats, H.G. Wells, Virginia Wolf, Franz Kafka. Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Paul Celan, Geoffrey Hill, Bruno Schulz, C.P. Cavafy, S. Ansky's The Dybbuk,
Jorge Luis Borges, Octavio Paz, Julio Cort‡zar, AimŽ CŽsaire, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Pound, Williams, Eliot, Crane, e.e.cummings, Don DeLillo's White Noise, Robert Coover's Spanking the Maid, Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, A.R. Ammons, John Ashbery, James Merrill, John Hollander, Tony Kushner, Andrei Codrescu, Charles Bernstein, Clayton Eshleman, Rae Armantrout, Rupert M. Loydell, AC Evans, Daniel C. Morris, Felino A. Soriano, Gregory Vincent St Thomasino, Gordon Massman, Gloria Mindock and Irene Koronas.

RML: And what is an un-text?


Deconarratif Fession: The Un-Text


DYH:
The Un-Text began as savage mockery of the bloated biographical statement, the unprosodied ego/cum hoax of curriculum vitae, where ones credentials are a Goliath in the David-wake of ones poetry and fiction.

My first writing partner, Adam Shechter, with whom I co-authored Paul Celan and the Messiah's Broken Levered Tongue: An Exponential Dyad
(Cervena Barva Press, 2010), worked together on an internet zine called The Blue Jew Yorker. Issue #6 of The Blue Jew Yorker was called 'The Un-Text.' Issue #7 was the last issue of The Blue Jew Yorker, which by definition attributed seminal status to Issue #6. We both coveted anonymity at that time and produced 20, unnamed and untexted pieces for Issue #6.

Five years later, I extracted my 10 contribution to these anonymous 20 Un-Texts for The Underworld of Lesser Degrees
, (NYQ Books, 2015). Here's an example of that bloat from The Underworld of Lesser Degrees:

Excerpts from Un-Text

© Daniel Y. Harris, The Underworld of Lesser Degrees (NYQ Books, 2015)


Dr. Rabbi Ari Ben Lieb Tov

Dr. Rabbi Ari Ben Lieb Tov was born in Brooklyn. He received
his rabbinic ordination and doctorate of Hebrew Letters from the
Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he chaired the department
of Talmudic Forensics, before returning to his native Brooklyn. Dr.
Rabbi Tov is a fellow of the Society of Fellows of Harvard University,
and taught at New York University, Yale University, Cornell
University, Stanford University, The University of Paris, The London
School of Economics, The University of Copenhagen and Stanford
University. He is currently Professor of Old Testament at the Union
Theological Seminary in the City of New York. He is the author of
numerous books including The Mishnaic Epidermis
(The Jewish
Publication Society, 1968), which was nominated for a Nobel Prize,
Acid Reflux, or the Sociopathology of a Butcher's Son
(W.W. Norton
& Company, 2004), which was awarded the coveted Israeli Prize
for Literature, and Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Hasid
(New York
University Press, 2005), a gastronomic long poem, parts of which
were published in The Jerusalem Quarterly
.


The Brooklyn Son of the Pastrami Sandwich

Delivered out of the raw condiments of salted brine,
I am the Brooklyn Son of the Pastrami Sandwich—smell
of garlic, coriander, black pepper, paprika, cloves,
allspice, mustard seed: apron of the shibboleth
and stench of the butcher's knife I should of used
on myself. To slice and be sliced, these flaps
groan like cannibals, brown mustard smeared
on Christian kids—my father's neighbourhood
secret, first lured by caramelized apples then
trapped, stripped, suffocated, drained of blood,
urine, semen, skinned and smoked. During
Pesach, the number of dead Christian children
rose to over two hundred and seventy five. My
father gave a fifty percent discount to parents,
throwing in a ounce of slaw, dill pickle and first
dibs on their children's skin. Me? I prefer a French
roll. I stalk the streets like a rabid wolf hunting
young meat. I attack from behind, kill quickly,
recite the Kaddish (at times in two part harmony),
and wrap the delight in a tallit. The body dies
black-purple, strangled by teffilin. In my kitchen,
I sever the head from the neck, sever the feet
at the ankles, hands at the wrists and begin
to slice skin from the thighs and back. My
butcher's knife is my father's butcher's knife,
blessed by the great Satmar Rebbe. Baruch
Hashem, my children are gone. They were
tasty. No one tastes like them. I suffer.


Rochelle Shammas

Rochelle Shammas is a cosmetologist with long red painted finger
nails fashioned to emulate the ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti,
the wife of King Akhenaton. She has a station at Catskills Beauty
& Nails, where she serves an average clientele of twelve per day.
When not waxing her peripatetic cosmetology acumen, i.e.,
esthetics/skin care, nail technology, barbering, electrology and
laser training, Shammas enjoys the works of James Merrill and
Constantine P. Cavafy. In fact, during spells of demiurgic inspiration,
she has been known to write excerpts from Merrill and Cavafy on
the heads of her bald clients. They have been known to send flowers
and chocolates. Of these gentlemen and in some cases gentlewomen
suitors, a certain Professor Reginald Lipschitz had a particular
attraction to Ms. Shammas and invited her to attend an exclusive
poetry conference at Yale University in which he was chair. A deeply
repressed and fragile wordsmith, she reluctantly accepted Professor
Lipschitz's invitation with a coquettish wink. On the flight to New
Haven, Ms. Shammas confessed that she dabbled in poetry. Gazing
at her succulent lips and large breasts nicely packed in a summer
dress, Professor Lipschitz asked Ms. Shammas if she would like to
read at the conference. The following poem 'Elegy for a Broken
Nail' has been anthologized in Dust, Mold and Platitudes: A Poetry
Conference at Yale University
(Yale University Press, 2008).


Elegy for a Broken Nail

A broken, red cracked nail: a song from sleepy love,
me from my sex, myself, connected to
a head, a body—professor I wield cleavage,

wink, wafer-thin in a summer dress; slice,
survive into new life. Or do I?

And you, the other, bulge in a corner
glaring a threat or promise.
I long to write on your pole.

Ram me, I add a false nail,
testing the bond, I scratch red to a sore.


Marv Fretstein

Marv Fretstein is an aspiring serial killer. Among his numerous
influences are David Berkowitz, the M.O.T .44 caliber killer, aka
'Son of Sam, Ted Bundy with his degree in psychology from the
University of Washington, Jeffrey Dahmer, the punk rocker who
worked at the Ambrosia Chocolate Factory and John Edward
Robison, the 'cybersex killer.' Mr. Fretstein calls himself the
'Lamed Vavnik Killer.' His intent is to seek out the thirty-six
most righteous people of his generation and murder them. Since
May 1, 2009, Mr. Fretstein has killed twenty-three people including
Menachem Mendel Schneerson, ('The Rebbe') who, contrary to
medical consensus, didn't die of a stroke but rather was poisoned.
Excerpts from Mr. Fretstein's evolving manuscript, The Lamed
Vavnik Killer
, have been published in National Geographic, The
National Inquirer, People Magazine, The Nation, Playboy
and
Better Homes & Gardens.



Excerpt from The Lamed Vavnik Killer

As an entropic concept of vile disproportion, the number 36 (their
heads kept as trophies on stakes in the cellar) is soaked in mustard
gas. It is said that at all end times (when the eschaton is named
'Marv') there are 36 blood-sucking sacks of scatological skin pods
in the world, and that were it not for them, all of them, if even one
of them was missing, the world would continue to tick in fumes of
yellow-beige banality. The humdrum. The quotidian. The tedium.
The routine. The clichŽs. The two Hebrew letters for 36 are the
Lamed (gun shot, knife, strangling, poisoning) which is 30, and the
Vav (car bomb, arson, kidnapping and torture, hit and run,
bludgeoning) which is six. Therefore, these 36, the Lamed-Vav-
Tzadikim-Vampires of daily life are being killed by a charming
apprentice in order to tilt the planet off its axis and annihilate
six billion people.

RML: Much of your writing is populated by fantastical and deviant characters who flit in and out of books and sequences. Where do these characters come from? Do they allow you to visit places or situations Daniel Y. Harris might not want to? (Or indeed, might want to, but cannot!)


Deconarratif Fession: Anywhere Else But Here


DYH
:

Four men
entered pardes—Ben
Azzai, Ben
Zoma, Acher (Elisha ben
Abuyah, and Akiba. Ben Azzai
looked and died; Ben Zoma
looked and went mad; Acher
destroyed the plants; Akiba
entered in peace and
departed in peace.
Hagigah 2:2

The malady of the quotidian never triumphed. Narcissus didn't die in the mirror-semen of his autoaffection. Pozzo and Lucky didn't settle for Ptolemy. Hamlet the Dane didn't settle for a canon-cantering zero.sum gain jaunt in liquid multiverse. The look n'died, the look n'mad, the look n'planoid gave wide berth to peace only by stay-solute. Tear up, Sylvestro Humris, the beauty of a pas de deux godbomb is sweet in twitch. Our pice de rŽsistance is to have you see, but your prism-vison is beside the point. My characters come from the vastly populated proscenium of where we didn't quite slow down to take a still.

Daniel Y. Harris is a rigor-quick snap of sentience, but he is limited by the failures of the flash-flesh, of the place the body-skin earns a wage. Salvador Bunjie has no limit. Salvador Bunjie restores the prov of im, he blesses the turncoated striate of less. Why? Because prophecy won't christo-bark the hate. Because prophecy won't eretz-land the bait. Because prophecy won't i-slam the chanted drawl. Of course we/they stir-roam pleasure. Pleasure is core-coffin source to act as luv supreme.

Salvador Bunjie wants you to see the demiurges. He wants you to cradle the corpse-risen skin of you at your best. No fear. No layers to revert the handsome jab of a lace.

RML
: How do you see satire and comedy, which I certainly feel is very present in your work. (And indeed in our work together.)


Deconarratif Fession: Daniel Y. Harris is the Incarnate Hilarity of Har


DYH:

from the moment i picked your book up until i put
it down i was convulsed with laughter someday i intend
reading it wake up in the middle of the night shaking

and sweating thinking hed become a marionette he considered
dreams thoughts you had when i bought some batteries but they
werent included when i woke up this morning my girlfriend asked me

did you sleep good i said no i made a few mistakes politics poli
a latin word meaning many and tics meaning bloodsucking creatures
test this is rock n roll lime to rock it from the delta to thedmz

is that me or does it sound like an elvis presley movie viva da nang
oh viva da nang da nang me da nang me why dont they get a rope
and hang me hey is it too early for being so loud hey too late it

oh sixhundred what the oh stand for oh my god it early its hot damn
hotreal hot hottest things is my shorts i could cook things in it a little
crotch pot cooking well tell me what it feels like fool its hot i told you

again were you born on the sun its damn hot its so damn hot i saw little
guys their orange robes burst into flames its that hot do you know what
im talking about what do you think its going to be like tonight in gutter

spiret te what should be never did exist but people keep trying to live up
to it there is no what should be there is only what is satire is tragedy plus
time you give it enough time the public the reviewers will allow you to

satirize it which is rather ridiculous when you think about it koolaid
is kayish all drakes cakes are diyish pumpernickel is nowish and as you
know white bread is very voyish instant potatoes fayish black cherry soda

very mewish caroons are very rewish very lewish cake fruit salad is fowish
lime jello is noyish lime soda is very goyish trailer parks are so layish
that gaws wont go near never trust a preacher with more than two suits.


RML: You've undertaken several collaborations, including four now with me. I wondered what your 'take' on writing with others is? For me it's a liberation and I have learnt to trust the different voices and poetries that emerge, but how does it work for you?


Deconarratif Fession: Collaboratoires


DYH
: I begin with a list of collaboratoires.

With Adam Schechter
Paul Celan and Messiah's Broken Levered Tongue:
An Exponential Dyad (Cervena Barva Press, 2010)

With John Amen
The New Arcana
(NYQ Books, 2012)
The Golden Void
(Unpublished)
h.et dal.ia nad h.et sosd.yey
(Unpublished)
Pro Fictio
(Unpublished)
Monster of Ambition
(Unpublished)

With David Beckman
The Canon Project
(Unpublished)

With Rupert M. Loydell
Esophagus Writ
(The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2014)
The Co-Ordinates of Doubt
(The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, pending 2016)
The Return of Doom-Headed Three
(Cervena Barva Press, pending 2017)
Cthanoiahic Fever: Hunting the Holy Erasure (Unpublished)

With Gloria Mindock and Irene Koronas
The Eschatology of Tart
(X-Peri Books, pending 2016)
Di./um
(Unpublished)
h.e/s.he scatology in 315 wor./d sec./tions
(Unpublished)

With Irene Koronas
Underscotch Zorg
(Unpublished)

Collaborations is a form or liberation, as you say, it is also for me a form of transcendence. There is no greater mysterium than one other person. Just one, not a sociology of multiple selves creating patterns of collective behavior. Just one other person and yourself. I've always had a sense that an alchemical mind is equipped with a second set of ears. Collaborators can hear Yuri Geller's spoon bending. In music, we take this conceptual framework as the quotidian, but in the written arts, it is less common than the bludgeon of 'I am the author.'

Upon the receipt of a next section of any given co-authored work in-progress, my mind lights up like shards from an epiphany. Hot slabs of basalt pour out of my ears. Firestorm bolts gash my cornea and shoot out of my eyes like bullets from an automatic rifle. It's time. The volcano erupts. Words strike the computer screen like catapulted paint. I hear the voice of one other erotically stalking my words. Dimensionality transforms into spatiality, and the next section of the manuscript is written and sent to the eager other foaming at the bit for reception. Repeat this for 75 pages, and voila, a co-authored text.

RL
: What are you working on at the moment? Has it been affected by your geographical location this year across the USA?


Deconarratif Fession: A Conspiracy of Cartography


DYH
: Under profoundly difficult circumstances, I left Southern California in May of 2015. My travels took me to Chicago, Columbus, Boston, New York, and Pennsylvania and eventually back to Boston where I currently reside. In May, literally on the road with a Uhaul, at a rest stop somewhere in Nevada, I wrote what would become the first sonnet of my recently completed manuscript, The Rapture of Eddy Daemon. At that time, I had no idea that this sonnet would become the first of one hundred of fifty-four sonnets (a la William Shakespeare), to be written from May to October 2015. Here are sonnet #1, 'Beast 666,' and sonnet #154, 'Offspring F1' from The Rapture of Eddy Daemon (Cervena Barva Press, pending 2016):

Beast 666


Finger-taut grip of blue-black veins—collusion
mixed with envy, linked to us as Eddy Daemon's
gross motor skills with glassy eyes and clammy
palms declaim his end with App. He's in repose's
lack turning into us. He begins to scale the tiers,
a dark hint to forebear in dread and hear blanks
in the tropes of expiry. It's the vitriol of a partial
eclipse following him in rank dress with autopsy.
No excess translation of shriveled form cloaked
thin at the Ectomorph Gala. Once and for all, we
admit that Eddy Daemon is a hauntboy, a puerile
ephebe: vital, arrogant, fatal and dominant X.
We know the drills. Light sources lit obscured
with flick-beams of a dark, gutted self in neon.


Offspring F1

E./d may yet be known as a brood, a chick shatched
from a clutch of eggs, spring.s an off of mate. E.dd/s
children are the f1 generation, in which gametes fuse
and form prophets of offspring. He worships post/ed
postures, pinched into off./exact duplicates: chin off
the chest of an attitude of self. This history of a false
name launches vessels. The starship 'Linkage,' oves

the prove. Father Eddy Meiosis at your service: let us
hear the genes and remove the nucleus. Care for rare
tungsten light? No. Libate the late Age of Extremes.
Libate the Late Age of Tipsy. Libate his teenybopper
b-movie croon. Wearing promoters aren't dangerous.
The public layer. The no./force lair. Pick either. We
guild lilies with toe-pointed shoes of leathered steel
.

Most recently, I am working on a posthuman love epic with Irene Koronas entitled, Underscotch Zorg. Irene and I have aliases, avatars, wormhole names that gave birth to Underscotch Zorg. Underscotch Zorg is the melded form of Salvador Bunjie and Orbie Oran. As soon as this epic is completed, we will be dispatched to our local quasar for an iced coffee.


RML
: And is there anything else - wisdom, quotation, advice or aside; or anything we haven't covered - you'd like to offer to the reader in conclusion?

 

Deconarratif Fession: Excerpt from Di./um

(Irene Koronas/Gloria Mindock/Daniel Y. Harris)


DYH
: Offed Reader.

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© Daniel Y. Harris and Rupert Loydell 2016