Featured Poem • March 2017

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Exile’s Lament

 

Olchar E. Lindsann

 
 

And all the stars unrolled from heaven’s rim Declare the doom which I alone may read In moving ciphers numberless and dim. —Clark Ashton Smith, “The Prophet Speaks”

 

Once, Before the advent of Hali who hurled voided truths against its shore, Carcosa shined above the sea.   The prophet shrieked, awash with augury— he swayed and stunned—the ocean choked its roar, becalmed, and harkened to Hali.   His words, inspired, bloomed with entropy, embalmed the land; the waters shrank—abhorred Carcosa, stranded from the sea!   Thrice-doomed Cassilda hastened us to flee the brackish flood; what voids can we implore to thaw the curse of grim Hali?   Asleep, Hastur dreams aeons, enemy of Signs, and echoes to the dead restores: Carcosa’s sleep becalms the sea.   Ecstatic, mad, we seek the Sign: Where lies the key to scan the ciphered suns, twinned, strung along the shore? Amidst the mists of Lake Hali the walls, thick-slimed, seep agony: Carcosa, grim, forgets the sea.

 

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Olchar_Lindsann_smallOlchar E. Lindsann is a poet, theorist, teacher, and historian of the avant-garde, and runs mOnocle-Lash, an avant-garde press publishing contemporary and historical countercultural work. He has recently published the Weird Fiction novel King Jaundice on Roanoke Pulp & Paper..

He offered this explanation of the rationale behind “Exile’s Lament”: “If the Yellow Sign is a catalyst for reality exiled from itself, dissolving those who decipher it into madness, it is because there is something in language always already tugging us away from the world, away from its sane perception. The King in Yellow must be an exile, and his city too must be exiled from its life-source, stagnant, a city of ghosts. The world is a nightmare in which thought does not belong, yet which it cannot escape but must wander, exiled, seeking vengeance or dissolution. To decipher the sign is to read in the future death, ruin, and alienation.”

 

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