‘[unspoken]’ drags the reader–wary or not, no difference–through pathless scapes of abandoned rooms and ruptured anatomies, through dead light and undead words. Though in appearance this text seems to be a patchwork of prose-poetic fragments and dramaturgical scraps, literary form is, as ever, a formality at best for Mc Aloran and, more often, even less than that. The relentless flux of decaying bodies and dubious voices stares between the pages’ blank spaces as if they were hemorrhaged eyes gazing through Ed Gein’s dead skin-masks: to further the already-great distance always separating the idiotic pageant of Appearance and whatever assumptions one would like to make of the impersonal, ineffable “real.”
Still, there is always plenty of room for “hyenic laughter”–that somatic signification of a communication-limit having been reached–and the voices which appear more frequently in the book’s latter half provide occasions for such laughter. These voices, even though presumably disembodied, stutter and stumble just as much as if their breath were still mounted in meat. The dialogue in itself, of course, amounts to nothing, so much so that its presentation as a “play” might remind one of an intentionally bad puppet-show in which it almost seems as if these fragments of voices were sheer babble echoing from the depths of some ontic asylum (far from that word’s etymological sense of “refuge”). And the parrying among the disembodied voices moves along with such anguish and futility, leavened with glimpses of meta-mockery, as to suggest that the inadequacy of language has always been at least as much a problem of consciousness as it is of mere anatomy. And should a return of the voice to the body be possible after such severe displacement, it bears the cruel gift of “ventriloquist illuminations…”.
As it seems Mc Aloran has been finding new ways to alienate the “I” via language in his other, more recent books, this text is no exception. Whenever that battered pronoun appears, it is always, according to traditional grammar, verbally mismatched: “‘I’ asks, breaking through the teeth of sudden disavowal…”. The pronoun and verb is in as much disagreement as all of the miserable traces of beings spreading throughout this text appear to harshly disagree with the illusory, though no less onerous, business of selfhood. And, of course, Mc Aloran sometimes states the matter as frankly as anyone could: “‘I’ is a dour cunt…fluctuating…obsolete, an assault…”; “I” could just as well be “it” for how much of subjective experience remains unspoken and, most likely, unspeakable.
While perhaps not so consistently potent as the also recently-released ‘All Null Having’, this is yet another example of a feverishly-active poet who is thoroughly unwilling to let the reader rest on the well-cushioned though long since-abscessed assumptions regarding meaning, language and selfhood; a perhaps not-so-generally-welcome alternative to whatever trifles any given laureate might be writing any given moment…