The record of a trans-continental surrealist seance
that began on July 7, 2015 and ended 24 days later on July 31, 2015...
“This collaborative poem shines like a revolving eye across the darkness we inhabit."
– Andrew Joron
About the Book
In The Lighthouse Above the Graveyard, John Thomas Allen and Alan Gullette engage in breaking the levees of the poetic imagination and distilling an ore of ivy bamboo in this almost perversely intense volume. They read like a spell written in hieroglyphs of baking sheet letters spinning without a head. To miss this is to forsake vision, a parasurrealism that sees everything and nothing at once in a small annihilating point.
"This collaborative poem by John Thomas Allen and Alan Gullette takes its place
in the grand tradition of surrealist collaboration initiated by Breton and Soupault in
The Magnetic Fields: two poets become communicating vessels for concocting
a magical word that will transform the world. Driven by the counterpoint of two voices,
language turns incandescent. The Lighthouse Above the Graveyard shines like a revolving eye across the darkness we inhabit."
-- Andrew Joron, author of Trance Archive, The Cry at Zero, Neo-Surrealism; Or, The Sun at Night: Transformations of Surrealism in American Poetry, et al.
"John Thomas Allen and Alan Gullette... have achieved something novel, innovative, and
unprecedented in this substantial book in which they have combined their considerable talents."
-- from the foreword by Donald Sidney-Fryer, author of Songs and Sonnets Atlantean;
Emperor of Dreams, A Clark Ashton Smith Bibliography; Gaspard de la Nuit by Aloysius Bertrand (translation); et al.
Praise for the Authors
Praise for John Thomas Allen
"Freud said to the young surrealists to beware of unconscious imagery, and Meyer Schapiro said even dreams were social. John reminds me of Lamantia, Vigo, Bolano -- raw and angry but with a clear day under his baseball cap. Like the Berrigan brothers, he seems to be writing a last protesting book, with the harp of Harpo and instead of handcuffs from a flic who appears to look like a hamburger...
"The soul is conscious in this new voice, and John wears a rosary around his neck.
Real as Albany, his infra-surrealism is growing and growling. Good that he's so
disappointed; he occupies a special place in Poetry Park."
-- David Shapiro, author of New and Collected Poems, Abstract Expressionism: A Critical Record, et al.
"When I first read some of John's work, I thought I was reading some lost bits of Bob Kaufmann!"
-- Lee Ballentine, author of Poly: New Speculative Writing, Renounce the Emerald Piety, et al.
"The work of John Allen is profoundly moored; it is exploratory, shaded and searching.
Read his work, and follow his quest."
-- Charles Bane, Jr., author of The Chapbook: Poems by Charles Bane, Jr., I Meet Geronimo and Other Stories, et al.
"John Thomas Allen's surreal images strung together like pearls; seemingly random events and characters juxtaposed in ways that expose mind-expanding meanings; the pungent, unblinking eye of the camera obscura; the unexpected voice of transients, ne'er do wells and those forgotten by fortune; these flavors and many more await readers of John Thomas Allen's dreamlike humanist poetry and prose. There is a certain light to these visions -- a three-in-the-morning beam of truth that exposes both deep flaws and great beauty in every subject, every character.
"John Thomas Allen offers us a mirror -- who among us can resist looking? What we see in the process is the bones of our collective socio-intellectual hypocrisy. The result is a simultaneously humbling and edifying reading experience: our flaws are laid bare but we realize in the blush of our shame that we still have an ineluctable beauty if only we are willing to cultivate it. John Thomas Allen's world has existed always, around us, among us and within us; in coming to terms with his humbling and uplifting indictments, we can only shake our heads and wonder how it is that we have missed so much for so long. Read, and walk with him."
-- Rich Follet, author of Silence, Inhabited: Poetic Reflections on Surviving Childhood Sexual Abuse, Responsorials, et al.
Also by the Authors
John Thomas Allen has written and edited the following:
The Other Guy. Cleveland, OH: Crisis Chronicles Press, 2012.
Nouveau's Midnight Sun: Transcriptions from Golgonooza and Beyond. Spokane, WA: Ravenna Press, 2014.
Lumiere. Cleveland, OH: NightBallet Press, 2014.
His new book entitled Fake Shemp is due out later this year. His poems have appeared in Veil: a Journal of Dark Musings, Arsenic Lobster Magazine, Surreal Poetics, The Cimmaron Review, et al., and he has a story in the recently released anthology More Bizarro Than Bizarro.
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