February 19, 2012

J. Karl Bogartte

J. Karl Bogartte [USA]

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 8, 1944, J. Karl Bogartte began in high school reading a wide range of poets and other writers, from William Butler Yearts to E. E. Cummings, from Thomas DeQuincy to Madame Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine. At age 17 he discovered the New Directions edition of Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell, which, along with reading the City Lights Anthology containing a section devoted to surrealism edited by Franklin Rosemont, completely transformed his thinking, both visually and poetically.

Bogartte took the City Lights book with him to Paris in 1971, when he stayed in the city for almost a year. Without knowing French he assimilated much of French surrealist literature, and a few years later begin to define his writing as surrealist-inspired.

In France he did meet Francis Ponge in Provence. Bogartte remembers: “It was a strange and marvelous meeting, since neither of us knew each other’s language, and we ‘pondered each other.’ We walked, made attempts to communicate. He signed a book of his I had purchased, and well, I was in awe and didn’t want to impose.

Returning to the US, Bogartte studied anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and photography at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. He also contacted Rosemont and joined the Chicago Surrealist group.

In 2004, he published a novella, Antibodies (A Surrealist Novella), followed uup his first book of poetry, The Wolf House. Secret Games followed in 2007, along with Luminous Weapons 2009, The Mirror Held Up in Darkness 1976-2003 in 2010, and A Curious Night for a Double Eclipse in 2011.


The Wolf House (Paris: La Belle Inutile Éditions, 2005); Secret Games (Paris: La Belle Inutile Éditions, 2007); Luminous Weapons (Paris: La Belle Inutile Éditions, 2009); The Mirror Held Up in Darkness 1976-2003 (Paris: La Belle Inutile Éditions, 2010); A Curious Night for a Double Eclipse (Paris: La Belle Inutile Éditions, 2011)

from Luminous Weapons

The game that is most intense when the apples come to glow, and the gifted hands of the translator fondle the abacus of distant fixations. A sudden dialectic mirrors the syrup of hallucination between the clothing of bereavement and the stairway that leads to the forest, and ultimately there is a devastating humor in the shadow when it ignites.

The spirit of a forceful defiance, a dangerous rapture clinging to the parapets deer-laden with immaculate caressing sensations arriving fully formed, labyrinths of indecent exposures (Medea-roses) inciting curses and other idiosyncrasies, like sparkling lures or shining breastplates of adopted flight-patterns groomed as totems and delicious pets... Your mouth close to her ear, where the word “sinister” enters the mastery of jasmine and arson, like wind gathering the axial stones of consciousness into phantom arcades.

Often, there is the delicate cooing, the diabolical inclusions, the ravishing of wishbones... “Dearest Equinox, you must leave before the doors close in the children’s eyes...” precise gesticulation to unsettle the savants in their hidden chambers. The rare infernal flowers of locomotion, whispering amongst themselves... A buzzing drama of dark machines and blonde pianos of a river that captures bells for pleasure and twitching, intimate with a street that follows the scent of your eyes. The magnolia of the wolf’s eyes lit up like wounds seem like the grates of a sudden encounter, in the middle of the night, a flaunting image of pale mysteries torn into premeditated seductions.

“Equinox... out of the landscape, out of the forest, spin the fur into gold, into windows through stone, out of shadow spread your eyes into fleece... ”

The anthropology of your body lives past the bronze age of those liquids that solarize the face of a woman, whose bell of slumbering shatters the city of elongated sorrows, and whose name in Galicia is venerated by scholars, and despised by children. Her face follows rain and flood. Bones glittering for windows. Shadows cut into perfect squares. Her name is always invisible, her gate covered with whispering, her fluids powering impossible getaways

Copyright ©2009 by J. Karl Bogartte. Reprinted by permission.

1 comment:

LeeKwo said...

What can I say that doesnt sound like a distinct state of adulation but I have to say yr life has all the marks of a life matched only by what you have written and painted/Surrealist words and surrealist images which stand among the best of that genre now and then/