Dream / Image
Making Another Cover, After Another
Tongue A Queer Anomaly is just that, a lexicon that deviates from the common rule. A queer glossary that presents us with a new language, a fresh nomenclature birthed by poets t thilleman and j/j hastain in their revolutionary, ongoing collaboration. Weaving myth, the primal with the post-modern, the body politic becomes a great mother melding into the essential, the male and female mind bonding in definitions that become ecstatic incantations. In a time of media war and cultural collapse, Tongue reminds us that words are sacred. They conjure and enchant. They destroy. Here there is a celebration of what is sensual, sexual, allegorical, primordial, delightful, and whacky. A blending of truth and fabrication, of high-minded purpose and high jinx. Tongue sets itself in opposition to the demons of statuary. The poets elevate what is subtle, nuanced, lavish, and strange. Like “the soup tureen, full of magic brew-stew” prepare to be overwhelmed by its riches. An explosion of hyperbole, understatement, and oxymoron.
Tongue A Queer Anomoly is a Samuel Johnson’s dictionary—if Samuel Johnson had absorbed Foucault, Jeannette Winterson and Johnny Rotten—for the chaotic, universally catastrophic, collapsing, latter day, ruinous, emerging world. The language in this post-post-post lyrical and gently violent piece of irreverence and linguistic revolution by j/j hastain and t thilleman is a radical, lovely, lush, painful reinvention of language word by word, image by image, concept by concept. This is a dictionary for the new body, the new sexuality, the new collective, the new wrecked, fragmented Homo Sapiens, for the new damaged world.
Sam Witt, editor, Devouring the Green: Fear of a Human Planet, where portions first appeared
Clef is a multisensory palimpsest— a poetic manifesto that reaches right through you. “A page/ that is always a simultaneity or a multiplicity”. It stimulates on myriad levels—visually, viscerally, lyrically, emotionally, philosophically, sonically, spiritually—and if it could be like Harold and Maude’s magic scent machine and emit varied sensuous odors, it surely would. Layering of ephemeral, eternal, ethe(r)eal—smearing and rubbing all inside—a vibrant palette explodes in hole ... Clef sees into our dark with intuition, wit, and grace—a honed (in)sight that j/j and tt have developed in themselves and in each other. Joy of musicality, intimacy in correspondence, mindfulness in the moment, and the heightened perception to focus/ and penetrate the cosmic dwelling inside the everyday self: “this embodying/ GOD EVERYWHERE”.
In Approximating Diapason, hastain and Thilleman engage in an epic correspondence, creatively paralleling, intersecting, and intertwining their very distinct poetic vocabularies and intelligences. What results is a collaborative treatise on the metaphysics of creativity, the physics of the compositional page, the philosophy and ethics of form, the ontology of ghosts and gods, and the future of the mythographic imagination. But this is just scratching the surface.