Images are dia- as well as multi-lexical. They are chakras, or nāḍi of the subtle body. Points and meridians at which prāṇa flows—or is kept from flowing.
"In that smallest or even invisiblest part I am comparing all that once passed through the mirror, the dream of the eighthand, the giving hand, the one whose synonyms call out to immense black silence defining it for a moment, a word, and no more as they both fall into chasmed dark the seemingly empty fullness of all I am."
No commentator has better understood Ed Dorn, and the prophetic nature of his Turbine, than t thilleman in his new poem; perhaps because it took a poet of grand scale to comprehend Dorn’s iconoclastic work, and only T’s line so far has had the authority to resist falling into either idolatry of the master, or the usual trap of mimicry. thilleman is a heady theorizer, but fastidious to construct the theoretical always just ahead of the line, so that his poem never side tracks or runs aground. thilleman’s contextualization sends us backward in order to go forward: back to Dorn’s visionary text of late-stage capitalism—to gain speed—then fast forward into nothing short of the future of poetry writing. Dorn readers and scholars, and tt fans, will be clocking this book for years.
Blasted Tower explodes into a brand new genre, the physical memoir, a nearby neighbor of the roman à clef. The reader is led from the unfolding to what has been folded into creation, set in durée, Bergson's inner time, about to detonate into the outer. There is a place of memory, just as there is a place of shock, both occupying a mutual locale, poised to shatter the human reserve. Thilleman does this in his brilliant account of the life of a writer.
"Breaking through that hard shell, the egg and ovum of creation, circulates a possibility to forget as well as remember. Opening—the shedding light—neither by “fall” nor fault—enables the rational to see."
The bright and densely hued drawings, reminiscent of Mark Rothko, convey this omniscient sense of creation and movement. Humanity’s great abstractions, time, creation, and ego, intersect and interact in thilleman’s abstract representations. In each drawing, an identifiable vein of color and movement runs through the center of the page and fans upward. This vein is the flue, the passage of “heat and smoke” that represents thilleman’s allegory of how “Now” becomes “(k)Now”. If meaning is meant to be found, it will find the viewer.
Callie Tahat, Toad Suck Review
"The concept of picture-making has given way to the inception of the pastel in correspondence with all matter. I am not drawing out revelation but am simply allowing the pastel to speak for itself by providing a series of surfaces for it to expose the inceptual leap my writing pursues as it moves out of its inner narration."
"Like the literary essay (Blasted Tower) this kind of making falls between two receptions. One reception is an understanding of the nature of reality in light of its telling my early history. The other receiving is a resistance to its own “telling” into any reality via “hardened,” literary edges. I am naming the entire process ‘chaotic’ so as to dispense with limitations the drawings always process as picture-making. These are serial, dis-catenated, non-replicated pieces—and yet they retain their surface as the moment of em-picturing something other than that surface."
Not since Susan Sontag’s debut with The Benefactor has a first novel been so convincing. Welcome to a powerful new voice!
Gowanus is at times hilarious and at others edifying, slyly taking on complicated questions of art and religion—buried as they are in Knudsen's rambling bluster.
Jonathon Messinger, Time Out Chicago