(CALIATH) features, and has always featured, a style of importation and eclosion that isn’t encountered commonly. Not only does my own personal style of composing include the immaturity of my creative endeavors and the many cultural and linguistic importations spurred from the fact that I’m not native in English, it also contains a seemingly heavy modern literary legacy, the likes of John Ashbery and David Antin, thus, the postmodernists, with most pronounced inflections in poems such as (to taste of salt) and (the whole spring), and the often overlapping movement of the surrealists, especially with Baudelaire and Reverdy, both monumental influences in my poetic style. Many reputed poets of the Portuguese pantheon also perfuse my poems with the inspiring whiff of their brilliance (which I admire deeply and am a disciple of), and those are Al Berto, Cesariny de Vasconcelos, Luís Quintais, Drummond de Andrade and Lispector.
Along such myriad influences, some of them marked by gashes of dissonance and complexity, one would likely look at one of my poems and detect but a bunch of titivating words thrown at a wall with little but the associative sense they may individually carry, in which case, we’re left with more density than artistry, and therein lies the issue in trying to translate my personal style into something veritably transmissible; I’m not — clearly — the best of writers; but there is somewhat of a rhyme or reason to how I construct a poem, and to provide some pharos of what that is, I will deconstruct a deconstructive poem apropos poetry (try saying that aloud):


Strophe 1 opens with an oneiric appeal, which sets the tone of reversion; whereas one would start in an instance of reality and slowly disintegrate into a fragmented, unsubstantial inner realm, I decided to start in the dream and walk back into materiality.
A “tiger gnawing statues” was inspired by “Leaves“, composed by Nicholas Jaar, a song in which he synthesizes a recording of an interaction with his own father, when he was little, where he said that “los leones estaban mordiendo la estatua” or, the lions were biting the statue. This geometry of conjuring an image of my own from Jaar’s occurs in the poetic nature that I distilled from his work: the absurd quality of the imagination, which, often, founds the medulla of our creative emprises, because that absurdity is free-formed, fluid, insofar as it dissolves time to a symbol (time is a false flower) and destruction to opportunity (rubble could not dim his sharp taste for hunger).
The poet, or creator, in this instance, is the extinction of the absurd, as our cognition functions only in pattern-seeking modes, which lugubriously counters the creation of new ones. I often feel that my cognitive limitations not only disallow me of novel creativity, but give a whim of repulse to my creations, a taunt of sorts.

Strophe 2 is the part most inspired by Albert Tarantola, a popular user of the inverse problem, by which the composition was designed (at least, as the concept of inversion); this strophe, then, is almost entirely expositive, except perhaps in its construction, which I call “cruel denotation”, as it contrasts vividly to the denser, diaphanous lines which compose the armature of my poems. The same idea explained three times in three slightly different modes gives some sort of openness to what is being said, or ameliorates the dullness of transmitting techniques in a creative setting, (or, at least, I think it does).

Strophe 3 relies on various inspirations; not only in my own mytho-poeticism, but in that I inherited with my linguistic legacy, and such example is the “pampered child jabbing a hill swallow eyrie” to describe the most difficult qualities of language: relativity and potency. Child as an element of cognition and language is something that has various sources, from Woolf’s Bernard, who coalesced both the pellucid and fluttering qualities of language and imagination but with such puerile vigour, and Eugénio de Andrade’s Palavras Interditas, where a “child flits by, back turned to the sea“, as that aspect of unfocused, volatile subversion that we experience with any modality of communication. Language, then, and specially the poetic language, “muddles everything” with lies of colour, texture, intimacy, experience, volition and perdition, since none of those things can be fully contained within language, and that dissonance between talking about thing and experiencing thing, especially for one that uses written arts as such expressive instruments of being, is a deep wound. Thus, this strophe means to support language as the prevarication of poetry, at least in the context of the poem.

what I feel is this brand of tasteless deicide. This falsity;” is likely the most poetically charged phrase in the entire poem, and likely the very heart and artery of it; to wholly “carve out” a personal neuro-linguistic approach that, while inching better towards absolute communication (thus, divine, at least in the parity of concepts), one inches further away from the very purpose of communication: to be understood. This is precisely the emotion that informs this post; if I read one of my poems, I’m reading the diamond-cut, punctilious image of one of my sentiments; but, as Terry put it in another poem, to a reader, it seems as if it is a “conversation one is not privy to”, which is a sentiment I entirely understand, for I have felt it myself reading some other heavily neuro-symbolical poems. That bargain, that equilibrium of abnegation and abnegation, of the divinity of sincerity and the divinity of communion, seems, at times, to be the murder of a false god in order to replace it with another, since I will never be able to express fully, nor will I ever be understood fully; they are both synthetic images for the purpose of direction, but not points of arrival.

Strophe 5, which follows, is opposite in purpose to Strophe 2, and I call it “a kind of connotation”; it is meant to refract and coalesce some of the heavier poetic concepts in the construct; if one disintegrates and distends language in order to heighten its ability to transmit, one begins to lose grip of linguistically-dependent structures “a residue of existence being dragged across abandoned layouts”, and that sacrifice seems most excessive once we realise the mania of surrealism and concept-melding, insofar as we become “a residue of language dangling somewhere one ought not to touch for fear of capture”, or, in a way, a senseless, formless and mad thing, whose inner motions can only be understood by that same frequency of madness.

Strophe 6 purports to tether everything together; and purports truly is the apt word. One reaches, then, the “exotic doldrum”, which is tantamount to saying: “an individual, untranslatable state of bafflement”, where child (language) and swallow (expression) fuse; where language, in its fullness, is incorruptible by interpretation and thought isn’t merely another form of isolation, and then, full and wholly accessible, in that outsideness and openness so characteristic of the expressive self, lies what is discovered only through importance: connectivity, interaction, which, to me, is poetry.

I’m not the fondest of explaining a creative work; unless, of course, it’s not the artist explaining it. But I’m not an artist in a classical sense; I’m not published nor am I seeking publication, and do not charge nor intend to charge, and from such constrictions also come other freedoms, one of which is the formlessness of growth. As I’ve dedicated more and more time to my prosaic techniques (for the purposes of lucubrating on long narratives), my poetry has become increasingly more affected and condensed.
You’ve all been astonishingly kind and patient with me, but I understand that my poems are not of easy digestion, or, I would dare to say, of worthy digestion. They are too often pressures of form and, even then, they are not rich in form, either. The only thing I have of any positive force is a very fertile sensorium that allows unique perspectives and images to infuse my compositions. Other than that, I’m not particularly talented nor intelligent, even if it might seem to be the case (and I don’t even think it seems to be the case, haha).

The purpose of this post is, firstly, to demonstrate that there is a “skeleton” behind all my works, even if it’s not a sound skeleton, or one made of visible, intact bones; secondly, it was to clarify some of the references and influences, the “plaques” slowly moving beneath the communicative foundation; both what founts the still-green way I write, and what contaminates it.
And, of course, just because I intended all of this to be in the poem, or, better yet, just because all of this coalesced and whirled strongly enough to generate a poem, does not mean that the poem is well-written; it most certainly isn’t. As goes the old adage, the way to hell is paved with good intentions.

Thank you for reading, and for your patience,

Published by João-Maria

A tick clinging to the bristles of a purple boar.

31 thoughts on “style

    1. Thank YOU Suzette, you’re always so unbelievably nice to me. Whoever made you must make twenty more of you, because there isn’t enough kindness in this world.


    1. And you are the absolute funniest person I’ve read on WordPress. You should write for television.
      We don’t have televisions in Portugal, but I heard that TV is the only viable way to make money in comedic writing. Eh. I wish we had televisions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, thanks. The Office is my favorite show of all time, but I don’t think there’s anything that funny happening right now. TV is kind of dying, we’re moving towards streaming more and more.


      2. I knew Elon Musk was a madlad, but I couldn’t have possibly known that he became…
        an absolute madlad.
        What’s next? Simulated realities? Gender and racial equality? What a world.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. A poet in need of explaining himself! : ) Of course, we are to seek the “skeleton.” True, only some are conscious of it, and some like it repetitive or familiar. So yes, I understand your need.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Ivana, even chaos has a structure. I don’t mind being a bad poet, I just don’t want to project an image that I’m vacuous, because that implies laziness, and I’m everything but lazy.
      It’s no surprise that you understand, you’re incredibly intelligent.


    1. The intelligence we have is that which we labour for. I actually did not study Literature, but once I’m done with Journalism, I might still go for a Languages, Literatures and Cultures with either an English or Russian incidence.
      English because I’m comfortable, Russian because it has the absolute best authors of any language, and anyone can fight me on this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m wondering how you maintain your level of inspiration. You would need, I am imagining , a volcano of inspiration to pen such artful work. Do you have a set schedule for writing poetry? I want to get myself back in the saddle. The less I write the less I want to write.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ron!, I do have a set schedule for writing prose, so I can force myself upon the narrative and not get too busy with other things to the point of forgetting the supposed orientation of things.
      When it comes to poetry, I usually write whenever something “comes to me”. In a Portuguese interview, I once said I can only create poems after some other piece of Art has, at least, inspired me for a figment of it. Let’s say, even if its just a phrase of a film, or a note in a melody; I need to subjective trigger. I can’t just sit down and think “I’m writing a poem about brutalist architecture”, no, I must, at least, have been inside a brutalist building. (which was the actual aesthetic inspiration for Seijaku, Incense, in the Seven Poems of Japanese Aesthetics, haha).
      You should absolutely re-kindle your writing, and if you’re feeling somewhat torpid for lack of inspiration, I’d advise you to read some really off-the-charts maximalist poets, like W.G. Shepherd and Jerome Rothenberg, since they truly require the creative gears to unrust in order to be read, and, as soon as you feel like you truly understand one of their poems, you feel that innervating sting of art. Or, at least, it works for me.


  3. The dissonance between the cognitive expression and the substantial, underlying mystery of a phenomenon (real or imagined) is the heart of a poetic utterance. Good poetry always fails at some level to convey what it has unearthed. If it does not fail, then it has not dug deeply enough into the soil. The lyrical quality of descriptive words, phrases, or line construction is meant to be a finger pointed bafflingly at something the poet fully cannot understand and yet intimates enough to put it into words. Traditional narrative structures invariably fall by the wayside at certain points, and the reader is left to make sense of it himself. That is not a failing but rather an opportunity in poetry for the reader to personalize the experience. Poems, like all stories, come alive in both the telling and the receiving. This is why a writer or a poet without readers is like a man trapped in a fun house full of disfiguring mirrors. The only real story he can tell is his own strange and monstrous reflection told back to him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, absolutely; I think poetry being the dissonance of words, as music is the order of noise, as painting is the muddling of colours and architecture, the obliteration of emptiness, is part of the often stringent bargain of Art: it’s not only creative, it is also a destructive way to communicate. Precisely what it creates and what it destroys is, perhaps, the most beautiful aspect of it.

      Michael, you are marvelous. I’m beyond honoured that you’d comment. You are absolutely one of the brightest around the block.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “That bargain, that equilibrium of abnegation and abnegation, of the divinity of sincerity and the divinity of communion, seems, at times, to be the murder of a false god in order to replace it with another, since I will never be able to express fully, nor will I ever be understood fully; they are both synthetic images for the purpose of direction, but not points of arrival.” Chuang Tzu talks about the finger pointing at the moon not being the moon. Your passage reminds me of it.

    Also, you’re too close to the poet (i.e. yourself) to give an unbiased opinion of your intelligence, writing, etc. I only say that because you are putting yourself down so much! Your writing reminds me of Shakespeare, not in some ways, but in its intricate depth that makes one pay attention to read it.

    You’re so young! You amaze me, Joao-Maria, with how advanced you are in your writing. Yet you consider yourself “green.” How did you get so well-educated?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, Ms. Jade, Eastern thinkers put us to shame on how shortly and elegantly they can expose concepts we take decades to expound.
      I put a lot of work into writing, because it is my only veritable passion, but it isn’t easy to gain confidence in something that coalesces individual expression and leagues of technique. This is an open world, and to be heard in these days must include copious amounts of work and a tremendous deal of luck. I labour hard, since that is within my control. And my luck is in those such as yourself.
      About my education, I don’t really know. I’m from largely humble origins and always sought literature and art on my own volition, which is a zest that started early and was never lost. I’m a lonesome person, thus, most of my free-time is spent with the Art of those who have left me their Art, to the delight of my soul. An anchorite, always.
      Thank you so much for your comparison to Shakespeare. I’m certainly no Shakespeare but, according to some recent (?) findings, not even Shakespeare was Shakespeare!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All of it so well-said, I guessed you used your passion to focus on writers you love and study artists’ techniques, ideas, etc., along with history, sociology, psychology, and all the rest. I do know what you mean about Will, but someone, whoever it was, that wrote what was writ.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, no, John, I fully trust your intellect. I just got a flurry of confused folks as of late and I understand why; in a way, I’m actually more trying to prove to myself that I do indeed have intentions of being understood.
      Sometimes, we can become too trapped in our own anechoic manner of thinking, and we forget that not everyone is privy to how that works.
      I’m glad to have you, you’re an awesome sir.

      Liked by 1 person

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