“[OR] is an extraordinary book, brilliant from the first particle trace to the last. A luminous meditative transcendence links it all together, playing deep chords in both mind and flesh. The fluency of time and space created by these poems carries the reader beyond the named into gnosis. Henderson’s language is often just out of reach, which is perfect, drawing the reader deeper into his world by understanding its implications.”
Codes are hidden everywhere. Messages sliding though the atmosphere slipping into microwave towers, handheld devices, nervous systems, brains, retinas, barcodes, alarms, antimissile missile systems, the antennae of DNA (Sheldrake may have been right all along!), the traces of virtual particles, the Chauvet cave drawings, your Twitter account. Each broaches a transformative version of its own transduction. The buck never stops. And the future might already have happened. What does this mean? That everything we do is a déja-vu? It’s been documented (Benjamin Libbet) that perception happens before we know it. Maybe it’s no wonder that my new manuscript uses tropes from spy thrillers and code breakers. In it, someone may have been murdered, or moved to another dimension (perhaps the poet?). Along the way some rather strange perturbations occur to narrative and its others: memory, (prosthetic memory), dream, reportage, code (of course), a little history of the future, déja-vu, paramnesia, the virtual – versions, evasions and alternatives. Each poem gets read a few times, its code deciphered or ciphered back up. Some of the poems decay, or after the fact, are pre. Each reader reads his or her own poem and encodes it for another. What communication crosses out, these poems try to find.
Once in Tangiers (or Maybe Arenal?)
Skin in the touch tropics, sap-dipped
fingertips, secret garden fevered
with fruit, the RKO tower in the near distance
broadcasting sparks, sealight
in my veins, in the library,
caved-in cupola music.
I can taste the words,
the opera of the said, the yet-to-be
said – there is too much
to learn, each line of light
another kind of tanager, another
kind of newscast in the iridescent
air, side-slipping the tunings
along the dial — Mr. Tessla,
don’t let me down now
in the listening static –
each chromomeme alive with juice
I lick from the shallow pool
beneath her acromial process.