R.I.P Avalon Brantley

Dear Friends,

It is with deep sadness and regret that I inform you of Avalon’s passing. Avy’s light went out on March 5, 2017 and with her went her limitless talent and the possibilities of future works that I believe would have continued to illuminate the literary world. She was hopeful and excited about her forthcoming piece, The House of Silence. She hoped you would enjoy it. It was her pleasure to bring it to life.

Rest in peace.

1981 – 2017

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A Long Overdue Update

Living up to my New Year’s resolution to remove myself, however briefly, from reclusion and update my online vitae, I have prepared this brief summary of all my published efforts of that blessedly over and awful year 2016.  I am grateful for you good people who have felt anything through any of my humble works.  I will do my best to continue; I forget it often of late, but I think there is still more left to be done.  Forgive me the long silence, among so much else.  BeLow is what was most recently made:

“Nocternity,” published in The Gift of the Kos’mos Cometh, Ex Occidente Press.  A series of independent yet interrelated poems and proems (twelve in total) in honour of NOX, and censered after the Orphic Hymns.  This is one of the most beautiful books I own, let alone inhabit.  Illustrations by the phenomenal Denis Forkas.

“A Dead Man’s House,” in Booklore, Zagava.  An fictional tour through extinct books from the past, with passages inspired by the heartbreaking dream of their possibility and loss.  So much has been lost.  Includes ‘inferred’ excerpts from Homer’s lost Telegoneia, passages imagined from The Gospel of Eve, and a Kabbalistic exergesis upon a few lost Biblical books, such as The Wars of YHVH.  The calibre of these contributors is humbling indeed; Booklore is a beautiful concept made into a beautiful book released by beautiful people.  I could not be happier to have published with Jonas whose work and integrity I admire so much, and hope that later this year I can announce a very exciting forthcoming work still in early preparation.

Corpus, in The Whore is this Temple, Mount Abraxis.  An ambitious and formidable tome indeed, and a piece of my own that surprised me by what it demanded.  I never meant to write it, never would have expected I could.  Its initial inspiration arose from Andrei Bely’s magificent Kotik Letaev and little known Glossolalia, but Corpus expanded from there into a biographic (no, not autobiographical) account of Macrocosm and microcosm.  A Brief History of All is given in re-verse; embryology embraces cosmology, unspooling in Fibonacci numbers; speech develops, the glossal Pythia as oral oracle; sephiroth arise in the rotting trunk, while Percival explores Neurologic Wastelands; sorrows and cares are digested, and the Masonic Order of Corpuscles is illuminated; and as the body declines, the Tibetan Book of the Dead hints at the road ahead for the soul, its part in the whole, its turn in eternity’s weal.

“WorLds: The Life and Theurgic Artistry of Andrei Bely”, Wormwood 27, Tartarus Press.  A biographical exploration of major works by this Russian archsymbolist of incredible brilliance and achievement still woefully underappreciated in the Western World.

“Window Widows”, in A Midwinter Entertainment, Egaeus Press.  A spectral tale set in the late 19th century Scottish Borders.  The book is lavish and attractive, as are all of Egaeus’s releases, and the company kept in this collection quite illustrious.

The same should be said in advance of the next Egaeus tome, the theme of which is Murder Ballads.  This will include my exclusive piece “Twa Sisters, Ane Swan,” a poetic, alchemical alloy of “The Cruel Sister” ballad, the fate of Ophelia, the metamorphosis of Kalevalan Aino, and similar thematic ingredients.

Thank you for your kind eyes.  I will try to stay, worthy of them, and I send blessings to you all throughout a better year.

ALEXEI REMIZOV in WORMWOOD 25

A new article of mine–Alexei Remizov: An Opleshik in Exile–has just been published in the indispensible Wormwood journal, issue No. 25.

Through this essay I have sought to vividly express my keenest admiration for a far too long neglected genius, one whose æsthetic so unexpectedly mirrored my own that I am tempted to suspect at least a fragmentary metempsychosis involved!

And I couldn’t be happier for dear dear Remizov himself, who deservedly graces the cover!

Please peruse a short presentation here: http://wormwoodiana.blogspot.co.uk/…/10/a-shaman-in-paris.h…

Copies as ever may be purchased from Tartarus Press at this link: http://www.tartaruspress.com/wormwood-25.html

TRANSCENSIENCE

September 2015 saw the emergence of Transcensience from the L’Homme Recent imprint of Ex Occidente Press.

Transcensience consists of eleven dark visions: two prose pieces by each of us, as well as seven lyric poems, evoking the apotheosis of auto-immolation. A small, delectable little volume bound in grey kidskin and embossed with an owl on the front board, we are very proud of these disparated coabberations.

We made this little volume together alone.  Alone, through so much more darkness than this; it can’t all be gathered by hands to be gifted; it sifts through the fingers and spills, drips, runs; the dirt always drinks at least a little from every offering, as its due.  You just carry away what you can from the altar.

We have tried, and have been.  Now after all that’s gone, and all that’s overcome and been, transcended, there is at least this little written relic we have gathered to leave.  And leave to gather…

…to dust.

Whatever and whenever this NowHere becomes, we’ve always known and embodied this strange fragile paradox state of impossible motionless impending and excruciating

Transencience

New Interview with Alcebiades Diniz

I have been VERY busy, and as usual VERY remiss with upkeep on this blog.  I should have mentioned this more than a month ago!

Alcebiades Diniz was kind enough to interview me for his own site devoted to out-of-the-way, weird and fantastic literature Bibliophage.  An astute, multilingual reader, Mr Diniz invited me to answer several thoughtful questions about my method, works, philosophy and aesthetics, the results of which may be viewed here:

http://bibliophage.postach.io/post/interview-avalon-brantley

Dreams of Our Selves

I am immensely honoured to be included in a monumental new anthology just released by Ex Occidente / Zagava: Dreams of Ourselves, dedicated to the brilliant, enigmatic, multifaceted Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa, with contributions from Jonathan Wood, Mark Valentine, Quentin S. Crisp, D.P. Watt, Colin Insole, John Howard, Adam S. Cantwell, Andrew Condous, Rhys Hughes and Damian Murphy.

Each of us has selected one of Pessoa’s many heteronyms under which to write a work in his honour.  There is an envelope in the back of the book that will disclose the authors of the actual stories, but what collector wants that seal breached, really?  For my part I would encourage leaving those names in the dark, or at the very least keeping its contents a firm secret.  The uncertainty and speculation are part of what makes this such a unique and special publication.  Savour it!

Contents of Dreams of Ourselves

That Nothing Human Scorn by Raphael Baldaya
Petseta by Sebastian Knight
We Are All Words by Burton Donald-Wickham Hallam
The Apostatical Ascetic by Alexander Search
A Body of Nostalgia with a Soul of Foam by Unknown
Le Panopticon de le Chevalier de Pas by Chevalier de Pas
Mr. S and Doctor S. by Horace James Faber
The Man We All Imagined I Might Have Been by Emmanuel Golding
A Sea Sorrow in Triptych by A.A. Crosse
The Sublime Voyage of Ariana Aragão by Efbeedee Pasha
Under Different Stars by Navas

Interview at Zagava

Zagava has posted a brief interview we recently conducted here: http://www.zagava.de/?page_id=123
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I am by nature a very private person, but if anyone out there is remotely interested, I have provided several candid answers about what has influenced my work.
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The photograph they have included is one of my old office, which I took the morning before we sold our house, after all my stuff was removed. Dan and Jonas understood my preference not to provide an author photo, and asked instead if they might have one of my workspace… but this was all I had.
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I have fond memories of that view and of the work done there, of that small yellow room warm and bright as new butter around me, and of how it was after the light from outside was gone, the window open and night creatures’ songs in the woods out there resonating from the walls and wooden floor. I remember looking up in the low light from my monitor to notice a ghostly-grey moth staring in at me from where it hung on the screen, and once hearing the close, frantic bark of a fox, which chilled my blood, since the sound was almost that of a tormented woman. In the winter, in the glare on the glass, an ancient face almost just like my own stared back at me from there, moving when I moved. Usually.
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I don’t have an office as such these days, but the work goes on, and there are early plans to see me into another such room for my work, sometime in the next year or three, I guess and hope.