J. A. Tyler is founding editor of Mud Luscious Press and the author of INCONCEIVABLE WILSON (Scrambler Books, 2009), A MAN OF GLASS & ALL THE...read more WAYS WE HAVE FAILED (Fugue State Press, 2011), and
A SHINY, UNUSED HEART (Black Coffee Press, 2011). For more, visit: www.chokeonthesewords.com.
j/j hastain is writing bodies that exist in these ways:
hastain is writing a body of work, books on books churned out with seeming regularity and with a variety of small press talents, creating a body that we can follow. This body is thick and now, including in 2011 alone long past the presence of common (August), a womb-shaped wormhole (August), Prurient Anarchic Omnibus (March) and our bodies are beauty inducers (February) plus older titles as well as several forthcoming ones. So there is at least an editorial demand for hastain’s work, if not also an implied audience ready to eat these words. Bodies are made this fast by a handful, but not always published as quickly. There is want in what hastain writes, that is certain.
long past the presence of common is a work about bodies, concerned with the body, existing as a body, labeling the parts and explaining its body as the text develops:
This project is a promulgating document of sounding. A cyborgian gender being expressed by way of the slow chthonic appearances—these shapes with the lover—this brutal somatic effort at materialization of flesh by way of non-linear narrative.
I want my mouth to come to be known as a break
or an eternity
something that can continually
in order to be contacted
I want my mouth both
disheveled and recitative
I want my mouth
I am reminded of the day I saw a huge trout in the middle
of a road where there was no body of water for it to have come from
I am trying to portray a similar type of startle
long past the presence of common does indeed do these things: create a startle, communicate in a disheveled and recitative manner, and materialize flesh by way of non-linear narrative. In this, hastain succeeds.
j/j hastain is also, in long past the presence of common, writing about writing as a body that needs dismemberment or refiguring, the transgender of hastain’s artistic presence blaring with linguistic might. long past the presence of common so often refers to itself as a manual of a new kind of assembling or disassembling the body of normalcy, or at least, at the very minimum, commenting on how a body might be changed:
I am trying to show
the way that these languages are inherently
yet worth lifetimes of attempt
If only to press into places where an authentically human transparency and ulterior truths can converge—this
the body the book non-colonizable
because as bodies we are a poetics of movement
methods for dissecting the mannequin
long past the presence of common long past the presence of words
The bodies that j/j hastain is writing and unwriting and taking issue with and dismantling in long past the presence of common are daunting in the way that Bhanu Kapil’s works are daunting – the cryptic nature of the sentence and the dense meaning of each word making for a book that is in need of time to be thoughtfully read and digested. hastain is living within and without these bodies, and putting us in their centers, making the body at stake our own, and by way of poetic vigor, our essence in jeopardy.