Fallacies of Hope by Paul McLean

[This poem was first read at the Occupational Art School at Bat Haus + Brooklyn Rail event "Star Street Slam." The poet was accompanied by Wilson Novitzki and Amelia Winger-Bearskin.]



[NOTES or DIMENSIONAL LINKS + REFERENCES & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS]: Yvor Winters via John Matthias, In Defense of Reason; the graduate seminar for the Ward-Phillips lectures in poetry at Notre Dame University, Indiana, on The Words of the Tribe: Primitivism, Reductionism and Materialism in Modern Poetics, in which I sketched, mostly;  Project Gutenberg/Internet Archives The Makers of British Art (EDITED BY JAMES A. HANSON: J. M. W. TURNER, R.A.; after a visit to Human Relations in Bushwick; Sorley MacLean's "The Shore;" Baudrillard, Simulations; Looking Back at the End of the World; Foucault, The Order of Things; Turner's painting, "Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On)" and the title of the painting from the poem the painter attached to "Slave Ship..." for its inaugural exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1840. 




The Voyage of the Zong


FAIRLEAD: One arrow, four arrowheads on a wheel spinning

98,000 miles per second, the real a gyro synthetic trim tab

paradise device; all words now structural, data LIKE SUGAR

CUBE chunks visualized LIKE LEV DOES in the digital constellation,

floating in a cloud of half'n'half in my OSLO redeye; a burning bank - imagining

near-50 Alex's tragic apocalyptic conflagration of a derivative world

to be navigated by Antikythera mechanism;


:Eric's hologram;

the divine projection of the divinity of Badiou's Omega sets;

the language a formless form in all directions numbered;

a point in nothing equals every speckled wing; a programmer

is god, his equation, his algorithmic power frame crazy-quilting

for God a shroud in the Turing machines, not mainframe or the State

Maine, not a lobster but an Apple factory in China inducing

public, performative, provocative wage-slave self-immolation


:[Steve Jobs is no fucking hero genius, & no damn artist!];

Fuck that hoary Bernaysian numbing inhumane narrative - 4 WHAT

IS TRUE [?]: CEOs dead and counting past Enigma towards splendors

of a second life, to which the body she clearly believes

to be integral to American cultural experience...


[Strap his lifeless limbs dismember'd as FIGUREHEAD to this slaver vessel

splitting the mists of damnation on its journey to HELL]




ESCUTCHEON: [C. Cobb's Campaign for a Plaque at Wall Street,

Commemorating the MANHATTAN Slave Market][Bones in the Dirt.]


I am beginning to realize the value of failure of memory,

- as forgiveness; the meaning of fiestas, like ours tonight, of

dour black faces mouldering & telling; gross episodes gybe the moving image screen;



Your Sin, Captain, is an independent one. Free of detachment.

Faux-Liberated, you proper-titled it: -- Your *owned* thing; "IT."

Fly your blackjack then, traitor, & I will VOTE against you & your dread terrorist kind...

Mine is an ensign, signifying our percentages in WAR, WW3; murky figures distorted

- filmy residue propelled by electricity through the network

of the city of my body; the museum is a hard drive across

the desert of seconds and minutes scattered by the 4 winds, ah-tay-a-topa

until for some purpose the particles coil into a dream,

gathered by the simple beauty of magnetism, attraction


[on this morning's stroll down Huntington beach, I stumbled

upon the Corpse of Turner, washed ashore, malodorous

wrapped in sea flora, like the coral of the Great Barrier

Reef, in decline; horrid smoke pouring forth from his nostrils,

Eye bulging & flesh burgeoning, swol'n, plastic ties

upon his mangled wrists, the scars of gnawing fish bone-deep showing]


-to dance, for eros, for death, for one more day, by breath

assembled into the first howl of a newborn freeborn boy, & his name

is Lachlan David, a chiefly reproduction, with an Old Testimony & faire

wynds for currents at his back, conceived to be a MONSTER to boist'rous slay

the crimson & cursed deceivers & tormentors of good folk. Chance

has naught to do with it, lad. It's all in which stone you pick.

Leave the BOOTY for the RABBLE. You have a practice, and tools,

she said, with love, cradling






Aboard a Zabrum, We Spy a XEBEC


Thought packets suspended in a medium, "this

perspective, this panoptic machine, this

machine of truth, of rationality"-"Throughout

its density, even down to the most Archaic

of these sounds that first rescued it from

its state as pure cry"-"the dimensions 

of the world to the temporal dimensions

of life and body, a decisive quantity is

the *moment*" and Google can translate

every document of each instance and number

between zero and one


Needless to say; SLAVERY and freedom abide

not one another in our Constitutional body, the balance

created by a ballot, a choice, a selection,

defining a certain cause; if not causation


speak it freely, MAN - tell it, this epic;

anyhow, any way you can do it, a yes or a no,

a romance of pronunciation, a declaration

as such; you are not a prisoner to greed & hate in the bowels

of Potosi; WITNESS! *THAT* banal evil tourist; the mountain

EATING MEN to collapse upon you; or being manslaughtered

as the storm bears down on [the scenario]

of Turner's gravest painting - a ship UNDER DURESS


“Aloft all hands, strike the top-masts and belay;

Yon angry setting sun and fierce-edged clouds

Declare the Typhon's coming.

Before it sweeps your decks, throw overboard

The dead and dying - ne'er heed their chains

Hope, Hope, fallacious Hope!

Where is thy market now?"





[SLAVES]: obomney, et al. + Blankfein, Dimon [+]



"The fact that the boy painted her portrait, and

that she had the patience to sit to him, throws a side-

light on the obscurity in which these early days are



Turn to the gale, Tatanka. THUNDER. HA!HA!


The tale of the past four years of promise dashed. We are hung. Hangin'. Just Chillin'.

Chillaxin'. Today, I saw it for what it is, and no Johnny sings of emancipation, not in Bushwick

of homecoming or races, or loosing the caged brothers & sisters, anywhere. Horizontal, leaderless.

No drum beats a mournful tattoo for the fallen, nor pipes of Grace in the hills. The blades still

in scabbards. \Poems drop to her knees as supplication to this frail, forlorn justice/


:like wood buckets of skin-blistering oil, hurled from rocky parapets, bad news pouring out the grim "cloud"

raining down upon the rovers, the diggers, the revelers, the levelers; in their mass, volume;

WHILE the novads, they persevere, as diaspora, adrift, like shelled seeds strewn on the concrete.

In waveform motion, woven together, our great and revolutionary gamers, "PREVAIL" kaleidoscopic.





[ENCODED INTERCEPT, TO FOLLOW, with High Technical Difficulty]

[Attribution: Anonymous sources]


"When as yet a mere boy,

[astounded by its artificial size & breadth]


at an age when others at





[:the glitch starts here.]


- imploring: hashtag EXPLORE, hashtag poiesis


[transmission garbled: first attempt to SHARE, meaning, with you, clearly, my FRIENDs, in this common space (NOW)]


...preparing for some remotely future career,


[brackets, pickets: on Manning Williams in Charleston, South Carolina;

re-enacting his laying himself down amongst his confederation of submariners

& American painters, proud][


at a(n) unpronounceable [TIME: /THE ONLY OBJECT]


...when many have not yet even made up thei[(r) minds][i


[not readable]






marRy my MC (4) j(AZZ)

(THI)s as ^ Q ^ e

... hastag BLACKWATER]



nature of their life's occup[IED]

[z(ee) ["IMAGE"]



j? = j. SMOKE IT!


[incomprehensible text]


Manovitch n](A)tion,

Turner was already actively


[& SPATIAL OCCUPATION (completed)]




[something went wrong]


[THE ARTISTIC conclusion]: ["So I am to become a nonentity, am I?”]




...she posted male nude drawings by Sargent in her tumblr



And if we were together


on Calgary shore in Mull,


between Scotland and Tiree,


between the world and eternity,


I would stay there till doom


measuring sand, grain by grain,


and in Uist, on the shore of Homhsta


in presence of that wide solitude,


I would wait there forever,


for the sea draining drop by drop.