As I type this title, a soundbite from the decade of psychedelia, mod style, op art and youth revolution comes to mind. For me, as well as for other literature enthusiasts, the need to “feed your head” is real and constant. If you are moved by a continual curiosity about thoughts which have been set to paper, there is nothing that will interest you more than seeking out varied writings, especially those by up-and-coming poets, short story or tale writers and novelists. One such example is Aedyn Jak, whose latest work I will be reviewing in this post.
Jak’s works approach the creation of art from multiple perspectives. Each publication contains not just writings, but extensive sketches, doodles, illustrations and symbols. The photographs that are featured on some pages present the notion of the artist as canvas, informing some of the verses and complementing certain themes and conceits. This helps the reader to better become immersed in realms which are dark, yet also luminous; arcane, yet lucid; simultaneously mystical and urban, lecherous and pristine. Such dichotomies are also present in Aedyn Jak’s previous works, the 2015 collection of poems with some short stories entitled “Disquiet Milk” as well as last year’s “Magic Rope”, which brought together both poetry and prose. With PostHuman Blaze, however, there is a third area of symbolism and being that is significant enough to be accorded its own subsection, therefore the above qualities are to be found in conditions or states which have been named as “Exquisite Human”, “Exquisite NonHuman” and “Exquisite PostHuman”. The qualifier is a reminder that, as fluid beings, we must revel in these varying states of consciousness. Whichever section of PostHuman Blaze we most identify with may be predicated upon a number of things: a particular mood or feeling we happen to be imbued with on a given day, but also perhaps the extent of our understanding of such emotions and impulses.
Poems such as “Exquisite Wings”, found in the first section, reimagine a human encounter as the most gorgeous of insects. Jak plays on the lack of textures inherent in the verses, endowing every movement with an airiness that belies the corporeality of the poem’s persona and their companion:
A cricket catches a drift
And lands on her hair
She notices not
And I don’t Speak a word
It is this – the insect
That adds something
We sail up the stairs
Shoulders sloped to incline
Our attire rustling,
Now Lights all-a-sudden bear down,
We glide through French doors
In the next section, we permit the occasional and troubling yet delicious and animalistic sense of fury and unbridled desire for violence to wash over us in “Demon”, gasping at the intensity of it:-
Demon inside starts colouring cells
With sordid sick stains
Squeezing angst from ancient hells
We say and think the worst of things
Strangling anything that dares to sing
Eyes go dark and widen with strain
Betraying demonic thoughts that reign
And it is all too much ,
Invoking all death with absolute might
Believing our core is built of spite...
Aside from its flirtation with the notion of the liminal, or the multiplicity of states, PostHuman Blaze is also remarkable for its futurity, or heightened sense of the future. Throughout the book’s different sections, the personae in the poems move between different time zones, but always seem to be calling forth what has not yet arrived, whether it is a quasi-apocalyptic intimation of some kind of sacrifice in “It Will Come”, in its echoes of Yeats’s “The Second Coming”, the protector of “sacred ancient life” and “children of minds living beyond their times” in “Custodian II”, or the lure of the shaman-like presence summoning his disciple lover in “Sacred Dance”. It is this draw to the what-will-happen that permeates PostHuman Blaze with an essence that is not only informative, or somewhat advisory, but also imminent – as Jak puts it, it may be termed a kind of ‘download poetry’ for the digital age. The proliferation of images in the text serve to enhance the reader’s sensory experience of this illuminating work, with the photography acting as a complementary, rather than supplementary, visual narrative. Complex but uplifting, the work in its entirety will doubtless serve as inspiration for readers who are not content with a single definition of human existence.
“PostHuman Blaze” will be officially launched on Tuesday the 11th of December at 19:00, at the Rumours Pieta’ Bocci Club. To know more about the writer, visit www.jonaedynking.com