Igneus Press Announces its Re-New Release of Academia Nuts, by William Bland (55 pp., 2016)

It was ironic, being boiled alive by foreign academia, in Chinese grad school, and here was my Dad giving me this book to typeset for Igneus, poking fun at academia.  I secretly enjoyed the subversion, and Academia Nuts was published in 2016. The books opens with this poem, which I’ll engage with briefly to illustrate how helpful a steady diet of Academia Nuts can be for budding academics. Let’s bathe ourself in sound! Make meaning of it later…

 

I swim with dogs.

Buoyant at the same level over deep water,
I glance into their eyes with an intimacy only possible amid waves.

Their hair and mine, both lighter than earth’s blood,
could be a raft upon which we might heavenly-rest, protected.

The fate of forms paradoxically carries us to not here,
and, grasping whatever veins are nearby, I say;
“I love the moment,
at a standstill past the eye,
where the how of reaching is irrelevant
to the full-body pleasure(s) of perspective(s).”

 

Had I not holed myself in a cement tenement for an entire summer chasing down digital shreds of 3rd century Chinese Daoist manuscripts, looking for just these traces of philosophic fold? See ‘at a standstill’, but ‘past’, not seen but ‘eye’.  The poet/composer toggles between count/non-count, single/plural, dually struck notes.

 

Crooked boomerangs, askew,
are like limbs, but, unlike the shank of the thigh,
contain no self-impulsive desperations,
neither fluid nor osmotic.

Floating! – the conceptual globe –
reproduction – majestic!

 

My mind and hands were engaged in typographical minutae. A long book to typeset, every type space, period, ellepsis, hyphen, space before and/or after hyphen, line break, single and double line space, word length, consonant and vowel raciocination, all composed a love-laced musico-poetic algorithm. Syntax as musical system.

 

Dripping in pathos, Academia Nuts instills in its reader a sense of urgency, lays out a way to heal what has been ripped a part of Word.

 

Hands pause …. paws hand flaccid cones
to graceless sheens… and everywhere nothing is looking,
except as a flaw.

 

Yet:

 

Outside may be the Grand Vile…
served as supper’s main coarse course cours coeurs coerced…

but exactly here-now, by a lake or a sea-stream,
affection can never drown when served as a wet dessert.

 

These playful morphing sound corpuscles…flagrant worship of the human heart.

 

My only regret is that immediately upon publication of Academia Nuts, I headed into the final throes of my dissertation, which was like being ravaged by a disease, then moving back from China to California. A year later, I wake up to the reality that this magnificent book has yet to be formally released by Igneus Press. Until now. I hope that William Bland can forgive us this delay in getting his word out.

 

We hope that you enjoy this book, available here for purchase in Igneus Press’ online bookstore.

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