Excerpts from Amness / Momentary Scintillation
From the green notebook, 1982
John Major Jenkins

Momentary Scintillation

Yin takes hold of daily affairs
the nights grow colder
and the morning no longer receives
with a friendly warm breath
I huddle harder, regretting no matter
when, to toss off the blankets after dancing dreams
and taking on deadly daily chores stokes the furnace
Clear the hearth
Subtle suburban sage sees your I
loving yang-yearning to the depths of cricket-buzzing eternal dawns
The light!
Frozen rainbow hues on plate-glass shivering clouds I squint
observing once again
in solitudinous momentary scintillation
the miracle
of observance

30 Poems of 1982-1983. With special emphasis on the bizarre events of October 19th-20th, 1982. Reviews of Amness:

"These poems concretize the ever changing interstices of multiple intersecting dimensions. A documentary glimpse into a mind ripped raw down to the deepest."

- Zortron Thwak.

"Dylan Thomas on acid."

- L. Ament


- Robert J. McGuckin III, Nobel Prize for Literature

Table of Contents:
Attempting to Express
A Cross-Eyed View of the City
A Statement of Fact
Ganglion Jesi
Faster the Better
Hungry Expressions
Eyes Wondering Whys
Kali dasasay
The Yearned For Outdoor Plaid
We Are Immured in Lethargy
Momentary Scintilla
Then and Now
A dense page of scattered musings
Backwards Poem
Hieronymous My Friend
God and Dying Lovers
Struggling to Grasp Nigrescent Similarities
Opposable Birdsong
43 Hours Sleepless
Once Upon a Time
Three Quintrains

Selections from Amness follow


I have a battered green 100-sheet notebook with the word "Amness" deeply inked on the cover. It contains scattered and inspired poems and musings from late 1982 and early 1983. Recently, going through boxes of old manuscripts and writings, I discovered this notebook and was entranced by its forgotten contents. I was 18 at the time of writing. In resurrecting these poems, I realize they are from a unique period in my life. They remind me a great deal of the poems of Dylan Thomas, though I had never read him at the time. Another consideration must be mentioned which makes the story of these poems even more strange. Some poems, the most intense and bizarre ones, are dated. It appears that the energy around October 19th and 20th, 1982, was noteworthy at the time. Years later, after having developed an interest in astrology, I found that these dates correspond with a massive transit of the sun, moon, and three planets over my natal ascendant. In laymen's terms, my identity or personality was being accosted by a bevy of planetary energies - a very rare convocation right over a significant spot in my birth chart. In mid October, I also experienced my first nodal return. (This involves ones past lives and future destiny, deriving from the movement of the moon's nodes through the zodiac - a period of 18.54 years.) More of this is discussed in a paragraph preceeding the appropriate poems.

Now, here I am 14 years later, wondering what it means. I can only say that in rereading these poems, I find them quite amusing. On one level they are a testimony to the deep and profound stream of muse that a teenager is capable of accessing. On another level they are rather frightening, such dark and heavy doom visions being witnessed by such a young one. On the other hand, I am happy to note that they seem to belong to a recognized tradition of semi-nonsensical and inscrutably quasi-profound bardic word weavings - that is to say, they are reminiscent of the poems of Dylan Thomas (e.g., "The Ballad of the Long-Legged Bait" or "Cartoon of Slashes on the Tide-Traced Crater" - see page 36). It's heartening to know that there is a precedent for these insane spewings - and a Welsh one at that!

In looking over these poems, I noticed that the handwriting varies greatly. Professional analysis might be revealing of the inner mind-state associated with each poem. I'm sure I'd be proven certifiably stark-raving psycho if this were to be done. Hey, nobody's perfect. Anyway, I'm enclosing a few examples. I've selected only a few poems from this densely packed early notebook. Some were written in my "backward" writing technique, one of which is reproduced here. Some are better than others. (In my thinking, "better" means they speak the weird other-realm with greater aesthetic appeal, not that they make more "sense".) Some begin confusedly, uncompellingly, and then snap into metaphysical focus (e.g., "Eyes Wondering Whys" warming up to "Kali dasasay"). I wanted to limit this selection to poems only from this period - they do seem to have a unique flavor, not comparable to much of my later poetry and songs. I encourage the reader to entertain the muse here, read each poem a few times, catch the carrier wave of its intrinsic flow, maybe chuckle at the folly. And wonder at the weird.

October 7th-16th, 1996.
John Major Jenkins
Louisville, Colorado.

A Statement of Fact

I have split and travelled many visions
and have attained many different forms
since my vessel ceased to feel being
Yet I am still here
and because of my sentient redundancy
while being I can sympathetically exist
apart from my matter anchor

Subhasita ratna kosa / Eyes Wondering Whys

A cave in the western sky glows
serene orange as which my home grips
screaming to crawl from lemming death
Auschwich rings with terror I turn
abashedly from contact with a naturally formed
and unassumed twilight entanglement
To soulless outpourings a nature bird clings
bringing things, all bright, shining
as a sparkled mousetrap invades inanimate wanderlust
Rhyme of seasons tingles on matted fibers
and warm cascades of the silent partner
who shares in all. I stretch forth my strength
to awaken and become the day's ideal
of slithered dreams upon clouded breath
and blue sweetsky churns headful memories
of an arena of childfriends
dancing their bodies,
ruefully forced into night slumbers
erupting forth from apathetic, soon atrophied
causal karma of drunken dingos.
Staring into my past lives
eyes wondering
built on many a long remembered day-thought
And the dank dark home of holes
fills my blood with warmed security
I clambered over harsh solid forms of stone
not knowing my power
over the green treaded earth

Kali dasasay (line breaks revised 10-6-96)

No thoughts
mindless visits to Nirvana
and the dancing flames which my love
names james
I smile and wonder why
I look
not at her nose nor foot, nor singular differences
but search in her dual eyeponds
as deep as my night thrustings.
I see her delight in my
reddened captured brother hottened by james
whom the ancient forest ones taught my teacher-man to tame,
and bring forth into being
out of rain-rubber trees
we two youngs, living on the plain
near warm winds and rushing rivers
Others down farther rushing stream, others
who not bother yet I fought both men, Us
and saw
as we scrambled bloodily falling
over rocks and earth that we are us
and no need
The bright ball fades again
and I kneel as my teacher-man knelt to silence
When the ball is prayed to return
the forest noises no bother
arise their joyous songs!
so I mystery smile and she
smilingly rekindles james' coal
Us two retreat into dark secure bedloin
and another beginning of warm huddled postures
Reposed papyrous infinitudes
absorb cold silent death-light
commanded by the man among men
and I rise to heights of clouded visions
floating listlessly I see
antlike worshippers of carnal delights
do dastardly deeds of hateful occupation
only to bathe each nightly
in the thrustings of once young, given,
form-driven shadows of slither
into constructed metropolized futility
and a blind barrelling of destiny
beyond the apocalyptic nature
of the grasping forest dancer
Not obeying laws of composition
and structured reasons
but listening
to the busy hungry brothers
unrapt by societal power pleasures
and, indeed, they are ensuring the far
off affection of a greatly sacrificed
petty negation of entropic striving
for the perfect imagery
in forgotten fevers of mid-morning.
Long ago lands
brinked on hovering breakdowns
like flitting fingers,
as incredible as the stationary delights
of soaring yet not soaring ocean avians
And they're mine, chosen by me
not to disgrace in hefting meaningless boxes
of this wasteful wanting experiment
whose treasures in eons hence
will be stumbled upon by an eyes-wide child
who breathes poison and prophetically tosses
the charred remnants of our race of racers
Bottled bodies maintain their space bubbles
and ignore the bumpers bumbling
in confused pickled ecstacy,
flipped a coin!
not allowed by themselves
to raw their own flesh
to freshly open air

October 20th, 1982

The Yearned For Outdoor Plaid

Trinkets and by-products rise and awaken and turn,
demonically laughing, on the numbed logician.
Spectacles slip through street gratings
made of sweet chocolate
that return to taunt the haunted whore.
Hearts of melting butterfat pour an aimless way
of interpreting senses perverted in drafty schoolrooms
with blackboards reflecting the yearned for outdoor plaid.
And the young innocent eyes still meetable
in melancholy revery
solidify and fall into rivers
of untrue but dearly held beliefs
of aged wise ones.

Then and Now

Cottage in the boondocks, melancholy past
the place I live causes links with
people far away in spacetime
I the island, nonsocial fool
stupidity and arrogance no smiles
uncomfortable friends deny me feelings
While never really known beauties
while away their time, working in the world
they have me in their minds, reserved in their
structures, categorized good or bad
nice or mean, yes or no, now or later,
avoid or pursue, avoid avoid avoid avoid
avoid avoid avoid avoid avoid avoid avoid
A void personality withdrawn into his shell
we don't know who you are 'cause you never
told us. We see you frown, an angry boy
we turn our heads and live in joy
come share with us we never say
you must take and stand up, proud
The voices fade from my mechanized head
I look how far I am
I'm falling slowly, I grab for help I scream
no one hears my voice my voice is not
known, how gone,
landslide of choking introversion
do it

October 1982


To speak this, and still free will, my soul is here,
near, not queer, don't smear, see fear grow clear
hesitantly peering over mountains of towering
redundancy and self-referential
perpetual oxymorons of language,
through which the meaning will never be felt.
The noble vision of satori can be smelt,
touched, shaped in eternal ebbings
of meaningless natural forces,
stubborn frustration and divine intervention,
a convention of insightful inventive incentive,
the corrective collective directive,
while the direction of inflection defies perfection
and yet my contention is,
concentration without intention
feeds the solidified whirlwind
of realized chaos

Backwards Poem

Hypocrites cry, "Repent!" at plebian pursuers
of aphrodisiac laced gravestone flowers
that midnight morgue merchants
silently smile to pick and deliver
without shame to the cribside
of the chosen slumbering manchild.
Prophets of doom surrender soon
to meet on a waste strewn dune
gathered together to implant in the souls
of unborn inheritors of our race
the virus of apathy


Bypassed blockages resort to melted bronze crutches,
without shame
Baked race of one-eyed fire spitters
enable younger creeds to admonish
slackened authority
Unspoken attitudes and fleet forces
bond shy mystical cohorts
in a dance of red rained upon meekness
Materialized leaders shout softly
with rebelling middle-men
against indulgent watch wearers
Bigness of belly cultivators
decanted from the rights of ignorantly minded
fornicating ego lickers, who spew
their filth on active observers,
ready to rebel against the belly men,
and when the filth is thrown hatefully
they see the heat rise and alas,
rebels demolish world structures,
humanly striving not childishly but nevertheless
solid anarchy for many years
and all turn from flowing in myrmidon
to personal universes
of unkempt crematoriums

Rainy day that's called Labor Day
green earth sprinkled with emerald boxes
in which live the godsend beast arisen from shame
The dew of the day settles on settled people
securely sitting in their sensory outlets and habits
As the beckoning trees are knotted to the soil
wasted piles of tears accumulate
and they sit, star staring into forlorn apocalypse
Prophets of perilous doom are labelled insane
yet the labellers of civilized existence
are the dying race.
The eastern men of ancient days will again become
the quaint quiet vehicles for true human development.
The early days of the world revolution
will see the civilized mind misfits
scurrying for dingy existence
in burnt city squalor
dying off slowly as the free minds
set up new economies to last ten centuries.
Highly trained are dead
quantities of education are meaningless
conformity equals maturity is ungodly
"sacrilegious blasphemers" are the reformers
Politically minded celebrities
are chipping away at the groundwork of our livelihood
while scapegoat vandals are sent to reform school
The laws to limit emotional releases
remanifest personal energy
in nail-biting nervous conformity,
accumulating each generation in offshoot subcultures
gaining ground for Utopia.
But the birds are well fed
they still sing and the modern man
commits ignorant suicide.
Ignorant of his latent human capabilities
to create his environment
While dripping cloud-singing children,
the Armegeddon generation,
laugh and play on concrete lattices
which smother these Indian plains
Robot music reflects personality
in the free-willed fear-child pacifiers used by Grandpas
seeking truer expressive means.
Flying iron for pleasure, the necessity
is redundant for a time conscious kingdom.
Time is what happens between birth and death,
it is the infinite dimension
of our finite universe.

Flawful unwillingness to cope
with unbalanced gists of pleasure
and mechanized disappointment
Mind music over neo-thumpative rhythms
express no thing and the appearance
of nonconforming destitution
fails necessary categorizing skills
The dying bum, stoned for his deception
of society's gifts
last breath cries, "Maranatha!"
and, alone,
the scavengers ritualize his meat.

Patrollers intimidate honest existers
men demanding attention over nervous hesitations
True to form, the unhappy scorn
Which came first?
the scorn or the unhappiness?
They know, but their neighbors let them relieve
and relax tensions
before Utopia marvelling all the while
in a vacuous fantastic daze
Bearded business bellies,
hiding eyes behind screening black egos
dashing mechanizedly
off and away, to some further faster pursuit,
wanting to wait for beeping neighbor's horns,
impersonal attention-demanding devices
yield to nothing emotional,
therefore emotions are dribbled off the human soul.

Generations hence, the cleanse is seen
through receding haze by looker-backers
Fantastic days gone ago from Grandpa's farm
and Baby Joe's eager, gleeful, smiling innocence
is lost again between the hours
The end came quickly for dirt-drenched takers,
soaking in the broth of grime-misted reality,
too much temptation, sucked off will to be you.
Disasters take lives, 1/3rd as less dwell
on our spinning eggshell,
divinely cracking for millennia of soul advancement
and attainment of immediate personal drudgery.
Document clenchers, living like Indians
amongst strewn technology, each day's folly surviving
through decreed rituals
of gathered software.

Littering loiterers desire
unattainable competition hounded on shores
of ancient persecution and tacitly decided concepts
Tree-lined solicitude in early morning guardian light
studded blocks of dwellings
people secure in the final fight
under waning mirror
still there since the start
hanging stubbornly, unnoticed by many,
going about their daily folly, important.
Constructed from vaporized thoughts the aged repent
and wish for bright rays of death
to pull them off
to a far future land

Opposable Birdsong

Opposable birdsong flitters through
red overhanging mediocre religious icons
Mental osmosis of unwanted ideals
tossed out beaten
into windy rain chilled summer evenings
till moon glow sets afire smoldering ropes of sacrifice
Courtyard slaughter and crying children wander barefoot,
toes cold,
dirty faced,
through Edenic paradise
Bitter breakfast meals by time
throngs of graspers nestle to slumber
in spreading hellish fields
consistency like mustard-bitten nomadic peacetalks
Prayers for revelation to the divine authority
Instinctual messages in a smelly carpet outhouse,
perched on wisdom, built by beckoning uncles
who all run scared or scarred everyday home
to fill the mouth with fat-smeared foam
bought in bundles
by the bag
packed in cars
migrating on cement rivers
which smother mother earth
Whose the one?
They've seen his face
They beg for merciful lemming death
everytime the gas is pumped
Everytime the hearth is humped
a new child creature
is ignobly tossed priceless playtime junk
So when the chime tolls out this tune
we end of old surrender
meet on a time strewn dune
and remember


A generalized portrait of human affairs
and inhuman conditions
from a distant lonely hilltop,
insignificantly closer to billowing mirrors
reveals an unseen false myth
by which lifetimes are humbly and blindly dedicated
in hypocritical ways.
They are safely and securely insane,
while the close ones shiver on park benches,
spectacles of subconscious envy, their dreams would reveal
if only their beautiful visions
were not dismissed as if they were
a bloody mass curb squirrel
But the power and security they enjoy
at the present moment
enables overridden guilt feelings
to override gruesome avoidance and innocent death
Content to be used by the state:
"Of the people" Bullshit
Bureaucratic monopolistic pork chompers,
lovers of laziness,
their myths of fat greasy rolling stunted dreams

Three Quintrains (selected excerpts)

Nervously bonded energy islands dance
expressing content acceptance
in always mimicking observed traditions
of a balanced headlong vertigo journey
through Nietzsche's grave

Generations hence, the cleanse is seen
through receding haze by looker-backers
Fantastic days gone ago from Grandpa's farm
and Baby Joe's eager, gleeful, smiling innocence
is lost again between the hours

The rambling prophet sickens
of his soon to be death visions
of omni obliterati
But he knows the last moment as always
will prove us all God and dying lovers