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from Animals of Dawn


I want to make Hamlet, to dis appear.     
The lightning that didn't strike made me disappear completely. 











her arms unknowingly caresses the water           



haiku haiku hi-
ku haiku haiku haiku
haiku haiku hi

            Plop. Frog

Circles disappearing, in fini te      

Until I touched her, my sister gave hope  but her corpse was heavy out of water.
Don't touch the translucence, they turn into wing crumbs


O God, I could live in an oyster and count myself belonging to infinite space.

but I have bad dreams. Denmark is a prison.
"your ambition makes it so."    











            the chain of numbers: sex
                        dedicated to Stéphane Mallarmé

1          a doe          6      
2          a door        5
3          adore         4

4          ardor's      3
5          radar         2
6          odor           1












le hasard, executed
at each throw
of the die,


le hasard, imprisoned
in each throw
of the die












"Horatio: I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion!
Speak to me..." 

Existence is a very rare event,
out of the infinities that don't happen.
These lines're about the left out.

And their liberation.
The non-existent, you have nothing to lose
but your walls!











                         ".. russet mantle..."

"Unfold thyself"

"who is't?"

"run your comb through the hair of the night"

"it's bitter"


the hour line
approaches—a ghost

At 12 P.M.
all drinks
at 12 P.M.
all drinks



Radical erasure—the experiment connected to death,
"who's it?" "I can't remember"
After a dream, facts are the morning dew.


I'm sick at heart











"The bird of dawning singeth all night long."   



Infinity is there there!              
a twinkle
in my dad's eye

and I'm alive and he's                         











            Jackson Pollock

Time—a spray of colors, there only when it’slookedat, following the rhythms of attentions, the eye's recalcitrant incorrigible darts every instant a variant color, past, present & future of a distant self-penetrating dream.


            a dream within a dream.


Like cockroaches, images (facts) hide into themselves


            only when a lightning's switched, to light the darkness.      











Arcing in word                                   














            A Dialogue Between Wittgenstein and Murat in Kafka's Shadow  
                                          dedicated to the recalcitrant spirit of Alan Sondheim


“The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.” Franz Kafka


“The world is all that is the case.” Wittgenstein
 “What is-not-the-case is-not-all.” Murat                    

“The world is the totality of facts, not of things.” Wittgenstein
"Ergo, things are unreal, untethered." Murat             

“Whereof one can not speak, thereof one must be silent.” Wittgenstein
"Silence is all that is the case.” Murat


“I am a cage, in search of a bird.” F. Kafka











            Am Are I

machine gun machine gun machine gun
tcha  tcha  tcha

machine gun machine gun machine gun
tcha  tcha  tcha

turn over                      


machine gun machine gun machine gun
tcha  tcha  tcha

machine gun machine gun machine gun
tcha  tcha  tcha

turn over













            The Matisse Circle

As in a Matisse painting, the unreals hold hands and dance
around a fireless fire.
Conversation among unreals is what idea is.



into the green valley           
entered the short winged bird













as the birds
against the

notes  flapping


notes e-


zon   e.




as the birds
against the

notes  flapping


notes e-














Music imprisons the angel of chaos into its bars, doesn't imitate time, c o m p e n s a t e s  f o r  i t s  a b s c e n c e.



Sing sing,  
a bird called,
flying prison.



In the tree of pairs numbers are flying!

oh, the bear's eating from trees bearing fruits!
from the thorn in bloom, the slowly melting dew.



sinth .         











            Cinéma Vérité: Zombie

non-existing, being a state of being—
it appears

in the
film reel.


 god is that bee ing, whose essence is nonexisting.        


            in her last forbidden caresses 



like otters
out of water          



on my sighs!                     











            Hamlet and Its Hidden Texts: Poems as Commentary, Film Lumière

Hamlet is the holy text that is at the heart of a day book/ things, real or unreal, objects, living or un-living. Almost every piece in the poem is a commentary—a riff of thought, a speculative argument, a parallel alternative text, a counter argument or counter fact—turning around a specific word or phrase, a disjointed twisting of fact or a suggestive, elusive echo that occurs in the peripheries of the reader's/listener's mind—out of the focus of the linearity of the main action, the revenge, in the play.

    The paradigm of a text made completely of commentaries, like moths flying around a holy text with its own distinct linguistic identity, is The Talmud.1 Here is what I write about the nature of such a text in "Eleven Septembers Later: Readings of Benjamin Hollander's Vigilance2:

            Precedents of Prophecy (Film Lumière)

            The verbal precedent of a poem whose ideal condition is stasis is The Talmud. In             it single words explode into commentaries. It can not be read but stopped at             every word and riffed from; re-read continuously, super-imposed, blurred         commentaries creating the Jewish consciousness of responsibility and guilt....     The visual precedent of Vigilance is photography... The space created by      photography/ film lumière has an unconscious, to its viewer reflecting,            revealing the dreams, aspirations, fears of her teeming population.            Superimpositions of different media—film, T.V., the web and words emanating            from them—on photography, which film lumière is, creates a unified field/space        which is prophetic.

    The perennial question on Hamlet is why Hamlet does not go from A to B in a linear line, "swift as the meditations of love" or, as Laertes does, "defying hell"; but meanders, mostly travels in a world of ideas, and arrives at his purposed destination, seemingly by default, exhausted, feeding on the immediate carnage around him. He does so because he exists in stasis, in "a ... field/space which is prophetic." The sole action he can commit is death. It is the space where consciousness (the soul) is born. It has nothing to do with character or a character defect though Hamlet himself thinks so.3

    Hamlet's is a language of the soul progressing towards dying.

    Hamlet's language is not of acting, of showing; but of an "isness" outside "living" speech: "Seems, madam? Nay, it is. I know not seems... nor all the suspirations of breath... can denote me truly." His focus is on a dissolution of the body towards the un-human and un-living: in essence the dissolution of a Wittgensteinian language of exchange and observable, speakable f(acts) towards silence. This dichotomy in the play is distilled in its concept of time as speed and slowness, their duality. Hamlet is aware and fatally wounded by what Claudius defends: speed, the imploding speed between the vigil of death and the merriment of marriage, warping time. Hamlet "meanders" outside speed in a state of stasis, though he himself sees it as paralysis. The two are irreconcilable. Though they point to the same facts, like convex and concave mirrors reflecting each other, the wall in between is unbreachable. That unbreachableness (the way the consciousness of the living, the real, the rational can not breach into the consciousness of the un-living, unreal) is at the heart of Hamlet's mysterious power, what makes it a holy text.

    Ophelia occupies a space between the two. Her death, a union with water and plants, points to a moment when the focus of the conscious mind (consciousness itself) turns from life to another dimension (vigil) of lamentation and song: "... Her clothes spread wide/ And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;/ Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes,/ As one incapable of her own distress [italics my own]."


    Laertes' and Polonius's warnings to Ophelia about the unreliability and lastingness of Hamlet's love for her turn out to be true. Hamlet's love turns into abuse and mockery, interspersed only with an unpleasantly perfunctory profession of love at her death. But, though the predicted result occurs, it has little to do with Polonius's cynical view of young passion or Laertes's decorous argument relating to the real politic involved in the marriage of a prince. The cause lies in another dimension, the space of the ghost.

    The a-causal, infinite space of Hamlet.

    A Day Book is not a comparison, a metaphor; it is not like Hamlet. Rather, its Talmudic commentaries are against Hamlet, subverting and reconfirming its autonomic, ever elusive sanctity--its otherness. In a sense, in A Day Book I try to transform Hamlet, at least for a single moment, into a plant, an animal, a speck of dust, a dew.  

    Not a moment of understanding, but bee-ing.


© Murat Nemet-Nejat
December 29, 2015











            Poems as Commentary

A commentary on a word or a phrase in a holy text can only be an ideogram. An illumination. Fragments in things, real or unreal, objects, living or un-living are instant ideograms. Each a clear image made of recalcitrant parts, a mosaic of discrete moments of light—as stars in the night sky—that light the place in visible darkness, and disappear."     












  1. In The Talmud, the holy language (the language of The Torah) is Hebrew. Most of the commentaries are in Aramaic or Greek, worldly languages, the languages of action.
  2. “Eleven Septembers Later: Readings of Benjamin Hollander’s Vigilance" (Beyond Baroque, 2005; The New Review, 2005).
  3. If the play has anything biographical, possibly relating to Shakespeare himself, it has to do with trauma, the paralyzing shock and loss embodied in a betrayal (or the illusion of it). From that angle, Hamlet (and partly King Lear), and Timon of Athens and The Tempest later, are works of post traumatic syndrome. 


Murat Nemet-Nejat

Murat Nemet-Nejat is presently working on his poem Camels & Weasels. His recent publications include his translation from the Turkish poet Ece Ayhan A Blind Cat Black and Orthodoxies (Green Integer Press, 2015), and the essays "Holiness and Jewish Rebellion: 'Questions of Accent' Twenty Years Afterward" (Languages of Modern Jewish Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, University of Michigan Press, 2016) and "Dear Charles, Letters from a Turk: Mayan Letters, Herman Melville and Eda (Letters for Olson, gathered and edited by Benjamin Hollander, Spuyten Duyvil, 2016). Nemet-Nejat's poem Animals of Dawn will be published by Talisman House, Publishers in 2016.


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SEPT 2016

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