Blurbs for Altered Aesthetics

In "Altered Aesthetics" Felino Soriano takes his famous "Painters' Exhalations" series of poetry and elevates it that much higher. We contemplate along with a fisher woman carefully tatting, are uplifted by new perspectives on Joseph Albers' Protoform, move with the aesthetics of Serio's Arching Upward. This is without question another tour de force by a master poet of the 21st century.

--Constance Stadler

Art and poetry can be strange bedfellows. An exception to this is Felino Soriano’s new series of poems. Like an artist with a keen eye, Soriano knows the right end of the pen.

These poems will take you on a trip through myriad tunnels, enthrall, enchant and mesmerize on the way. Get to the toll booth, burst through and ignore the flashing lights – these poems are worth chasing…

--Andrew Taylor

Felino Soriano’s Altered Aesthetics is a revelation rooted deep within the fanatical contours of daily life. Here, we become engendered into his fascinations, where metaphor lends voice to our most silent ruminations on self and world: those simplicities that first startled us into speech.

--Peter G Res

Blurbs for Apperceptions of Reinterpretations

Present-day authentic poets have been working towards a restoration of poetic language, to save language from its degeneration into mimetic realism, thematic, objective and plain-style poetry. Words must be saved from dictionary finality, the quotidian language of lies that the people speak, and the scientific attitude that seeks informational cognition rather than affective, empathic, empirical participation in the occurent. This revolution to save language has been in progress for a protracted length from the surrealist who sought to push language beyond reason to the Language poets who sought never to let language get to reason. Felino Soriano excels in this salvation of language. He has overcome what T.S. Eliot deemed "The dissociation of sensibility," fused the binaries of the intellectual and emotive in a new substantial linguistic reality, created a poetry of life rather than a poetry that is a simulation of life. He has done this through an analogical and tropological use of language that does not delineate, depict or copy, that dismiss "facts" for axiological communion and that opens to what is otherwise unknown and unsayable. His tropological expression is so brilliant that it ascends to the anagogic.

Duane Locke

Felino Soriano's language scans each scene through the keen eye of an eagle. Ekphrastic interpretations in a sea between updraft and whitecap. Our guide into this gallery is the real artist. Articulate. Elegant as mirrors by candlelight. Each painting, like fledglings being pushed out of the nest; all the down has been plucked away, only the sharpness remains. They'll nudge you, lead you to the edge; teach you how to fly.

Joseph R. Trombatore

Felino Soriano's rich and sonorous craft resonates still further as his poetic dowsing brings him to this thing called painting. Hardly a mere parergon, Soriano ferries us to the vast perspectival perceptions within a frame that is blurred, a space where poetry is both inside and outside the painting itself. These stanzas are the ideal accompaniment of the pen stroke in service to the brushstroke.

Dr. Kane X. Faucher

Felino Soriano has proven time and time again that he is a première poet of the 21st century. In his newest work, Apperceptions of Reinterpretations, he reaches new realms of artistry. This is a full bodied work, unveiling the maturity of his majestic “Painter Interpretations” series. The poems astound as they are impeccable aesthetic, ontological postulates about great works on canvas. Soriano doesn’t just describe the work in breathtaking originality, he vivifies it and then uses his astounding metaphysical acumen to observe, challenge question, postulate. Having been a longtime admirer of his work, I remember sitting, looking at a reproduction of a painting as familiar as El Greco’s View of Toledo and feeling totally dumbstruck as layers upon on gorgeous layers were revealed to me. There is no way to describe the feeling save to say, your entire being is shocked and overwhelmed, your vision is transformed, and your mind hyperstimulated by all that you have not seen.

In the very first poem of the volume, after Vilhelm Hammershøi’s Interior With Young Man Reading, we are introduced to:

Whooping crane stance
clothed in night’s innate
opaque thread. Leaning against an earth
within the earth, eyes
spanning a literary body
turning pages of limbs,
fantastical surgical massage. Lover
absent from this session of sight,
from the antiquated writing
desk, its body fingered, aged from
documenting past due, worldly

The very first image transfixes and begins the process of the crafting of the reader’s new vision. Then we see the robing, the posturing of stance and symbolism, and, finally, such magnificence begins the deep probe into the subconscious, the postulation of the significance of what is not there. Here, we are taken to a new rarefied aesthetic plane.

Another poem, after Vu Cuong’s Serenade concludes with a profound postulation on the significance of what we have just beheld.

The paradigm is ancient, substantial. The paradigm
of opposites, dichotomies
eventually dissipates as
skins resemble a unit measured
in totality of humanized,
concentrated connection.

Not just union is accomplished, dichotomies are abolished, the result being an ascendant humane creation that transcends its component structures.

What is terribly important is that these are not exceptional poems in this volume; they are representative of the work of a brilliant, highly important poet. To not read this chap is, most assuredly, an aesthetic and profound deprivation of the highest order. In the fullest sense, this is a must read for any lover of glorious, transcendent verse.

Constance Stadler

Blurbs for Abstract Appearance Reaching Toward the Absolute

In the language of everydayness, “abstract” is used in the same manner as “surreal,”as signifiers with only a vague, imprecise, misapprehended signified. People casually gaze at a work of authentic art, and due to their reductive perceptions and incapacity to understand what is excellent repeat with a sneer “That’s abstract.”

And if the pejorative opinion was expressed a decade ago, “That’s surreal.”

Soriano is using the word “abstract” in its primordial sense, “to take from,” and his exciting poems are abstract in the sense that he takes from exterior origins to present an interior, intense response. So his poems become presentations of involved responses and not representations in the sense of copying an exterior, or even an interior such as the current fiction of the unconscious. His poems are the presentation of an interior. His poems are anarchical linguistic etudes that deauralize publiciness so we can hear again. Soriano, with his non-conceptualization, dethematizations, his radically singular significations, has with, his extraordinary verbal ability, given us a new poetry, one that can be called “post-postmodernism.”His intense, involved responses to life and not to ideologies, linguistic gageteerisms or au courant poetic fashions has given us a poetry that will replace the end-of-the-twentieth century domination of Language poetry.

Duane Locke, author of the forthcoming 400-pages Yang Chu’s Poems (Crossing Chaos)

There is "slanting / yarn" here.

It it, like Mina Loy, fiery in its abstract language, fierce.

It can also, like Barbara Guest, find in abstract language, something gentler and less tragic.

The eye and ear do not glide; right from the start there is a perception of a poet being serious in discussion and use of terms as a philosopher; and one does not expect to glide across philosophy. Yet one expects to skim poetry, and then find in it some detail later, some unnoticed and apposite punning, some "magic eye" hidden clarity. By contrast, this is serious and light, like the lily growing, but not playful in the sense of trivial. One sets out with a cautious step, and time to pause lest one turn one's ankle. A situation into which we rarely volunteer ourselves, but find ourselves there in crisis, in the middle of a dark wood. Here we are on the perimeter of the wood, the intertwined branches of lines calling forward and back to other lines and it is not dark, but challenges the whole melodrama of poetry's previous calls to seriousness, previous agonised stares at those who prefer linear prose.

Words are not tokens of truth, here. They don't pretend to that kind of "being philosophical". There is a sense of wry play, as in the deceptive play of light, that is perhaps nearest to the Eliot of Four Quartets.

Music is felt as a model of many lines moving and coming to clear voice. And there are wonderful plangent earthy words in the midst of the abstract lattices, "vagabond" not in a Beat poem is great, and "woolgathering" is almost Horatian.

Ira Lightman, author of Duetcetera (Shearsman Books)

Dig it, baby: Felino Soriano is plugged into the dark matter monolith at the edge of The Now. His latest collection of existential free-bop poetry will activate your cerebral relay circuit. Today's forecast calls for deep thought soul-ar flares.

J.D. Nelson, author of Spiders in my Beard

Felino Soriano is a 'poets poet' and authentic philosophical investigator. He approaches subjects with a keen eye of immense intelligence unfolding them like origami over a series of poetic expositions perfect in structure and prosody. 'Abstract Appearance Reaching Toward the Absolute' represents contemporary philosophical poetry at its very best.

A.D. Hitchin, author of the forthcoming chapbook Holy Hermaphrodite (Shadow Archer Press)

Felino Soriano’s new chapbook Abstract Appearance Reaching Toward the Absolute is a stunning affirmation and deeper revelation of his astonishing poetic mastery. We are taken on a journey though the eye of a brilliant metaphysician and consummate philosopher to contemplate what most of us do not apprehend. He does this and makes it vital -- this is the core of his genius. The reader is immediately swept up into ‘the inner sanctum of occurrences’ transported in this misted transcendent created world to a dazzling exploration of the very essence of ‘language’. From there we are stunned by the ramifications of silence as ‘the language of whispering whiteness’. And finally, when we reach the terminus of “The Conclusion can be Folded into Various Shapes”, we know this to be a truth that was beyond our realm of conception before we began this mind-enriching discovery of primal imperatives. Soriano is one of the great poets of this modern age. To miss his work, is to impoverish the self.

Constance Stadler, author of Tinted Steam (Shadow Archer Press) andSublunary Curse (Erbacce)

The apparition of abstraction is a concept for Hegel, it is akin to the apparition of the sonic in advanced modern jazz. To me this means Henry Cow since I do not know much about jazz. And Felino's poetry approaches and in fact reaches the atonal brilliance of them accompanying Dagmar Krause in their live masterpiece Concerts.

It is prescribed that we dismember the text, by The Law of The Cut, and these texts engage in an autoerotic self-dismembering and recollect it within the compass of a short chapbook. As befits poetry inflected with jazz, the silences speak too, and this chapbook excels in using the word “dichotomy” without whining about it, this because Felino is philosophically sophisticated, unlike most poets.

If we are to believe the famous essentialist Derrida, poetry is essentially a question of nostalgia, looking for Nietzsche's umbrella in fact, and it is usually a nostalgia for the in-itself/for-itself – obviously not Derrida's expression, since he knows virtually nothing of Sartre, if we are to judge from “The Ends of Man” wherein he judges Sartre with egregious injustice – and in Felino's case the nostalgia would seem to be for a communication that awakens and imparts that which is and is not, without saying, without pinning down the utterer to the debt and obligation of the necessarily incomplete assertion. Ultimately, it may be a nostalgia for a single note in an improvisation that is THE corner note and explains everything in a preconceptual Satori.

The chapbook is not a thesis and as such is enriched by not having to present stringent proof, and it is semantically rich qua poetry and thus free to provoke and impart its message by suggestion, as art and music and poetry will.

In many ways the book is difficult to access, since the concepts touched are conventionally brutally mistreated by poets who assume that they are unconventional. It's most profound success may be that it wins the argument by not presenting an argument. Like another philosopher may have said, it is a book that demands to be read and appreciated and left behind as a ladder to a wall we have already scaled. I, however, shall return to it. I like books that are ladders.

David McLean, author of La morte vivante (Shadow Archer Press)

Felino Soriano weaves a golden fleece of imagination, near capable of anything, magical, mystical possibly a healing thing are his poems. He dreams on the page with lyrics-crescendo! He waxes philosophical-lofty!
Deftly placing an ease of craft with every line, Felino takes experimental steps other writers leave behind in fear. He approaches this cleverly in his asymmetrical structure. There is a brassy power within him and yet a subtle delicacy in his language. One need only listen to his charms to see his great humanity and talent for invoking a need to search for truth and divine empathy in all.

Jane Crown, author of Her Delicate Shoe and Publishing editor of Heavy Bear And archivist of The Jane Crown Show

Blurbs for Feeling Through Mirages

Felino Soriano interests, excites, exalts with his anti-conceptualized-cognitional, pretheoretical, phenomentalist (More Merleau-Ponty, Heieggeran than Husserlan) non-noumenal, quasi-existential, actually existentiell poetry. Felino writes a non-mirror language, expands Aristotle's mimesis (the imitation of an action), abolishes themization, overcomes the false Western dichotomy of subject and object, transvalues binary oppositions into hitherto previously unknown fused realities. Through his non-dual perception he bypasses and surpasses post-modern aporias and gives us a reality. He uncovers a reality that has always been present, but has been previously overlooked, misunderstood. His discovery of this hitherto overlooked and misunderstood reality is due to an emotionally expanded consciousness, not altered, based on an intense emotional involvement with the other that loses its otherness within a relationship of closeness and intense feeling. Felino's is a poetry of the supremely involved emotive intelligence, the supreme imagination. He has made obsolete the anachronistic approach of the Neo-Platonic Cartesian linguistic traditions as manifest in the popularly derived au courant surrealisms and as manifest in the quackery of the deep image with all its manipulations and commodifications.

—Duane Locke, author of the forthcoming (April 2009) YANG CHU'S POEMSfrom Canadian publisher, Crossing Chaos

Felino Soriano's poetry in this collection is outstanding for a robust intellectualism and a pristine philosophical sensibility that faithfully follows a neonymic agenda, as opposed to the arbitrary assemblage of dead names that constitutes traditional poetizing. These poems strive to show that things are evanescent constructs, posits that need to be rethought; and this chapbook is political, it is a manifesto for the liberation of appearances, tells us let mirages say something and offer a choice of realities beyond what insensate societal conditioning tells us to expect. It needs to be read.

—David Mclean, author of several books, including Cadaver’s Dance published through Whistling Shade Press

Soriano exhibits such a wealth for one's ear, pursuing his sound in a greatly personifying, natural sense of detail. Feeling Through Mirages is culled from a cadence both smooth and wily, each poem a parcel of the grander whole, a mirage and 'fairness' that must 'nail itself to human form'. These poems are scenic and yet placeless, well-adorned while subtle, and never timid or overbold. Soriano has offered something quite immersing by balancing quiet ink with the turns of a raucous hand.

—Ray Succre, 2008 Pushcart Prize nominee, and author of Tatterdemalion
published through Cauliay Publishing

If not the most gifted poet of the postmodern era, Felino Soriano is most certainly well within the realm of genius. There is no poet he can be compared to; his voice is astoundingly authentic and original. To engage in a poem of Soriano’s is to journey down a metaphysical stream of elevated consciousness constantly in pursuit of existential truth and consistently assaulting au courant notions of ‘reality’. The improvioval gut wrenching yet silken influence of rarefied jazz ~ is evident in the brilliant rhythmic flow, euphony and prosody that distinguishes all his work. The previously unconceptualized image is another hallmark, blinding juxtapositions that causes the reader to read and re-read beyond the need to absorb the density of insight; they are compelled to savor the magnitude of his rarefied created beauty. Feeling Through Mirages is a prototypical representation of Soriano’s artistry, as he simply cannot write a poem that is less than exceptional. This can be readily seen in any poem in this stunning compilation, say ‘Spatial Identity’: The rocking/chair’s mentality/is mundane to the human,/yet/within its linear momentum/catapult of thought never fades into/what the antiquated person/delivers into memory/ The first four words: “The rocking chair’s mentality “, immediately assault the readers consciousness and then the reader is fully enswaddled in the obvious but heretofore incomprehensible ~ linear, ‘trustworthy’ rocking is far truer than mnemic distortion of perspective, subjective interpretation. In reading Soriano’s work there is one guarantee: the reader will be profoundly impacted. Indeed, they will never see the world in the same way again.

—Constance Stadler, Advisory Coeditor of the online journal Eviscerator Heaven

Essay/Review of
Exhibits Require Understanding Open Eyes


(This essay is based on the chapbook Exhibits Require Understanding Open Eyes by Felino Soriano, published by Trainwreck Press, St John’s NL. Canada, inquire Ditch Poetry.

Poetic styles are similar to human existence.

Human beings can be divided into two classes, those of nonuniqueness, the many, who are immersed in the social world and communal conformity, and thus are not independent of the selves that surround like a barbed-wired fence or a high prison wall. This class of humanity, the overwhelming majority, do not possess self-ownership and are the slave mentalities, the get-in-the-swim-ist, the stickers to the true and tried, the make-it-newers. This segment of humanity, almost everybody, is dispersed and distorted by surrender of their selfhood to a gregarious and quotidian getting and spending, being complimented by kowtowing to temporary popular opinion and approval, being a crowd follower to a tattoo parlor. This group includes the commonplace, fashion-conforming savant who uses words like “aporia,” “sous rature,” “disjunctive narrative,” “logocentric,” “materiality of the signifier,” “slipperiness,” “destabilized ‘I’,” “alterity,” “death of the author” with frequent quotes fromWalter Benjamin.

This mass of mankind described above do not possess selfhood, or what Martin Heidegger would call Eigentlichkeit, or Jean Paul Sartre “authenticity.” This overwhelming majority of mankind live in a fantasy, not a world, occupy real estate, not the earth. They speak a language of lies derived from the Platontic-Cartesian tradition, and live by beliefs in non-existents: UFO’s, gods or prote ousia from Zeus on downwards.

These groups of humanity rarely have any real contact with a real world, except on the most banal and commonplace level, and never know actuality with its singular concrete radical experiential content.

On the other hand, there is the rare human being, so infrequent and almost unheard of that this exceptional individual might be deemed “recherché,” this autarkist, autonomous rarity is a person of self-ownership, a human being who has not sold himself as a slave to the social or popular pseudo-intellectual milieu. He is not one of T. S. Eliot’s “Hollow Men.”

This exceptional individual isolates himself from averageness and is not dependent on others and popular opinion. This atypical individual would agree with Soren Kierkegaard that if you want to hear lies spoken as truth listen to the majority.

Just as human beings can be classed into two types, so can poets and poetic styles. There are the inauthentic, non self-owning poets and their poetic styles, and the authentic, self-owning poets and their poetic styles. Also as in human existence, the inauthentic poets, those with non-self ownership with a dependence on and enslavement to the opinions of the dominant social milieu, whether it be imagism, surrealism, deep imagists, beat, neo-formalism, academic, mainstream or a myriad of other ephemeral and insubstantial modus operandi dominate.

As in life, it is also true in poetry [to borrow a title from John Stossol and appropriate] myths, lies, and downright stupidity dominates and controls. I would estimate that 90% of the poetry published in our literary magazines, on the internet, and by poetry book publishers is the not-own-myself, inauthentic, and dependent type. This poetry might be classified as toady or lickspittle poetry, or trash, or junk. Poetasters dominate.

Felino Soriano’s poetic style is exceptional and atypical. It is a style of self-ownership, an independent style. Soriano's poetic affluxion, not a trickle, not a deluge, but a meandering stream that spouts on occasion ebullient geysers of illumination, covert cognitions, ideograms pyrotechnic in explosion and profusion. A manifestation of this excitement is found in the beginning of “Indicative of Interest:” “The philosophy of air transfers curls of/ silence among flame/ forging forth in a dialect of/sipping light.”

The best commentary on the Soriano mannerism can be found in his poem, “The Function of Representations Change When Light Twists According to the Moment,” but a term, “linguistic reality,” applied to explicate French poetry of the mid-Twentieth Century can be used as a guide to this authentic, own-yourself poetry of Felino Soriano. The poem exists and functions autotelically as a reality, an entity, as does an oak tree or a human baby. The poem denies Aristotle by not being representational or mimetic, but an existence on its own. The poem is not a copy, but a thing itself, an entity a verbal thing itself.

Soriano arrived on the poetic scene at an auspicious time. Postmodern thinkers such as Lacan, Derrida, Lyotard, Deleuze, Guattari had discredited all the myths, the lies, and stupidities taught about poetry in the classroom. The professor’s metanarratives were found to be fictions without foundations. During the last quarter of the Twentieth Century, the Language poets swept away the debris, the nonsense spoken about poetry.

The Carnival Geeks and Spellsellers who were the popular and beloved poets were exposed as the con man, quacks, and non-poets that these popular, beloved “poets” were.

And even a few professors began to awaken from their dogmatic slumber. Even a few editors of literary magazines realized that their ignorance and insensitivity in accepting and rejecting poetry was leading to the destruction of genuine poetry. Soriano arrived at a time of a New Enlightenment when a few had overcome, finally discarded the lingering axiology of the Age of Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, and had also discarded the superficialities about the unconscious of the simple-minded and gullible surrealists. The Age of Pope and the Age of Salvador Dollar had come to an end.

To experience the verbal-sound excitement and the exaltation of non-dual poetry of a post-postmodern and post-language poet read Felino Soriano's poetry where ideology is fused inside the gestures and actions of the word configurations. Discover the joy of experiencing his language, his verbal realities, “lake of marbled veins,” “town's old bones unwinding into decreased populations,” “emotional moths exploring territorial translucent threads,” and many, many more.

Soriano’s poetry must be read slowly, and must be read and reread, if the reader is to have the trance-like experience of walking-through-looking glass into his verbal space, his verbal and real, not artificial Baudelairean paradise.

—Duane Locke (Ph.D. in English Renaissance literature), Professor Emeritus of the Humanities (also was Poet in Residence at the University of Tampa for 20+ years) is the author of 17 books of poetry in print and electronic format, including the forthcoming 400 pages collection Yang Chu's Poems. He has to date, over 6,000 poems published in both print and online journals and magazines.