The muse, that Sadean demiurge, once again has chosen Ivan
Argüelles as the vehicle of an epic dedicated to her own incarnation.
In Madonna Septet, her coming is announced as a "concussion"
in which creation and destruction can no longer be distinguished. Here
is a hyper-Poundian compounding of world-hysterical voices: Argüelles
unites and unties lines of Logos with a furor that can only be called
What you are about to read here is more experimental and more wide-ranging
even than Pantograph. The opening passages are extraordinarily dense.
Lines frequently break off into fragments or break off and are continued
several lines later. It helps to know a little about the Upanishad and
Hindu literature...[and] Indian Mythology suggest[ing] something of the
connection Argüelles is making between the pop star whose name has
deeply religious overtones but who is blatantly sexual, and ancient deities.
Argüelles' work deliberately reaches into areas of the mind most
poets are unaware exist at all. Admittedly, his writing is often difficult,
problematical, even at times maddening. It challenges our capacity to
read it. This poet is like an explorer in some dark, chaotic, utterly
chancy realm. You're never certain what you're going to get. But what
he brings back is always, in Pound's phrase, news that stays news. The
Madonna Septet is an attempt by one of our finest to tell it all.
For once, Argüelles is getting the space he needs to do it.