Counter-Clockwise: Editorial Manifesto

Clockwise Cat Masthead:

Publisher/Editor-in-Grief: Alison “Clockwise Cat” Ross

Rad-ass Reviewer: Cindy Hochman

Poet-in-Residence: Felino Soriano

Featured Femme: Varies each issue

Copyeditor/Purring Expurrt: Soleil

Art Director/Felinus Feistus: Quetzal

Clockwise Cat is a division of Klox and Katz, Ink.

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Clockwise Cat exists as a triumph over tyranny: The tyranny of time, the tyranny of linguistic convention, the tyranny of hierarchy and political oppression.

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Time in this context is construed as that which constrains and constricts us – the elements that inhibit our imaginations and attempt to confine us in conformist cages. Indeed, these conformist cages are layered like Russian dolls – we break out of one cage only to find we are confined by a still-bigger one. Time is a human construct that was subliminally conceived to delude us into thinking that work, not leisure and creativity, was the “aim” of life. Thus, the tyranny of time is the tyranny of work. We must work because that is the system that power has built. Clockwise Cat, however, hisses at and pisses on the idea that life is about work.

Cats, of course, defy time, and fully apprehend leisure and pleasure. Their purrs are vibrations of the universe reminding us to pace ourselves and enjoy existence. Their fur is like cosmic velvet to the touch, its plush texture calming our agitations. Cats sleep the majority of their day because, well, why not? Sleep is the mystical space between life and death, a delirious oblivion where angels and demons tangle in holy visions, which provides refuge and refreshment.

Cats prove that time doesn’t really exist.

(Granted, the universe operates on a sort of “time” paradigm, but humans have seized upon this elusive idea and ruthlessly pounded out the cosmic core of it. We must aim to re-capture the mystical nexus of time, and not attempt to “tame” it. Time is undomesticated, not doomed for imprisonment in clock-cages.)

License

Linguistic convention is anything language-wise that complacently perpetuates the status quo. Language is a living entity, and should be employed vigorously and imaginatively, in order to keep it flowing forward rather than stagnating like mosquito-ridden puddles. Indeed, linguistic convention acts as a mosquito to language, sucking it dry of life, bleeding it of its very essence. Language must be free and feral, allowing for radical reinvention, or it crumbles under its own dead weight. Those poets and writers such as the Symbolists, Surrealists, Dadaists, Magic Realists, Beats, the post-modern experimentalists, the Avant Garde-ists, the Gonzo Journalists  – hell, even Dickinson and Shakespeare, – hell, even Eliot – were and are intuitively cognizant of the urgency of injecting outlandish innovation into language to keep it fresh and real.

You could say that ALL poets defy linguistic convention in some way, and that may be true to a point. But I say, it’s the ones who instinctively and deliberately subvert convention and create a wild, authentic, individualistic, iconoclastic idiom who are the true language-guerillas. e.e. cummings, anyone?

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Hierarchy, of course, is the pernicious power structure that prevails in modern life, and has prevailed throughout history. Hierarchy breeds oppression. Raoul Vaneigem, in his iconic book, Revolution of Everyday Life, captures the poisonous perils of power emphatically and succinctly:

“The old proletariat sold its labour power in order to subsist; what little leisure time it had was passed pleasantly enough in conversations, arguments, drinking, making love, wandering, celebrating and rioting. The new proletarian sells his labour power in order to consume. When he’s not flogging himself to death to get promoted in the labour hierarchy, he’s being persuaded to buy himself objects to distinguish himself in the social hierarchy. The ideology of consumption becomes the consumption of ideology.”

We must persistently and defiantly resist oppressive power structures at home, at work, at our places of worship and in our extracurricular endeavors, in politics, and in general society. No one is divinely imbued with the right to oppress others, ever. Our insidious infatuation with hierarchy is the root of the problem. We must align ourselves with equanimous aims.

Through its seasonal servings of radical rants, skewering satire, reviews of progressive works of art, and poetry that audaciously overthrows the tired tents of tradition, Clockwise Cat exists to fiercely claw at the imagination-inhibiting factors of time as it is conventionally conceived, linguistic mediocrity, and oppressive sociopolitical hierarchy.

For previous Editorial Manifestoes, please visit:

Editorial Manifesto One

Editorial Manifesto Too

 

THE CLOCKWISE CAT

by ALISON ROSS

 

The clockwise cat

is wise to clocks.

She knows their motive:

to tame the savage animal of time.

 

The clockwise cat

hisses at the clock-cages;

her fangs gnaw the numbers

and her claws rip holes

in the frayed fabric of space.

 

The clockwise cat

moves in counter-clockwise cadences

across the hardwood floors of infinity.

She stalks illusions of impermanence

which flit like shadows

across the paint-chipped walls in her mind.

 

The clockwise cat

tells time with her eyes:

they blaze like candle flames

in the dim closets of oblivion.

 

The clockwise cat

sleeps 16 days an hour.

She dreams about the minutes

she will devour like bugs;

she awakens to seconds

poisoned like rats.

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