‘On Cut Up' - an essay on the theory and practice of the cut-up technique of Gysin and Burroughs in occult philosophy and magical practice.
Contained in Mandragora: Further Explorations in Esoteric Poesis (Scarlet Imprint, 2012), an anthology comprising nine extensive essays and the works of 48 poets. A chthonic and deeply rooted work. Pulled from the ground, its shrieks threatening madness, carved and anointed, given form and breath … so it is, the Word walks.
‘It falls to Al Cummins to bring us to the modern age with his essay On Cut Up. The very term, cut up, will make most readers immediately think of the work of William S. Burroughs, whose relevance to the magical subculture has been discussed since the 70s. More interestingly, Cummins also talks about the relationship between cut-up, divination, aleatoric art and our own inner lives, as well as the relevance of the technique to the manifold streams of modern poetry, in particular Yeats. I was also pleased to see a discussion of Jeff Noon’s Cobralingus techniques...'
- Phil Legard, Larkfall review.
‘...Alexander Cummins' "On Cut-Up" is especially brilliant in casting the role of the poet (and reader) as diviner or augur, able to read patterns encoded in fragments...'
- Drucilla Pettibone, Amazon review.