Introduction to the Red King


god knows what my head got up to in those spaces


I have been a subject of the Red King for several periods of recent history and am cautious of making a proclamation on his behalf. On what grounds? When I declare what I am certain of I whisper toward parallel uncertainties, past and equally important. Should I pursue such questions lost will be the strong voice charged with admission and while you didn’t pay for an introduction both audience and author deserve one. Where is the settling technique? I have my experience, confident as the coffee stains on the paper printed secret in an office that feels like a dream. I wish to fail justice properly. I hope to make sense in a second.

Much of the marginalia I accumulated on this copy reads like a confused child at school struggling to discover duality. None of it is worth repeating, the language it describes demonstrates more efficient: a finding explored instinctually, movement happening notwith­standing. The insistence of creation to not be (captured). The shortest space between two distances, rhythm.

Herein, Mudd is neither dense nor slippery. His words matter­-of-factly partake in the joy of returning, going back to sleep finding the vision is familiar though some chairs have moved. There’s Otter, symbol of wisdom asking questions; Salmon singing good morning, water, mountains; priests, prayer, sex and power, though it takes a moment to figure who holds it momentarily; Rabbit, farmer, fences, borders, how firm to be decided; despair, humor, hope, and less; Alice Notley, murder. A realizable history always already existing for its own mysterious satisfaction to be determined. The character you are there all the places they have been.


..I cannot catch a trout & I cannot take a minute from the minute hand run­out.


If you can find Alan Mudd, ask him to read (this) to you. (I do not know which state he is in.) If you have heard, then take advantage of the directions provided by his deliberate baritone. If you haven’t, worship the sun and pray to the moon Ignore that last sentence. Just persist as you must. Lines pop, sections become songs, the becoming recurs and it occurs come back, remember that One.

Marvel at economy, stay formation, staring at scenery being, hole flying. What is going on with the index? I used it as a poem fell from the dark arriving with a map. I was in a boat, temple, dungeon, garden, study. I was on an airplane above Colombia and sofa in Denver. It felt safe to close my eyes and wait for the pages to turn over. It is only always them. & their lessons.

I constructed a plot of course to spite the writer or because of him human mind narrative house stuck nothing stuck at once I got out in a­gain. Be calm with arches. Demanding of suspense. Chart points of interests, diagram of the world. Don’t forget the unmentioned. Share with me yours?

There is enough whatthus to build and pass many articulations of story. For its glory, Red King is a celebration of making and triumph of process, willed faithfully forth from an impossible stillness with forced acceptance. It definitively has an author who attentively allows its unfolding while patiently piecing together each next known / unknown into an actualized string of careful verbiage. A chorus call of nothing is given structures. October is given to nothing timely. Another song is given after there is resting and never another reason to arise. A body is given to paradise. I am given to you and we become they we are given a book they give to the sky. In the end, I forget what even transpired, but given a moment, I can recall I want more. Material crumb trail reminds of everything.

Look at what disappeared from the shadows. Leftover floating anticipation, a flower here is growing. Return after ending, a circle can be consistently counted yet its measure is ever different.

Maps get smaller the farther they are stared at. The smaller they grow, further is the desire to stare, aiming toward precision. Deeper desperation for additional details. Emptiness nostalgia. Postpone concern for books 1&3. There is no Book to make. Except the expected. The tipping point is reached. There is how much Time to worry.

—Matt Clifford


This text originally appeared as an introduction to Alan Mudd's Red King: Book Two

Matt Clifford's post-modern, Occupy-era manifesto

Matt Clifford's post-modern, Occupy-era manifesto

Rambler, troubadour, dissident tablet, unsuppressed badass, mugwump agitator, active verbiator, fine print peruser, incontinent spirit, heretical accountant, America addict, knowledge sharer, provider when asked of free literature, radical cowabunga royal ranto this then here Matt Clifford is a middle-aged carpenter teen wife candy poet eating journals off the bathroom floor publishing the result on a gold scroll. He is the author of The RantoDance of Anonymous from Necropolis and his Machine (2013), Ballad of Todd Last Year (2016), and a chapbook, Damn Your Eyes (2017).