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Residual Synonyms for the Name of God
Residual Synonyms for the Name of God

Lewis Freedman

Poetry/Essay | $16 $14
Fall 2016
"Your discourse orgy gazes on it with eyes like larvae." — Catherine WagnerIn classical rabbinic literature the unpronounceable name of God produces and sacralizes a host of synonyms around what can’t be said. Residual Synonyms for the Name of God performs the proliferation of language and culture in our late capitalist moment as a residual structure of a religious past. Lewis Freedman has heretically rewritten the work of his ancestors to create an annotated index of this inherited structure, in which our contemporary drive for total finitude profanes the infinite primarily by being indistinguishable from it. Excerpt ˇ


First of all, do not take the arranged perspective … since the diatribe’s loose and sanctimonious assumptions and postulates were figured precise and preceptual … we’ve been trading in a transcendent though uninstructive dance of digressions … saying more and more frequently to every new sentence projected: … ‘this sentence is also remarkable’ … while the weight of suspiciously ripped angels hung in the important air thanks to antiquity enhancements.Close ˆ

About the Author

Lewis Freedman
Photo credit: Rachel Freedman
Lewis Freedman is the author of several chapbooks of poetry, including Catfish Po’ Boys, Suffering Exchange Walks With And (both from Minutes Books), and non-symbolic non-symbolic non-symbolic (Same Text). In addition, he has authored several experiments on the form of the book including Solitude: The Complete Games (Troll Thread), a collaboration with Kevin Rydberg that will take several years for your computer to read, and the book within a book, Hold the Blue Orb, Baby (Well-Greased Press) which interleaves notebook facsimiles with poems on the practice of notebooking. His poems have appeared in Jubilat, Epiphany, Catch-Up, Try, P-Queue, and 6x6, among many others.

Advance Praise

For several years Lewis Freedman has embarked, has been embarked, upon a singular mission: decommission “The 91 residual names that filter through 8 attributes of God ….” Not unlike the parodic send-ups of Armand Schwerner’s The Tablets, Freedman’s Residual Synonyms for the Name of God is part Gnostic defense, part skeptic investigation, of a spiritualism appropriated by a demagogue: “I’m accusing a title of having created worlds that slander the memory of the serpent (or ‘duration hose’)’s famous saying ….” As in Schwerner’s tome, ellipses and parataxis organize the structures of “missing matter,” texts redacted, corrupted or, most unsettling, never written. Freedman reminds us that we always find ourselves “Wrapped in the wrecked but half-obscured circles of interpretation …” where “there is a kind of double-vertigo to struggle with ….” Freedman’s necessarily incomplete sentences, shattered “thoughts," enact the condition of our belatedness that the doctrine of progress renders as prematurity (“we see through a mirror that in the future we will see eye to eye … incarnate … since we have relegated school to the future world as a dialogue between surprise and resemblance.”). Freedman, “... muttering osirian blues …,” will have none of that. Or this. He, like us, is neither here nor there — that is, elsewhere: “I walked away doubtful … walked back again … walked back away again, always looking doubtful … always looking up."—Tyrone Williams
Just in time for the end of humans, Lewis Freedman has invented a scholarship of the end of naming. All rejoice! For his erudition is bumptious, hilarious, gloriously drunk on finity. Residual Synonyms is the rebound hardback you find by accident in the back of the library, the miscatalogued one annotating a discipline so strange you feel vertiginous when its vocabulary intersects with yours. The language of your field has been reorganized for a past or future set of bodies or antibodies. Your discourse orgy gazes on it with eyes like larvae.—Catherine Wagner
The gently scattered, … torqued dogma of this handy, anarchival guide … by one of our leading jurists … pronounces the unpronounceable with an agnostic … lack of filiality … whose Presence infinitely recedes. It is not exactly … a book but by its sympathetic … magic suspends closed or nearly … closed parables of the vertigo the serpent (‘duration hose’) suffered a horse’s neck to throw his arms … about. I hope I don’t misoversimplify by … stating this text is not only … alphabetical, but also corrects many misapprehensions, and apprehends … with delayed belatedness a law whether it’s possible to break … In part because the … words are omitted as a real basis. What I’ve almost gleaned is how … its discussion attached to the parallel arrangement of a discussion supplies … an external literature, blotting (a term used for seeing in here; also … for the super-seen). As no one’s vice commentator, I can’t do the … work … but that will as if to if one were in … exile or shape discomfort, you’ll … find here a leading arbiter. Even where we notice the text is corrupted … from its exile, it Heeds to the structure of names and the … Name or whatever you want the homiletic shank Bone to mark. (I’m … quoting the inducing team.) We only regret that Freedman … repeatedly offers a special apology to the subject in his oath-grammar, Proof, and tetragrammatology; in other words, don’t walk back looking … doubtful! Also, Freedman: Why have you made … pubic and other hair iridescently visible … hair that has been given to Heaven? What is to keep this Person … from inheriting … the earth? Is this ok to bring this into discussion … The shine of a lentil … cramming so hard … to see the infinite in a polished fold … Yes, these are Infinitesimal Wealths … Use mittens … They are for mittens each …—Judith Goldman