Thursday, June 9, 2011
I wrote the following poem yesterday... more a poetic effusion, than poem. I've called it Sum, because it is, in many ways, the sum of me, and if you pursue the Latin root of the word Sum, it is a verb "To Be." Hence, Cogito Ergo Sum... (I think therefore I am)... now that I read it again, in its entirely unfinished form, I realize, the mood I'm setting isn't one of happiness or despair. It's more the "I am; to be" of a resilient soul, a rose, who will take the attacking rain, which is the quintessential embodiment of life, and death, and rather than let it dissipate, into the grass. It catches a drop, of this medal of air and the absent sun. What I must signify is the fact that the rose and the absent sun, in this poem, share the burden of being nailed, much like the rood. They die for life, that is. Because life and death are nothing if not landscapes that mimic each other, are endemic to each other, in everything but temptation. I've been in quite the fight as of late. Physically, with my Lupus... which not only has affected my kidneys (since 2005), but is now, more than likely, affecting my brain. I suppose I feel like the rose, because I'm constantly attacked, by a reality that wants nothing but suffering (for me). Like the rose, though, I take that little bit of without, a piece of the evil that pelts me, and keep it close. Within. To feel my fire, my fallen light, my flight into some apotheosis. And, if I can say anything here, it's this: we are always given burdens we cannot bear. It is only when we pursue the dream of bearing, not just bearing, but fighting them that despair becomes less and more prominent. It seems so many poets and artists are trying to reconcile an Eden with reality. But, my belief is that pain precedes Eden. It is only from sorrow, as Oscar said, "where there is sorrow there is holy ground," and Goethe implied, it is only from sorrow that our wellspring erupts. And we can dream on the clear water of a stream that seems to carry nothing, but really enhances everything we've ever lost. Maybe even (what we) never had. Basically, we pretend to invent a future from a past we'd rather prevent. And we manipulate this future into being a past. I, through all the pain I've been experiencing as of late, believe in something of the earth, endemic, primal... and this is to where I must go back. To distill the "eternal from the transitory," as Baudelaire thought one should, and feel an essence of something that may be a chimera, yes. But I keep the chimera's source (stronger,) when I enclose it in my petals. We are all primal, but it is always possible to take the wind, the rain, the sun and moon, and find in all its beauty and brutality, brutalities of our own making. Ones that we can enhance, an ugliness we can shape, into truth... that is... "eternity with limits"... transcendent measurements:
The rain escapes a modest cloud,
Trampling wildflowers, grass
With its medals of air, and gold
Extracted from the absent sun.
And one rose, it falls upon,
Assaulting the white petals
Until they turn a deep red
And the rose wishes it were dead,
This rose captures a drop,
Keeps it hidden in the fibers
Of its bleeding petals, for it knows.
The absent sun is better gone
When its lips and throat and tongue
Are parched, than when, already sunk
In this water, all the warmth is drunk,
And these medals of air, and gold
Are only nailing its tissued mold.
Every drop is another nail,
A wealth of medal from the white sky,
The modest cloud dissipates,
The rain has nailed its perfect rose
Into a perfect rood, gone into its roots,
Has mauled its bed, has given it
Not the comfort of being dead
But the task of knowing death
Is life, and both, assault and retreat
And are given back to the absent sun.
But this rose will not give back its drop,
It keeps it couched in its fibers,
Tastes the water dissipating, becoming part
Of it, part of the blood, the fight,
The falling flight, now fallen light,
For this rose will see, beyond day and night
Beyond the demarcations of root and air,
Rood and blood, its tissued mold against the sun:
And be, as it were, the echo, in a forest of mirrors,
Reflecting back and forth the reflection
Of a faceless crowd of a thousand suns,
Reflecting, in despair, the refraction of no one.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
This is dedicated to everyone, who was, under the assumption the world would end, today. Also, after listening to all of Chopin's nocturnes, early this afternoon, both his Piano Concertos, Liszt's Un Sospiro, Stravinksy's Firebird, I must say, I think a colossal sigh came over the world. Thanks to Liszt! Expect a poem on Rusalka... me embodying Rusalka... dedicated to (Dvorak) tomorrow. And bear with me, in my wondering if Delacroix really said Malibran was catering to the masses who had no artistic taste?! I love Delacroix, but I would also love to take a "time machine" and see Malibran, and her sister, Pauline (Viardot), perform. Forgive my not having any "profound" ramblings. Things have been rather horrid, today, despite my immersion into beauty, and the subsequent intoxication. Remember, we are all Phoenixes, but we go to different fires. And, despite beauty's intoxication, I've been feeling horrid... more so at the moment, with this execrable stomach pain, and, what I hope isn't bronchitis, or, Sol forbid, Pneumonia! *With the CellCept that would certainly kill, or do a number, on me!* Do not pray, but sing, for me. And I will prevent the day's arrival, the night's arrival, so death can find its perfect breath, a sigh, if you will, from what was being forsaken, taken, by what we "expect" :
THE ROOD AND THE THORN
Await the lark, and see,
For every cloud that bleeds
No consolation in the dark,
And rip apart, the black ivy.
Forget the lily opened white,
And didn’t want any hue
Save a clear stream of water,
Without any shade of light,
Color of Cypress, and its root,
Apple untouched but craving soot
The blood delivers from the rood,
But there is no flesh to make it true.
There was no lark when lily grew,
And no frost upon the sleepy grass
Or dead volcanoes erupting: the pass,
Of deepest night unto its death,
Annihilation of the ghost, the breath,
The birds sit in their morning pews
And do not mourn their brood,
But sing to praise of flesh and youth,
And I know what you will never see,
To rip apart the black ivy, the white lily,
The clear stream of water,
Without any shade of light,
Is to take the blood from the rood,
What seems to you the morning’s light?
And turn it into fresh laid snow,
Where roses bleat, but thorns won’t grow.
Monday, May 16, 2011
I realize it's been quite some time, since I've posted. I'll admit I have been in horrific states. But, this morning, circa 5 am, I woke, looked out a window, and saw my dogwood tree, full bloom. White blossoms, illuminating the shadows that foregrounded it. And, of course, this image incited me to write a poem, which I am dedicating to Bunbury:
Your white flowers exemplify shadow,
Reaching towards me from the bushes
Who are green but seem of deepest black,
To break from night and take the daylight back.
But you, a haven of phosphoric blue,
Dotting the sky when night is most profound
Helped lost sailors hope, when none was found,
Blossomed, to be rooted, from tip to ground.
The rain falls, in a small swell of petals,
It breaks against those shores that are distant
And yet, so close, the earth and the ash,
Your flowers bob, and petals clash.
Better than gloaming, grooming the past,
To move into a future, and wear its cape
Blacker than the night sky, your escape,
Of rain, wiping tears, from the wind’s cry.
Putting its sorrow back in the earth,
The sorrow that a farrow cow won’t feel
But embodies, to ever dream of a new calf,
Is nothing, if not, that dreaming lasts.
Your white flowers recede into daylight,
And I mourn that their light must pass
Unless another night comes, another dawn,
But when air gives root, my dreams, are gone.
*Expect some ramblings, reader(s)?, from me in the upcoming weeks. I have not vanished. Baudelaire wrote, in relation to genius the public is like a slow running clock. (This was in an essay on E. Delacroix). I've been thinking how true this is, particularly in contemporaneity. I'd never declare myself a genius, I am not one, however, it seems the aristocratic population is diminishing. We must work to sustain the blood line! C'est Moi? The Jewel of the NIL!*
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
...I wanted to take the sky at night
And wrap its stars around my finger,
And pretend I were wed to their light
Always on the cusp of decaying;
But the stars never told me
The night was their muslin, worn
As a shroud, to mourn
Their projection; into the space
My eyes erased, by turning it
Into a place of my own...
These lines above, from the beginning of a poem I wrote recently, called OSIER, perfectly embody me. In his salute to Dali, poetically, Lorca lauded Dali's penchant for seeking "eternity with limits." When Baudelaire wrote of the concept of beauty, he noted in modernity an artist must "distill the eternal from the transitory." It seems, I have come to the realization, that finding my own expectations in the transcendent, the eternal, has led me astray, to where everything is NIL. Mind you, I do believe the entities of beauty, truth, art, and love are valueless, things to which we ascribe substance via imitation. By imitation I'm affirming nothing is the root of everything, of DASEIN, of becoming... but this isn't a nothing to which nothing can be had... it is capable, it is culpable, its invention is ascribed within, via instinct. An instinct that is inspired, not by transcendence, but the material(s) without we so often -perfectly- ignore. The transitory, if you will.
I'm woven into this poem as if it were an Osier, because I enhance, in these first lines, the fact that my mistake is in trying to find transcendence in something already infinite. So the stars wear a shroud. They mourn the space I erase, by turning it into a place of my own. A place of the finite. I'm, in fact, distilling the transitory from the eternal, probably the one mistake we all make, the mistake, which leads us irreparably astray.
I'm beginning to feel the dialogic nature of everything. Those little things I encounter, especially... the earth, the dirt... the sun, the moon... the wind, the sky... we're always in a conversation, much like literature converses historically, so what we encounter, "naturally," is a palimpsest. A past from which we're thrust, to which we change, and adapt into a future that may seem singular, but is really inscribed with that strain of love, according to an excerpt from a Spanish lullaby I read, that clear water carries, long past, and left unsaid.
It's strange to think we must treat the past as we do our blood. Something that is endemic, yes, but also inscribed with layers of experience, history, etc., which we make alien by forsaking, for the future's burden. So we are thrust by it, yes, but we re-invent it, to re-discover a future that has actually already been inscribed, by our need for creation. I used to speak of the re-creative capacities of art, Joyce's Ulysses, beginning with an "s"... Stately Plump Buck Mulligan... and ending with an "s"... Molly Bloom's inimitable "YES!"... was always a signifier, alongside his use of stream of consciousness, that everything was a matter of re-invention, re-creation, "the ineluctable modality of form."
Now I see this is somewhat true, yes, and it perfectly defines the trajectory of the novel. But I believe humans are a combination of the novel and the epic. We are always on the cusp of creation, which is really re-creation when intertext is taken into account, but then recoils on an inheritance we all have. To which we speak; it's when the world- the earth, the dirt, the word- speaks back, when we see the transmutation of infinity in the concepts we define, that any epiphany or artistic process can be had. Hence art requiring both instinct and the critical capacity, to which instinct is always a predecessor.
I've been gone for quite some time, hence my frater ave atque vale (Hail brother and farewell)! I've been in horrid states. My soul has been destroyed. My body equally harmed... and all I can ever come to imagine has amounted to NIL... whether by manipulation of me or something extraneous, I do not know. What I do know is there's so much more beauty to the hidden path, the one that destroys you, until you realize you are not the Phoenix, but the fire that kills and re-births it... it's when you are deconstructed, destroyed, torn apart, that you come to find there IS an instinct, there IS a core...and it is something to be cherished, it is where form finds its fluidity, to perfectly enhance and define (by) its own constructs... its own confines.
Sadly, for me, my core is precarious, something that can be torn out, so I feel half here. A mirage of a ghost. Any poetic endeavor henceforth will be an attempt to recollect it, so it becomes a familiar room, a familiar mirror that I can look upon, and see ME staring back.
I believe I must go to the dirt, to the root, to the wind, to the rain, to the sun and moon, to find, we're all tragic and doomed, but it is our ability to groom this tragedy into a comedy that makes us wise, and gives us grace. Some would say this is our destiny, I only say it's the space we erase to come up with our own version of place. I may have an epic inheritance, but my novel manipulation of it... well,there you have the rub!
Monday, February 7, 2011
I wrote this yesterday, in the AM, and the poem, (complementing it), the afternoon before. Do forgive my not being on in quite some time. Truth be told, I've been ill. I was in the ER Friday night, but felt a bit better after intravenous Morphine and anti-nausea medications (IV). Now, I'm feeling quite horrid, again. I believe it all comes down to the Systemic Lupus... even so, I do hope you appreciate my theories set forth. I'm also providing a response I wrote, to this "philosophy," to negate any notion of my being "anti:"
Life requires a belief in origin and end. We go from womb to tomb, and in this physical experience, transcend the physical, make every concept of beauty and love a concept of imitation, from this. But what happens when this imitation becomes a limitation? When a person finds a womb in the tomb, from which all origin, all death, is just the consequence of nothing?
I speak of such a state, because the eternal recurrence of the same is really the recurrence of nil. Or naught. To value life is to see this, because it is only in nothing that we can even define substance. So, when a person recognizes the futility behind everything, the vanity, if you will, they go from body to ghost, and spar with the very idea of life, as something that needs origin and end. They are post-mortem, but still the substance of being, trapped where invention ends, and all becomes the bait of an imaginary hook, looking for imaginary fish in imaginary waters.
These waters are invented to feed an appetite of worth. It is from worth, the gem of contemporaneity, that people feed themselves. So art and beauty and love are self -affirmations. Made by the self, who needs to contraindicate death, and so doing, contraindicates truth.
When Keats wrote of beauty as truth, and truth beauty, he was speaking to the importance of negligence. It seems this second decade of the 21st century communicates worth as the only means to enlightenment. One must have self-worth to understand life, as it should be: vibrant, fertile, a blonde sun. But this trend makes beauty and love and art the stuff of imitation; imitating Ego as if it were a mirror from which a better image was reflected. So Cogito Ergo Sum isn’t really the existence of thought, but the fabrication of thought, from what is considered most coveted and worthy.
Still it is only in neglect that truth is revealed. A thought unfortunately lost on contemporaneity. The importance of negligence is a black tulip in a field of violets. It is neglecting the need for womb and tomb, for worth and affirmation, and even imitation. Art and beauty aren’t meant to imitate anything; they stand out by virtue of vanity. It is only when one is in the throes of nothing, of vanity, that art and beauty can be conceptualized as origins from which we are but imitators.
Baudelaire spoke to the importance of beauty being both transcendent and tactile. Every culture has its own interpretations, and Ideals. But it’s unfortunate to think that every concept of collective beauty, cultural beauty, in the 21st century is an invention of worth. Transcendence is the transcendence of self, and what so many perceive to be beautiful, is really a broken mirror; pieces of what we want to be, what trend tells us we must be, to be important.
There is an importance to trend. It gives conceptualization to chaos. It allows Ideal to flourish, and idealization to thrive in purity, even amid chaos. So the artist can re-create the turmoil, the tandem of mind, and find the scales balanced, can, in fact, create a line by dissecting a circle. Where the madness of closure is balanced by the structure of continuity.
But trend, when its fundament is worth, self-worth, destroys art, because it makes art and beauty begin in creation, and end in decay. From womb to tomb, it aggrandizes the self, it makes the Ego a God, the demiurge that can so easily grasp bliss, and even transcendence. Bliss and transcendence are the origins of Ego conceit, even, and Ego conceit makes truth a mockery and lie.
So, the self-worthiness of the 21st century, is, in fact, destroying art and beauty. We make art and beauty imitations of ourselves, when in fact, the thought that we are their imitators, has been so lost, so fundamentally forgotten, that the valueless nature of beauty is gone. It is all self, all womb and all our attempts to stymie the tomb. It is so important to us, yet we have lost its nature, so we’re feeding on lies; we’re living in the absurdity of thinking worth not only creates, but can be created, so long we reduce art and beauty to images of ourselves.
Art does not decay, but creates us. It is the nil, the nothing we so fear. When a person comes to the realization that there is no womb or tomb, and there is no immortality, that person becomes an artist. Because even though we are born, and we die, and we dream Elysian immortality, the artist will always question just how these thought processes deceive us. The artist will be at odds with the world, as is, because the world, as is, rejects futility.
As the Marquis said, happiness is ideal; it is the work of the imagination. All our creations are imaginations. But they are not our imaginations. They are the imaginations of truth. And truth is neglect; it is the recurrence of nothing in all we pretend has value. I say beauty is valueless because it isn’t something that needs worth. We don’t create it. We don’t even re-create it. Art and beauty are the things we must imitate; they are Cogito Ergo Sum, they want us to think, and be, but only with the temperament of a mood thriving, not in aspiration, but nothing.
When you realize nil is the core to everything, you begin to see how we’ve destroyed beauty. We’re so obsessed with the trajectory of womb to tomb that we fail to see we are the tombs of a much grander womb. We’re dead in our continual affirmation of worth. But only when we deny it is self-worth we seek and procreate.
An artist will go back to the womb; if all we are and seem is but a dream within a dream, as the great Poe said, an artist will be the one to wake up. But even, after waking, be the somnambulist of dreams much grander than conception. Art and beauty are nothing. They are not projections of our worth. They are the primordial, the mouth of a dead volcano, and the dreams of Dasein.
Where most people sleep walk in dreams of worth, the artist sleepwalks in dreams of the valueless. An artist lives in half revealed vacancy and accuracy; respectively, the beauty of nil, and making an approximation of its truth by realizing we are only ever half there. And even though the torment of this, the thought that being true means neglecting that there is wholeness to self and value, torments with a ruthless temper, at least the artist can be a temperament of this. Can, in fact, imitate beauty and art not by being worthy, but by aspiring to a worth that the artist knows was never there. An artist will always temper the mood had, but never the mood wanted. It is for this reason that humility and suffering are the soul of beauty and art; when an artist humbles the suffering of pain and thought, the vanity of self becomes not revelation, but re-discovery.
I fear so much the confines of worth. More so, the common thought that we exist in creation and revelation, when really we exist in destruction and re-discovery. There’s a danger to thinking we are always creators, and always worthy; we forget our lives are an imitation of something much grander, much more beautiful, of less, but more value, than anything we could ever possibly conceive. We aren’t Gods, but mirrors, and shatter ourselves when we think there’s any value to our own reflections.
The moon sleeps, but the sun dreams
In showers of rain, dissects itself,
Looks through a broken microscope
At its invisible carcass,
Amid the wet, the vapor, the flesh
Of sweat that was once ambrosia,
Once fell from its eyes,
But as roots of the cypress,
Its eyes no longer cry, for life.
So I stand as a shadow to this.
A rose can only take so much
From your eyes,
A hue reddened by the pallor
Of its own thorns, pricking your skin.
You may look upon its red,
And see the dusk, the secrets
The rain withholds, breaking it,
On the cusp of its very petals.
Not seeing they, and the dawn,
Once promised us, will fall apart.
The wilting part of a seed’s heart
Crushed by your own shadow,
Evaporates, raining on red rose petals.
Give me your ghost,
I say, a consequence of breath,
The broken death of night,
The broken heart of art.
I am the shadow that will not feed,
Cannot be pricked by dreams
And bleed into their orange blood.
The mouth of a giant volcano,
Wishes it were dead, but I am already there.
You might see your star dissected
From a grander dream, the rose bud,
The rain fainting, upon its petals,
The fire of a branded sea,
Branded by death’s company,
And so enlivened there,
But I was always in ash, the dream awoken
The broken breath, of your not so broken stare.
I don't want to come across too... anti... but what I'm trying to bring forth is the need for re-discovery. Instead of putting ourselves before the art, instead of putting our trends before the art, we should let the valueless nature of bea...uty and art conceive (of) us. So that all artistic experience is really a re-discovery. I came up with half revealed vacancies and accuracies when I was nineteen; I didn't quite understand it, then, I almost do now... just imagine nil. Nothing. Naught. See that as a core, that you discover, but in discovery realize is only half there. So you make an approximation of its truth, only to realize this truth is only half there. It seems, our approach in the 21st century, at least in pop culture, is to think art and beauty are our creations. Are extenuating worth, more importantly. Self Worth. There's a grand difference between self worth and self love. Whereas self worth confines us to fashion and trend, effortlessly, self love expands us to re-discovery, to find, in the midst of the universe, the vanity of all these concepts... beauty, art, love... when their substance is aborted. Baudelaire was right to speak of the transcendent beauty that every era has, and the material beauty, too. It only seems, to me, we've gone too material. Because we'd rather have worth over love. Everything seems to be about self-esteem, the EGO, and we are manipulated by our avowal (to this); so much we let trend overwhelm, and make ourselves (feel) better, be better, by conforming to trend. I realize every culture has conformed to trend, and trend does have its benefits, as I say, above. It's just, when you go into it thoughtlessly, you become the somnambulist, sleep walking through your very (own) dream of worth. But, when you realize, that concepts like beauty and love and art have no value, inherently, that we are substantiated by them, rather than substantiating them, you come to approach art as a means of re-discovery. The primordial, really. The nothing. Dasein. (Being). I know we all have complexes. I do; I'm ridiculous, absurd, posting pictures (of myself) to affirm my "beauty," because I so often feel hideous, and vile, even when I know a truth discovered long ago (by me): beauty is at best elusive and is its own design. You can only find it when you approach the vanity of everything. And the consequence of nothing. There's this bit in the Phaedrus where the idea that a beautiful specimen, physically, is so striking because it recollects the beauty of a self, in another, spiritual clime. Much as I love Plato, I don't see it that way. I'll admit, I'm a slave, certain (men) turn me on by virtue of their graces, my "muse" is beautiful by standard, for example, he'd be the envy of beauty, in its material ways. But I'm also aware, and keen, to the truth that the very nothing and futility we so fear, the valueless aspect of Dasein, is where real beauty, real love, and real art, resides. There are then two beauties, transcendent and physical, and they have no relation to each other, except to oppose. Transcendent beauty is the beauty of art, physical beauty that of fashion. And even as both are moved by trend, it is really those who can manipulate it (trend) and see beyond their own worth, the shadow of which they are really composed, it is only those who are artists. I've questioned if fashion designers, who specialize in the visual, can be considered artists. And, much as I love fashion, much as I adore Betsey Johnson, I do not think they are artists. Because they contribute more to the culture of worth, than the culture of love. And the culture of love seems to be one we have lost, because we ascribe far too much value to ourselves. Assuming we are the creators, of everything, when really, beauty, art, love, and truth are the creators of us (all). We imitate beauty, it cannot imitate us. Just as we imitate art, it cannot imitate us. It's all a matter of re-discovery, really. Because we are all part of a grander dream, from which the artist will always have already awoken.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Do forgive my lapse as of late. I've been feeling quite horrid. And, I can feel a pain, physical, now, that seems to be worsening. I am seeing a doctor today, fortunately, though it's not one of my specialists, more a GP Fellow. I am worried I'll end up in the ER or hospital, hopeful, though, I can breathe through this.
So, before I pursue today, I'd prefer sharing a poem I wrote in an hour during the AM yesterday. It's page 53 of my book of poems, Persephone. And, it pertains to my father, is actually a dedication, though, it also signifies the immense love he had for my mother before he passed (away). It's called Rhadamanthys because in Greek mythology R was a judge of the under or "ether" world. In this poem, my speaker wants to go with the heroes to Elysian fields, but wants to take his love, who hasn't yet passed, with him. It plays on the concepts of "we" being the judge of "our" souls. Which is why I called it Rhadamanthys. In many ways, my speaker embodies Rhadamanthys...
I hope you don't abhor it. Again, do forgive my absence. I've been in SUCH a precarious state:
When the Lark leaves, and day, and night
Are ushered by the stars, and their decayed light
Ushers asphodel up aisles of white roses,
Not meant to be colored by Aphrodite’s blood,
The love and yearning of its embrace
Put to the cask to Death’s blank face,
There is nothing to dreams, no place
For anything, but the shadow of your Grace,
And Love. Your eyes, broken chrysanthemums
Of yellow, the poise to which I follow
Soul, to its deep and broken Day,
There is no will or way, to my dismay,
At knowing I go without, you, saffron Soul.
I will alone the movement willing me,
Up a black river, the water I will not drink
For fear every scent from your golden bloom
Will be lost, and the touches of rosebay
Urging me to their embrace, will take the place
OF my empty tomb, and make of it something new.
A doll you can primp and groom,
A scarecrow, with beaded eyes and a sown red smile,
When I’d much rather be stone,
A monument of black, that grief will give rain,
And wind will give shape, shaped in the loam
Of your golden shadow. It may be I’ll wear away,
And somewhere else, wear the Elysian garland
Of which we always dreamed we’d both wear,
Some time after the death of day and night.
But I cannot go, as I go, and am willed,
But give you something, of me. My light,
Take my garland of thorns, from which laurels will bud
And in their birth rage in oceanic waves, and waves of sound.
To all the waves that make up everything, and give nothing,
I give you. And I am judge, and I am victor,
And I will wear the perfect garland, to match your laurels,
And wait for you, in Elysian fields, just not, as you think,
With Paris and Hector and Achilles and all the kings.
But a mile beyond its gates, before reed lined honey lakes
And the honeyed sun smiles, on everyone.
I’ll be the one on the edge of dark, straw, and pinned to
Golden wheat, scaring away all the larks who here
Are like crows, feasting on the rancid meat of life.
For I cannot measure eternity, until your yellow eyes
Open and shine, from the dream and wake of life and death,
And take me baiting, with their fading breath.