Dirty Gerty's Hurdy Gurdy


Only the poem knows what's true

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!