Poem

It doesn’t have to be pretty but it could if I would
Allow my focus to shift away from the thought
To the manipulation of the word processor. Alas,
It shouldn’t be witty but there is this imp inside me,
The impulse that makes me the writer I am. Lord,
You know I want it to be pithy, quotable, notable
Because of the elegant way that I have with words.
Already I preen, self-gratified by the mirror image
Reflected, airbrushed by clever words I hide much
More than I am able to reveal to you. But I try, i
Tell myself I can fool my very self, be honest about myself
But something inside, some instinct, some impulse…
I will do what I have to… to survive. To thrive enough to
Continue sharing my song with the world. Thank you, God.

Sherlock, Murakami and Mitchell

David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks was an exceptional read, it was engaging and challenging and accessible in its considerations of the human and the eternal.  I discovered Mitchell years ago, serendipity brought a mention of Cloud Atlas to my awareness, a discussion of postmodern literature I am sure, I read it.  I grokked it, I sought out all his other books, devoured them.  His prose was fresh and clear, his voice distant and reasoned, his understanding of the world apparently harmonious with my own.  There are discussions of his work in this blog.

I also read Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tsazaki, also a most excellent book.  I read and discussed Murakami’s 1Q84 in this blog also.  I sought out Colorless because I so enjoyed working my way through 1Q84 but was very surprised how personal, individual, romantic the novel is.  Reading it was slipping into a sensitivity with which my awareness felt comfortable, different circumstances but the act of getting on and getting along in spite of sometimes is a pretty universal apprehension of experience.

Watched Sherlock, the BBC series of movies that are set in the twenty-first century.  As of 2014 there are nine of them.  I watched the first six of them over a year ago, the last three have recently aired and I decided to watch the first six again before allowing myself the pleasure of watching the new ones.

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the original Sherlock Holmes stories at the end of the nineteenth century, when the industrial revolution reached its maturity.  I have read all the original stories more than once.  The Victorian Age was the last hurrah of the Industrial Revolution before the darkness asserted itself in the wars of the twentieth century.  Humanity had fulfilled God’s charge to name and identify creation.  The world had been explored, the world was measured and ordered and organized.  If it was knowable, it was known.

There is a oneness, a unity, to the reality in which we each of us live that is individual singular distant.  We all know and recognize this as the ever present moment, the point where awareness is aware.  Batman has to wonder if his just being is what provokes the adoption of such abomination to balance out his fundamental and basic pure goodness.

The first three have to be taken as a set.  The character of Sherlock Holmes was a popular one still after one hundred years.  To attempt to present Sherlock and Watson in the twenty-first century was a gamble, questions would be raised, would need to be addressed.  With wit and a post-modern sensitivity Steven Moffat brought his style of television to the conceptual vision of Mark Gatiss.

The first three films established the awareness of Sherlock Holmes.  In the first film we encounter the genetic disposal that manifests as Sherlock. A Study in Pink  Sherlock and Watson meet, Watson meets Mycroft, the police are introduced.  A dying cabbie plays a suicide game.  Markets are planted for later manifestation.  A case involving the situation of the society, rife with mystery and crime.  The Blind Banker.  Smuggling and the Chinese mafia.  And then finally, in the third, we discover the true circumstance behind both the cabbie and the circus, the stage is set for the continuation.  The Great Game. Moriarty reveals himself.

If the first three are considered the body of the media presentation known as Sherlock, we can perhaps regard the second triad as an artistic manifestation of the artistic expression of the plight of humanity, a look at our minds.  The psycho-pathology of twenty-first century western society.

I think the second set of them were conceived concurrently with the first.  Sherlock Holmes was the data-processer of his time, before the computer, the age of the great Encyclopedias, when mankind strove to encompass all human knowledge between the covers of a book, the absurd excess of the idolization of the Enlightenment ideal.  A Scandal in Belgravia. Irene Adler. The Hounds of Baskerville. The Reichenbach Fall. Death is the limits of the mind.

Into the woods

Metaphors played too slowly run the risk of becoming obvious and that smells of bad poetry, foul flowers feeding on falseness, enforced sensitivities manipulated by melodrama. Subject apprehends object. As simple as I can make it.

Definitions. We are taught language from the beginning, it is the human overlay. If you can pay for it you should, but if you are poor, and food and shelter consume all your resources, you take it where and how you can. There is no shame in this. Eternal struggle, those who have and those who lack.

Beginning with yes I love you I see you I want you, soon no don’t do that it’s dangerous it’s bad. Yin and yang, the positive and the negative, the light and the dark, the good and the bad, the right and the wrong. Plato showed us the extreme example of Socrates, assume that somewhere something has to be right, good, light, positive, yes yes yes. And somewhere something has to be wrong, bad, dark, negative, no no no.

Aristotle geometricized it and L Ron Hubbard filled a whole book with charts exploring the full range of human expression in a consideration of how one might better one’s self. Aleister Crowley tripped the light fantastic and like Dionysus in the myth led quite a few people into the woods of madness. But he knew the materials that he was working with and there was a method to his madness for above and beyond anything else, he wanted to be all that he could be.

Currently the trick I think is isolating and neutralizing the subject. A prose poem isn’t an O’Henry story, nor really a spectacle, although it sure can be sometimes, when the moon is full and we’ve had a little too much to drink. We meet at the river of our con-mingling, the us that we are together

For a while I got caught up in that text ideology that flourished at the end of the twentieth century but I think I agree with Badiou, if I understand him and if I don’t, well, this is what I think anyway. I, me, this awareness pecking away at a keyboard trying to keep up with the inspiration that feeds the flow of words that find their way onto the page, subject. Too blunt. Then we have to bring Lacan in and things get complexly perverse.

This body is object, the air around it object, the things and people and plants and animals that determine the limits to this body’s movement object. The social structures that allow me exist in peace with my fellows, object. The subject, the soul, thar part apart that is meaning.

Bizarro world fractured comprehension. Prose poems scratched on the backs of napkins stained by glasses set down perhaps too harshly, an imagined insult, a miscommunication. The message is clear, no matter how hard you focus, there’s no way you can know what someone else is thinking, nor they, you, just psycho mumbo-jumbo, mind games they trick you into, awareness is, subject continuously confronts object, life in its entirety, here now is awareness confronting all the data always and forever.

I feel Whitman-esque in my perversity. I celebrate and sing myself, subject considering object, an examination of the me-ness that makes me who I am.

Turning Pages -prose poem

Turn The Page is the sixth song on the album Live Bullet that was released late 1976 by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band.  It took two years for me to find the strength to raise the page of my life and turn that sucker, walk away from all that I was and knew.

I think I might have found a friend.  I hope so.  Someone else capable of knowing and understanding me as I am.   Someone with whom I can express that side of me that I stifle in order to contain myself within the social contract.  We are, there is nothing I can do about it except remove myself from the comforts that I enjoy as a member of society.

God has blessed me and I am grateful for the mercy God has shown me and for the gift that God has given me.  I have turned quite a few pages over the course of learning to appreciate the Godsend that God bestowed on me.  Like everyone else I did not choose the time and place, I had no say about the man and woman who got close enough to make me and both of them turn pages that for a time would put them on the same page together.  But only for a short time.

And it wasn’t a good page.  She was a hillbilly fresh from Kentucky, a healthy lusty young woman who had seen and known too much and was desperate to find a way out. In 1954 she was a little too easy and he was just randy to score. 

His family had come from Europe, had worked hard to establish themselves as proud Americans.  They weren’t too happy with the news she was pregnant but they were respectable people and rather than go to college he married her, joined the military, moved around, made a few more children. 

Being the eldest I saw even though I didn’t have words I know that I grew up in a passionate, tempestuous household.  As long as he was stationed in the States she stayed with him but when he received orders to Germany he dropped her and the kids off with her parents and never looked back.

He took all the money with him and left her and her four children, one brain damaged, to the mercy of her already stretched drunken hillbilly family.  Long story short she did what she could do and coped as best she could in an environment that took advantage of a still attractive woman in her position who was always more than grateful to anyone who helped her make the rent and feed her children.

And then the things that happened to me, myself, the sad consequence of a primal licentiousness accepted and condoned.  Had I been old enough to choose, to acquiesce,,, I only accept responsibility for what happened later, the choices I made.  I processed and made peace with a fundamental and central truth about myself. I accepted at an early age the understanding that I am who I am and for whatever reason God made me who I am because this is the me that he wants me to be.

I don’t know if I will turn many more pages in my life.  I hope to find a new blank page ready to be filled with a story of friendship and connection, a chance to explore a new uncharted, at least by me, territory fraught with both danger and promise.  There is a Shakespearian splendor to Bob Seger’s wailing in harmony with the electric guitars wailing, screaming out into the Chaos, I am alive.  I can still turn the page.

Greek

Breath and Will became aware, the word was made flesh.

Alpha knew he was first.  Alpha was arrogant, an asshole most of the time.  The oldest, the strongest, he never knew restriction, limitation, the world was his for the taking.

Beta came along soon after.  Beta bore the brunt of Alpha’s exuberance.  He was brave and bold and willing to go where no one had ever gone before.

Gamma took his time.  Gamma was a grave little fellow and he grew into quite the inquisitive one.  Always digging into things, wanted to know why.

Delta was a welcome surprise.  Dark and mysterious Delta was everyone’s darling and frankly she couldn’t have cared less, she was always sufficient unto herself.

Epsilon was born of love.  Epsilon loved everyone, she was a fresh wind, Breath saw herself in her youngest transformed.  Epsilon was the last of the second generation.

Five is a good number, the number of man.

 

Alpha, being first, took them both in equal measure, Breath and Will.  Aaaaa  Beta took more after Will.  B-b-b-b-b. Gamma was Will personified.  G-g-g-g-g. Delta was just plain strange, different somehow, pulled in, withdrawn.  D-d-d-d-d. Epsilon was Breath reborn.  Eeeee

When Breath and Will began to wane the children cried please stay alive, we will seek out suitable mates, for we want Breath and Will to thrive.

When Alpha saw Zeta it was love at first sight.  He wooed her and won her and that was that.  Beta had a love hate relationship with Eta and although it could get quite bad sometimes when it was good it was really, really good.  Gamma was shy so everyone was surprised when he and Theta became a thing, there was an intensity about them together, an energy that was vaguely threatening.  Where Delta met Iota no one ever learned but she softened his ego and he understood her, which was something none of the rest of us could do.  Epsilon thought Kappa was quite the catch and being the youngest could not be denied.  So the five became ten and we began to thrive.

 

Lambda, Mu and Nu appeared one day, from the north, solid, dependable, hardy and capable they were.  Xi, Omicron and Pi wandered out of the mysterious east, with whisps of exotic odors teasing us, taunting us, teaching us many strange and wonderful things.  Rho, Sigma and Tau came marching out of the west.  Conquerors they blazed a new path and gave us a sense of security.  And from the south crawled Upsilon, Phi and Chi, moist, fecund, they brought fertility to the clan.  Psi was the first of the third generation, his cousin Omega came along shortly after and we found we were many.  Thus Breath and Will live on.

 

Again – an evil flower

Charles Baudelaire and Stéphane Mallarme, Verlaine and Rimbaud, Edgar Allen Poe and Walt Whitman, it is more than the sweet perfume of the forbidden, the intoxication that inflames our senses and allows us access to the muse. The first thing we do when we prepare to meditate… just take a deep breath and relax.

Friday, late-afternoon after a rare rainy night and the overcast day that follows, I do what I have to do because I am who I am, just as I am without one plea because God placed me here in this place and told my soul to experience the passage of time.

I am a passenger on this drunken boat lumbering down this long and treacherous river headed God knows where.  Occasionally I come out of my stupor long enough to wonder how I came to be here, I guess I should accept their judgment, I don’t know what to say, things happened as they happened and I accept that it was my own fault, my own grievous fault.

Am I being too obvious, stealing images left and right, sounding bells within bells walled up in a word prison of my own making, protesting my innocence, the DNA will exonerate me.  I have been judged already, I accept my fate whatever it may be.  It has been a good life and I’m glad that I lived it, am living it.

What might have been is a fool’s game but I can’t help but wonder if I had had the internet and the ability to blog when I was young… these young Turks, I am currently fascinated by James Franco, he has gotten my attention.  I have not watched his movies but I have read Palo Alto and Actor’s Anonymous.  He’s handsome enough but he’s not to die for as the girls used to say.  I recognize in him an artist at work, growing, becoming.

But no, this is my time and place, God allowed me to have this blog this voice because this is what I am supposed to say, this is the puzzlement I have to work my way through and I have been blessed and I know it.

I sing my song, the one God gave me to sing.

Capital considerrations

Capital is the capitalist measurement of value. Money is the counter, the objectify-er of the value of things, the means by which things are assigned relative value.

For more than forty years I have pondered long and hard on communication. Sound and vision and meaning. The letters form words and phrases that your eyes receive in order to allow your mind to perceive them as sounds which impose themselves into your ever-present awareness. Some people read to drown out their physical reality for a while, to get away, to escape. That can be a good thing. Sometimes.

Perhaps when I was young I read mainly to escape but I quickly realized that I was learning, too. Adult books helped me understand a lot of the dances that were determining the timing and structure of much of my life. I would lie in my bed upstairs, reading by the bathroom light, listening to a bestial accompaniment to the passions explored by whichever racy book I had happened upon. I began to see beneath the placid surface of high school and began to recognize the lives of my fellows, to know and see myself in a sea of many.

Life is. Life is the commonality that we all share together. As far as we know, life follows what we call the laws of nature, which are readily apparent and whose results are available to all. Awareness cannot be shared directly and is inherently unpredictable, thanks to free will. Awareness is the questing soul. Life ends for all but the soul will continue on and return to from whence it came.

This is enough for me. I recognize the limits of time and space and accept that there are things I will never know nor understand. I fought with that understanding for a long time but I learned to accept it because Ludwig Wittgenstein did, that’s the hook that let me into the Philosophical Investigations, the sweet meat that nourishes me and keeps me there. A couple of years ago I even found a new translation of Tolstoy’s The Gospel in Brief, which I believe, from my reading, gave Wittgenstein the strength to stand and continue to walk his own path. I consider myself a Wittgenstein-ian semiologist, a word man, to make it simple. “In the beginning was the Word…” (John 1:1, Gospels, New Testament, Holy Bible King James Translation)

Philosophically I have been, since I was seventeen, a transcendental existentialist. My teacher said I couldn’t be, they were contradictory, mutually exclusive. I don’t know about that. I believe. Existential experiential life is, understanding and accepting this allows me to call myself existentialist. Life is, deal with it. I have a soul and my soul is aware that it is here and now and is doing the best he can because he knows that eventually death will come and he will let go of all the aches and pains of life and return to whence he came. I don’t need a book or a prophet or a preacher to tell me this, I know this, this knowing came into life with the first flowing of the spirit of God into Adam.

The past couple of days I have been reading Thomas Picketty’s Capital in the Twenty-first Century. But having just completed a university level survey of western civilization I feel competent to tackle his argument if not to challenge his methodology. The Enlightenment experiment continues, the results are clear, we are making life better for more and more of the human population. It’s a work in progress that isn’t nearly done.