Prose poem

I have been most verbose of late, full of words that keep demanding they be recorded electronically and sent out there into the never never land of blogs that seem to be mostly maintained by people who are not interested in what they are saying but are fixated on finding something that will get them enough attention that they can use their blogs as a catapult to something profitable.

I would like for this to generate some income, would please me to no end, but I don’t write to generate income and I don’t share my words thinking that someone will pay me for providing them with a few minutes pleasure. For a long time I even tried to push myself towards that end, I tried to convince myself that if I could become economically secure writing then I would be free. But I think I always realized that getting paid for writing would change writing for me and I would no longer write because I had to or write the things that I have to but would become part of the system.

I get likes on this blog, almost every time I post, and I have nearly a hundred “followers” according to WordPress. When I am feeling generous I let myself assume that maybe a tenth of all the people who clicked the follow button actually read my posts when they are sent to them. I have to feel really generous with myself though to do that because something deep inside me, the voice of reality perhaps, keeps telling me that blogging has become a social game wherein each blogger tries to find a sympathetic thread to which they can attach their aspirations and, by liking enough people who are also playing the game, a reputation of sorts (friendly to fellow bloggers seems to be more important than having a blog that actually tries to say something) that opens one up to the bottom of the blogger’s fame and fortune pyramid.

These words keep flowing, at this point in my life God has and I thank him and praise him and rejoice that I can sit here at my kitchen table on this cool Monday morning in the middle of December in this year of our Lord 2014. I thank God that I learned to type when I was young and so keyboarding is second nature to me, easier than forcing a pencil or pen to mark a sheet of paper tap tap tap doesn’t require all the swirls and swoops any decent cursive penmanship requires.

I keep sending this out there, posting these blogs to rikworld, hoping and praying that in all the world there might be one who will see my words, become engaged by my train of thought, choose to accompany me on my journey, join me as I draw lines, weigh things and make measurements. The world is. Was. Will become.

Such silly simple words that we have allowed them to become our ticket to Egypt where we were pressganged into a galley headed up the Nile (denial, get it, obvious I know). The trip has only been made bearable by the generosity of the masters who make sure that we have plenty to drink and encourage us to band together in our mutual misery to make the best of the little they allow us while they sit under a canopy, above us, above the wind that would carry the stink of our labor’s sweat to their delicate nostrils, enjoying the fruits of our labors.

This is America! Not ancient Egypt. Or medieval Europe. We are free people and we do what we want because we want to. We want to spend the majority of our time five days out of seven bending and scraping and bowing in order to get along and make enough money to keep a roof over our heads, foods in our bellies, ready transportation. We choose to pay for every second of life, the warmth that keeps us, the light that exposes us. Hell, we even pay to have clean air in our homes, that stuff the common people breathe is full of all kinds of stuff that might be detrimental to our health.

I guess Ezra Pound is still with me a bit today. I love America and I love what I think it stands for, the great experiement – can humanity rule himself and provide a just and equitable society. This idea is in danger of extinction. For many I fear America is security and obsession with keeping one’s possessions. And success is socially measured by getting better and more modern possessions, continually, continuously. Never enough. Never good enough. We turn on the television for distraction but really we are being filled with images of what we don’t have, can’t have, won’t have, so many it’s blinding, and so we cope by choosing this or that out of all the whirling maelstorm of consumerism and that becomes our thing and while we can’t have that or that or that, I do at least have this and this sets me apart and means I am above the median!

There are so many people that, I guess, on some level we have to quit considering them as a sea of individuals but as a mass with kinetic energy. Don’t get me wrong, I like having what I have and I thank God all the time that I was blessed to be born a white male in the United States in the middle of the twentieth century. I could have gotten a lot worse, a whole different set of circumstances that would have denied me what I recognize and appreciate as being the blessings of being born, raised, and provided opportunity in what the future will consider as they peak of the civilization that was spawned by the Renaissance, nurtured by the Enlightenment, fueled by the Industrial Revolution, and encouraged by the great American experiment.

Evil Fower

Perverse poly-culturality is tearing western civilization apart. The sides line up.

On the right the strident self-righteous who have convinced themselves that the postmodern conundrum is valid, that there is no grand narrative, that the story tree (thank you, Clive Barker) is a myth a metaphor a lie the ignorant use to convince themselves that life has meaning and purpose.

Few there are on the other side, the side of those who believe as they have been taught, as their father’s and mother’s fathers and mothers taught their fathers and mothers, there is only that which is, which is the grand narrative and that we are people because there is something unique and distinct that sets us apart from the created world that we inhabit.

No, no, science does not support the existence of anything beyond what we can measure and define. If we cannot quantify it we cannot justify it. The world is just, our environment the experiential reality that my awareness is in constant and continual communication with. All is, nothing is created or destroyed, everything (space) is in flex (time) and we are, each and every one, the point of awareness.

That got away from me. I kind of (meaning I think so but am not sure enough that the laws of probability are in favor of an accurate interpretation) think it is all part of the process, the explication of my understanding of myself as awareness of having been, being, and becoming apprehended through the changes in the environment that surrounds me.

Me. I am the quality that cannot be qualified, the uncontrollable variable. I perceive changes. I am the product of changes. I am producing changes. Time changes, space changes, the awareness that perceives the changes encounters, processes and assimilates the changes but is not the changes and merely finds within the predictability of the changes self-awareness, that place of being that is aware.

I find myself breaking grammar often, usually for effect but quite often lately it has been for sense. I see a reader out there, trying to slide glibly through my prose, sure that I am not worthy of more than a scan. But if I can catch him, throw a thought at him that will arrest him at his mad dash through my words.

Maybe he will then take a moment and not just read my words but consider them, consider that another awareness felt the need to say something and accept that for whatever reason, he happened upon my ruminations. I took out the word words because this flow of words is a sum that is greater than its parts. Hence ruminations because it reminds me of Rumi and his ecstatic visions and I sense in him a fellow male-bonder, a fellow congregants in the church of man love.

Ch-ch-changes, Bowie sang, turn and face the strain. Encounter it embrace it become one with it. Or one can choose to not turn, not face, flow along with, become one of the maddening horde. We all are each and every one of us uniquely and distinctly who we are, the awareness that perceives. “What thou love’est well remains… the rest is dross.” (Ezra Pound)

Ezra Pound was one of those people I got stuck on for a while. I read a lot of his early stuff and swam around in The Cantos, which is where I happened upon the what thou lov’est passage. I read biographies and critical studies. He stood and paid for his stand. Was he insane? Legally he was, it kept him from being executed for treason.

I understand taking a stand against usury but I never got into it deep enough to form an informed opinion about any of that. The difficulty of rejecting Pound is that he wrote some of the most inspired verse of the twentieth century. And he had a hand in the making of twentieth century thought. Perhaps someday someone will take the time to consider his cultural eclecticism as the father of postmodernism.

Eliot is my man, though he is out of favor because he exhibited some of the prejudices of his day. The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock allows me to celebrate the isolated awareness of individual being. The Wasteland gives context to my conceptual understanding of my existential environment. The Rock pulls me out of vain self-absorption and frees me to free fall into the majestic spiritual comprehension of Four Quartets. “Go, go, go, said the bird… humankind cannot bear very much reality.”

I was into the English romantics for a while, especially Wordsworth, he was my favorite, I sensed a fellow male-bonder in him. In their world it wasn’t what it would have to be today. I feel the same about Whitman and Lincoln. Today we have to force life into socially accepted manifestations. If you like to have hot sex with a man then… Yes, then. That ugly then of social expectations about all manner of things that don’t have anything to do with hot sex.

“…disjointed but with purpose, craving penetration…”. Yes, Tales from the Topographic Ocean. Prose poems are disjointed, no smoothness or continuity, harsh incompatible words, phrases, images, metaphors, concepts, systems, just out there, they exist only because they had to be, they forced their way past my awareness into my mind so it could drive my finger to tap out these words on this tablet and then post this to my blog.

 

Sophisto prose poem

The twenty-first century is rife with innuendos, shades of consideration, the barest shavings off a truffle truth ‘shroom, just tiny dark moments of caution , to cushion the constant cascade of sensational salivation, to overcome awareness for a moment as the rich full goodness of properly cooked sirloin sends the id into such a spiritual acceptance that even superego, who has something to say about everything, is silenced, and in that moment ego is freed, for only a moment, from both his masters and he knows that he is content to listen to id constantly encouraging him on while superego throws the cold water of good reasons to not over the whole works continuously making it really difficult to but sometimes. Sometimes he manages to work the trick and know when id is too insistent and greedy and when superego is too overbearing and insistent.

Yeah, I used the word twice, pay attention. Hopefully there won’t be but there might be. Someday this poem might be taught in a classroom, a reflexive work of art, they might say, those arbiters of culture to come who will determine what voices rising out of the new tech the new media will eventually be important. I don’t have to be connected to write.

As a human being I would like to connect, to be connected to with by around about, I am to surrealist for this folly, there are far better comedians out there if all you want to do is laugh. I laugh, but I write because I have to. Bad metaphor but sometimes needs a little of the relief that comes from picking a scab off of a sore and the itching finally stops for a moment.

Why do evil flowers smell so good? They remind me of how far I have come. Yeah, still I struggle with Freud, I like his metaphor too much to let it go. I think people like to think that Freud is old school and philosophy has come a long way since and as far as control and refinement of the abuse of the truth that Freud gave us, I would say you are right. but as far as being an understandable useful applicable way to approach the post-modern world, there is still none better than the survival that L Ron tried to usurp but then got caught up in the jots and the tittles and lost the flow, the survival that lies at the heart of Freud’s theory of sexuality, being and personal experience of the here now, which are the great questions that confronted the twentieth century.

Philosophy was sure that it had come up with the grand narrative that made sense of Darwin and Einstein, Joyce and Pound, Christian and Muslim. Survival of the fittest. Adaptation into traits that most encourage survival, evolution of the species, we are the top of the food chain.

We will transcend, we will overcome, that’s what we do, that’s what we have always done. I can understand it all in the here and now on a basic enough level that allows me to accept the comfortable world that I find myself in, sheltered, fed, entertained, connected through the internet, these are not small blessings, these are the great and magnificent gifts of a God who loves to give gifts that bring blessings on those who choose to acknowledge that even though God cannot be found or measured or explained, God is.

And that is enough. At least as far as I am concerned. I need no proof, no justification. I face every day thanking God for the blessing of being able to be here now and do whatever it is that I am doing, for to do any alternative is unthinkable, unacceptable, and that is reason enough not to follow that line of reason, although that is what the syphilletic of the nineteenth century gave into and allowed to warp their understanding of the perfectability of humanity with a conception of human perfection that is imperfect for it fails to accept the reality that surrounds all who are and experience the glory of God that is life.

Prose poem

There isn’t much to say about it but that it is and try to start here, now, with me.

I am no longer young. I’m old, there, I’ve said it.   Almost 60, I guess the embryo that would develop into the life that grew up to be me was already in existence 60 years ago. Why don’t we do date of birth from moment of conception? That would make me a September baby, not June. A cusping Libra   Yeah, all things weigh in the balance with me.

I lay these words carefully, like a bird building a nest or a beaver constructing a dam. Deconstructing experience I fashion clay pigeons to shoot from the sky, more illusions exploded, exposed, posing, pretending. I am climbing Jacob’s ladder.

Someone once told someone that, based on the sample shared, that I was a writer, not a poet. I don’t write pretty fancy verse, no. I can and have but God has charged me with this means of expression and so I do what I can with what I have.

I seem to have lost touch with a lot of things, the night, the world of the streets. I once was comfortable and secure now I wonder and feel a little paranoid, I’ve fallen into that old man stage of life and that makes me a prey to the truly hungry. Not that they would get much from me, but I appreciate my blessings and know that I have it much better than many.

I claim fair use of all found materials, pictures, snippets of video. I will use these semes to weave my semiotic thread. And with this thread I will sew a pattern into my rug. Some of these metaphors have been around for a long time. I am working on a project, have been working at it for years now but only recently have I seen how it might actually work and not be some brutal hybrid of text and video.

The subject matter requires discretion, I am fascinated, fixated, focused, obsessed, enchanted by. I see. I know, the beautiful is a siren leading my way to dusty death, rocks and rapids, miss matched metaphors. Deconstructing and then reconstituting, creating something new and different, delivering a new and far more frightful truth.

Every poet’s work is his journey. Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, I wish that I believed enough to tell a tale like that of Achilles or Odysseus, I wish that my knowledge was ordered enough to take that long leisurely walk through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. I wish that I could have been there to hear and record the native tongue and breathe life into such diverse characters. No, God chose to place me here in this post-modern age where there is no grand narrative, just the struggle of life, the survival of the fittest in the interior struggle between id, ego and superego, to get as much as I can get and to be happy with that.

I am blessed. I have free access to the object of my fascination. I have the means to deconstruct and the tools with which I can reconstitute what I feel is a very tasty treat. Artistic and imaginative the work enjoys the approval of the superego because it elevates and transcends. The work also pleases the ego who is always on the lookout for that quiet moment that helps him get through all the other moments. And, needless to say, the work really gratified the id who justifiably finds justification in the time I give myself over to art.

I do a lot of yakkity-yakking, I know, silly rare-bit, tricks are for kids, but what baby sheep have to do with anything, I don’t know. I have read about and become acquainted with many things in my sixty years of life and there is much that I never, never did never would, never could. But, there are things I do like. Things that aren’t anyone’s business except the person I am doing them with and as long as they are okay with it, so be it.

I create my art and I put it out there. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Please. If by chance you feel comfortable in the church of manlove, then come join me.

Bend in the river, prose poem

The great question for me is, To what end? When I was young I thought prose was narrative driven. And it’s still kind of true, just not in the way I thought it was. Something is said, that’s the point, to connect, to cross the distance. There are far greater storytellers out there, masters of plot and pacing whose work leave me breathless. When I want to ride that roller coaster I slip into one of thousands of thrillers. Philosophers and mystics are a dime a dozen too. Too many systems not enough manifestation. I tried to cultivate a recognizable, socially approved, state of the art garden but ended up in this dark twisted corner where I have been reduced to cultivating these special blooms, these evil flowers, perfect for a trip on the drunken boat.

The landing here is on a quiet bend of the river, just over the hill is the fort that protects the settlers who have left all behind in the hope that there is a place where they can breathe free and live a quiet but good life. The other side of the river got too crowded, there were too many rules, too many eyes always watching. The setting sun illuminates dreams of limitless potential, at least until we run into the sea, but that comes later after manifest destiny has overtaken the continent from Atlantic to Pacific, Maine to California, from Florida to Washington, the state.

Canada could join the union with five states and free the northern border. Mexico could join the union with five states also, the North American continent could easily be united for the first time ever. Together Canada and Mexico would only be one fifth of the Senate, enough to be a significant voice but not enough to overwhelm. Poets dream of all kinds of things. Think of all the problems that would be resolved, how much closer we would be to the vision of possible future postulated by George Orwell in 1984.

Expla-nations, prose poem

This blog is my work in progress. This, not that. My, nor yours, his, theirs, or ours. Time passes, what was is not, what will be is coming. Strumming on my heartstrings, I could never get the hang of the guitar, my soul continues to sing to the glory of God.

“I will sing the Lord a new song…” Every minute of every day I am in every way a new song expressing my appreciation for being here and now. This blog exists because I am the child of Turning and Gates, I was there when the first personal computers came into the culture. I have always written, there are boxes of notebooks in the back room, scattered in with once important books well worn. I tried a time or two to get published but couldn’t get into it, I resist equating writing with money.

This blog allows me to publish. Thank you, God. There are ten in the bibiotek: Barker, Bataille, Dick, Hubbard, Joyce, King, Rice, Self, Vonnegut, and Wittgenstein. These are the core of my personal library here in the last month of the fourteenth year of the twenty-first century. Bataille, Joyce and Wittgenstein were all born in the nineteenth century. Dick, Hubbard and Vonnegut saw the first half of the twentieth century. Barker, King, and Rice all saw the second half and Self is the baby of the bunch, the youngest.

Georges Bataille is a really out there French philosopher who seemed to argue with everyone and I think was a surrealist even though the surrealists disavowed him. He dared to look into the dark places. Joyce opened language for stream of consciousness, the awareness, the mind that is the point of view manifesting as interpreter of the symbol set by which awareness places in time and space. And Wittgenstein, who blew it all to hell with his relativity of symbolset or which is what I call it, he just called it all into question and away we went.

Dick was not the greatest prose stylist in the word, many times he’s downright clunky but the man had an imagination that paved the way for the postmodern twenty-first century in a way that still, even paranoid and obsessive, wrestles with the greater questions of ethics and authenticity in a compromised deceitful world. L Ron Hubbard created a comic masterpiece with Mission Earth and if you don’t get it you don’t have a sense of humor and it doesn’t have anything to do with his religion or any of that other stuff, it is primo satire. An intelligent reader knows how to separate the wheat from the chaff after they’ve done harvesting the rich nourishment. Vonnegut was a humorist also, a comic writer, but he stayed within the bounds of civil decency (unlike L Ron, who is still hounded by hordes of self-righteous) and let behind a significant opus that is crowned by Slaughterhouse Five.

Will Self, I don’t know. A wild card. Chosen out of the blue, I read a short story, the first one in his earliest book, The London Book of the Dead, I think it was. Odd. Readable. Showed promising imagination. He found out after his mother died that she had just been located to another neighborhood.

Peter Pan is a great lesbian love story. Perpetually pre-adolescent, Peter the tomboy attaches to Wendy the filly Victorian symbol of all things Mother. Hook, the true male, missing hand, really?   Neverland a candy land of sunshine and happiness before the specter of sex casts its long shadow over the festival.

I never wanted to be more than I am, I always wanted to be more than I am. I am appreciative of being who I am and I maintain a healthy appreciation of all those flawed mes that I had to grow through to be who I am.

I always wanted to grow up, I just don’t want to grow old. At a very early age I learned that growing up was what one did, as quick as one could. Damned formal tense, I’m getting clinical on myself and while I enjoy the Freudian excuses as much as anyone, these evil flowers, these rough rugged prose poems refuse those simple explanations.

 

Blue Tangles, prose poem, evil flower

The motion stands, embrace the night or else fall prey to the light, don’t fight, it’s not right, the end is in sight, for nearly sixty years I have sailed this drunken boat down this crooked river, trying to get to Paris somehow. Not quite Paris, France but that mythical mystical magical Paris where my soul will feel truly at ease.

So vain, I feel, to have such hopes, these words crumble, meaning shimmers, a connection was there, then lost. Broken. Disrupted. Interrupted. D’s deaden the flow, we forget where we were going to go but that’s okay because we we’re here now and soon we’re going to be somewhere else.

Was that pretty? I thought it was, I think it is, a meaningful swirl in the rapids, a cloud shaped like a castle containing the answer to all our hopes and dreams. Perhaps if we knew the question, we might understand who we are.

Hoo yah, nonsense syllables, undefined expression, I know, my own little expulsion, spell-checker keeps me on my toes. Fancy dancing was something I did when I was young, now I teeter and totter, wobble this way and that, down the river the drunken boat continues to float, onward, to Paris.

Rimbaud both knew and was Verlaine, and Paris was the playground of their souls. Everyone should have such passion at least once in their lives even if only for a short time, if only in one’s mind. It was not then what it is today.

Oldest of placements, forbidden understanding, apprehension that beneath behind, beside, there is, there could be. Apprehension, expectation, no, just recognition deep and fundamental. I only ever gave to one who wanted to get what I had to give.

You do know what I mean. The great joy of life that I am trying to share through these evil flowers, these prose poems that are built according to the sophistmanifesto. “Is anybody there? Does anybody care? Can any one see what I see?” (1776, the Musical)