A funeral rite was once an art…

This is not a Christmas poem (i’ll pretend that isn’t happening), neither is it exclusively about Shelley, despite the Louis Edouard Fournier painting suggesting otherwise. i suppose, if the man being cremated is a poet, then the funeral rite, through contagious magic, becomes a work of art.

A funeral rite was once an art
but now | is nothing more (“or less”)
than | a service industry— a putting out of sight |
slinging the arrow of time | aflame
toward | at least | a metonymic pyre
—“to metaphor the dead is to keep
them dead | but metonym replaces with a life”
Why would you say such silliness?
: “the lobed hermaphrodite hunkered
in the snitching dynamo of our cortex |
acute enough to bathe us in dimethyltryptamine.
That’s what you said once over drinks.”
& yet | they swiped a digit round
the beveled edges of their Smartphone.
She shuts the device between her legs |
to trim & foul the agon of history
but | the mythos & logos tap
into her like a gavel rasping code.
“The beaches of man | now made with
the granulated pulp of their literature.
We pick through the silt rubble for more
coagulate bits intact | in search of …|…
in hope of | lost forbidden words | to hear
aloud | with our tremulous voice
for the first time in millennia
while 99% just sun bathe Self.”

13 thoughts on “A funeral rite was once an art…

      1. I’m new to word press love. And I am excited by the most intellect findings ever! Filling me softly with words to ponder this world worried soul! And truly, hello.

      2. The world is changed: there are plenty of people with interesting things to show & tell. There are some working philosophers with high positions in good universities who devote lots of time to quality blogging, poets, thinkers & artists too. It is nothing to be shrugged at anymore. Good luck finding some worthy material to enjoy.

  1. Haha, very clever, although Santa will bring you coal, Daniel, as he does me. Anyway … wishing you a pleasant break and a great 2018, Steve . PS I’m in power-saving mode over the holiday period.

    1. i’ll make a decent fire with that coal & cook some toast.
      Have a gud’n Steve. i’ll just be working, nothing special for me, this is Korea, Christmas hardly makes a ripple. & New Year will be much the same, welcome to my boring but highly productive life.
      Hope to see the detective & whatever else you have in the pipeline in the New Year.

    1. Ah yes, the hermaphrodite. i take that from Blake, whose system in his longer poems like The Four Zoas & Jerusalem, center around the Zoas, who are an embodiment of archetypes & the psychology disparities of man. Each male Zoa is not just best, but necessarily paired to an emanation, a feminine principal. They cannot function without each other, something catastrophic occurs when they are split. i always took this to mean that man is hermaphroditic, psychologically, perhaps not chemically, but through characterization of our different emotional states.
      So here, the hermaphrodite appears,”hunkered in the snitching dynamo of our cortex” meaning it is hidden yet always furtively betraying the explicate sex, who is a woman in this instance, a woman, who by taking control of technology, through a sexual act & because the technology contains all history in the form of the internet, she switches it into a form of pleasure. She takes the male role of judge (at least in history’s eye) & establishes the possibility of a clean break from our historically conditioned narrative.
      i wonder if this explanation ruins your enjoyment of the poem? i’m not ready yet to give up my meanings entirely to the reader, not that i don’t encourage attempts, but i have a balanced mixture of conscious & unconscious impulses that urge the poem along.

      1. i have to accept the elusiveness of so many allusions, or maybe not allusion, but recycling of useful aspects of systems i have learned. My first real fascination in poetry was Blake. i wrote my dissertation on Blake, i did a Jungian analysis of his long poems, for which i (proudly) received 1st class honours for my 2 year trouble. So, despite forgetting some of the finer details, i still have a trove of Blake stuff that gets re-purposed from time to time. i’d say he’s worth the effort, but only if you are going to dig deep, i mean, where even the miners fear to tread. He is very coherent at, what you might call a quantum level of reading, but beyond that, i think he is just baffling for most, perhaps not his lyrics from Songs of Innocence & Experience, which Ginsberg spent a career dipping into, but his ‘Didactic Works’ are immense. “Mark well my words they are of your eternal salvation” he warns us in his poem Milton. i will be writing an essay on this, which i have fomenting. Blake essentially used his system to rectify the failures of Milton to address the female, or so i interpret the poem, as Milton wasn’t a very good father, from what we can tell about not teaching his daughters to read or write & holing them up in domestic servitude. Blake, though he doesn’t say it explicitly anywhere, i believe (from knowing his exemplary treatment of his wife Catherine) thought this behaviour abominable. i want to write about this. But i’ll have to do it from memory, so it may take a while & be prone to error.

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