Guinness Soliloquy

The only poem about Guinness i know is this sonnet i have written, which if it is the only sonnet about Guinness, means it is the best sonnet about Guinness (he says with bated breath & a head full of self-delusion,& stout, haha). Mine’s a pint.

 

Guinness Soliloquy

This white minded dark creature, bitterly
misunderstood— you turn us inside out
: we sing, we dance, we love, better.
Undoubtedly Jungian: its Nigredo & Anima
tryst in the fluid suspense of pulmonary yeast
on the cusp of a kiss in a crop of burning barley,
the breasting flames hop in between them
& sundered, tatter into morning-after
bottom growls & frequent trips to the lavatory
between petting & foreplay, learn
each other from the roast of raw morning breath.
If Lao Tzu was around to see the stout
figure stacked in a pint glass, he’d have seen
& gulping, tasted the essence of philosophy.

Moonlighting in another’s culture

i may not be the right person to opine on this subject, however, as someone who entertains the things that coalesce inside them, i can’t ignore when something comes to me, not piecemeal, but in one chunk, as if the sculptor only had to tap the marble once & the figure in his mind appears, sinew, cavities, definition & all. So i guess what i am saying is this is one of those moments where it must be said, whatever that means.

This essay contains spoilers about the film Moonlight.

The other day i watched the new Oscar winning movie Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins. A film that doesn’t overwhelm with big names, nor is it director by & a director who makes big budget movies that visually impact, then fizzle out before your popcorn box is empty & people already begin to anticipate the next one. No, Jenkins makes real films, about real problems that take place in lives not too dissimilar from what his films portray— & so, how i came to pick this movie & what it taught me about myself, which i had not thought myself culpable of, is evidence of how important such films are in our fast paced, consumer society.

i finished all my jobs early Tuesday, & thought i’d treat myself to an afternoon film. i have little time for watching movies, busy see— hardly ever watch them, so don’t have a watch-list, though IMDB does, kindly store one for me in its vaults. What to watch though? i had read the headlines from the Guardian’s coverage of the Oscars & learned of Moonlight’s triumphs at the Oscars. Other than this i knew only the blurb on IMDB

: A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young black man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

& seen the image of a black kid on the poster, which if i’d looked closer, i’d have realized was the protagonist, ‘Little’ or Chiron as a boy, adolescent & man.

From this, paucity of information, i jumped to a ridiculous, unconscious conclusion: this is probably a film about them rappers they have nowadays, or summat like that— i hadn’t realized this at the time, but my brushing it aside implied this. So i lined up another film, Mud by Jeff Nichols, because i know i like Nichols’ films— a fitting title for such a silly person such as myself. However, while making my cup of coffee, i thought

what is it about Moonlight that has rendered this bias decision?

& had my epiphany

: due to a dim-witted, aesthetic judgement, falsely brought about from reading a short blurb & seeing a single image, i have reduced the film to a one dimensional production about rap music & a culture i have no affiliation with, which may not be the case at all.

So i backed myself up & switched my choice to maybe prove my self wrong.

This was a pre-conceived, unrealized, stigma but also, a detrimental form of xenophobia at the least— probably even a form of racism; i wouldn’t quarrel with that. This is how i feel about my unconscious action. i couldn’t help but wonder if even the best of us are culpable of xenophobia at some level of our character, if only because we haven’t ventured there to that level to probe ourselves? i am certain you can think of examples for yourselves. i have a few.

There was one in the news recently— Robert Kelly, the South Korea expert, during a BBC interview was interrupted when his two children burst into the room & their mother hurried in after them bundling them out. The Guardian published an opinion piece titled something like What does it say about those of us who saw a nanny? Some people had jumped to the conclusion that she must have been their nanny; must be right, she’s Asian & he is white.

One of the worst culminations of this kind of ignorance, was something i experienced firsthand when i took my wife to England for a visit. Many passersby assumed she was a Thai bride trying to get her mitts on a Visa. So what if she was? However, my wife isn’t Thai, she is Korean, very different; not that they’d ever thought to notice that— they just see slightly more ovate eyes, saber hair & golden skin & the inner light bulb pings with their assumption. In fact, my wife has no desire to live in England, hates the food & climate, can’t blame her. & seeing her linking arms with my father, well geeeezzuuus, they assumed (there’s that awful word again) the stereotype of the lonely, gut ridden, aged man who must have travelled to Thailand one year, had himself a time & purchased himself a pretty little bride, which of course is far from the reality— my wife loves my father, her father left when she was young, isn’t a very nice man, so for her to have someone fatherly in her life, is a sort of completion. But people, with their judgements; i was very disappointed with my country, it was a shameful display of ignorace. Their malignant judgements are the reason i can’t even consider a life in England with my wife; i am sure you all know about Brexit & the spiteful behaviour toward other races in Britain that has taken root. i took solace in my wife being unawares of this vile stigma held by British people. What does it say about us to carry these aversions, to jump to these conclusions? i can only speculate & be sorely disappointed & disapproving of their stigmas & people’s selfishness.

So, in general, i don’t feel closed off from the troubles of others, directly, yes, i am not interrupted in my daily life by the traumas & difficulties of others much, black people in particular— i am surrounded by Koreans everyday however. Anyone who knows me would say i am not an unconscionable fella & that i am affected by the suffering of others & a sense of incorrigible guilt hangs over me: that i don’t know how to help in a meaningful way, simply because of the overwhelming amount of suffering.

i am familiar with the black lives matter movement, i sympathize with the struggle of black people in America. i should know better than to make stupid aesthetic misjudgments. What’s worse is i wouldn’t have made this aesthetic judgement if it was a film about African child soldiers, this sort of discrimination did not crop up when i watched Beasts of no Nation. & if there were a film on the Syrian civil war there’d be no aesthetic problem to mull over unconsciously or otherwise. Likewise Iraq or Afghanistan, so why this People?

i assumed that, any film about a black man, from Miami, growing up through the 80’s up to the present day, could not pull at my heartstrings, even though those heartstrings are there. How wrong i was.

Here come more spoilers.

Chiron is homosexual. This is of course a huge problem for him growing up in the tough, impoverished & predominantly male dominated streets of 80’s & 90’s Miami. As a boy, those around him know what he is, but he doesn’t. He has to come to understand what it is that makes him different; how this alters the balance of his position in that society; how it alienates him; how it affects his relationships with people who are, on the whole, conditioned to find his sexual orientation an anomaly. So, much like any homosexual i suppose.

What had caused my very deep rooted, aesthetic bias? Why could i not foresee a film detailing the struggles of a gay black man? i can only speculate. Perhaps Hollywood’s misrepresentation of black people in films throughout my life, the incessant portrayal of them as macho, drug pushers, pimps, gangsters etc. The media, conditioning me to assume a generalization about black men in cineam. Largely, the fault of my own inconsideration & presumptuousness about the quality of black cinema because of associating all black cinema with rap music & violence, & so this aesthetic & cultural lack of appeal, had me project a generalized critique for all artistic portrayals of black men in cinema; so that a character like Chiron, his problems, remained something so remote as to not even register as possible.

But, egg on my face— Jenkins’ film has thankfully revised me to understand a little better the diverse potential for a black person’s character in cinema & in the wider world, especially from lower income communities in America. So i must thank Jenkins for inverting all of the overused stereotypes of the black man in cinema & for offering us fresh perspectives. i can never empathize nor do i claim to understand, nothing of the sort, i am far from this from that struggle & i find it insulting for me to say i get it, but it has opened dialogue with myself to stop my jumping to conclusions. An important step in learning anything remote from our experience.

i know about the poverty, crime & hardship, the history, but that there could be gay black men struggling with their identity, never dawned on me. Being from a lower middle class, white washed town in rural England, i didn’t have many black friends. i think i can count the amount of black (& foreign) kids in my school on one hand— yes, i think there were 5 or 6, if my memory serves. One black lad lived near to me & we played computer games together. But i never knew if he felt marginalized, he was just my pal, i never thought about his skin colour.

Moonlight, taught me more still about myself (spoilers ahead)

— the death of Juan when Chiron is still a boy, is dealt with in a curious way. The film transitions from Chiron’s boyhood to his High School years, with a sharp cut, a blank screen & the title Chiron.

We learn of Juan’s death in passing, while Chiron is talking to his mother about how Juan’s girlfriend Teresa is holding up— an almost throwaway detail. That’s it. No flashback, no tragic death scene, no funeral with distraught black woman hurling themselves to a rain sodden grave plot. No fists thump the ground in angry desire for revenge. We don’t see his loved ones mourn him at all. Not a single detail as to how or why, not even insinuations as to who was involved or present when he died. Juan is an important character too, he imparts wisdom, he nourishes him physically & mentally, he embodies the inversion of the stereotypical drug pushed & explains to the young Chiron that he may not know what he is now, but he’ll know when he knows & that he doesn’t need to know right now, a speech Chiron needs to hear from someone. When we meet Chiron as Black in his adulthood, he looks a lot like Juan & has even followed his occupational hazard. Juan is also quite likable. If we think right, we realize that his life, born into a Cuban immigrant family, suggests his journey hasn’t been strewn with promise & opportunity.

Juan takes it upon himself to be a fatherly shoe-in, for the fatherless Chiron, despite the hypocrisy of his profession, & moreover, that he sells drugs to Chiron’s mother thus, by equivocation, he is the catalyst for her deterioration as a suitable mother to Chiron, a mother he so desperately needs.

So you’d think his death would be a counterpoint in the film.

i was puzzled by this choice. It dawned on me soon after though that the absence of any development spoke volumes: in that environment this sort of fatality was commonplace. It would be the easy choice to enlarge upon his death; by inverting this Jenkins does something unexpected. In addition, the death of a drug dealer makes little impact on society, he is small fry; it doesn’t glorify in any way, or give focus to the fate of those in that profession. The emotional pain of loved ones becomes internalized, as if it were expected, as if they should know better than to get involved with someone who was bound to end up in a box early on in life. People have to survive, to push on with the bruise of the loss, silently. That these sorts of deaths are overlooked by the wider society. That though they may be drug dealers they were still people whose options are so threadbare that untangling themselves from the knot of poverty lead to one career choice & one only. It also casts a digit at the viewer & society:  without the gratuitous, graphic death scene, which we are so desensitized to anyway, without the visual push thrust at us, we are unlikely to be impacted & so overlook the emotional gravity of their death on the people who loved them, just like we do everyday. It is a very smart narrative feature that should evoke more consideration, yet i fear it probably doesn’t. It isn’t full of the usual hyperbolic drama & effrontery of Hollywood.

The fading out of Juan, made me reconsider something i had done of late, quite without realizing. A childhood pal of mine, recently lost a close friend of hers. Only a couple of years ago she lost another close friend of hers. i knew both her friends, in passing, i come from a small town, so you always sort of know these people. But the difference in my reaction was noticeable: of her first friend’s death i knew no details about how they died, so i remained quiet; i don’t speak with my friend often, but it’s one of those English things— when you see each other you drink & chat like old times & yet years can elapse without a word.

When her friend died recently, i learned of the details as it made national news: what happened was of course tragic, she was only 31, pretty & successful. The details of her death were peculiar, an very unlikely thing to befall a person, especially in England— a one in a million type thing, graphic & shocking.

After learning the events i couldn’t erase the image of how she died out of my mind, it really affected me. i messaged my friend, to console her & offer my condolences. i didn’t realize what i’d done until after i watched Moonlight & this whole essay started to form in my mind: that i had reacted more directly with the details of the event of a death than without them, when the details should have been of no consequence to my reaction & i should have, after both deaths, contacted my friend & offered my condolences. The parallel to Juan’s death is not exacting, however it suggests the same response: with more details, our response is intensified, more noticeable.

What is it about the details? Why do they prompt us to react with more emotional intensity, even urgency?

It seems to me that the graphic element of a circumstance leaves us shocked & encourage us to sympathize more with those directly affected. We are on the whole, unaccustomed, and unprepared to confront such tragedies; they don’t happen, thankfully, with clockwork regularity, which we are more tuned to. Therefore, when we hear the details we are more prone to put ourselves in the bereaved person’s shoes.

It seems to me it shouldn’t be like this, perhaps another product of a too secular, insular society, but i wouldn’t like to bet money on anything.

i hope, after writing this, i am inundated with people telling me that they are not like this & that on the whole, people are capable of being sympathetic without the unnecessary incidentals. If not, i hope you contact any friend who is suffering from the loss of a loved one, even if you don’t talk all that much. That people don’t have the sort of unregistered stigma as i had. In addition, that you won’t be too quick to judge the book by its cover; you just might learn something important from it.

& to tie everything up, i think it is important to stress that we’re never really done working on & improving ourselves, in every facet of our character; you never know what needs correction in your attitudes if you don’t keep a vigilant eye on the mutations of your character against multiple experiences. i suppose gnothi seauton is still relevant, except we can add that knowing yourself can increase your knowing of others, a little better.

 

Integrated Information Theory as Formula for Poetry (the whole essay)

i am very much aware that this isn’t light reading so i thank you for putting some welly into it & getting at it with yer brain teeth. i want it in one place & i want to push it, because writing this kind of thing is tough going— it took maybe 1 month of thinking & a couple of weeks drafting & taming into shape with hoops & raw fish. so here it all is, under one faithful sky.  

Integrated Information Theory as Formula for Poetry

The Abstract

i want to examine, as organically as possible, with, as unfathomable an approach as possible, which still retains & transmits, due to the vague, self-imposed pressure to make sense, a cohered message, Caesar of Consciousness Giulio Tononi’s Integrated Information Theory (IIT) & its terminology in a literary, largely poetic context, which i have perceived directly without influence from outside hands planting germinated seeds in the soil-goop of my brain.

he [Tononi] talks effortlessly about it in a Youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7oiHtoHH_0&t=831s) , which means he is the real deal who knows his stuff & to add to that, his distinguished chair, which he sits in & does Consciousness Science, at the University of Wisconsin, gives him ample authority to be heard.

how far can we use Tononi’s theoretical love child as a correspondence, approach & paradigm in our wrestling a poem out of the void [허공]? how is//can our reading & writing of the poem [be] radically altered when we begin to measure its consciousness, as according to Tononi’s theory (as you shall discover or may already know) everything is tagged [possesses] with consciousness. the poem written on a page, typed on a computer or typewriter, or even the ones hewn into mountains or scribbled in protest on walls, whether spoken with a voice or experienced & so we can designate them with consciousness. it seems to me that if the objects & experiences we put into the poems have a measurable consciousness then surely the poems carry in their pliable paunch the avoirdupois of tangibly measurable conscious reality— a measurement already made by us upon recognizing the objects or experiences as we see or have them act upon our sense.

—(i must make an admission of ignorance: i don’t fully understand Tononi’s findings, but i don’t need to, this is all experience— i have experienced the information to my benefit, if i am culpable of talking crap, please read my crap first— doctors have divined ailments from faeces & the indomitable Greeks & Romans divined by offal, it was called hepatoscopy (for organs) or extispicy ( for innards), perhaps crap might be divined from too, think of yourselves as hierophants as you read this, but hierophants of essayed crap.)—

Tononi’s Abstract for the journal Nature is our spring board into the cornucopia of the void (허공):

[it] provides a means to determine, in principle, the quality & quantity of experience. The theory leads to some counterintuitive predictions & can be used to develop new tools for assessing consciousness in non-communicative patients.

let’s say this is a manifesto (latin. manifestus: clear, evident). or a paradigm forward to the poem. or intention to act upon. a grip up to the heart of experience. a vision of the earth from the perimeters of the Milky Way. we have a great deal here to guide our step where there is no ledge. & only a brief Abstract. (there is so much information bombarding us even during our brief cessations from reading//talking//listening//watching
—even as we sit in quiet, waves of information rush through our ears, up our nostrils, sneak up through our abdomens & for once, i’d like to take as much from as little as possible.

shouldn’t the poem anyway determine the quality & quantity of experience or better still add to it? if not, what is the poet doing. i don’t think it is ever the case that a poet is not doing something, perhaps at various levels of deterioration or rejuvenation, no quarrel there (otherwise every poem would be reacted to with gasps of joy). how is it we know the poet is doing experience? that’s easy: we all see from our perspective, even if we try to imitate, we will say things in as incoherent & ugly a form as someone else, but it will 10 times out of 9 be different. the whinny of whale song all sounds the same to us, but to a whale it is unique each to each.

in our age the carnage of change is overwhelming us from all directions
— chaos has always been a part of the established way of reality, but we seemed to have heaped spoonful upon spoonful to this unsatisfying, immovable enigma of life— which has kept us busy so long. even a view of the earth from the moon couldn’t staunch our bickering. i have grown to quite like it (not the bickering, but the untidiness of us): i used to want some form of a spiritually interconnected harmonious upheaval of the status quo— for us to realize some higher psychological state & all walk about with blissfully carved grins across our stupid faces, homo spiritus or something to that effect. pah!
— that seems boring or rather more importantly, an impotence for tolerating entropy.
to utilize the flux in order to manufacture something inedible, unusable; something with the sole charge to stir chest clutching rasps from the uncommon arrangement of words— a letting of things happen (fall into place), seems more profitable action.

how? : this generation needs to put information to any use whatsoever if only to justify there being so much of it. else we run the risk of plasticity— a super-abundance of useful but unused information, all with its own petty, unrecognized, unorganized consciousness.
our poet today must be the infrastructure of society & take no token of gratitude, must branch his poetry to the Blakean definition of creator: Blake’s poetic genius was not only a poet, but a man of learning who spoke truths, imagined or real. poet as everyman & individual. poet as legislator for the beginning of a handy thought. not the only one (poets get different names) but one nevertheless.

to write some bygone time is valueless to poetry & to the Millennial (which even Microsoft Word Spelling & Grammar Check has caught up to). the Millennial is screaming their throat hoarse their lungs dry, but the generation of Boomers who raised (razed?) them, foolhardily vitiate their creative endeavors in some Russian Dolls of ignorance that befell them, as if that’s how it goes (i am generalizing i know)— & this becomes the sexy nymph dragging Hylas off his tiny boat gagging for it. how many articles (i’m looking at you Guardian dicks) have there been derogatory of the Millennial or their spawn for identity: the Hipster. Millennials have to learn about the past if only to break the tradition, to give some reasoning behind the severance. they are always i agree, but… else they are ignorant. & good for us, good for us to reckon with the past & to give it a duty in the world we inherit. it’ll be different when you’re gone.
the Millennial is committed to acts of genius. to works of breathtaking importance.
i have watched so much uniqueness peak briefly & collapse into doleful obscurity— a memory for the few who cherished it.

but we have to don’t we. we have to use the integrated consciousness. be part of it. recognize each other in our pains to be heard.
this all sounds so puerile, but i rebel against tat tvam asi our teachers gimleted into our soft, malleable heads:
this is valuing the efforts of each generation. if that generation must tend blogs or clouds of sound like gardens or court their peers with the best work they can produce day to day. to live & work & in their idle moments spared them, create— then it must be acknowledged.

this is behaving to counter any comment to the contrary that poetry or what we create is not an annex to determine the quality & quantity of experience.

counterintuitive predictions should be a golden phase that amplifies to the pitch of the heart of many carrots in the ear of the poet as they read it. it scaffolds freedom to ruminate the many facets of experience available to the human animal (DO NOT FORGET we are animals that apperceive, who can look solid in a mirror facing another mirror & recognize infinity domino either side of them— that is as close to touching infinity as were ever going to get, sup it up.) : to language things. to form & to technique things on top of other things, this is man’s duty to his consciousness & the things he consciously takes for granted.

to willfully dig out the present down to the future, some guesswork that may with coincidence become reality. we are prophets if even 2% of our guesses come to pass. to be poetic-seers in a digital age & to know it, to not be phased even when erroneous. this is revolutionary. with such aspirations to this despite hypocrisy & despite knowing it is utter non-sense. soldiering on with this is to look outside of any current crisis, to be more human than our warring & hatred allows us. we are not two Onyx scrapping over a female or a drying pool of ochre coloured river bed. we are civilized. we are many & from many. we have choice & so we need not spoil this with our belligerence.

we brachiate like the arms of Avalokiteshvara, but arms holding telescopes or made of telescopes that look to more fertile times, where nothing has changed but us, who have changed to re-appropriate our feelings toward what would try to tear down our furor to create. if something doesn’t change you change. if others don’t write what you want to read, write it. if others won’t clean the land you want clean, make pains to clean it yourself. if others won’t stop eating meat, stop eating it yourself. if the elements are not to your liking, change to like them. if the only food you have is simple, learn to eat simple food. (there are dire circumstances where this logic is not applicable. but for many of us reading this, we can take this into account & do a little bit of good.)

otherwise, don’t alter anything: wu wei wu wei wu wei.
or kick back, write a poem— eat some fruit. eat a flower. drink paint. snort music. eat a poem.
let everything be glimpse (apercu) like//with//as George Didi-Huberman translates the word.

we all know not much really changes: evolution is slow. look how long it took us to not be monkeys. there are still monkeys y’know, they just have fake tans & play golf rather than pull their foot out their own arses.
the consciousness of things persists, goes on the same even when we are gone
— let’s fully integrate ourselves in that consciousness.
full immersion with poetry & creative-movement: read David Bohm’s On Creativity, right now!

who will the non-communicative patients be?— them that can’t see past their own nose.
them that see nothing beyond everything. those that compartmentalize reality rather than seeing it as uniform (i have blundered into hypocrisy— that is life now, y’know)

: without borders. without edges.

these people will not be left out, they will be used— used as cannon fodder for the poet should they recruit them into their forms, to fire anything they can stuff in there & fire at them, just to make them react, organically. the poet sees beyond them. sees they’re an unbroken continuation. they will be other & yet the same, like two cups either end of a piece of string. they will discriminate themselves but as poets we will take pains to include them, to not be discriminatory. they’ll become something like brass door knobs or tins of paint, an un-decorated paper fan.
pens or canvas or Moleskine notebooks. paintbrushes tied to branches above easels. utilitarian but useless to act in & of themselves. so the poet will borrow them. their state will bring them no discomfort or pain. they will not be different other than in a marginal world they’ll have no clue about. they chose not to see when seeing is for the taking. the poet will recognize them as objects capable of higher function. they will be the integral information of a new theory on poetry that produces something remarkable. as lay-abouts of the status quo they will be beyond their own comprehension but comprehended through an art of elapsing, rippling glimpses. it will take time for them to take definition. perhaps this is happening in some germinate mode. i cannot say for sure.

IIT gifts a poem a mind, a consciousness with a weight in the measure of poem. cherish this like an old Collected Poems that you sleep with under your pillow so that its forms & functions seep into your head while you sleep.

the poem will think for itself when it realizes. we can help it. just like Disney personifies objects & animals, making them talk, the poem will apperceive— glimpse itself in the mirror, give itself a twirl. be an ego all its own fiasco.

how IIT seems to work— an analogy

as an amateur Analogist (not that one, the one i made up) i’d liken it to a compressed folder: the content is not anywhere else but in the compression. the compression isn’t the content but a code from which the content can be obtained, providing they have the correct tool, or software to decompress the compressed information.
i suppose something like the point of infinite density exponentially expanding into mattered things— a microcosm of that event.
as with a compressed file, objects remain inert (compressed) until the content is required, at which moment, the brain decompresses it with the code or software, instantly. this is why, when you have never seen something before & someone else has, you both see the same thing.
no one asked why, when Kaspar Hausar was released from his long confinement, he could distinguish things visually from one another— that he could see what everyone else sees despite having never seen them.
obviously, the content of things requires outside influence, in the same way that the content of the compressed file, may contain information that the receiver needs to process or increase their understanding of with additional resources. the content of the information is just that— as the physical information is just that.
an apple requires you to taste or touch it to fill in the gaps of what additional information it can convey, just as the file’s compressed information must be read to be understood.
only the physical specifications are tied with our consciousness, there is no additional information that tells us anything about the thing— a general rule the aggregate of objects share.
the poem then is compressed emotion decompressed into a physicality, whether that physicality takes the form of sound or writing, nevertheless it has a form which can be managed & projected. the decompression of the emotion is a form & any additional information of meaning is to be decided by a reader or by the poet as the decompression takes place. as it transforms from inner motion to outer solidity, which is capable of motioning someone utterly.

the axioms of IIT as given by http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Integrated_information_theory

(all italicized passages are IIT’s axioms from the link above.)

Intrinsic existence

Consciousness exists: each experience is actual—indeed, that my experience here and now exists (it is real) is the only fact I can be sure of immediately and absolutely. Moreover, my experience exists from its own intrinsic perspective, independent of external observers (it is intrinsically real or actual).
the poem gestates in the mind. takes form from a germ. editing is the preparatory crafting of the limbs & body in the limbo between conception & birth
— it has a womb life, our mind is that warm sanctuary. a poem is born.
know your deictics like you know your mother’s face. you can make the existence of a poem intrinsically now with deictics & you can acutely point out something you want people to attend to. know them well. they are your here & now // you & i // this & that.
According to Jonathan Culler, “the importance of such deictics as technical devices in poetry can scarcely be overestimated,” for they “bring into being a voice and a force addressed.” Roland Greene concurs: “lyric must rely on deictics to maintain and adjust its internal process, to found fictions.”[6] “Whenever we use the terms now or here or I or you,” observes Susan Stewart, “we find ourselves immersed in the ‘now’ of articulation, the ‘here’ of the space in which speech is spoken, the ‘I’ of the speaker, the ‘you’ of the listener. It is … not just that such terms are context-dependent: they themselves define and create the circumstances of specific contexts.” (Kilbane, Matt: https://jacket2.org/article/indexical-lyric)

this is proof of something profound & commonplace, you know it even if you don’t know the word deictic, which gives me hope to laud over.

it is crafted into complexity just like an animal is crafted by cells & D.N.A in harnessing fluids. become actual it stumbles into the world. a poem is like a baby foal or calf: it can walk as soon as it exi(s)ts. it must do else how will it make its impact on the passive. it knows itself in a mirror quicker than a baby. it has understood how to please itself with gregarious alacrity. breathless to its own design. i show you a living thing. feel the poem & your own pulse, they emit the same rhythm, simultaneously.
it can praise its creator. makes a god of them. meets on Sundays with other poems
: love poems, metaphysical poems, Zen poems, religious poems, experimental poems, Dada, Imagist, sonnet, villanelle, terza rima, heroic, couplets, iamb, anapaest, trochee— all the poetics bundled under one metaphoric roof. they determine their meaning. debate the fallout of their endeavours to understand, like a Hindu giving up on knowing Genesis in its multiform because they know Prajapati. speaks Freudian/Jungian. knows its Kant from Nietzsche— no help there. understands economics & mathematics but never calculates infinity— no point: won’t care for far thinking like that— depth & length are two faces of a poem, but it is multi-faced. thinks in matar, but doesn’t have to count, more organic that way.
debates sexual discrepancies. how they dream of foreplay with verses from The King James or Vedas pursing their lips on the nape of their necks. shambolic nights with Aphorisms. dirty weekends in Cornwall with Apothegms. an accountants stanzas in the back alley, drunken & flustered until they cum the building blocks of themselves on cobbled streets, which magpies sup & sing from the top most tip of cypress.
none of this is a lie. i give it intrinsic existence by my creating it— let no one tell you otherwise. i could go on but always know when enough intrinsic existence is enough.

Composition

Consciousness is structured: each experience is composed of multiple phenomenological distinctions, elementary or higher-order. For example, within one experience I may distinguish a book, a blue color, a blue book, the left side, a blue book on the left, and so on. 
Consciousness is specific: each experience is the particular way it is—being composed of a specific set of specific phenomenal distinctions—thereby differing from other possible experiences (differentiation). For example, an experience may include phenomenal distinctions specifying a large number of spatial locations, several positive concepts, such as a bedroom (as opposed to no bedroom), a bed (as opposed to no bed), a book (as opposed to no book), a blue color (as opposed to no blue), higher-order “bindings” of first-order distinctions, such as a blue book (as opposed to no blue book), as well as many negative concepts, such as no bird (as opposed to a bird), no bicycle (as opposed to a bicycle), no bush (as opposed to a bush), and so on. Similarly, an experience of pure darkness and silence is the particular way it is—it has the specific quality it has (no bedroom, no bed, no book, no blue, nor any other object, color, sound, thought, and so on). And being that way, it necessarily differs from a large number of alternative experiences I could have had but I am not actually having.
composition is the bread & butter of a poem. the poem is composed. i could end here & i’ve made my point. it is phenomenological. has a way about itself. punctuated by higher order. full of weather & objects. peopled with acts. acted with peoples. dimensional. just as something is made & then bulldozed, burnt & mortified— so the poem. it is composed of feelings & so it feels. it feels your eyes all over its naked flesh. it knows when you cry wolf. it may be contained in a blue book. it takes all the blame. won’t dob its mates in. left facing — or right facing. it is its own book. we are all books. all of us a poem. they are not so much composed from out of us as they are worn on the thin skin of our wrists or nourished by the flab of our waists. we should write in patois trepanned as the lyric of the unsung culture.
James Longenbach is a special kind of wizard: he can pull poems apart with his teeth, grapple them in his maw as he surgically pulls them iamb from rhyme then rearrange them so that if the poem is ABABC#DC#D, he can reorder it DADABC#BC# & miraculously, the meaning does not subside into nowt, but rather survives the mad rending.
cause & effect is there still. un.be.lieve.a.ble.
turn out the light & in the cupola of dark you will still be able to read a poem as if it is written in invisible ink & our eyes saturate it in a self-modulated strobe of UV. phenomenologists are busily attempting to understand this peculiarity of the IIT poem. there was an article in a book on a book shelf of the libraryofbabel, which explains the mechanism within the poem that enables this but, no. it’s all gibberish & we haven’t got the handle on gibberish quite right as of yet, despite our heavy conscience.
i’ve explained poems are made. you make them with a communication of mind to hand. like most things.
look closely at an amplituhedron, a lot, as long as Keats looked at that Grecian Urn. i’ll give you time [… … … …] did you see it?
& poems will burst out of you composed like the tintinnabulations of a Vajra fixed in its Ghanta. no one may understand what the heck you’ve drabbled out of your Self, but someone will get the gist of the composition at some point in time— isn’t that immortality in a nutshell? compose yourself. proceed…

Integration

Consciousness is unified: each experience is irreducible to non-interdependent, disjoint subsets of phenomenal distinctions. Thus, I experience a whole visual scene, not the left side of the visual field independent of the right side (and vice versa). For example, the experience of seeing the word “BECAUSE” written in the middle of a blank page is irreducible to an experience of seeing “BE” on the left plus an experience of seeing “CAUSE” on the right. Similarly, seeing a blue book is irreducible to seeing a book without the color blue, plus the color blue without the book.
a blue book in a dream & a blue book in your lap, in reality, are the same blue book if the book is not opened. the poem dreamt or the poem wrote, too. they have the same amount of consciousness, because they are the surface of the experience. content is still absent, so they are seen with as much consciousness as one another because of the definition we give them as experienced. they inhabit radically different spatial environments. however, if asked to describe them as detailed as possible you’d end up with strikingly similar descriptions. i saw a blue book in a dream it isn’t open i do not know the contents. i have a blue book in my lap i do not want to look at the contents.

i can’t help but think of all this like the difference in defining the word grunt or using its onomatopoeia or explaining gravity with an equation rather than watching an anvil fall from the Eiffel Tower.
what am i saying: that all experience is integrated into the domino of moments that we perceive or someone else perceives for us & so our experience is an integrated one. the touch of rains, the smooth of glass, the prickle of nettles is one to another alike.
fall under the category of experience, integrated under that one word, be trodden into it like gum on a footpath. if we can describe something or something that took place, there’s potential.
how can we do this even if something has never been experienced?
because it has a measure of consciousness annexed to it, which the mind cooperates with to enable our interaction with the world at a higher level.
what does this mean for poetry: write about whatever the fuck you want. just make it damn good.

be a poem.

Exclusion

Consciousness is definite, in content and spatio-temporal grain: each experience has the set of phenomenal distinctions it has, neither less (a subset) nor more (a superset), and it flows at the speed it flows, neither faster nor slower. For example, the experience I am having is of seeing a body on a bed in a bedroom, a bookcase with books, one of which is a blue book, but I am not having an experience with less content—say, one lacking the phenomenal distinction blue/not blue, or colored/not colored; or with more content—say, one endowed with the additional phenomenal distinction high/low blood pressure. Moreover, my experience flows at a particular speed—each experience encompassing say a hundred milliseconds or so—but I am not having an experience that encompasses just a few milliseconds or instead minutes or hours.
the poem is definite. it is not a marginal space. nothing is marginalized. or it shouldn’t be. not everything has to be put into one poem. a poet is capable of many poems. so know what to exclude. know your pace. know the poems pace. don’t/do get high blood pressure from a poem. you’ll figure something out. one thing to disagree with here is the potential to alter the poem. it is easy to talk to. however, if you want it to remain unchanged, then do so. it can be definite in its consciousness. think of it like explaining a little about yourself when you meet somebody new: you may not use the exact spiel you used the last time you gave out your autobiography. you will use different words. a different order of sentences. you may update it with something important that recently happened. but essentially the meaning goes unaltered, the subject, unaltered. so too the poem can remain definite in content & spatio-temporal grain & yet something of this content may have been altered in form alone.

how can we test it

Tononi has many graphs & charts, which do not communicate anything other than confusion to me, so i have developed my own method to test IIT— i have yet to find my guinea pigs for the experiment.
get yourself hired as a third party middleman by a person who knows very little about very much (no money should exchange hands). find an object you can introduce to them that they do not know. it will probably be best if it is foreign to their homeland: these tend to be the most flabbergasting. on seeing it they should go something like pfft… fucked if i know!
despite their ignorance, the object should be such that given time they will at least be able to describe it using the vocabulary they have to hand. enough to prove they see it & to prove their seeing it to another person.
bring another person into the fold. a person who knows the object exceptionally well: an expert. these may become more difficult to find as more politicians rebel against them & lynch mobs chase them down from institutes they themselves can’t get appointed by— cuz if ya don’t know you don’t get a say. do not let them meet each other. put them in separate rooms. don’t hermetically seal them— you need them both alive for the experiment to work. use the same object for both. ask them the same set of questions. the questions should be general & no ambiguity should be possible.
they should be questions that determine the objects dimension, shape, sound, colour, material— basic sensory impressions.
correlate the answers after each has taken their turn with the object. it should be clear that the subjects see the same object. if the test results are inconclusive blindfold them & have them both sat before the object. remove the blindfolds at the same time & see if they both look at the object. if they do, then they see the same thing. the room should have nothing to interfere with their seeing the object. if the results are still inconclusive then Tononi is wrong & IIT is for the slag heap. i doubt it though. it’s more likely that even an object unknown to someone, though they may articulate their seeing differently to an expert, they still see the same object, because it is fixed & constant to everyone because it possesses some degree of consciousness.

if anyone does perform this experiment, please allow me to submit the details of your findings, in full, as an annex to this essay. who knows TEDx might give you a bell. they will pay better than me. i will pay you, but it may be unconventional in its manifestation. if you do the experiment in a lab coat tailored from famous pages of 1st edition poetry books i’d be most impressed & inconsolably saddened in one odd maelstrom of emotion. thanks for bearing with me.

Part iii & iv of my essay titled Integrated Information Theory as Formula for Poetry

Part i & ii here. 

the axioms of IIT as given by http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Integrated_information_theory

(all italicized passages are IIT’s axioms from the link above.)

Intrinsic existence
Consciousness exists: each experience is actual—indeed, that my experience here and now exists (it is real) is the only fact I can be sure of immediately and absolutely. Moreover, my experience exists from its own intrinsic perspective, independent of external observers (it is intrinsically real or actual).
the poem gestates in the mind. takes form from a germ. editing is the preparatory crafting of the limbs & body in the limbo between conception & birth
— it has a womb life, our mind is that warm sanctuary. a poem is born.
know your deictics like you know your mother’s face. you can make the existence of a poem intrinsically now with deictics & you can acutely point out something you want people to attend to. know them well. they are your here & now // you & i // this & that.
According to Jonathan Culler, “the importance of such deictics as technical devices in poetry can scarcely be overestimated,” for they “bring into being a voice and a force addressed.” Roland Greene concurs: “lyric must rely on deictics to maintain and adjust its internal process, to found fictions.”[6] “Whenever we use the terms now or here or I or you,” observes Susan Stewart, “we find ourselves immersed in the ‘now’ of articulation, the ‘here’ of the space in which speech is spoken, the ‘I’ of the speaker, the ‘you’ of the listener. It is … not just that such terms are context-dependent: they themselves define and create the circumstances of specific contexts.” (Kilbane, Matt: https://jacket2.org/article/indexical-lyric)

this is proof of something profound & commonplace, you know it even if you don’t know the word deictic, which gives me hope to laud over.

it is crafted into complexity just like an animal is crafted by cells & D.N.A in harnessing fluids. become actual it stumbles into the world. a poem is like a baby foal or calf: it can walk as soon as it exi(s)ts. it must do else how will it make its impact on the passive. it knows itself in a mirror quicker than a baby. it has understood how to please itself with gregarious alacrity. breathless to its own design. i show you a living thing. feel the poem & your own pulse, they emit the same rhythm, simultaneously.
it can praise its creator. makes a god of them. meets on Sundays with other poems
: love poems, metaphysical poems, Zen poems, religious poems, experimental poems, Dada, Imagist, sonnet, villanelle, terza rima, heroic, couplets, iamb, anapaest, trochee— all the poetics bundled under one metaphoric roof. they determine their meaning. debate the fallout of their endeavours to understand, like a Hindu giving up on knowing Genesis in its multiform because they know Prajapati. speaks Freudian/Jungian. knows its Kant from Nietzsche— no help there. understands economics & mathematics but never calculates infinity— no point: won’t care for far thinking like that— depth & length are two faces of a poem, but it is multi-faced. thinks in matar, but doesn’t have to count, more organic that way.
debates sexual discrepancies. how they dream of foreplay with verses from The King James or Vedas pursing their lips on the nape of their necks. shambolic nights with Aphorisms. dirty weekends in Cornwall with Apothegms. an accountants stanzas in the back alley, drunken & flustered until they cum the building blocks of themselves on cobbled streets, which magpies sup & sing from the top most tip of cypress.
none of this is a lie. i give it intrinsic existence by my creating it— let no one tell you otherwise. i could go on but always know when enough intrinsic existence is enough.

Composition
Consciousness is structured: each experience is composed of multiple phenomenological distinctions, elementary or higher-order. For example, within one experience I may distinguish a book, a blue color, a blue book, the left side, a blue book on the left, and so on. 
Consciousness is specific: each experience is the particular way it is—being composed of a specific set of specific phenomenal distinctions—thereby differing from other possible experiences (differentiation). For example, an experience may include phenomenal distinctions specifying a large number of spatial locations, several positive concepts, such as a bedroom (as opposed to no bedroom), a bed (as opposed to no bed), a book (as opposed to no book), a blue color (as opposed to no blue), higher-order “bindings” of first-order distinctions, such as a blue book (as opposed to no blue book), as well as many negative concepts, such as no bird (as opposed to a bird), no bicycle (as opposed to a bicycle), no bush (as opposed to a bush), and so on. Similarly, an experience of pure darkness and silence is the particular way it is—it has the specific quality it has (no bedroom, no bed, no book, no blue, nor any other object, color, sound, thought, and so on). And being that way, it necessarily differs from a large number of alternative experiences I could have had but I am not actually having.
composition is the bread & butter of a poem. the poem is composed. i could end here & i’ve made my point. it is phenomenological. has a way about itself. punctuated by higher order. full of weather & objects. peopled with acts. acted with peoples. dimensional. just as something is made & then bulldozed, burnt & mortified— so the poem. it is composed of feelings & so it feels. it feels your eyes all over its naked flesh. it knows when you cry wolf. it may be contained in a blue book. it takes all the blame. won’t dob its mates in. left facing — or right facing. it is its own book. we are all books. all of us a poem. they are not so much composed from out of us as they are worn on the thin skin of our wrists or nourished by the flab of our waists. we should write in patois trepanned as the lyric of the unsung culture.
James Longenbach is a special kind of wizard: he can pull poems apart with his teeth, grapple them in his maw as he surgically pulls them iamb from rhyme then rearrange them so that if the poem is ABABC#DC#D, he can reorder it DADABC#BC# & miraculously, the meaning does not subside into nowt, but rather survives the mad rending.
cause & effect is there still. un.be.lieve.a.ble.
turn out the light & in the cupola of dark you will still be able to read a poem as if it is written in invisible ink & our eyes saturate it in a self-modulated strobe of UV. phenomenologists are busily attempting to understand this peculiarity of the IIT poem. there was an article in a book on a book shelf of the libraryofbabel, which explains the mechanism within the poem that enables this but, no. it’s all gibberish & we haven’t got the handle on gibberish quite right as of yet despite our heavy conscience.
i’ve explained poems are made. you make them with a communication of mind to hand. like most things.
look closely at an amplituhedron, a lot, as long as Keats looked at that Grecian Urn. i’ll give you time [… … … …] did you see it?
& poems will burst out of you composed like the tintinnabulations of a Vajra fixed in its Ghanta. no one may understand what the heck you’ve drabbled out of your Self, but someone will get the gist of the composition at some point in time— isn’t that immortality in a nutshell? compose yourself. proceed…

Integration
Consciousness is unified: each experience is irreducible to non-interdependent, disjoint subsets of phenomenal distinctions. Thus, I experience a whole visual scene, not the left side of the visual field independent of the right side (and vice versa). For example, the experience of seeing the word “BECAUSE” written in the middle of a blank page is irreducible to an experience of seeing “BE” on the left plus an experience of seeing “CAUSE” on the right. Similarly, seeing a blue book is irreducible to seeing a book without the color blue, plus the color blue without the book.
a blue book in a dream & a blue book in your lap in reality are the same blue book if the book is not opened. the poem dreamt or the poem wrote, too. they have the same amount of consciousness, because they are the surface of the experience. content is still absent, so they are seen with as much consciousness as one another because of the definition we give them as experienced. they inhabit radically different spatial environments. however, if asked to describe them as detailed as possible you’d end up with strikingly similar descriptions. i saw a blue book in a dream it isn’t open i do not know the contents. i have a blue book in my lap i do not want to look at the contents.

i can’t help but think of all this like the difference in defining the word grunt or using its onomatopoeia or explaining gravity with an equation rather than watching an anvil fall from the Eiffel Tower.
what am i saying: that all experience is integrated into the domino of moments that we perceive or someone else perceives for us & so our experience is an integrated one. the touch of rains, the smooth of glass, the prickle of nettles is one to another alike.
fall under the category of experience, integrated under that one word, be trodden into it like gum on a footpath. if we can describe something or something that took place thing of the potential.
how can we do this even if something has never been experienced?
because it has a measure of consciousness annexed to it, which the mind cooperates with to enable our interaction with the world at a higher level.
what does this mean for poetry: write about whatever the fuck you want. just make it damn good.

be a poem.

Exclusion
Consciousness is definite, in content and spatio-temporal grain: each experience has the set of phenomenal distinctions it has, neither less (a subset) nor more (a superset), and it flows at the speed it flows, neither faster nor slower. For example, the experience I am having is of seeing a body on a bed in a bedroom, a bookcase with books, one of which is a blue book, but I am not having an experience with less content—say, one lacking the phenomenal distinction blue/not blue, or colored/not colored; or with more content—say, one endowed with the additional phenomenal distinction high/low blood pressure. Moreover, my experience flows at a particular speed—each experience encompassing say a hundred milliseconds or so—but I am not having an experience that encompasses just a few milliseconds or instead minutes or hours.
the poem is definite. it is not a marginal space. nothing is marginalized. or it shouldn’t be. not everything has to be put into one poem. a poet is capable of many poems. so know what to exclude. know your pace. know the poems pace. don’t/do get high blood pressure from a poem. you’ll figure something out. one thing to disagree with here is the potential to alter the poem. it is easy to talk to. however, if you want it to remain unchanged, then do so. it can be definite in its consciousness. think of it like explaining a little about yourself when you meet somebody new: you may not use the exact spiel you used the last time you gave out your autobiography. you will use different words. a different order of sentences. you may update it with something important that recently happened. but essentially the meaning goes unaltered, the subject, unaltered. so too the poem can remain definite in content & spatio-temporal grain & yet something of this content may have been altered in form alone.

how can we test it

Tononi has many graphs & charts, which do not communicate anything other than confusion to me, so i have developed my own method to test IIT— i have yet to find my guinea pigs for the experiment.
get yourself hired as a third party middleman by a person who knows very little about very much (no money should exchange hands). find an object you can introduce to them that they do not know. it will probably be best if it is foreign to their homeland: these tend to be the most flabbergasting. on seeing it they should go something like pfft… fucked if i know!
despite their ignorance, the object should be such that given time they will at least be able to describe it using the vocabulary they have to hand. enough to prove they see it & to prove their seeing it to another person.
bring another person into the fold. a person who knows the object exceptionally well: an expert. these may become more difficult to find as more politicians rebel against them & lynch mobs chase them down from institutes they themselves can’t get appointed by— cuz if ya don’t know you don’t get a say. do not let them meet each other. put them in separate rooms. don’t hermetically seal them— you need them both alive for the experiment to work. use the same object for both. ask them the same set of questions. the questions should be general & no ambiguity should be possible.
they should be questions that determine the objects dimension, shape, sound, colour, material— basic sensory impressions.
correlate the answers after each has taken their turn with the object. it should be clear that the subjects see the same object. if the test results are inconclusive blindfold them & have them both sat before the object. remove the blindfolds at the same time & see if they both look at the object. if they do, then they see the same thing. the room should have nothing to interfere with their seeing the object. if the results are still inconclusive then Tononi is wrong & IIT is for the slag heap. i doubt it though. it’s more likely that even an object unknown to someone, though they may articulate their seeing differently to an expert, they still see the same object, because it is fixed & constant to everyone because of it possesses some degree of consciousness.

if anyone does perform this experiment, please allow me to submit the details of your findings, in full, as an annex to this essay. who knows TEDx might give you a bell. they will pay better than me. i will pay you, but it may be unconventional in its manifestation. if you do the experiment in a lab coat tailored from famous pages of 1st edition poetry books i’d be most impressed & inconsolably saddened in one odd maelstrom of emotion. thanks for bearing with me.

Part i & ii of a iv part essay titled—Integrated Information Theory as Formula for Poetry

i don’t have the foggiest idea what i’ve done. i suppose i’d call it connecting the dots in some odd way. reading up on IIT all these thoughts homed in on me & this essay was produced. though i have edited & worked it, all the ideas were spawned organically, quite automatic & even against my will— as if it wrote itself, if that makes sense. it feels much like what i’ve been doing with the ‘Soliloquy Poems’ but on a much more wild & expanded canvas— like painting a map of the stars on a naked person, who is sleeping  hasn’t the foggiest what is happening to them while they dream of galaxy stuff bursting into dolphin clitters, which is directly caused by being painted. this is i suppose profoundly academic non-conformity without being a dick about it. haha. sorry. please enjoy & comment below if you actually know anything about IIT so i might get the gist & maybe write a better essay, with more parts. 

 

Integrated Information Theory as Formula for Poetry

 

The Abstract

i want to examine, as organically as possible, with, as unfathomable an approach as possible, which still retains & transmits, die to the vague, self-imposed pressure to make sense, a cohered message, Caesar of Consciousness Giulio Tononi’s Integrated Information Theory (IIT) & its terminology in a literary, largely poetic context, which i have perceived directly without influence from outside hands planting germinated seeds in the soil-goop of my brain.

he [Tononi] talks effortlessly about it in a Youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7oiHtoHH_0&t=831s) , which means he is the real deal who knows his stuff & to add to that, his distinguished chair, which he sits in & does Consciousness Science, at the University of Wisconsin, gives him ample authority to be heard.

how far can we use Tononi’s theoretical love child as a correspondence, approach & paradigm in our wrestling a poem out of the void [허공]? how is//can our reading & writing of the poem [be] radically altered when we begin to measure its consciousness, as according to Tononi’s theory (as you shall discover or may already know) everything is tagged [possesses] with consciousness. the poem written on a page, typed on a computer or typewriter, or even the ones hewn into mountains or scribble in protest on walls, whether to spoken with a voice are experienced & so we can designate them with consciousness. it seems to me that if the objects & experiences we put into the poems have a measurable consciousness then surely the poems carry in their pliable paunch the avoirdupois of tangibly measurable conscious reality— a measurement already made by us upon recognizing the objects or experiences as we see or have them act upon our sense.

—(i must make an admission of ignorance: i don’t fully understand Tononi’s findings, but i don’t need to, this is all experience— i have experienced the information to my benefit, if i am culpable of talking crap, please read my crap first— doctors have divined ailments through faeces & the indomitable Greeks & Romans divined by offal, it was called hepatoscopy (for organs) or extispicy ( for innards), perhaps crap might be divined from too, think of yourselves as hierophants as you read this, but hierophants of essayed crap.)—

Tononi’s Abstract for the journal Nature is our spring board into the cornucopia of the void (허공):

[it] provides a means to determine, in principle, the quality & quantity of experience. The theory leads to some counterintuitive predictions & can be used to develop new tools for assessing consciousness in non-communicative patients.

let’s say this is a manifesto (latin. manifestus: clear, evident). or a paradigm forward to the poem. or intention to act upon. a grip up to the heart of experience. a vision of the earth from the perimeters of the Milky Way. we have a great deal here to guide our step where there is no ledge. & only a brief Abstract. (there is so much information bombarding us even during our brief cessations from reading//talking//listening//watching
—even as we sit in quiet, waves of information rushes through our ears, up our nostrils, sneaks up through our abdomens & for once, i’d like to take as much from as little as possible.

shouldn’t the poem anyway determine the quality & quantity of experience or better still add to it? if not what is the poet doing. i don’t think it is ever the case that a poet is not doing something, perhaps at various levels of deterioration or rejuvenation, no quarrel there (otherwise every poem would be reacted to with gasps of joy). how is it we know the poet is doing experience? that’s easy: we all see from our perspective, even if we try to imitate, we will say things in as incoherent & ugly a form as someone else, but it will 10 times out of 9 be different. the whinny of whale song all sounds the same to us, but to a whale it is unique each to each.

in our age the carnage of change is overwhelming us from all directions
— chaos has always been a part of the established way of reality, but we seemed to have heaped spoonful upon spoonful to this unsatisfying, immovable enigma of life— which has kept us busy so long. even a view of the earth from the moon couldn’t staunch our bickering. i have grown to quite like it (not the bickering but the untidiness of us): i used to want some form of a spiritually interconnected harmonious upheaval of the status quo— for us to realize some higher psychological state & all perhaps walk about with blissfully carved grins across our stupid faces homo spiritus or something to that effect. pah!
— that seems boring or rather more importantly, an impotence for tolerating entropy.
to utilize the flux in order to manufacture something inedible, unusable; something with the sole charge to stir chest clutching rasps from the uncommon arrangement of words— a letting of things happen (fall into place), seems more profitable action.

how? : this generation needs to put information to any use whatsoever if only to justify there being so much of it. else we run the risk of plasticity— a super-abundance of useful but unused information, all with its own petty, unrecognized, unorganized consciousness.
our poet today must be the infrastructure of society & take no token of gratitude, must branch his poetry to the Blakean definition of creator: Blake’s poetic genius was not only a poet, but a man of learning who spoke truths, imagined or real. poet as everyman & individual. poet as legislator for the beginning of a handy thought. not the only one (poets get different names) but one nevertheless.

to write some bygone time is valueless to poetry & to the Millennial (which even Microsoft Word Spelling & Grammar Check has caught up to). the Millennial is screaming their throat hoarse their lungs dry, but the generation of Boomers who raised (razed?) them, foolhardily vitiate their creative endeavors in some Russian Dolls of ignorance that befell them, as if that’s how it goes (i am generalizing i know)— & this becomes the sexy nymph dragging Hylas off his tiny boat gagging for it. how many articles (i’m looking at you Guardian dicks) have there been derogatory of the Millennial or their spawn for identity: the Hipster. Millennials have to learn about the past if only to break the tradition, to give some reasoning behind the severance. they are always i agree, but… else they are ignorant. & good for us, good for us to reckon with the past & to give it a duty in the world we inherit. it’ll be different when you’re gone.
the Millennial is committed to acts of genius. to works of breathtaking importance.
i have watched so much uniqueness peak briefly & collapse into doleful obscurity— a memory for the few who cherished it.

but we have to don’t we. we have to use the integrated consciousness. be part of it. recognize each other in our pains to be heard.
this all sounds so puerile, but i rebel against tat tvam asi our teachers gimleted into our soft, malleable heads:
this is valuing the efforts of each generation. if that generation must tend blogs or clouds of sound like gardens or court their peers with the best work they can produce day to day. to live & work & in their idle moments spared them, create— then it must be acknowledged.

this is behaving to counter any comment to the contrary that poetry or what we create is not an annex in to determine the quality & quantity of experience.

counterintuitive predictions should be a golden phase that amplifies to the pitch of the heart of many carrots in the ear of the poet as they read it. it scaffolds freedom to ruminate the many facets of experience available to the human animal (DO NOT FORGET we are animals that apperceive, who can look solid in a mirror facing another mirror & recognize infinity domino either side of them— that is as close to touching infinity as were ever going to get, sup it up.) : to language things. to form & to technique things on top of other things, this is man’s duty to his consciousness & the things conscious he takes for granted.

to willfully dig out the present down to the future, some guesswork that may with coincidence become reality. we are prophets if even 2% of our guesses come to pass. to be poetic-seers in a digital age & to know it, to not be phased even when erroneous. this is revolutionary. with such aspirations to this despite hypocrisy & despite knowing it is utter non-sense. soldiering on with this is to look outside of any current crisis, to be more human than our warring & hatred allows us. we are not two Onyx scrapping over a female or a drying pool of ochre coloured river bed. we are civilized. we are many & from many. we have choice & so we need not spoil this with our belligerence.

we brachiate like the arms of Avalokiteshvara, but arms holding telescopes or made of telescopes that look to more fertile times, where nothing has changed but us, who have changed to re-appropriate our feelings toward what would try to tear down our furor to create. if something doesn’t change you change. if others don’t write what you want to read, write it. if others won’t clean the land you want clean, make pains to clean it yourself. if others won’t stop eating meat, stop eating it yourself. if the elements are not to your liking, change to like them. if the only food you have is simple, learn to eat simple food. (there are dire circumstances where this logic is not applicable. but for many of us reading this, we can take this into account & do a little bit of good.)

otherwise, don’t alter anything: wu wei wu wei wu wei.
or kick back, write a poem— eat some fruit. eat a flower. drink paint. snort music. eat a poem.
let everything be glimpse (apercu) like//with//as George Didi-Huberman translates the word.

we all know not much really changes: evolution is slow. look how long it took us to not be monkeys. there are still monkeys y’know, they just have fake tans & play golf rather than pull their foot out their own arses.
the consciousness of things persists, goes on the same even when we are gone
— let’s fully integrate ourselves in that consciousness.
full immersion with poetry & creative-movement: read David Bohm’s On Creativity, right now!

who will the non-communicative patients be?— them that can’t see past their own nose.
them that see nothing beyond everything. those that compartmentalize reality rather than seeing it as uniform (i have blundered into hypocrisy— that is life now, y’know)

: without borders. without edges.

these people will not be left out, they will be used— used as cannon fodder for the poet should they recruit them into their forms, to fire anything they can stuff in their & fire at them, just to make them react, organically. the poet sees beyond them. sees they’re an unbroken continuation. they will be other & yet the same, like two cups either end of a piece of string. they will discriminate themselves but as poets we will take pains to include them, to not be discriminatory. they’ll become something like brass door knobs or tins of paint, an un-decorated paper fan.
pens or canvas or Moleskine notebooks. paintbrushes tied to branches above easels. utilitarian but useless to act in & of themselves. so the poet will borrow them. their state will bring them no discomfort or pain. they will not be different other than in a marginal world they’ll have no clue about. they chose not to see when seeing is for the taking. the poet will recognize them as objects capable of higher function. they will be the integral information of a new theory on poetry that produces something remarkable. as lay-abouts of the status quo they will be beyond their own comprehension but comprehended through an art of elapsing, rippling glimpses. it will take time for them to take definition. perhaps this is happening in some germinate mode. i cannot say for sure.

IIT gifts a poem a mind, a consciousness with weight in poem. cherish this like an old Collected Poems that you sleep with under your pillow so that its forms & functions seep into your head while you sleep.

the poem will think for itself when it realizes. we can help it. just like Disney personifies objects & animals, making them talk, the poem will apperceive— glimpse itself in the mirror, give itself a twirl. be an ego all its own fiasco.

 

how IIT seems to work— an analogy

as an amateur Analogist (not that one, the one i made up) i’d liken it to a compressed folder: the content is not anywhere else but in the compression. the compression isn’t the content but a code from which the content can be obtained, providing they have the correct tool, or software to decompress the compressed information.
i suppose something like the point of infinite density exponentially expanding into mattered things— a microcosm of that event.
as with a compressed file, objects remain inert (compressed) until the content is required, at which moment, the brain decompresses it with the code or software, instantly. this is why, when you have never seen something before & someone else has, you both see the same thing.
no one asked why, when Kaspar Hausar was released from his long confinement, he could distinguish things visually from one another— that he could see what everyone else sees despite having never seen them.
obviously, the content of things requires outside influence, in the same way that the content of the compressed file, may contain information that the receiver needs to process or increase their understanding of with additional resources. the content of the information is just that— as the physical information is just that.
an apple requires you to taste or touch it to fill in the gaps of what additional information it can convey, just as the file’s compressed information must be read to be understood.
only the physical specifications are tied with our consciousness, there is no additional information that tells us anything about the thing— a general rule the aggregate of objects share.
the poem then is compressed emotion decompressed into a physicality, whether that physicality takes the form of sound or writing, nevertheless it has a form which can be managed & projected. the decompression of the emotion is a form & any additional information of meaning is to be decided by a reader or by the poet as the decompression takes place. as it transforms from inner motion to outer solidity, which is capable of motioning someone utterly.

Getting a good night sleep with a little help from the Supreme Reality of the Universe

one of the first essays i wrote for this blog, so i thought i’d give it another spin.

Daniel Paul Marshall

Getting a good night sleep with a little help from the Supreme Reality of the Universe

all of us without exception are susceptible to dreams. if their pull is particularly intense they wash over our night & if they are particularly influential loiter in our thoughts, their magnetism pulling us into consideration of their meaning & emotional influence for a chunk of the day, until duty eventually erases them from memory or they erase our focus to perform our duties properly.
i don’t mind this susceptibility so much, what bothers me is when i have what i call a busy dream— one of those dreams where a concern is expanded— something that, though relatively trifling when explained— when expanded & lived in the dream leaves you exhausted, with a present & palpable sense that you have not slept a wink.

at least once a month i have a dream such…

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Getting a good night sleep with a little help from the Supreme Reality of the Universe

Getting a good night sleep with a little help from the Supreme Reality of the Universe

all of us without exception are susceptible to dreams. if their pull is particularly intense they wash over our night & if they are particularly influential loiter in our thoughts, their magnetism pulling us into consideration of their meaning & emotional influence for a chunk of the day, until duty eventually erases them from memory or they erase our focus to perform our duties properly.
i don’t mind this susceptibility so much, what bothers me is when i have what i call a busy dream— one of those dreams where a concern is expanded— something that, though relatively trifling when explained— when expanded & lived in the dream leaves you exhausted, with a present & palpable sense that you have not slept a wink.

at least once a month i have a dream such as follows: i am in a large educational institute— either a pupil or an employee & as i go about my day a deadline is flung at me out of nowhere. it is explained that i should have known about it as it is of immense importance. it is usually implied that there would have been no urgency had i bothered to listen or find out about the work due. i protest that i had no knowledge, that i was never informed. this doesn’t take well with the slap-arse-face of the bureaucrat demanding the necessary documents.
i then have a dreadful time hurrying from place to place getting the task finished only to arrive at where it needs to be submitted & it is either closed or they tell me that the window for submission was hours or even days ago— & that even the information i received was incorrect. the sense of failure & stress of knowing i must incur some penalty —that my livelihood is at stake (my character even) moreover, that i am innocent, is overwhelming— the unconscious amplifies the severity of all incidents. at the apex of my collapse, i wake in shock & have to bring myself around that it was just fiction & that no such problem faces me.

i am sure we all have these sorts of dreams, whether they are a rehearsal of the day’s stressful events, or much more terrifying: a nightmare, where the unconscious forces us to cope with scenarios our conscious mind has no mechanism for dealing with— as it has never dealt with a Gorgon headed butcher who wishes to slice you into tiny pieces with your own nail scissors.

Edward Young in his epic meditation on Life, Death & Immortality, his Night Thoughts —through 9 restless nights unbuttons his mind & lets seep out in heroic verse, that which plagued him & struggles throughout the poem to alleviate his turmoils with a gaudy out pouring of Reason. he begins with a Complaint:

From short, (as usual) and disturb’d Repose,
I wake: How happy they who wake no more!
Yet that were vain, if dreams infest the Grave.
I wake, emerging from a sea of Dreams
Tumultuous; where my wreck’d desponding Thought
From wave to wave of fancy’d Misery,
At random drove, her helm of Reason lost;

Why then there loss deplore he tells us later on in Night 1. for Young it was the trickery of the dream, the stress they caused when he clasp’d the Phantoms, and (I) found them Air. but it is this same trickery that is problematic: For Young it was being tantalized with a visions of Angels, Immortality & Heaven, which on waking were discovered to be Dim Miniature of Greatness absolute!

William Blake seemed to suffer from dreams too, though they seemed more beneficial— he often woke in the night & with great urgency, before the still warm impression of information they supplied him with faded, would set to work— often his wife waking with him to help him set up his tools so as not to waste any time.

at least from a literary perspective we can agree with Roethke when he says Dreams drain the spirit if we dream too long. you can attest for yourself how dreams bother & disturb— only then can you gauge the pressure they put on you & decide if their value is worth a weary day.

i don’t deny that for many they are pleasurable, that they inspire joy, that they are a nightly treat— this was always my opinion when i kept a journal & wanted to evaluate my character through them. this sort of work gives you a nightly purpose & interesting results usually ensue. once the world of duty overwhelmed i found my heavy dreaming burdensome. i required a blank night in my head. though Young says No Blank, no Trifle Nature made, or meant. i have to disagree, unless the Blank becomes something so unremembered it takes the form of nothing.

it is in the most unlikely places that we often find solutions to our problems. i discovered my solution in a conversation burrowed in the Prasna Upanishad between three sons of the Garga family, sons of the Bhrigu family & one Kabandhi, whose family name is not revealed. The rishi who dutifully answers their questions is the wise Pippalada.

One called Sauryayani, of the Garga family, asks Pippalada:

Sir, what are they that sleep in man, and what are they that remain awake in him? What deity is it that sees dreams? Whose is happiness [of deep sleep]? In whom, again, are all these gathered together?

Pippalada replies:

 …as the rays of the sun, when it sets, are gathered in that luminous orb, and again go forth when it rises, even so, verily, all these- the objects and the senses- become one in the superior god, the mind. Therefore at that time a man hears not, sees not, smells not, tastes not, touches not, speaks not, grasps not, enjoys not, emits not, and does not move about. He sleeps- that is what people say.

in the Hindu system of the universe everything is Brahman, the superior god, the mind. the multiplicity of gods are actually manifestations of Brahman: Brahman is It (without attributes: Nirguna Brahman) & He (with attributes: Saguna Brahman). Therefore Brahman has both a remote & a personable aspect.

Brahman with attributes is best described as the forms we perceive with our senses, a creative force, the concrete world that we inhabit. Brahman without attributes is the mystical, beyond space & time but at one & the same It— that is, also what space & time & causality rely upon to at every moment become & be measured by us. whichever tat tvam asi: that thou is.  

this is often misunderstood to be contradiction— & concludes with some that the sophisticated system of the Vedas is a load of crap. but what people sometimes don’t realize is that Brahman is everything & it is only Maya (illusion) that allows Brahman to create a physical world of form. it shouldn’t be forgotten that Maya cannot exist alone, but only when Brahman creates.  Brahman is the bridge between the invisible & the visible— a shanti or peace chant that is usually recited before a Veda goes:

 Om. THAT IS full; this is full. This fullness has been projected from that fullness. When this fullness merges in that fullness, all that remains is fullness. Om. Shanti! Shanti! Shanti!    

 if you see this as a way of expressing the way the material world is created you might say:

I took atoms from that thing, which is full & added them to this thing to make it full. But though I have used atoms from that thing to make this thing full, it was already full, moreover, the thing I took atoms from remains full, so nothing has been lost, this & that remain full. This is how the material world is composed at every moment.

What the shanti mantra stresses through contradiction is the all pervasiveness of Brahman.

ever since reading the above shanti mantra, i’ve interpreted it as a very good analogy for how quantum physics explains matters composition at sub atomic level & how the physical becomes from the un-manifest. i use atoms as i would have to be excessively wordy to eviscerate the atom into its constituent parts. but look at what happens when you smash particles together, there is no loss, no waste, on the contrary there is abundance.

so if we can accept for a moment that a good scientific analogy can be drawn from a Vedic mantra, then there may be some useful tactics for living in this ancient work.

we understand the dual nature of Brahman & accept that— but what has this got to do with getting a good night’s kip?

first of all we should understand that we are a part of the reality of Brahman in the form of Atman (spirit, essence, breath, soul or self). we are therefore both with attributes & without attributes— we have both the opportunity to be present in this body, or when we sleep to be absent from it. but i hear you say as Pippalada does:

There, in dreams, that god, the mind, experiences glory. Whatever has been seen he sees again; whatever has been heard he hears again; whatever has been experienced in different countries and quarters, he experiences again. Whatever has been seen or not seen; heard or not heard; and whatever is real or not real- he sees all, himself being all. 

(before continuing a brief aside (i should explain here that Swami Nikhilananda, who is a thorough translator of the Vedas, & an insuperable guide to their meaning, whose translation i have enjoyed for many years & whose ideas i thoroughly admire & accept, explains:

 Often the Upanishads compare the Consciousness of Brahman to the consciousness experienced in deep sleep. Both are characterized by an absence of pain and of the subject-object relationship. But the state of dreamless sleep, which is mechanically attained, is impermanent, and the consciousness experienced during it is covered by a thin layer of ignorance.

however, though this essay is meant more as a thought-dreamlessness-experiment & moreover because Nikhilananda’s analysis doesn’t quite chime for me with some passages in the Veda itself, i am satisfied that my experiment is within the borders of a curious idea—if extremely unlikely to have any meaning, value or truth. Read on)…

& we might add that this revisiting of whatever has been experienced causes us stress, upset & fatigue— at times. however, we can also think of ourselves as without the above attributes, we can think & be fixed to quiet & nothing & find our self in Young’s Blank.

if Brahman is above the material then so are we— seem plausible as they inextricable: one cannot be without the other. i don’t disagree that a disembodied state when we are awake is out of our reach, in fact purely fantastical— fascinating but fantastic— regardless, in our dream state, why can’t we switch off the memories & troubles we have had to act out during the previous days & weeks— why should they burden us more? have we got anything to learn from them? they will repeat themselves in our daily life in some mutated form, to come & have repeated ample times enough for them to be habitual. so if they persist in pestering us, why should we suffer them?

a criticism that we may raise in favour of this glory of the mind, is how exhilarating it is to be all & to visit the farthest shores of exotic places & to encounter the peculiarities of unconsciousness in their most vivid & unrestrained amplification. sure, but that is a gamble & all good & well if you have nothing important to do in the reality of the day after, which entails the drudgery of a 9 to 5 & the solving of problems, which is all the more cumbersome with bags of unused rheum sagging under your eyes. Blake & Young developed a productive attitude from their sleeplessness— there is even a strong argument it was the lodestone to which their imaginative impulse was drawn. however, many of us are not going to write epic poems or crack on with heroic art in the early hours of the morning; you may not even be the sort of person, like me, who can work well at night, but work better at other times of day. if you can, proceed & enlighten yourself with those endeavours, i envy you, i truly envy you & i apologize for wasting you time to find out here this essay has no benefit for you.

but if not we may be interested to hear Pippalada say:  

 When the jiva (the individual soul) is overcome by the light of (Nirguna- [my additional non-italics]) Brahman he sees no dreams; at that time, in this body, arises this happiness.

here is ample evidence that what i have stated somewhere above is possible: dreams can be switched off & peaceable rest can be quarried into.

so how can we dam the flood of unpredictable dreams? a model or set of instructions seems out of the question as dreaming is, as we have said, unpredictable: you’d have to discover patterns (assiduously) & form a rhythm with these patterns through journals & close scrutiny of their meaning & development. but before all that you have to trust that such efforts actually do anything, which really is a leap of faith—as it is quite an odd task to undertake & it requires focus & little interference from others. rather than all this work— which does, i promise turn up results & teaches you something about your character & may help you form a psychological profile of your more nuanced behavior, nevertheless, a laborious process—we could rather experiment with a simple technique.

when i was a kid, even in my late teens & early twenties, i would use the counting sheep method. i have thought up a Brahmic variation on this.

the sheep act as a distraction from thought— however it is quite a lot of work just to sleep: you have to picture the sheep, the gate they jump over, the field, colour in to the bold line of the mise-en-scène, & then actually count them— this doesn’t stop dreams though.

i propose using the onomatopoeic Om in the place of sheep, which is Brahman— the vibration of the universe. i have been experimenting with this as it is just a sound to focus on— you don’t even need to make the sound, you can make it wobble in your head as an image of sound frequencies. if you are persuaded by the subtleties of its meaning then it may have an even more potent effect. in Sanskrit Om is represented by the letters AUM: A = the waking state U = the dream state & M = the dreamless state. so that you are making the journey to a good night’s sleep every moment you are visualizing or sounding out Om.

i have had no success with this. i am just being honest, but i know why. because i have not given all attributes to Brahman. this is why i have written this creative non-fiction essay: i hope now when i hum that holy note my unconscious will be won over by my dedication to Brahman in the form of this essay & give me the dreamless sleep i wish.

easier methods exist, of course, i know that— you can do other rituals: drink some Horlicks, a glass of cognac, watch paint dry, read a book, count the sheep, take a couple of zolpidem, which’ll make sure you stay asleep. you are probably thinking after reaching the conclusion of this essay that if you read it again, before exiting the first paragraph you’ll be dead to the world— i don’t have that luxury, i must trust in the verity of my essay. however, if you or i have success with the above method, it’ll be interesting to tell our pals that we got a good clear night sleep with a little help from the Supreme Reality of the Universe, the holy Hiranyagarbha, Lord Brahman the essence that threads the visible & invisible into one conclusion: reality & deep, dreamless sleep— without the drugs & boring bedtime activities.

Om…Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On ‘like’ culture & what it says about us

i have been thinking about this for quite some time, years even & lately i have been plotting out ideas for essays & have finally took all my scattered notes, brought them together into something cohesive & hopefully of some value. Here goes.

On “like” culture & what it says about us.

 

In one of Krishnamurti’s This Light in Oneself lectures he speaks of the ending of thought, of whether thought can end. His conclusion is that it is impossible. i therefore wonder what he would have thought about the clicking of a ‘like’ button, which i want to talk about, as i have come to view it as an indicator of our intolerance to thinking & its end in the daily dialogue that we are having in our heads, but failing to share with those we are passively entertained by. i can’t speak for him, but as he was a great advocate of dialogue, he would have been dismayed with the opportunity we are passing up.

i have been blogging a few years now & came late to social media. This has lent me a perception that most people think hyperbolic: that it magnifies the temporality of our achievements & the inevitable wringing of hands for the next thing we don’t know we want. Let’s begin by looking into what we are saying when we click that ‘like’ button.

 

First i must clarify what kind of ‘liking’ i am speaking of. If your friend has uploaded 50 photographs, selfies, of themselves in their wedding clothes, or even of themselves sitting watching television, i wouldn’t say this warrants a thorough response. Though i might contest that a written compliment is more engaging and emotive than the robotic hitting of a button, which even a dipping bird could perform. No, i rather have in mind a work of some kind, which has been developed through effort, time, research; has originality, has inspired you or made you think differently; a work of quality, an achievement; not merely a robotic outpouring that can be easily imitated & reproduced without criteria.

i must stress that i am not advocating that we must think all products of creation valuable. The quality of a piece, though personal, should act as the gauge by which we decide whether to dedicate more time & energy to what we have read, seen or watched. i would never profess to say this is better than that; though i am confident in my own perceptions regarding something i experience, which guides my decision to engage the creator of the work with critical praise, my own perceptions or something of value i feel contributes to what they have developed or offered us.

i could write a list of criteria but that would be belittling & the aim of this essay is to illustrate to the reader that we are all able minded enough to contribute to a dialogue with one another, especially if you spend much of your time reading articles, magazines, or journals related to a particular subject.

Criticism is something that is often misunderstood & it is an incontestably egotistical enterprise to ‘troll’ somebody’s ideas. To be critical of something that was well written is to do justice to somebody’s efforts. There isn’t an ‘unlike’ button, thank goodness, as this would be a cowardly admission to attack somebody; as if attacking someone with the distance of the internet between them isn’t enough.

Time is something we have more of than we really allow ourselves. If you cannot spend 5 minutes writing a comment, expressing something you have thought, which may begin a dialogue & help contribute to the value of somebody’s work, because you have a mental list of websites you want to flick through, because you have a list of fail compilations or daft videos involving cats, or because you need to scroll through your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feed, all in place of actually having an opinion, then what are we saying about the value of opinion? Is it because of our apathy toward each other that Michael Gove can believe & expect us to accept his ridiculous statement that people in this country have had enough of experts?

i have been disappointed numerous times by the pithy, uninterested responses from people i have made the effort to speak with. & i try to think, why? Are they so busy? Sometimes they have posted a few things in a single day, that’s marvelous, but of what value is that quantity, when the quality of your response is so weak, due to filling your additional time considering the next post, without a care for what people have to say regarding it. i would attribute part of this to an egotistic assumption that the more you write the more capable you are, perhaps; but isn’t it more indicative of how capable you are, to have something to say in response to people’s criticisms, or the associative material they might reply with such as anecdotes?

When some have responded, it isn’t engagement but acquiescence, which seems more like an evasion. It is much quicker to just agree with you and appear amiable, so you’ll return again to their future work, than to actually supply information on the content or actually answer your question.

Perhaps it is polite ego. If i don’t have a strong profile, which they regard as full of important endeavours, a profile they don’t think will advance their prospects, nor increase their status, then it may tip the balance of their responses. i am pleased to report that this doesn’t seem to be an issue i have stumbled across too often with people, especially those who know what they want to say.

This kind of behavior is usually committed by them that aren’t really sure of what they are trying to do, maybe testing the waters, or that rare breed who think that they are already geniuses & don’t need to engage or explain themselves. These sorts of people can be very difficult to speak with as, like a conspiracy theorist, they can say that your criticism is misunderstanding: you just don’t get it, you don’t see what they see. However, i would warn everyone to be vigilant of the unconscious influence of this regarding of oneself; it is a fine line between aplomb & humility.

Embarrassment is potentially a major contributor to the ‘like’  button attraction. Nobody wants to be shamed, or to say something stupid, because they are ill informed. But through the mask of the button they can associate themselves with a culture they may be new to. The negative aspect of this, is that it may indicate they are pretentiously affixing  themselves to a ready made image they want, which ‘liking’ offers them, as they can be seen to be in the know.  But if you can develop the humility to probe rather than hover, it can be a sound method to accelerate your knowledge of something. It moreover gives the creator of the work ample opportunity to keep the agility of their mind well oiled, to put their talents into action & avoid being misunderstood.

i remember a lad in my literature seminars who would constantly ask questions, even when he heard a student say a word he didn’t understand, he’d interrupt to ask directly what does solipsism mean? or what is Avalokiteshvara? & i recall people raising eyebrows or huffing in annoyance, which he either paid no mind too or didn’t catch their insult; however he perceived other students’ responses, i am certain he felt no embarrassment.  i admired him, for 90% of students never uttered a word in those seminars & it was clearly, fear of embarrassment, mingled with some shyness i don’t doubt, but definitely some were just disinterested in study.

But i say now to people who want to learn about contemporary poetry, modern philosophical problems, politics, art or anything whatsoever that there are people who know about this stuff who are willing to talk about it with you, just ask them. If we just ‘like’ something, mindlessly, then we are failing to take advantage of an opportunity to annex more seriousness to the topics, so important to what differentiates us from animals & makes our experience of this world so much richer. There is a part in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master when Freddy Quell is listening to one of Lancaster Dodd’s recordings and Dodd says you are not an animal. Biologically we are, but our consciousness isn’t.

 

If what you have perceived, be it a short story, painting, photograph, poem, essay or article meets a high quality, has a standard that has kept you engaged, then it must have taken some effort. It no doubt came from an experience with value to those that experienced it and they have had the talent to transform the experience into something that allows us to share their experience. This should not be taken for granted. The poet Wallace Stevens never did, he expressed how precious it is for the quotidian to become a poem; & Theodore Roethke would break down sobbing with joy, his legs literally buckling with the ecstasy of having fit form & function together successfully.

It is dangerous, if taken for granted, as we risk contributing to the blunting of societal reception to people’s work and experience, perhaps even shooting ourselves in the foot if we have a creative impulse we want to share through blogging or by submission of work to our favoured mediums’ variety of magazines & journals. Look at political demonstrations as an example: why don’t a lot more people, even though they know war is wrong take part in demonstrations? Because of the cliché surrounding the type of ‘hippies’ or ‘tree huggers’ that organize & attend such demonstrations. By pressing ‘like’ we are using about as much thought as people who discount participation on the grounds they don’t wish to be associated with a certain sub culture, & for reasons that cannot possibly outweigh the severity of the problem in need of support.

i have often heard it said that we have surpassed the intellectual demarcations of our ancestors, perhaps we have, but seeing as literacy is at its highest in human history & there are more people with a higher education than ever before, it seems an admission of ignorance and failure every time we ‘like’ an intelligently composed document or art work rather than contribute to its value with questions & additional perceptions that are thoughtful & considered. i am not asking people to know everything, nor am i expecting, neither urging anybody, who knows nothing about a subject to contribute clumsy opinions for the sake of it. i am saying, within the locality of your sphere of interest you should be forming opinions & if not, questions that can increase enjoyment & knowledge as well as enabling the creator of the work to see meaning in what they have spent time working on.

My main contention & something i urge you to think about are the consequences of our repetitious actions. How much does ‘liking’ with so simple an action as pushing a button affect our perception of things? How does it determine the future of ideas & our skepticism & ability to think for ourselves critically & acutely, & finally how does it affect our attention span?

This is by no means an exhaustive study & i have almost certainly missed numerous factors of importance & that is why i wrote this, because i think a dialogue on this (dare i say it) problem, is in need of being addressed. Please consider what i have said here & contribute to the discussion.

I wonder how many people are going to ‘like’ this essay?

 

 

 

3rd anecdotal poem : 셋 : the stream as character

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the stream in person

 

 

*if you don’t want to be bored by some bad attempt at an exposition on my intention & what a poem is, skip ahead to the poem.

after the 3rd or 4th time visiting the stream it started to reveal more & more. it unfurled its history through the details of its influence upon the environment. a geologist would gather this insight immediately but i am not one, & of no particular talent. so i learn through a poetic seeing; which is another way of seeing that probably isn’t right but nevertheless exists as a paragon of some sort that can be followed with some success & little harm to thinking. the world must first stand out for me, must court me with its beauty, must tug my gaze like a flame tugs the attention of the moth. it is much like what Theodore Roethke does in his childish & more playful poems, which read like a series of childish questions about the world; Dylan Thomas does something remarkably similar.
it is not a productive way of going about things, it delivers nothing of value… the stream does not do what i say it does, it is not a character, so what is it that draws us to doing this, not just to streams but animals & even objects? its genesis came & (continues even more so) comes from the egocentric hold over the world we believe we have, which is deeply conditioned in us as its self anointed proprietors & began from the moment we commanded a flame from a branch or a seed into fruit or flower.
we gave godly appellations to the produce of nature, we claimed that which sustained us, developed myths to give further credibility to its nursing of our wants. this evolved into personification on multiple levels & we see it now with disney & children’s cartoons.
when we personify something natural we are binding our self with nature, cohabiting not only physical but also mental space, a sort of contagious magic (in the Frazerean sense). you can see an untranslated version of this if you watch somebody take in a spectacular view, they pause & note everything they are seeing, it is the beauty of it they might say, but there is that additional emotion, which is registered, leaves an imprint, but goes unchallenged, it remains only that sense of something beyond us; if they probed they might discover that it is the landscape, the beauty of the natural world of what it means to our survival that is so much entwined with them that they are confronted with a sensation that is difficult to articulate; it the same as tryin to describe love- it is impossible to get to the core of the emotion. this is where art & the poem come in: the poem is a very precise expression of the self manifesting itself into a pantheistic paradigm, it is this sensation attempting to break our silence & becoming.

this is what i think i’ve done & then tried to articulate my self cleverly by giving some gaudy explanation. you should have took my advice at the beginning.

 

 

셋 : the stream’s character

하나

to ascend the stream i grappled vines
as sinewy as pagan gods
/ trusted the integrity of numerous branches
/ most offered me their final ounce of strength
so as to climb a face of rock covered in wet moss
/ or cross well-polished stones
the grip of my boots could not be trusted with
/ even the stones that appear assured must first be tested
/ as in a game of chess its best
to plot a route as far as can be seen ahead of you.

all day & night much is demanded of the stream
: as long as human memory it has been a lapidary
/ meticulous, it buffs its private collection of stones
that differ from the parched stones of a trail
the filthy stones that have been pressed into the soil.
it also tends an unspoilt arboretum, a nursery of pine & maple.
& finally it weaves scruffy rugs
/ treating them with its homemade shampoo.

a woodpecker’s pip like a metronome
/ sends me back to a pebbly beach in brighton
/ the sound of one pebble clinked against another
/ a person i just met / a friend of a friend
/ explaining how all grains of sand
were once part of a single pebble
& that the future state of all pebbles
was to one day turn to sand.
i thought this so intensely wise
& from somebody only 23.
it has always stayed with me,
came to me there / again / ascending the stream.

the stream was done with me, unlike it / my intellect is fallible.
i hoped that later on it would lend me more revelations
/ would teach me from afar through memory & anecdote.