Thursday, July 17, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I have to consider, that of those individuals who were most influential, most helped me to define the coures of my life, If I were to name them, among them, there would some who had a profound religious orientation (I say, orientation... not 'belief)'. This does not incline me to to adopt what they believed about their religion, but it leaves me open to an understanding... not of the content of their beliefs, but how, in some, those beliefs are so much a part of who they are--and that this has contributed to their being, for me... images of what it means to be human...in the best way.
No, I don't see their beliefs (or any such supernatural stuff) as necesary to being that kind of person--I've know those who are as materialist and alergic to supernatural explanations as I am--who are there with them... as examples of how to be human... or I should say, more than 'just' human.
But when you find such persons... I feel it important to accept all of what has contributed to their character... it being so rare, that I think, we would do well to be humble in our sense of intellectual superiority. Those few compassionate, fierce souls, the shape of whose lives have been carved in the struggle for justice, the creating of beauty--we need only accept them as comrades... as they would for us. No need to measure one another by our disparate pathes to truth.
Friday, July 11, 2014
I went to the protest in front of the Israeli counselate to day in Philly. I was happy to see so many protests world wide, but they aren't going to change anything. Israel has no conscience to appeal to . Those Israeli's who do, are effectively silenced. American Jews, who could make a difference, are hiding from the reality, unwilling to acknowledge the horrors that Israel has committed, and afraid to take a public stand. 70 years after the holocaust, nothing has been learned. Not even by those who have most reason to have learned.Please read the comments, and add your own.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Riffing off Levi Bryant "Deleuze's cinema books are only ostensibly about cinema. More profoundly they develop a materialist ontology (only visible if read with the first chapter of Matter and Memory). Those two volumes are where to look to find how art and philosophy can transversally resonate as described in What is Philosophy. When philosophy engages art it does not represent it, just as art that engages philosophy doesn't merely exemplify a philosophical thesis." And just as art doesn't "represent"... whatever its ostensible subject is. I like your idea of distinguishing between what is manifest, and the being of the object/machine... as a work of art is way more like a machine than a static object! The representation-- is its manifest reality, contingent on viewer, historical setting, cultural history etc. But the generative power is never exhausted in it's interpretations... in any of its manifest presentations. Those who would use art--turn it to propaganda, are keen to impose limits on that generative power and confine the work to --not necessarily a particular interpretation--it can be sufficient to assign it a place in an historical continuum, and from there, reduce ii to this or that political or ideological end. The criticism of the New Criterion is an example of this--at least in their treatment of American novels. One of the great things about 'outsider art'... and to the High Critics.. SciFi and fantasy are outsiders... that writers in these low brow modes can escape the Gatekeepers that have turned Establishment Literary Fiction into a wasteland.... perfectly comparable to the visual art of the 19c academies at the dawn of the Impressionists.
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
How is it possible to be 'authentic?', like, you know... 'honest,' like it's all out there. It's never all out there for me. No matter how I try... or let go and don't try, you know... be there. There's always something left over, left out. Some feeling, some thought not included in whatever I've said or done. Comes back at me. Ah HA! Gotcha! You're not REAL! You're not HONEST! Look at all this shit left in the closet, the garbage bin... hiding...you are A FAKE!
That's what I am. I make it all up. I invent myself. Sometimes, what I want to be. Sometimes, what I want you to think I am. Sometimes, I don't have a clue. I just know, that I'm not real. And it wakes me up at night--stuff I've done that I'm ashamed of, or that is so powerfully stupid... I mean stuff I did 50 years ago! Comes back, says--if you did that shit, no WAY you can be anything but FAKE!
But there are people I love. I mean really. I would happily die for... and even if that's a little bit fake, and it probably is, I know I would act on it. And that wouldn't be fake. I would take their part. Stand by them.
That's how love heals. From the other side. Knowing that you can love. Are capable of love... even if you're a big fucking fake. Cause we're all fake... but love is real. Love is real... we immerse ourself, if only that we immerse ourselves... the waters rise around us, the measure of our mass. Of our elusive reality... never untainted, never without some remnant left out... but maybe that's how we go on? That part of us that refuses to join us... maybe that's ... our future self? What we are to become? That the only moment we will ever be wholly present, entirely real... is the moment at the end. When all is finished. The moment of our death?
Saturday, June 28, 2014
I have no temples. I have no gods or goddesses. No leaders. The moon is a magnificent rock torn from the earth when the earth itself was a molten rock.. and little by little drifting away into space--which will change the length of our days, making the revolutions of the earth shorter and shorter, our days, shorter and shorter.
The alignment of the planets, while wonderful fun and poetically generative.. don't mean shit for our lives. Whether Mercury is perceived (and it's an optical illusion), as 'retrograde,' or not, has no influence on our physical reality whatsoever.
The wonder of the real world needs no made up shit to leave us in awe.. and rather, pulls a cheap magician's cloak over the magnificence of the universe as it is, preferring a false sense of control to our utterly helplessness before it--other than our accumulating knowledge... our only power. I say this, and this is my... not 'belief,' but understanding, and I light the candles of my Faerie alter, and the unknowalbe refusal of my brain to acceded altogether to this so called real world. Out of that, comes my art.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Why, with an electronic submission, do you ask for a limited number of pages? If you want to stop reading at 20 or 25 or 30 pages, good. Don't read any more. But if you do--it's right there. No need to ask for a second submission. And if, as in the case with my two novels, there are chapters that read as stand alone narrative short stories, chapters in modified screen play format, chapters, for lack of a better description--which are highly 'experimental.' How am I supposed to select anything close to representing the work?
The other annoying request--a synopsis. Fine, if you write a plot driven narrative novel. That's how a synopsis works--they're boiled down plot summaries, with some added comments. Like Cliff Notes. With a book radically UNlike establishment realist fiction, a synopsis is next to impossible. Thank you, but I spent 8 years writing the damn novel--I'm not going to do critical theory on the fucker. You want to know what I wrote--read it.
And if on top of that you want me to pay you to do your job as editor and publisher, 'reading fees' or whatever. Fuck off. I'm not interested, and you probably aren't either. Save us both the trouble.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Thinking about growing old. That I have no real models for how to deal with this. I've know some awesome, inspiring older people... but they didn't talk to me about what that meant for them. So there's a kind of void there.
I think about the posts that Kelly Coviello has been leaving. Old age is not a disease. But it shares at least as few elements... the absorption of the body into something increasingly foreign, while having to continue defining yourself by something that it both denies that, and insists on asserting its reality.
I mean, resisting the clichés.. the "age is only a number"... the youth cult crap that thinks that telling you that you look younger must be a compliment.
This is tough... cause I look in the mirror at my naked body, and I am not turned on. So I can't imagine anyone else being turned on by seeing what I see. And I am still a sexual being... so I dress to cover it over.
And when when someone says, "age is only a number" ... I think, when's the last time you wanted to fuck an old man/woman? The disconnect, on the level of sexual desire... total cognitive dissonance. And that's the least of it.
I don't think this is new...certainly when it comes to sexual desire, and being open about it. But there's so much more, and we are so cut off, generation to generation. We are not at 30 who we were at 13. We are not at 50, who we were at 30. We are not at 70, who we were at 50. This matters. This is not just personal...if you look at political history, there are generational transformations. Being able to talk about this.. cogently, critically... this matters. As what Kelley has been saying about experiencing illness, matters.
Let's try to be honest with one another about this experience of being human ... the whole range of if. Thank you, Freud, for being the first to really open up what it means to be honest, self reflectively honest.
If we can't manage it on this most intimate level, we'll never be able to make a world from our better imaginings.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
This has been on my mind for some time. So I'm going to post this again. I really feel the need to get this out in open. On the level of science and poetry... I'm conflicted here.. not on the surface issue, not at all. I'm a science guy, first to last. But I know poets who take these ideas.. crystals, astrology, reiki... etc.. and use them to deconstruct social fascisms and open doors to rethinking received notions. I mean, I have a Faerie alter and carry a spirit stick. People love my spirit stick. They ask me about it. I say, it has powers! They say, oh, what powers? I say, would you have ventured to talk to me, sitting here on the El... if not for that stick? That's its power. How I dress, adorn myself... it's like that. I'm a science guy. And a poet. And an artist. I don't use my art to pretend to making objective claims about reality. But I do use it to challenge ... everything. but science doesn't need me to challenge its claims. It's the nature of science to always be about challenging itself. So I want to claim some outside leeway.. where I'm not challenging science or its claims, but metaphorically challenging embedded assumptions--even if I draw on the most far out spiritualist new agey bull shit. Pay attention, when you read poets. We're not stupid. We follow the news, and science. But we prefer to think outside of all boxes--even those of .. no, especially those of, established reality. But so do scientists.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Sunday, June 15, 2014
I read tributes to fathers, and can only feel sadness thinking about my father He was emotionally restrained, not to say repressed. His affective life was primarily through a symbiotic relationship with my mother. It wasn't that he was cold, but that he wasn't able to express it, except through a droll, ironic sense of (black) humor. I don't recall his ever telling me he loved me. We never really bonded. There were some awkward camping trips, fishing in the Ozarks. I was a puzzle to him, too much like my mother, which I think inhibited him. I imagine him squeezed between my volumnious grandfather, who everyone knew as "Papa," his athletic, musical older sister, and my mother. He never found room for his own emotional life to take root
He just didn't know how to respond. The weeks before my mother died were probably the closest we ever were--and by then, he was seriously ill. He died a year to the day after my mother's funeral. He didn't abuse me, didn't do or say things to make me feel ashamed. He liked that I wrote poetry and loved art. But from the earliest I can remember formulating such ideas... I knew that whatever I did with my life... I did not want to be like my father. I do have his sense of humor... and it's no small sense of comfort to me. Thanks, Dad... so far so good.... so far so good... so far so good
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
In talking about capitalism with people who don't get it--corpoarate power, the rise of the far right in Europe--so many variables, such a complicated set of problems--I try to keep in mind a simple pattern that encompases almost all of the parts: that capitalism succeeds by growth, collapses when growth slows too much or stops. We live on a planet with finite resources, many of those which have fueled growth, and on which we have come to depend have passed their peak--so that it becomes more and expensive, and destructive to our environment to exploit them, and with the threat of collapse, we see those in power clinging shifting to desparate, economically self-defeating measures--from production to financancial pyramid schemes, the privitazation of resources neccesary for life. None of this is going to work. Economic collapse is unavoidable if growth can't be maintained. Growth can't be maintained because the resources upon which it depends are finite. For those who cannot imagine anything other that what we have now, they must see what's coming, as much as they publicly deney it. So we militarize our police, sieze and privitize every public resource, undermine and cripple democratic institutions, builld political power on no-nothing populist movements, seeded with money and the propaganda of fear. One thing follows another, and at the bottom, this simple reality: that we live on small planet with finite rescources, and we are lashed to an economic model that collapses without perpetual growth. Understand that, and everything else falls into place.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Went to the Monsanto demo... maybe 6 to 800 people there. More than I've seen on the streets in Philly in some time. I didn't take my medic kit, but went with the eyes I would need as a street medic. A little digression here. Couple years ago in Love Park, on a whim, I put a crumpled dollar bill in one of the planting areas. Quite visible. I watched as dozens, many dozens of people passed. Most business peeps on lunch break. No one noticed. Then a presumably homeless man came by... saw it right off, picked it up, went on his way. You see, I thought to myself--we live in different worlds, different perceptual realities. Not metaphor. What those of means, and those of no means--how they see the world--it's not the same world. Live in different worlds. Different realities. So with my Street Medic eyes... I began to see things in a very different way. Bikes through crowds, dogs, people climbing on poles to take photos... potential hazzards. I was taking in this scene in a very different way -- with some overlap. Always hyper conscious of cops. That worked naturally into this--in this case, that there were no signs of problems unless they came about by unexpected incidents. I did run into real ceritfied Street Medics... from my training last weekend, and joined in as a buddy 4-some. No problems. No injuries.... we high-fived at the end. Good outcome! The best! I was sorta bashful, ya know... about taking my med kit, not yet being a full Street Medic... but I feel better about it now. Next time!