Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Poetry and the Occult: Powers, Natural not Super

Burning witches in Ghana
This is why poets, who sometimes have a kind of aesthetized take on the occult and indigenous religion, should think hard about what this means--it's one thing to evoke this stuff in poems, and another to objectivize it. It's not the borders of reality we want to blur, but our own 'civilized' verbal and ideological displacements--our own equivalents of belief in sorcery, witchcraft and juju.

Because we obscure and subvert reality with our intellectual constructs doesn't mean there IS no reality, or that what passes for reality is only our projection or manufacture. Because we cannot ever grasp the Whole of any truth, doesn't mean we should give up our quest for what is true in its particular manifestations.

I carry Spirit Stick as witness that THINGS have powers, and always more powers than are manifest at any particular time & place--or of the ways we use them (a theme in almost every poem I write) --but they are not 'supernatural' powers... they are of nature, revealing aspects of nature. People ask questions about Spirit Stick--that's one of its powers, one that leads to conversations I would never have had without it. Much of our energy in our relation to things, is invested in stifling and limiting these natural powers--closing them off, containing them, imprisoning them in the uses we impose on them. Every THING is more than its uses, more than its name--the BEING of any THING cannot be OWNED.

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