Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tracing the Real in the Dream

                           IT'S MORNING IN AMERICA

                        The central hypocrisies are obscured
                        in that
                        Language is beautiful
                        in the distant crackle of pre-
                        recorded applause
                        in the ululations that are
                        certitude and color.

Laura Jaramillo, The Reactionary Poems
This book is sold out: if you are interested in reading the rest of Reactionary Poems, you can email Laura at:

When we live in a virtual hologram of unreality--where nothing but the bloodletting and the prisons and the  massive hemorrhage of wealth into fewer and fewer hands is real and the science deniers and corporate fuckwits hellbent on starving and drowning the rest of humanity --when we live in a propaganda machine that makes Orwell look like a bloody
optimist--writing about either personal or social experience directly
only reinforces the delusions. Only way to get at the truth is to NOT
write about what you want to say... in the way I’ve described before... as a patient
in deep denial might (which how the most enlightened of us live most of the
time...else go truly nuts... or take a flying leap into the welcome
dark). Given the task of describing our pathology, the patient
resists and recasts it (as in dreams)... and without knowing how it
happens, fashions an image of the reality made, not of the banal
details of this-happened-and-then-that-happened-and-then-this-happened ('realist' literary fiction)...
but of what it means.

I recently finished re-reading The Interpretation of Dreams. An interesting distinction between Freud's treatment of dreams and that of Jung--at least as they've evolved: while both looked for 'universals' in dream interpretation: Jung in his psychic archetypes, Freud  in symbolic constants of individual development, Jungians are, as far as I know, still chasing after the universals while theory rooted in Freudian thought is less concerned with fixed symbolic content...
and more with process: the content being more deeply related to current experience--relational and adaptive and thus more relevant to contemporary reality—more relevant because the psychic process is formed by adapting to the whole experiential environment--multi-directional, where the generating process is itself altered in its adaptation—as opposed to the assumption, say… of an Oedipal complex that functions as a constant pattern imposing itself on experience, without itself being essentially altered.
For me that’s a very important difference, in that the meaning I want to get NOT writing about it... isn't a universal archetypal, symbolic psychic alternate reality...neither mystical nor idealist—in either a Platonic or neo-Platonic mode, or an unchanging generative ‘complex’--but rather, is traced in emergent aesthetic forms out of the distortions and subversions of the common human world... what the Greeks (Heraclitus, not the Greeks of the New Testament) meant by Logos (for us, a deeply disturbed and perverted Logos).

That's how I see the task of poetry for our time... of art. (See my post on Surrealism).

Stuff I've been thinking about since I started The Dog--precisely what I mean by the Aesthetics of Process-- and I have a sense that they’re beginning to take shape—to have a significant effect on my writing . It's freed my poetry... writing at a pace I've never before managed to keep up... even when at the same time, in love/lust and hypomanic! I'm going to keep pushing to see if I can write a poem a day for a year.

In reading over a poem I wrote a couple of weeks ago, it seems a perfect example of what I’ve just written… which has come, after the poem, as prosaic restatement… not of the poem, but of the idea that provoked it. Without thinking of it as such as I wrote it, the poem (which seemed somewhat obscure even to me) reads to me now as a kind of aesthetic manifesto--as clear as a bell.  

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