Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hand of a Thousand Fingers

For me, the poetic is what stands opposed to industry, to the circularity of routine, the predictability enforced by purpose, circumstance impoverished by utility. There is a sense in poetry that poetry has its own physics, its own laws. It doesn’t. But the illusion of illimitable experience is exciting and sweet.
One can, however, defamiliarize the world using the right set of images and syntax. And here what is strange is that language, a preeminently social medium, is ruptured and broken in such a manner that it loses its social function of communicability and becomes something else. Becomes wild and precipitous.
The more I’m forced to do something I don’t feel like doing the more deadened I feel inside. Being contracts. Mind contracts. Poetry is an antidote. Poetry is to the venom of servitude what antivenom is for snake bite.
There are numerous occasions in which it is to our benefit to do something against our will. I have no solution for that. I just know that a shot of whiskey or a glass of wine helps when the task has finished. I would compare poetry to whiskey or wine. But the comparison holds more liquid than is apparent. Poetry does more than rejuvenate the spirit. It opens vistas.
Why are some people more receptive to its influence than others? I can’t say. I don’t have a clue.
It happens that, by a physiological curiosity, that phonation is linked to a current of air emanating from our lungs. The mouth shapes the air into sounds that become signs, symbols, images. Signs for desires, signs for needs, signs for objects, and all of it linked to breath. To pneuma. The spirit as air.
The most intense, most intimate, most private emotions are struggled into the air. Struggled into sound. Struggled into sense. Into sense and sentence and sentience.
Steam, silk, abstraction. Mathematics and law. Rovers on Mars. Lovers in morgues.
I find it curious that we are never the same around the same people. Some people are easy to be around and some people make us feel awkward and fearful. Some people bring out our best, as the saying goes, and some people make communication so difficult that expressions come out of us wrongly or stupidly distorted, awkward and inappropriate.
Continual practice with language makes it easier to disguise one’s feelings. It also makes it possible to discover feelings, to embellish them. To give them fur and fangs and tails and scales.
Declaration, fantasy, convulsion.
Sensations before they become automatic.
Whatever it is that constrains being, causes us to modify our reactions, the speed by which our minds respond to a given situation, to conserve certain ideas, to restrain ourselves from saying certain things or using certain words, are deformations. Sometimes these modifications are performed in order to acquire a better understanding. This becomes increasingly difficult according to systems of belief, different gods, different mythologies, different values.
I’ve noticed over the years the powerful seductions of deception. I can see how incredibly easy it would be to lose sense of one’s authentic being and react with such conformity to the social environment that even in private the truer feelings would go numb and obscure.
Nothing destroys a poem faster than the desire to make oneself understood.
Infinity, remarks Poe in Eureka, is by no means the expression of an idea, but of an effort at one.
A word is a proposition. It produces an image linked to a system of reference, actual sensation, or act. Configuration, fragment, or hook.
Language is a comparable to a hand with the independence of its fingers, only this hand has thousands of fingers. The ears are astonished to find what a pair of such hands can do on a piano.  


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