Saturday, June 17, 2017

I Have Answers For The Furniture

Shout a blatant sugar to the planet. The map is a drink of mountains and lakes, a tree swarming with pewter terrines and can-openers. Is this Puerto Rico? An armchair is a place for reflection. Chalk stitched together with icicles. 
If I go away it’s only because I have a pain in my heart that digs assault and I must mull it over in the parking lot with some purpose. The raggedness of hay awakens the stone of misnomer. I return home in time to see a philosophy give birth to a meatball. A sheet of paper lugs a knee across the room and deposits it in a ledger where everything morose and tattooed is given a description and a fork. 
The bath salts rest in Hinduism. 
Why is there no income for making glass spurs? Are there no glass cowboys? No glass horses?
There is exultation in lipstick. If I whisper equations to a Kentucky still I will win an absent metal by molding microcosms of spearmint and delta. This all takes place in a moccasin. The pamphlet said so. It came in the mail. It glittered. I plunged into it. I took a zoom lens and focused on the buffalo in the plaster. That’s when my muscles gave me movement and the museum finally opened. 
Buy a banana, my splatter dumpling, I said to no one in particular. Sell yourself. Bristle like an ombudsman on the shore of our understanding. Become a cosmetic for the sorrows of our language, a red engine translating the propane of transcendence into heaves of rapturous induction. I am the grammar that you worry about. I point my writing tools to a tricky purpose and let all hell break loose. I manage by an overflow of everything that the highway puts into emotion. I drive a long thermometer. I have a dog. His name is Hoax. You’ll find a gun in the glovebox. It’s loaded with truth. 
There are moments of twisting a handkerchief into a prayer. Spread your eyes into the landscape and wish for mushrooms. Can I say something? Your éclairs are delicious. Other experiments have revealed that property is a property of property. And has properties. 
There is a reason the refrigerator is in the garden. Spirits wear collar studs, you know. I have gleefully selected a very sexual float for tonight’s entertainment. I can’t tell you the weight of amber but I know how to eat a cookie. It begins with a stimulus and ends with a groan. A singular thought jangles into the paragraph like a rhinoceros dressed in rubies. I’ve seen this sort of thing before. It is generally the result of a longshoremen strike, but you never know. There might also be a festival later, one with heft and polish, like the stubble of the stratosphere on a good day in July. 
The goldfish hit the pavement with everything they’ve got. It’s an effective signal. Our ride is here. It’s horizontal in the light, but oval in the shadows, where the enigmas bubble. 
Were you expecting something different? An answer? A cure for language? A sack of carefully gathered mushrooms? A large granite rock glistening with moisture in the middle of a rainforest? I was, too, to be honest. But all I found was this Black and Decker drill. It’s a 12 volt. Not a 20 volt. But I think it’ll get the job done.
What was the job? Does anyone remember? 
There is a certain resonance to the banjo that belies the spirit of the grapefruit. At least, that’s the kind of spin I like to put on things. It smells of employment. 
Are we together on this? Good. Let’s get the convulsions going. I have answers for the furniture. Some of them fly, some of them don’t. Some just diffuse into push-ups and chrome. 
Chrome might look good on this car but the gasoline has no chin. Lightning bolts have been hurled forward to anticipate the unfettered behavior of children. Language returns to its imagery and the imagery returns to its trapeze. 
And swings back and forth.
The greatest realities are usually the most obvious, which makes them hard to find. All the morbid disturbances of the intellect are due to coupons. 
I have the skull and skill to know a skull is skillful. That a sponge takes on moisture and that a sink is a good place to do the dishes. That the breadboard makes a soft thud when a knife goes quickly through a loaf of bread and that a triangle is different from a delicatessen. That a certain amount of energy is necessary for being and that being is often sticky. 
That the furrows in this soil mean that something has been planted. Or is about to be planted. That the dirt has been carefully tilled. That a part of each year’s profit is regularly put into farm improvement, so that the hillsides show little or no signs of erosion, and the barns and silos are brightly painted structures of good proportions. That the rain smells good. And the mail arrives in the afternoon. But not always. The war continues, but the herbs help. The most everyday things here speak of things unheard. How do I know the true interpretation of a foghorn? I have a loud metallic ringing in my collarbone.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hey Dead People

Hey dead people, seriously, is there anyone out there? I’m almost 70 and I’ve never seen a ghost. I feel a little cheated. Not to mention disappointed. I asked my dad when he was dying what he thought might be out there. He’d always been adamantly empirical in his ideas of the universe. If you can’t lift it, see it, smell it, hear it, measure it, smoke it, pet it, saw it, sand it, glue it, fly it, hit it, kiss it, drink it, eat it, give it to somebody for Christmas or sail it to Honolulu it doesn’t exist. Maybe, now that he was nearing the afterlife, he could sense something. Something transcendent, otherworldly. Maybe he had changed his mind. “So what do you think, dad, what do you think you awaits us when we die?” “Black velvet,” he answered, an empiricist to the end. 
I tend to think he’s right. Like I said, I’ve never seen a ghost. I have not had an inkling of otherworldly visitation. I sometimes dream of my father still being alive but I don’t invest dreams with supramundane significance. It could be a beginning, but I’m not there yet. Not ready to make that leap.
So I ask you, dead people, where are you?
I’ll tell you what’s suddenly got me wondering: delta waves.
Some Canadian doctors recently studied brain activity in four patients in intensive-care after their life-support machines had been turned off and discovered in one of the patients that single delta wave bursts persisted after the heart had stopped and the person was declared clinically dead. 
Delta waves are the waves we generally get in deep sleep. They have a frequency oscillation between 0.5-4 hertz. They can arise in either the thalamus or in the cortex. During delta wave sleep, neurons are globally lulled by gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Anti-anxiety medication such as the benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Ativan) enhance the effect of GABA. That’s how they work.
So I don’t know, are these delta waves just neurological hiccups in a dead brain, or evidence that our minds continue to be active in some marvelous way after our bodies shut down? 
I need some dead people to come and let me know what’s going on. In the meantime, we have Emanuel Swedenborg. 
At age twenty-eight, Swedenborg was made Assessor of the Board of Mines by Charles XII. He was a brilliant engineer. He was also a theologian of renown. At age fifty-four, in 1743, he experienced his first ecstasy and began his Journal of Dreams. In June, 1747, he resigned his post as assessor of mines and devoted himself to the writing and publication pf his voluminous theological works. He died in London, England, in 1772, at age 85 of a stroke. “He is described,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson,

when in London, as a man of quiet, clerical habit, not averse to tea and coffee, and kind to children. He wore a sword when in full velvet dress, and whenever he walked out, carried a gold-headed cane. There is a common portrait of him in antique coat and wig, but the face has a wandering or vacant air.

Swedenborg affirmed that he could see “with the internal sight, the things that are in another life, more clearly than he sees the things which are here in the world.” 
What did he see?
Angels, mainly. 
He claims to have visited the other world, the place we go when we die, while still living. He describes the experience of dying as not actually dying. We don’t die. We go elsewhere. We are resurrected. Here are some excerpts from Swedenborg’s book Heaven and Hell:
When someone’s body can no longer perform its functions in the natural world in response to the thoughts and affections of its spirit (which it derives from the spiritual world), then we say that the individual has died. This happens when the lungs’ breathing and the heart’s systolic motion have ceased. The person, though, has not died at all. We are only separated from the physical nature that was useful to us in the world. The essential person is actually still alive. I say that the essential person is still alive because we are not people because of our bodies but because of our spirits. After all, it is the spirit within us that thinks, and thought and affection together make us the people we are.
We can see, then, that when we die we simply move from one world into another. This is why in the inner meaning of the Word, “death” means resurrection and a continuation of life.
The reason our spirit is not separated from our body until the motion of the heart has stopped is that the heart answers to affection, an attribute of love, which is our essential life, since all of us derive our vital warmth from love. Consequently, as long as this union lasts there is a responsiveness, and therefore the life of the spirit is [still] in the body.
At first then a connection was established between my heartbeat and the heavenly kingdom, because that kingdom corresponds to the human heart. I also saw angels from that kingdom, some at a distance, but two sitting close to my head. The effect was to take away all my own affection but to leave me in possession of thought and perception. I remained in this state for several hours.
Then the spirits who were around me gradually drew away, thinking that I was dead. I sensed a sweet odor like that of an embalmed body, for when heavenly angels are present anything having to do with a corpse smells sweet. When spirits sense this, they cannot come near. This is also how evil spirits are kept away from our spirit when we are being admitted into eternal life.
The angels who were sitting beside my head were silent, simply sharing their thoughts with mine (when these are accepted [by the deceased], the angels know that the person’s spirit is ready to be led out of the body). They accomplished this sharing of thoughts by looking into my face. This is actually how thoughts are shared in heaven.
Since I had been left in possession of thought and perception so that I could learn and remember how awakening happens, I noticed that at first the angels were checking to see whether my thoughts were like those of dying individuals, who are normally thinking about eternal life. They wanted to keep my mind in these thoughts. I was later told that as the body is breathing its last, our spirit is kept in its final thought until eventually it comes back to the thoughts that flowed from our basic or ruling affection in the world.
Especially, I was enabled to perceive and even to feel that there was a pull, a kind of drawing out of the deeper levels of my mind and therefore of my spirit from my body; and I was told that this was being done by the Lord and is what brings about our resurrection.
When heavenly angels are with people who have been awakened they do not leave them, because they love everyone. But some spirits are simply unable to be in the company of heavenly angels very long, and want them to leave. When this happens, angels from the Lord’s spiritual kingdom arrive, through whom we are granted the use of light, since before this we could not see anything but could only think.
Some people during their earthly lives have not believed in any life of the soul after the life of the body. When they discover that they are alive, they are profoundly embarrassed.
I frequently wonder if this happened to my dad. Was he embarrassed to see angels greeting him rather than black velvet? Or was it just as he said: nada. Nothing. Nihil. Nichts. Rien. Rien de rien. 
Nothing can come of nothing, said King Lear. Which first came from Parmenides: nihil fit ex nihilo. If death is simply non-existence, which is to say we simply cease to exist, and since there is no one to experience non-existence, who is to know? When I cease to exist I won’t be there to notice I’m not existing. But if Swedenborg is right, I’m going to be embarrassed. 
But not really. I’ll be stunned, but not embarrassed. Why would I be embarrassed? I never insisted that there is no afterlife. Who would do that? Wall Street brokers don’t even do that, and they take insanity to new levels every day. 
Clearly, something is going on. I have a sense of the sublime. I know beauty when I see it. Nobody taught me beauty, nobody taught me to tremble with awe when I hear the thunder of a waterfall. So what’s it doing there? Why does a sense of something beyond, something terrific and sublime, swirl around in my neurons? What does the sublime have to do with survival? Isn’t survival just a matter of eating and reproducing? Killing things and eating them? Impressing somebody enough with your skills at gathering food that they’ll want to exchange bodily fluids with you, and maybe stick around long enough to help you raise a kid? Why should there be more to life than that? Why is there art? Why is there dance? Why is there music? What do any of these things have to do with survival? Why is consciousness imbued with such values? Why is there consciousness? Why is there self-awareness? Why is there a sense of otherworldliness? 
Everyone has this sense. Don’t they? Am I being presumptuous? 
You can see it in their eyes, hear it in their words. There’s more to life than beer and football. I don’t know how it’s possible not to feel the presence of something divine, something transcendent, a glimmer of something fantastic at least occasionally. 
Swedenborg describes an afterlife that is identical to that on earth, people have bodies, live in houses, and enjoy community life. The main difference is in its intensity. Everything in the afterlife is more vivid. We become more acutely aware of our inner nature. We become more authentically ourselves. 
I picture something like the world of Oz. My old cat Toby greeting me and leading me around and showing me the ropes. If I’m embarrassed, it won’t be for long. There are worse things in life (and death) than embarrassment. 
And hey, isn’t a little embarrassment better than not existing? Yeah, I’d say so. Embarrassment doesn’t last. Non-existence does. Non-existence goes on not existing for a long time. 
It would be helpful if at least one actual dead person returned to inform us just what to expect, what clothes to bring, what temperature to expect. Will there be miniature golf? All-you-can eat buffets? What do hamburgers taste like in the afterlife? Do dead cows look at you while you eat them? Why hasn’t someone dropped down from the afterlife, or glimmered their way into our dimension like a Christmas fairy and opened a travel bureau next to a funeral home? 
Just one. 
Just one dead person to come back and say wow, you know what, heaven is fucking fantastic. But wait. Don’t go jumping off of a bridge. You need to stay in this life and die of natural causes, because…. because why? Why isn’t there a dead person to explain these things? 
I know there are a lot of people who claim to have seen a ghost. But I’m not one of them. So hey, dead people, I need to know: should I bring a towel? 

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Emotion Surrounding Pine

A big nomadic welcome to my faith in pearls. Let’s just get that out of the way. The rain does it with hay. It gushes out of the ground with the force of a pagan invasion and makes the summer grow into its pirate ships and Tilt-A-Whirls like a giant Chau gong, awakening a brave new world of screaming and thirst. 
We would all like a detonation about now, wouldn’t we? Something on the wall in a bone black background, something like a hole. There is a feeling in me that muscles its way into expression like a cement truck and just sits there, idling, the big barrel turning. I like the idea of a hole. I can sprint toward it and then jump. And there I go. Into the hole. 
A feeling greets me on the other side. It’s the same feeling that I had before, only shinier. Now it’s a faucet. 
We all speak our language with ease, but learning to speak another language is best achieved by a return to childhood. That’s the central thickness of unemployment, but not its power. The power of unemployment is in its waterfronts and shores. Anyone who says Chicago is ugly at night hasn’t seen its cutlery. Not up close, where it counts. I mean there, on the table, waiting for an order of salt-roasted beets with whipped goat cheese and pistachio butter to come gliding within your purview at The Purple Pig. 
What prominence so distends into the stars that a country is born? 
I capture a banana whenever I feel sadness and peel it and eat it and then stare at the wall. I figure that if the quintessence of manufacturing is acquired by my bubbles, by my bubbling, all it should need at that point is bubbles. Right? 
Wrong. The bubble is a globule of one substance in another, generally a gas in a liquid. That makes it touching and lucid, like a greenhouse, or pronoun. I will sleep on it and give you my answer in the morning. Was anyone hurt in that crash outside? 
The vague substantive of an ambassador hangs in the air like a bad joke. 
There is a funny perplexity about the camber of a road needing writing, needing to be written about, needing the ruffles of a potato chip to drift westward from the piling of the wharf. Down there, where the water slaps against all that wood encrusted with barnacles. It’s green. And cold. You can tell how cold it is by staring deeply at the narrative bobbing up and down in your mind. 
I have a thin piece of the chasm’s perplexity in my hand. It has the scent of lavender soap. The sauce during our card game was magnificently rude. How do you even describe something that fierce? By obstinately heating the breath thermostat. By ploughing the dirt until it screams with corn. Or rapeseed or beans. It’s your time, your tractor, your field and acreage sisters and brothers of the written word, your plans, your plains, your pleasures and pains. 
Of words put together by monks two thousand years ago. What do you do when you find yourself increasingly drawn toward the obscure? 
Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! 
You must glean parcels of time from the carpentry of butterflies. The falcon’s weariness found respite at last in the cricket’s furniture. I’m going to paint your eyes and let the sun’s canaries find our planet warmer than before. The carpet flies through your tattoo as if the forks were sonatas of silver. Even the armadillos have fingers. To cross this geometry my Bohemian beauty you must design a haberdashery. You must know how to treat a cardiac arrest. You must protect the signs. 
Do I sound bossy? I apologize. I feel pungent with airplanes. We can do this together, you and I. we can bridge this gap. We can enjoy some tea. Watch a movie. Build something out of wood. My hunger calls for something bent and programmatic. Everything in life is mutable. Even the grease stains on the other side of the garage are slightly romantic. Don’t you think?
We feel the absence of the divine most acutely when we’re at the shopping mall. But what happened to the shopping mall? Even that’s gone. 
What, exactly, are we up against? Does it have a name? Can it be translated? 
I don’t know but there’s a new garage door being installed up the street. You’ve got to love a garage. The best things happen in garages. 
Also, some very nasty things. But let’s not go into that. This is a time for reflection. The mosquitos are hollow. Give them sugar. Give them gum to experience shoes. Make chains. Not the invisible kind that clank around inside you and that you nobody can hear, but nurturing knots that come undone like hair, crabs walking sideways, a smack on the lips, a grapple on the beach. Phenomena that nurture the sparkle of camaraderie. Let’s put butter in allegory, glistening in swells. A prickly rapport with Polynesia that peppers the day with pearls and grabs the night with fish. 
Resilience is good. Try that. Try anything. Try cloth. Try crying. Try aluminum. Ride an elephant backward into Hamlet. Write a letter to Iggy Pop. Dear Iggy: what do you think of Hamlet? What do you think of elephants? How do you feel about garages? Do you like garages? Do you like doors? Do you like doors that pull open or swing out? 
Pumpernickel summers with no mirrors. That’s what. Laughing is monstrous. And so we like it. We will summon it to the garage. We will crash into ourselves. That’s pretty much the story right there. How it is one night that we had impact on the emotion surrounding pine.

Friday, June 9, 2017

McClure's Mephistos

It’s a mystery to me where all this pollen comes from, but our Subaru  -  paprika red  -  was coated in a thick beige layer of the stuff. We decided to swing by the Brown Bear Car Wash at the bottom of Queen Anne Hill over on the west side, facing the Olympics and Puget Sound and the maze of railroad tracks at Interbay, on our way to the library to pick up some movies (The Silence of Mark Rothko and Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park). I also had a copy of Michael McClure’s Mephistos waiting for pick up. So after the sudsy slish slosh of those octopal fronds dancing over our windshield as Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” poured out of our speakers, we stopped at the library, got our movies and book and came home.
Mephistos: curious title. The word makes me think of firecrackers. And Goethe and Faust and Promethean rebellions of philosophy and science. Amorous flute-playing Pans with double sex and gently moving thighs. 
Also, laundry. Did I mention folding clothes? I folded clothes. Then I laid back and opened Mephistos
And within minutes I was in that wonderfully exquisite state of awareness induced by McClure's work, that keen sense of proprioception put forward so vigorously and insistently by Charles Olson, the body itself, its tendons, muscles, joints, its elbows and wrists, its pulse and eyebrows and bones and containment in skin, this walking talking constellation of mitochondria “in which the organs are slung,” “the body of us as object which spontaneously or of  its own order produces experience,” “SENSIBILITY WITHIN THE ORGANISM / BY MOVEMENT OF ITS OWN TISSUES.”
You get the idea. And believe me, at my age, the body matters. Did it ever stop mattering? Sure, back in the day when I routinely binged on alcohol and launched myself into Dionysian odysseys that ended at Denny’s at five in the morning. I had youth, the sweet luxury of youth. As one comic recently expressed it, when I was in my twenties I could stab myself with a knife twenty-seven times and then stand in the mirror and watch it all heal. Yes, I can dig it. I can see that happening. They body is so forgiving in your twenties. So supple, so resilient. It would be a stretch to say that it didn’t matter, of course it mattered, I wasn’t that cavalier. Let’s just say I was on the road of excess and had a long way to go before I reached the palace of wisdom. 
I recovered easily from the ecstasies and abuses of my Bacchanalian romps all the way into my mid-30s, but increasingly, with age, that ceased to be the case. Nursing monster hangovers while trying to focus on stupid musicals like Hello Dolly eventually shifted my mind toward a greater appreciation of all things corporeal. My body in particular, this garment of skin and bone I walk around in. It’s not a toy. It’s not a machine. It’s a galaxy of cells, a fragile community of eukaryotes and organelles. You (whoever ‘you’ turns out to be) are in the wheelhouse, watching out for shoals and rubber tires. Don’t sink, don’t break, don’t get dead. That’s your job. 
These days, old and sober and a whole lot wiser, whenever I stand for minutes on end staring at Duchamp’s Nude Descending A Staircase waiting for a flow of urine, I become acutely aware of my body’s infirmities and strengths. Age gets your attention. It insists you pay attention. Things break easily. Other things toughen. It’s an amazing process. 
When it comes to biology, there is no greater poet than Michael McClure. He IS biology. His poems get up and walk around and flop to the ground with their arms splayed out. He is the slippery cold of beach wrack in the hand, the tentacles of a squid spreading out like the rays of a chrysanthemum as he jets toward a school of krill in the Sea of Cortez. It's amazing how alive his poetry can make me feel. And he's a really old guy now. Eighty fucking five. 
Do you like paradox? I do. Here’s a great paradox: as you get older you get younger. You do. How does that happen, you might wonder. It happens naturally, instinctively, viscerally. You grow out of experience. Experience gets refined, distilled, concentrated. And as experience deepens, it becomes powerfully generative. The end result is élan. Élan vital is Henri Bergson’s term for the spontaneous morphogenesis of an emergent system in an increasingly complex manner. Morphogenesis means, literally, “beginning of the shape.” As we age, our shape increasingly assumes the imago of our spirit. The fuller reality of our being comes through more urgently, more emphatically, inspired by griefs and losses and occasional joys, the ephemera of our pilgrimage on this plane. It wants out. It hungers for elsewhere. And that makes it dangerous. A little touch of Mephisto in the night. 
It takes a lifetime to reach the genius and purity of childhood. 
“Emily Dickinson writes that Mephistopheles would be the best friend if he had fidelity,” McClure comments in his forward. “If so, he would then be thoroughly divine.” 
McClure also reveals in his forward that the thirty-seven strophes of Mephistos “resemble a medicine bundle. American Indians gathered spirit objects to make medicine bundles that they carried along, whether in the heart or in a pouch. One bundle I have seen is wrapped in a green-dyed otter skin.” 
A medicine bundle can contain anything of significance for the person who puts it together, seeds, feathers, rocks, horse hair, pine cones, animal teeth, bones or particles of bone. The traditional material of the bag itself is “brain tanned buckskin.” Brain-tanned refers to the use of animal brain and water to create an emulsified solution. Brain matter contains lecithin, which is a natural tanning agent. 
I like the spin Spinoza put on matters relating to the divine, particularly the notion that there is one existing substance, God, but infinitely many modes. That’s helpful. Because when a tornado blasts across the countryside tearing up people’s homes and hurling cars at telephone poles, you’ve got to wonder what the divine spirit had up his sleeve that particular day. 
War is man-made, that evil is easy to explain. There are a lot of assholes out there. You’re not going to find much divinity on Wall Street or in the boardrooms of the oil companies. The divine might be all-pervasive, but why isn’t it pervading those guys? Maybe it is, but they’re not feeling it. Not honoring it. The behavior of these people is anathema to me, an enigma, but who am I to make these kinds of judgements?  
Shit I don’t know. I’m getting lost here. 
It’s a thorny subject. How do you make a case for the divine in a world facing mass extinction? In which people crossing a bridge or standing in line at an airport are suddenly run over by a truck or stabbed or blown to bits? In which thousands of men and women die in the Mediterranean each year migrating to Europe because of the violence and despair in their home countries? In which the elderly and maimed and handicapped cannot afford healthcare in the richest country in the world? How has life on this planet become so tormented and oppressed? What is evil? Does evil exist in nature, or is it strictly a product of humankind? Does it coexist with the divine? Is there truly a Divine Being or Energy holding this universe together that is so much vaster and sublime than anything I can imagine that what appears to be evil is fundamentally insignificant because it is we who are self-aware that give meaning to these things? I don’t know, I truly don’t. But I know it’s there. The sublime, the divine, the sacred. I can feel it. When I read poets like Michael McClure my eyes and ears open. Ironic, that in this instance he invokes a trickster-deity like Mephistopheles. 
Mephistopheles, McClure attests elsewhere in his instructive forward, “is an angel who helps God in constructing the universe and in the creation of orcas and giant sea mammals.” 
In the Judeo-Christian religions God is a supreme authority. Society invokes God to enforce civility and good behavior. Ergo, the dark side provides an avenue of rebellion. The dark side prevents the social order from becoming overly oppressive. It recognizes impulses that do not seem consistent with the edicts of the Supreme Being. The dark side recognizes the impulses of raw, undomesticated Being, however wild or savage this energy happens to express itself. William Blake argued that it was religion and the enforcement of laws contrary to the natural impulses of Being that are the ultimate evil. 
“Without contraries is no progression,” declaims Blake in his The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. In a passage titled “The Voice of the Devil,” he has this to say:

All Bibles or sacred codes have been the causes of the following Errors. 
1.     That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body & a Soul. 
2.     That Energy, calld Evil, is alone from the Body. & that reason, calld Good, is alone from the Soul.
3.     That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his Energies. But the following Contraries to these are True
1.     Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that calld Body is a portion of Soul discernd by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age
2.     Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy.
3.     Energy is Eternal Delight. 

As for the Divine, there are as many conceptions of it as there are people. Some people find it in religion, others in a shot of bourbon. Some people find it in psilocybin or peyote, others in a hard oak pew in a Lutheran or Presbyterian church. Some people kneel and face east at a certain time of day and say prayers to it. Others attempt to reach the Divine by spinning in circles. Some chant, some sing. Some climb to the peaks of mountains. Some sit and dissolve into nothingness. 
Here’s what I think it is: a force. A numen. A divine presence. The combined dynamism (according to Cicero) of a divine mind (divina mens) and a divine power (vim divinam) “which pervades the lives of men.” McClure’s word for it is “meatspirit.” It is “the odor of the fat pink rose / pressed to the face / before / the burial / of ashes.” It is remarkably evident in the life of a calico cat staring “…upward into morning / Every moment and whisker / is startled / into / totality of her being / EVERYWHERE.”
McClure's observations and most importantly his feelings about the universe are uncannily explicit, palpable in their expression. A reading of one or two poems brings you deeper into a sense of being, an exquisite immediacy to everything in you and above you and around you that is so sudden in its effect it's almost startling. I mean, I don't know, maybe it's just me, but something is going on in this work that borders the supernatural. And by supernatural I don't mean witches and ghosts and flying monkeys, I mean that Promethean sense of boundless perception Shelley hinted at in his great poem "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty." An unseen power given tangible specifics in wet black rocks and Kenyan cow shit, the ding an sich of blackberries. 

of the interweaving of matters
and non-matters
way down in the star banks
that hang like mud at the edge of a puddle
for the lengthening red and brown
earthworm under the forest of gold-sided ferns
Like that.                                            That is it.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Manufacture Of Dirt

The airs of the ants annoy my chest. The fat night goes askew in its myriad flashing. Traffic lights, headlights, moon. In the morning, it is dazzling to see the grain open to the rays of the sun. My hot attention flies with the wind. My marshy head begins humming its swamps. I see an empty parking lot and think, rocks are the panacea of Asia. 
The vague prayers of my temperament sprawl in the air for my rescue. I feel the warm sugar of a gelatin knee. I hear the cry of a fork as the knife wiggles its plumage. The ruby indicates that the ocean is at ease. The garden swoons in the legs of the bees. I have twisted a nail in the wood of a splintered arena where enactments of semantic nebula fill the rapiers of tact. The coconuts of a complicated sky tumble to the ground in another paragraph. 
Whose nomadic knee has furrowed the dirt for my trickle of thought? I hold a cathedral in my hand: four wings and an abdomen. It lights up like a refrigerator. Grape juice, mustard, painted ladies. The gentle spirit of yesterday hovers over tomorrow dropping parables and syntax. Audacity joins us at the table and swallows a chair. I like it that a spin of sheaves stirs in the muscle between my legs. Can I say that the beak of that sparrow churns with a providence that I’m not done rowing? 
I have caused perception to open and lift the day into mending. The back door slams on the smells of the kitchen. The verdure favors the manufacture of dirt, not belt buckles, not tricky guitar strings. Just intentions. They’re obvious. They’re everywhere. But what’s underneath them? Dirt. Every time I hear of a chance to rid myself of memories I shiver in the cold and need them back. 
I get stormy sleep. My knee drinks the heat of the waves. I force an old dazzling temperament to tangle with theorems of disentanglement. The air gets up and hovers over a terrain of vagrants. Asian hay carpets seethe with the myths of catastrophe. I feel subversive. I relax control to stimulate the vagaries. 
To examine antique realities. 
A subtle velocity tints the seaweed surrounding my plough. I spread a soft light of memory in the tibia kitchen and the commas cry with the burning hot plop of a twinkle on the miasma of my inner humidity, which is entangled in mysteries of violence and space. Power to the regatta. Power to the pounce of the panther. Power to the empire of the light bulb. Power to the swirls of light in my pretty maelstrom of augurs and tom-toms. I’m willing to change direction at any time. There are samples of my flexibility on the edge of the soap. Help yourself. 
Power to the saliva that drools from the mouth of reverie.
Swimming is divine. But walking is faster.
Power to walking. Power to swimming. Power to the follies of asphalt, which favor the charity of wheels. Power to the ideology of socks, which is soft with sequestration. Power to the tenderness of cork, which is porous, and to coffee, which has blends. Power to the theatre, which tends toward action. Power to humming, which accompanies strumming, and the ring of syllables, which are assimilable, and the blossoming of speech, which circulates in words. Power to the symmetries of structure and the enchantment of floating. Power to the oval, which is almost round, and to the ellipse, which is a generalization of the circle, and resembles a circle, but isn’t a circle, and has eccentricity. Power to the jackknife, which folds and can go in a pocket, and to the shoebox, which is full of tissue, but mostly to trays, which carry glasses, and may be cleaned with a sponge, or a brush, and used again, which is a form of repetition, which is a form of rhythm, which is an element of music, which is a conveyance of value, which has to do with the worth of something, which is a proposal of what is good, and a proposal of what is bad, which is comparative to the understanding, which is a mental process, a charge of energy slopping around in the head, which chafes against the skull, and splashes against the rocks, which are also in the head, and are called images, which are pictures, dishes in the sink, mist rising from a river, or anything, really, which serves my purpose here, my mandate, if you want to call it that, which is how this got started, this thing, this momentum, this intuitive zone, this field of resonances, which is an amplification of something I feel, something I try to pedal, perturb into being, assert, coordinate, try to get across, squeeze into words, into an idea, a yo-yo, an imbroglio, anything I can work into further tumult, which is comprehensive and vague, and expansive like the ocean, which is wet, and deep, and full of strange and luminous fish. 
There. I said it. And now I want to begin the sculpture. The gargoyle. The anatomy. The cabana. 
I want to suggest an effulgent ball of nailing things. Sometimes a cricket speaks of agitations that offer a way to heat a problem gently to ashes and we begin to poke at time as if it operated by handspring and rattle. A tiny head appears in a woman’s tear and creates sensations of adobe puppet. Our world is unrivalled in horses. There are movements that continue to signal ideas of botany for the briefcases we carry. Believe me. If I could accommodate your touch I would cradle it into milky action, so there. Let me see those nipples. I’m skulking now. You’re right. These words need grease. Dwarf fever sprinkles lung nerves in a line of beautiful irritations. The poultry fulminates to black. Our carpet has scarlet reveries, and this makes us believe that apricots need arms. Although, you know, they don’t. but if they did, they would revise our notions of fruit. Mutation is what it’s all about, baby. That, and seamless cloudbursts. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017


Drink the onion candle. There is aggression glue for the membrane shade. This works best in complete quiet. This is oats for the jellfyfish, but insoluble for the rain. Below the spout there is nothing but stars. Be a beautiful polish to them. Allow yourself to butter the truth with applause. 
The truth is not always slender. Sometimes it is reptiles. I recollect remaining in the tinted grooves of Blonde on Blonde until the dimes began to shine in exemplification of the scrapbooks up in the attic and the world seemed easy and green. That’s when the streetlights were nearly everything we needed, and the sidewalks had intent. The lightning continued to burn on its open side. It’s as if we were somehow enthralled with Cubism and yet continued to enjoy winter. 
The plunge into powder is my way of saying that the knife delineates a dimension hanging over the evocation of fingers. At least, I like to look at it that way. What else can I say? The towels are clean now and not as hirsute as the hobbits around here, partying late into the night, drinking Old Peculiar and smoking Tolkiens. 
Late afternoon is stirring and the growls coming from the shrubbery convince me of chickadees. Summer is so simple. It is simpler than all the other pulleys strung together making the scenery come closer. 
As for oars, who cares? We can drift. We can let our hands hang in the water. We can continue our sewing later. There’s no hurry, only a few burning sensations and longings to play in a rock band. Other than that, I feel that my escape must come from within. Running is a personal favorite, but desperate times call for desperate measures. It is why I began slouching and hanging out at the drugstore. It bites to think a tree is authoritative. But yes, a twig exhibits feathers, and this, too, is a collaboration. 
Our monthly intake of water does its melodies by making the ink of its descriptions do things in a grimace that, once it’s written down on paper, appears more like the luxurious juggling of tambourines. You can also do this with your suppositions and theories. It’s easy as twine. Space is forgiving. But gravity is hilarious. I mean, come on. Can it be more obvious? I think I’m falling in love with the weight of a movie ticket. 
The greenery of the wind relocates the darkness. The Alps defend Sunday from the pretty clouds of Monday. Nature is mostly scorpions and wasps. Maybe poultry. I’m not sure about poultry. Are chickens natural? If you rub something obscure long enough it begins to shine like varnish and do the hully gully. Every faucet has a mouth, every sentence has a purpose. The purpose of this sentence is frequented by a group of words that want to reflect on the suppleness of the human tongue. They urge conference. Listen to the bees grow into the sensual drool of calculus. Listen to the predicates click their lyrics into the scenery of gills.
This is a moment for pearls. The king thought his bones were expanding and wrote a sullen letter to Egypt. Egypt responded by saying that the encounter with the terrine was languishing in seaweed. This directed the king to seek beatitude in the peripheries, out of the direct sunlight and in the shadows by the window. Egypt stepped into the Nile and shined. 
The lighting here is busy. The bulbs sweat sauerkraut. The eyes groan on the bookshelves. The hives come to us in our dreams, bearing the softness of moonlight and the raw fleece of autumn. Our carpentry is jubilant in its rudiments and demands the glory of fact. Scraps among the harpsichords prove that the effacement of music is paint, not noise as we suspected. Noise is just a sound spinning in the face. Not everyone can twinkle. Some of us have stories that seethe with trapezoids. I like generating peculiarities of failure. Escalators, unicorns, tidepools.  
The eyes are lounges for the judgments of the brain, which are suspended in microscopes. 
There is a movie in which a naked woman welcomes you at the door and a movie in which a fish clarifies hints of clay. 
Welcome away blatant woman. Start your stomach logs. We have toes for the snow and organs for experience. 
Theory blurs the rough terrain. Jelly drags the track chair across the room and Marie Laurencin waits for it in her sleep. The pure way of the monastery is to go hiking and pick blackberries. We seduce one another with a little driftwood and a lot of cupcakes. There is an apricot that feels sad for the pill of regret which is a bear whose veins make a case for the imaginary money of a canary. But it’s hard to swallow. This level of anthropomorphism is alarmingly literal.
Eating exhibits parables. We find a path toward the butter and the imagery of this requires a pineapple. You must envision playground slides for the potatoes to happen. They’ve been mashed and put in a bowl. A drool bends the surface so that it feels kinetic. Postage stamps speak of a floating office. This means that the derivative takes all the cake and leaves us with the cost of shipping. And that, too, calls for the use of infrared filters.  
We cut the lawn with a kind of knife. You’re probably wondering why we skipped the backyard. I think it has something to do with Portugal. Lisbon is beautiful. My sense of the outdoors is a little scratched but zips together nicely in order to tell you that the lions are roaring. Please continue drawing. Congratulate the mass of the street during an era of clouds. This makes eating saws. This makes saws walk. This makes walking saw through making. Making is incarnation. I’ve seen it happen before. It helps make your bones stronger. This is especially important in space. Weight loss diminishes bone mass and raises the amount of calcium in your blood. But now we’re getting technical at a time when we need to be instantaneous. Words don’t happen by themselves. They need snow and limousines. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Gnu Glue

Every day we see our lives play out in miniature what the universe does at large. The day rises, a scattering of clouds flare into gold, the sky goes from a twinkling black to a lighter and lighter blue, activities gain traction, grow, people interact, floors are swept, money exchanged, coffee poured, food eaten, cars started, traffic entered, curses shouted, insults hurled, acidities endured, jobs worked, products shelved, houses sold, ideas taught, civilities exchanged, dates made, the sun grows higher in its trajectory, then slowly, imperceptibly begins to lower, the shadows lengthen, the sun moves toward the western horizon, then (if you happened to be watching) the last portion of sunlight fades from view and night unfolds from the sky, the darkness diffused by streetlights in the city, an ocean of stars in the country unpolluted by light. 
We follow the same pattern. We rise, get out of bed, and begin a trajectory that will lead us through a chronology of pumps and bumps and exploits and joys. There will be an arc to our day. We will do what the sun does but do it in miniature. We will attain a certain fullness of being and then feel the tautness of that being relax bit by bit until we return to bed and pull the covers over our head and vanish, enveloped by oblivion.
Losing consciousness is a delight. It always is. Don’t ask why. I don’t know why. The reverse is less pleasant. Entering into consciousness has never been an entirely pleasant experience for me. It varies, depending on circumstances. How much sleep I had, what lay ahead of me in the day. 
I suspect everyone has their own way of doing it. Mine is most often prickly. It’s a delicate operation. If I’m not careful, I get the DTs. 
Doesn’t matter. I get the DTs anyway. The DTs are unavoidable. 
By DTs I don’t mean delirium tremens. I mean Donald Trump. The DTs happen when I have a moment or two of forgetfulness, a nice blithe somewhat foggy insouciance as I run water to shave or open the refrigerator for a jar of blackberry jam. And then it hits me. Creeps back into my blood like a virus, dyes my red blood with a black ugly bile, grows into a mass of panicked awareness and crashes around in my head like an Iberian fighting bull bristling with banderillas, rivets me to the ground with the dead weight of a thousand dying suns: that face, those jowls, those freaky little hands. I remember that this unevolved, loutish, lumbering man-baby billionaire is president, and he and his billionaire cronies are looting the government, and taking away health care, and taking away science and education, and destroying everything good and decent and caring, and turning everything to shit.
How is this even possible? Nothing rational can explain it. I lose hope. But I don’t give up. I don’t succumb completely. I learn to develop an attitude, a reinforcing mindset writer China Miéville calls “undefeated despair.” 
What a marvelous phrase! 
Hope is over. Forget hope. Hope makes things worse. It leads to denial. You start to hope for hope and then feel duped. Doped, dumped, duped by hope. So you let despair happen. You make art, you persist, you keep going. It works. Despair is a lousy feeling, but it’s real, it’s more affordable than health care, and it’s not that bad. It doesn’t kill you. It’s not strychnine. It’s just despair. It’s the stuff of great novels by Cormac McCarthy and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Hope is fragile. It needs to be coaxed into existence and assiduously maintained. Hope requires a lot of work. Not despair. Despair has a built-in invulnerability. That’s why I often feel so weirdly protected when I’m feeling it. Optimism is Norman Vincent Peale’s idiotic grin on West 29th Street. Pessimism is a femme fatale in a sexy black gown offering you a shot of heroin. 
I’m most susceptible to the DTs in the morning. It figures. I’m vulnerable. My mind is still afloat in that foggy milieu of being half-awake. Once everything gels, once I begin forming sentences and making plans and figuring things out, that’s when the bad comes rolling in with the good. I put the heat on. The water starts to boil. The day begins to roll. 
There is also the narrative arc of our lives. We follow a pattern similar to that of the sun on its pilgrimage across the sky, but without the fanfare. We arrive in blood and mucous. We are dropped or tugged into life. Screaming. But we begin. We grow, we develop, we evolve in much the same way as wine maturing in a cask, we season in nuance and character, our lives become complex, conflicted, ambiguous, huge. And then, imperceptibly, we weaken, we diminish. Some are struck by disease and go more quickly than others. Others go and go getting wrinklier and wrinklier and hobbled and awkward and barely coherent until at last they let go. Which is what we do. What we all do. There is no getting around it. We let go. We have to. There is no other choice. You can’t cling to life. There is nothing to cling to. It’s not a merry-go-round. There are no poles. You simply let go. At least, that’s what I’ve seen people do. Both in real life and in the movies. They let go. They shut their eyes and something vague and important sighs out of them. 
I apologize for these generalities. These descriptions have the balance and simplicity of allegory. Nothing that lives is ever that simple, or balanced. Most of life is a huge, chaotic mess. But it is the model, the central narrative for sentient, mortal beings. The trajectory is as certain as it is ancient. 
Our main injunction in life is to reproduce. I failed at that. I chose not to reproduce. In the same way I got out of the draft, I got out of reproducing. I didn’t want to kill people and I didn’t want to bring people into this world. I knew very early in life that what I wanted to do is write books and that writers, generally, do not make much money. Some writers make a lot of money. Most writers do not. I don’t know that the formula is for making a lot of money at writing. It’s probably a lot simpler to make money by making movies or telling jokes on a stage to a crowd of people but for whatever reason I chose writing, or writing chose me. In any case, I did not reproduce. I made books. I will leave books behind. But whether people read them or not is a huge uncertainty. 
The good thing about books is that you do not need to save money to send them to college, or support them in their endeavors, or invite them to your house on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The great frustration of books is that they require readers. I can read only so many books. I write books and hope for readers. Some writers don’t care if they have an audience or not. It’s enough just to write. That is, of course, the ideal situation. To write, to enjoy writing, to find and fulfill oneself in writing, and not need an audience. What a heavenly situation that would be. 
I’m the kind of writer that craves readers. The bigger the audience, the better. The words don’t even seem fully alive until someone else reads them. Until that happens, the words are ghosts. Wraiths of intention, wreathes of desire. This means that 99% of my life is spent in frustration. The one per cent happens when someone enjoys reading or hearing something I wrote. It is that one percent that drives the other 99% to continue doing what I was born to do, which is put words together. 
Which I do as weirdly and bizarrely as possible. I write carnivals. I write crazy sideshows. I put words together so as to maximize their enigma, their possibility to make meaning, to make worlds out of nothing. 
Why? I could lure an audience much more easily by writing about drugs and sex and murder and violence. But I don’t. Not directly, anyway. I don’t cater to that stuff. I cater to the weird and surreal. I like constructing sentences that get up and walk around like birch canoes on a surgical table.
I like phantasmagoria. The bizarre. The ineffable. I like putting words together in odd assemblies of syntax and grouping so that meaning erupts in flares of fluky association and the words jut out in the crudity of their being like outcropped rock. “Civilization,” observed Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa, “consists in giving something an unfitting name, then dream about the result. And indeed the false name and the real dream create a new reality. The object really becomes another, because we turned it into another one. We manufacture realities.”
Manufacturing reality out of words is a difficult but highly stimulating project. It also demands a lot more effort from the reader. Most people want an easy ride. I know I do. When I go to an art museum and see a painting of a barn that looks like a barn and a mass of color and form that doesn’t look like anything other than what it is  -  a mass of color and form  -  it is the barn that looks like a barn that I have the easiest time appreciating. It is the intensity of detail that brings the reality of that barn into the barn that is my brain where I can mingle it with all my memories of being in a barn, the smell of straw and burlap and cow manure. The weight of things. The experience of things. Horns, udders, massive bone. Old, rotten wood. Daylight bursting through little cracks and holes. I’m on familiar ground there. I’m experiencing a barn. The artist has done something to renew the phenomenon that is a barn. 
Or owl or awl or lonely midnight street. It doesn’t have to be a barn. It might be a Roman ruin, Thomas Cole’s Ruins in the Campagna di Roma, Morning, 1842, which is a rendering of the Torre de Schiavi (Tower of Slaves), casting a broad shadow over a shepherd and his sheep while an intense blue and golden light suffuses the sky and planet with its bountiful grace. 
A mass of color and shape such as Convergence by Jackson Pollock or Canticle by Mark Tobey requires something different from me. This is work that requires an openness to the immediacy of things, to the immediate presence of color and shape before it has been worked into a familiar image. The public now knows what to call this painting: abstract expressionism. But it still stumps a lot of people, including myself. Is it supposed to be beautiful? Or is it ok as something ugly?
Either of these paintings would sell in the millions. How that process happens, I do not know. The commercial valuation of art stumps me completely. 
I do know one thing. If you’re starting out, it’s a hell of a lot easier to make money getting people on board with what is recognizable, with what they can understand, than something that makes no reference to anything with which they’re familiar. No one likes to be in a position of feeling dumb. Or clueless. But I can’t help it. I like doing what those abstract expressionist guys liked doing. Throwing things, splattering things, creating happy accidents. I like to put words together so that they fling themselves into the air and bruise the mind with ineffability. 
I like reading things I don’t completely understand. I’m drawn into the intellectual challenge of trying to figure things out, finding layers of meaning, sometimes paper-thin like the layers of an onion, and sour, wonderfully sour, or thick like the layers of pasta in lasagna, chewy, toothsome, fulfilling. 
The public is different. The public likes Disneyland. And Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Code and Fifty Shades of Grey. Treacle, trash, garbage. Sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Public, but your taste in things sucks. Go listen to NPR. You can have American Idol. I’ll take Moby Dick
Intellectual endeavor has never done particularly well in the United States. Anti-intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter goes into the history of this. It’s a well-written book, a good read. 
I got hooked on intellectual creation early in life. Maybe I did so to help disguise the fact that I’m essentially stupid. I don’t know. But by age fifteen or so I loved Aldous Huxley and Edgar Allan Poe and William Shakespeare and Jack Kerouac. 
It was still possible in the 60s, and even the early 70s, to make a living as a writer. A writer of quality literary work. Wild, crazy, idiosyncratic work. There was an appetite for that. People weren’t so one-dimensional. They had a sense of adventure. They didn’t dismiss work they didn’t immediately understand. You didn’t have to dumb it down or fill it full of garish sex and violence. You could sell a literary product based on the merit of its style alone. People were well-read and despite the advent of TV circa 1947 (the year I was born) people liked  -  and continued  -  to read. They were able to appreciate a well-crafted sentence. 
The Internet has totally destroyed that. The Internet does not respect readers. There are, of course, exceptions. Some wonderful can be found on the Internet. But by and large, the Internet’s ubiquitous pop-ups and advertisements that suddenly begin blaring when you’re immersed in a text (…where the fuck is that coming from?) and pages that jerk up and down while you’re trying to direct your attention toward something do not make for focused, concentrated reading. Not to mention the awful grammar and infantile shallowness of most the writing that is plopped, flung, and deposited there. 
By the late 80s, writing had begun showing signs of obsolescence. There were a few authors such as Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates and Danielle Steele who still sold books in the millions and made a good living, but writers like Richard Brautigan, whose suicide in 1984 underscored the growing abyss between commercial, mainstream writing and the already severely marginalized writing of a more experimental or higher literary merit. It was a dark premonition for the future of writing. Midlist writers were being dismissed from mainstream publishing and urged to submit their work to the burgeoning small press arena. It was easier to get published in that world, and the readers were more sophisticated, but you could not make a living. Literature emerging from the small press arena was a labor of love, never a commercial enterprise. 
Even journalism was dying. Newspaper circulation has been declining precipitously since the 80s, at least. It’s extremely difficult to make a living as a journalist. The implications of that are pretty disturbing. Chris Hedges discusses this in depth in his book Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. 
Nevertheless, I persisted. I’m a writer. It’s what I do. It isn’t denial. I don’t know what it is. I can’t explain it. Why am I like this? Why do I chase chimeras? 
Am I on the wrong planet? Is that it?
Was I born on a planet that was in the process of being destroyed and my parents put me into a capsule for travel in outer space and set my craft to travel to a planet they thought might be favorable to my survival and well-being? I don’t know if this is the planet they had in mind, but I don’t have superpowers. I don’t even have tights. Just a drawer full of Fruit-of-the-Loom underwear. 
Earth is, in many ways, a beautiful planet. It offers lots of water and blue skies and ocean surf and strawberry jam. But I don’t feel that I belong here. I feel like I’m the wrong kind of animal for the wrong kind of terrain. Maybe I would’ve preferred being a bird. 
I was eight when the Broadway musical Peter Pan with Mary Martin in the lead role appeared on television. I was quite taken with Peter Pan’s ability to fly. It seemed completely feasible. I spent an entire day jumping off of a knoll in the attempt to take flight. I could feel the possibility of flight. It felt as if I put enough passion and will power into it I would just naturally take off and fly around the neighborhood. This didn’t happen. I finally gave up and surrendered to gravity and the human condition. 
My father flew. He was a pilot during WWII and continued to fly gliders late into life. I could’ve learned to fly. I could still learn to fly. But the sensation I hunger is better satisfied in the action of putting words together and watching them pound their way into reality. I don’t know what to call this sensation. Transcendence sounds too serious, a little pretentious. It comes from Latin, transcendere, meaning to climb over, to step over, to surpass. The mania I feel vibrating my nerves has nothing to do with stepping over anything. It has to do with penetration. Immersion. Feeling my subjectivity dissolve into the largeness of things, the universe. What do you call that? 
Ineffable. From Latin ineffabilis, meaning unutterable. Your mouth can’t make the right sound with the right meaning for a body of sensation that feels simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar. This is how Zaum came into being. Zaum is a Russian word coined by the Futurist poet Aleksei Kruchenykh and translates, roughly, into “transreason,” “beyonsense,” and “transration.” It can be defined as an experimental poetic language characterized by indeterminate meaning, a transrational language that crashes its way out of the chains of the rational to become something fully, insanely, maniacally ACTUAL.  
These words fail: I am not suggesting that logic is bad and madness is good. I am not anti-science. What I’m trying to get at is an intensity of expression that derives from eccentricity, incongruity. Sparks flying out of welded contrarieties. 
There have been other literary endeavors as well, projects calculated to transcend the bind of logic and attain heights and intensities of experience: Dada, Surrealism, Futurism, Symbolism, or just plain jism, the language of ejaculation. 
Zaum, Zoom, Zinnia, Zipper. I celebrate all combinations of sounds, all inflammations of language that vivify experience in mutant volatility. Anything that builds a horse out of vowels and a gnu out of glue.