Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Rings of Saturn

Your eyes have changed—
I can see the blue,
as if you’ve opened up to the view.
And if that feels strange,
well, it’s true: you’re created
from fragments of shattered moons . . .

Trust yourself
to do what you do—
the Golden Age is
within us too.

Return from whence you came;
the Great Year comes round again.

Swallow your dark thoughts—
you know they are your children—
and watch them grow into better, not bitter things.
And if that feels strange,
well, it’s true: you’ve created
a world from your shuttered dreams.

Trust yourself . . .

Key—A lyric written to commemorate my fortieth year, when I first noticed that my eyes had developed a blue ring around the iris.

Saturn, a.k.a. Cronus (Father Time), ate his children to stop them from usurping his power; I use the image to represent turning one's dark fears/desires to the "good." His was the Golden Age of Greece. I associate his reign with the return of the Great Year (the 40,000 year cosmic cycle) and Alexander Cockburn's idea that each of us bears a Golden Age within us, for me that being represented by my recognition that it's our evils that make us who we are—just as we are made of star-stuff transmuted.

The Rings of Saturn (Die Ringe des Saturn: Eine Englische Wallfahrt) is, of course, a W. G. Sebald memorial history (1995; London: Harvill Press, 1998).

Herald post on separate Maori prison units

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hallucigenia (In Wildness Is the Beauty of Earth)

If you’re lost between floors
and your wait is getting you down—
a fortnight of dying bored
in the here and now—
remember . . .

There is no private language.
When we speak in tongues
everyone understands,
the world will move.

Animals, birds and trees,
people who we love to please:
spell your name in numbers—
in wildness is the beauty of Earth.

Hallucigenia: do what you will.

If you’re between stations
on the road that’s bringing you home—
a lifetime spent alone
on the never-never—
remember . . .

There is . . . [etc.]

Key—A song about the number 14: a fortnight; the fourteenth floor (which is really the lonely thirteenth); the fourteen-legged hallucigenia; the stations of the cross; Jacob Boehme's notion (or numerological conceit) of the number 14 as representing the Spirit moving in nature; 14 as the number of David, the author of the Book of Numbers; the number of charity (caritas: grace)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Black Hands (Every Street)

—You have to take the extremes into account to reach the reality (thus, the Bains v. the Wittgensteins)

In Every Street
a “nervous splendour” —
oh, the drama
that plays out behind closed doors:
gunshots and bloodstains
no-one can see,
hidden lenses on the pain
of lost sons and mother-lovers.

Lost in the slow burn
of everyday things,
“how sad, how sad,”
he says to black hands.

“Sorry, you are the only one
who deserved to stay.”

In Every Street,
a “nervous splendour” —
hurts beaten down with
words unspoken,
mountains of linen and clothes:
targets in the dust and the dirt.

Lost in the slow burn
of everyday things,
“I saw him, I saw him”:
black hands are coming.

“Sorry, you are the only one
who deserved to stay.”

Blood seems to go everywhere.

[Cf. “The mask of sanity”: manie sans delire (Philippe Pinel [1801], a.k.a. J. C. Prichard’s “moral insanity” [1835] → psychopathy)]

You have to take the extremes into account to reach the reality: Maarten Kleintjes, the National Manager of the Police Electronic Crime Laboratory. It is the via externa or extrema—the outside/outward/strange/foreign or outermost path; Kleintjes continues: "the truth will lie somewhere in the middle" (via media)—not necessarily: there is some truth in excess.

a "nervous splendour": Alexander Waugh, The House of Wittgenstein. A Family at War (Doubleday, 2009).

black hands: the day before the murders, Bain was rehearsing in the chorus of a university production of Oedipus Rex; a scene of the tragedy is sometimes performed with actors wearing black gloves.

“how sad, how sad”: Wittgenstein on Georg Trakl’s death (9 June 1914); see Ray Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius 119.