27 February 2013
Coercing Your Reading
Because I could not stop for death...I explained my poem ("Shall Have Inquisitions").
Or something like that.
So a poem, perhaps, should not need to be explained to survive as a poem worth reading. That is, it must sprout into the reader's mind and grow there of its own accord and when it is fully clothed in bark and leaves and seeds to flower it will be the reader's poem as much as the writer's.
Our trees may both be oaks but they will likely be disparate species--one Pin, one Red.
The one way in which I have felt the Internet has always missed a massive chance at the deepening of the human mind is the way in which it subverts attention even in the very way it could deepen attention.
Those who have read voraciously, diligently, for decades will always be analogizing engines. Their brains will create the equivalent of a hypertext reading for every poem, every word of every poem.
The computer may, can, should do something like this. Instead terms are often linked that have absolutely nothing to do with the content they are linked from. That is maddening.
But Eliot and Pound provided a gloss on The Wasteland and any number of great university sites offer classic texts that are heavily annotated in a way that you can ignore or make us of. I love this even if I will quibble with the content of the annotation.
This morning's poem could use a gloss probably...but I hope it doesn't need one. I placed the excerpt from an essay by Pound to show the origination of the poem and from whence I stole my tropes.
But there is more to it than that. And at one reader's prompting...some thoughts behind the poem.
Desire unfettered and fulfilled,
To realize your singularity,
Coerce the self into
The belief that this is all for you,
Acts vile and sublime
Of endless variety, endlessly satisfying,
Another cereal box prize
Is not so much to beg of
The first stanza is entirely ironic. After Pound's "hundreds" and the takeaway from Morse Peckham that the Enlightenment was not a "mass" movement but only occurred within very few souls I offer "the dream"--itself a "vile" act. Wanting all desires fulfilled and being empty of anything but desire. To be known, to be famous, to be somebody, to be known to be somebody, to be powerful, to be rich...
Cereal Box Banality of Evil. As for "so much" versus "too much"--this is meant to force the question. What am I asking? That I can beg more of Evil? That Evil can offer more? Rather that Evil has so much more to offer? Or that this is just the beginning of the offer?
"inquisitions are pornography (this tit for that tat)"
Inquisitions...the asking and seeking...but mostly a ferreting out of the heretic.
Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642): "Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him."
The glut of pornography is due to the easy detachment from all things in the soul...we pray to a god yet have no soul. We laud Zero Dark Thirty and our easy, thoughtless killing, and this too is pornography.
Nature "purges" her dead wood to offer life to the "shoots" of saplings.
This is always the reactionary--purge what is unclean, unholy, to leave the "purity" of, normally, racial dominance.
We kill in the name of the highest most exalted beings...
But in the end, as in the beginning, I purge all others so that it is only my dream that survives.
Further, "coerce" in Pound is asserting that "others" coerce us and that is evil. However, that is the very ground of our living at least it is as a governed populace, at least it is within the context of language--power by law by the word.
Social life is always a kind of coercion isn't it? But still worse is the self-delusion--that it is ourselves which allow and abet the coercion.
Humanity, the illusion of right action
is found only by intellection--
hardly anywhere outside of apologetics:
The "Humanity" stanza is a kind of answer to the Pinkerian assertion in "Better Angels" that we are "evolving" and "progressing" into less violence--by which I take him to mean that the dominance of a western military culture has made it hard for the peons of the world to raise a violent ruckus and by force we are peaceful. But I could be wrong about his assertions.
and the human fantasy writhes to
burn the world, to burn
people by magnification:
at least it's (technically) more humane than
That is, people are as irrelevant to the man with the power of science (or illusion of the power of science) as the ants are to the boy who burns ants with the magnifying glass. "magnification" is our technical "sight" which is not vision but code read by a machine (note my use of hadron collider myths in the subsequent post).
of column inches and statistics
the hoard is un-
you are barbarously stupid
Column inches (the Press and the genitalia) and stats (masculine "isms"--economics and science as specious rationale) always seek to offer obfuscation and/or (and-or) justification for humane acts that are inhumane by any common standard...only as you pull back to the view from space do things look "good."
(more ecologically sound)
of mechanical efficiency
And it's not more humane than burning at stakes--it is worse...a horror like burning humans alive for heresy has an immediacy to its terror but also an immediacy in our visceral response to its absolute evil. The ant-human can be dusted off the face of the earth via remote control drone--no muss no fuss.
have you thought rum (and cola) was Providential poison?
Finally, a nod to the recent "rum and whiskey" extirpation of our nations first peoples--Providential poison, a la Ben Franklin. But also the I stick in cola to show our risible never-grow-up irresponsibility of mixing fire water and sugar (and absolute decadence and stupidity) but also as "COLA" is "cost of living adjustment"--a Providential economics of destruction.
Posted by Douglas Storm