Primarily a writing exercise, this dream journal-inspired blog is a quiet introspective sojourn into the process that we traverse in going from private dream to public art. I see our dreaming as an internalized mythmaking. As I philosophize and expressively exhibit dreams, both private and public, I encourage and delight in creative language as a way to practice experiential metaphors through a “public dreaming." Writing Theory: Creative Dream Fiction

Monday, 30 July 2012

In The Burning Memory of the Thousand-Dreamt Rimbaud

"montage en rouge: Arthur Rimbaud et éruption volcanique" by PRA
“A thousand Dreams within me softly burn” 

In the spirit of dream interpretation, I endeavour a creative interpretation of Rimbaud's oft-quoted line. All know the saying, "a picture is a thousand words" refers to the ability of the human eye to perceive new realities through the image, to a mode of internal perception awakening Dream, Realization, Insight, Beauty & Truth. Taking into consideration the outlandish tragedy of Rimbaud's life I would wonder to suggest that "softly burn" is an allegory on the fleeting nature of existence, which dream-like, escapes as a softly burning wick, where the wick is the body, tormented by the passing of life, in pain, and at once when life is realized as a dream, that passing burn is soft. Memories, awakenings, visions, are of those thousand dream-images through which the mind of the poet-seer burns, within. 

For a worthwhile initiation into another living mind revisiting this quote, please explore THE DREAMING, full of gorgeous mystical dream-mind renderings from the Yukon and beyond
The Hindu temple receives a multitude of bodies. Coffins too small for the eye bedeck the well-draped floor. Exotic designs move the carpeting fur under our crossed legs as we admonish the tragedy of a younger generation lost to the violent wave of an incredulous doom. The air is blameless while heavy with the intensity of childless mourning. I visit many coffins, pressing my hand over their delicately sheathed frames, wondering about the unwilling instant of realizing early death at hand. Luxurious instrumentation lightly carries our tears to the sky with a playful tabla swing, impassioned, vibrating the moment’s curse into a blessing of mysterious, celestial hosts. We supplicate for the presence of extra-human understanding.

The demons return to the doorstep of the temple. A slew of bodies fall limp to the floor, blood gushes, filling the red and gold henna-flavored carpet with monochromatic travesty. I hide myself in the ceiling. I can hear the marauders bellowing hotly underneath. Am I the sole survivor? The panicking sets in when bullets and swords pierce through the unprotected foam insulation, serving as a ceiling in between the stone encasing stone structure. The murderers smash idols and burn the priests’ fabrics. Then, they notice me. My heart shakes like a rattlesnake in a rib cage. Gently lowered by the facetious grin of a gangster, I retain my pride. Led to the doorway after bitter interrogation, I am let off, grieving now for the un-mourned, and un-passed, those whose deaths remained undreamt and survive with the turning flesh of burning memory.
"To dream about a temple represents a need to be appreciated by those you love." (iDream)
she, a mother-in-law, struck a few chords after work and fled to his new apt.
clean and unused, they spread genital juices all over the face of the linoleum floor,
not asking lawyers how to clean it up, they left it for dead
& fled the crime scene to her stepsister's house
where they indulged in mushroom chocolates
& fled the known universe

now legally insane, they saw themselves all perfectly unfit for more
in their mentally unbalanced state, slept soundlessly on the floor,
only he had a dream, that he was back in his home country,
though living on the border, officially, since 3,
& saw a mythical beast riding high in the military fly zone
just before the horizon, not a dragon, nor bird of sorts,
a great golden rabbit appeared, star-cast and beaten from eggshell glory

the profound gaze sent him into a subconscious stupor,
an eyes-glazed reverence serenaded his being with lightly caressing gusts
& breezes echoed sweetly from each celestial hop, the rabbit,
suddenly frozen in space
moved its ears at a lightning pace, and the resounding effect, a divine music
so piercing as to exhale a skeletal release from all human friction,
that generous, breathtaking gorge of sound streamed and crashed into depths unknown
with a lightness and eager wish for interdependent eternity

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Beloved Cuba: Reflection on "Amada" by Humberto Solas

I chose to watch this film firstly to practice Spanish apprehension, and in turn, out of an enduring captivation with all things Cuban. In 2006, I protested in NYC against the unjust incarceration of the Cuban 5. After an invitation to travel to Cuba illegally for the purpose of providing much needed resources to an isolated people, I developed a lifelong interest in Cuban affairs. Now living in Canada, I may one day be able to legally visit the country. 

That aside, the content of the film, "Amada" by Humberto Solas, draws on the old story of the internal breakdown of classist oppression in the wake of international pressure and domestic corruption. Here the domestic is defined both as the country of origin and the aristocratic residence. The aristocracy implodes by the will of incestuous love, from within the adulterous presidential marriage, for the hand of the revolutionary dreamer. A passionate, creative literacy is at stake as the emotionally unstable protagonist must struggle to emerge from the trappings of her own heart and that of the deviance of her husband's oppressive rule. By the end of the film, she walks through the yellow-fever afflicted impoverished hovels of the common people, as the presidential villa is stormed by hunger strikers from the dispossessed farmers of the countryside. Read a comprehensive film review

Reflecting on the film, I've become privy to the fact that hunger strike is not an obsolete word in the Cuban political vocabulary, even today. Under the post-Fidel government, there is reason enough for young, passionate dreamers of new literacy to afflict themselves with terminal struggle. Read Yoani Sanchez's blog on Wilman Villar Mendoza
Downtown, I walk by the library. Usually a place of hoodlums, corner crows spying deep into the drug-addled core of the urbane West, a nightmare seethes through eyes lit with nostalgia and lost reckoning. I’ve come from old wood houses, family life on the water, foundations on grass and neighborly wildlife, the windy pines. Now, I aspire to music.

I see a group of rough young travelers, Quebecers, stealing across the prairie to a destination unknown to them, as unknown to all, a mystifying crowd, escalating with their sounding drums, a cacophony of cans and djembes, they are wildly talented. Two play a doumbek as well as any world-class percussionist. I join in, highly amused, jamming along with intentional spirit, a community of street languor and silly dope-swung dreams. Though my assumptions spit back at me, a gunpoint stares at my face.

“Do you speak French,” he says, threatening to murder me with nonjudgmental, hawkish eyes. “Merci” I respond. Handing a pocketful of change over and into their busking bowl, I stealthily walk away. Outside the city, back at the calm-winded house, cool riverine breezes blanket my siblings in peaceful naps. Before they wake, I exit, towards a nearby field.

An older woman, a family friend watches from the stoop of the front door. Our eyes meet from afar, speaking numbers unheard from our mouths, I continue on, shakily into the lone moonlit night. Soon, as I pass through a wormhole of overgrown, forested road, I am led into a city with the immediate turn of a spotlight; a bright glare prefigures the polluted sky with the damaged gold of human weakness. It is a native city of the hoodlums who I had an altercation with earlier in the day.

Massive television screens display commerce and public failure, an aspiration to woe, and the sickly art of rectitude. A votive triviality burns every wandering eye. A street-side host clamors with frayed tongues over the spillage of an alleyway tomb, unreasonable crowds fish-eye over ledges and stairways, pleading with the entertainment rite to move in its festering abuse to inhumane ends. Unable to get a word in, demeaned with the unsightly pandering, I turn back.

Soon, I realize the family friend who saw me as I was leaving had followed, together we return back to our house. Through the forested womb on the outskirts of the city, the young bandits meet us, hiding in the shade as we approach. With the instantaneous glint of a knife, we are attacked and at once evade with spritely ingenuity. Followed, the reign over a pillaging burst of hollow mongering, as they ransack churches and elderly communities in their attempts to follow us to our rural homeland. At home, alive, I realize she’s not with me. I tell the rest of the family what’s occurred, and as soon as I do, she walks through the doorway, she had overcome, her eyes speak with the wealth of her matured cry, pouring out into the silent comfort of our haven.
"To dream of witnessing a crime indicates that others are wasting or taking over your time, energy, and ideas. To see a criminal fleeing from justice, denotes that you will come into the possession of secrets of others, and will therefore be in danger, for they will fear that you will betray them, and consequently will seek your removal." (iDream)
slumbering amid graves
launched astral fleeting,
stone wrought misdirection to be filled

by the plagued European missed fortune,
a drought opening to ice age fruition
in the holy garden

beneath the tree of Good and Evil and its seeds
browned with a madness,
strong, birthed into a woodland street

low, dim face,
burnt with crazed flesh hunger
to consume a poet's lie,
lips all red

excerpt from "ghost!"

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Desert Wanderings: Reflection on "The Sheltering Sky" by Paul Bowles

On reading, The Sheltering Sky, Paul Bowles' most well-renowned literary work, I was easily spellbound by the way he writes of the desert. This man knows how to write about the desert. He challenges the very depths of language as a mirage over the ever constant reality of the desert wanderer, struggling to see through the inescapable immensity of emptiness. 

The book began with an allusion to dream in the very beginning. Where the main characters, three wayward American travellers, briefly converse on the topic of their dream before the subject is snuffed out by quick boredom and the shallow heart of extroversion at the dawn of spiritual tourism. The travellers seek to surpass the edge of knowability. Unbeknownst to them, to travel without is to travel within, likewise, to travel within is to travel without. Or, as Joseph Campbell wrote, "where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world." (Source)

I read this book to ruminate on the presence of my grandfather, stationed in Oran, Algeria in 1943 during WWII. Further, I was moved by the shifting sands of memory, as I reminisced on the fleeting clarity of earthly form, surveying the mysteries of the open Sahara on foot, on horseback, on camel, in SUVs, encamped, stoned, under a moonless sheath of stars, and under a fully electrifying lunar beam, reflecting on the moonscape shapeshifting quality of Saharan life. Now, I read with empathetic interest with the mutuality of a fellow American expatriate, while in colder lands.

The book was written by an author, who was first, a music composer (see my post Dreams That Money Can Buy for reference to a past collaborative work he did with John Cage and Marcel Duchamp), and then, with age, crafted a literary masterpiece. As Tennessee Williams wrote in an introduction to an edition of The Sheltering Sky, in reminding the aspiring literati that Bowles had given his words enough time to "cook" with the experiential maturity of a life lived with his respect to his writing.
On the metro, I open a local paper. Full color imagery comes alive, mostly scandalous female body parts, all the rage staring at you through half-covered nipples. Open the next page and shockwave. The image draws me in, a direct witnessing. I am there in the scene.

The African countryside, in the midst of civil war, green-uniformed soldiers are torn from life and limb in a bloody matter of seconds. I can smell the blood, and unwavering with petrified overwhelming adrenaline heat, I seethe with unearthly stress. Massive antiquated tanks and rebels are on their way to massacre the rest of life in the general vicinity. I flee, sure to grab a sight-affixed rifle.

In the night, stranded in the vile hot foreign country, I sense a wolf is near. Hunting for food, I follow the wild canine, cautious as to not be the followed. As I point my sight in the direction of the unaware, sickly beast, I see a green sniper light through the misty forested pathways. Fearful, I continue on with my hunt, starving. The closer I get to my prey, the more I realize it is a docile, harmless dog. I can’t kill it. With innovative strength and penetrating sight, I turn the tables on my would-be sniper. The mercenary is female. I can’t shoot.

Trashing my weapon, I head down a gated outdoor corridor. An overgrown trench of weeds now marginalizes colonial architecture, rising gothic overhead. The sky is dark grey, almost of sable commitment to the opaque grandeur beyond atmospheric heights, mirrored in the abysmal abandonment of the colonial fringe.

As I pass through the empty corridor, an unmistakable presence begs me to look over my shoulder. Behind me, a full-grown, healthy cheetah of princely step, subtly notices me through the fog haze. A bitter second ensues, I sprint, uneasy into the mangled course of vines and metal.

The cheetah bolts in an instant, as the steam of boiled broth rises from a fired pot. Miraculously, I manage to break out beyond the corridor before the cheetah advances on my unwilling flesh. A fortified military complex is my merciless welcome. Stealthily, I glide through unseen and out onto the open plain. A train station stands, lonely against the outlandish veil of unbridled wilderness air.
"If you dream of hunting, you will struggle for the unattainable. If you dream that you hunt game and find it, you will overcome obstacles and gain your desires." (iDream)
navigating through bursts of fire
while swans pull in whispers from far off,
sinking whistles, incantations, coded and brief,
releasing and subsuming the night,
to walk alongside other creatures
whose origins have no life in this world,
ranging across times and spaces
in the vast maze, within perceived eyes,
following a vigor,
sensing hues and grays
figuring, vanishing,
erased across slick thought trains,
to appease the spirit of the land and renew Place

raised from pure desire into a high peacedom
prevailing and spanning beyond Earth
yet encircling the buried heights,
now wasted underneath urban pathways
leading to vanquished lore,
spun with vines
growing and curling
swift with a fluidity of inhuman passion,
to embrace and devour flowering tombs

gathering in the Name,
speaking in raw emotion,
devotees to spontaneity alive with independent, rousing energy,
gaining followers behind faint lines written in dust
saved in the memories and the trust of trickster cults

after every midnight round
to oust the villainous government
from outside neoclassical churches and new age rooms
cast in a shrouded light
that spawns frustrated, annoyed intellect
to gulp down dreams and swallow potion

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Transformative Poverty of Confucian Wisdom

“According to the story, Confucius’ mother went outside to the wilderness and in her dream she saw a figure called the Black Emperor, it appeared to her being a god figure and in the dream they had union and after that she woke up and found herself pregnant.” – Julia Ching, Professor of Religious Studies at University of Toronto (from "Confucius: Words of Wisdom")

“Ancient chronicles say that while he governed Lu, the streets were safe. Crime virtually disappeared. Merchants no longer cheated their customers. It is said that during this extraordinary time, Confucius’ face shone with joy his dream of saving China was becoming a reality.” – Narrator from "Confucius: Words of Wisdom"

“Twenty-five hundred years after his death, Confucius influences more people than he had ever dreamed possible. In today’s booming Asia, his teachings have brought on unparalleled prosperity to millions, who believe as he did, in hard work, education and the capacity of every human being to succeed. And to this day, the spirit of Confucius still inspires courageous reformers who fight for an end to bloodshed and tyranny in China.” – Narrator from "Confucius: Words of Wisdom"
Border states, a pristine “Stalker” environ, with wispy fog steam curdling through spotlight manufactured by the windless machinery. A gated threshold opens to allow me inside. Unseen eyes blink, careless behind the tinted glass incarceration, joyless dutiful souls expert following.

The narrow skylight pierces indirectly through overhanging metal and high-rise density. Wet air seethes with living smog, a sunless damp hole of raw, entrenched artificial glow. Soon, I take my place on the street, sitting with an opened, near-empty bag of mushrooms, and two other miscellaneous items for beggary exchange. I am met with scowls and glares, violent and piercing, awfully threatening.

“Is that the moon?” I’ve forgotten, nearly blinded by a pointed spotlight. “A plain-clothes guard? Or just an asshole?” he kicks and harasses my desolate state. A passerby throws a bag of chips at me, after which the harassment continues from the mysterious formidable presence, hovering above, silhouetted in the lifeless black and white smoke and steam, dirt writhes with my flattened body on the dismal street, a wasteful sight.

I am beaten mercilessly. My beggary is reduced to scraps of plastic wrap and bleeding bruises. Penniless, I wander to find shelter. Where is my Love? Hallucinating, I tell her my story, she is asleep, unaware, and soon I realize, I am too. Not another word is said outside of my own spit, falling from a mouth too dry to release any more. 
"Most spiritual paths respect or require material poverty so that spiritual wealth may be acquired...In medieval times they called it a 'perfect poverty,' where the individual would give up material wealth and seek spiritual development. In Islam, this quest for spiritual development through material poverty is called 'faqr.' If in real life you are not poor, dreaming that you live in poverty or experiencing great poverty in your dreams may be considered a dream of the contrary or a compensatory dream. 

Gypsies by Raja Ravi Varma (1893)
Superstition based dream interpretation would say that if you are poor in your dream you will gain material luck in the near future...This is simply a way by which you obtain psychic balance...To dream of poverty, or that you are poor, means you may be taking on too many responsibilities and working too hard, and not taking the time to cater to your need for pampering and self-care." (iDream)
sick in a sick society: new thought

immersed in a temptation for new thought and identity

and no more pool
wherein the drunkard washes clean human emotion
drinking his own fluid

the fluid turns to sludge and foam
flooding him with thirst

March 10, 2011
Return to the High and Mighty Imbalance of Mind and Body, Chinatown Calgary

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Post-Hypnotic Return

“Ever heard of post-hypnotic suggestion? You suggest something during hypnosis, which is planted in your subconscious and you act it out when you are awake. Still haven’t figured it out?”

- Antagonist in OldBoy, a wealthy revenge artist and suicidal incestuous jailer
It’s the day of the old small town American road race, 4th of July. Moving out from the shoreline vista, the stubbly green grass shades my periphery in a comforting hold, a grounded reason to be. As I continue on, I’m almost ahead, winning. Then, I lose my direction. I go my own way.

Now, I race against myself. Do I try winning, or simply enjoy the home forest surroundings, the dense thicket, a tragic green wintering my eyes with the loss of childhood, riddled with the muscular pain of defeat, swallowed in the haste of my own speed? 

I meet others on the way running towards me, however, I deliberately go my own way now. The forest welcomes, I run with abandon, at my own pace, towards my own need. The road meanders welcomingly. 

I know the end is near, though I entertain the seaside heat, met with proud ocean and a longing for unity with the open sound, struggling to hear my lofty footsteps, touched upon the gravelly now. The escalating tide shows me a path back to face the finish line.
"Traveling over a rough, unknown road in a dream, signifies new undertakings, which will bring little else than grief and loss of time. If the road is bordered with trees and flowers, there will be some pleasant and unexpected fortune for you...To lose the road, foretells that you will make a mistake in deciding some question of trade, and suffer loss in consequence. To see a road in your dreams indicates your sense of direction and the pursuit of goals." (iDream)
Sunday moans,
voicing the rhythmic confusion
in darkened & cultured blocks
with smoky tears wrung dry
the lover's bedroom clothes

Friday, 20 July 2012

Songs of Ascent for the Exile's Shabbat

Friday Evening, c. 1920 by Isidor Kaufmann
1. When YAHWEH turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream

א:  שִׁיר, הַמַּעֲלוֹת
בְּשׁוּב יְהוָה, אֶת-שִׁיבַת צִיּוֹן-- הָיִינוּ, כְּחֹלְמִים.

2. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing

ב:  אָז יִמָּלֵא שְׂחוֹק, פִּינוּ-- וּלְשׁוֹנֵנוּ רִנָּה
אָז, יֹאמְרוּ בַגּוֹיִם-- הִגְדִּיל יְהוָה, לַעֲשׂוֹת עִם-אֵלֶּה. 

I remember that hill over Muqattam. The overbearing expanse of city, modernity’s rush cascading over the fold of an unclean mind, burning with hot anger in the deep mud of trivial remorse. “They had a plan?” I ask myself, eyeing the inglorious ruins of the once-worshipped architecture still clinging to the life of popular assembly. 

The race of motorcycles and small vans gargle the steaming froth of smog. All spat murderous into the disappearing rain forming high above the human realm. The deserted outskirts, nude with the pang of an outstretched kin, and I am lost, reaching for high ground in the sand-whipped light. Moonless, my fatigued mind craves for recognition in the atmosphere at hand. I am a lone walker on the side of the road. A bus skids past, slows to a halt and I enter into smiling Arab tongues.

The rage and personified haste, the stone labyrinths, the winding path is lifeless with the cold sweat of his following. A professional runner turns and writhes in the pain of want, instilling in me an incisive turning. The wandering hate fills me with unrivalled curiosity and shame. I know no warmth, but for the hunted muscular knife-rent swallowing of friendship cursed along the highway pathways, intermixed with the foul bitterness and acrid taste of inner city air. 

We fall into a hollow stone, and as two locked in the crude horror of warring greed for a brother’s flesh, the wicked stress of rivalry bleeds into our distraught, nascent sanity and heaves it straight over the edge of common reason, to blood and night.

And in the turn of the People’s Spring, a vision unites my fiery cry for wisdom in the heart of our common ancestral history; humanity astir in the colored, feathered breast. A flight into the Eastern European pasture of stars, grazing in the weathered light of a great-grandmother, still kissing the martyred asp of tradition; a Jewish sprite. The elder ways fire in my unskilled mind an art, performative in the midnight trust with an earlier truth. The performance is tonight.

Wading in the molasses mind of patience for the spiritual will of ideation from the ghosts of the numinous beyond, I struggle with answerless freedom in the sordid now. I ready the ingredients. The wasteful strolls and meandering highs screw our minds into wakeful reason, to, with meticulous care, craft an act of such daring import as to quicken the mind and speak the heart. I make a paste, of turmeric base, with white, weakened broth. I will be a death camp victim, with lightless skin and gaunt hue.

Wasting away in the turmoil of ambient talk, I prepare my body, though with fault besieging me with lost and needed objects fading and reappearing sporadically, as to the rhythm of my anxious pulse as I meditate on the gas chamber. I’ve devised the shower faucets to emit a turmeric spray, the walls an exact replica of the infamous Aushwitz, Lodz, and countless others.

As I watch the clock spell a cruel lateness, as speeding on into the infinite daze of eternal death, I’m unable to hasten and prepare myself before my half-hour performance slot is up. About five minutes before my time’s ended, the door inside the dressing room bursts open to the step of Brazilian carnival dancers and Latin fiesta cooks with big rumps and loud mouths, shouting in a haze of upended happiness, a gorge of playful sight ignites my depth of ancestral reminiscence. The act is over before it’s begun.
"To dream that you are late for something represents your fear of change and your anxiety about seizing an opportunity. You may feel unready or unworthy in your current circumstances. You may also be conflicted over decisions about your future." (iDream)

the dimly lit cougar
a swan and her minions

playing over the blonde heat
some unknown bass record

feet stung blind,
tough grotesque splurge over the glued racket
into a silent dysfunctional glare

breathing alone

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Spiritual Murder of the Mythopoetic Role

Fuxi and Nuwa by Anonymous
"Mythopoeisis is the act of shaping a myth into a new form, of making it anew; now I believe each of us does this poetic act daily, only we are not conscious of it, but myths, if alive, are always being renegotiated; we cosign them once more each day we wake up and go about our lives; but the action is unconscious. Poetry makes these processes conscious."

"...the individual psyche cannot, much as often it would like to, to be separated from the collective. Understanding the archetypal nature of our waking life and of our dream life would go a long way to revealing this truth."

- Dennis P. Slattery, from an Interview with Archetype in Action
“I have never traveled through West Africa! I have only seen East Africa.” I shout to the unconcerned on a bus through mud flats on the outskirts of town in Ghana. “It’s more industrialized here.” Suburban homes, colorful and well-roofed lie interspersed atop the unstable ground. Nothing grows here.

The plains shake off their sanded winds out onto a horizon as flat and majestic as any under a dim gorge of sky above. We approach an underprivileged village. The beams of their homes show with skeletal fright, a ghost of a shelter buries the inhabitants under a schema of incongruous monetary divisiveness. I am let out here with a group of excitable travelers. After a few bitter hours gazing into the masked poverty, the rest saunter off, straight into the shale-thin horizon, across the plain desert, leaving me behind to my shameful enjoyment.

The first unusual occurrence I notice is an old man, an elder, conducting witchcraft rites from a burlap, animal hid covered hut, half-emerging from a height of wires in the modern town center. He presses his hand up against a carved, convex piece of bone and wood overhead, pressed into the ceiling of his dusty keep. With that, the town comes alive. Animate devotion is surpassed unto grandiose might through communal dance, a powerful music enticing all to couple and find happiness in group intercommunication through a thankful greeting of sprites.

Then, chaos breaks loose from the fire. I disentangle the group of its emotional stability. I use a dull knife, a metal shard from their central structure. Cutting off hands and brazenly ambushing in an intoxicated insanity, bloodthirsty, I drive the community from their healthy nest. Only a few bodies remain, hanging onto life with the remaining ligaments and tendons still connecting their pulse, vibrating with accepted fate, a spiritual murder.

I flee. Following what I had learned in the village, I begin to collect seeds in the wilderness, these are jujus of flight. I need a new identity. I received wind of another African meeting, in the next town. Before I can get there, the Red Cross identifies me, soon to be incarcerated, deadened with madness I swallow the seeds. My flesh speaks of me, it says, “I am guilty.”
"If you commit murder, it signifies that you are engaging in some dishonourable adventure, which will leave a stigma upon your name...If you have a dream of murdering another, this is a warning that you must keep in control of your temper and emotions at all times and not get enraged to the point of murderous intent...You may also have some repressed anger at yourself or at others." (iDream)

clockwork porridge
spread over an island tongue
marauding, blasphemous
across seven oceans

with education's pandemic drug:
the book

compromising home speech
on the First People's sand-quipped names
harboring love in their own unique hearts
with a history untold,
forgotten and enslaved to foreign grammar
to safekeep continued histories
of colonial struggle
in the vault of young minds
playing sound asleep
in the therapeutic mud
of their own beautiful creation.

March 7, 2011
Chinatown Calgary

Monday, 16 July 2012

Borges On Volcanic Riddles of the Unconscious

“The great English writer and dreamer Thomas de Quincey, wrote in some of the thousands of pages of his 14 volumes wrote that to discover a new problem was quite as important as discovering the solution of an old one. But I cannot even offer you that. I can only offer you time-honored perplexities.”

“And in our less beautiful mythology we speak of the subliminal self, of the subconscious, of course those words are rather uncouth when we compared them with the muses or with the Holy Ghost, but still we have to put up with the mythology of our time.”

- Borges, from his 1967-8 lectures "The Riddle of Poetry"
An acquaintance, an intellectual from Latin America sends me an email bursting at the seams of the twenty-five megabyte limit. The prolific backlog of written research, charts, graphs and maps is stunning. He has proved, through simple correspondence, a scenario for the turn of the tide, an epochal shift in the geological age of the planet. The continents will roll, as on a dial, between the ocean currents. Coastal lands will be subsumed one on side by the leeching magma, on the other by tidal waves with enormity enough to swallow entire cities in a heartbeat’s notice. During this time, mythical beasts make themselves known, many from the below, many from above.

The Edge of Doom by Samuel Colman
The swirling aftermath of an ocean-swept city follows us upwards toward the mountain peaks. The shifting plates boom and gush, spitting fire and ash into the sunless sky, raining in metals and the boiling fury of an endless toxic night. We are protected by a subterranean demi-god, hidden to our waking eyes in the days of light. The simian beast grapples a crushing hammer, defeating a swimming ape three times his size emerging from the opaque, deathly soup of ocean water below. The battle is, to our human eyes, a goliath sight, many proportions beyond our own. Greedily, fear seizes as a last hope in the will to life. The blasting mountaintop seethes with equal force as the rising waters. 
"To see a volcano in you dreams, signifies that you will be in violent disputes, which threaten your reputation as a fair dealing and honest citizen...Volcanic eruptions in dreams usually represent our erupting emotions. Feelings that you may be harbouring during the day might take the form of a volcanic eruption in a dream state. The unconscious psyche might be releasing positive or negative feelings in a safety of a dream (e.g. strong sexual feelings, passion, anger, rage, and fear). Superstition-based dream interpretations say that pouring lava is a warning about poor health. Dreaming about a volcano means the dreamer is in danger of losing a close friendship if she is not honest with that person." (iDream)
a planetary dissolution,
wavering on the edge,
deemed a wanderer,
stolen soul,
dreamer in artistic wonderland,
or violent binge-seeking parasite,
working miracles inside a silenced freedom,
without home, or conceived place
guiding mundane goals,
roaming vagrant, or seer,
yet still unripe,
recently fallen
from knowledge,
into wish, luck, intuition, and the all ecstatic
bellowing "good and evil are through"
impaled by the one breath,
strange yet true
throughout the known universe,
into the home of a single man,
living atop a mountain,
dreaming in the orbital spawn,
a satellite, the globe itself,
winding round, predictably,
to the course of light,
ending with beginning and finding us along the way
on the way,
all along

- excerpts from "Divorce & Diaspora

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Reflection on Preisner's "Silence, Night and Dreams"

"Dreams and silence and night are the three elements, are very important for me. I just would like to in this album give it a question for the audience. What's happened, even in the 21st century we have this completely cosmic technology, and finally our life is longer but it is not so deep like it was, you know, 10, 20 years ago. What's happened is that this technology does not help for us in our life, that we are finally more alone." - Zbigniew Preisner

"Silence that arouses anxiety. Night that envelops sadness and despair. Dreams of hope for a transformation." - Lyrics form "Silence, Night and Dreams" sung in Latin and English, from Book of Job and Gospel of St. Matthew

Reflection on "Silence, Night and Dreams" by Zbigniew Preisner

This album stopped me dead in my tracks. In a pre-evening slump of energy, I dipped down into a reclining position, to receive the fullness of a truly heartened listening experience. There was no mediation, no other attention drawn, simply and fully, I became present in the music. And it took me there. The wave-like form of the movements called me into my own being. I lay, submerged in pure sonic form. An experience not yet had swept me into a simulacrum vortex, an open mind. I slipped as it were, directly into the centre of vacuum space. As I lay in my dark room, my eyes sank in the opaque mysteries of an unearthly darkness. The sopranos melted my heart and my body of water became as the grandiose demiurge of self-awareness.

One of my favourite aspects of Preisner's music is his use of silence. The storied conceptual sacrifice of John Cage flits in my mind, and then I hear a celestial soprano. What takes me away with this recording is how the singer, Teresa Salgueiro, of Madredeus had to learn to read music solely for this collaboration with Preisner, a self-taught musician himself!

Preisner's compositional style, ever-unique, reminds me more of landscape, at once abstract, at once pointedly accurate to the infinitesimal temporality. In my ear, it skies beyond "music" as knowably defined, and in a sense becomes likened to the essence of human experience, beyond expected form, the disquiet of artistic convention. For this reason, it is a personification of dream, a direct rendering of the heart of the maker. For more listening into Preisner's dream mind, listen to "Like a Dream"

Infinitely more could be expressed, for every one of the multiple listenings I've had since the full album's played through my airwaves, though I'll let your experience and mine to be yet further fulfilled in silence, night and dreams. Such is the character of night.
Night on the bus route is darker than usual. It must be a new moon, or heavy unseen cloud cover. Friends sneer at my withdrawn attitude. “What is he concealing?” the fantasize grotesque in the bored clashing of spatial insensitivity. The mood is young and innocence carries a deft presence of unsightly, childish greed. I keep to myself. “Where do I get out?” I implore into the obscure open, unrecognized concrete slabs give the lonely night its shape. We are way out past our usual neighborhoods. I am afraid, though I hardly show it. The others step down at an abandoned building leading to a bridge into parkland, a notorious breeding ground of mischief for those called into the night. I get out at the next stop. As I cross the bridge, I am encroached on all sides by my jeering friends on the bus. They ask where I’m going, what I’m doing. I simply tell them that I’ve been working at a hardware store. The tower above me, they know I’m hiding something. The hallucinogens pulsate in my sleeves with the rumble of their own palpable life, an energy known by my night wandering guests as any intoxicating scent, wafting into their needful minds with a strength beyond another human presence.
"If you are surrounded by night in your dreams, you may expect unusual oppression and hardships in business...To dream of night time signifies obstacles in achieving your goals. You may find that some issues you are facing are still unclear. Take more time before making a decision...extreme darkness suggests that you are hiding something or are unwilling to see things clearly...The darkness represents a lack of awareness or illumination." (iDream)
"you are as a message,
with clarity & goodness in substance

a sleeping vessel,
purified constantly with the freshest, pure oxygen
gifted from up on high

a spiritual life force known only in the most ancient virgin forests,
an ecosystem wise with earthly pleasure,
swaying to magic rhythms

you bend your heart
scaling every obstacle
materialized by mortal touch

miraculous and soothing, not tempting but calm,
an emergent glow breaks the great fever
making modern man delirious with repeated history

your very being is the cure, and every expression a sacred step
bringing us closer to a shared peace among all humanity and all universal creation,
uniting us through a creative spark"

- excerpt from "you are as a message"