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

Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Joycean Saga of Psyche, Muse of Endless Night

Mary Ellen Bute's only feature, "Passages from James Joyce's 'Finnegan's Wake'" begins:

One great part of every human existence is passed in a state which cannot be rendered sensible by the use of wide-awake language, cut-and-dry grammar and go-ahead plot. (James Joyce)

“ a nightmare from which I am trying to awake” James Joyce, from Ulysses

As my sleep cycle changes, I wake later in the day. It is winter. I rise at sundown, fall at sunrise. The sun and I keep a syncopated rhythm of broken and drunken days. My consciousness rains down on my dreams with the lucid bearing of a child at home in the nonsense play of indecision and fear. I listen only to night. I am not a human. I am not adapted to earth. I am not a person. I am not adapted to houses. I am not. I am adapted to mind. I think, therefore I am not. 
a blonde, a young woman, of especial high class, buries herself in the busy sheets of a paid for hotel room as she awaits her dowry, and her parents exit, content with the happening, for she is to be their high dollar ticket, and they are proud 

Blonde Nymph by Paul Emile Chabas
and in the fading night, she switches rooms to bed in a flophouse, the creaking wooden floors spell prostitution and drug rings, alcohol seethes from speakeasy days, and she cowers belligerently in her room, a knock at the door bleeds into her chest with suicidal unction 

Metropolitan angle (angle whore) by Hans Baluschek
as she opens candidly, two brothers of separate age walk in gently, greeting her with an offering of simple company, yet as the night creaks on with their failed step over the late seeds of a youthful calling, their clothes are shed 

Youth in a Blue Coat by Sasha Schneider
and then she is open arms as they both slide neatly under the covers of anonymous life, and as hours pass, they become good friends, while the older brother hangs his head by the window, all are naked and congenial, the two younger playfully brush paint over a great canvas blocking the doorway and most of the wall

Beatrice Addressing Dante by William Blake
she says, “you’re a fucking brilliant painter!” the Blakean shapes form over the imagistic head of the younger brother at play with the feminine creation as he eyes his brother to gain inspiration into the form and build that supports the color and stroke of their altered midnight state of sudden friendship 

Psyche Opening the Door into Cupid's Garden by John William Waterhouse
a hollowing filled with laughter and unending play, and in other rooms, an inkling leaks through the creaking floorboards and drip-coffee ceiling, filters of sound are pierced through with eager ears, willing to join, and finding true human pleasure of heart in the abuses of Psyche’s night 
An irony to amuse
This, my, and our patchwork of brains,
To walk, or march,
Perfectly balanced in dress
With the polluted eye of an urban observer
Taking in the sidewalk trash as the stuff of inspiration

In one outlandish, unruly day,
Simultaneously, all vibrations still,
To skeletal ghosts, ravaging the blank canvas of history
With painted cries

In the evil fornication on a wine-lush express
Down each and every late Saturday street
Dead with incestuous chores

In popularized & Westernized dreaming
Gone, gently in the summer prairie heat,
Dealing prostitution’s cape

Breeding a kindred sisterhood
In the tall, and greatly embodied community of passionate grace
In today’s great human victory against the undead tyranny

Cyclical pain follows in succession
To unchain confederates, bothered,
From American poverty
Filling the sobbing eyes of migrants, sacrificed
To a brutalized ending, motherless & lost

excerpts from "1st Independence"

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Enduring Towers' Crash in district.Columbia

After a three-day debacle (two very eerily appropriate document crashes), I've finally completed another full online version of the experimental writing collection titled, district.Columbia. At last, overcoming major technological crises along the way, the labours of my passion have come to fruition. The work is free for the creative reading pleasure of all. May the enduring inspiration to share my love of poetic art pass through you.


I am continuing to offer book length collections to mark the completion of their excerpted contextualization within the creative fields of dream fiction and various intercultural reflections that I post once every two days on SoJourn(al).

The compiling of this collection has seen very interesting public development, as well as private. The art and accompanying writing is featured on OutwardLink.

"Untrained Timeless Tuning", one of the pieces revised for this newly edited and compiled collection, is published with Poydras Review. "Lugubrious background nearing an electromagnetic haze", another piece herein, will be forthcoming with Rio Grande Review in December 2012.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Prophecy in Dreamland and Other Spells of Creative Literacy

Portrait of Rasputin by Ana Theodora Krarup
"Unconscious actions, mass unconscious actions have certain momentums, something that Tolstoy tried to explain more philosophically in the narrative of War and Peace, how the individuals with their own lives could be carried off by history's great forced floods this way or that. He was trying to describe often what I encounter in my study of prophecy, that there is a wave of mass human stupidity that is carrying even intelligent people into its current, that is converging on a collision in the Middle East...what I get wrong also is a helpful study of how the human mind misinterprets a sign with its own expectations and hopes and I think it helped me be a better interpreter as well as a predictor of the future..." John Hogue on Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: Journeys to the Extreme Edge

I first read Whitley Strieber's Communion, which stretched my understanding of non-fiction as a young reader, surveying a gamut of fiction, history, philosophy, mythology in my family library. 

Another genre-bender, who influenced my appreciation for literature in a more grounded way, was Jack Kerouac, who together with Allen Ginsberg, prophesied a shift in American social norms through their collective literary breakthroughs. They had noted that in the second half of the 20th century, Americans would shift from their hardline Christian upbringing to a more Buddhistic sensitivity. 

Reading both of their writings thoroughly, I soon interpreted within their work an interesting relationship to what we now call prophecy. More than to pin prophecy within the highly skeptical sensationalism of conspiracy theory, prophecy, in a more mythological sense, is simply the attuning of the intellect to certain eloquence in creatively utilizing timeless wisdom and ageless archetypes, reattributing them as signs. 

More often than not, prophecy in mystic circles is not an outward momentum, toward predicting profane outcomes, but simply one of the many old ways toward self-realization. One is inevitably of the infinite. Popular prophets are heady mixes of conspiracy theory or what Terence McKenna called, "epistemological cartoons". In Hebrew mysticism, my understanding is that prophecy is a numerological science, beheld within the Hebrew language of the Torah, encompassing a unitive vision of interpretive science as it meets with spiritual practice. 

Recently, I viewed the film, Rasputin, which was another prophetic figure portrayed on the literature on my shelf as a young man impressed by the literati. Rasputin certainly opened the popular discourse of prophecy on the world stage, especially as regards political intrigue, out into broad daylight. His eyes still transfix. 

With a mug to mirror the inescapable frame of Kerouac’s joual-toughened jaw, bespoken with the silent glimmer of streetside grief, walking alone and alone for the infinite mileage of American wanderings, a cyclical tongue of ruthless freedom, to free the passions from the word-order of choice and splay will on the open pain of roadside heat with a thumb and a meek treasury of manly poverty 

Pauper by Petr Brandl
that drunken cry that rang throughout the humbling scope of spectral telephone wires following with the unheard voice of millions distanced by the wiry nerves of a social neurosis towards mobility, and with the rootless leisure of a need to travel as a way of being, that holy rope burned the traveler’s hands as the writing cooled mind’s belonging on a land of no-land opening
“American body,
May you be cooled,
May the dog days of the final moon in your Roman clock tick no more,
May your fires be dampened in the Fall,
May your body always be replenished,”

“This is a prayer from your navel,
Your own son”

Friday, 23 November 2012

A Taoist Mystic-Musician and the Great Awakening

Painting of Tao Yuanming by Chen Hongshou
"By and by comes the Great Awakening, and then we find out that this life is really a great dream. Fools think they are awake now, and flatter themselves...Confucius and you are both dreams; and I who say you are dreams,—I am but a dream myself. This is a paradox. To-morrow a sage may arise to explain it; but that tomorrow will not be until ten thousand generations have gone by." Musings of a Chinese Mystic: Illusions

Possessed by a conflict of opposites, after reading this quote aloud to my wife, she says, "That is totally how I feel." She was raised in a Vietnamese sect of Shamanic Taoism. One day, a local shaman saw her hands before she left Vietnam for Canada. "You have the hands of an artist," said the shaman. As I watch her hands blend with the strings of her instrument, and hear the mystic bent with staggering heart, wrenched from her music of an emotive immensity so tremendous that I am truly floored every opportunity I have to provide her with a rhythmic touch of our in-gathered loving. Through her music she speaks, "listen, and awaken to the source root of creativity." It takes a well-planted seed to take root in such soil, rich with the wisdom of time and its lessons of patience and anticipation. I respond, "let the spontaneity of life sometimes dry, to await the rain, falling not from our own bodies, but from the intuitive atmosphere of our shared life, that to be patient, is a kind of love."

pondering the day by the riverside, my mind blends in the heady fray of sun rope tangling with the cloudy sky in a disarray of dizzying color, the viscera of imagination pokes its protruding skeleton in the vine-skinned pathway beside my water-borne home 

as I traverse further on, through riverine thicket dense with the swamp-like craftiness of bitter greenery, filtering the light through a pockmarked memory of filigree lightning, and I remember the Old Man, a Lao Tzu, of my entrenched longing, with such wisdom as unknown by my youthful pride, he walks with me with undeviating eyes, with mind to each thought that arises between our speech of anticipated mentioning 

Sakyamuni, Lao Tzu and Confucius by Unknown
and then he stops to show me a trick of the fatherland, a stick of wisdom, a bone of intelligence, an awakened look into the material fire of all transparent self-knowing, the crooked daze, the unchallenged light sparking his eyes to follow mine in the unfailing instant of his true magic
A law for the ancient mind of cultural struggles
To be heard through fallen webs of prehistory

Erected above the books and pleasure-peaked Goddess of man
Who assailed Her tribes with red nations
Claiming to break the mold
With word thievery and undreamt savagery
In the earth’s hidden sky of traveled time
And her rested eye

excerpt from "The Modern War Machine and his Italian Wife"

This post is dedicated to my wife, Vi An

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Music and War: A Dream of Youth

"I've been living in the war zone my whole life. It has always been my dream to make it to Kampala, because the National Music Competition is the biggest competition in all of Uganda. I want to win and I want our name to be known throughout Uganda as winners." Dominic, 14 year old Acholi xylophonist in War Dance

When I conducted research with refugees in Cairo, Egypt, I engaged the community in a youth music project. One night, I sat listening to the diverse musical traditions of Sudan, exhibited before me with unrivalled emotion. The room filled with traditional incense as we drank hilo-mor, a Sudanese herbal drink special during Ramadan. The lasting words of the night will forever echo in my head, when my co-researcher, a man from Darfur, asked his friend from Kordofan, a young singer, "Why do you sing your traditional music?" He responded, "Because when we sing, we remember where we're from, our place."
as the enlightening face of my old Israeli cousin, young of age, though old in memory blinks fearlessly in lieu of horizon’s edge, her eyes brighten in front of mine, a parallel daze, as she sends through her pupils an image of the bomb pattern of military flight

House of Ypres by A.Y. Jackson
and I see a Dutch friend, an emergent activist on the path to knowing her similarly, her pale face scans the leaping vigor of machine angst over the virtual land, upright in a jet, we scan the earth with the dotted map, bounding over villages destroyed at our mechanical feet as we leap through the air and finally touch down over a secretive hill, where green earth changes to beige desert 

F-16 over Pentagon 9-11-01 by U.S. Air Force
and part of a caravan, we gather direction with locals, Bedouin men allies, as they guide us towards the perimeter of our land, and espionage fills our lungs with the hot breath of wartime lies 
“Where in whose pleasing leisure does our stock grow and go bolder in fields of blank duress from childless talent, filling space and accentuating silent harmony in the ever-widening round?”

To believe in light, and the possibility to endure the ground’s own failing trials
With Her round nature, orbiting in the mess of experience
Without prior knowledge, except when I believe in Her as my own

...dreaming up beauty in the complimentary fold / with airy locks peeled over the dead / sick earth swells with an overwhelming decay of restraint from life / into a confident foray with spirit’s unidentified heights or doorways into the New World / cornered, lightless

excerpt from "A Songster's Realisy"

Monday, 19 November 2012

Dream, or Intoxication: Nietzsche and the Tradition of the Master Singers

The Ravens (For a poem of Nietzsche) by Margaret Hofheinz-Doring
"...dream and of intoxication, physiological phenomena between which we can observe an opposition corresponding to the one between the Apollonian and the Dionysian. According to the idea of Lucretius, the marvellous divine shapes first stepped out before the mind of man in a dream.* It was in a dream that the great artist saw the delightful anatomy of superhuman existence, and the Greek poet, questioned about the secrets of poetic creativity, would have also recalled his dreams and given an explanation similar to the one Hans Sachs provides in Die Meistersinger.*

My friend, that is precisely the poet’s work—
To figure out his dreams, mark them down.
Believe me, the truest illusion of mankind
Is revealed to him in dreams:
All poetic art and poeticizing
Is nothing but interpreting true dreams.

The beautiful appearance of the world of dreams, in whose creation each man is a complete artist, is the precondition of all plastic art, and also, in fact, as we shall see, an important part of poetry."

Nietzsche, Birth of Tragedy (e-text)

One night I had been tirelessly searching for this very stanza by Hans Sachs, however I'm unable to read German so my stalwart online efforts proved futile. After glossing over Nietzsche's "Birth of Tragedy" a few times within the body of other texts on mythology, psychology, dream and poetry, I have now found a predecessor to Nietzsche, Hans Sachs, embedded in his monumental philosophical work. This is one of my favourite tracts of literature, and yet I've still to read it in its entirety. I continue to draw from this work the kind of lucid understanding of our inner being as it has moved and developed since the first pages of history unto time immemorial. Such an exhibition of prime thought beckons one's mind, as a lure into the opaque night of isolation and longing, yet when nostalgia dissipates the true character of one alone breathes the kind of truth that is our universal whole, a cosmic constancy of holism, triumphant in its lasting mystery. 
The air, invisibly opaque, opaque in its emptiness, invisible in its bodiless humor, I gaze through the sheathed firmament, a room, a body, jacketed in the empty dark. Forcing my eyes to move, I see a slight pitch in the cruel nothingness, a fleck of something in a bruised vacuum of light. Where am I? 

View of an Etruscan Tomb by Henri Labrouste
I am upraised, I am raised above ground, on a bunk, on an old bunk of childhood longing, bedside window staring, the endless bunk of isolated raised up childhood. On my head, a Viking helmet… It’s sheer weight, it’s ridiculous… My arms flail under a body weighed by the lowering ceiling, and a head crowned with a horned and vast slate of crudely nailed metal. 

Viking Saga: The path of the Vikings to the Greeks by Айвазовский И.К.
And as I look up, the ceiling, lowering, eyes me back with a staring mushroom, with an elongated stem, a fungal growth, upside-down, to stare at me with its sexual head of strange and auspicious gloom, a vivid flight of the hallucinating noesis, the natural misplaced in a mind-born hell of undone pain, to sleep and writhe, in a landless bed of the upright bunk, swollen helmeted head. 

Winter by Giuseppe Arcimboldo
And at once, I toss the disfiguring crown over the edge! It dings off the edge of a television perched on a dresser, and the reverberation is near-unending, an unnatural sound emits, and sends my unconscious flesh storming at the gate. 
One proud, unseemly yet everlasting hoary wind
Escaping into the breathless fold of a storm-brought love
Escalating above the tumult of grounded trees
Lowered to rest in the silent play of her touch
With Mother Nature in lust at the American shoulder-sculpted God

President of inveterate honor
Failing to maintain true gaze
Into the outpouring blind Persian mystic call

Excerpt from "Untrained Timeless Tuning" [featured on Poydras Review]