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, 31 December 2012

Love is Simple: The Light of Dixieland Music

"Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you, but in your dreams whatever they be, dream a little dream of me." lyrics by Gus Kahn

My favourite duet with Louis Armstrong is with vocalist Velma Middleton singing That's my Desire. I've been listening to this duet recording on cassette tape for years until I found a rare video performance tonight. These old Dixieland jazz standards bring the kind of simple grandeur as understood by the likes of master improviser and jazz pianist Keith Jarrett, who said, "The more experience someone has, the more their simplicity is profound." Their musical simplicity is spacious enough to offer the needful release of Southern jazz artists mixed up in the lowly roil of dominant American prejudice. Music is the teacher, and with the intuitive language of sound, speaks to all indiscriminately, "Love is simple."
She plays an acoustic piano with a Chinese zither in the body. Virtuosic at the keys and the zither strings simultaneously, the stage ignites with the mysterious vibes of a Native World Jazz fusion. Other musicians bend traditional instrumentation with a creative harmony so seamless its enigmatic ingenuity fascinates infinitely. 

Nocturnal Serenade by Jan Steen
The lead musician, a full-bodied older woman, exudes a singular light as the stage dims and the concert hall empties. She stands in redolent awe and reverence for the magic of music. I gaze at the stage, as the musicians remain immobile. Their colourful clothing bespeaks contemporary First Nations traditions. The light outshines my eyes, as I stagger off with a mind unfulfilled by the enduring silence. 
What must you do to stay and decide
When you decide what to do with your life
When you feel you are alive and not as good as dead inside,
A nothing where you hide…
Not just a nothing
Where you lie…

One day you realize you must die,
So how to prepare for death,
First step live,
Second fail life with a smile

To see as clearly as your de-fogged morning
Mirror of bright possibility with pure face,
That freedom is a tear
And Death is a gift from the bosom of life herself.

excerpts from "Live life and Die"


Saturday, 29 December 2012

Van Gogh, Ophidian-Seer of Starlight Medicine

Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent Van Gogh
"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream." Vincent Van Gogh
Artists are seers, and so, are truth-seekers. Yet, human experience blurs the line between seeing and seeking. Certainty is flux, and flux is certainty as form is emptiness and emptiness form. The old Taoist adage of dual unity is the perplexing clarity of universal distinction. To the point, and contemporaneously with current societal and ecological trends, human life is further revealed as an innate paradox. Van Gogh continues in his mad method of artistry in saying, "I dream of painting and then I paint my dream."

The wisdom of Van Gogh speaks to my previous post, The Cubism of Unity: Shelley and the Myth of Monogamy where he speaks on God (Unity) and Love (Diversity). "Love many things," he says, "for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well." More simply put, Van Gogh confesses, "But I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things." 

In the beautiful and powerful 1956 film, Lust for Life starring Kirk Douglas, the tormented genius and emotional outcast paints Starry Night, while the narrator speaks: "Sometimes I work on into the night. I'm hardly conscious of myself anymore. The pictures come to me as in a dream with a terrible lucidity." Night and dream are married in a mystical love through the human as artist, animating the spirit of the dream towards a night imbued with the life-giving stars of an empyrean both transcendent and visceral. The dream stirs from the lowest of depths, and reaches towards our greatest heights. We are besieged with an all-consuming, all-cleansing, all-awakening, all-encompassing Mystery.  

Search on this site below for more original interpretations and creative contexts on Van Gogh
My nature writing blends into an arcane Spanish-language text. The publication circulates among Earth-lovers and wild foodists alike. Together, my readers and I endeavour through a dense thicket of swamp. Community leaders take the helm of a slow-moving canoe, shifting through the bullrush stands and mud vents emitting the hot gaseous fumes of peculiar decomposition. 

Forest Swamp by Arkhip Kuindzhi
A rattlesnake emerges from the rushes as we emerge from the blinding vegetation. On the waters, ready to disembark for a land crawl, a comrade teases and taunts the rattlesnake head. The venomous wisps and hissing instills a deep-set fear straight through my eyes. The rattling spells virulence and ire. Reptilian awe paralyzes my arms and legs as I stare, petrified, watching the snake slither madly towards me. It darts and in a split-second latches onto my arm. My reaction is pure thought. Still as stone, I feel its fangs stick into my blood. 

Old dream interpretation folklore sees a snakebite dream as a positive symbol of regenerative holism. See my recent nature writing publication for Canada's only independent news cooperative. 

To return to primal and distended physical tumult
A chaotic folly
Dreaming in smokeless fires

In the post-kingdom English croak
Over bastions and landlocked heights
That furnishes much scheming

A trite & forced inhuman sense
Of belonging
In a war trench

Phase of lunatic civility,
As the prosperous few wade
In proud shores of quicksand

Loss of self,
Ruined foresight vanishing
Into the uncreated past

excerpts from "Horror-story jazz"

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Bridge to Kafka's Language of Dream-Identity

Kafka, Separated from the Fire by a Mirror by Paul Mersmann der Jungere
"Please, consider me a dream." Kafka

How may we interpret this mysterious quote, passed down through interminable echoes? What, if any, interpretation needs be? Read one interpretation. They say it sums up his life. Can a life be summed up? In the spontaneous trigger of language into the folds of space and listening, when do we hear the contemplative grab of a lifetime thrown into a phrase? 

The peculiar relevance of the painting above by German artist Paul Mersmann der Jungere speaks eloquently to the theme of self-reflection and passion. Self-consciousness, or conscious identity may sometimes block our passage into the spiritual heart of self-annihilation, providing us only with a thin display at which to gawk, and finally, withdraw oneself from participation in life altogether. It may be more useful to identify with the less formal, and more marginal states of mind. Or, as Kafka said in another dream reference, "Last night I dreamed about you. What happened in detail I can hardly remember, all I know is that we kept merging into one another. I was you, you were me." [source

If language is a bridge, we do not always cross it, but sometimes slip beneath, and after speaking in one direction, go our own way. 
Memory fails to awaken dream into day. Here is bridge photography from the conscious state:

Entering the Blue Void by R.K. 
Electric Ice Reflection by R.K.
City Riverbank in Winter by R.K.
Ice Flow of Light by R.K. 
No One Lives Under The Bridge by R.K.
Into infinity
            And the terminal plague of survival

Marching by
            Currents stepping like waves over the stone-headed martyrs

Staved off
            From one life inside

Painted fame twisting and writhing
            In the soundless urban deep
A rustic, inflamed few,
            Whose solemn grasp partakes in the early break
From an inevitable aftermath
            Draining the rage from our animal brain

excerpts from "Guise of the Beloved"

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Season's Greetings from the Wilderness of the Imagination

Woman in the Wilderness, Star or Siberia by Alfons Mucha 
“Listen: in dreams and particularly in nightmares, caused by indigestion or whatever you like, a man sometimes sees such artistic things, such a complex and actual reality, such events, or even a whole world of events, woven into such a plot, full of such astonishing details, beginning with he most exalted manifestations of the human spirit to the last button on a shirt-front that, I assure you, not even Leo Tolstoy could have invented it, and yet such dreams are sometimes seen not by writers but by the most ordinary people, civil servants, newspaper columnists, priests…” Fyodor Dostoyevsky in The Brothers Karamazov, p. 751-2
I recently read the last masterful work of Dostoyevsky, one of the world's greats of classic literature. The book is a testament to the sheer mental strength and quality of such a writer as experienced a mock execution ritual and incarceration in the labor camps of 19th century Siberia. Nearly one thousand pages, I received a copy of this masterpiece from a friend with a peculiar literary collection practice. The two volumes within which the book is contained were of different publications, yet corresponded to the page. This friend, while often aloof, has been a great literary mentor and companion. And as a final note, during the holiday season, I feel that Dostoyevsky's inkling as quoted above invigorates our lives especially today. The popular cult of the Christmas tree and its European folklore breeds a kind of mundane public dreaming, where the workers of the world unite in myth and imagine a complex world full of reindeer, gifts and traditions fabricated from the ordinary, to the ordinary. 
I have not remembered. Feelings unfamiliar slip away with the light of the world. Yet, in my waking night, before a small crowd of onlookers, I played along to my imagination, manifest with the unconscious origination of a dream reality. 

Whirling Dervishes by Jean-Leon Gerome
I swung Near Eastern rhythms towards her vibrating zither with emotive haste. As I felt the sway of awe form in my hands and heart, a lightness filled the room. I saw. A Sufi dervish began whirling. The air moved in circular deftness to my rhythmic accompaniment. The dancing figment continued unalloyed by the uninitiated crowd of the living; those led to dream only in the deepest dark of night. 
Freeing the foundations of homeward longing onto a single raft
Out on the high seas,
A perplexed guide of Jewish law

Betrayed in the relaxed mystic fire
An American marijuana-seeding mind, Nepalese beauty
Direct from the magic psalm pinned against a “Tat Tvam Asi” wall

Frail pencil marks casting the Odyssey’s modern sequel
Into a vulnerable fasting mind, bled forth into the marathon sky
Massachusetts rain, following me to Calgary in rare consecutive days

Our literary giants, peering upwards, finally
In a New England fog haze through the mirrored mushroom mind
Whose perception flowered into feared atomic explosions

The true sexual freedom in nature
To lay soft stonework ground,
Firm with utterly expressed wonder at the world ‘round

Knowledge timed perfect with musical escapism
Into the bold motionless greed of a trapped metallic girl,
Re-born as prophetess in the unknown seed of Western belief

excerpt from "Grand Repertoire of Failure"

Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Cubism of Unity: Shelley and the Myth of Monogamy

The Funeral of Shelley by Louis Edouard Fournier
   Thy wisdom speaks in me, and bids me dare
Beacon the rocks on which high hearts are wrecked.
I never was attached to that great sect,
Whose doctrine is, that each one should select
Out of the crowd a mistress or a friend,
And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend
To cold oblivion, though it is in the code
Of modern morals, and the beaten road
Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps tread,
Who travel to their home among the dead
By the broad highway of the world, and so,
With one chained friend, perhaps a jealous foe,
The dreariest and the longest journey go.

   True love in this differs from gold and clay,
That to divide is not to take away.
Love is like understanding, that grows bright
Gazing on many truths; 'tis like thy light,
Imagination! which, from earth and sky,
And from the depths of human fantasy,
As from a thousand prisms and mirrors, fills
The Universe with glorious beams, and kills
Error, the worm, with man a sun-like arrow
Of its reverberated lightning. Narrow
The heart that loves, the brain that contemplates,
The life that wears, the spirit that creates
One object, and one form, and builds thereby
A sepulchre for its eternity.

From Shelley's Epipsychidion

The dying words of my great uncle, who would have been 92 this week, were "focus on one thing". I've always had multiple affinities. As a creative person, my mixed mediums, cross-genre, multi-instrumentalism frames of mind spill and interweave throughout different art forms. I often wonder, should I commit to one thing entirely, and from that foundational trunk, branch out into the world of infinite possibility? In my arboreal metaphor, I am a forest. 

I think my great uncle might be proud to look upon one of his favourite of the younger generation, and see that I am not following his advice. For he was an iconoclast himself, through and through. Of the first class of Jews to enrol in university in America, he was proud to transcend the status quo, the social norms and family values of his time and explore the hard-won science of novelty through physics and chemistry. 

Yet, in love, I am elastic enough to disagree with my creative self, and traveling beyond the creative-destructive duality, to see the magnificence of love as an enduring unity. I see only One Love, especially when looking upon the dear face of my beloved wife. 

The late Ravi Shankar exhibited a profound connection to intensive unity in life focus in the documentary Raga, while Lawrence Ferlinghetti espoused the delights of being a multidisciplinary artist in both poetry and painting in his essay, "From The Gone World". To each their own, to each their one, and one to each. 

See related post: Shelley and the Old Man: A Poetics of Wisdom
A forest of brains, pantomime expressionism. The canvas is blank. We stare, of ancient rivalry, to whiplash a brush of paint across the rough, splotchy face of collaboration. The collaborative stare ensues. Our eyes lock under a dark cloud of empty highs and lonely madness. 

Les deux amies by Thorvald Hellesen
A pastel cubism intermingles with pointillist ink. Our minds snatch and hiss at the dizzying array of subdued pigment and hints of future colour. It is group inspiration, retching from the distended bowels of two fiercely separate artists of waste. And in a moment of communal haste, aggression holds the creative fire of my murdering hand, and I impale the throat of my fellow artist, friend and comrade with an ink brush. Our painting is finished, our art begins.
"…in a play…a dream play brings up the soundless deep…in the emptied awareness of emptiness…playing on a dreamscape of silent depth…up from the upbringing…strong with remembrance in the absolute living…living among complicit guests and their following remarks…


…in the native dirt…and to speak to the stone…and to speak through our pain…the pain of our individuated backs…grated and remaining uncured with the booming fate of a motionless mountain sky…journeying around the headless round of the tailbone crack…remembering through a numbing moment…

…a memory…lost to the unchained back…still writhing with touched passion…"

excerpts from "Fragmentary Being"

Friday, 21 December 2012

The Original Meaning of Apocalypse

Apocalypse is originally from the Greek apocálypsis meaning "a disclosure of knowledge, hidden from humanity in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e., a lifting of the veil or revelation" (source). Let today be a reminder that there is only one present, and all dreams, fantasies, prophecies and revelations ultimately bring us back to where we are in the here and now. Let us remember that today is always the first and last day. May the renewal of the seasons awaken our senses to the natural light of continuity and the breath of the living voice saying, "it's never too late to live for today." 
There he is. I introduce him. Aboriginal poet of the year they say, and the reception is warm. Mythologists and Dreamers convene for the day, to listen to his heart beat to the rhythm of all present to listen. His words ring true, clean and sound through the temple of the mind.

Homage to a poet by Giorgione
I cavort through the crowd. Childhood friends move like Romany artists, musicians, gamblers and comics in their smiling delight. The air is communal and warm. Friendships seep through our pores with a nourishing embrace of eyes.

No broken gourd of misinformation,
            Cracked on the headless spine of an open carcass
                        Breeding divine fungi in the tawny mist,
                                    A tempting kiss stolen across the breath
Of a warring ocean disengaged from its godly host

Anger in the tempest of religious man,
                        A cork-bottled nightmare
Emerging suddenly from the abyss,
Encouraging the lion’s stare
            To recede from tropical gore
                        And inculcate the masses
                                    Into a final tour

 Impressing the abstract wonder of the fearless
                                    And preparing a light
                                                For here

excerpts from "find Inspiration!"

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Dream and Love: All Our Relations

From Ben Okri's Mental Fight in London by Alessandro Lucia
“Only those who truly love and who are truly strong can sustain their lives as a dream. You dwell in your own enchantment. Life throws stones at you, but your love and your dream change those stones into the flowers of discovery. Even if you lose, or are defeated by things, your triumph will always be exemplary. And if no one knows it, then there are places that do. People like you enrich the dreams of the worlds, and it is dreams that create history. People like you are unknowing transformers of things, protected by your own fairy-tale, by love.” - Ben Okri

I found the above quote on THE DREAMING of shamanic drummer and creative writer, Lindsay Dobbin. It is such statements from the most brilliantly expressive minds of our time that draw one in to reflect on the substance of one's own nature. This is the creative spark. Ben Okri is so intuitively accurate in feeling out the subtle vibrations of the human heart that I feel as if he has literally been watching me. The relationship between love and dream is the strongest seed of self-knowledge. Those who forget their dreams are not awake to love. 
The sky is open. Light blue, and an atmospheric glow, passes through my eyes with serene pleasure. Delicate moisture fills me with a cool air. I exhale all the grandeur of my inspiration, each breath an offering to the immeasurable beauty above. Sky is a translucent goddess.  

The Eve of the Deluge by John Martin
As I gaze forward, I see Christ standing atop the water. From afar, his face still affixes to my eyeballs with the cosmic presence of mystic flesh. I am reminded of Alex Grey's Christ painting. Then, in a moment's whisper, a pair of Bison crash through the water. I see the lake is barely a foot deep. The age old prophet is lost to my sight. The Buffalo steam through the water, carrying themselves with the charm of a sibling rivalry. The sacred flesh of the plains opens a revelation of the land's own history. 
"…the apparent flood of a bleeding anorexic paradise…drowned in the furtive beckoning towards malformed reasoning…my Anglo-eyed drug…rushing forth into the magi of atheistic awe…the lawless prism of deep endless failure…gone astray in the fatalist’s catastrophic underpinnings…during midnight conversation…"

Monday, 17 December 2012

Fear: Spoken Word of a Female Prisoner

"...the fear of prisons
The fear of strip searches leads to 
The fear of being naked in front of other women 
The fear of keys leads to
The fear of chains
The fear of small spaces it leads to
The fear of tears, the fear of dreams, the fear of loneliness
The fear of being forgotten, it leads to 
The fear of time, the fear of lies
The fear of metal doors leads to
The fear of dark empty corridors 
The fear of insanity leads to
The fear of separation, the fear of isolation, the fear of segregation, the fear of being a statistic." 

Spoken by a female prisoner at the final minute of short film, "Beautiful Sentence

Not until I wrote this did I understand the double meaning in the title...sentence. What phenomenal beauty there is in the regeneration of oral storytelling through writing. That is my key literary focus this past year, as I reflect on my greater literary ambitions. As I re-watch this humble documentary on an oft-recurring subject, the impact of poetry on prisoners, I think about the unique predicament I'm in this year, in relation to the subject of the above-quoted poem. I won't be departing or arriving in airports this holiday season. I'm staying far away. Although I am not incarcerated, I can feel the fear that this prisoner speaks of in her poem on the blatantly unjust quality of airports, and remain ever thankful that I have the option, and freedom, to not pass through, at least for now. 
In light of not remembering the narrative arc of any dreams as of late, I am posting original photography from my waking life in relation to the initial topic instead of spontaneous prose and historical art
Crashland America by Rusty Kjarvik
Skeletal Cockpit by Rusty Kjarvik
No School by Rusty Kjarvik
Crash from the High Plains by Rusty Kjarvik
God-Awful Rhinoplasty by Rusty Kjarvik
"An epic
of intention,
a bruised nation
and the stir-crazy polity,
with the sad gift
of only one humanity

a shipwreck beauty,
gleaming with the light of the ancients
over star-crossed paths
circulating through the veins
of an unbroken galaxial unity

evolving beyond one heartbeat to the infinite
blending of colorful awe
in the transitional being’s destiny
as wormhole wanderer

neck-tipped wheels edging naively on the backs of extinction,
Buffalo Confederacy of the western mage
playing tricks on white society beneath a rainbow cloak,
bundling rain and the boom of truth in our drum’s not-forgotten flower mask, straying now from pleasure and hate
in the unborn seat of quiet yearning

with English tongues of grotesque neighborly wick,
suffocated and pouring
over the tea-stained talk of elder medicine
healing beyond death

'knowledge in space,
as verbal structure,
passes beyond inert caution
to a stimulated dream-law,
intelligent yet nude'"

excerpts from "Epic of Intention"

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Atheist Tomb of a Truth-Seeking American: A Plea for Disarmament

Tomb of D.M. Bennett in Brooklyn by Cory Doctorow
"I have learned to modify my prejudices. I am ready to believe Hamlet was right when he assured his friend Horatio that there was in Heaven and Earth many things not dreamed of in his philosophy." D.M. Bennett, as orated in The Truth Seeker 
It is at times like these that we Americans look to our history. Who are we? Where do we come from? How did we get here? What could have led to this? What is happening? 

Those among us strong enough to ask such questions are motivated to seek truth. As the president weeps for the children of the nation, so we must all begin to weep with minds full of emotion, burning with an intelligent self-awareness towards post-political change. We don't need rhetoric. We need new laws on guns. We need free thought to embellish the minds of such substance as founded free press in America. Disarmament is the new abolition, and as long as guns are indiscriminately accessible to immature minds and wounded hearts, we are all slaves to this mortal era.  
The last thing I remembered was the initial feeling of impalement. Careening off a flight of concrete steps, I flew from my bike onto a metal pole. My back cracked in shards. When I came to, the city was dark. A Rastafarian man burned down a hand-rolled cigarette in the shadows. I knew from his countenance, to walk outside would be a bad move. I did anyways.

The Customs Cabin by Ferdinand du Puigaudeau
The street lamps glowed over empty streets. The absence was chilling, yet I could feel a human presence both alarming and alluring. As I made my way down to the riverbanks, the icy shoreline stared at me with two riveting eyes. The male stance was formidable and intimidating. Fear struck. The air breathed of danger. I needed to know why.

Night on the Southern Shore by Nikolay Dubovsky
As I hurried further on down the shoreline, a group of men whispered in the dark. I quickly smelled the entrenched anger, the mortal struggle at hand. I fled. On my way back, I met a friend from before the accident. He recounted his story, how he had broken his back in an accident that mirrored my own. I didn't question the curious coincidence as he went on to explain the unthinkable, we were now living in a world so hostile to mankind that people were literally killing each other for the last crusts of bread, the last drops of water, the last feet to walk, the last fresh air to breathe, the last day to live.
"towed current
            pulled slow,
            drifted away

            fingers following new lines

virgin thorn brush
            frame lilting strong above the careless face
of artistic madness
in the jokester’s foam and rust

the pulse breaking off the tops of widow’s peak waves,
            blushing high over the coastal horizon,

a piercing thought
that boiled in the mind’s own brain,
an intuitive question
            with an answer as certain as death in the next step"

excerpts from "empty Blown mind"

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Goethe and the Existential Life of Modernity

Ginko Biloba, a poem by Goethe
Who are ye that thus rudely banish slumber from my eyes? What mean these vague and insolent glances? Why this fearful procession? With what dream of horror come ye to delude my half awakened soul? Goethe's Egmont, Opening lines of Act V. Scene IV. 
A play about liberty under the thumb of oppression, my preliminary inkling about the Egmont drama is that it forecasts the oppressive momentum that lives within, and supports, heroic independence. I have been contemplating the uniquely liberating present that I experience with my love. American and Vietnamese, we are from two countries whose people, not long ago, brutally killed each other. I wonder sometimes about our extended family relations. How is it possible that the same blood now joined today by love, once was spilt by hatred. As Goethe writes in the poem illustrated above, "Is it but one being single / Which as same itself divides? / Are there two which choose to mingle / So that one each other hides?"

Read my Letter to the Editor "Embracing Diversity" on BlackCoffeePoet 

& See a Collaborative InterviewEssay "Busking and Creative Ecology" by Vi An and myself on In Stereo Press

Previous Post on Goethe: To Dream in Red is to Uncover the Veil of Consciousness
I sat under the opaque cloudy open. A dark rain hovered in the misty atmosphere. The pressures of a battered mind fill my eyes with a salivating remorse. I've since exiled myself from a gathering in my city's core. Restless, I fill my mind with blank unease, ass wedged against the wintry pavement of a curb. This area is one of neglect and rage.

Street in Venice by John Singer Sargent
Checking my phone, I have a text. I'm to be on CBC Radio. A talk show host tells me my words are acid and wry. I'm paid. We've settled. The night lingers. I wade in thoughts of a lonely walk. I kill time, staring into the light of my phone. What's it come to? What's the noise? Why do I do this? After raising the question, I feel light enough to carry on. I stand up, and walk. I am a question.
"Falling as a failed lilting feather from a broken wing
Clinging to the unforgiving cold mechanical dawn
Still dreaming an entire civilization

And how illusory, how ultimately disillusioned I am by my youth
Drained of all wicked savagery and raw earth
Into a vegetable gladness

Thawing next to a lone rock
Cracked by a lightning strike from the changeless ice age broth of sky
Almost infinitely long ago, and now rinsed, overly purified by the fresh rains
Fathers and mothers in my cultural upbringing
The writers, artists and musicians
Spouting intelligent insanity

From within forms called the book, record, image
All a lie before the transcendent spontaneity of creation from newfound inspiration
To be and do what feels harmonious and complete

Finger-pointing to stars and storm clouds
Washing away mud with a healing presence,
A profound humbling that presents power and at once feigns innocence

In departing from all with humility
Yet a fearless flesh-traded mastery over the air,
Stares eyeless into the stoned intuitive rendering"

excerpts from "Contemplation's Itch"

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Apolitical America: Nightmares of the Preventive Paradigm

"In the past, politicians promised to create a better world. They had different ways of achieving this, but their power and authority came from the optimistic visions they offered their people. Those dreams failed, and today people have lost faith in ideologies...But now, they have discovered a new role that restores their power and authority. Instead of delivering dreams, politicians promise to protect us from nightmares...But much of this threat is a fantasy, which has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It's a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, security services and the international media." BBC Documentary Power of Nightmares
As George Carlin said, "You have no choice, you have owners." Yet, before I heard the words of this comic genius, I had an inkling that America was having its way with me, and I desperately needed to get out. When the twin towers came crashing down, I was a teenage male, bent up in a corner, with only one response, the one I thought my American family wanted to hear, "I would kill to get revenge." As I watched the growing stores of books on international post-Cold war espionage supporting the drama of "war on terror" dialectic, I became more and more sickened and disillusioned. Bush's maddeningly insane propaganda machine of backwards language and foolish bad humour turned my stomach. I fled America, to live in the Middle East. I needed to hear the breathing from "the other side". I found human hearts, not enemy minds. I found a camaraderie so naturally human, and so deeply universal, that I was fulfilled from my need to be "American" at all. With Obama's "war on terror" claim to fame at finally finding success in hunting down Osama, I remain ever firm in my convictions. American "terror" propaganda is so deep-seated that it is truly beyond politics, it is the very lifeblood and backbone of American society. 

See my post: Flightless Dreams and Dark Humour of a Post-W.orld...
A gargantuan supply of Spanish rice, washed in a tantalizing array of chiles and spices galore, wades in a fine cream sauce. A team of cooks work with exceptional efficiency in an open kitchen. The dining area is of a posh nightlife design. Smoke wafts among whisky inhalation in the metropolitan air. 

New York Restaurant by Edward Hopper
As I stare into the blaring kitchen lights from the dim seating area, I notice a cook saunter over to a telephone on the wall. His white frock is stained with stout culinary effort. Taking another sip from my snifter, eyeing a fantastic belle at the table across from me, the dining lights suddenly dim uncomfortably. The kitchen light glares out over the tables with the stillness of an all too noticeable silence. Everyone is motionless. 

At the Moulin Rouge by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
My eyes survey the room with blundering anxiety. The white frock of the cook at the phone reflects a brutal white light over fearing eyes. His mouth opens, and out emits a breath so hot I can feel it nearly twenty feet distant. His eyes become two open holes. The man falls, and I can see his frock begins to stain red. Crawling along the open floor, he is steaming hot. As he unbuttons his cook's clothing, his chest pours with ashen blood, a red so crimson it floods my eyes with a blinding hue. In my mind, I kneel to help him. I sit, frozen. 

Triumph of Death (detail) by Peter Bruegel the Elder 
All realize the man will soon die. One cook slowly meanders over to a phone, shakily dialling to quell the emergency at hand. In a last gruesome attempt to breathe, the man on the floor has almost completely undressed himself. Swelling with heat, blood pours from his chest and mouth. Staring at me with empty, soulless eyes. I faint. 
"Fires beneath the throat, hand and breast of a reflected sky
Inside the single-eyed, whose perfect clock chimed roughly over the groundless

Patience, dusting off wine bottles
Into Californian eternity

The idealistic round elegized by madmen before indulgent crowds,
A folklore, pained to vulgarity in the thick mire

Soaked with herbal grime,
That dream-forsaken wine of the ancient, pours

Sending women to mind thankless law
In the first civil war before nationhood or tragic mores

The fallacy in and out of sight,
Instantaneous with thoroughly flushed wives, fanning themselves awake

As the flies descend and drink their salivating gore-fest tirades,
The Queendom, saved by the ranting duration of a minor apocalypse

When all the rest of the world lies in tears
Shaken only by worldwide fame"

excerpts from "Co-creative Wondering"

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sleep-Talk of the Modern Writer: A Joycean Saga, Part II

James Joyce, textorized with an excerpt from Ulysses by Maxf 
“Oliver St. John Gogarty noted that the typical modern writer was doomed to go on talking to himself but that it was left for James Joyce to go one step further and to talk to himself in his sleep in Finnegans Wake.”
From Charles Reznikoff Bio on Poetry Foundation 
Internet, technology, modernity, and history, the Joycean nightmare, the daily dream of the silenced voice, speaking in thought, imagining a placeless space of mind, the code of subjective emergency. I lay half-awake, surfing the viral webs of unreason in my sunless haunt, of trivial whereabouts and soundless frequency. An internal vibration wakes me into another dream of subconscious sleep, the inactive pause of breath. In the information age, for the modern writer, free speech is a painless bubble of thirst. My words are a mere spidery sleep-talk, spinning the collective web on and on, to perchance catch the insect eyes of innumerable minds, insights unseen, and only felt, as the nerve of a quiver.

Before I went to prison I sat around a family circle. My grandfather was in his prime and all of his siblings were alive. That was the last time he put on his sailor cap. 

Portrait of a Sailor by Lawrence Alma-Tadema
A new fish stinks straight out of water. These metal bars are hot with memory. I clean past my fresh environment. There is a consensus of suicide and the death of life. I steal a look through my most haunted imagination, and it’s real. A shark-toothed man with pomade-drip hair and an orange shirt draws his own jaw. A thin, black-haired youth pierces his erect member into a cellmate. Even if I were passing straight through this corridor, it would be hell, and this is my new home. 

Prisoners Exercising by Vincent Van Gogh
I’ve returned to my grandparent’s abode. He’s dead. I wake in the middle of the night. The house is empty. I have never seen it empty in my whole life, ever. What am I doing here? The only presence is the lightless noise of my empty past.  
"A secret curing,
Brewing twilight

In the motionless loss of our human presence
From the awaited future, yet eternal sound

In patient happiness breeds the contented need to produce

To entice the sickness of pride to leave with day and unite mind
With a grateful stare into the mind’s ending"

excerpt from "City Birds"

Friday, 7 December 2012

Climate Changes Civil Society To Support Dreamers

"This morning Munira Sibai, a Syrian-American student with SustainUs, delivered this speech on behalf of young people (YOUNGO). Although many governments could not be bothered to listen to their citizens, civil society was present in force: supporting Munira and each other in a way that governments can only dream of. Onwards." Earth in Brackets BLOG (Dec. 7 2012)

Tonight, as I drifted away, I read the latest Democracy Now! headlines on climate change. Civil society and democracy are shifting gears for full speed ahead as the human race confronts the most pressing issue yet known to humankind: A Warming Earth. 

Read the latest World Bank Research analysis on the devastating impacts of unheeded climate change warnings. At 4 degrees warmer, the science begins to frighten. 

Earlier tonight, as I cycled home, I met a bewildered fox. Scared and nervous, we approached each other. My fear suddenly transformed as I saw fear in the fox's eyes. I glided past carefully. I witnessed this incredible animal confusedly find an exit from the paved city pathways to the nearby riverbanks. I think of Native proverbs that ask, "who will speak for our beloved animals?" 

The candles are now all reconstituted wax. The rain boils and steams before it reaches its earthen ground. The sky is on fire and I need a new name.

In Peril by John Atkinson Grimshaw
Through my window of impoverishment, a sanded frame of dirt, I see tanks spewing the ire of mankind. Fire is the breath of unreason. Violence spreads across the land.

Miniature diorama in the Herat Military Museum by Marius Arnesen
Bombs and machine tracks seed great pocks of holes in the earth. The clouds are dark with soot and anger. Lightning cracks through the smiles of silenced memories. Families are swept away like dust.

Lunshunku battle during the Sino-Japanese war (1895) by Unknown
Fending off the soul-puncturing thunder of war, I flee through the bureaucratic maze of a police state. Warmongers drive their piercing insanity into my eyes, as I feel my way through back entrances and obsolete hallways. The border embassy shakes at the foundation. Our earth will be interminably scarred. We are equally victims and perpetrators of widespread ecological domestic abuse.

The Immaculate Conception, detail: Dragon's Eye by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
In a vile trench of near-death urgency, I climb out, and into the sun of borderlands. Having escaped the eruptive core of my country’s open, bleeding veins of disintegration, I wade in scintillating wetlands. Vibrant green pasture, lily pads and low-lying bogs hydrate my contemplative sight.

Sunset over wetlands by Julian Falat
I can almost see beyond the untimely closure of history. Birds and insects sleep with day, at peace, like me, in restful respite.
"Escalations nerve-wracking, lonely murmurs murmuring

Crescent peaks dangling under bums grateful with uprooted membranous petrified and calcified flesh

Journey to roust the kneeling mind, with the desiring missed find, to be missed by nations feigning the patient behind swollen gum-brain awry, with skull-ache

“kinj moduls vrent speen og”

Desiring missiles
Desired missing
Failing nations

Patient fang"

excerpt from "Cajoled Spine-Tap"

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Taoist Offerings in the Hall of Dreams

Kannon in YUMEDONO (Hall of Dreams) by Tokyo Bijutsu Gakko 

Summer grasses /
 all that remains /
 of soldiers dreams.

Kannon is the Goddess of Compassion. Her Chinese name is Kuan Yin, and in Sanskrit, Avalokitesvara. A statue of the Kuan Yin stands, similarly as pictured above, in my apartment. My wife, a Taoist-Buddhist, cares for the sculpture with a love beyond regard for high art. Standing behind an attendant bodhisattva, the Kuan Yin is a living recipient of our most momentary aspirations and our immanent longings, as they rise and fall into the sky of the figured form with our sound, breath, movement and speech. With a physical offering, the life of the seemingly inanimate sculpture gives way to immortal reckoning. The statue has received such offerings as the favourite pleasures of my late grandfather (a can of sardines and a cigarette), as well as my Shakuhachi breathings. 
I see my wife, long braided hair, in full red dress, dimmed by the party ambiance, she wails on her mother-of-pearl Egyptian doumbek, with the percussive force of a musical heart, true bravura of heartened artistry. 

Two Drummer Girl by Isaac Israels 
As I wade into a kitchen room, I feel the presence of sheer evil at my side. And looking down, blood pours delicately from a soft wound. The ghost of death blinds my nerves as my eyes fog with principal madness, looking at the mean-faced ignorant sex-fiend of my abusive past. 

Sitting young woman in Dutch Kitchen by Henrik Nordenberg
That shared abuse, culminates in a shot, straight through the gut, though strangely a painless death as the water of my eyes bleeds my vision into an all too wakeful death.        
Boiled threat of another animal’s blood
Given over to the insect mind,
A natural reason, the rational cycle

Filling 0’s with my precious un-devoured anchor
That holds human bread to the sand of the unfed
Screaming over shopping carts, cringing with nicotine blinks
Ruined men and women whose hearts run dry
Like the rivers that once fed their ancestral lungs,
Filled with the mythic bird

And they rise from the ashes of Hindu lore
In the European brain,
A tell-tale crime, getting skinny in between
In exchanging monetary behaviorisms
In the psychic deep of abundant perceptions
Closed doors sink into the undertow’s warning

Monday, 3 December 2012

A Birth Dream Frees The World Soul With Visionary Art

Birth Dream by Johfra
A full exhibition of Johfra's monumental career of works can be found on Visionary Revue, a publication by Laurence Caruana devoted to the history and future of Visionary Art. The most well-known Visionary Artist in America is Alex Grey. His artworks spurred on my fascination with this new wellspring of artistic creativity. A break from surrealism, visionary artists utilize all triggers available to the human body and soul, toward transcendent & transpersonal spiritual unity. The Birth Dream ignites the power of noetic states to trigger the breath of novelty into the mind of the seer. Completed in 1945, this painting marked the very beginning of Johfra's career. He is today known as the principle pioneer of painting techniques that today are the impetus for creative gatherings of all kinds, celebrating the breadth of wonder that the Visionary World Soul inspires in and through us all.  
I hid in triumphant bedrooms of young fear and coarse humor, watching my love’s eager tongue, to lick night’s end with a tearful silent dimming of conscience and the earth’s bounteous tune of motion, she stopped and looked at the drug-stung gang of princely wealth. 

The Mahant Offers Child Birth Medicine to Elokeshi by Unknown
They passed around a newly synthesized batch of 2C-I, a wrongly attributed artificial form of mescaline, and into the innocent palm of my blue-pill eating love. She sang in the company of the greedy minds that drank Smiles in a worshipful torrent of a sleep-lust rush, yet I knocked the beady teardrop-shaped tablets from her hand and mind in an instant of tough self-worth. 

A Portrait of Frankie Howerd by StuartHampton
I drew her character near, and as dawn waded in the shore-sent horizon, I pointed outward, to an island off the lakebed shore, where the upstairs cottage-lights roamed out onto the moonlit waters, faintly giving way to the sun’s scintillating swarm of heat and meaning. We walked, silent as the ether out onto shore, and for the first time, I saw her swim. 

Shore Landscape by Fanny Churberg
I witnessed her smooth body glean the uncanny movements of a dolphin’s glowing visage as her inward celebration of life met with my dusty ruminations on the natural way, the right road home, without minding the needful eyes of that ghastly rush that now lay strewn over the colonial walls of a midsummer cottage, alone in the wilderness of one natural hallucination. 

Painting of Sohni Mahiwal by Unknown
The samsaric fish swam with the mermaid intelligence of true human pride, and I saw her, she knew as I, that the metaphysical dome of the potent seed can dry out the natural host of our musing otherness already freed by the practice of our unique and artful sanity. 
"with true knowledge of her leaving,
the door closes behind you twice,
            without word,
            in absolute Love,
a vacuous throat
                        shaped by the corridors walked
and now stared through
            sitting in the awesome lesson of the moment’s own home,
                        a dream over 10 years,
                           that this cave is positioned to open towards a passage,
                                                one’s only point of departure
            and perceptual environment is no more or less than passage,
                                                whether through the mixed celebration
of alcohol and music
in Iquitos jungle vibrancy
on the neon drug night
of America’s wandering life"

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Seven Hours of Music: Natural Sounds of Subconscious Entrancement

When tired, listen. 
Music is the breath of life. 
Listen, I am tired. 
Asleep, I hear a visual language, 
A deeper mind. 
Music, now.
She slips in the doorway while I lay in bed, listening. Grandma Nana’s come to pick me up for a day of visiting. Yet, aren’t those the footsteps of my wife? She enters with uncanny similarity.

A painting of the artist Kete Ephraim Marcus by Kete Ephraim Marcus 
A style of musical motion stamps on the floor of my eardrum with the gentle line of breath, issuing as her unspeaking voice through our apartment of dead morning air. She is memory, alive.

Morning, Interior by Maximillien Luce
As I wake to the glorious open space of an apartment, couched in the warm light of a restful morning, and my friend’s visiting. Apologetic and endeared, he respects my unconventional successes, gifting me seasonal greetings with the cheeky light of a sparkling card and pagan decoration.

Paris: In memory of the young deceased friend by Shalva Kikodze
We sit together in the freedom of being up and awake for the sun and its glowing gaze. The room is just so cool to comfort the body in an easy choice of soft, wooly over-garments. He begins to recite the melody of a waltz, for playing on the guitar.

Guitar and Pipe by Juan Gris
With heavenly beckoning, his sweet and delicate face points at the brown stand of Indonesian wood in the corner, my acoustic guitar. I repeat the melody, as it glides effortlessly on the airy surface of my mind.
"The spiritual recluse
On a steep decline

Passing without Failure,
Churning with Thirst,

& Separated

from life"

excerpt from "Age of Fire"