|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. 751-2I 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.
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"