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, 29 April 2013

Sexuality and the Self: A Walk Through Chaplin's Dreamland of Innocence

"Dreamland...Sin creeps in...Trouble begins...Innocence...Getting flighty...Jealousy..." concluding titles in Chaplin's The Kid

The penultimate scene in Chaplin's first feature as an auteur filmmaker brings the viewer into "Dreamland" an alternate world parallel to the slums of old America, where all the principal characters from the film are winged angelic humans, swayed by the ear-whisperings of stereotypical devil sprites prancing about unnoticed. Could Chaplin have been privy to the hermeneutical notion that angels and demons are internalized expressions of our inner nature, mirroring social experience within the self-reflective subconscious, a key to an awakening, which resolves such impacting triumphs as the orphan child reuniting with their birth mother? Could Chaplin's narrative insights on film have preceded psychoanalytic depth by seeing the substance of dream as holistic self-projection, and at the same time, maintains unrivaled importance for transforming the collective psyche? 

Alan Watts is famously known for relaying the following psychological narrative, an interrogative entry into the presence of mind, as it wanders through the imaginative hollows of two overarching conceptions, past and future, and their nexus of alternate psychic fruition in the netherworld of dream. 
"Let's suppose that you were able, every night, to dream any dream you wanted to dream. And that you could, for example, have the power, within one night, to dream 75 years of time, or any length of time you wanted to have. And you would naturally as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes, you would have every kind of pleasure you could conceive. And after several nights of 75 years of total pleasure each, you would say that's pretty great, and now let's have a surprise. Let's have a dream that isn't under control. Where something is going to happen to me that I don't know what it's going to be. And you would dig that and come out of that and say, Wow, that was a close shave wasn't it. And you would get more adventurous and you would make further and further out gambles, and finally you would dream where you are now." 
Like a silent film, dream is also suggestive. The act of play is a prerogative of metaphorical truth, and finally, where chaos is a principle which reveals Self as the All-Self, Alan Watts, reminds us, "The whole nature of the Godhead is to play that he is not. In this idea then, everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality...God in the sense of being the self, the deep-down-basic whatever it is. And you're all that, only you're pretending you are not." Dreaming is a doorway to a revelation of the nature of self as All, where we confront the play-form of creation as an inner process of personal creativity, as the embodiment of a creative mind. 

While we go about our "waking lives" fully immersed in the, "I am not that" attitude, the nightly vigil of our inborn collective life, our subtle creative instinct, bleeds with singular potency throughout the periphery of waking experience. In dream, we remember who, and what, we are: the stuff of play, Lila, in Sanskrit. There is a story of the seeker who goes to a guru and staring into the face of the holy man, meets only a curious smirk, as the holy man thinks, "Oh! Come off it, Shiva."  
Shadows hang with somber repose. My beloved grandparent’s home is empty. And I’ve been away far too long. The dust has settled. The dining table is hollow with a loveless ardor. I can inhale the loss; the forgotten wealth of life lived once for each other now separated by nightfall and age.

Not at Home by Eastman Johnson
A middle-aged man in a black leather jacket stands outside, waiting. I’m hooked outwards. The sky calls me from the dank lament of the abandoned house now friendly to no one except for the wraiths of Death and Time. Who is the middle-aged man? I know him well, as I’ve known myself reflected in the old western visage of distempered exile.  

Devil Priest (credit: Gary Ashley)
I mount a bicycle along the cracked sidewalk curb. A dilapidated car, in the model once owned by my centenarian grandfather, clanks and sputters downwind. Is that my brother at the helm of a rusted, malign vehicle? I glide toward dawn. 

Automobile by Roman M. Semaschkewitsch
The middle-aged man seats himself blankly at the back of my bicycle. Like a burden to its beast, I carry his apathetic and listless indifference throughout the expansive elaborations of my most grandiose ambitions. 

Dynamism of a Biker by Umberto Boccioni
The map of Asia opens with the clarity of a skyline on a cloudless day. Traversing the backcountry of Vietnam, land of my lifelong love, I veer through incandescent bogs and sunbaked farmland. Natural beauty unending, my eyes turn inward, to visions of aspiration and wonder. To Europe, across Mongolia and the bleary maw of central Asia, I carry the burden of age, of settlement, of thought. Silenced, my mind is repressed with a hidden name.  
The pure darbuka/doumbek track behind the voice sounding is essentially a decision to convey the beat-hop sexuality of modern techno-culture, and more, to welcome the sounds of the Arab-Muslim world through one of their traditional instruments, in coordination with a voice to affirm a re-sexualized Earth-bound society in honour of the Feminine - to move beyond what I have called, "monosexuality" a conception in response to our narrow myopia concerning the spectrum of global sexual expression.

Originally published in Poetic Pinup Revue's February 2012 print issue, "monosexuality" is written in the name of all the victims of a sexually repressed society, that being mostly all of us in the modern world. There is an epidemic of masculine dominance. The feminine perverted and repressed through our culture of rape. The lack of feminine empathy extends to the contemporary human relationship with Earth, as PachaMama, Mother Earth. Our birth-rite is to recognize Her.   

"monosexuality" was also my first published poem. Where poetry is conceived as a feminine art, to hell with the macho patriarchal cultural hegemony that diminishes the authentic creativities of our inborn humanity in favour of entitlement propaganda, figuratively illustrated as the "war on sex". Militarism further exacerbates the repressive/oppressive role that sex, in gender, reproduction, and the act of love, has assumed in our increasingly self-destructive society. As with all dualities, masculinity implies femininity.

Public Observance is essentially steeped in the act of 'people watching' with a keen eye for the social imbalances in play on any given occasion. Especial light is thrown on inter-sexual relativity. Included are the poems, "monosexuality" (Poetic Pinup Revue, 2012) and "Preposterous!" (Steel Bananas).

The piece, "Preposterous" makes a point for the significance of anarchical logic, or irrational meaning, and how the formal context of institutional learning delegitimizes the freedom to imagine beyond the bounds of normative thought and reason. It is at once an elegiac and at once celebratory, marking a flight from the institutional walls of predictable learning, towards the more experimental and risky, adventurous dream-education of self-knowledge.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Noocide and the Community Within: Legendary Voices on Ego-Dissolution

“I had a dream once that I was at an international conference, debating economics…” by Gilberto Gil, in support of Xingu+23

Dreaming, conscious & active, increases our potential for empathy and curbs egotism. The lucid consciousness of the dream sees from all perspectives through one perspective. The actions and emotions of every dream character are essentially rooted in the dreamer. This is our natural engine of empathy, and our natural organ of humility before the great diversity of human life, and the infinite spectrum of mental expression.

"You want to reclaim your mind," said Terrence McKenna, "and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world." In this talk, McKenna also goes on to convey how we have lost touch with Chaos, and how older forms of ego-dissolution, such as ecological meditation and entheogenic use, are essentially about the meaning of sacrifice, which is the only thing that will solve our current problems. Ego is adamantly focused away from sacrifice, the role of contemporary humanity is to realign ourselves to a renewed sense of the diminished ego, and a healthy sacrificial attitude towards the greater reality, which is our immediate now of earthly presence. 

Chaos is within us, known through the act of dreaming, where the mystery-engine of narrative is spurred on through the natural inborn creative imagination, our promised birth-rite. The inner worlds of nature mirror this internal intelligence, which constantly breathes as an inhale and exhale of sacrificial flow, a reciprocity with the spiritual presence of subtle energy, generated through the noosphere. At once, as there is a crisis bearing towards ecocide and ethnocide (see my earlier post: Genocide and Extinction), there is also a crisis of what I will call "noocide", or the extinction of our natural capacity to think for ourselves, and look past the egotism of individuated consumer consciousness.  

Attention for the contents of dream narrative allow the mind to reorient within, to the source of dreaming that so inevitably follow outwards with the chaotic madness of global consumerism, expensive vacations, and a whole slew of energy misuse in the wake of ego-manufactured externalized dreaming. The inertia of internal dream substance, awakens the mind to the archetypal community that all share. As Jung said, "Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." We can also look for community within. 

Read my recent article on Media Co-op: Resistance to Canadian Oil Extraction in the Amazon Continues
Can you hear life? by RK
Read the signs by RK
Flightless Cubism by RK
National Isolation by RK

Inner Light Cityscape by RK
The forthcoming album, "Evocations: Exotic Settlers" is an evocative musing on the sound language nestled deep within the poetic substance of orated selections from a collection of works under the same title. In continuity with the theme of "exotic settlers", the album is an experimental narrative-sound art exploration into the imagination of a journey of settlement, both archaic and modern. Here, voice soundings are mixed with one instrument at a time, to convey a sense of the traveler, whose light pack is ideal for the road ahead, and whose voice traverses the simple grandeur of sonic revelry from a single instrumental accompaniment. Themes of travel are juxtaposed with settlement, both in the settlement of tradition and ecology, and the inner and outer journey to that destination. To settle on one instrument at a time is a metaphor for the inward/outward experience of settlement for the migrant, who eventually becomes an "exotic settler".

The choice to accompany the voice with a single-reeded bamboo saxophone or xaphoon instrument is based on my affinity for the African sound of the reeded instrument, as in African-American jazz roots. I put an old vinyl effect on the first improvisation to hearken to these early recordings. Also, the xaphoon is originally from Maui Hawaii, and so, the great waters of the Pacific Ocean that separate the North American continent from Hawaii, with its deep Aboriginal heritage, mirror the poetic river offering through the sound of the instrument as a metaphoric nostalgic passage across the western ocean.

Beginning with a reminiscence of life in Africa, poetic reflections written on hillsides in rural central Mexico, overlooking a wide lake in a small village, I remembered Africa. The words allude to Africa as the Mother of all Humanity, as Mother Africa, where all people can know their origins as one human family. If wondering, "What has Africa given to the world?" The answers are many, including the soul of contemporary music, but also our very biological evolution, as humankind. Africa has given us ourselves, our poetry, our music, our spirituality, our creative eye, as well as other aspects of ourselves not so likened to evolution such as our politics. Yet in the words I have chosen in "I remember Africa", I ruminate on the spiritual origins, beneath the flesh, "our skeletal humanity" where we are all one, where we are one with Mother Mater.

The second haiku-like oration, "Selflessness is the father of human survival" was written down after an impromptu spoken word over a city bridge, overlooking the grandiose ice sheets concatenate and break into the singular northern landscape. In Aboriginal folklore, passage across a river is a time of deep meditation in gratitude and honour for the life-giving waters. Traditionally, a sacrificial offering of tobacco, or a ceremonial smoke, is offered to the sacred life source of all creation. Yet, here, I offer the clear smoke of my worded breath, enunciating an egoless passage of impromptu heart resonance.

The other pieces featured in this chapbook draw from the barebones intensity of visceral experience re-felt through memory and the act of writing. In that process, the emphasis becomes one of awareness that drives one to act. To reflect, ruminate and contemplate the living significance of Africa in our own lives is to be moved onward in the struggle for life and for our humanity.

Monday, 15 April 2013

History and Humanity: How Self-Awareness Leads to Reconciliation

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley by George J. Stodart
"No more let Life divide what Death can join together." Shelley

"We cannot continue to be recognizable and survive…if everything you know is wrong, then all the problems you thought were insoluble can be framed differently. And there's a way to take the world apart and put it back unrecognizably. We don't really understand what consciousness is at the really deep levels," said Terence McKenna in an interview for bOING bOING #10, to hail the oncoming psychic transformation of humanity in the 21st century, also known as the post-2012 New Age eschatology. 

Yet, historically, we have ever been unrecognizable when we look at interrelations between human societies, especially with regard to the European saga of colonialism and the institutionalized racism that followed (and arguably continues) in its wake. People from other continents, the Native, Indigenous peoples of the world, most emphatically Africans, Australians and Native Americans (from both North and South America), were for a considerable portion of history considered an inferior race, a subhuman species likened to earlier primates less developed than the European genus. 

As we have now begun to recognize ourselves wholly, all of humanity included, through science and reconciliation with our inhumane past, the challenge now remains clearer than ever, for it is our own selves, the Self of Humankind that is in need of development, and not any other form of life. So, we might ask, might we grow up from the childish state of irresponsible resource waste and join the community of life on planet Earth, or become extinct. As the human family becomes recognizable, next the whole of life on Earth must be recognized as our own self, as the body of a relative, and until it does, and we remain unrecognizable to ourselves, there is catastrophe as we straddle the line between dominance and extinction. 

Interpreting the above quote by Shelley in the last line of the third to last stanza of Adonais, An Elegy on the Death of John Keats, essentially reads as "don't let life get in the way of dreaming" where the diversity of life, as it manifests in the human family, a wealth of ethnicities, spiritualities, and physiques can be seen not as a source of division, but of connectivity. And so, as I write, this the capital city in the state of my birth, Boston, has allegedly been bombed. In such times, it is ever paramount to instil the meaning of reconciliation within the human family. Peace studies author and professor George Melnyk recently shared with me the simple notion that "That's what happens in war, you define an enemy." And, so, with our nation(s) at war in the Middle East, and the "enemy" at hand, we can keep vigil with the caution that we should not jump to quick conclusions in our search for vengeance. 

The crossroads of human life in the 21st century divides Humankind between himself and the planet; the potential of nuclear fallout and the immanent ecocide with the unabated burning of fossil fuels. The struggle to survive as one, whole being, as a united humanity, is to be fought at our doorstep, and we must remain strong not to waver from our ultimate direction towards peace through reconciliation. See the documentary by Chris Hedges OBEY, at minute 22, where he writes, "Resentment against a disenchanted secular world will find deliverance in the ecstatic escape of unreason." Let this unfortunate incident be an opportunity to empathize with those who experience bombings on a regular basis as part of our government's foreign policy, as opposed to perpetuating violence through self-pity and aggression. 
A stone-bedded homely abode of five rabbis, all with simplicity and humor muttering of their bearded visage, they meander from home to a day’s work in the predawn night. I, a furtive wraith, clandestine in the dim corner, emerge to observe the floor-set scribes and their flowing fountain of wise austerity. The dusty air breathes sanctity unknown to most, yet from the window a flicker of artificial light breaches the soup of mind with Maras of temptation, apparitions of the female sex, flaunting a shadowy tint of flesh. I trudge outside, unencumbered by the pleasures of the intoxicating sights. We are at war.

Titus destroying Jerusalem by Wilhelm von Kaulbach
The direction of sight is clear. The enemy is known, and our targets destructible. The air is thinning of passion and feeling, to make way for hate. The true victim in this war is Earth. The all-out industrial fire has spurred on the makers of enmity under a veil of infinite resource. Brothers, sons and fathers bleed with for the ground on which they are laid to rest. The backdrop is far-reaching. There is a sense of humor in this war.
Toronto Rolling Mills by William Armstrong
Foregrounds blur into modernity, as a civilian is murdered, shot in the back, running towards us. Iraq is not Germany. Civilian and army are a rough and indiscernible duality. The cold smoke of hate becomes the backwash of sanity as soldiers and men secrete their pain into the willful triggers of deadly remorse. I, a photographer, capture the minutiae of existence full-born in the surviving families of Earth-bred singularity. Modern natives, the indigenous, bold eyes of people, now the last grave on which an unmarked praise still glorifies the vanity of war and power. Massive trucks crack and sputter past me, with so much gun, bomb and shell materiel that my knees weigh fierce into the concrete below. Rushing past, the soldiers reveal faces of bleary sweat and stinging tears, flowing from a smiling façade of youth, their graying eyes grow cold with fate as my photos are ignored.

Collateral Damage by James Miller 
When we declared war on Earth in WWII, the invasion of Iraq granted us full impunity as we commit the last atrocity on the only lasting connection humankind might instill from Earth to the mass of societies born and bred of global war. They line up, shaman to farmer, hunter to midwife, storyteller to seer, a community of global wisdom, attuned to the lightness of being, as in the creation stories of practical love. And in their firing squad, they choose to sit, meditating on the gun-barrel of unsightly loss – the drifting eyes of hate and need merge.
After a cumulative process of self-publication, a DIY attitude of writing and publishing often spreads into the realms of experimentation and exploration with all aspects of the creative process and, especially where self-publishing is concerned, into self-innovated and creatively conceived avenues for sustainability.

Art is the "divinely superfluous beauty" as Robinson Jeffers says, however the artist is inherently tied to the whole of life. For this reason, I have decided to experiment with monetary value as a way to further understand my self-published works and the general field wherein I am situated as a self-taught creative artist active in a variety of artistic disciplines, with special regard for the overlap of media, thought and art.

Please join this conversation as society embarks ever on towards greater connectivity between the sacred, the communal and the entrepreneurial; that all three may one day join in a vision of society directed at once toward pragmatic utopia, while mutually creative and destructive, or better worded as discerning, in its ability to see and create potential.

I will still be offering the full collection online for free viewing, however, I have added the option of supporting the artistry exhibited by none other than the Dream Author. Jah!

Opening the page to experimental, improvised writing which emphasizes and attempts a most strict depiction of the spontaneous nature of mind can be perceived with harrowing aspiration in the realm of continuity, that is flipping the page, and its mystery, that is interpreting the language. As a forewarning of sorts, this collection of writing, as devised for readership, is the result of an editing which has purpose in giving the spontaneous flow of mental activity form. While attempting to convey the refreshing action of letting go, all structure and boundary and, in sense, constructs of mind are dissolved.

Created solely by one human being through "One Shot" intuitive improvisation stylings, Evocations: Cyclical Wordplay is the completion of a creative cycle of renewal, regeneration and return to the primary source of visionary inspiration: voice. With due reverence and respect for the infinite diversity of vocal and verbal forms among the worlds of the living and the dead, I hereby speak directly from the heart. Here, in these soundings, I am re-conceived through the mouth of the pen in all its power to amplify and obscure.

"Evocations" is a practice in contemporary experimental narrative, as opposed to the traditional conventions of spoken word. The poetics of oral storytelling are alive through soundings for the muses of voice in all its forms, whether in the tongues of wood, metal, plastic or flesh. The language of unity speaks through every medium.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Genocide and Extinction: Reflection on "in my dreams" by Mercedes Eng

"Whether this satirical inscription [PERPETUAL PEACE] on a Dutch innkeeper's sign upon which a burial ground was painted had for its object mankind in general, or the rulers of states in particular, who are insatiable of war, or merely the philosophers who dream this sweet dream, it is not for us to decide."  Immanuel Kant, "Perpetual Peace"

When I first read "in my dreams" by Mercedes Eng, on Geist, my heart pounded with the animate high of a synchronous intellect grounded with a feeling of urgency.

This piece illustrates the symbolic intersection of a pipeline as physical obstruction on the body of our Mother, as on our body. And to follow, the incarceration and de-legitimization of those voices and lives whose source of energy derives from a more profound and lasting than those harvested recklessly by government leadership, and the knee-jerk automaton droves of apologists, apathetics, pessimists and belligerent supporters of environmental crime. 

We have traversed the oceans and landscapes with a smothering footprint. In the wake of the wholesale devastation of First Nations communities across the country, it is the entirety of humankind that is next on the list of the entrenched ignorance of those who ignore science, who ignore civil society, and who ignore their own innate sense of empathy for the sake of power politics and saving face. 

When the source of a disease is unknown, for example lung cancer from smoking in the past, the individuals long since die while courts and politicians wade through policies and promotions to effectively prevent further death. Smoking is an especially useful symbol too, because it exhibits a problem with consuming that overrides even the strength of knowledge and law. People still die from smoking, just as we die from ignorance. Besides the individual death of one person, or even the genocide of a specific group, the extinction of our entire species is at hand when we talk about the continued, unabated burning of fossil fuels. 

Ocean acidification is the cause of five major extinctions on planet Earth, and the CO2 levels in our oceans now are rising at an unprecedented rate. See the work of Charlie Veron, the 'godfather' of coral and other scientists. The only way to prevent ocean acidification is to stop burning fossil fuels. Yet this time, we are realizing that we are essentially all one body in this fight to curtail the disease of overconsumption, overexploitation of non-renewable resources, and when it dies, there will be no lawyers or politicians left. In the 20th century, we faced the facts and prepared policies to prevent genocide. In the 21st century, we face the extinction of our species, and we are all at fault. 

Internationally, Canada is now a partisan country, we support other nations on their ventures into say for example, Afghanistan, based on exclusive measures of concern. This reflects within the domestic sphere, where representative leadership in government merely reflects a narrow margin of society. Those who are not aligned to the dominant mode of power are marginalized traumatically.    

We can remember the words of an assassinated democrat echo into the future, "Our children are still taught to respect the violence which reduced a red-skinned people of an earlier culture into a few fragmented groups herded into impoverished reservations.” JFK

To encourage ecocide is to choose extinction. 

Be aware: Oil Man and the Sea, Revolution (Film), Earthship Biotecture
Struggling lone uphill through the barren rifts and scarred desertification of Judea, I look out from an outcrop towards the Sea of Galilee. Scanning feline eyes growl and hiss in the unkind wilderness of the famed Israelite passage to divine promise. Yet, here where the last suicidal stand of Judaic tradition withheld the Roman tide of enslavement, I grapple.

Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee by Emile Rouargue
The rocky earth tumbles with rolling quakes, as an avalanche of boulders careens beyond a nearby patch of scree. The earth teems with deadly fate, as I climb on, and reach the summit of sacred space.

Mount Tabor by Emile Rouargue
Under a cloudless sky, I phone the United States, to hear the short-toned speech of my elderly grandpop, hunched over a sandwich and remote in the old Jewish-American neighborhood of secular tradition. To my increasing surprise, he had been on the phone, yet with a late dignitary of American war, Ike himself, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the once commander-in-chief of North African forces in WWII, where my old pop first entered active service.

The Bully of the Neighbourhood by John George Brown
Pops welcomes me to cross lines and speak with the former president. Nervously, my voice reaches for sanity and order, with subtle interrogation, I chance a question over the unsettling silence, “What is your favorite book about WWII?” I ask, with An Army At Dawn in mind, as I’m currently in the middle of it. “I don’t much read any book of the kind.” He breathes a deep silent resolve, of little words.
"Repeated Dance of the Fluid Earth" is an experimental narrative that plays off of American colonial history as a body of water, rippling throughout the waves of history. Cultural memory is as fluid as water itself, where consciousness may be revisited with the slightest alteration, leading to an eventual holistic transformation.

"Repeated Dance of the Fluid Earth" utilizes frame drum and shakuhachi together with synth beds to create an ulterior perspective in the retelling of popular history through a gendered and ahistorical mode. This also plays into our ecological history as a species, and how the ability (or inability) to listen to our story, as our voice, is similarly the story of our relationship to ecological knowledge, and how the fluidity of place with regard to land-based settlement is as dramatic in its shape-shifting nature, as the fluidity of place on a sea-based settlement. Simply put, the modern political notion of "settlement" is a myth.

In the era of consumption, we posit a sense of material as objectified by the consumptive attitude: that things are to be consumed, used, manufactured, wasted, eaten, assembled, etc. as opposed to a creative attitude, where all things are in flux. So, with regard to the battered histories of genocide and ecocide, "Repeated Dance of the Fluid Earth" asserts a revivification of the solemn bliss of knowing where we stand.

As the entire collection "Cyclical Wordplay" from which the chapbook, "Visitations" is derived, centres not only on the cyclical wordplay of language itself, but the travelogue of a cyclical journey, tracing the meaning of traveling abroad to returning through domesticity. The selections in "Visitations" recount the final step in that return, where after "A VIsit to L.A." the cyclical resolution leads to a transmigration of values. The final step homeward from a long season abroad, exhibited in experimental narratives, eventually transforms one's relationship to language, place, and meaning. The conclusion is a prelude to welcoming "other" visitations.

"Repeated Dance of the Fluid Earth", featured in "Visitations" was published in the Rusty Nail December 2012 Issue. The release of the "Visitations" chapbook on Scribd, goes together with the release of "Repeated Dance of the Fluid Earth" a spoken word narration on

Monday, 1 April 2013

Mythologies of Freedom and Dreaming: Interpretations and Reminiscences

“Human soul, should it dream of me, Let my memory wakened be.
/ Moon, moon, oh do not wane, do not wane, /
Moon, oh moon, do not wane....” lyrics from Dvorak’s Song to the Moon

“There is no freedom, because we die,” said Winston Churchill in a fated passage through the subtle imagination of nighttime visions – speaking as the personification of death itself. He emerged from the grave of innumerable veteran crosses and stars over unmarked graves lining an immaculately manicured grassy hillside in neat rows. The cemetery is reminiscent of the dead bodies once ordered with haunting linearity in the aftermath of the many battlefields fought over in world war.

The realization of human mortality is the psychological maturation of recognizing freedom as a myth. Even in dream there is limitation; the mortal scars of suffering – destructive emotions and negative repressions – continue into the deepest corners of the subtle mind. As in thinking, the natural mode of an animate and intelligent psyche is to comb through the vast interweaving analytic and creative spawns of experience and memory, as they unfold with newfound insights and revelations. Yet, in that process, the evolutionary cycle naturally spurns most content with the greatest psychological defense mechanism of mortality: forgetting. To release, let go or forget the contents of the mind as they build and diminish is part of the natural breathability of discernment that allows every person to function as a rational agent in both human society and in wild nature. Yet, there is intermittently a thought that recurs, as in dream, that reminds us that thought and the more subtle activities of the mind and of human experience are intricately linked to the repetitive urges of necessity in the libido or the gut, for example. When a thought is forgotten, it was meant to pass, and thus facilitate further emptiness, to clean the slate, or empty the glass, so to speak, so that it may become full with the nourishment of more enduring concerns. Yet, when a thought clings, as with the subconscious content of a recurring dream, it is calling out to be transformed through consciousness. There are many modes of transformation through consciousness, i.e. creativity, reflection, speaking, and action.

Similarly, as the facility of the mind to think filters through generative content towards enduring insights through word, sound, emotion, intuition, and image, the content of dream has like potential as an agent of subconscious “thought”. Yet, where thought is often sound-oriented, as the whisper of words, dream, and specifically dream-writing, entices the mind to reflect on what images endure, and why, through their free-associative interpretation. Those images that endure from dream into the memory of consciousness and daily activity are as thoughts that recur and beg further recognition. Both involuntary, subconscious – dream and thought – are inceptions of creativity that arise from instinctual mechanisms that the body has to self-reconciliation. Recognizing and listening to the inner voice that speaks in the image-language of dream and the sonic subtleties of thought through an internalized intellect form a holistic psychological healing likened to the regenerative quality of the physical body to heal itself.

Former child soldier and international rap sensation Emmanuel Jal uses storytelling and music for social-emotional learning. He says that peace is “equality, justice and freedom for all”. His triad of concepts that can lead to peace – equality, justice and freedom – will be the basis for understanding how dream becomes thought, and thought becomes action.

While there is no earthly, or worldly, freedom after a full recognition and confrontation with the mythology of human dreaming, both consciously and subconsciously, there is equality. In Sufi mysticism, it is said that all of creation essentially began from an image. In Hindu cosmology, the Self, or Atman, sat alone, and pondering a sense of cosmic loneliness, split into two. Thus, seeing a reflection of the Self gave birth to the world. In other traditions the first creation was sound, particularly in dominant Western religious tradition, “In the beginning was the word.” In more acute interpretations based on studying original texts and incipient cultural contexts, sound is understood to mean vibration. From this understanding, great wisdom energy emerges from the fabric of all creation, vibrating with the cosmic equality of being essentially of one substance, from one origin, and to one destination. Also, when people become competitive and separatist in worldly affairs, this sense of cosmic equality is lost. For ultimately, an individual is not born of their accord, nor is their lot in life prescribed by them, but they are subject to the cosmic interdependence of the I-Consciousness of All-Unity. Deep equality is seeing that there is beauty and tragedy, form and emptiness, sophistication and simplicity in every instant and every aspect, in every individual and independent form of being.

On a deep level, freedom and equality are absolutes. There is no true freedom, yet ultimately all are equal. Justice is relative. Time and the fabric of relations temper Justice as it is broken and mended by the conscious action of peoples, animals and all forms and modes of being: ocean and acidification, mountain and mine, consumer and resource, victim and perpetrator, predator and prey. Freedom is a dream that never becomes real. Equality is a reality that does not extinguish by dreaming, and also a dream that does not extinguish in reality. Justice is a dream that may, or may not become a reality, unless dreams are made real through conscious action, and then waking realities can potentially become our greatest dream.  
Barroom fade-out, the groveling aspiration of a few young guts feeding on the fermented sting of a foreigner’s every desire. The walls steam and sweat to the touch of human skin, crowds meander and mingle in a scintillating core of the ruthless dance. The beat of bare feet on the wet soil engraves the trammeled heart of the night onto the soles at every step.

Le bar des Martégales, Marseille by Marcel Leprin
Escaped into the washroom, the narrow claustrophobia is deafening, with a seed of empty remorse, I trudge backwards, to scale the heights of misdirection, and a friendly face peers through the swinging doorway, a member of the female race, she glides back dispassionately. I wade through swinging bodies back to a table, where my friends eye my every movement with a gentle regard for the creative word, emanating like sunlight from my chest like a cross-legged aesthetic seeing visions of outer space. I am warmed, basking in tongues of like entanglement. A live hip-hop act floods the ceiling with the reverberations of bass and rhyme.

Fuge in Rot by Paul Klee
Next morning, the cemetery air is thick with warning. Veteran markers stretch 3,000 deep down a coursing hill, steep with shadow and disbelief. The anger mounts like an unchallenged breeze on the face of the beloved. And I starve for words of remembrance and the final end to the deep finishing hate that swarms and seethes in our bones like the lost blood of too many young men and women. We are guided along by the preeminent Allied emissaries of WWII; Roosevelt, Patton, Eisenhower all emerge from the ground of the lain, and lastly Churchill.

The Cemetery, Etaples, 1919 by Sir John Lavery
Rising from a grave bed, the sparse, delicate grass wakes with air at his emergence. Churchill guides a small tour through the narrow passage between the blinding dizzy-spell of white crosses. After reading the bare bones epitaph of one fallen, slain by the brutal, forsaken. We can almost hear the utter ignorance of speed, metal and waste. Scanning over a generic war axiom, he says with spitting disdain, “There is no freedom on this earth, because we die, because we are mortal, freedom is a dream within a dream.”

The Hat of Freedom by Herman van der Mijn
Freedom is a tear in the cry of eternity.

The mangrove is a peculiar tree, featured most recently in Ang Lee's Life of Pi, the man-eating vegetable is an interesting folkloric attribution to the reciprocity found in nature. "Sour Mangrove" is a piece that uses two types of percussion, doumbek and frame drums together with digitized xaphoon with an atmospheric ethereum of shakuhachi.

This instrumentation breathes with the three minute narrative, an experimental movement that gives voice and embodiment to the numbness of apathy and dogma that drives humanity to unprecedented elevations of ignorance with regard to the environment. With the reduction in the rhythmic pace at the very middle of the track, there is a slight turnaround, where natural objects are at least recognized, yet by the end, there is mere allusion to voice as performance, reduced to mere agency in the creation of an all-consuming, and ultimately cheap contrivance: the public.

The mangrove, a gorgeous and exemplary form of environmental wonder in its sheer aesthetic beauty, and its symbiosis with the ocean (and especial trait that modern humanity lacks) is simplistically reduced to an act of consumption as a disagreeable taste, sour.

This chapbook is comprised of thirteen selections from Cyclical Wordplay under the subtitle, "Sleep Cycle" as they were all written during meta-conscious states of creative emergence. This chapbook release celebrates the music release of the feature piece, "Sour Mangrove" on my bandcamp site, where I upload experimental sound art and different forms of narrative readings. "Jailed Desire" and "Sour Mangrove" were published in "ditch, poetry that matters" on April 24, 2012.