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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Room 62

I might puzzle people the sparseness of my posts here. For those new to this Blog - EYELIGHT should be seen as an ongoing poetics project (I would appreciate anyone coming here now to read through all my posts as there is nothing, not even the comments, that is NOT a part of EYELIGHT) but it is not filled with poetry per se - that is I don't write small poems and fire them onto here - I don't really believe in poetry as such (although I have written many hundreds of poems) - I am more interested these days in an ongoing project that is many things - learning, meditation on life etc some personal issues (no drama or angst per se either -I want to emphasise that at this time of writing I am very happy in my self. This is a great time in my life -although indeed I am nearly 60 - which makes a man think more on death. Montaigne, the inventor of the essay, whose writing influenced Shakespeare, writes one of his long essays telling how he thinks of death constantly - his point being that he knows that one can die at any time! (He died bravely, with his family near him - he had quinsey -a fatal infection of the throat.)

But that meditation on death and or extinction (which in various degrees I have been engaged in most of my life - remembering that for many years I wrote no poetry and hardly read a book) should not be taken as depression or pessimism. There is no question BTW that I have had wonderful life so far and done enough - I have three children and a lovely grandchild. I am very aware of the great sufferings in this world and that I have been very very fortunate to live to this age. Would I die with equanimity tomorrow? I would love to die with courage. I will face any suffering. But it is true ( I took my grandson to the Auckland museum today) that there is so much in life - the Universe is so incredibly vast and intricate!! Wonderfully and terribly so! - I was looking at trays of beetles, birds, sea creatures, beautiful anenomies. I was even reading a book for children (my grandson loves the children's section and it is one of my favourites also) about dung and other beetles (the Egyptian scarab beetle was a dung beetle) - but it is true that my thought ran - there is so much I cannot and will never know - and there is - when I feel alert and well - the feeling that I want almost urgently) to know EVERYTHING
(I attended lectures on the Continental philosophers in 1994 and a US- visiting -philosopher - telling us about Camus - commented that one of the tragedies of Humankind, as Camus put it, is that Man wants to know everything. And indeed there are times I would want to live forever... but earlier in the day I read that - in a mag dealing with the mind - that the human brain begins to shrink and deteriorate after 40 or earlier. And it does so more, and more rapidly, in people who are of a lower educational level! And I have my School Cert (I was top in Biology) , University Entrance, a (bascially I am the equivalent of a qualified Electrician although I am called a Technician - I was a Lineman); have a BA and an NZCE in Electronics and telecoms and so on! (Kasparov the World Chess Champion wisely retired from Chess when he was 43 or so; Korchnoi does Yoga and walks etc and eats well and is still playing at high level but is no longer a Super GM)).

I would have done better to be a very fit and ill-educated rugby player! (More than one realises are in fact University educated however). (This is strange to me - I [ keyword here - "I"] cant imagine anyone of intelligence actually enjoying any sport, I have always hated sports). But education, reading a lot, having degrees, playing chess and so on, does NOT= intelligence.

And one would be fool to want life to end - no one wants extinction or for Shakespeare, as in Hamlet or Twelth Night - his characters see the real terror of death to be that it is a hell of some constant, nightmarish dreaming -"Cabined, coffined, confined... " and so on "To die, perchance to dream..Ah, there's the rub!" ..Hamlet's terror is of some semi-conscious awareness - some kind of endless nightmare over which he has no control whether there is some Big Guy up there running things or not gives me little comfort (it is clear to me that Shakespeare was an atheist - even a nihilist.. see his famous "Tomorrow..." speech in Macbeth, part of which Faulkner used as title of his great novel: "The Sound and the Fury" ('It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.') (The idiot in Faulkner is Benji)...but are we not all idiots, or duffers?

But that is life. One cant know a fraction of the infinite experience that is the Universe. The Universe is a mystery - where did or how did it originate, what is consciousness, does life have purpose beyond procreation? Was Nietsche's old man right?

To return to this long - (conceptually infinite) - poem-text-project, I wait until the next stage of what I am doing feels right and I have the data and or images etc ready and then I work hard for a post to follow. Each post has a meaning in EYELIGHT. There are many subtleties here.

The person - or shall we say a person who was of great signification in my life and who is greatly important in all (especially previous poetry) my work has been revealed here. But there are other matters than that person - and there are other persons of great import here in my life. But it is far from being solely about my life - it is my life.

And I am not really interested in reviews as such or "brownie points" - one just works, creates, however lonely or wonderful that process may be.

Nor do I want to be seen as humourless - when I say "This is my life"* I mean it is a part of myself as much as every other action I do in my life. (For me the life-art segue is virtually seamless).

*Coincidentally this is the title of very great poem by the US Langauge-PostLanguage poet Lyn Heijinian.