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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Room 2225c
                          

                     
                           

                           


             

                             
                    At.    At a certain point on the graph:



Dark equals Light.

























'Echo of a Scream'
                                                       












--------- by David Alfaro Siquieros.                                          















{Some comments on "'from The Infinite Poem' and the crime of the Holocaust}



 


NOTE: 'from "The Infinite Poem"' is clearly a collage.


I took samples from many books (childrens, art crit, ecyclopedias, books picked off the shelf of by chance, things heard on the radio etc etc) and newspaper etc at random and sometimes reproduced them entirely or in part or I reworked them and fragmented them. Also I recycled my own poems or parts of them. All of this to give texture of different languages and ways of speaking. So the various ways of saying things are either blended or juxtaposed in many permutations. I found however that in the process I seemed (subconsciously or not) to have several "themes" present. (There seemed to be an echoing thematic progression through the "work". One is war and The Holocaust. there are art and reality and so on. The question of Being, of God or whether there is a God and much else. Personal "cries" are admixed. Death, a subject or fact all writers or Artists (indeed all persons on this earth) as I call them, I feel must think about, deal with, and so on. I had severe breakdown in 1967 and it was around the question of existence. Death became constant in my thoughts and seems to be even more so lately. Also in recent years as I approach the end of my life it seems to obsess me increasingly day by day...but that is only a part of what I did here.

But the thematic "echoes" like the  surges and recapitulations say in a symphony or a sonata, and indeed the leitmotifs and the inter disciplinary approach which perhaps originates with Wagner (whose ideas influenced me from my own age of about 17 or so when I dreamed of attaining to some kind of film-art-poem-music complex with a continuous instantaneous gestalt aesthetics that was by some kind of strange and priestly complex mathematics a constantly perfect 'insight' into the central mystery of all things.) I was also undoubtedly influenced by James Joyce's description of his epiphanies in 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man' and his putated aesthetic in that  book.  


The picture above (by Siquieros  (I have been searching for for along time -I knew of it in the early 90s and then I saw it at the MOMA in NY in 1993 (after I had written this),  thinking it had been done by Matta) I had (perhaps not so consciously but in my memory) Echo of a Scream in mind when I wrote these strange lines:

If a daddy long legs got drunk and 
its head grew to the size of an immense baby’s, 
and it caterpaultered across the First World War, and 
all the other deathings,  

from the calculated opposition of primary colours across the reflecting surfaces of his brittle invention:

      The tragedy of the angry sneer, its vengeance, trap-ratted cat, crying in the box, cuboid, deep in the white hexagonal hold, the Drogons searching, phrasically,n the

    Alone.     Splendour.     It’s cold.      Passion.   To cross wisdom.    He’s a strategist from way back.   I don’t think she’s playing a game Pete.  Praps she is. Oh  Jesus, what a fuck up that all was.  Fuck.  Fuck.  Fuck.  Go the play.  Go to the play?.  Go to the play?Alone??  Yes, you’re always alone. Every one’s alone.
    To sail the equidistance.  Dance on an egg.   
If a daddy long legs got drunk and its head grew to the size of an immense baby’s, and it caterpaultered across the First World War, and all the other deathings, and the moon fell in shells of ice....it would be time for the first green, hopeful shoots, curleying from the  little garden, hidden from the others, in the oxygenated blackness, and all twenty two fingers in the perfectly nothing lake.




****************************************************************************

Here is an elucidation  (somewhat) of  what I was doing here (remembering that this was written about 1993 or so.) COMMENTS ARE IN GREEN. [But of course if one accepts that the totality of all permutations of  'from "The Iinfinte Poem"' are indeed effectively one"unit" or a complex gestalt then every version of this "poem" or text is still "one" poem or "one" text  in its totality. Hence however it much it gets altered it cannot change. It can be shown, via reasons of the question of the nature of Infinity, that it cannot be conceptually altered by any change even say if it was written in (say) Chinese and was now a story about Robin Hood (as one example.) But THE COMMENTS ARE IN GREEN :


from       The Infinite Poem

          is  ironic, however, for it is precisely qualities such as uselessness and entropy which give minimalist sculpture its value as a challenge to illusions about the normative concept of art 

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Comment: 


This was taken from a book about 20th Century Art. I'm not here concerned with what is being said. After all what really does it mean? But it is an interesting and quite dense text. It thus has a good texture.

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             I want you to look on Bo Weinberg for your own sake and understand the terrible usage of such a man, look him in the eye if you can so you will never forget this as long as you live because in a few minutes, just a few minutes, he will be at peace, he will be over it, the ropes wont hurt he wont be hot or scared or humiliated or happy or sad or needful of anything anymore, this is the way God makes up for the terrible death, that it comes in time and time goes on but the dying is done and our persons are at peace. But you kid are a witness and it’s tough shit but that’s the way it is, you’ll remember and you can never be sure of anything again because you are doomed to live in remembrance of the foulness done to this man Bo Weinberg

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Comment: 


I studied Doctorow's 'Ragtime' (A book I enjoyed greatly but which in conversation I found Jack Ross quite disliked. But he had to teach it!) This quote is an entire paragraph from another book by Doctorow called 'Billy Bathgate' Bo Weinberg is about to be dumped in concrete boot into  the East River in N.Y.! I suppose there is tragicomic aspect here.  One 'theme' - death.

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                pieces of scrap iron, springs, saucepan lids, sieves, bolts and screws picked out with discernment from the rubbish heap, could mysteriously in their construction    
                     the vestiges of their origins remained visible

the language of space            the creative dance           the laugh and lash of life
       “You worry about the way I say things, but you don’t worry about what I mean.”
                  a logically possible world is any conceivable way the world might BE have been (might have be been ( might have been (might have (might


                WORD  in a modern poem is a SUBSTANCE, and OBJECT, sui generis, and uses machine parts and textured surfaces.....

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Comment: 


There is a mix of art criticism etc, and a a quote from book by Donald Barthelme. The only thing by me is in italics. In fact most of this is not 'me' as such except that in italics with a few exceptions. However in many cases I "join" a part of one text to another, as above. "WORD.....' joins to 'machine parts and textured surfaces....." I do this to introduce a kind of "conflict" between the texts, to "torque the language". (The more torqued it gets, the more it talks! Hopefully to add depth to it (as an artist say i.e. Don Peebles might put a yellow board with a metal piece on it or Rauschenberg will mix images and paint textures..as many artists do...or as Charles Ives mixes sounds so they modulate from harmony to enharmonics to dissonances (and then clash) and so on.  [The clash of colours.]

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                      triangle strangle the triangle trinanngle [sculpt]      I AM 

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Comment:

I may have been thinking of McCahon but also Descartes is invoked indirectly.  My play with "triangle" is added.


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                                          feverishly interested
                                          in these questions
                      Ethics has always been where my Heart is
and the enclosed brochure tells you the facts     in secretion, the reverse might occur. it.                     
            it’s mysterious what happens:  (I Like Rust).
    A bridge or even a power pylon has a beauty which is a function of its joyous and liberating functionalism as it leaps the gap of time or space and its inherent structural dynamic
       (I love you)                          The quality of a primitive force
                                                    anchors the modern mind
                                                    to earth

the rhythmic organization of space.  Space no longer exists. Objects never end and intersect with infinite combinations of sympathetic harmonies and clashing aversions
         
         Where armies of machining ants clash and time is bent into a ring on the old father’s finger
             and Form, producing a machine-like finish, suggests that there is an absolute, ultimate form
“...there was a tremendous explosion. My first thought, and I wasn’t the only one, was that I was trapped in something like that film Towering Inferno...”
          

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Comment:


The part in purple is from a newspaper report of a New Yorker's reaction to extremity, who was in the North Tower in 1993 when a bomb was set off there. I took this entirely at random. It has no ostensible political significance. At the time I was quite indifferent to political events. It has no connection to 9/11 as it hadn't happened when this was done! I did go to N.Y. that year but again that has no connection as the work here had been written previously! (About 1992 or so). Unless there is some proleptic process involved here!

The 'ultimate form' quote is someone writing about the art of Brancusi

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          they want to scratch out the eyes of  their enemies with  their virtue
          He loves the ampersand. And in you, too, there is much that makes me love and hope

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Comment: 

" they want to scratch out the eyes of  their enemies with  their virtue "  taken from  Nietzsche's 'Thus Spake Zarathrustra.

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  Piet Mondrian “Windmill in Sunlight” (1908) offered Mondrian the pretext to paint a violent red apparition in which the optical pulsation from the calculated opposition of primary colours across the reflecting surfaces of his brittle invention:

      The tragedy of the angry sneer, its vengeance, trap-ratted cat, crying in the box, cuboid, deep in the white hexagonal hold, the Drogons searching, phrasically, in the loop back reactions of dead significations and burning laser beams: it all falling over into the mouth. They begin to imagine symptoms.

    Alone.     Splendour.     It’s cold.      Passion.   To cross wisdom.    He’s a strategist from way back.   I don’t think she’s playing a game Pete.  Praps she is. Oh  Jesus, what a fuck up that all was.  Fuck.  Fuck.  Fuck.  Go the play.  Go to the play?.  Go to the play?Alone??  Yes, you’re always alone. Every one’s alone.
    To sail the equidistance.  Dance on an egg.   
If a daddy long legs got drunk and its head grew to the size of an immense baby’s, and it caterpaultered across the First World War, and all the other deathings, and the moon fell in shells of ice....it would be time for the first green, hopeful shoots, curleying from the  little garden, hidden from the others, in the oxygenated blackness, and all twenty two fingers in the perfectly nothing lake.

         nothing ever finally resolves, beginning again, makes a change whose origin, from the process of which was not contained in of what it originated in, whose form, is actually is something – it gets to another place
                  when it gets working it keeps on.   Switch the light.

NASA        SPACECRAFT       POISED      TO       PROBE       RED         PLANET

           the terrible red rages in spokes its fiery fireall, all is colour  -  ALL: die for it.  spill blood for colourStab for colourpuddle of red, seeded with a scattering of pink and white strokes
    Now Bob’s basic rap is that language, as an acquired  skill, is one of those loop back functions of the organism except that his units are phrasiform as opposed to word form. Likewise P is ripping off, collaging, splicing texts: completing the solipsism     The Light and the Dark seemed to know Something. Yes, it was
        the Light – like the Doors,
        Higher than God
        Had been wedged Open,
        And all the Light and Dark and Sound and Colour
        Had writhed into Being             

                                            Everything compressed back into the darkness.
                                             Shakespeare’s  brain grew  from the darkness.

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Comment:

The latter part of the above is from a long poem I had written to be performed so to speak and I first read it at The Masonic where there were Monthly readings on Wednesday nights organized by Rosemary Menzies. To write it I had used The Book of Genesis as a starting point. The poem is multi voiced itself and uses a simulated "Elizabethen or Shakesperean language or pastiche perhaps.


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The Light and the Dark seemed to know Something. Yes, it was
        the Light – like the Doors,
        Higher than God
        Had been wedged Open,
        And all the Light and Dark and Sound and Colour
        Had writhed into Being             

                                            Everything compressed back into the darkness.
                                             Shakespeare’s  brain grew  from the darkness.


And here is one of the "asides": 



But this darkness you keep talking about:
Did you know it was purple?  Eh?
Yes -  purple - part purple. Because
The colours were gases. Gases?
Yes, they were interfuser things, mixy mixy…
They, and the light, and the dark, danced and danced!
What?!  100 Million?!  Invent something:
            be alert, but keep calm.

“Repair thou quickly hence to thence, and,
As if ‘twere thee’s own heart thou held,
Knowing that to lose or drop that beating
Spring of life, God’s pump, would be
Certain forfeit of thou’s life,
Fast heeling on that bumble fingering:
Treasure convey this my particular attent
To that matter, whose import is as vast
As giant mountain quakes that oft do shake
And fright our mighty globe -

Oh this greatly troubled spheroidic world!

Oh go as fast as festinate
And by no circuit daily - this matter cannot sleep,
Nor shall rest my kingly heart, old, and weighted
As I wait and weigh, and weight, these matters
Total up for the rest, who slumber as I ponder. No!
My kingly head, so white with woe, I’ll not to rest
Till all these frightful ghosts are soft sure in bed:
For if we dare leave this dangling —
For sure by Damocles the woundy bleary, beary world,
Shall wake in sudden throat -
And slay us cursely like a Polyphemous , who had
But One, despite he Poly. Go! Go! Fleet thee fleet!”

Yes, darkness, darkness. Then Colour was created  -
And an infinite number of forms!
There was a sudden display:

Everything was afire with Colour

Everything Compressed back into the darkness.
Shakespeare’s brain grew from the Darkness.


Who? Yes? What? Oh yes. Did they?
Well well well — eh? Oh Yes
Did they?  How could — did you?
Did we?  Were we? When?  Oh!
Gosh! Wonderful! No? There was no other way
You say? No!  Who?  Who?  Oh himhim:
You mean?   What? What!?  Who?  Why?  Speak  louder!
What?!  Speak softer! What? Who? Why?
When did — who did — why did —

And it continues. The plot or the pot (of soup or whatever) thickens!
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it is what it is and what it wants to be and what it struggles to become

          You’re thinking of the three pigs, said Polly. They built their houses of mud and sticks, the first two, didn’t they?        Well, I am, the wolf admitted.

                 the peremptory transmission of a logos hides the potential proliferation of effects.              What is the why of this how?                      Why does the hand descend, golden, and tagged  by the graffiti of the mathematician’s dreams, out of the hollow domed and purple folded sky

              I had the most marvellous piece of luck, I died.

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Comment:


This is from John Berryman. It is from one of his sonnets and one of his "alter egos" such as Henry or Bones is talking. Berryman for me is a major poetic influence and one whose poetry I really love to read.
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              believed that the sounds, in some mysterious way, replenish the deep springs of the soul
             “I see the artists moving toward annihilation, towards becoming a voice...”       reflecting surfaces of his brittle invention.  The book’s centre is its own bookishness

               and you should have seen all those tiny infinities:
                                                                           the child’s eye
                                                                                the whale’s eye  

and the tentacles                             reaching!

Still the ravenous sea, still the gulls

Above:  “There we are.”  She said.  I yessed at her, but

It echoed into questions...I did so want
To be infinitely joined,
Or to be part of her, or in her  -  
But I forgot, the instant instant of her sound start.
I’m afraid.  I’m afraid you can never know
Us or them or we or I. Pronouns die in heroic  -
But they keep on playing that
come go come go come again game.

                               winter had come in the meadow, the whole meadow was crystal white and quite still. What are we to do? cried the  mice thru chattering teeth. Now we shall surely freeze. They all huddled together.
                
                         He had reached The Mountain of Darkness.
                 Air N.Z. up 2 cents. Ceramco down 6 cents. Lion Nathan down 9 cents.
           witty, disillusioned, with a somewhat brittle charm. Put chaos in a box – eat it.  

Not yet fifteen she wrote:  “I feel that I am a woman, a woman who has both moral energy and courage.” She died in the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen in March 1945. 

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Comment:


This last seems, coincidentally, to 'link back' to the Bo Weinberger scene or event. There is no comedy though, as this is from a blurb on the cover of (a paper back edition of) 'Anne Frank's Diary'. A book, a terribly moving and tragic document, and of  the work of a great writer, a young woman of great talent who, together with millions, lost her life in the Nazi atrocity of all time. So much life wasted by war and in particular by the horror of the Holocaust. Perhaps the greatest crime of human history. Susan Sontag called it the overriding question of the 20th Century. I feel it is of the order of crime and of the order of moral evil done to humans by humans  that seems to pose a question as to the possibility or not of humans ever progressing in any sense. That book ['Anne Frank's Diary'] has haunted me since I read it as a teenager.  I concerns death and life. It concerns all questions. It is THE question of all time. Perhaps, perhaps, there is some hope in that the diary "survived"  to "witness" that terrible human event. 

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BUT IT MUST BE UNDERSTOOD THAT THE DISCOVERY OF THEMATIC CONSISTENCY WAS ENTIRELY BY CHANCE. IT SEEMED TO SHOW TO ME THAT IN ALL THE WRITING THAT I SAMPLED OR USED BY CHANCE AND FOR ALL MY ATTEMPTS AT AN OBJECTIVE NON PERSONAL ART OR "CONSTRUCT" THERE SEEMED TO APPEAR A REGULAR RYTHM  OR WAVE PATTERN AND 


         


              AN EMOTIONAL FORCE"PUSHING" THE TEXT AS IF BY USING THE MULTIPLE OR MULTIPLEX VOICES OF HUMANITY THERE INEVITABLY ARISES  A THEMATIC MEANING DESPITE THE RANDOM ORDER ATHT THE TEXTS AND VOICES ARE PRESENTED. OF COURSE THERE IS NO PROOF OR NECESSARY TRUTH OF THIS AS I HAVEN'T EXPERIMENTED WITH IT. IT SEEMS REASONABLE AND WORKS SIMPLY BY MATHEMATICAL PROBABILITY. THERE IS NOTHING MYSTICAL OR MYSTERIOUS ABOUT IT. IT PERHAPS HAS SOME CONNECTION TO ENTROPY ETC 





AND THE WORK ABOVE (OR THE SELECTION FROM IT AS SUCH) WAS NOT "PLANNED" AND CERTAINLY HAD NO DIRECT OR OSTENSIBLE POLITICAL AGENDA  







HOWEVER 'from "The Infinite Poem"' I THOUGHT OVER AND OVER AND I REALISED THAT THIS PATH OF COLLAGE AND SO ON HAD ITS LIMITS. WHAT BEGAN AS ALMOST AN ELITIST "INTELLECTUAL" ATTEMPT AT AN EPIC TRANSFORMED (IN MY MIND AT LEAST) TOWARD A MORE UTOPIAN PROJECT (INCORPORATING EYELIGHT ) OF OR ABOUT WHICH UTOPIAN DIRECTIONS I WILL POST WHEN  I CAN ON HERE









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