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2007

January

1 - Showdown: Called in / Matt quits / Inventory, Return Car to Keri / Clay Pit w JGM

7 - 

8 - Learned Comic Life / Xmas in Anacortes / Website work


9 - Showdown Flyers w Comic Life - Hook up new Printer


10 - Showdown - train Crystal / get some from LH

11 - Go by Brave New Books & Follet's | Buy Olson Bio, Perfume @ Dobie w JGM, Spiderhouse & Showdown | Wine, Beer, Quesadillas

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13

14 - Hoover's : Chicken Fried Chicken $23 @ JGM



21Been reading a good biography of the poet Charles Olson. He first caught my attention with his book on Melville and Moby Dick, Call Me Ishmael. That book opened up Moby Dick for me in a new way: when I re-read (for the 3rd time) the book immediately after, it was like a new bright and shining thing for me. It showed me a form a primary critique – what Olson calls “usufruct”. 


I have always had a problem with criticism in that it is such a parasitic act - needing the the primary artifact of a creator upon which to enact its own "creation". Better to respond to a work of art with another work of art - as Vergil critiqued Homer with the Aeneid, as Dante critiqued Vergil with the Commedia. 


I always wonder why so many are satisfied with secondary critique - even extending this to a way of life. They would rather have their information "digested" for them like helpless birdlings in a nest of ignorance. They prefer processed pabulum over the whole and the raw and the "right from the earth". I find it bizarre that people place so much faith in what the media(tors) give them; that they have never read even a portion of the Bible or the Koran or Moby-Dick or the Constitution; that they have never had even a slight conversation with a homeless person, a monk, a priest, a Buddhist, a Muslim, a criminal. 


It is astounding and terrifying how sheltered and insulated most are from the Primary. I probably talk about this every time I see you because I have the fear of becoming like one of them. As time goes on and I go on in it, I feel the mounting pressures of conformity, of habituation, of desensitization. Every day seems more and more the same. And the disciplines one practices to hold on the face-to-face seem to be increasingly absurd. Why not just give in? It would be so easy. 


Yeats wrote of difficulties brought about through the awareness of having an eternal spirit tied to the body of a dying animal. I think of a balloon tied to the tail of a old dog. Most of my days have been "spent" in the attempt to grasp that balloon. But I must admit the fear, the cold wet first thing in the morning fear, of how good settling into these bones feels, to ignoring the balloon, the spirit and coming to terms with the fact that I will live out the remainder of my days as a stupid dying animal. 


What always saves me is the Mystery - the continual, as yet unsolvable allegory that I have involved myself in. Call it God, Allah, Nirvana, Samadhi, Atman, Real Presence, Ishmael, a White Whale or a Red Ballon - it is what keep these bones burning. 


From the epigraph to Tom Clark's Charles Olson: The Allegory of a Poet's Life: 


There are very shallow people who take every thing literally. A Man's life of any worth is a continual allegory - and very few eyes can see the Mystery of his life - a life like the scriptures, figurative - which such people can no more make out than they can the hebrew Bible. Lord Byron cuts such a figure - but he is not figurative - Shakespeare led a life of Allegory: his works are the comments on it- 


- John Keats to George and Georgianan Keats, February 14, 1819 


These places & persons as things & spots are all inside of any one of us.... the whole world & all experience is, no matter how real, only a system of metaphor for the allegory (Keats called it) a man's life is. 


- Charles Olson to Robert Duncan, August 24, 1945 


One does have a life to live, exactly that much. And... because it is that much, and it is one's own, it has scale. That is, it isn't more of the same, or so much "humanity" and all that, any of the counters now offered.... 


How to say it, so that is is abundantly clear. It isn't at all unlike Keats' proposition that a man's life (he was speaking of Shakespeare and his plays) is an allegory. 


- Charles Olson, The Special View of History 


22 - Set up laugingbone.com w/google $10

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24 - Mute Inglorius Miltons on blog


February 1


13 - BEGIN AGAIN ON CHRONOS PROJECT | Working with NVU  software | Reading Celan - contemplating the poem cycle about his suicide | Also re-reading Hayakawa's Language in Thought and Action

LANGUAGE

Imagine a sort or proto human 2001 money creature that came from a tribe that revered water, worshipped it in their primitive manner, in pools and quiet streams, imagine this monkeyman somehow stumbles upon the Ocean, imagine him returning to his tribe and trying to say, in primitive grunts and gestures, what it is that he experienced. Say this was a desert-savannah type monkey tribe and that for as long as any of them could remember – vague images, proto-legends, lumenscent evocations of a time when there was water – but now there is none. Our monkeyman journeys away, gets lost, and for days, weeks months, wanders close to death. Then one day, he hears it, the constants surging whisper. Moving closer, he emerges from a the hedge and sees it: an incomprehensible vastness, a plentitude of water beyond all imaging. Overcoming fears and doubt, he moves towards, dancing with the surf. Finally, immersing himself with it. His has discovered something that transcends him, that re-defines him, the has expanded the horizons of his world beyond… just beyond. How can he explain this to the rest of the tribe, to “spread it out before them”? How can the simple sticks and stones of his woefully inadequate language describe, en-compass, the sublime and simple fact of the Ocean? Perhaps he finds a quanitity of large dried gourds and fills them with the Ocean, some with sand, some with shells, washed up seaweed, driftwood. Gradually, he travels back, transporting a myriad of gourds, moving them along like a herd of turtles, two or three at at time, then two more, hands full, gourds balanced on his head, then back for two or three more, working furiously to return with every gourd to the tribe so that he will be able to re-present the Ocean to them, to lay out the twenty gourds of sand, the five of shells and five of stone, to assemble the ten gourds of driftwood and seven of seaweed, to surround one side the eight gourds of hedge and sawgrass, and then, triumphantly pour the 500 gourds of seawater out before them all and indicate that this is only a sad effort to approximate even the tiniest fragment of the Ocean.

Sadly, after much trial and tribulation, when he makes it back to the Tribe, all the remain of the 7,777 gourds is a single one. This one gourd is filled with a little damp sand, a single shell, a piece of wood, an urchin’s spine, … … ringed with a white brine. The last bit he had held in his mouth and spits out… He tries to explain to them. He shakes out the gourd, the damp sand,etc. and say, this is the Ocean. His tribemates think him mad. He tries to get them to go with him but they all refuse. He tries to explain what is out there but no one believes him and treat him with more and more suspicion, not trusting his grunts anymore.

Words are only containers for experience. Experiences that are too large for the container of a single word or a even a vast number of word-containers are not able to be re-presented accurately to someone who has not had that experience. Analogy – metaphor – simile are tools that we use – ways of arranging the word-containers – ways of carrying them – ways of emptying them in the attempt to represent these Transcendental experiences.

At some point in the history of being, there was the first experience of lightning – Young’s radiance – of thunder – then the flashing of the waterfall and the thunder of it’s falling – Native American words for process. You can imagine language forming as most of us learn a new one – first the Things, the simple nouns, discriminating between degrees of objects : earth/stone, tree/branch analogies – then nouns of identity: me, you, we, them. Early pronoun/noun combinations to imply acts me tree stone you. Early adverbial indications of affirmation and negation.

You stone me no. I stone you yes. Then action words: verbs: where the language gets some blood and really starts to work: I go tree. You go earth. I throw stone. Place and time suddenly become important: you want to tell about something that happened to someone else: preposition and tense. I am in tree. You are on earth. I threw stone.

Words are only containers for experience. General Semantics: the word is not the thing. Map not territory. Menu not meal.

SEX

And we come to Sex.

The human is the only animal that has freed itself from seasonal periods for procreational sex. Moment in quest for fire when he turns the woman over. Like discovering fire. A vast inner world of fantasy – dreams – vital to mental evolution comes into being at that moment. The human frees itself from even needing a partner. Isolated monkeys do not masturbate. ???

That experience of radiance recaptured.

The closest most people get to experiencing god face to face is through the experience of the orgasm. The Primary.

Blakes: masturbation holiest form of prayer

The Sharing of Orgasm with another is the true foundation of the Church. You both participate/share the Transcendental Experience that is beyond words. So useless that you might as well use one of the most worn out words in the language for it: love

Hallmark card vs. real experience

The cheap souvenir vs the r. exp

Sex is a force, the simplest and most direct way to plug into the Transcendent, to God, to the Divine. One of the least understood shaping forces of Civilisation and Culture. Paglia’s SP

But it is so everyday – the robot takes over, business man thinking of work while routinely fucking wife.

Ritual v routine

Compromise v sacrifice. Problems of language and reductionism The world = what can be said about it

Vs

The world – what is experienced in it

Bootstraps problem – using tools of dream to wake up only re-affirms the reality of the dream

MORALS / ETHICS

Moralists use lang as logical tool to create an oversimplified world

The mokey with the gourds of ocean or An elephant chpped up in one million thimbles

Not seeing the whole

Five blind men….

Using skinner’s pigeons to figure out how children learn

Denyong the Gestalt, the Whole, the Transcendental

Koester’s Holons anti-reductionism

Tendeny of the LOGIC in lang to create yes or no situations.

Perspective in painting = logic in language

It is a trick

The attempt to apply ethics to something as transcendent as sex is like – just as primitive - trying to say that a star is evil or that the sun is good

Neitzsches morals are born with….

Beyond good and evil

Eastern Tao

But this is beyond the limits of lang

LANGUAGE

SEX

MORALS

SUMMATION:

At the core of the shared (sacred. Def?) transcendental/ sexual b/t two people is an intimate set of shared sign and symbol, represented by a near private set or word and sound, an inner language…..

From this arises a bond between two

Berry’s standing by words

The seed of community

No one sees the exactly what I see, but they are looking in the right direction


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DECEMBER






25 - Xmas