Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vector: Lear and Jan Kott

Working through The Eating of the Gods by Jan Kott.

Also, working through King Lear, reading along with the Peter Brooks and Trevor Nunn productions.

Researching on Wikipedia:

The only two significant big-screen performances of Shakespeare's text date from the early 1970s: Grigori Kozintsev was working on his Korol Lir at the same time as Peter Brook was filming his King Lear. Brook's film starkly divided the critics: Pauline Kael said "I didn't just dislike this production, I hated it!" and suggested the alternative title "Night of the Living Dead". Yet Robert Hatch in The Nation thought it as "excellent a filming of the play as one can expect" and Vincent Canby in The New York Times called it "an exalting Lear, full of exquisite terror". The film drew heavily on the ideas of Jan Kott, in particular his observation that King Lear was the precursor of absurdist theatre: in particular, the film has parallels with Beckett's Endgame. Critics who dislike the film particularly draw attention to its bleak nature from its opening: complaining that the world of the play does not deteriorate with Lear's suffering, but commences dark, colourless and wintry, leaving (in Douglas Brode's words) "Lear, the land, and us with nowhere to go". Cruelty pervades the film, which does not distinguish between the violence of ostensibly good and evil characters, presenting both savagely. Paul Scofield, as Lear, eschews sentimentality: this demanding old man with a coterie of unruly knights provokes audience sympathy for the daughters in the early scenes, and his presentation explicitly rejects the tradition (as Daniel Rosenthal describes it) of playing Lear as "poor old white-haired patriarch".

Vectors: Finnegan's Wake and Hieronymous Bosch

Joyce | McLuhan | Bosch

Perhaps it is in the nature of the Wake itself, that to think of it is to realize it is everywhere. Searching for Campbell and Morton's Skeleton Key at Henderson's, pausing over Burgess' Re Joyce. No Skeleton Key. Purchasing McLuhan's Medium is the Massage and War and Peace in the Global Village. Scanning through War and Peace, noticing the annotations from FW. It can only be the Wake. It is.

French rĂªver: to dream
riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.
Discussions of the zoetrope brought the discovery of Mat Collishaw's Garden of Unearthly Delights. Since then, several references to Bosch's masterwork.

This from War and Peace in the Global Village:

When print was new in the sixteenth century, Hieronymous Bosch painted the new confusion of spaces resulting from the Guttenberg technology invasion of the old tactile world of medieval iconography. His "horror" pictures are faithful are a faithful artistic report of the pain and misery that result from a new technology. 

A sense of the everything being underwater

practice of remembering dreams
waking up
developing mnemonics
returning to sleep and more dreams

a return to the room at east 53rd
with more windows
working out an elaborate payment plan
with sam
blinds pulled down
shadows of tree limbs
like puppet theater
upon the shades / blinds
watching old movies
in the room
sam spraying bug repellent
on all the surfaces
of his kitchen
trying to kill
tiny green lizards
a sense of the everything
being underwater

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Preparing to play their roles

in a parking lot
trying to start a motorcycle
wearing tight green shorts
a group of women
smiling at my legs
saying they were sexy
then with an old girlfriend
she is procrastinating
starting her motorcycle
I get mine going and drive off
frustrated and free

in the tour guide's house
communal living
dorm type situation
all of us waiting
to either go on stage
go to battle
get into college
preparations being made
shelves with copies of Penguin classics
faced out and feathered with bookmarks
the tour guide putting on make-up
a lot of women in the house
I am on the verge of uncovering
a government conspiracy
but can't find a shirt to wear
or glasses
the cia took everyone's glasses
find a pair of optical underwater goggles
hanging on a barbed wire fence
still looking for a shirt
now there is a wedding to attend
we are on the east coast
everyone has already left for the west coast
a meeting at yosemite
part of the cover-up
secret meetings at national parks
running around the house
with no shirt on
mostly women everywhere
everyone getting ready
to do something
preparing to play their roles
backstage at a high school drama

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The bridge becomes a ruined water wheel

leading a herd of cows
over a river
following a guide
I do not trust
we come to a bridge
broken down
rope with wood slats
I am trying
to get one poor cow
to finally cross over
in the middle
the bridge becomes a ruined water wheel
the cow sort of plops down
over it painfully
it slowly turns
to drop him
on the other side
I walk down to the river
sidestepping the waterwheel
there is a hobble horse there
who has been spooked
by the cattle
I untie his fetters
and feel
such a sense'
of love and relief

as I lay on the pallet / bed
I have made for myself
on the floor of my parents home
I think about a knife in the spine
then a knife in the heart
causing excruciating pain
however, because of how it is placed
to remove it
would kill me

Monday, December 24, 2012

Some gods are all guilty

difficult to wake up this morning
awoke several time in the night
head full of dreams
only to fall back
into the narcotic arms of sleep

perhaps I should have awakened
the first time
perhaps I slept too much

a sense of the gentle, insistent pressure
of the mind parasites
to relax, to sleep, to dream another dream
to not get up
to write it down
to just accept
life as it is

the voice of the adversary
whispering like a lover in my ear:

go back to sleep...
language working like a drug
hypnotic spells
words weaving worlds
my head heavy and foggy
thoughts moving glacially
through thick atmosphere
of the unconscious

stumbling towards an antidote

reading the Greeks
the high noon sunlight
of the culture
to burn away the dross
the broken marble column
the ghost of blood and madness
in the hills above Corinth

Jan Kott
The Eating of the Gods:
"Oh to be a stone!"

... Who killed these boys?

You and your bow and some gods are all guilty.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My face is nailed to my skull

The production of dreams
is without end
each one combining elements of the previous
melodies layering over each other
in intricate fugue patterns
creating astonishing meanings
with shimmering dimensionality
and breathtaking depth

The memory of dreams
at the moment of awakening
a chorus of characters
from every drama
all gathered on stage
to take the final bow
all still in costume
each waving to me
the lost love
the treacherous friend
the kind mother
the laughing teacher
the ghost of the father

I turn away from them
with such reluctance
I will never forget
what you have shown me tonight
each and every one of you
masterful life changing scenes
of myth and magic

I open my eyes
to an empty room
conscious memory
like a bright light
destroying the subtlety
ruining the shade
the perfect evening moments
the reading by moonlight
the ecstasy in the soft blue morning
burned away
in the harsh sudden light of consciousness

my name clangs like a bell within me
my face is nailed to my skull
the room is revealed
as real as a grey brick

I try to hold on
recover some sigil, symbol, token
of the vast epic
that unfolded within me
throughout the night
and have only a single scene:

a drab waiting room
filled with the sick and the the bored
nothing to read
no images on the walls
at one end
a frosted window
behind which a shadowy figure
calls out names
in a tired voice

i only know that
each name
is another aspect
of myself

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Searching for what has been recently lost

Searching for what has been recently lost
neighborhood scenarios
with futuristic, high tech elements
I am in the role of a spy
using remote control cameras
to search through maps
trying to determine
which side of the highway
her house is located
she is confused
I am not sure
but I make a decision
with confidence
older men
cartel drug lords
are hiding something from me
send out their henchmen
I am taken back to a hotel
where one of them
inadvertently tells me her room number

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dreams by a flickering light

psychic vampires
children and old men
dreams by a flickering light
contained within the circle
of the zoetrope

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I can tell it has a crush on me

the house on Princess
in Dallas
i am coaching football
the neighbor next door
has a dinosaur for a pet
in disguise
tells people it is a great dane
found it when it was a baby
it is kind of a serpent / brachiosaurus
has the ability to change its size
from huge to small
I am in the backyard
looking at the pool
which has been drained
by one of my mother's best friends
in an attempt to fix it
but I believe it is making it worse
not the sides of the pool are falling apart
I walk around the dismantled fence
the neighbor is out on the side yard
which is now water
I see a huge swell
and the dinosaur
leaps out to see me
I laugh and greet it
I can tell it has a crush on me
wow, the neighbor says, she really likes you
she follows me to the front
trying to flirt with me
i tell the neighbor that she hasn't been imprinted
that she needs direction
someone to show her
how to do the things dinosaurs do
then I head inside the house
and get ready to go to a party before the game

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It no longer has any purpose

hanging out with a group of college kids
back to a dorm room
dancing and drinking
wearing a suit that was made fun of
everyone pairing off to have sex
not being able to join any of them
standing with the suit, unzipped
with an erection
everyone is looking at it
one guy punches it humorously
another photographs it
creates a 3D homunculus
in a jar
for a presentation
all of us passing out
trying to get back before a certain time
dream shift

a large city
Dallas, Chicago
a modern circus, exploratorium
there with a companion, AB
outside, under freeway overpasses
high tech
like a mall store
crowds of people
kids petting crocodiles teeth
she pulls away from me
I get irritated
watch a bivalve exhibit
tube fish and clams with shells opening
extending and withdrawing in murky waters
odd spider like creatures and cleaning devices
turn to next exhibit
look for the companion
she was dressed like Jacqueline Kennedy
from JFK assassination
believe I have lost her
kids are petting a giant serpent
hissing out air
its jaws bound with leather
up and incline
a man is throwing baseballs at a giant
still irritated, I walk to an intersection
more displays, shopping areas
oddly vacant
walk to an abandoned factory
find the companion
talk about our relationship
ask her if she wants to have a birthday party here
give her a tube fish in a plastic cup
it keeps rhythmically extending long feelers
then withdrawing
she seems excited, but then underwhelmed
consider just throwing the tube fish away
it no longer has any purpose

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Two Bells Ringing

Reading The Bookman's Promise by John Dunning.
Pick up NYT Guide to Essential Knowledge, randomly reading.
Pause at the grammar in back.
Read the entry about modification to the word "unique."
To never modify unique.
How many months since I have looked at this book?
Moments later back to The Bookman's Promise.
There is a passage concerning modifications to unique.

The book concerns Sir Richard Burton.
Burundi coffee just came into the shop.
A map indicating it is the source of the Nile
The Search for the sources of the Nile.
The Mountains of the Moon.
Richard Burton was born on March 19th.

While the Monks were singing...

a box found, discovered, opened
a present, a recurring past
walking from the spillway at Gunstream
back towards the cabins, the boathouse
with a group of people, old friends, strangers
the sea levels falling
going back in time
a bridge now descending with the falling waters
a path into the middle of the lake
an island that wasn't there before
a house, a series of buildings
childhood homes and laboratories
something had been opened
a box found, a present
triggering a reaction with the past/ present
bubbling green ooze
the transformation of colors to bright orange
and then black
painting a wall, trying to clean up / hide
trying to dispose of the fluid
something feminine in it
the substance of Eros,
overflowing an urn
I am trying no to let it drip
taking it into the bathroom
contamination the water supply as it drips into the toilet
out in the street
the world is like a carnival
everyone possessed by the possibilities of the extraordinary
old friends from the bookstore walking on their hand in high places
I am not yet infected
or am utterly
the wisdom of women I have loved telling me so
the sense of reality unraveling
waking from the dream

in bed
the story Han Chao Pass comes to mind
the gatekeeper
my grandfather taking me there as a child
seeing the Gate, the Wall
the Stories carved into it
what is beyond?
the Abyss

taking a drug that enables you to recreate reality
myself and another take it at the same time
two realities
everything in the power of the imagination
planets, galaxies, stars
universe, universes
and then the suffocating black emptiness of the Abyss
the failure of imagination
trying to remember if I am still holding the other's hand
vestiges of the reality before the drug
fading, now suspect

I pick up
In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje
"I let a filthy mat of hair grow over my body,
 and donned the skin of a lion and roamed the wilderness."
opened at random
a man walking along hearing street musicians
beside a bridge
knowing he has only to hum to become a part
remembering when I was younger
my first experience of harmony
in a musical kindergarden
singing, I've been working on the railroad
flash to the motor of a music box
given to me years ago in an xmas stocking
just a couple of weeks ago
thinking of giving it as a present to someone else
turning the handle
trying to remember the tune
I've been working on the railroad
not knowing why, but deciding to keep it

remembering this
and the Gate and Han Chou Pass
and the first time I experienced Grace
at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert
while the monks were singing...