a night (to arthur rimbaud)

arthur rimbaud wine poem

I have dreamt of
all the empty drying hairs
of the hanging towel

and then
sat by the gloom
resting on the every sip
of an infinite bubble of beer

whatever was foreign
came inside like pain
we then embraced
as wings made of feathers

the sun has sunk into structure
like an invisible tunnel
coiling around the sound
that a pair of lips dropped

and there is the mystery
of the tint at the edge of wide
nature softening like warm snow
at the shore of a blue eye

suddenly the windows
open like a mouth
and the smell of memory
leaves the room
like rustling from the hearth

there by the color
that was so wide as morning
an absurd hand fell
perturbing the surface
of black immensity

that earth consumes motion
adopted pale mirrors of battles
so it shines like a monument
of groans and poetry

a parcel of blood
has trembled
an ocean of thought
has become short as grass

somehow light
escaped as a carefree crystal
by evening a kiss
has woven a vowel of skin

there
the glaciers of feelings
have a glow and a vision
nearly as beautiful as a face

awake
by the rivers of factories
a century of quantity
because the comedy
transcends the dome

cities, reasons, gulfs
clusters sojourning
in the young greenery
of the storm

soon the saint
will hunt a harmony
the criminal
a wooden blue

I have a sin
a confession as hard as tooth
the shoulders carry
the burden of meaning

an immediate august tear
as calm as knowledge
sunburnt women
naked as cherry trees

somehow we sleep
the branches at an angle
mixing with the mute heroism
of a dancing future

all is ending
when all history is drifting
a virgin parabola
turns into gold

be what it is
the night of god
a tree of nothing
all imageless damage

heaven obscured the woman
that laughed in my hidden eternity
the drunken driftwood
has floated into seasons

when the wall is wet
and the sky feels like a bed
a nostril or a breast of love
our struggle ends in a shadow

Art in the 21st century

“Despite all its powers, society cannot sustain the artist if
it is impervious to the vision of the artist.” – Henry Miller

What is art today? More precisely, what does art convey? Art has become an adornment, mere embellishment to our mechanical society. It is what you hang behind an office desk, in the hallway of a bank, in the solitary confines of a museum. It is what is read while we travel between two points, what is listened to while we drive to work, what we assist to in moments of laziness and passive submission to entertainment. It is that which is viewed askance, situated in the periphery, unobtrusive to the real function of society: business.

Art is no longer an expression of a deeper vision of reality; and if it is, we, at least, no longer perceive it as such. It is aesthetic, no doubt. But it is not beautiful enough to secure a prominent role in our routines. As far as we are concerned, it is pastime, an elegant but inferior activity in life. It conveys no truth or doubt to the spectator. Life is predetermined and already decided; art is solely an amusement, even if it constantly fights against modern life. It exists as a hallucination, a sort of intoxication that can easily be dismissed as unreal and irrelevant. The serious business of life cannot be questioned; it has no room for the artist and his or her artwork that challenges the unconsciousness of its drives.

And yet some artists do become idols in this culture and their art known universally, but is their artwork studied as profoundly as we study engineering or business administration? The artists’ message, their restructuring of our understanding of reality, their incessant re-questioning of our basic assumptions, remain quite below the general level of public attention. We all recognize the dripping clock of Dali or the visual massacre of the Guernica, some will recognize the dreamy seascape of La Mer or the cavernous sorrow of the Adagio for Strings, the name of Humbert Humbert or Harry Hope may be familiar to a few, a minority will recall The Waste Land or a Season in Hell; but what is noteworthy here is that recognizing these works of art by their name is no sign that we have delved in them and studied them profoundly. We care only superficially of what they imply, what the message is all about. There is no understanding that an artist is a transformation of the human being and is attempting a redefinition of what is to be alive in a mysterious universe. We assume art as a gift to culture by one and the same kind of individual that already lives in that culture.

Art has now been banalized, it has become a career and today there are flocks of artists that operate as businesses, as factories manufacturing objects to be bought and superficially enjoyed. The true artist is rare these days, he or she is muted and oppressed by this contradiction. How to bring forth a genuine work of art in this spurious world that is driven by money? The voice of art is being drowned by the roar of commerce and trivial entertainment. Society has absorbed art; and the artist has docilely submitted to his or her new harrowing role of ornamentalist. The commandments of art are now thus: you shall entertain, you shall impress, you shall produce the beautiful, you shall be famous, but under no circumstance should you dishonor your loving parent: society. Society does not want individuals to think and act differently, to produce controversies that may outstrip the authority of the status quo. Art may produce change insofar as it remains within the parameters of the socially digestible.

The artist is no longer an artist. He or she has forgotten that divine calling of making of life an experiment. The artist must suffer eternally, must wrestle with the incongruities and absurdities of living and dying, must explore the unknown realm of the spirit and  (in the words of Rimbaud)become a seer. The work produced thereafter will be only an inkling, an announcement of vaster realms accessible to all, it is an opening at the roof of an abyss for those who dare plunge into it. The experiential adventure of consciousness is now going extinct, there are few enthusiasts left. It is a form of wisdom that society ignores and lumps together under the heading “esoteric mumbo-jumbo”, or more spitefully, “madness”. (Hasn’t history shown that many great artists were deemed mad in their time, only later to be proclaimed visionaries?). And yet this wisdom is no particular statement or philosophy; it is an active engagement with the mystery of creation, what once was the domain of the artist and religious fervent. Today art as well as religion is downplayed as historical curiosity, still operating as long as they leave intact, and even follow, the new order created by the God of modern civilization: money.

my education

Books and education, poetry

By government of limbs
empty networks of rules
my lost skull
finding fragments of hope
in books and lasting gulps

I remember the bishop
Berkeley, first time I read
his lucid portrayal of idealism
I saw myself as pigment
in god’s mind

there was Rimbaud
the seer
a daemon of callous dreams
beckoning the loving beasts
of my heart to get drunk
and fornicate with the chaos
outside

vagueness is ubiquitous
when Cioran excommunicated
truth from reality
I leapt from definition to obscurity
like a child in mud fields
turning invisible by the camouflage of
dirt

alea jacta est
poetry was born
playthings of appearances
and the images started to gather
like a book of things that never
existed behind the universe

there was still coffee – regret –
futility and then Pessoa opened up the only truth
I ever believed in, he unwrapped it with casual
numbness, as mechanically as you take off a shoe:
life is a superfluous waiting for death
with no definite aim it definitely kills us
and whatever we say or don’t say
will never change a thing

so I write
in the penumbra of absurdity
as divertissement between sleeps,
all the same
in the involuntary currents of nothingness
drunk with the illusion of sensation,
I feign a soul
in laughter and despair
because of that obscene longing
of being
poet & chasm.

21st century Poetry

the blurry horizon is infinity itself

 

 

If we become survivors
the elect few
to renew the significance
of toil and dream,
if we are the last
two Rimbauds in lands
of shadow and cave,
what message will be engraved
in the red clay of poetry,
will we bring the knife close to earth
carving steep heavens in the surface of rock?

 

 

Nihilistic Poetry