Thursday, June 21, 2018

Clayton Eshleman, Orphic Ontologies II, excerpt from Pollen Aria

Orphic Ontologies II
excerpt from Pollen Aria


The essence of human power:
access to the cosmos from the heavens down to
earth & into the Cro-Magnon underworld

Charles Olson on Wallace Stevens. to Creeley, May 5, 1952: “For the lie in Stevens, however much the pleasure in the play of words, is his language, that, it is without rhythm because it is without passion which is person (not personae, that further divide against mass).”

To Creeley, May 6, 1952: “We both had a sudden excitement, just now talking, when it turns out (it was that fucking Stevens who had provoked it by some line about poetry to undo dirt) O that dirty Crispin of his—dirtier than Prufrock): those who keep themselves away from life (again protecting a—the—pudenda) that Con said
                                             I don’t feel any dirt
                                                                                    And Christ I loved her, for, there ain’t none, and those who have it, who have this thing of original sin hung around their cocks like a  dead albatross, are of another tribe, a tribe of sin not at all of the  tribe of men
                                                                                                         And it struck us both just then what what makes communication with you so open is, that you have none of this shit in you: you are free of that.”

In the beginning was drawing, line on stone or bone,
consciousness united with its own perceptions: womb of the creative!
A totally metaphoric world, no difference between subject & object.
Dream holes: anywhere but nowhere in particular.

James Hillman: “The most distressing images in dreams and fantasies, those we shy from for their disgusting distortion and perversion, are precisely the ones that break the allegorical frame of what we think we know about this person or that, this trait of ourselves or that. The ‘worst’ images are thus the best, for these are the ones that restore a figure to its pristine power as a numinous person at work in the soul.”

Think of this page as a phare on night’s alabaster dives & cornucopian emptiness, cross-wired to the ochre of farraginous dreams.

One’s place is an expanding lesion in ancestral fog. Ultimately I am, sitting here, a ghost figure crouched before a cave wall 20,000 years ago.

Pregnant abyss of the enigma of male birthing. Non-existent gestation—egg fertile only with the 
maggot of self.

Is our war on animals a planetary cannibalization brought about by self eating self to reach non-existence in a masque performed by hydrogen mountains & sulfur assassins?

The salmagundi of “now” & “forever” is the crucible that contains the frailty of eternity.

James Hillman: “Images are the compelling source of morality and religion as well as the conscientiousness of art.”  Show this to Gary Snyder [See the Winter 1996 Paris Review Snyder Interview].

The writhing of precision as it meets time.

Perception is the handmaiden of imagination.

Cornucopia of the sunshine forest with its anteater molecules,
a Reich bion lurking in each word
whose apogee is cratered with emptied hives.

Sun as a circumference concentrate.

It is not enough to represent, to re-
present, the present as leftovers.
Warmed up past is forever at our heels.

The analphabetic, orthochromatic, anti-nature of the mind when freed of cauliflower containment.

Alive to the dead end in every observational move.

At the corner of Bukowski & Ashbery a groin helmeted with bridal choirs.

Fingering the pluck of plumeless existence ripe with skinned heads.

A Mayan anaconda coils below Arcadia’s latent still.

A stratigraphic sequence reveals its ember-work, its furnace forum always underway. It rests in a floral nest, a leaden, still hissing egg.

James Hillman: “We have to tie terrorism to its roots in our religious consciousness. A terrorist is the product of our education that says that fantasy is not real, that says aesthetics is just for artists, that says soul is only for priests, imagination is trivial or dangerous and for crazies, and that reality, what we must adapt to, is the external world and that world is dead. A terrorist is a result of this whole long process of wiping out the psyche.”

The greatest insult is to be pressed to
the backside of a word, whose lobes are in contact with
what the word is said to signify—a folly,
worse the gull that engenders self-hate
(is it any wonder, then,
that people back their cradles up to their coffins
to dump in life unlived?)

To revivify my mummy, not my mommy,
but my puppet, my eidolon where Crane is
a mass of strings in cross-pull to themselves.
Cross-pull or crucifixion strut,
nail-holed Hart as the mage of my abyss,
as old as Dionysus but not as old as Lascaux…

Being alone is real. The I spoken here is not Clayton
but Being reflected by Clayton’s non-existence-to-be.

The ego which absorbs all like a sponge & then is dissolved in the Void of the Abyss.

“It is when we have made this leap or jump across the Abyss—and only then—that we
know that we are not… At that moment we realize that we are void, that void is
subjectivity, and that subjectivity is us—not us as individual selves but us as all sentient
beings, not as any sort of sentient being but as sentient being as such. That is the negative
way… that is why we must know that we are not in order that we may understand in what
manner we can be.” (Wei Wu commenting on Han Shan’s words).

Poussin’s satyr-scape is no more.
The anointing of the dead Adonis. No more.
Pan’s shadow as leafy quilts. Psychic clouds boiling westward. No more.
Blind Orion searching for the risen sun. No more.




—Clayton Eshleman


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