You don’t own the magic (and neither do I)

You don’t own the magic, is what I mean to say—all your craft, all your carefully studied sentence structures, diction choices, plot diagrams—with all that, you can’t make someone be immersed in your story (in your poem, in your philosophy.)

What are the laws of good speaking, the laws of good writing? What can I do to guarantee fame, fortune, or critical acclaim? What words must I learn? What are the new narrative modes? Should I be brief or verbose, simple or complex? Should I tell stories like Wallace or Pynchon?—filling thousand page volumes with stream-of-consciousness prose; or, rather, like Hemingway?—easy on the reader: short, profound, and to the point? Should I write my poems like Shakespeare or Milton?—mimicking the great founders of the western canon. Perhaps Wilde? Or, rather, should I write like Rupi Kaur or Keaton Henson?—poeticizing the everyday in the language of the everyday. These writers who have gained audiences, some for all time and some for a mere generation, what was their secret? How did they find the formula of success? (Spoiler: there isn’t one.)

In a world of critics, what place has art? Who can you fool with rhetoric, when the whole world already knows rhetoric? How do we get someone to suspend their disbelief, their knowledge of our construct? How can we but to ask them to do so?

All art forms, including writing, wish they were autonomous, wish that they could ensure their affects as do physical forms of practice ensure their effects, but they cannot. You ask. You receive an answer—that is all.

We hate those with no artifice who ask and get a positive response because they dared to be simple, invest their simplicity with imagination—and for all our craft, none would do the same for our complexity. We felt that we deserved acclaim, felt that we deserved—based on our product—an audience for it.

“I am entitled to your imagination! Do you see how I have labored for novelty? Suffered for complexity? Mined for insight?”

No one is entitled to imagination, to investment, to an audience.  When you realize this, when you realize that nothing you do can guarantee arts’ success—and you still wish to be an artist—then you will be one, truly. Your imagination is yours to spend. Your creation is yours to love. As for others? All you can do is ask.

I had written a story, one I was quite enamoured with, and a few others, upon reading it, were equally enthusiastic. I felt then, for those few moments, like a “real writer”; upon the validation of others, I could see in my work something beyond the words, beyond the artifice—I saw through it into something imagined.  I felt I had achieved something, reached some milestone wherein others would now recognize the fruits of my labors, support my endeavors, and see no folly in my aspirations. But, upon further editing, I fell back into the role of a critic—seeing poor word choice, construction errors, over pretentious concepts etc. My imagination had disinvested the story, and so I saw only the form which was supposed to evoke, lifeless and ineffectual before the scalpel of my reason. To improve craft, it is no doubt necessary to switch into the mode of the critic, to see your own writing how your worst reader would see it. (By worst, I mean most critical to the point of bad faith—willfully trying to stay above the content to scrutinize the form.)  But, if we become trapped in the role of ‘writer’, if we cannot see our own work in the eyes of our best readers—those in good faith, who want to invest, want to be swept away—how can we hope to survive as ‘artists’ in a world of critics? How can our craft survive even our own criticism if it is deprived of our own love?



A single point: around it or only it?

While I am, by any standards, a horrible musician, I do find the practice of music valuable for insights into how my brain works, how my thoughts feed into the efficiency of my movements. The concept of a groove is pertinent here: what is a groove? I have come to think that it is the set of virtual possibilities that you carry within your body while playing a song. A rhythm, a particular rhythm—3/4, 4/4, 6/8 etc.—is ran through like a sequence wherein your possibilities are determined by your place in the sequence; it is a construction you live! At beat one in a bar of four four timing, my possibilities are thus: one whole note, 8 eighth notes, 16 sixteenth notes, 12 triplets etc. When I am on the second beat, granting I didn’t choose a possibility on the first beat which I am sustaining in the second, my possibilities are altered: 6 eighth notes etc.

But, what is the best way to build a groove, build a virtual sequence which you live through the vector of time? This my greatest struggle—but by no means only struggle—with music: this creation of a groove and the sustenance thereof. I have tried multiple methods—the foot tap for base beats arm and arm movement to ensure the consistency of the smaller notes, literal dancing so as to carry the rhythm in my whole body (which becomes exhausting quickly), metronomes of various complexity to hold the groove externally etc., and all of these work for a time—works for a time to hold time, hehe—but, eventually, I fall into a distracting thought which shatters the spell of the groove, which sloves off my virtual projection towards the future. Keeping my mind single pointedly in the groove, without branching off into a reflection which steals the dimension of time from my music, this is my greatest struggle.

Is this best solved by making a sort of spiritual practice of music—a buddhist meditation towards no mind (and, in this case, all groove)? I have tried this, have tried to shut down my drifting reflection so as to keep time strictly for the groove, but this method does not seem to work for me over long stretches of time. The repression of reflective thought takes more mental energy than I can spend and, at the same time, play music. While perhaps it is a matter of building mental muscle overtime—in which case, the only thing to do is practice—I think I may be better served by seeking out another method of playing music. How do I make my reflection strengthen the groove rather than destroy it?

Perhaps, if I reflect on something which I associate with the sound, then I will be able to stay within it—this is the idea I have come up with today. I have often heard people describe what various classical pieces evoke in them—the images, the flights of fancy—and perhaps acquiring such anchors, visual and conceptual accompaniments, to various grooves (or songs, or keys) would be just the thing to keep my wandering mind immersed in it. This makes sense, to me, from a theoretical perspective—sound is only one dimension that sustains itself through time. All the other functions of the mind continue on, even when you aren’t focused on them—visual, conceptual etc.—so bringing them in on the groove, having them dream in tandem with that groove, seems intuitive. Transcendental meditation, the mantra of a whole being to the the rhythm of music, rather than the Zazen shutting out of all mental functions—this seems like it could be within my ability.

A groove—one must evoke it in oneself, create for it a body that it might live against the encroaching chaos of the virtual environment—the mind—it finds itself in.

Lips blue from freezing rain, an icy deluge which pools at the end of rivulets and erodes holes in my cheeks—another storm of passion survived, another labyrinth escaped—I, a deadman, now know the name of peace:asilentinfinity.png


      In whisperswinding.pngto a heat death, in the beauty of a bluegod—a god whose realm is The Tundra of  “Forgotten”— hear the profound silence of a noisy universe emptied, that universe I am, the sound of the “has been” which is silence and which is presence in absence, that implied viod—the rush of cessation.

Negativity: A short thought

There is a certain malcontent that springs from, not a lack of positivity — as is the popularly acclaimed source of all affective ails — but from a lack of meaningful negativity. When the negative impulse to destroy or change a state of affairs is constantly blocked, one begins to feel powerless and only has recourse to ‘positivity’, which, in the sense it is commonly used, means nothing other than a positive regard towards one’s enforced passivity. A tree, for this example imbued with agency, would still perish — no matter how ardent it’s will to grow, ie it’s positivity — if it let a vine smother its access to sunlight, if it had no recourse to negativity. (which in reality it doesn’t, but… a poor example.)

Madness and Science: short thought

The scientist sees love and spouts some nonsense about increased oxytocin levels and pheromones, recognizing the chemical phenomena that corresponds to the emotional phenomena.
The madman sees love and spouts some nonsense about the merging of souls under the sacred matrix of ‘THE ALL’, sees it as proof of our interconnected oneness in the universe.
Both of these pictures, while perhaps reductive (or inaccurate) and incomplete, recognize valuable things and are valuable perspectives about and on the phenomena of love — one is emphasizing the biology necessary to the experience while the other recognizes the poetry, the true untruth, that is necessary to it.
Madmen (poets) and Scientists are both specialists in a field of knowledge and both bring valuable insights to the common human experience. Revoking either the poetic construct or the scientific construct is a sad decimation of dimension within experience.

“Put it into your own words”– A short Musing

The whole “put it into your own words” thing that gets taught in schools ‘nowadays’ is utterly horrible as a practice. Teaching kids to store an ever growing chain of associations for complex concepts and terms short-circuits the primary symbolic operation wherein one apprehends words in things — or “sensible intuitions”, going by Kant — and concepts in perceived patterns; ie. don’t teach translation but rather recreation!
(Obviously if you’re talking about meta-lingual concepts, concepts about language or words or things said, the direct perception of that concept is going to be in the milieu of ‘linguistic experience’ and hence worded.)
I’ve found in my own experience that to learn a word I must have a primary experience of that to which it refers, either as a phantasm (a purely imaginative intuition of its object) or an actual acquaintance with its area of reference within the domain of phenomena (acquiring those ‘imaginative intuitions’ via sensible intuitions). But, just learning a string of equivalent words is not sufficient for understanding — that string of words must by synthesized in a totalizing act of the imagination whereby those words becoming partial phantasms and are then formed into an indisoluble whole, become an object for direct experience. When I think of a lower level term such as, say, ‘red’, I have a direct experience of an imaginative intuition of red, but when I think of ‘the law of supply and demand’, no such intuition arises — but, and here is my point, such a direct intuition can be created! One can have a direct experience of a concept via the imagination, and such a direct experience is requisite for mastery and efficient utilization of any term. (A concept is phantasmic in nature — is a synthetic whole which supersedes its referent words, is necessarily more than its definition. There would be no concepts if those words contained in its definition didn’t annihilate themselves in a unity.) 

V. 1

Praise  Lord Silence  in this  Vastness;
See Isolation  and press your face into its murky furs!

Condemned to Death,
A man refuses water in the desert —
He has long since realized the folly of prolongation.

Coal, To burn or crystalize?
The question I ask of my black Soul —
A question akin to                   “stay warm or shine?”    Yay, Live on or Die?

Exalt your  Lack  in longing for  The Other ;
Feel the breath of  The Edge
Dip your eyes in that most  Velvet Void !