Compared to Daniel Pinchbeck or Terrence McKenna, this doctor has a rather dry tone and I found the book too boring to read entirely through. That sai...moreCompared to Daniel Pinchbeck or Terrence McKenna, this doctor has a rather dry tone and I found the book too boring to read entirely through. That said perhaps the two aforementioned authors spoiled me. It's this author's "rational" "scientific" tone that degrades the quality of it for me, comparing consciousness to a TV is an awful metaphor as well and he pretty much immediately jumps to his conclusions, and they're interesting enough but seemingly don't fully deconstruct and elaborate, always sitting in the clinical experience of participants realm(less)
Started out strong for me and then fell to pieces: I looked up to the surrealistic dream like quality of into the night life... Section, and then such...moreStarted out strong for me and then fell to pieces: I looked up to the surrealistic dream like quality of into the night life... Section, and then such disgusting scenes as the beaten woman's wounds smeared with mustard, the repetitive listing, and the madcap mutterings did not speak with as much force and alacrity as tropic of cancer. I have a feeling I won't find another Miller book to match that first incinderary one I read. I agree with the hollow treachery of civilization, the endless bs as well, and I can appreciate a metaphysical tightrope walk of the mind, but Black Spring feels recycled, used, not of this time, like he was just spilling it down without that first rush of invention. Perhaps Tropic of Capricorn will prove better. But for now this Miller book remains deflating to me, not uplifting, victimhooding, lautreamont esque grotesque with no meaning for it, and a dissidence dissolving in nihilism rather than vision, obviously not enough enthusiasm either to keep a balance to the hate, that hatred of ennui, that longing to know a world brighter than its viscous contents, its deceptions in a smile, its parasitic victories, the lack of work that does one another well, so at very least should our writing not do the world well at least over the halfway mark. This is a new time, doom and apathy still abound, but so does the utopian wish more than ever (less)
Lushly wrote, gives a worldview's eye into sensuality versus asceticism, I chose the sensuous and imagination over the cloister, perhaps wayfaring can...moreLushly wrote, gives a worldview's eye into sensuality versus asceticism, I chose the sensuous and imagination over the cloister, perhaps wayfaring cannot be done in such a way nowaday, perhaps it can, but undeniably drifting homelessness has its suffering and its pleasure just as settled life(less)
The most interesting thing to me about a fashion obsessed photoshoot around the world's cities, mostly all first world countries, is the similarity of...moreThe most interesting thing to me about a fashion obsessed photoshoot around the world's cities, mostly all first world countries, is the similarity of fashion, and the desire for this mating dance of style, this supposed synthesized essence of individuality imbued in dress, in our dress. It's baffling, the global obsession with it, it all seems to be bourgeoise to me, money obsession as well as style, but who knows what type of substance could be there: the substance of opulence? The substance of branding yourself outside of brand or deeply entrenched in the brand's trance? The substance of sexual attraction and play and is it Dionysian or merely glamour's hollow competitiveness and vacuous self destruction? Is it all culture representation or the cult of fashion? It's fashion-nating, mating, and perhaps I fashion-hate with no shame, the obsession of beauty and status is so silently tyrannical is it not? Just capitalist wish fulfillment? Should we all be dressed in the same clothes and made specific uniforms--no. Should we attempt to outbetter each other--no. Should we imbue "ourselves" in our fashion--ah but how trapped that is, uniform of a counterculture countered or cultured by the mainstream, even if defiant, and always cultish everywhere, the cult of the mainstream the longest drone, blowing up fashion blogs with spent desires whipped by insecurity and taunting, who will be fucking who after they've registered each other's fashions, is it all the seeking of money, mate, and materialist religion, what is immaterial of expensive mods on "ourselves", our "personas", whoever has the most toys, status, and power, and/or fashion at the end wins, what is the prize: individuality professed from the first "unique" style, or a wretched conformity that misuses all hierarchal arrogance which comes to lay on us in all spiritual malaise when our bubbles are popped and we go splat on that thing called substance and our meaning of it as a species and our delusion to style.(less)
Enter Chapel Perilous, like Grant Morrison did in the making of The Invisibles, as did Daniel Pinchbeck in his explorations of psychedelics, in line w...moreEnter Chapel Perilous, like Grant Morrison did in the making of The Invisibles, as did Daniel Pinchbeck in his explorations of psychedelics, in line with Leary, Watts, and the counterculture psychonauts, all is open to potentia, there are many models in our many modeled reality, to be open to them all, is to let in a lot, and the element that never ends is change, all immaterial phenomena exist, whether they may be seen as supernatural, or spiritual, the spiritual science Wilson purposes is one open to quantum possibility as much as magick, occult theory, and alternate history, what's the right answer, where's the right door, too many questions, find the answers personally, for only you and your "I" can enter the doors of the Chapel Perilous, remember your sword of reason, less you lose your mind, but do not only bring your reason, without a cup of sympathy for you may lose your heart, even stranger if you forget your wand of intuition you may be standing at the door for ages without realizing, and without the pentacle of valor you may dissolve into simple paranoia, whereas we/you/I are looking for the more spectacular paranoia, the synchro-mesh on our reality-tunnels traveling through some intangiblity we've forgot how our senses we're functioning and when we hit the higher circuts, oh how sublime and odd existence seems, we certainly always have something stranger and intriguing to uncover: mystic cups up to us!(less)
This is the best piece of literary analysis I've read so far, that said I haven't read a whole lot, because unlike this book, they bore me. This burst...moreThis is the best piece of literary analysis I've read so far, that said I haven't read a whole lot, because unlike this book, they bore me. This bursts with venom and truth. I don't take offence to the indictment of writers and their complacency as a writer, because we need that type of bravado nipping at our ass to keep us honest. Less careers and capitalism sucks the worth out of us as human beings. Quotes: Miller is the greatest of all freeloaders. Where you have money, there's no action. The New York Times doesn't want tears from a grown man. It's afraid of tears, terrified out of its living skull of tears. Nor does it want real joy, real despair, real anything. Where all the institutions meet is their utter fear and dismay at emotion. Animal or human, sooner or later they find a way to shoot emotion. But mainly Stettner finds it in The Street, accompanied by the son and the holy ghost of The Incident and The Stranger. Anywhere in the world now, the entire machinery of education, government, and media is devoted to one thing: convincing people that the streets are dangerous and that they should stay home and, by inference, turn over their lives to some polite, sophisticated, crackpot institution (i.e. themselves). Take away the streets and you take away freedom of movement, people's innocence, their right to gaze, create, respond, discover anything new. Everyone pays—sooner or later. One can't receive without giving in return—in one form or another. Especially you—since you're born with a gift, and quite a precious one, too, like a jewel, which sooner or later you'll have to give. Or share, rather, since that's what gifts are for. It's simply your fate: you'll be miserable till you do. Here are some other traits shared by contemporary American poets and YUPPIES: a marvelous ability to reduce human conflict to comfortable, hollow notions; an utter lack of courage when confronting authority; little understanding or curiosity about America's role in world history; a curious deafness of tone; a detachment from their bodies both in person and in their work. The so-called professional poet is so sexless as to raise the question what he's doing on earth at all. In America everything is permitted and nothing taken seriously. In artsy circles it is considered bad manners to get excited about anything. Words themselves have become so inflated as to be little more than time-fillers till we find out who can be useful to our sad, little hustle. There is a feeling that all has been said, yet nothing came of it so it is not a matter of the rage in this article; rage an impotency are reflected in every other face on the street. A handful of people celebrate what there is to celebrate, which is sill considerable—a young woman singing arias in a subway passage while the sultry mob surges around her, grim-faced as usual; a young go-getter in his Gimbel's wash n' wear suit and handsome briefcase raises his index finger to this temple and makes the screwball sign. It is precisely American poets' inability to identify the enemy that makes their poetry so mediocre. The notion of the suffering poet in his garret is little more than a romantic myth perpetuated by art's hucksters. The bourgeoisie love that mythology as long as they don't have to get too close to the messiness of art. Poets have cooperated in recent years by cleaning up their act, by being respectable little citizens as they paraded to the podium, yet hinting that their wares came from untold privation and suffering. Such “artists” have a literary ego but no real ego and anybody with true well-being, any real gusto for life, will by virtue of his mere appearance among them find himself singled out as The Enemy. American books are found throughout the world, not because they are the best that can be offered, or are even good, but because it's a dying Empire's abortive effort to prove that it is, after all, civilized. The Mailer's, Updike's, Bellow's do not challenge the systems which give them their preeminence. They are held up as cultural ideals but their work has no center of feeling or thought and more important, little sense of surprise. Typical of American writing, these esteemed artists muddle in a moral anarchy rather than clarifying it. In interviews they would make us think otherwise but their own writing, for all its dabbling in ideas, finally reinforces the American cultural norm: there are no ideas worth taking seriously. The tradition of fiction and poetry in most of the world, particularly outside Western Europe, has not only cast deep suspicion on the powerful and rich but reveals a consistent interest in the lives of the marginal, the oppressed, the mad, the eccentric, the poor. Except in America. John Kenneth Galbraith's comment about our best writers' attitude toward the rich summarizes fiction but the inferences drawn from it can easily be applied to poets: “In the late 1920s and the years of the great flowering of American fiction there was a major change in the treatment of the rich: they ceased to be socially offensive or economically exploitative and became positively benign. Now it was their problems that attracted attention. Even more amusing in the last twenty years is the obsession of American poets, bordering on a mania, for respectability. Since no one is listening to them, not the government, nor any audience even approaching an intellectual body, nor the literate masses, I find this mania pathetically comic. I can think of no more deluded or sadder group in this country. I think of part of the definition of a poet as someone who feels more deeply and sees more clearly as to be able to show his country how to see more clearly. To do this he would have to rebel at some point against this shut up and sit down dictum. Judging by most of the poetry written, such rebellion has never taken place. They have been busy being “good” little boys and girls. A more honest profession would have been as pimps at 23rd and 10th in New York. But the illusion that they are professionals in “art” persists, and the arts councils and universities aid them in this myopia. The mere fact that the younger American literary generation has come to the schools instead of running away from this is an indication of a soberer and less coltish spirit. (Wallace Stegner) Umberto Eco, touring America this year, compared humanities departments to prisons. They have no relationship with the community. This would be unthinkable in Italy, he said. When you add to this claustrophobia the pettiness and hypocrisy of the American university, is it any surprise that its products have as much relevance to people's struggles as a pound of oleomargarine? The proliferation of the mediocre is not really news. Imitative dullness, cowardliness, modest aspiration, and lack of a real voice have dominated the daily skirmishes of most literary ages. As to why we are offered so much colored dish water that's labeled DRINKABLE, Pablo Neruda says it best: “The bourgeoisie demands a poetry that is more and more isolated from reality. The poet who knows how to call a spade a space is dangerous to capitalism on its last legs.” Capitalism, or Socialism for the Rich, the point is that poems should match the handsome bookcases full of culture which we all know begins with a hush. By its harshness or playfulness, celebration or disdain, a book of poems or stories must not jar the prevailing quiet of the institution that sponsors it. The result is Understatement as a Fetish by Spanky and Our Gang. The quietude is what The New York Times called “the agony and ecstasy at what is generally considered the best author's course in the United States—the Iowa University Writer's Workshop.” “Mr. Merwin has all the equipment of a poet, but for the moment appears to write from habit rather than impulse...” At the University of Pittsburgh Press, a committee of faculty and deans must approve visiting writers. Their criteria: 1. the writer must not be politically controversial nor be likely to read politically volatile work; 2. the writer should not be likely to try and seduce faculty wives or students. Nelson Algren: “A dedication to the printed word may conceal an indifference toward cruelty; and that understanding of justice and human dignity becomes enfeebled in proportion to one's sophistication should be obvious by now. Unless we've forgotten that it was scholars well-disciplined in Shakespeare, Hegel, Goethe, Freud, Marx, Dante, and Darwin, who yet devised the cultural programs at Auschwitz.” Algren: “Writers bespeak a readiness to be cowed in return for a stall in the Establishment Barn; at whatever cost of originality. They will not buck. They will not roar. At times they may whimper a bit, softly and just to themselves; but even that they will do quietly.” How have we censored ourselves? Until they ask this question, writers are just little urchins standing alongside the road with their hands out, waiting for a sugar-daddy to round them into shape. How can you have any fire in your writing when you are unwilling to respond to the oppressiveness of your own institutions, let alone the chronic waste and injustice of a theoretical democracy? To have any fire in your writing, or your life, would be bad for business. Precisely because they treat it as a game, they are vulnerable to attack from without, fragile to the point of hysteria Suggested article: Lewis Lapham: “The Audible Silence” Given an entire nation of careerists, is it any wonder language is now inflated to the point it hardly has any meaning? The repercussions of all this horse shit by these “professionals” are to isolate those writers who could really make a difference, who believe literature is not just a parlor game but the very conscience of a nation. Robert Peters: “You can never tell where you'll find truly vital writing.” This traitorous idea, single idea, that usurps the whole daisy chain of institutional thinking. It is unforgivably populist. It throws “taste” to the four winds with the money crowd which is the only crowd that can now afford art. Most of all, Peters is unforgivably himself, free of cant and preconceptions; as such, he is an ugly threat to the current epidemic of digested fear and smug cautiousness. A lot of sociologists and economists are predicting that social justice will soon come about through some cataclysm they can't name. Writers can't name it either but like so many of the “experts”, they are restless for this change. They may be shocked to discover the change has nothing to do with words, that it is too late for words. In the words of Jean Giono (a writer nobody reads), “People think only of adding to their comfort, heedless that one day true humans will come up from the river and down from the mountain, more implacable and more bitter than the grass of the apocalypse.” B. Traven's question: how to be a man or a woman without being a bully? Or put another way, can we gain our food and lodging and sense of self-importance without enslaving others? Each upheaval, each revolution, each turn in social, cultural, or political fashion has only put a new bully on the block, and each time people's subservience has become more pronounced. Vissarion Belinsky wrote, “What good does freedom do me if my neighbor is in chains?” “In each person there is a free soul and a slave and they fight for domination,” wrote Maxim Gorky 30 years later. Suggested Reading: Eduardo Galeano's Open Veins of Latin America and B. Traven's Rebellion of the Hanged and The White Rose But books have no power; they are nothing, paper to light the trash in the family incinerator. But a movie, a movie, ahh now we are talking. So when the Mexican film version of this book won all of the major Latin American awards in 1963, the US State Department banned it from entering the United States (White Rose) People cannot give for the simple reason that they don't know how to take, take what nature has provided for them. They take the wrong things. When they don't get them, they start to push other people. They make ideas; they think these ideas will control people and make something they call “society” better. They build a building to put the ideas in. Then they hire the least intelligent but the most aggressive of their kind to guard the building lest anyone try to break in and steal the idea. It is all crazy. But then we are crazy—me, you, almost everything that we have built. We are not humans. We are things, even less animated than the furniture we buy; we are moved here, moved there. We think ourselves free, but on only a few occasions in my fifty years have I met a free human. Good Neglected Writers to read: Cossery (Egypt), Giono (France), Voinovich (Russia), Kohout and Hrabal (Czech Republic), Jules Renard (France), Elias Canetti (Bulgaria and Germany), Donoso (Chile), Carpentier (Cuba) It's true that the American character is generous, especially towards underdogs; that is in our psyche and our history. But what that same character does with artists of any originality is abominable. It relishes inventors but cannot stand thinkers; like its step-sister England, it worships cleverness at the expense of any real profoundity. Its geographical remoteness and horrid education system have made it disdain cultures different from itself. We have separated ourselves from the rest of the nations and we will pay a terrible price for it. The space immediately around us is special, inviolable, private. This is not what we own; ownership means nothing; it is what we are that counts. (less)
Too many good quotes, meant to be spoken, sung, meant to be said to everyone who is a poet or who doesn't understand poetry or appreciates it. The tit...moreToo many good quotes, meant to be spoken, sung, meant to be said to everyone who is a poet or who doesn't understand poetry or appreciates it. The title poem is a molten bolt of lightning and wit, flipped cliche and poetic foundation, axioms unbound.
Quotes: Haunt bookstores.
Don't slip on the banana peel of nihilism, even while listening to the roar of Nothingness.
Poetry [is] the shortest distance between two humans.
Poetry is making something out of nothing, and it can be about nothing and still mean something.
As long as there is an unknown there will be poetry.
The poet by definition is the bearer of Eros and love and freedom and thus the natural-born non-violent enemy of the State.
[Poetry] It is the voice of the Fourth Person singular.
He was definitely attempting to move poetry in different directions. His calligrammes or arranging words into a symbol, shape, or different form than...moreHe was definitely attempting to move poetry in different directions. His calligrammes or arranging words into a symbol, shape, or different form than usual are inspiring, and surely have fueled poetic experimentation since then. He does have a sort of love affair with war that leaves a sour note with me, but even so he does speak of its horrors when not glorifying it.
Pity us who fight always at the boundaries Of infinity and the future ---------- It's hard to imagine How stupid and stolid success can make people
At the institute of blind young men they asked Haven't you a blind young man with wings
Oh mouths [humans] are looking for a new language One the grammarians can't label
For the old languages are so close to death It's really from habit and cowardice That we still use them for poetry(less)
Quotes: No, a love brief as the sigh of a guillotined head, The head of a king or Breton count, Brief like beauty, Absolute beauty, That which contains all...moreQuotes: No, a love brief as the sigh of a guillotined head, The head of a king or Breton count, Brief like beauty, Absolute beauty, That which contains all the world's majesty and misery And which is only visible to those who love.(less)
"Bomb", "Clown", "Power", "Marriage", and "Army" are all good poems. From power: Whoever complains about Life is a dazzling monster in the zoo of Power P...more"Bomb", "Clown", "Power", "Marriage", and "Army" are all good poems. From power: Whoever complains about Life is a dazzling monster in the zoo of Power Power is sadly fundamental Power is attained by Weakness(less)
Well written book, gives you details that are hilarious like allen and gregory's routine of kissing the feet or knees of renowned artists and writers...moreWell written book, gives you details that are hilarious like allen and gregory's routine of kissing the feet or knees of renowned artists and writers they meet. Bill becomes more inhuman, Allen develops the lovebrain with Peter, Gregory lives his version of a romantic poet with vagabond posturing and rich women hustling, Brion makes the dreamachine and gives Bill the idea for the cut-up(less)
To be fair to Anais, I rate her diary detailing her love and lust with five stars as I did Tropic of Cancer. They're companion works. Anais' poetic vo...moreTo be fair to Anais, I rate her diary detailing her love and lust with five stars as I did Tropic of Cancer. They're companion works. Anais' poetic voice doesn't come through too heavily in this work, rather it is the realistic account of her ups and downs in love with Henry, her husband, her therapist, and her cousin. As a journal, it's a great read, it's not necessarily as literary in my mind as Tropic of Cancer, perhaps bc I come from a male perspective or likely bc it's a journal. However that said, it's illuminating at times and only drags in the madness of her lust which portrays that feeling well thus dragging you along into the neurosis. That said Miller and Nin were both crazy in their writing of this period, good crazy, even though Nin tells how Miller is less crazy than his writing, actually with a timid gentle self. Fascinating to get a direct look in their lives at this time.(less)
Quotes: What we obviously lack in America, what we are not even aware we lack, is the dreamer, the inspired madperson. As the voice of the poet becomes...moreQuotes: What we obviously lack in America, what we are not even aware we lack, is the dreamer, the inspired madperson. As the voice of the poet becomes stifled, history loses its meaning and the eschatological promise bursts like a new and frightening dawn upon the consciousness of humanity. It is the past which is engulfing us, not the future. The future always has and always will belong to the poet. I believe that the dreamer, no matter how impractical they may appear to the man in the street, is a thousand times more capable, more efficient than the statesman. The only law which is really lived up to whole-heartedly and with a vengeance is the law of conformity. Humanity's greatest dread is the expansion of consciousness. All the fearsome, gruesome part of mythology stems from this fear. "Let us live in peace and harmony!" begs the little man. But the law of the universe dictates that peace and harmony can only be won by inner struggle. (Infinitist deconditioned logic) Whose voice is it that now makes itself heard, the poet's or the scientist's? Are we thinking of beauty, however bitter, or are we thinking of atomic energy? And what is the chief emotion which our great discoveries now inspire? Dread! We have knowledge without wisdom, comfort without security, belief without faith. The poetry of life is expressed only in terms of the mathematical, the physical, the chemical. The poet is the pariah, an anomaly. They are on the way to extinction. Who cares now how monstrous they make themselves? We have never thought of power in terms of good, only in terms of evil. What humans want are food, shelter, clothing--basic things--not money. And for the rebel above all humans it is necessary to know love, to give it even more than to receive it, and to be it even more than to give it. He is in our world but not of it; his allegiance is elsewhere. It is his mission to seduce us, to render intolerable this limited world which bounds us. (4D human being) The scientist's instinct for life is perverted For both Rimbaud and Van Gogh the cup of bitterness was filled to overflowing (like Denis before the 60s) Humanity's greatest desire is to burn with ecstasy, to commerge out little flame with the central fire of the universe And life for the modern human had become an eternal Hell for the simple reason that they have lost all hope for attaining paradise. They do not even believe in a paradise of their own creation. The true ancestors of the visionaries live in the future, distant humans much unlike the past. He changes identity so thoroughly that if he were to pass himself on the road he would not recognize himself. This is perhaps the last desperate way of tricking madness--to become so utterly sane that one does not know one is insane. All forms, all orders of being from the angels to the worms, are struggling to communicate with those above and below (communication through the chain of being to free consciousness to unshackle perception) The sage remains silent after the creation of their values to give voice to them in silence and have them heard that much more. Similarly, he refused to recognize an ideal society composed of soul-less bodies manipulated from their political or economic centers Narcism introduces a fear greater than all others--the loss of identity. Let us have a new heaven and a new earth!--that was the sense of Rimbaud's obstinate revolt The moral crisis of the 19th century has merely given way to the spiritual bankruptcy of the 20th.(less)