Saturday, October 15, 2016

Brunch With Nietzsche, A Dazzlement On The Ocassion Of His Birthday

for mis compadres, Low McClendon and Andrew Linton

[Autumn leaves cling on.  Keene, NY.  March 2016.  Photo by W. Falcon]


It's undertow that matters. -- Jango Kammenstein

Dear Friedrich,

I am the man most pursued in last night's dream.
That emaciated thing at my back keeps tracking me.
I remain just out of reach. Classic. Even there
as here I am escaping something, a life time of
practice in this Kingdom of the Canker.

It was no banker who followed me last night
but a starved lacklove rejected by Canker and, well,
by me. Who'd want that part all start and no finish?
Replenishment has often enough meant hiding out
and a demand that it keep at least 5 arm lengths away.

I will try, I tell it, to look at it but I find its presence
most disturbing. Its handful of leaves continually
proffered leaves me in a quandary. What do they
mean, this offering, though my father was a lumberjack?
Perhaps this is a track of sorts to follow for an end
to the mystery.

I am stumped.

One adjusts. Continually.

The persona is adaptation
appearing to be solid but sleep reveals the neutrality
of the animal.

Dreams tell us otherwise
when we remember them as it takes an ego to witness,
to remember.

They reveal that we are
caught up into something so much greater than
flush and stir.

It's a wonder we make do
as much as we do and still call ourselves by name,
a species of animal, 'homo sapiens'.

I regret self pity.
I'd reject it if I could but it adheres,
last resort of old coots born honestly
into it no matter the copious Mercurochrome baths,
the smelling salts obviating the needed nipple.

The stippled trout I nightly catch,
pink insides turned out by blue blade
kept beneath the pillow,

baits me with the riddle
again and again.

Something about a stand of trees,
a man carving some bark,
what breath is for.

Today the Market reports a run on Mercurochrome.

Birth goes on.

I am for rebirth.

A dirth of days makes me suddenly Hindu,
foregoing gurus and bindu point.

I've made my own here.


Still, methinks I'll have your ear
for a little while longer, a handful of leaves only for
my thanks,

one foot well into
Cracked and Crank, the drunk tank a memory
worn out.

Doubt is my companion.

Love, too. No remorse here.
Buys me time, aftershave and
loads of underwear for the trickles ahead.

Thank the gods for all that.

Oh. And one last good cigar.




Just Finished Rereading "The Paintings Of Giocometti" by Jean Paul Sartre

[Sketches from Giacometti's sketch books]

"He rejects promiscuity, the casual relations of proximity..."

"Diego is not solidly stitched, but, in the language of dressmakers, only basted...."

"Emptiness seeps in everywhere, between the eyes and eyelids, between the lips, into the nostrils. A face becomes an archipelago."

- Jean Paul Sartre, "The Paintings of Giocometti"

Just finished yet another read of one of my favorite essays, period. Jean Paul Sartre's The Paintings of Giocometti in his book of essays, Situations. I first read it in a Steak n Eggs, downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee near the U of Tn, in self-exile from the Christan college I had attended, alienated by and from the Southern culture I had inherited and so very much needed to flee. Amidst the grease stains, the hash browns, King James, Pall Malls, and weak coffee, to make matters worse an agonizing case of chilblains, also known as pernio, had me on the wrack and the hard booth seat, a naugahide special ripped and filthy,, this essay soothed and siren called me eventually Northward to NYC, to museums where I could embrace Giocometti and more who bore my inner burdens no ill will though artists, writers, were all spilled, and spilling still, out of Western cultural seams, thank god, but even god was in question thus Jean Paul and the tenderness with which he wrote of Giocometti, his paintings, for all ourselves:

"The small statue at my feet is a pedestrian seen in the rear-view mirror of an automobile--about to disappear. In vain do I approach him: he keeps his distance. These solitude repel the visitor with all the insuperable length of a room, a lawn, a glade one dare not cross. They bear witness to the strange paralysis which grips Giocometti at the sight of a fellow creature. Not that he is a misanthrope. This numbness is the effect of surprise mindgled with fear, often admiration, and sometimes respect. True, he is distant, but distance, after all, was invented by man and has no meaning outside the context of human space; it separated Hero from Leander and Marathon from Athens, but does not separate one pebble from another. I first understood distance one evening in April, 1941. I hadspent two months in a prison camp, which is like saying, in a sardine can, where I had experienced absolute proximity. My skin was the boundary of my living space. Day and night I felt the warmth of a shoulder or a thigh against my body. But it was never disturbing, as the others were a part of me. On my first night of freedom, a stranger in my native city, not having yet reached my friends of former days, I pushed open the door of a cafe. Suddenly, I experienced a feeling of fear--or something close to fear. I could not understand how these squat, bulging buildings could conceal such deserts. I was lost; the few drinkers seemed more distant than starts...If these men, shimmering comfortably within their tubes of rarified gas seemed inaccessible to me, it was because I no longer had the right to place my hand on their shoulder or thigh, or to call one of the "fat-head." I had rejoined bourgeois society, where I would have to learn to live once again "at a respectful distance." This sudden agoraphobia betrayed my vague feeling of regret for the collective life from which I had been forever severed. The same is true of Giocometti. For him, distance is not voluntary isolation, nor even a movement of withdrawal. It is a requirement, a ceremony, a sense of difficulty, the product--and he says this himself--of powers of attraction and forces of repulsion. If he was unable to cross those few feet of shining wood separating him from those nude women [the paintings Sartre is discussing], it was because poverty or shyness nailed him to his chair. But if he felt the distance insuperable, it was because he yearned to touch that luxuriant flesh. He rejects promiscuity, the casual relations of proximity, because he wants friendship and love. He dares not take for fear of being taken. His figurines are solitary, but when placed together, in whatever combination, they are united by their solitude, to suddenly form a magical society...

- Jean Paul Sartre, "The Paintings of Giocometti"

A sampler on google here


A face becomes an archipelago.

[All photos by Warren Falcon]