triptych one: the process of writing poetry.
there is some irony, at least in my view, in structuring the weakest (weakest in terms of poetic potency and value) poem (or triptych) first. This is why I have given, brief paratextual, explanations for poems that don’t really make any sense unless you’re me. This one is an address to Heidegger, seeing him in his hut, I make no claims to authenticity, I just wanted to write a poem about the monster lurching in the hut. I make no claim to absolve his black books or add anything to his vast oeuvre or his even vaster followings and criticisms. There is just simply a jouissance in writing a poem directed at him. So my first triptych is simply that, my own enjoyment at watching him; trapped in the vestiges of poetry, he is a zoo-animal who performs for us now.
His hut’s on the hill,
I see him sat in his chair,
The chair-to-be, present-at-hand,
His grotesque hand scratching the pulped forests
That surround us.
Here the monster looms.
He writes of time, of being, Sein und Zeit.
He praises Hölderlin his hymn echoes down the valley.
Der Ister – the poems fractured, split, cast aside into minuscule shards of glass that compose modernity. A messed-up mosaic.
I see his bookshelf, behind the creature, three black books
Catch my eye; however, for time will forget their bile,
Their incessant verisimilitude – the monster no matter how brilliant, how prosaic, how authentic is nothing more than another goose, goosestepping in turn.
triptych two: the relationship between the poem and the reader:
this poem is the poem’s tirade against the reader, the reader who insists on unpicking, deconstructing, playing with the phrases that compose the immaterial body of the poem. The poem laughs at the reader’s desperate attempt to grasp the meaning, to uncover treasures through clever analyses and creative techniques that ultimately fail in two senses. Firstly, it is an archaeology of a dimension unbeknownst to the archaeologist, it is the digging in the sand, only for the poetic ocean to roll on another wave and drown any attempt the reader had at grasping a semblance of materiality out of the poem’s immateriality. The reader is King Cnut watching commanding the waves, only for the waves to ignore. Secondly, the poem and the reader are engaged in a differend, there is a wrong a lack of consent, the reader reads without the permission of the poem; but the two are unable to communicate, there is no idiom to translate. Therefore, I suppose, in a very precocious sense, this poem is an example of said idiom. Enjoy!
i know and you do not.
that is our relationship – can you call it a relationship?
that, i suppose, implies what? consent.
every utterance, every guttural sound, every phalangeal expression.
invites confusion, invites deceit, invites interpretation.
i see you, i see you, i see you try to find my allusions,
littered throughout, sewn across the page, left to wilt
in fields where the harvest will never come.
Theres no underpaid migrant to help now,
Go pick your own fruit and masterbate to your own literary cleverness
I’ve made this one simple, so now the uncomfortable part. The great Nazi of the hut is wrong, as too the Algerian Jew. Theres a certain, how do you phrase it je ne said quoi to the poem.
Its old, its new, its authentic, its inauthentic. Realistically its just a collection of words that stain a page.
Rigaut sung it beautifully: his nightside cabinet is a revolver of books!
When solar death comes, do you really think the rhythms of the blistering solar waves will care that you’ve analysed my conceits, allusions, caesuras etc. No! alls that’s been will be singed in the apathetic kisses of an exuberant cremation.
Give up, give in, let the words wash over you, under you, smell their unflattering splendour, let their dilapidated words give you a semblance, a sense of a meaning.
triptych three: write a poem from a poem’s perspective
this poem describes the act of writing poetry onto real non-human objects, in this case, the prayer on a Gestapo cell wall; the lyrics to Henryk Górecki’s lento e lento. Who has the agency? The wall in Helena’s state of desperation becomes the page, the material becomes a space for an immaterial prayer to flourish through the vestiges of time. There is a polychronicity in Henryk Górecki’s lento e lento, the object (at least in Harman’s philosophy), is the music. Its sensual qualities that effect the symphony’s audience. This sensual quality is dependent on the real object of Helena inscribing that prayer onto that wall. Therefore, the wall, as a fixed material object, has the agency to affect reality and the real world. By this I mean, Helena’s tooth that she tore out to inscribe into the Gestapo cell wall becomes more than a bodily tool. Helena has converted her living materiality to an object that creates immateriality. Only, when the tooth is removed from the mouth, do we see it as more than a tool for chomping and biting, it is a tool for the flourishing of language. Can you imagine speaking without your teeth?! It is impossible, the sound becomes muddled. Therefore, Helena has changed the agency of the object, it has become a pen inscribing a prayer onto the wall. I could go on, and state how there is an immaterial palimpsest being created. The immaterial prayer composes a new object, a new ontology in its inscription onto the wall. This brief explanation is not sufficient and this poem has not been completely planned out – none in this triptych have, alas it is what it is.
Requiem for Helena Wanda Blazusiakówna:
O Mamo nie placz nie
Oh, Mamma do not weep
Niebios Przeczysta Królowo
Immaculate Queen of Heaven.
Ty zawsze wspieraj mnie
Support me always
These words scratch the epithelium of my being, inscribed into me; defining me; a dying human, etching in a rasped prayer to an apathetic god.
My ekistance is framed now, songs have been written now, history has painted me as a paragon of truth. A witness to the horrors of the ineffable.
Present-to-hand, the chisel is inscribing onto the wall, etching in. Present-to-mouth Helen’as tooth is. Wretched from its home, a tool, and object onto an object.
I am a wall. How can I be a witness, a wrong has been committed, a wrong so wrong that it cannot be solved.
The witness is voiceless, silent, and dead. So I stand in for them, my being becomes their voice. Górecki’s symphony rings in the hallowed halls of Polish reverence.
But you, the human, how are you any different from me – you have supposed agency, but I tell a story you cannot tell, I tell the story of the Shoah!
Your body is a domain of genetic codes, enzymes, genes, metabolic networks, biopathways and protein folding of synaptic networks, fibre axon terminals, and large dendritic trees, your agency is unwoven. Your ekistance is nothing but a spacio-temporal delusion. You are all the same to me.
You have as much ontology as me, except you have framed my being with your “poetry”.
I am one with you Helena now, we are entwined, I am your voice, I am your guide, we are a differend. A truth unable to speak, a wrong unable to be un-wronged.