What are we to make of a poem that begins “None of this happened:” except to see where the author takes us, what other tricks she has in store, what detours we must take?
A virgin will rebuild from ash the burning library at Alexandria. She will not take any prisoners. Her large eyes will be tests that you must pass. For a third time will the Argo sail, outperforming Voyager One. You will learn of how this ship is not different from your body. It will move beyond the speed of light.
With his first book recently published, essayist, poet, and artist Brian George reflects on the bizarre and often humorous ways that great works of the past were received by their contemporary critics, and how changes in the cultural landscape over the last few centuries—but especially since his coming of age in the Boston poetry and punk scenes of the late 1970s—have profoundly altered the ways we read, receive, and understand new works.
There is no rest for the search engine. The unquiet dead play games with the subject/ object interface. It appears that our operating system is not a friend to Jesus. Logos flash through the sky of the Sinkiang Autonomous Region. Our wet dreams run through fiberoptic cables.
There are moments when the world comes suddenly to a stop, when the ground withdraws its support, when a schism opens, into which one may or may not fall. The world then employs its archaic sleight-of-hand to remove whatever faith you may have placed in this event. The structure of projection has barely missed a beat, but the schism in your psyche has not actually been sealed…
Above all, Antoniou’s compressed, theatrical space could perhaps be read as a kind of ritual confrontation, in which the known and unknown, the diurnal and nocturnal, are forced to meet and mix on a stage that allows for no casual avoidance or escape.
Has the Shadow become more user-friendly? No. Whether now or 2,000 or 10,000 years ago, the shared identity of the Shadow and the Guide has always presented itself in the form of an ultimatum, which we must torture our minds and bodies to interpret.
That our world has already ended, of this we may be certain. But is it the end of “a world” or of “the world”? It is reassuring that the prophets of world destruction have proven almost 100% wrong—and yet…
So, what does it mean for the Apocalypse to take place in the present moment, and, somewhat paradoxically, to be always just about to occur?
When I remember Sue Castigliano, I think of almost naked dancers vaulting above the gold-tipped horns of Cretan bulls, to the sound of waves breaking in the distance. Wandering with the ghosts of an exploded island empire, I enter the doors of a library that I first thought was an octopus. When I think of her, I see wheat bound in sheaves…
“It is said that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Luckily, the teacher may also choose to appear when the student is not at all ready. She drags him, if need be kicking and screaming, into a new, more direct, but also more paradoxical relationship with the self…”
Are we meant to have certain experiences, or to connect with certain people rather than with others? The more romantic among us are used to thinking that there may be one true soul-mate for each person. It is less common to imagine that friends or teachers may also play their parts in this apparent drama of predestination.
Since the end of the Paleolithic Era, it is possible that we have been riding a long curve of descent, in which all things once transparent have become more and more opaque.
“It would be hard to communicate to someone growing up today just how widespread was the fallout from the threat of the Atomic Bomb. From July 16th, 1945, when the first bomb was tested over the Jornada del Muerto Desert, its occult light had continued to throw shadows from each object. The danger was not abstract; it was imminent, and it changed our whole way of looking at the world.”
“In their re-imagination of the Ellison/Baraka opposition, direct challenges alternate with playful taunts. These exchanges have the energy of a competition but the warmth and generosity of a collaboration.”
We must access, without moving, all of the records that we need, and with our small flutes challenge the bone orchestra of the empire.
“In a comment on my essay “The Vanguard of a Perpetual Revolution,” Okantomi wrote, “I often feel like I can see what is happening in the world, as well as what is just about to happen, and what will almost certainly happen later on, and it’s like no one else sees what I am seeing. It’s eerie, shocking, and finally depressing.”