Articulating Freedom: Three brief notes regarding the contemporary underground/ otherstream


1. By designating particular works as experimental we dismiss them as unproven, hypothetical, of questionable veracity. This is our means of allaying the unknown’s imposition on our intellectual security. It is not until the work is analyzed, cataloged, and finally judged valid that it sheds its ignominious, obscured and burdened now by whatever aesthetic code may be in currency. Yet, what we are too apprehensive to witness directly is the very thing we profess to seek. We erect a shrine that obstructs the beneficence of the power toward which the original impulse arose. This is an ancient condition, mythically tragic. We are method’s hostage. What we know of reality is not in what our terminology proposes to address but only the terminology, as it is an aspect of nature, itself.

2.A poem is not the telling of a thing, but the thing itself utilizing language, in whatever form (and however the definition of language might be extended), to transmigrate from one “place” to another. It trans-forms to awaken to itself in renewed aspect, and to awaken others to its experience. The poem and poet call one another to a common ground of being, where they constitute a single entity. To be more specific, a poet is an individual poetic entity biologically appearing. It speaks, it bodies forth being, participates in the theater of objects. What might be the essential nature of such a pansubstantial creature can only be discovered through direct confrontation and mutual dissolution with in the shared domain, the anitpersonal dynamic this union cultivates. We are speaking then of the phenomenology of the open field. Yet, we must speak in the negative only since any absolute assertion would only project an apparition onto the field. The actual projection is the whole field of poet/poem and all participants, indistinguishable any longer as individuals (and there is much that surely remains unknown, latent in the field). And further, the field itself, being open, is never subject to definition, but is realized through experience, through communion in the common nature its very appearance makes evident.

3. Finally, we should not concern ourselves with the establishment of movements or schools, by the name ‘experimental’ or any other. There is nothing noble in relinquishing our presence here to the status of artifact, shelved, another moment documented and weighed against the rest, even if that moment is granted fundamental importance. It falls on us to strive for a cognizance liberated from static ideologies and subservience to the symbol. The histories must be ended and the museums closed (they both are, as we now have them, closed anyway). We must find value in the moment’s appearing rather than the misapprehended corpse of its past. With that approach it is our responsibility to be and allow creations presence that have in their character no tolerance for the spirit of closure no more than any other organism can tolerate imprisonment. They are creatures without dimension, the living courses of liberation through the infinite.

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