Saturday, July 29, 2017

When the Twelfth House Becomes the Fun Zone...


As someone who semi-actively watches the yearly planetary ephemeris, and likes studying the zodiac archetypes and other elements of astrology though I don't think natal charts work literally that much anymore, I used to dread the last decante of Libra (Libra-Gemini). This decante informs my twelfth house; house of self-undoing, self-destruction, confinement, blind spots, and unforeseen nightmares. I've been learning a new lesson this summer: that the last degrees of Libra which inhabit my twelfth house can also bequeath peace, rest, tranquility, self-transcendence, and, dare I say it, fun. June 3/4, when the print edition of Otoliths 44 arrived in the mail, were the two best days I've had in Conshohocken since I arrived here in '12; and today, also, has been a barn-burner in terms of transmuting possible twelfth house snafus into a liberated sense of living in a world that still has in it boundlessness, heft, eternity. My theory is this: the twelfth house starts to be fun when you've earned enough good karma with the universe to make it that way, through staying innocent of moral atrocities and travesties of all kind, and, more importantly, through using your brain the right way.  

Thursday, July 27, 2017

King of Prussia


Last month, for a rather random reason, I managed to make it over to King of Prussia. King of Prussia, and the King of Prussia mall, are always fun for me, both because I like to gawk at the architecture and because I like to indulge in Nineties nostalgia. My semester breaks home from PSU in '94, '95, and '96, I would drive around KOP doing various errands, not necessarily realizing that the architecture was casting a potent spell on my imagination, which it was. KOP looks like it was imported from outer space (and/or the moon), and yet so much of it is so gracefully melded to what mother nature has to offer that it appears entirely organic. Many Philly 'burbs are magical that way; Conshohocken is. The ride from Bridgeport to Conshohocken is another stunning "on the moon" one. If you have wheels, highly recommended.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

o debbie jaffe, wherefore art thou?


A sign of the times and the Zeitgeist: now that the British online journal Nth Position is offline, we find the key Fieled Nth Position page preserved on two different Wayback Machines, the British Library wayback and the archive.org. This 2006 page is mostly notable to me for containing "debbie jaffe" from Beams. Now, you won't ever get the Ur-page again, but can always come here and get the post-Ur-page, as Blogger ricochets become more distinct/useful, if you so desire. Cheers!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trooper (for Jeremy Eric Tenenbaum)


In La Tazza, a coffee shop in Manayunk,
a stairway led you stiffly into a high-ceiling'd,
Spartan, red-painted basement, where I
wound up with Chris one autumn night
in '97. How Jeremy's group picked us up
I don't know, but we all wound up in an
apartment on Main Street. Everyone was
wearing army jackets; Jeremy was uncharacteristically
quiet. He had already lost control of his
cabal, & blew in the wind. The poems lay,
then, wrapped in a dossier-like presentation,
at Villanova, among other secret files; as they
lay, also, in Jeremy's brain, as tokens that
he once cared to be a real army trooper.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Poetry Charts


A quirk has emerged from a plethora of music industry websites featuring chart rankings: sometimes poetry gets ranked, too. Poetry mp3s now have the capacity, from PennSound (sans rankings), Soundclick (including rankings) and elsewhere, to travel far and wide, and deliver or not deliver goods to receptive spoken word heads. On the hearthis.at site, the Ode on Jazz, taped on April 5, 2004 at a Live at the Writers House show at KWH on the Penn campus (later broadcast on WXPN), reached #7 in the "Other" category chart. A nifty reminder that the excitement, thrills/spills of the music business are now available to other kinds of artists, who may not write to the tune of Casey Kasem, but don't mind doing business with the dude when he comes a-callin'.


P.S. At one point, I had a #1 ranked poetry page on Reverbnation, also.

P.S.S. Clean (Live in Brooklyn) has a monster ranking of sorts on Jamendo.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Clear Channel?


If by 40 you do not believe in other worlds, above and beyond the world/context of the human race on earth, you can look forward to a pretty paltry existence. Aleister Crowley clearly believed in the existence of other worlds; in Book of the Law, he seems to be channeling one of them. What I find interesting in the book, as the manifestation of a channeling exercise, is the way/manner in which Crowley wrestles with his voices. The first voice is a female voice, and a caressing one (Nuit). With Nuit, Crowley seems simpatico. The second and third voices, Hadit and Horus, are male, imposing, phallic presences. With Hadit and Horus, Crowley not only wrestles with their phallic impositions, it is difficult to tell in the text if Crowley is "clear channeling," or deliberately mangling what may have been being transmitted through the airwaves on those two April afternoons. Why was Crowley quarreling with his voices? The answer seems to be clear: Hadit and Horus espouse a form of spiritual elitism and classicism, against the intercession of plebeians/the plebeian, which Crowley,  not wanting to alienate a potential audience, finds distasteful. It is a theory I have that, literary/occult acumen aside, Crowley as an individual may have been less remarkable than has been commonly supposed. His aims in the world were conventional ones, and he craved conventional success. Maybe. It is just that, when you read Books II and III, when you are hearing Hadit and Horus and when you are hearing Crowley disputing with or rebuking them is a point of some interest, Neo-Romantic interest/transcendentalism intended.