Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Dialogic and Ferlinghetti and Christmas

I had the fortune to discover an excellent blog last night: Dialogic by Thivai Abhor:

In Kathy Acker's disturbing novel "Empire of the Senseless" Thivai/Abhor are the two main characters. These two characters are products of a horribly diseased society and I combine the names in order to give expression to the absurdity of strict dualistic systems and monologic thinking. Instead we celebrate the wondrous chaotic creativity of relational thinking and polylogical discourse. Thivai Abhor is the revolution of the senses, freedom of expression, the virus that will eat the system from the inside out. Thivai Abhor is a catalyzing enteran that seeks to alter the corrupt system through pirated words and frenzied responses. Thivai Abhor operates in the margins of mutated meanings, seeking a new way of being, becoming, understanding and knowing. Thivai Abhor is the monstrous result of a system that eats its young. We are the Multitude!!!

From Dialogic this morning comes this wonder, an hour of Beat Generation recollections and present day situationism from 88 year old Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The text, video and audio streams are online at Democracy Now!, but consider this quote from Ferlinghetti's latest book, Poetry as Insurgent Art:

What are poets for in such an age? What is the use of poetry? If you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge of Apocalyptic times, even if this means sounding apocalyptic. You have to decide if bird cries are cries of ecstasy or cries of despair, by which you will know if you are a tragic or a lyric poet. Conceive of love beyond sex. Be subversive, constantly questioning reality and the status quo. Strive to change the world in such a way that there’s no further need to be a dissident. Read between the lives, and write between the lines. Be committed to something outside yourself. Be passionate about it. But don’t destroy the world, unless you have something better to replace it.

So with the words of Lawrence Ferlinghetti in my mind, I stumbled out this Christams morning to try and find some batteries to buy for one of my son's presents he was given yesterday (in Sweden Christmas is celebrated on the 24th). The shop was closed until midday and the streets where deserted. The build-up that has been part of our lives since late November (the 'gift of the year'...only twelve days to Christmas.....buy buy buy) had suddenly broken and the suburb where I live was silent and empty. Where was the festival?

Yule 2007

Like a ghost town is my quarter
Christ returns to closed windows
Population sleeping off pudding
Punch and the last minute shopping

Home is quite but for the presence
Played by electric bling sounds
Moving pictures and a plastic weld
Holding the fragile scene together.

Far away from our screens and streets
Others are not aware of the celebration
Broken feathers gather in dusty townships
While sour winds blow down from the north.

Christmas is when the West breathes out
Belches and stumbles on its way from work
As 'A Whole Lot of Love' plays on an iPod
And a million trees wilt quietly in the corner.

Where exactly was the festival?

/Jim B.

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