Now that we are speaking to each other across continents, through sea cables, vaulting through space on satellites, we hear quite different voices. The strange thing is that we are often in deep sympathy.
This below is the voice of Aad de Gids in Amsterdam, a brilliant poet who is totally original. He speaks a creole I choose not to “correct” because correct is not relevant anymore. (I did tamper with the spaces a bit.) What we want is communication: real contact with the heart and mind of another person even -- or especially -- with someone who is totally different. I know him through a circle of poets who are often in contact on Tim Barrus’ Facebook page. Their words make arabesques, port de bras, glissandes. (Ballet words: French, romance.) For several, English is not their second language -- it is their third or fourth.
You’ll have to look these words up. If you don’t have a relevant dictionary, use Google translate. But I suspect that you can get the meaning without literal word-by-word translation. I’ll give you a hint: “geology is next to theology.”
la tigresse, elle hante des mots et renforce le corps, elle porte sa mortalité avec de noblesse et un coup d'oeul gracieuse et alarmante.
this is a beautiful video which metaphores all our existences, sick with
aids, infected, otherwise troubled, anxious, caged in pain, this submerged
floating is what we all do, despite all rosters and grids we apply to this
dangerous and nightly world with a devious smile. pain is a strange red line interfering everything,constantly reminding us that we're born out of magma, that our particles or "corpuscules" someday again will take their place in the taklamakan, changtang, sahel, death valley, atacama, the streams in the ocean. pain seems the antichambre for becoming rock, chomolungma, kailash, kilimandjaro. in their solemnity they stand and wait, majectically, noble,nobles grisée, while the pain then is to such measure outstretched, that it vanishes in fissura, fumaroles, glacial patches, gleisfields, pume valleys, snowest snow. la tigresse, la lionesse, la jaguarina, all have lived it out in the, at the, savannas, jungles, bamboo
unendlessnesses, monotonie sibérien, everything outstretched now, we're all returning to becoming land, vegetation again, demolecularisation,
what first was feared became something longed for, naturality to naturality, floating in an oceanics of referencelessness, magnificently visualised in this video from tim, as we exchange shamanic or boddhisattvatic iones and globules and nodules. becoming land,this stone here on the floor of death valley travels and sings at night, becoming "the outback",or spinifex, or honeysuckle, or a hazel.
becoming world, encompassing world, already foreseen in lsd'd visions
or paintrance visions, standing before the wall, as the tigresse haunts
the words and the becomings, into blissfull and astral states.
Aad de Gide (with permission)
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This is what Aad was reacting to. It is written and spoken by Tim Barrus. If you can’t get the vid to open, let me tell you that it is a young Chinese boy in his school uniform -- short pants, white shirt, long tie -- dancing in a near-ballet manner but loosened, as are his shirt and tie. He appears to be dancing underwater.
dancing underwater (with thanks to aad) (for jacob)
from the night's blue and falling in/ which shapes already are these/ or measurable unshapes/ the casualness of death/ switching/ shifting/ dancing to cast the anchors of the drowning off/ drowning for a cure/ one day we will risk everything/ in pain's past tower of the guard; pain wins/ we malign the asphyxiation of our second selves all the while knowing that as consumers we've been drowning in our accumulated junk for years/ we are simply lifeless bodies floating/ lay groveling/ that were arms and shoulders in the waves/ out of what destruction did it bring/ and slept/ the tiger chest for tea/ the sounding shallow what cure/ and making love with the same animal/ bone' flesh/ family/ receives the same result/ passion for nobility/ now, there's the shifting cure of the abyss/
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This is my reflection on this same thing, a diagnosis of HIV. I’m drawing on science. Do you know the island of Madasgascar? A huge island split off the east coast of Africa, separated far enough and long enough that the life there is even stranger than the life on Australia, because each has evolved in a different path. The separation is a result of “plate tectonics” which are under all the continents and make them drift apart, then together, so that the Pacific Ocean separates Montana from Siberia, but the people, the grizzly bears and the peonies are quite similar. They are responding to the land that sustains them, which is also quite similar -- long-horizoned grasslands.
Only recently has someone discovered that the Madagascar lemurs, the most early of the primates -- spooky ghost-eyed not-monkeys with long stiff forefingers -- had in their fluid systems the virus code that we call Auto-Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS. Earlier (we know, because of the split in the land) than the same monkey and chimp virus in Africa. And now the same human virus in America. And Europe and Asia. It is an ecosyndemic, many forces converging.
The thought now is that the virus “jumped” from monkeys in Africa to humans in cities NOT because of eating bush meat or because of wanton gay behavior, but because of the invention of the syringe. Not the modern, slender, fine-needled disposable plastic instrument we know now, but because of the originals, which I happen to remember. They were glass, heavy, probably Pyrex, and the plunger came out, the needle came off, so that you could fill them with water and then they made fine squirt guns. The woman across the street needed constant injections for pain and her nurse companion gave us some spare syringes. The feel of them, cool/cold/hard is in my hands.
Once the hypodermic (below the skin) syringe was invented, it was possible to mainline drugs. No one would want to discard those early glass syringes -- it was clear they could simply be washed. But no one had dishwashers or autoclaves or thought of bleach, so they were reused while carrying residue. Especially in Africa. The snow leopard came down from the mountain peak and metamorphed our bones to igneous stone.
And this sharing of words and images, responding to the universal dance of survival, is what books are now.