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1983-2015
tearing the rag off the bush again
Ginsberg Injection
Nightly Dose of Ginsberg

After 24 years, the video of Allen Ginsberg's legendary appearance at Loyola University New Orleans is now online. The overflow crowd filled up all the aisles and the outside lobby, so he invited audience members to sit on the stage with him. He also did a meditation workshop, and his Collected Poems had just appeared so he spent a whole afternoon signing copies and illustrating each with a drawing. Thanks to Alyce Santoro for helping make this video available. Thanks to Andrei Codrescu for encouraging Allen to come. And above all, we remember with gratitude Allen Ginsberg for his genius and generosity.

 
Barry Miles and Allen Ginsberg In the Kitchen
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In Allen's kitchen on East 12th Street. I have a great memory of Miles typing at the kitchen table while Allen looked over his shoulder. Great working conditions! I don't know how he did it. Its a heart warming patriotic shot.
 
A Flower For John Clark
Allen Ginsberg Art
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LINES GLEANED FROM THE .ZI.GA (Remembering disjecta membra)
LINES GLEANED FROM THE ŠÀ.ZI.GA
      (Remembering disjecta membra)
by J.J. Phillips

I

[x x x (x)]
[x x x (x)] x la

traces
(rest destroyed)


II

traces
traces

INIM.INIM.MA ŠÀ.ZI.GA

Bright Pleiades
Stars of early morning
Stationed in the heavens.

Let the wind blow
Let the groves quake
Let the clouds gather
Let the moisture fall.

Palm tree!  Palm tree!
Bright sheen!  Bright sheen!
Fig tree laden with attractiveness!

Gate of silver
Gate of gold.

I am washed
I am anointed
My face bedewed.

My body purified like lapis lazuli
My features bright like alabaster
Like shining silver and reddish gold.

Look, come close
Do not hold back
Wild ass…onager!

I am endowed with love
I sit in a net of lovemaking
May I not miss my quarry.

Let them put favor of heart
Into your heart.

i-sal-luma ŠÀ.ZI.GA

Do for me what Ishtar did for Dumuzi
What Nanya did for her lover.

Let us lie down by night
Let us copulate and copulate
At the command of wise Ishtar.


III

traces
traces

Silver bead
Gold bead
Dewclaw of a stag
Put them into a leather bag.

Pluck the wool from a sheep’s forehead
Tie a wild buck to your bed.

UG.GA  UG.GA

Get an erection!
Get an erection!
Get an erection like a wild bull!

UG.GA  UG.GA
ti-ba [ti-ba]



Make love to me like a wild bull fifty times
Make love to me like a pig fourteen times
Like a mountain goat six[ty] times.

UG.GA  UG.GA

By means of the plants of the mountain
And the plants of the deep
Let your limbs rise.

Stag!  Stag!
Let your heart rise
Let your strength rise.

UG.GA  UG.GA
ti-ba [ti-ba]

May your penis become long as a maš-gašu weapon
May your penis be taut as a harp-string
May your penis be a stick of martu-wood.

May the arrow find its mark
May the bow not become slack
May the quiver not become empty.

UG.GA  UG.GA

Make love to me with the lovemaking of a partridge
Make love to me with the lovemaking of a wolf.

Let us lie down by night
Let us copulate and copulate
At the command of wise Ishtar.

UG.GA  UG.GA
ŠÀ.ZI.GA


Note: The ŠÀ.ZI.GA: Ancient Mesopotamian Potency Incantations, [compiled and translated] by Robert D. Biggs (J.J. Augustin Publisher, Locust Valley, NY, 1967) is, as its subtitle states, a collection of incantations to restore male potency.  Then, as now, the problem of erectile dysfunction was of seminal importance.

Scholars and purists will no doubt object to my shameless appropriation of these ancient texts.  However, their very antiquity, obscurity and mystery, the fragmentary nature of the incantations and rituals, and their linguistic indeterminacy (including the lacunae, the Sumerian-Akkadian bilinguality, abracadabra, and Biggs’s textual reconstructions), make the ŠÀ.ZI.GA ideal for engaging in this kind of postmodern poetic play. Furthermore, the ŠÀ.ZI.GA is a compilation of spells and related material, as opposed to a narrative or other corpus in which the whole depends on its parts and the parts on the whole.  This again lends itself to play in which I can dismember and remember, decontextualize and recontextualize lines of text to suit my particular sensibilities of the moment.  Indeed, anybody can go to the ŠÀ.ZI.GA, engage in this kind of jouissance and make his or own poem from what is there; and in the process one would hope be drawn to investigate and thus remember ancient Mesopotamian civilization.
 
The incantations contain stunning imagery, and to the modern eye many utterances are highly allusive.  Others are unequivocally literal and direct – exhorting the penis to rise, commands to tie (sexually excited) animals to the bed in order to become stimulated. (I have been assured by the Sumeriologist Anne Kilmer that this latter activity was indeed practiced).  The juxtaposition of these disparate modes of expression coupled with the broken texts and the fact that in today’s world some of the utterances evoke puerile chortling and even sometimes cause one to recoil, produces a kind of cognitus interruptus, which continually complicates, confounds, displaces, derails, and obliterates one’s expectations at every level of comprehension.  Nonetheless, these incantations are frequently breathtaking in their beauty and expression of carnal desire.  They speak across millennia, culture, language, and gender with an immediacy that brings a visceral shudder of recognition and connection.

ŠÀ.ZI.GA = “rising of the heart” = sexual potency
INIM.INIM MA ŠÀ.ZI.GA = “incantation for potency”
UG.GA = “get excited”
ti-ba = “get an erection”
 
The Dear Companion. Soprano, banjo, fiddle. Haunting North Carolina song.
Laura Ingram Semilian -
The Dear Companion. Soprano, banjo, fiddle.
Haunting North Carolina song.



 
Lightning Storm Mind: Pre-Ancientist Meditations
Lightning Storm Mind:
Pre-Ancientist Meditations*
Heed the Word of Our Ancestor! The Way is obscure, but it is the Way. The Logos is the Way. This Way is obviously obscure and obscurely obvious.

The Naturing of Nature is Lightning Storm Mind.  Awakening Mind has a Lightning Storm Nature. Thus stroke Heraclitus.

Our Obscure Ancestor taught that “you can’t step into the same river twice.” Translation, at the risk of falling into the icy waters of unsalutary clarity: “Step into the river!”

“For two and a half millennia, poor creatures will learn to forget how to step into the river.  For two and a half millennia, poor creatures will learn to step only into their ideas.” 

Will these poor creatures survive all this unlearning? Will the river survive all this forgetting?

The world is in fragments.

The world was born whole, but everywhere it is in fragments.

The world was born whole and not whole, but everywhere it is in fragments.

The “End of the American Way of Life” was announced long ago.1  But has Our Ancestor’s Word of the imminent End of Civilization spread far and wide?  Has his Word of the imminent End of Reality Itself, the seemingly immovable bedrock of Civilization, spread near and deep?

This bedrock is that on which the civilized sleep and which turns them to stone.  Hasn’t  the quest for surreality for the past 2500 years—or for perhaps the last 30,000  years—been the struggle to pass beyond Reality and thus to signal its immanent End?

Surreality and surregionality have been on the side of the Real in the millennia-long war against Reality. The Real is defined technically as “that which bats last.”2  

The battle is reaching its conclusion. Our day is a cloudy day for Civilization. A pre-Ancientist wind is blowing. Il fait Grec. It’s beginning to rain on the parade of horrors in which happiness, wisdom, and virtue have all marched to the slaughter. 

We reach the inescapable conclusion about a seemingly inescapable condition. Reality was really bad, while it lasted.  Now we face the Real. And we face the real question : What was our real face, before Reality began ?

We must practice la Pensée Sauvage. This exquisitely beautiful French phrase translates as practice of “the Wild Flower of the Mind.” Our Ancester was a Savage of the City in a first flowering of Wild Mind within the walls.

Our Obscure Ancestor diagnosed, several thousand years before the onset of its acute stages, the late civilizational disease : Attention Deficit Hyperpassivity Disorder. He also prescribed the cure: Post-Traumatic Surrealist Dialectic.

Surreality  is Überwirklichkeit  or, to capture (if only in part) the multiplicity, the prepositional logic, of the motion in place of its being becoming, Anaufhinterinnebenüberuntervorzwichenwirlichkeit.

According to legend, our Pre-Ancientist Ancestor renounced the throne. He rejected the arché of archaic archism.  According to legend, he chose “playing knucklebones” over making laws.

Our Ancestor invented logodecentralism as a cure for Civilization’s cult of the reified, mummified pseudo-logos, the ossified, non-dialectical logos of nogo-centrism, super no va ismo, in the end, the non-logos of the logo, the eternal return of the same, the ever-transforming same of domination. Or it invented him.
 
According to legend, Our Ancestor came to “hate his kind,” and wandered the mountains “like a wild beast” munching on herbs and grasses. In non-reality, he was traumatized by the writing on the city walls, foreseeing the centuries of brutal Reality to come. 

As is so often the case, the legend reveals the truth in its opposition. Our Ancestor hated his kind only out of love for his kind, the kind kind who revere the Common, or are capable of such reverence. Out of deep love he warned them of their growing monstrosity.  For Our Ancestor, the Neighbor Monster was rearing its ugly head but was not ex rerum natura.

Our Ancestor was certainly a “wild beast,” begotten of Eris to terrorize the lethargic, domesticated beasts that had lost their ferocity of thought and action. 

Our Ancestor wandered the metaphorical mountains, the heights of spirit, and practiced the Wild wherever he roamed. Above all, and below all, in the city. He knew that nowhere are we closer to nature than at its wild center, if we can find it. Even the heart of the city, the stones cry out, and raise themselves up! Sous les pavés, la rage!

Our Obscure Ancestor was the first to erect that fateful ontological road sign on the highway of history, “l’Ecart Absolu.”  Warning to travelers in search of the Way! Dangerous intersection!  Detour from Disordered Civilization via Chaotic Harmony.”

Our Ancestor exhorted us to “distinguish each thing according to its nature” Back to the Things Themselves! He was an Unfounding Father of Object Disoriented Ontology. The true non-nature of the Thing is absurd, irrational, or even inexistent, from the standpoint of Reality. And from the standpoint of the Real, it is not what you expected, off course.

Our Ancestor lamented the fact that multitudes are “as neglectful of what they do when awake as they are when asleep.” He taught that it is necessary to pay special attention to what we do while asleep. If our sleep practice is catastrophic, our waking practice will be a disaster(in the merely negative senses of these ambivalent terms).

Above all, urges Our Ancestor, “we should allow ourselves be guided by what is Common to all.”  “Allow ourselves,’’ he says, for it is what happens when we surrender our resistances, and let go of the reactive, desiccated, mineralized self-atom. The thing-like self opens into the multitude of Things. Thus, the most singular and the most particular are also in their most profound depths and their most vast expanses the most Common.

Our Ancestor bemoans the fact that although “the Logos is common to all,” most “live as if each of them had a private intelligence.”  But “private intelligence” is neither private nor intelligent. It is a private stupidity that turns out to possess only the illusion of privacy.  It is instructive that the word “idiot” comes from the Greek idiōtēs, meaning “a private person.”
Privatization is idiotization.

No one owns the truth. It is community property, non-propertarian property.  Propertization it the most effective means of killing anything or anybody, including the living truth. Proudhon, one of the most idiotic of all anti-idiots, infamously proclaimed that “Property is Theft,” but our Obscure Ancestor revealed long before that the much more shocking truth that “Property is Death.”

Property, as Our Ancestor foresaw, has meant the slow death of the Common, and of the Community.  As property has expanded, so has the ego, at the expense of the Common. Our Common wealth has been replaced by the Ego and its property. Our Common Dreams have been replaced by the Ego’s petty fantasies. The Ego and its Onanism.

“Lovers of Wisdom,” advises our Ancestor, must “acquaint themselves with a great many particulars.” Dear Self: “May I have the pleasure of introducing you to some fascinating particulars?” But which Self to introduce?  Oh, the dilemmas of social nicessities!

As our Ancestor reports, “I have searched myself.” There is some work of searching, of preduction, that must be accomplished before we can undertake any introduction. We must be sure that we are not leading ourselves on.

First, we must hunt down a self, a “suspect,” and then, when we finally interpellate some poor hapless “subject” of the investigation, we must search it and question it.  Who? What? Where? When? Why?  Finally, after working over our suspect without mercy, we find that the big news in this ontological police report is that there is no news.  No news about the subject. Just some particulars.

We may think that we have ensnared the self when we find that the self is “myself.” But then we have to begin the search for the “my” that has that self in its possession. We are tempted to conclude, as others have before our so-called selves, that the My is neither Mr nor Ms but Mystery.

The “self” which is a self that is no self  is neither a monad nor a nomad, but rather a communad and a meonad, a munad. The self that is ego is a desperately mad monad and an obsessively mad nomad, an I-go. It is driven by its atomic power to seek that which it already has (by not having) and cannot possibly find (by seeking).

Our Ancestor noted that “Seekers after gold dig up much earth and find little.” As was later proclaimed by his descendent, the Mysterious Disappearing Anarchist, “gold's a devilish sort of a thing. When you have it your soul is no longer the same as it was before.”3   Our Ancestor saw clearly that, if allowed to, these seekers would keep seeking, digging, refining, and unfinding until there was no Earth left. And no Soul.

In this spirit Our Ancestor proclaimed, “May you have plenty of wealth, you men of Ephesus, in order that you may be punished for your evil ways.” The greatest wealth, whether golden gold or black gold (brutish petroleum), always brings the greatest calamity to heart and hearth, home and homeland.

Our Ancestor said, “Don’t follow the money. Follow the Common.”  Don’t lose the Way. Go with the Logos.

According to our Ancestor, Wisdom means “giving heed to the nature of things.” It means paying attention to the naturing nature of things, to their becoming and unbecoming themselves, to their animate and reanimating being.

Our Ancestor exhorts us: “Don’t act or speak as if you were asleep!” Practice mindfulness. Practice worldfulness. Smash Reality! Smash the Stasis!

Our Ancestor revealed the perils of mere sleep, whether nocturnal or diurnal. That is, he urges us always to dream. The Common reveals itself above all in dreams. Our Ancestor implores us to learn the language of the Oneiric Commons.

Our Ancestor warned that “the waking have one world in common, whereas each sleeper turns away to a private world of his own.” But we must realize that this private world is not private, this “own” world is not one’s own, except in the privative sense of lacking the Common. “Ownness” is nothingness.

Our Ancestor predicted the cyber-consumptionist culture of spectacular mass somnambulance twenty-five hundred years in advance.

Our Ancestor taught (perhaps at times obscurely) that “Nature loves to hide.”  Therefore, awakened experiencing is the practice of ontoanarchaelogy (the anarchaelogy of ὄν), and especially, meontoanarchology (the anarchaelogy of μή ὄν), the explorations of the historicity and regionality of being and “non”-being, being-empty being, interbeing. “Non”-being is the fullest kind of being, being that overflows all boundaries. The practice of the “ology” of that.

In short, awakened being, being awakened, is surregional exploration! We become Hidden Nature uncovering Hidden Nature, both having been buried under layers of brute Reality.

Yet, brute reality prevails.  As Our Ancestor predicted, in Late Civilizationism, we murder to dissect.  Murderous clarity reigns over the obscurity of life, the vagueness of the Way. 

Dissectarianism emerged with the religious fundamentalism and obsessive literalistic reductionism of sixteenth-century protomodernity.

Dissectarianism triumphed with the archic and agoric fundamentalism of political and economistic pararationality, raison d’état  and raison d’achat.

Dissectarianism perfected itself ideologically in dissectarian analytical technological pararationality, and its Evil Twin, dissectarian analytical philosophical pararationality. We are left with the spiritual desolation of dystopian dissectarian paranormality on Evil-Twin Anti-Earth. 

Still, the hidden remains hidden, and continues, with imperious subtlety, to unhide itself. Our Ancestor warned that “unless you expect the unexpected you will never find it.”  Or worse, that we will find it without finding it. 

We all have a Ghost Problem.

So recognize it, by practicing recognizing it. The truth is always unexpected, hidden under a mountain of expectedness.  The struggle for truth is the struggle between everydayness and everymomentness.

So follow the rule against rules: Always expect the unexpected and always unexpect the expected. 
* It is possible that many of these meditations are not in the correct order. Each meditation or group of meditations was written on a scrap of paper and the scraps were collected. Alas, while walking upstairs I dropped the pile. Out of respect for the Principle of Objective Chance I re-collected the scattered scraps as they had fallen.  But then, while walking downstairs, I again dropped the pile. I again re-collected the scattered scraps as they had fallen.  Let us hope that the second scattering and collecting succeeded either in correcting the first scattering and collecting, or in improving upon the original order. 

1. Notably by “Anonymous” in Arsenal 3 (1976).

2. As even the Oxbridge Pictionary of Dildosophy admits, albeit only implicitly/\.


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