The LABF at Whitechaple begins this evening. http://www.londonartbookfair.org/
For those of you who have been following my recent blArts I just had a realisation. In the page about the Dalai Lama David Jury in the subtext picked up on the parallel between my being an expat from Burnley and the DL having been exiled from Tibet a notion which reverberates thru that print. I now see most all of the six men in my poems had to run from something. We are all are just passing through.
- Gurdzhiev was a Russian Orthodox Christian native of Kars which was caught up in a fight between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. His father, a peaceful story-teller, was murdered by Turks during the Armenian massacre which some call a genocide.
- Hermann Hesse was exiled from his native Germany for standing up against the Prussian military swing to arms which manifested in world war 0ne. Hesse was already famous and the authorities did not like his stance, he felt obliged to shift over to the mountains of Italy.
- Tenzin Gyatso is still exiled from Tibet after fleeing from Maoist force in 1959.
- Scheffler was a monk from Silesia who switched from Catholicism to Protestantism and back to avoid the attentions of the Inquisition after he wrote his inspired poem called The Cherubinic Wanderer.
- C G Jung spent most of his life investigating the nature of humankind in its dreams and distant past. He was an advocate of the i ching and a Gnostic.In some ways Jung was an exile from his contemporaries and his own daimon. ‘Since my contemporaries understandably could not perceive my vision, they only saw a fool rushing ahead. A creative person has little power over his own life. He is not free. He is captive and driven by his daimon.’ (Memories, Dreams & Reflections, p356)
- Pete Kennedy is just an Idjet in a Jug hiding from the ladies in Burnley what want to talk to him about all sorts of promises he made in his youth and did not no way never keep and who looks a bit like old Jung but hasn’t got his pedigree!).
- Joseph Beuys, a Celtic son of Cleves, was running from his Luftwaffe past.
Poem 6 Shaman Beuys
‘Don’t mention the war’ said another satirist who, when he Cleese…d, his hair shot off. Joseph Beuys had a life before he became an artis. His first life, in the Luftwaffe, ended as he catapulted thru the glass between him and the outside. David deliberately paralleled Beuys bursting thru the screen with the pot bursting as it hit the ground in his final page of the poems. The subtext mentions no safety belt. A pot don’t wear a safety belt so the mention seems odd, but it refers to the fact that Beuys said had he been strapped in, according to orders, he would have been annihilated like his companion was. So once he recovered from a broken jaw and a burst skull with the help of (allegedly) some Siberian peasants who covered him in grease and wound him up in felt he forewent the Nazi cause and spent the rest of his days, not wearing any safety harness, attacking the powers that be and trying to establish a better world through the example of his outputs which, like dada after the WW1, totally rejected the maxims and mores of the previous ‘leaders’. (Phew that’s a gobful! Innit?)
Last but not least that Celt Showman what is called Jo Beuys. My mention of Halstatt & La Tene refers to large Celtic communities that dominated the landscape in Europe around 3000 years ago. He hails from near Cleves, where the Swan Castle (the Schwanenburg) still has a golden plated swan as a weather vane. http://celts.etrusia.co.uk/celtic_cultures.php I find their art & artefacts are a beautifully robust craft. http://www.pinterest.com/viziglar/hallstatt-and-la-tene-cultures/
Beuys refused to engage in painting onto canvas and other traditional methodologies preferring to make installations & personal appearances with demonstration and talk about his nutso crazy ideas. He used metaphor and analogy to convey his ideas which were often embodied in his materials.. he attracted attention by wearing a wardrobe which defined him and in which he could carry a lot of his artefacts, and chalk, for doing his blackboard talks.He used fat and felt as sculpture material breaking the codes of traditional materials like carved stone and moulded bronze tho he did use these materials too but more in juxtapositions of ‘found objects or objects totally out of their usual contexts. He often referred to vortexes, energy streams conducted by various materials like honey, messages carried by bees, he communicated with dead hares and live coyotes. He tried to make amends for Nazi atrocities by joining Eurasia up with his actions and outings and somehow over-riding the fact that he had been a Luftwaffe airman who survived an plane crash. DJ parallels Beuys bursting out of the plane with the Buddhist story of the broken pot which I mention in the sub-text when I said ‘I let go and this humble vase returns to dust’ ‘it bit the dust’, which is not all used in the text. This was a completion of the circle as the six poems begin with a title, ‘Destination Dust’ a reference to the fact that everything eventually returns to the original source, energy. So even the subtext move around, whereas in the first pages it is flippant and mundane by the final page it has grafted in to the main text and apart from the black humour of Beuys bursting thru the glass has become serious, considering human frailty and mortality.
The chant from the terraces which I heard as a young teenager brings the subtext into the main text inasmuch that my home town Burnley reached the quarter final of the European Cup and we did thrash the Germans, in the first leg, but Uwe Seeler and his bigger brother knocked us out in Hamburg. But McIlroy really was better than Eusebio, well nearly, he was part of the team from Northern Ireland which got to the quarter finals of the World Cup in 1958 and (not a lot of people know this) their manager Peter Doherty was my dad’s hero and I were named after him.
Here endeth the intro to our new books.
This was a meeting of two minds who have been ‘doing art’ for 90 odd years. Well, odd in my case, meticulous in DJ’s. For David is an ‘artist-dervish whirling around at the wayzgoose with his tweezers teasing new meanings from my words’ when it comes to working a press
For those newcomers to dis blArt the ‘poems’ in ‘Inside This Earthen Vessel’ were inspired by Kabir’s poem ‘Inside This Clay Jug’ sung by the late Jackie Leven https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfiKUhS1cnI . Someone asked if my writing (in the book G Batch which underpins these new versions) deserves the title ‘poetry’? Well, it’s a beautiful question. A real poet would not have the temerity to call their words poetry, that is for history to decide. Catullus, Patchen, Angelou, Blake, Bukowski & Stevie Smith all deserve (in my book of tings) the nomenclature. No, I write, I set out some of my words as prose, some as attempts at ‘poems’ or as I used to differentiate them ‘poyms’. There is a debate about whether folks like Bob Zimmerman, Mark Knopfler or John Lennon’s words are ‘poems’? Ask Picabia or Jarry about what makes up a poem, don’t aks me.
So, if I were aksed to put what the six ‘poems’ are all about I’d say first and foremost they are an appeal for humanity to live harmoniously in peace. They show six men who represent the cultures of most of the prominent human groups. They are against dogma. The poems all represent human beings who had the balls to look at the human situation and to be brave enough to stand up and say their piece almost always standing up for the individual and their right to think and make up their own mind. The poems are my personal insight into mystical knowledge as represented in six different thinkers whose lives and work had impact on a fair number of others to this day. My poems say that, contrary to the widely held view, mystical insight is an expansive subject open to everyone. Also inside the pot (earthen vessel) is Joy & Humour, Music & Dance. Mysticism runs like veins of gold (Blake’s golden thread) through human cultures and can bring many people together when they understand we are all striving for the same thing, which is to understand why we are here and to appreciate the beauty which surrounds us on planet Earth. ‘Stop The Killing, Stop The Killing NOW’ said John Lennon before some tramp shot him. Imagine that, where is John now? He’s out there following his vision of ultimate reality and laughing his cosmic chuckle just like the Dalai Lama does. Namaste.
Let’s waltz again with Lenny:
Peace Be With You.
My Next Blog, how the 2 ‘vessels’ buks (mi littul one and DJ’s Big Y’in) and paraphernalia were received along with several other David Jury gems at the Whitechapel, 26 thru 29th September? Maybe see yez thur?