Thursday, June 23, 2016

Animals in surrealist poetry

I'd been compiling a rather massive compendium of animals in surrealism, a sketch of the surrealist bestiary if you will, for a long time (and it's now made available here). Many types of questions arrange themselves around that. Some of them gave rise to this analytical nightmare an early morning a month ago. Some people say they don't have analytical nightmares. Does that mean that they also will never get to see the rivers change directions?

dream may 2016

For a long time I had been pursuing the stream by train
Looking out the window, composing dinners and trying to keep up distinctions
between different types of occurences of animals
in technical terms, some are simile, some are traditional emblems, only some are pure images
But isn’t everything a pure image during spring flood?
So this evening I was at the top of the big hill
An isolated dome, covered with coniferous forest, peaking at ca 500 m
It was not part of any quest
It was a fundraising party for something
The point had been to hijack the electrical system of the big abandoned sawmill
But no one wanted to DJ, the music was crappy
A klezmer band sitting on the stairs started to play in protest
I didn’t mind dancing, but I knew they would film it and post it online as ”the sucker who danced” and I will be turning my back most of the time but this epitome would prove fatal
At that point the dancefloor was intact
And I was sorting batteries to place them in the box according the the blueprint of the vast cellars
Yet another chore for which I was ill suited
Then after dark – and darkness comes early inside the coniferous forest
After dark the whole building would light up like a fire cracker (and the phrase would prove fatal)

At the very summit people were working hard where the stream turned into waterfall
Because the waterfall was an allegory of the bestiary of poetry
I thought it needed very little manipulation but some of my friends were very busy
Running around like timber loggers to keep the outlet from cluttering
Yes there are fallen trees in the stream
But if they made it all the way uphill why wouldn’t they make it over the lever
And most of the debris is not wood it is icefloes
In fact it is the dancefloor breaking up into icefloes
If we dance now it is everyone on their own floating island
And there are piles of peat towering like in a palsa bog
Where I wrestle in vain my friend Sebastian to make him stop subdividing the fragments
I’ve seen these rafters with their poles crowding the delta too often
They are the trickster ants making fun of my hypnagogic scenic views
Here come floating islands of marble shaped like map outlines of countries
And they too will make it through the narrow canal and out on the other side
Unless they took the subterranean route
Under Cromwell Road to the Natural History Museum in London
The rafters with their poles were active amidst the crowd in the tunnel there too
Could anyone say this is not futile?
Up here I see all these subcategories turn into pure images too
Even their ghosts have become fish
I will hug the waterfall

I wasn’t interested in allegory anyway

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