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The Act of Observation

Posted 20 May 2004, 3.00 am by shaggy

We create (the great poets of our time) from observance. We are the soldiers that trudge through the beautiful and the sick, the lovely and the horrid, in order to see fully, and in seeing, by observing, perceiving, and interpretation, we paint the colors on the canvas, plant the seeds of our life; our poetry is the true building block.

Yet what should poetry truly be, in itself? If poetry is the paint, from what is it composed? One of the most fundamental uses of observation is in the sciences. Here, knowledge becomes a tower of Babel, man striving to make his domain higher and higher still. It can only stand on itself, its own past. On the backs of the dead, it leaps higher.

Yet, science also operates under a different human necessity: it explains how things are connected. This is the key to all human art. The artist connects with his mind and soul what he cannot with his flesh. This is the kinetic build-up that the poet feels when he composes. His heart beats greatly, his lips move without his control. The music which spews from his lips may be discordant, its harmonies drastic or under-developed, but from his heart, he creates a (possibly-- though probably not) new understanding, fashioning the world from his passions. When the Muse catches the artist, he is attached to something greater and far different than himself.

This is why the Bible was written in dramatic style.

There is, however, at the same time, an element of mimesis. Love exists as a feeling, though words fortify its meaning. The heart beats, sweat may go to the palms, heightened awareness, mouth watering, excitement... none of which constitute love itself, but upon observing, the poor fool suddenly realizes what his body is actually doing: it tells him that he is, more than likely, in love.

Language is a system. A great, cycling system that creates. And yet, no matter how fast the poet creates, the world begins to crumble. This is the absurdity Albert Camus speaks of when he talks of Sisyphus. The world crumbles and we rebuild and renovate. We must survive, the edifices we create must stand.

Ours is a fight against gravity.

What do we support on our backs, the great poet foundation? The answer is simple: Humanity. A more difficult question would be "what is humanity?" Indeed, the answer has always alluded us. What exactly are we? Are we a thinking beast? Are we the children of some magical Creator, who watches over us? Whatever the case, there always remains the interest of what we are to each other. In some cases, what we are is embedded in our simple existence. We are born brother and sister, daughter and son. What we also are proves a matter of our creation: We are lover, teacher, and friend. The problem becomes one of free will: Why does one choose his or her role? The poet hears the call of language, attempts to create ways to communicate that which has no words, but where does this call come from?

The existential problem is not that there is no purpose. The problem is that we do not understand what we feel within ourselves. We know that it is theoretically possible to have no reason to exist, but still we strive to exist. This is, to some degree, absurdity.

We don't know why we exist, we can come up with only unsatisfying answers, but we still remain, observing our own handiwork with great relish.

We have no purpose which we can understand except for pleasure. We relish in observation, we must see all not only with one sense, but with all our senses, and not only with our senses, but with our mind, our heart and our soul.

I watch, complacent, as the waves crash against the shore, and as the rain trickles down my skin. I think to myself, as I observe, "my god, but life is beautiful." A terrible, powerful, wonderful beauty is born.

on 18 June 2004, 11.35 pm
a terrible choice of an end quote is born..leave Yeats alone, he never did anything to you. as for trudging through the beautiful and the sick I do not trudge though it to "see" a damn thing...what are you, a tourist? get right down in the stink and the glory by gawd and live.
Poetry is bullshit whenever its only content is poetry itself. fuck self referential endless loops. fuck the endless chain of referents and fuck derrida. fuck the signifier and fuck the signified. fuck all nine of the muses. fuck science. fuck art. fuck exposition.fuck your relish, and the hotdog it rode in on. fuck "the poet" the hardest of all. fuck him until he has something to talk about other than poetry. fuck him even more then. fuck your god. fuck life and fuck beautiful

then write something about it.

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This is in response to the poem 'Business Girls' by John Betjeman. It's ink washes. I was attempting to depict the grime and toil of the subject matter by using a widely recognised symbol of business life - the train.

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Props to Green Mamba for bringing the weirdness


80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!


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