Things I Done Wrote, What With All Them Fancy Words.

Discussion in 'The Workshop' started by Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz, Dec 11, 2016.

  1. Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz

    Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz And Hell's comin' with me!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,898
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Ratings:
    +1,962
    This is the new "Vlad's Writings" thread. I'll update this one with poems and flash fiction.

    So! Here's the latest, fresh off the processor. This is called, "Tabernacle."







    Tabernacle



    God is in the attic,

    somewhere between the rigid mirrors

    and austere photographs of people who dreamed,

    in order,

    of wound watches keeping perfect time,

    of sleep and work and the embrace of a good chair,

    and who asked that they not be mourned.



    When I was a child,

    I would cup my hand over a flashlight

    and scan the hot glow with mechanical concern

    to glimpse a fickle spark of my soul

    between the blood and bone.



    God is here,

    hiding like a child who’s fallen asleep

    waiting for his imaginary friend to find him.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  2. Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz

    Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz And Hell's comin' with me!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,898
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Ratings:
    +1,962
    New poem!


    Greater Earths

    Man cannot embrace
    darkness. When exploited,
    it twinkles of desperation,
    of they,
    the cloying, ravenous breed.

    Below their islands,
    land rolls down
    and rises to lap
    the ridges of greater earths.

    A thought of darkness
    is the light of the mind.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    70,335
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Ratings:
    +26,402
    not a big poetry expert, but it sounds better than what I see on the bathroom stall, often ending with "just gave birth to another state trooper".
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz

    Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz And Hell's comin' with me!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,898
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Ratings:
    +1,962
    New ones!

    -------------------------

    She;Soul

    Down
    at the White River, I see
    a little girl cast out
    a silver line--
    her mind reeling,
    anxious for a bite.

    What I see is lightning,
    arching like the line;
    twinkling strikes in her eyes;
    a billion bolts leaping;
    simple as salmon; terror-eyed and cool.

    Each strike is one word:
    Soul. And
    what of it?
    When the fish are all caught,
    the wet grey meat consumed,
    What of the soul?

    She does; she is
    Nibble like the fish; nimble like the bolt.

    I wonder, too,
    when the knuckles bend and cannot
    hold the line,
    and when the mind whispers--all catch and release,
    and when the ghost dusts off the crust of the eye
    and, stretching, severs the lightning shackles--
    for freedom!--
    then what of the soul?




    Opportunity

    Remarkable how a white
    mechanical light, cast over
    a bright red slide and swing
    in the middle of the night,
    slows the heart. The trite ping
    of June bugs against glass
    holds fast for the coming
    of a mate--the drumming
    of wings against a light breeze
    is all the effort afforded.

    And we wait, wait, and wait.
    And we, the solar-powered
    shelters of blacktop heat,
    we wait. With cracked skin
    and weathered eyes, thinning,
    we wait. The June bug mates,
    and we remember its name,
    but we wait, sad and angry,
    still.

    We ping like the bug
    against glass. We hover and steal
    the light. And until
    God weeps for us,
    we wait.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz

    Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz And Hell's comin' with me!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,898
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Ratings:
    +1,962
    Spinning, Quiet, Deep

    Many have dove
    at the moon, only
    to drown in a staring lake.
    Still,
    they found it,
    spinning, quiet, deep
    in the wild oblivion,
    where neurons pop:
    stars into black vacuum,
    bound tight into a single
    point.




    The Color of Joy

    If joy is the foil of fear,
    then surely its color is black.
    Though fear, like light,
    gives us sight to bear witness,
    at peak it blinds,
    and near so beneath that peak
    all is exposed,

    and there is first the shame,
    and there is second the blindness,
    and there is third the fall.




    Tear

    Do not fear
    the darkness, as it is
    the womb of light.

    The blind cosmos
    weaps stars, and it is
    mirrored in the eyes
    of Creation.




    My Love

    To hear it, you must be
    quiet. There must be
    silence. It is about the air,
    and is even
    pushed away by whispers.

    It tarries at the forest edge,
    whisked by the samaras,
    calm and unsettling.

    If you come to find it,
    do not groom yourself,
    as it desires asylum from
    the mechanics of vanity.

    If it hides from you,
    it is not of fear, but fasted
    because it has known
    its cousins whored
    in the city's humid caverns,
    bare and quivering,
    and embroidered upon
    the billowing sleeves of great performers
    whom appease you with thrilling lies.

    If you stand at the timberline,
    do not call it, but let it come.
    It will seep inside you
    and carry the weight
    of the world down
    into your shadow--
    to the place which birthed it.




    Happy Meal

    When they die they say for some
    that the future never comes,
    and I wonder
    is it the ketchupy red box
    with a wide, golden grin
    so focused upon
    that does them in.

    It isn't the salt of concern,
    but a barter from the din.




    Faces

    Don't think for a moment
    you can hide.
    There is no difference
    between the mirror and the child
    making faces.

    There are no better
    versions of you in a box
    in the attic.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  6. Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz

    Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz And Hell's comin' with me!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,898
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Ratings:
    +1,962
    And to Peter I said:


    "I would like to see
    your podium ablaze,
    the Pearly Gates in shambles,
    the golden streets boiling,
    the great glowing pillars
    in static image of the Lord
    burned to feculent cinders;
    to Hell with Heaven!

    I would like to believe,
    but such opulence is surely
    a seductive mirage
    dancing only head-high
    off the fruitless sand
    of the promised land."

    I need not explain
    that it is for the Lord I come,
    to know as he knows,
    and to know him as he knows himself,
    because the fruit of the ancient tree
    has given us in unequal measure
    knowledge of evil more prolific than good.

    I only desire to know good,
    as I am well acquainted with its naked and wanting foil.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz

    Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz And Hell's comin' with me!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,898
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Ratings:
    +1,962
    Enabler


    A black fairy begs
    to visit again, and what--
    I should deny it
    and you, as well,
    who feeds it
    cyclamen petals and
    patronizes its Rorschach dance?
    You who licks its wounds
    it got fighting blue birds,
    and for some bewildering reason
    eating communion wafers;
    its only natural poison?

    No, it will
    come through the small hole
    in the corner of my closet,
    spewing its black powder
    across the floor,
    and you will weep for the shame of it
    just before reaching for a tissue
    only to find a handful
    of cyclamen petals.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  8. Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz

    Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz And Hell's comin' with me!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,898
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Ratings:
    +1,962
    Synthetic Narrative Theory

    (A quick first draft of an essay I’m fiddling around with to explain a philosophical theory).

    -----------------------

    What is an apple? You probably think about it in terms of its properties. You probably think about a red apple, but maybe it’s green. You think about its shape—somewhat round, with a little stem on top and maybe a leaf jutting from it. You might think about the taste of it, or even the smell—or maybe you think about the soft crunch as you bite it, break the skin, and sink into the apple’s juicy meat. All of these sensory ideas about the apple are its phenomenal properties. These are the ways an apple is observed by humans through the filters of our senses. But our senses only exist to keep us alive. They aren’t designed to perceive the apple for what it is apart from its relationship to us.

    Then there is the apple as an idea. All of its properties are still used for this, but humans also formulate meanings and espouse them to the objects and ideas we experience. Symbolism plays a big role in our lives, so the apple may symbolize things like temptation, knowledge, fruit in general, good health, teachers, doctors, and many other things. These are abstract conceptual relationships from the apple to the thing which it may represent depending on the context. So we go from the basic sensory data of the apple to applying abstract meaning to the apple based on those sensory experiences. Then those abstract meanings can themselves become symbols and be formed into metaphors, which are complex conceptual relationships between the apple and its iterative meanings. See how quickly it gets complicated? Humans are remarkably adept at organizing information, interpreting it at multiple levels of analysis and resolution, and manipulating that information with other known information to create something new and meaningful.

    These faculties are what make us uniquely human. Our ability to create new and sophisticated context from disparate stimuli is, so far as we can tell, distinct to humanity. But what really happens as we do this? How are we conceptualizing this information? What manner of process do we use? The answer is narrative. More specifically, it’s the necessity for more narrative as the abstract process of applying meaning gains in complexity. So the more sophisticated our symbols and metaphors become from a set of stimuli, the more we must conceptualize it as a narrative. Consider the apple as it symbolizes the abstract notion of temptation. By what means have you come to understand this connection? This is from the Biblical story of Adam and Eve and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This story is sometimes taken literally or sometimes as an allegory, but in either case it is a narrative told or constructed as a method for consolidating very complex ideas and themes into a simplified structure that is consumable with as little cognitive stress as possible, and it works fabulously.

    This is how we process information as it gains in density. We create narratives. Narrative is so ingrained in our function as intelligent creatures that it often arranges itself subconsciously, and that’s the thing we take for granted. It’s also the thing to which we really ought to be paying more attention, because how we process the world and our grand conceptualization of it is our only perception of reality.

    So we absorb information about the world around us, and the more we absorb the more complex the world seems. The more complex it seems, the more we consciously and subconsciously build a narrative framework over which we construct our perception of reality. This is not reality per se, remember, because our relationship to reality is filtered through senses that are meant to keep us alive, even if it means lying to us about what we’re experiencing—and especially if it means ignoring information that doesn’t pertain to our survival. That means we don’t get a “true” portrait of reality, but a fabricated doppelganger of it made from parts that our senses can pick up on. That sounds bad enough, right? At our most fundamental subconscious processes, we don’t experience reality as it exists in and of itself. It’s like when someone says you can’t understand what they’re going through because you aren’t them. We can’t understand what reality is because we aren’t “reality” beings. Reality is itself a separate thing within which we exist in some form or manner. But it’s worse than that.

    As we build narratives to make sense of our sensory data, we add layer upon layer of conceptual information, each more abstract and removed from reality than the last, as each level of processing through our minds manipulates that information through the human experience, making it more a product of our mind than of reality. Now imagine how much narrative exists in our lives. Imagine how far we’ve come from simple-minded creatures steeped in reality’s harsh and foreign environment to the deeply moral consumers of politics and entertainment we are today. Consider how buried we’ve become in human experience over thousands of years. We don’t just exist individually, though we process as such, but we exist as a single mind formed by parental minds who were in turn informed by their parents, and so on, and who all were nurtured inside a cultural mind that developed from other cultures across all of human history, over the course of which an unfathomable amount of narratives have been absorbed and further manipulated into new narratives expanding out in all directions as necessary to understand different and new stimuli and ideas. It’s a convoluted network of information expanding across all dimensions, and we’re processing it through the filter of human narrative at countless resolutions. It’s enough to drive a single mind absolutely mad in trying to conceive of it.

    So let’s zoom in a bit, back to you. What does this mean for you in particular? It means that all the thoughts and opinions you formulate are a result of narrative, not objective examination of reality. It means that you take in the world around you and create a narrative to process it. That narrative, being your unique conceptualization of reality, is so deep-seated that it seems inseparable from your Self, and it is considered so at a subconscious level. Subconsciously, you see this grand metanarrative as defining you because it is literally your entire perception of reality. That means that if something comes along which threatens it, your subconscious mind is going to react to it as if it were a threat to your existence, and that reaction is going to then manifest itself abstractly through your conscious thoughts and actions. This is how we get things like confirmation bias, among other cognitive fallacies. It means that when you then take in new information, you are filtering it through the criteria of whether or not it threatens your perception of reality, and thus your Self. It means that when you absorb new information, you are immediately applying your pre-built narrative to it. You are finding a way in which to fit the new information, rather than allowing it to complicate the narrative—especially if it might complicate the narrative in such a way as to require an intense amount of reevaluation, reorganization, and editing of your grand metanarrative.

    It means that you aren’t a creature built to understand the truth per se. You aren’t of a form which naturally perceives of the reality around you as it exists on its own, but only as it exists in relation to you. As a result, you are intrinsically a poor judge of truth. The best you can muster is some pragmatic “truth,” or something anthropocentrically functional as the “truth.” It means that you would do well to consider this as your pride allows you grandstand about how adeptly you perceive the world around you, what its problems are, and how they ought to be fixed, particularly from the perspective of a single person who has been around for a very, very short period of time, and who has knowledge only through countless narrative filters, and who has only absorbed this knowledge in reference to oneself and in regards to its utility in a fabricated metanarrative. The lesson here, I’d say, is that we aren’t as smart as we think we are, and we don’t see what we think we see, and we ought to wonder what dangers the refusal to acknowledge this might manifest themselves in ways we aren’t even capable of perceiving until it’s too late.

    We may want, each of us as individuals, to make a solemn and primary effort of stepping back as often as possible to gain as broad a perspective as we can concoct from our insufficient senses as we try to speak on what is true and what isn’t, and what role we play in speaking on that truth. Are you concerned with the truth? Or are you concerned with where your perception of reality stacks up against the perceptions of others? Do you care to know of any truth beyond your fabricated veil, or are you content to remain in the battle arena of ideas among mere humans, where cohesion trumps the truth per se? Are you satisfied being constrained to the fickle winds of ideology, or do you want to set out beyond that conceptual fog and evaluate ideas beyond their relevance to your Self? These are the questions a philosopher asks him or herself, and the good philosophers among us have endeavored with great effort to exist in some manner beyond themselves, and to gain some portrait of reality past the bondage of the mind insofar as such a thing is possible.

    But this effort begins with probing your processes. It begins with attempting to understand what obstacles your own mind and body have laid before you, and not being afraid to explore this environment. Once you know what you’re made of and what that stuff has deemed its purpose, you may at last begin to distinguish yourself from the baser drives of your being. You may then set out with a wary sense of confidence that the critical eye by which you perceive the world around you is working to guard itself against bias of any sort, and that the conclusions you may come to might be of some distant truth, distinct from your influence over it.

    One ought to fear most, I think, that they are experiencing a fabricated reality of their own creation. In prioritizing this fear, one might then be inclined to experience more carefully.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • popcorn popcorn x 1
  9. spot261

    spot261 George "The Animal" Steele tribute act

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2018
    Messages:
    5,852
    Ratings:
    +6,807
    That would tend to suggest a very depressing future for those of us who value the human capacity for rationality.
  10. Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz

    Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz And Hell's comin' with me!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,898
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Ratings:
    +1,962
    Not necessarily. Knowing that we do this gives us far more control over how much it affects us. It does seem that we're trapped inside the human perspective, only able to understand reality as it presents itself to us, but we can also take this knowledge and utilize it to understand what we ARE capable of assembling from what observations we have access to. Knowing that we operate this way allows us to pull out more of the stops created by our willful attachment to ignorant metanarratives created at the individual level.
    • popcorn popcorn x 1
  11. spot261

    spot261 George "The Animal" Steele tribute act

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2018
    Messages:
    5,852
    Ratings:
    +6,807
    That assumes a great deal which has thus far not really been in evidence. There are many things both concrete and conceptual which we have been theoretically aware of for a very long time yet still act as though ignorant.
  12. Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz

    Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz And Hell's comin' with me!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,898
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Ratings:
    +1,962
    That's absolutely true, but the important bit is "act as though." We still have the will not to, theoretically.
  13. spot261

    spot261 George "The Animal" Steele tribute act

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2018
    Messages:
    5,852
    Ratings:
    +6,807
    Theoretically we have the will not to fight wars, engage in racism, stop destroying the planet, eliminate poverty.

    Making the case for what really needs to be done in any of those areas tends in practise to be stonewalled by people being stubbornly human.
  14. Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz

    Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz And Hell's comin' with me!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,898
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Ratings:
    +1,962
  15. Marso

    Marso High speed, low drag.

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    28,653
    Location:
    Idaho
    Ratings:
    +13,298
    You say 'Apple', I think 'Apple Pie'. That in turn makes me thing of America, all those things 'fundamentally American,' and all that is and has been good about this country in the past going forward. Reminds me of all the good stuff grandma used to fill my tummy with. "God, mom, grandma's apple pie and her cinnamon-snack apple pie crust, grandma's homemade cinnamon applesauce, guns, and apple pie." So when you say 'apple', I get a warm glowy feeling all within and without, and that's all I have to say about that.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  16. Bickendan

    Bickendan Custom Title Administrator Faceless Mook Writer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    17,201
    Ratings:
    +15,942
    So, when is this collection going to be available on Amazon or at Powell's?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz

    Nocturne of Vladimir Jazz And Hell's comin' with me!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,898
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Ratings:
    +1,962
    Haha, well, at some point I do plan to organize it all into a book. But I do need more poems before that's reasonable. I do have some short stories, and I do plan to write a philosophy book.
    • Agree Agree x 1