Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Take the Dark Ecology Challenge 2: Who Am Us, Anyway?

Like consciousness, Julian Spahr's poem Gently Now, Don't Add to the Heartache has no reverse gear.

The poem's ontogeny maps onto a putative human phylogeny.

Thus the experience of reading the poem is the double experience of living through human history and living through the elegiac poem's relentless onward flow.

This dislocation yet similarity between the experience of reading and the experience of putative human history maps onto the dislocation/similarity between the “We” of the subject of the enunciation (the narrator) and the “We” of the subject of the enunciated (the “we” of human history).

The We of history in itself is fractured since this we decomposes into unique groups and individuals spread out across time, from a vast variety of disparate cultures and biomes.

(I am reminded of a question posed by Firesign Theater: “Who am us, anyway?”)

My working hypothesis then is that we are dealing with a constructivist not an object-oriented poem. A poem that constructs a paradoxical machine for subjectivity, so disorienting its desire for stability that it begins to work on it. A device for upgrading your consciousness. A consciousness-raising poem.

This would square with the Whitmanesque long lineation, the structure that defeats the fixated gaze and the aura.

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