Fragments

THE SECOND COMING

(David Gascoyne)

In the dream theatre, my seat was on the balcony, and the auditorium had been partly converted into an extension of the stage. Several little Italia Conti girls ran forward past my seat somewhere behind me, and one of them cambered over a ledge and seemed to fall (she must have been suspended on a wire) to the floor below. She gave a small scream: ‘God is born!’ On a little nest of straw on the ground close to where she had fallen, a baby doll suddenly appeared. At the same moment, a hideous scarecrow-like Svengali-Rasputin figure, mask larger than life-size and painted rather like an evil clown in a Chagall apocalypse, playing an enormous violin which somehow contrived also to suggest the scythe of Father Time, rose upon the circular dais in the centre of the auditorium. I realized at once that he was the personification of Sin and Death. ‘When I play my tun, there is not a single one of you all who does not join the dance!’ I was most painfully moved by the strident yet cajoling music and the knowledge that what he had said was nothing less than the truth. Everything then began to move around confusingly. On the darkened stage, thick black gauze curtains had lifted, and one saw a squat black cross outlined against a streak of haggard white storm light across the black cloth sky. Finally, the stage was full of menacing, jerkily swaying bogies, thick black distorted crucifixes with white list eyes, covered with newspaper propaganda headlines, advancing towards the audience like a juju ceremonial dance of medicine men. At the very end of the performance, a clearly ringing voice, representing the light which must increasingly prevail against these figures, cried: ‘All propaganda that is not true Christian revolutionary propaganda is sickness and falsehood!’

 

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“Something great but obscure is striving to express itself through me.”  
  David Gascoyne, “Paris Journals”

It is a word incessantly stretching towards the absolute Word which accordingly prepares the poet’s speech organs. It is this absolute, non-spoken Word which contains the true meaning of the poem. It is the ineffable Word that, under the pressure of impatient breathing, is deformed to the point where it stamps a command upon the vocal apparatus, allowing breath to escape. In other words, in order for breath to be liberated, the ineffable Word must deteriorate little by little in order to become pronounceable, functioning as a safety valve for the overflow of Evidence that would risk killing the poet. On the other hand, since it is just at the moment when the Word becomes pronounceable that it is pronounced, the poet expression is of all the human means of communication, the most perfect, the closest to the absolute Word.” Rene Daumal

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“As life is alien to the Earth, so language is alien to life.  Between them, there can be no resemblance: each one is the mortal remains of the other.  It is a work of dissolution to ascend from the order of the Rock to that of the Eye to the Idea.  At one level are the motiveless atoms, the worlds their sediment, light itself in constant darkening (aftereffect of the spontaneous collapse of a singularity).  At a higher level, communication also is a process of decay: the breaking apart of an incommunicable unity.  Life–in relation to vastness of the energy flu in language–is wasteland, preserving a stats is of its teeming that is equal to the silence of the pre-biotic Earth,  Every event is the opening of a new abyss.”  Andrew Joron, “Trance Archive”

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