The serpent’s bejeweled coiffure, it’s defenestrated continent burns in a perpetuity of miniature hexagonal flaccidity molested by grain. The desert does not change; the object does. Is the cycle of the serpent, along with every other standard of measurement and description not a pretty apt parallel to our contemporary condition? We live in parceled igloos of possibility which are beyond fulfillment but successfully sold in a WiFi powered engine which renders us ever more powerless while promising ever increasing means of “self expression”. The purity of our imaginations! a dangerously parochial world for most of us who still toss the sun grained vector of the Marvelous around is what comes into question.
En el jardin las rosas dejan y quievenser la Rosa (Borges)
In his “Paris Peasant, Aragon felt the cryogenic leech of age growing thirstier and thirstier; uncharacteristic of artists nowadays, he did not wonder if his own marvels would age, but if the marvelous itself would. Do our recipes for hypnagogic cauldron contain ingredients from the pantries of cubed lizard domes pancaked in the blue chill of social darwinism? Exxon, Mobil, YouTube, Facebook? Let us admit what Breton could not. Fool’s gold and the alchemical processes of surrealism are as littered with the manure of dark money and ego as any other. But our resistance to them is undying. Those who continually call into question this resistance slit the throats of humanity with the same hands they swear off in another breath. There is no worse variety of bad faith. The “dazzling revenge of the imagination” on the representation given each consciousness it makes our arduous journey worth enduring. Even with the sickly sweet death serum of economic euthanasia sweeping the country, we can take heart in the arcane alleys and remain ciphers hidden from the binoculars of privilege, which crunch on everything that does not wholly pledge allegiance to rationalism. And to have done with this submission to science as the answer to the surrealist quest! It provokes wonder, indeed, but Surrealism was founded on that which has no limit–magic, mystery, ontological awe. Empiricism loves nothing more than to acknowledge limits. This is not, of course, to be mistaken for the baseless, sickening self- love of the socially “fortunate” or those who glower in poverty, even. Anything imaginable is not enough; anything that breaks away from the existing order–if one can sound anything but nostalgic in talking about an “existing order”, so apocalyptic has the popular imagination become–in a recognizable fashion is already finished. “Whatever” isn’t even muttered anymore. Now you’re more likely to hear “So?” How many of us have by this point has not met a “proletariat” poet who runs quicker than a bear starved in the winter towards the museums and schools, wasting their lived experience and whatever true uniqueness the written word might have had in the manic rush to compare headstones? And the codas of political correctness which seems to keep the Tall Man coming in and out, delivering the language that keeps the whole thing afloat?
“The original surrealists violated every epithet of political correctness because they loathed the people connected to it: the high bourgeois, the counterrevolutionaries”.
Malcolm Haslam, “The Real World of the Surrealists”
I was just about to speak of theProphet-Come-Lately David Emery Gascoyne; his Psychotic Optometry and skin of marble veined butterflies, but let’s allow someone more qualified: Andrew O Donnell, an extremely talented young writer who seems to understand the anthology and my motivations better than I do
Let the Marvelous REIGN