Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The worry-machine of materialism

The worry-machine of materialism
Lurches cliffward on fuel of empiricism.

Master and slave take dictation from the same dog,
A rabid cur sometimes called capitalism.

Nor does philosophy exist, being fallen
Into self-fables, intellectualism.

Can hearts anamnesically learn love-sickness,
Self-consumption, via such consumerism?

Tomorrow we will institute the World Center
For the Imminent Destruction of All Ism.

For now, semi-audible complaint will suffice,
A heady, modern luxury: criticism.

Nicola is not bird or cage, light or spectrum,
But something invisible trapped in a prism.


amarilla said...

You have me wanting to reread Genesis, to see how exactly the serpent made Eve the first consumer, with what fantasy did he intoxicate her, and perhaps to see if in fact you could call the Tree of Knowledge the Tree of Isms.

Thanks, this goes much deeper than much that I've read recently, I especially like "self-fables," which I understand through the filter of the Buddhist concept of self-grasping (awkward term) and self-cherishing, and my sense of the vanity-project babel with which some careerist philosophers find themselves seduced.

Nicola Masciandaro said...

Thanks! Amarilla. I love the tree of isms idea--identical with its fruit as first commodity I suppose, the object whose promise of 'more' introduces a fatal illusion of lack, makes you *pay* for what you already possess. Not exactly related, but there is a fun reading of genesis in a hard to locate little book by August Plinth called Principles of Levitation. It focuses on the gaze and 2d vs 3d seeing, so that the fall is a fall into perspectival vision (ego facing vanishing point). Cheers, Nicola

amarilla said...

I hope I come across that, thanks. And also thanks for helping to answer a question I've been asking myself lately concerning the various messages of Cubism. Maybe part of its beauty is how it represents the paradisiacal freedom of being everywhere at once. Of course Matisse's experiments with flatness also point at a greater intimacy with the world than the modern perspectival mentalities allow.

Have you read Jean Gebser? Just today came across his work. His thoughts about how the industrial age's intensity about space and time warp consciousness seem interesting.

anna klosowska said...

I love "Eve the first consumer" you guys!
To cite you Nicola again, I am filled with light from
'dining on the hermeneutic delicacies' of these poems and their echoes in others' minds

Raza Yaseen said...

"Tomorrow we will institute the World Center/
For the Imminent Destruction of All Ism."

The magnanimity of the couplet lies in its immediacy (Tomorrow), authority (institute), universality (World Center & All Ism), and almost prophetic inevitability (Imminent Destruction), all of which are remarkably blended together. Bravo Nicola!