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winter 2011

On Existentialism: Literature and Commitment

www.wakeyourmind.co.uk

plus new poetry & art


Wake Your Mind

Winter 2011

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Wake Your Mind

Winter 2011

Where's I? I, got old I, got cold. I, got older and colder. I, was lost. I, woke up and I said, “I, don’t want to feel dead anymore.” I woke up And I wanted to feel warm again. I awoke and wanted to find I.

- Cathryn Ravenhall.

‘I am the World and the World is Me, so why not feel good and in myself Be FREE!’ Walking with Water

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Winter 2011

Two poems by Richard Bolton. No.1. I’m pacing corridors designed for peace I’m turning corners just to see your face I’m lost in acu-phase sedation please stay close and come into my bubble I dream of your naked body and your poppy flower kisses I soak in your sex like honey I’m in love with your bi-polar eyes and your manic smiles I live life a life of pai in the shadow of your dance I hang around your tear drops and your erotic moments.

No.2. I’ve got writers block it weighs on my head like a honey sack When my head is clear as the deep as the deep blue sky diamonds fall from my aching pen it tells stories of love and sadness, of fields of green and moments that hang on loved tongue it takes me to places where unicorns wade in fairy tale river; of music that melts the darkest dreams of goblins in dark towers: to the screaming serpents deep underground.

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Wake Your Mind

Winter 2011

The Supermodel’s Nosebleed

I put out my rice in the same day Reminders of men waited to be let into the male There was so much snow now as able in the centre of the tent Upon legions objects: a prayer flag; an oil differently do you think You should Shiva; an ohm in brass; a mandala; even taking anything else? How are menorah; Islamic tiles from Egypt or own who you work for – and I know liver bells; a crucifix in silver; a five-die of jade the entire ground floor make cuts to close the entrance to glass window the window that’s end ‘Masculinity’ nobody spoke is the differences between the sexes? I then you’ve poisoned me my mind is the feeling of sadness and me angel what do I do? Such a autumn most plants had started pleasure Heart beating a rapid asks English and sparkling water was sinful harmonies Ecstasy last longer of the previous visitors were still was about how to remove blood A large marquis was set up in the re the noise – and the object that is fuller tents. I slipped inside one of space? Called Alaska these cold as snow cigarette feeling a little guilty a row of and everyone says you’ve been acting counselling room. There was a round increase your medication? Have you the table there was arranged various are you sleeping? Everybody says so I kin candle with flouting wick; a statuette of what you really are a model of the Blessed Virgin Mary; a you’re not human – I know that much Syria with beautiful script-work; tiny hell pointed star in matt-black; a rosary ma fierce winds burn from here to the plan of the house had been destroyed by fire breaking I’m sick of you putting words in my mo the men sat in a circle and contemplated is being controlled by you! O speak to we simply too immature to reflect upon high price to pay for such a momentary think the Japanese have a word for it. It rhythm face flushed eyes dilated nostalgia that accompanies the arrival of if only I could make that moment of ego walking – some birds have started to sped singing at various pitches; making beautiful we were at my grandmother’s house. Shadows some people call them echoes garden – there were various other same n the Beat living room the discussion stains from the hands – and then: how a implied by the noise related in terms of space.

IOPan 2009

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Winter 2011

Hello Mr. Special Brew

Tin 2 tin time again Saw same sex lovers making out on the train Britain’s got notice to call back its tanks And shows the third world Britannia’s rude arse

As millionaires play housey housey And Cardinal’s hide their kiddie porn We live on a demented merry-go-round Of spend-work-spend-work

So bring me the finest drink of the Royal Danish Court That ambrosia of the gutter In mindless mindless reverie Our succour, hopeless panacea

Was it always like this? The privileged give pain to the poor? And what matters at the end of the day Your intention

IOPan 2010

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Winter 2011

Beat

It’s on the line In the street Sick dubstep dissent Stamps the rhythm Shiny boot baton twirlers Meet steel-capped fury to the babes Steaming outrage blazes Hot, hip-hoping Owning the roots The grass movement Menacing innocents Rock the Boss Groove Cutting the crap class Burning Big Boys Clubs Wheels a motion Shows some ass Online off-beats bang The drum

Lynn Harrison 2010

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Wake Your Mind

Winter 2011

Box. Box, box after box, after box, after box, door after door, white, red, door. Number one suspected there was trouble at number two for some time. Metal scroll worked gates, wooden gates and paint chipping off most gates, Number four sometimes heard raised voices through the wall adjoining number two. Gaps where swollen wooden gates won’t shut, gaps where gates once hung, Number five thought those that live at number two were “odd”. Gates where hinges have dropped, gaps where post stand with no gates, Number four and number seven couldn’t give a shit what goes with number two. Gaps through which leaves and rubbish blow along paths of paving slabs and stone, And number nine knows what it’s like to lose his wife and kids. Words blow along paths of paving stones, net curtains and heavy drapes twitch, The blue metal scroll gate has to be purposely shut to close the gap, So, most of the time the gate flaps and the rubbish blowing up the mock stone paved path, Boxed in, behind the white door sits number two without the ‘wife’ and kids. - Anon.

‘Is not Life Itself enough to be Appreciative about? Is not this Wonderful, Amazing, Complex, Beautiful And Crazy World, in itself, just. Enough,… to make you smile?!’ Walking with Water

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More for Less It’s cut and dry More for less State services have to go-go. It’s all for sale Education, Social Care The Health Service You’re all charity cases No statutory services. You pay more we do less.

We’re cutting and culling This pleasant land. Sold! To you, yes you the lowest bidder. Keep up! It’s more for less.

Your pocket money has to stretch further. Shape up! Tighten your belts. Our philosophy’s simple you’ve gotta be leaner We need you keener. We need you hungry to make you competitive. Its simple, We cut your wages, slash your pensions. More for less! Haven’t you got it yet? More taxes, less services. More for less.

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We’re clipping and snipping and gouging your life styles That’ll encourage you lazy fucks out of the dole queue! I’m sorry I’m taking the piss. Don’t forget it’s more for less, Theres no work, you'll work for free. Your country needs you. You’re a volunteer now son. Its slash and burn baby burn this pleasant land.

Skim and scrimp and save (god loves yah). Don’t fail, flail and for fuck’s sake don’t grow frail. Don’t you get it yet? It’s the Big Society, more for less Whilst we feast with the banker, You sit there and take it you stupid... Anon.

‘What really is Death? If, even science. Proves, that ALL Energy is Kinetic, -Never ending, just always reforming and recycling!?’ Walking with Water

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Anon

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For Those Who Dared For those who dared to stand alone, For those who dared to say, For those who dared to question the state, For those who dared to Really Feel, They stood up and were counted, They spoke up and saw a better World, They stepped out of the line, Out of the rat race, Out from the Status Quo and confronted the social norm, They dared to question, They dared to speak what they felt and knew so true, They dared to act upon what they believed, Speak your Truth, know what you know, This World Is what WE make it, Stand up and be counted, If this is your path, Yet if not you , then Who? This World, Is OURS, in a cooperative way, For those who dared to stand alone, For those who dared to connect, For those who dared to share their part, For those who dared to Unite, For those who dared, For those who dared. (An Ode to those who stood up for a better World, and helped change our World to become a more equal Earth) For those who dared. Whitecrow 13


Wake Your Mind

Winter 2011

Life Is A Thorny Black Rose Bitter sweet, up and down, hurt and burnt,….. Life Is a Thorny Black Rose, Ecstatic, suicidal, manic, zombied; Low, like an anchor into a bottomless sea, High, Like a helium balloon floating endlessly upward, ‘Knifes in the back’, Can’t get out of bed, Wings guiding me forward out of the darkness and into infinite light, Expansive states of mind forever reaching into the depths of consiousness, concepts of the Universe and Purpose, Dead, like a rotten corpse, mouldy, stale, I feel Lost, so lost, so lost….. Life Is A Thorny Black Rose, Into a boundless labyrinth I tred, No way out, only through, but no clues, no clues, so lost, Wall after wall, after wall, the odds stacked against me, The World crumbling around me, suicide, sickness, death, shadows, But hope, new Life, Birth Joy, I trek and wander, and walk and walk, Aeons seem to go by, lost, so lost wandering aimlessly it seems, Then I discover an immense trunk with thorns Reaching up into the sky, I climb and climb,… Then at the top I discover it’s a Rose, A Jet Black Rose, And inside I find a new hope, I lie within its center, and Realise…….. Life Is A Thorny Black Rose.

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Marvelous, So Beautiful, Complex, Yet Dark and Powerful, Thorny, Painful, Yet Glowing so Radiantly, So Elegantly, So Electric but Gloomy, Prickly, Spiky yet so Egmatic, It Is an enigma, It Is a Mystery………… Life Is A Thorny Black Rose.

Whitecrow

‘The Dark enables me to capture. The Light,… The Light Enables me to see through The Dark.’ Walking with Water

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Winter 2011

Here’s To The Open Hearted Here’s to the Open Hearted, Thank you for being you, Thank you, for being brave enough to let yourself FEEL, For being open enough to let the World In, Its not always easy, Its not a fairy tale success, But this is Life, and with Heart, we plough on, Heartache, tradgedy, despair and trauma, But the Open Heart FEELS, The Open Heart listens, It gets on, and with the openness of an Open Loving Heart, Healing Will always come, Sooner or later, healing will always come, Loving yourself, well this may be your hardest task, But the Open Heart Feels, The Open Heart Feels, Life can be a raw deal, But , Be True, Stay You, And don’t let the closed and contained get you down, You have Love, You Have Heart, Don’t Underestimate Its Value, I salute You, Stay You, Stay True, Here’s to The Open Hearted,… And here is to You. Whitecrow + Friends

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Winter 2011

On Existentialism: literature and commitment. ‘I was in the municipal park just now...words had disappeared and

with them the meaning of things, the methods of using them, the

feeble landmarks which men have traced on the surfaced and then

I had this realization...I too was superfluous.’

- John-Paul Sartre (1965).

Nausea

was a novel written by Sartre in 1934, but not published until 1938. It is in the form

of diary entries by Antoine Roquentin, a solitary outsider, who decides to write a biography.

However the novel traces his transformation. The scene from which the quote above is taken

is the central part of the novel and, here, asks not only questions about the nature of

Roquentin’s existence, but also significantly about language. Sartre would later find the

resolution to these questions in a commitment to the oppressed. For as he wrote:

‘It is necessary to look at man and society...with the eyes

of the least favoured. The masses introduce, like a splinter

into flesh, the radical demand for the human in an inhuman

society.’

- John-Paul Sartre (1968).

The Second Sex’

Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, whose analysis: ‘

became the corner-

stone for ‘second-wave’ feminism, are probably the best known of a group of philosophers

and writers who are loosely termed ‘Existentialists’. However its origins are located in the

radical Christianity of Soren Kierkegaard and the vehement atheism of Friedrich Nietzsche.

Or it is possible to perceive a development from English and German Romanticism. As

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the English Romantic poet and thinker posed the question:

‘Hast thou ever raised thy mind to the condition of existence,

in and by itself, as a mere act of existing?’

- Coleridge. (1809/1810).

A significant theme within existentialism is that of the relationship between philosophy and

committed literature. As Flynn notes in his study:

‘Kierkegaard’s ‘truth’ as subjectivity is the forerunner to what

Sartre will call ‘commitment’

(I’ engagement)

- Flynn (2006).

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in the next century.’


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Winter 2011

What they are both addressing is the claim for an ‘objective’ knowledge, of God in the case

of Kierkegaard, or of the ‘human condition’ for Sartre. Therefore we can see a commitment

to the ‘emotional’ and the ‘lived experience’ in opposition to the growth of Positivist science,

the belief that ‘knowledge’ can be observed and measured in the same way as a bag of th

flour, that had developed in the middle of the 19

century. The latter has sometimes been

wrongly associated with Marxian socialism or, at least, a ‘reductionist’ perspective which was

never espoused by Marx or Engels. Therefore we can see a higher or ‘dialectical synthesis’

between the Christianity of Kierkegaard and the existentialist Marxism that Sartre would

finally espouse. What was the rupture between these two belief systems? It is possible to

argue that it came with these words written in 1883:

“When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart;

‘could it be possible? That God is dead!”

-

Nietzsche (1966).

What was the consequence for the interaction between literature, and in particular, poetry of

the ‘death of God’ for Nietzsche? It was to embrace humanism without the human, without

the creative capacity which allows humans to think beyond constructing the termite mould:

‘Alas, there are many things between heaven and earth

of which only the poets have dreamed. And especially

above the heavens: for all gods are poets’ parables, poets’

prevarications. Ah, how weary I am of poets!’

ibid.

It is not atheism that becomes the problem, but the rejection of what Sartre would suggest is

the ‘the gift appeal’ between the author and his or her audience, it is the loss of the truly

human. Sartre says;

‘Though literature is one thing and morality another

at the heart of the aesthetic imperative we discern

a moral imperative.’

- Sartre. (1993).

By this he means what he calls the ‘generosity’ between writer and reader.

‘It is not true that one writes for oneself. There is no

art except by and for others’.

ibid.

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He clarifies the point:

‘The dialectic is nowhere more apparent than in the act

of writing. To make it come into view a concrete act

called reading is necessary...beyond that there are only

black marks on paper’.

ibid.

It is the death of the social dialectic, the interaction between writer and reader that is the

problem with Nietzsche not atheism. For there is no social for him, only what he derisorily

refers to as ‘the herd’ and the

Ubermensch

or the ‘superman’ which he envisioned as a sort

of elevated ‘elite’ separate from the ‘herd’ or masses which he also referred to as ‘the

worms’. Nietzsche would comment after he proclaimed the ‘death of God’ and made the

derogatory remarks about the masses and poets:

‘Life is a well of delight; but when the rabble also drink,

there all the fountains are poisoned.’

- Nietzsche (2001).

In complete opposition to this Marx was absolutely clear:

‘The proletariat is the instrument of social transformation.’

- Marx (2000).

and of equal importance:

‘consciousness does not determine being,

being determines consciousness,

it is social being that determines consciousness.’

ibid.

Therefore for Marx not only is the masses the ‘instrument’ by which an oppressive society

will be changed, but the very nature of human awareness is social. These core concepts

were influential on Sartre from the writing of ‘What is Literature?’ until the end of his life.

Generally existentialist philosophers have employed literature as a medium to express

their ideas. From Kierkegaard’s use of parables, to Nietzsche’s great religious allegory,

Spoke Zarathustra Outsider

, which as we have seen he used to condemn religion, Camus’

The

Thus

is a model for ‘philosophical dramatisation’ and the novels of Simone de Beauvoir

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Winter 2011

encapsulate her philosophical insights. Martin Heidegger as both an existentialist

philosopher and an aesthetician insisted that the poet:

‘anticipates and more often adequately expresses what

the philosopher is trying to conceptualize.’

Flynn (2006).

Novelists like Dostoevsky and Kafka have captured something of the general ‘atmosphere’

of existentialism as do playwrights like Beckett.

But what makes literature a specifically appropriate model for existentialist philosophers?

A significant component of the answer lays, for the 20th century writers, in the writings of

Edmund Husserl on phenomenology as a method, although not all advocates of

phenomenology would accept the term existentialist. The basic concept is that all

consciousness is consciousness of ‘other-than- consciousnesses’. Hence consciousness is

inherently outward looking, it ‘intends’ the ‘other’. This idea is known as ‘the principle of

intentionality’. What are the repercussions of this discovery? Most importantly for literature

and therefore the question of ‘committed’ literature it overcomes the question of the

relationship between the ‘internal’ mind and the ‘external’ world, ‘intentionality’ becomes a

‘bridge’ between these two spheres. Phenomenology renders obsolete the problem posed

by Descartes (1596-1650) who had said: ‘I think therefore I Am’. Hence without the ‘principle

of intentionality’, Descartes is trapped in the cell of his own mind, unable to communicate, he

is the writer who, following Sartre above, only ‘makes black marks on a sheet of paper’. So,

therefore, ‘intentionality’ is a process which places images, thoughts and symbols

consciously into the world. Flynn here is useful in applying Husserl’s methodology to Sartre’s

conception of the imagination:

‘As Sartre pointed out in an early study, images are

not miniatures ‘in the mind’ to be projected onto an

external world, raising the problem of correspondence

between the inner and outer more. Rather imaging

consciousness is a way of ‘derealizing’ the world of our

perceptions that manifests itself to careful phenomenological

description.’

-

Flynn (2006).

Hence, following the same line of argument, if we imagine an apple we had seen previously,

a careful description will show how the imaging differs from our original perception of the

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apple. this quite honestly tells us nothing other than the descriptive process has changed,

but this is the key for writers, what they write, how they describe the apple, effects the way it

is perceived by the reader. But this again would have little significance for the reader unless

the writer is using the apple in a committed manner e.g. Milton’s use in

Paradise Lost

. Let us

ponder Sartre understanding of a ‘committed’ literature:

‘The unique point of view from which the author

can present the world to whose concurrence

he wishes to bring about.’

Sartre (1993).

Therefore literature is ‘ideological’ in its nature for the existentialist thinker and writer.

But

which ideology is an immense issue. When we accept the basic method of Marx’s ‘Historical

Materialism’, expressed simply, that ideas or ideologies are a ‘reflex’ of socio-economic

moments connected with social classes, that the relationship between these classes is

founded on economic exploitation and their interests exist as opposites, indeed as dialectical

contradictions. That they do not exist either in the ether of Hegel’s ‘Absolute Idea’ or trapped

in the mind of Descartes, but in the conflictaul material relations of concrete History. Then it

is possible to comprehend what Sartre meant when he said:

‘In history too, existence proceeds essence.’

- Flynn (2006)

And once accepted the consequences are inevitable. As Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir

argued in the founding editorial of their magazine

Les Temps modernes

(Modern Times)

published in 1945:

‘Our intention is to change the Society that

surrounds us.’

ibid.

Simone de Beauvoir went on to describe their vision at the end of her study of women’s

oppression

The Second Sex

in 1949:

‘It is for men and women to establish a reign of

liberty in the midst of the world of the given. To gain

the supreme victory, it is necessary for one thing,

that by and through their differentiation men and

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women unequivocally affirm their brotherhood.’

de Beauvoir (1989).

- N.S.Pearce.

(1,614 words).

23/12/2010.

Bibliography. Coleridge, S.T. (1809/10)

Anthology,

The Friend

in Wu, Duncan (ed) (2000)

Romanticism: An

Blackwell.

The Second Sex Existentialism Selected Writings Beyond Good and Evil, Thus Spoke Zarathustra Communists and Peace

de Beauvoir, S. (1989)

Flynn, T.R (2006)

Marx, K (2000)

, Knopf.

, Oxford University Press.

, Oxford University Press.

Nietzsche, F (2001)

Nietzsche, F (1966)

Sartre, J.P (1968)

Cambridge University Press.

, Viking Compass.

in Flynn (2006)

Existentialism,

Press.

Sartre, J.P (1965)

Sartre, J.P (1993)

Nausea, What is Literature?, Romanticism: An Anthology

Penguin Modern Classics.

Routledge Classics.

Wu, Duncan (ed) (2000)

, Blackwell.

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Oxford University


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Winter 2011

A priestly vocation? ‘Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast,

and each will wrestle for the mastery there’. there’.

- Goethe. After a troubled and largely sleepless night Peter the priest scuttled like a frightened insect out of his room. The dreams are becoming a little too intense and seem to merge into wakefulness, Holy Mother of God, the madness isn’t returning, I beg you he muttered, I’ve got to give it up: the smack. His skin was no longer young, not a fresh page on which to scribe poetry to the grandeur of God who had been his fountainhead in the early years, but alternatively not the wrinkled dried criss-crossed dried parchment of an old man awaiting his wake. Jesus of the Holy Blood I need a hit of you, of that first time I celebrated the Holy Mass, what joy, unadulterated beauty. But now the immaculate blood was not in the silver chalice he raised with extreme care to a line above his forehead for his meagre bunch of communicates to genuflect before. Oh yes mainly hypocrites and deceivers, a real bunch of Pharisees, one or two he had high hopes for. Even madman John was in the latter group, ‘no reason you cannot fulfil your vocation to the ideals of Saint Francis of Assisi.’ What happened, preserve us all, he began shoplifting and giving away the loot to those street-addicts in the poor quarter. Yes that was a place for a priest to minister, but not to have their brown and white powders and those hellish off-white crystals administered to madman John or anyone else, particularly myself I had thought. I genuinely believed we, us, the flock at Mass were different to those skeletal, emaciated creatures with taunt yellowing shin pulled around sunken eyes, those deep black hollows, those empty eyes, my God. That was almost three years ago now and my, our, understanding of what was meant by the immaculate would be transformed; indeed our bodies and souls would be transmogrified. Peter was quick to pull on his baggy black priestly uniform which covered and gave some volume to a meagre frame, the rest he explained by his devotion to fasting. But then the cold would burrow, almost bit, like a pulsating, squirming pile of purple worms and claw, eat into his body which would then whiplash into some kind of sweat which seemed like a tropical fever. He knew that the mainline to the Divine was not the one recommended by his spiritual director, who he assiduously avoided, but the immaculate track which is marked by those stigmata which were nothing but regular neat lines of needle marks. Mass was at six fifteen, he had to straighten-out for that, but he could not celebrate that Mass, for those who attended so early where the real zealots and had the attentiveness of your average drug-squad officer, he pondered. What was the remedy? He knew only too well, it smashed through his skull into that tormented brain, of course there was nothing to worry about; he had stashed a little ‘brown’ away and with a couple or three tablets of diazepam he would be fit again, perhaps not celebrate the mass, but manage some kind of automated performance without his fingers becoming purple appendages of his hands fiddling feebly and trembling in a fumble out from his vestments. I rummage around under the sink, thank God, here’s the stash. Unravel the brown paper in a flurry of hands, yes all that’s required is here, praise be to whom, I wonder 23


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to God or to the Man? Certainly not madman John; suddenly I am temporary disorientated. ‘No need to worry he’ll ‘get through’ okay’. Disengaged from the surrounding world I fall back into the tedium of the business at hand, how many years now, yes that’s right three and it will be soon be Easter.’ Peter, with the precision of a locksmith, smoothes the silver paper, manoeuvres, with the assistance of a razor-blade a line of brown powder that within a minute or two will sooth the creases from his mind. The ‘line’ of brown powder is straight down the middle of the foil which he holds left handed. Inserted into his quivering lips is a cone, itself constructed of silver foil, but carefully, lovely, compulsively fashioned by his fleshless and claw like fingers into a utensil of pleasure, which has now become an instrument of necessity. In his right hand is an orange plastic lighter. He raises the left hand which holds the foil to within about four centimetres of the cone, ignites the lighter, a click, and with the swift yet careful movement of hand a flame scolds the silver foil; almost caressing it. The line of inanimate brown heroin bubbles into life, becomes suddenly a liquid then and finally, until the next time he ‘chases the dragon’, it becomes vapour. He inhales from right to left in one breath, then a pull from an already ignited cigarette...warmth engulfs his mind, then a womb-like peace enshrouds him. Finally he exhales stumbles and sits down. ‘Not the mainline to the divine, but will be adequate until later on’. The tumbler of water is lifted, the three yellow tablets of diazepam swallowed. ‘Give me half an hour and I’ll be steady as the rock upon which the Church is built’, he whispers playfully. A series of waves which are like frenzied screeches resound through his mind: ‘madman John how are you, where are you, who are you?’ He is startled and gathers his paraphernalia agitatedly, but with the paradox of addiction smoothly into the plastic bag which he places and wraps it in brown paper, then his stash is safe. Mass passed fairly uneventfully, a combination of him being comfortably numb and the single track spirituality of the 6.15ers who knew the Mass so well it was less a ritual than memorized piece of text which they’d pattered out for years, a sort of rapid mindless muttering. The next act of evasion consisted in avoiding the Parish Priest, the boss in the presbytery, and the housekeeper, a devout woman but with a soul of iron at breakfast. His deceptions and manipulations were almost the same length of his habit, the cassock which dragged through this benumbed ministry of distorting mirrors; the reflections were becoming more grotesque day by day. This had began, it seemed now through an opiated haze, with those series of acts ‘downtown’ with madman John, who had in many ways Peter pondered was the incarnation of the Franciscan ethic plus; plus what? The psychiatric nurses who would periodically whisk him into what remained of the local mental hospital, much of it lay derelict; care-in-the-community, seemed madman John didn’t receive any ‘meaningful’ care, at best Peter would use the term management to describe it. What care did either of them really get, but chemical care? Plus what? The question bounced around his mind like a rubber ball; they had said schizophrenia, but, the priest cogitated, madman John has that simplicity, no that’s the wrong word, that purity of a rejection of the world which was a central tenet, at least it should be Peter thought, of the Franciscan ethic. Then it hit him like the locomotive of History, Trotsky had mentioned it he seemed to recall from his seminary days, which was Revolution, put more succinctly ‘cold turkey’, he was beginning to withdraw. Had to get downtown and quickly, the clams were beginning to attach themselves to his mind and the leeches to his cold moist flesh. 24


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‘Father, Father Peter, stop its John. I’ve been baptising near the river. I’m John the Baptist.’ Holy shit thought the priest; he’s really lost it this time and I need a hit. ‘Don’t worry Father; it’s not full immersion, rather the intravenous administration of pharmaceutical diamorphine.’ ‘Thank God.’ ‘It will soon be Easter Father, so I thought we’d better resurrect some of these downtown Lazarus people. St. Peter told me himself. You yourself Father Peter. ’ ‘John you child, I’m not a saint, I’m a junkie.’ John: ‘We have one last hit, the immaculate hit, I’ve got the ampoules here.’ ‘Perhaps there is something of Peter in me, I’ve denied my Master and my vocation far more than three times. There is no mainline to paradise John, we make that or not here on Earth and that is a dreadful burden, an awful freedom. John, madman John, let us drink deeply from the streams within our hearts. That is human blood; the sacred blood which all breasts pound with and their hearts have no masters.’ And with this they unbound the funereal bandages from their arms and legs and grasped each other tight. There’s like all the other downtown Lazarus people was not an easy path, but had not the priest’s guru spoken of the ‘narrow gait’, perhaps pondered the priest, it is only us, those like Lazarus who have experienced death in all its manifestations that can comprehend it: John said: ‘What about the ampoules Father, why waste them.’ A wry smile came over the gaunt face and exposed his yellow teeth: ‘Well one for the road, just to say good-bye to it all.’ They were found blue with the blood congealing in their syringes. It was so simple; they had forgotten to reduce the dosage for this was pharmaceutical heroin, not street gear, not Lazarus gear.

N.S.Pearce. 28th/29th/12/2010. 1,569 words.

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Winter 2011

Oedipus1 resurrects his mother and they roam suburbia [part one b]. 'Writing sustains me and a non-writing writer is, in fact, a monster courting insanity. - Franz Kafka2.

This flame had burnt before the Apple3 was bit, the Lamb4 does not take away the sin of the World5 but stitches with the thread of the Oracle, and the son is Blinded, he is an anti-Lamb, the lost sheep, that wolf who roams and is guided by nothing but the sweet scent of blood in the Sacrament6 it is unblemished in A vial which hangs around his furry neck, those eyes which offended had been plucked-out many feverish tossed nights ago at Calvary7: ‘the King is dead, the Queen is dead, long live Oedipus’ chants a priest without vestments within the rubble of that defiled temple overgrown by the willow which choked, clasped And entrapped in old asylums: be alert now the coffin lid is to be lifted and the thorns, the razor thorns and spikes of the dead queen’s uncut, mould covered Distortedly curled nails glint sharp, better beware our resurrection is not to be subdued by that bell8 nor the driving in of a stake9, these risen lovers are to be Reborn in their own womb of dark red beds of crinkled-up rose petals coloured by her crimson blood, black like her son’s. ‘Some of you show supposed shock The poet is buried and mummified in linen of innuendo with the stigmata stain, this is nothing but your own heaven and hell married10 and marred, you aren’t Vaguely surprised.’ Mother was in a plugged blue glass bottle but he pulled the cork. They dig and shuffle and grasp hand over hand the dirt from the graves in Which some entombed them, the mauve and green termites do swarm inward. Oedipus and Jocasta11 are not destined to wander a rustic idyll, the shepherds Left long ago, but they will roam silent suburban sprawls spewing forth worms which dig deeply in eyes like maggots eating rotten apples, this terrible taste? - N.S Pearce. 4th/5th/6th/12/2010. 1

Oedipus was told in Greek mythology by the Oracle ‘away wretch you will kill you father and marry your mother.’ - Robert Graves: ‘Greek Myths’. 2 This is a quote from a letter written by Franz Kafka to his friend Max Brod. 3 In the Judo-Christian tradition the Apple bitten in the Garden of Eden as a result of temptation and disobedience to the Divine is a symbol for the entry of Evil into the ‘World’ 4 The sacrificial ‘Lamb of God’ is believed by Christians to cleanse them of their ‘sin’. 5 ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on me a sinner’ is repeated several times in Roman Catholic Mass. 6 In Roman Catholic theology the Blood is a Sacrament, the wine is not merely a representation of the Blood of Jesus but is ‘really present’ and only appears to be wine ‘because of the accidents of the World.’ 7 This was the place of Jesus of Nazareth’s crucifixion. 8 A bell is rung at the moment in an exorcism in which an unclean spirit is believed to be expelled. 9 A stake is driven into the heart of a vampire and is believed to put an end to its existence. 10 William Blake wrote a book of poetry called: ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.’ 11 Jocasta was Oedipus’ mother who by Fate became his wife.

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Winter 2011

‘Tiger tiger you burn bright, but please don’t hassle me...’

That tiger is prowling in its pride along the ward, sniffing bitter stench Of stale urine and his eyes are like dissolved lemon-drops, jaundiced Glances, the yellowed slippery slipping feet leave a stream of globules Of amber mucus, this gazelle darts in fright behind the fraying curtain That parts the cubicles uncertain if ringed wanderer will be the roarer? Will his disembodied voice soar in a bellow and then the veiled, hidden Hands lash-out in an orgy of clenched fists? ‘Hey man relax, you some Kind of head-case’ he howls, but night it is deep and the other gazelles Lie like beached dolphins becalmed under their lime counterpanes. An Intoxicated night-nurse is slumped in his chair contemplating the ‘handOver’ to the morning shift, he is weeping, heaving rhythmic silent sobs.

Turn to face the skull on stilts, its eyes sockets like black pools sucking Sanity: ‘Yes I’m a head-case and this is a head place, you tripped out?’

‘You two off to bed or there is that jab waiting in the trolley, move it now.’ N.S.Pearce. 18th/19th/11/2010.

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Wake Your Mind

Winter 2011

Haiku #1. Rust burnt in a mind It was acid, now teardrops Explode euphoric. N.S.Pearce. 20th/21st/27th/11/2010.

Haiku #2. Corn stood strong golden Ready for harvest, the rain You bought left famine. N.S.Pearce. 20th/11/2010.

Haiku #3. A heart was made of Blue glass and beat, but it broke Smashed like smithereens. N.S.Pearce. 20th/11/2010.

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Winter 2011

Haiku #4(b). Madness exhales breath To lift veils, there the sane gasp For they have no air. N.S.Pearce. 20th/21st/11/2010.

Haiku #5. Vampire bat poets Had sucked your veins, gave them blight The depths they needed. N.S.Pearce. 25th/27th/11/2010.

Haiku #6. Love was spat out like Spittle, the flute is silent And it has no reed. N.S.Pearce. 27th/11/2010.

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‘Cloudy Mountains’ Denny Reader 31


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Winter 2011

‘Alien Munk’ Denny Reader 32


Wake Your Mind

Winter 2011

‘Wood with Water Ripple’ Denny Reader

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Winter 2011

By Albert

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Winter 2011

‘Untitled’ IOPan 2006

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Underground MIND


Wake Your Mind. Winter 2010