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arkava Profile
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"thus have i heard" (expanded)


Thank you everyone. I am going to pull the plug on this one for now. Submitting to a contest which i don't have enough mileage for but only hopes. Not of winning (i win. but the poem does not. or the poem wins and i get the money. it's a wager that will work both ways.) but anyway. Tere i am sorry i did not respond to your last post on this. Thought it better no to bump this one up. Thanks all for the perspective on this. This is not a victory speech. But l'avenir. To come.

Last edited by arkava, Jan/20/2015, 12:11 am
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Re: "thus have i heard"


hi arka,

I can't/won't even begin to de-construct this into discreet bits. It's all of a piece and embodies a sense of breath and animation. I like it very much,

best,

Chris
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Hi arka,

There is a certain understated intimacy and mystery to this piece I find appealing. The voice in the poem speaks with quiet strength, and the images are integrated (e.g. wingspans/birds, undertow/waves) in such a way that time and space themselves become integrated, even conflated and/or collapsed. The images work well with the middle stanza, which acts as a fulcrum tying together and balancing what comes before and after. Well done and with a light touch, I think.
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arkava Profile
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thanks guys. you hv seen me at my maudlin best & my experimental worst. i hv tried over months to simplify my language, make it more direct, and instead bring in more paradox/ irresoluteness. hv gone over the same buddhist txts every day trying to simplify, reduce, abstract, assimilate. it's not the buddha thing for me. but the reading helps. anyway, long winded apology. this post is somewat special for me. a step in the rt direction i hope. do let me know if it's a rehash


but at the least, i am trying to listen and think closely,  and part of it has to do with simplification, and vagueness. i guess i have at last started wriring without a clear model in mind. it's liberating.

gratefully,
arka

Last edited by arkava, Oct/15/2013, 8:10 pm
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Re: "thus have i heard"


very deep arkava!
 you've really brought out the essence of 'high thinking' with such beauty!
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Re: "thus have i heard"


Hi Arka,

I am having trouble understanding the first stanza. I can need more help than other readers perhaps, more connection with juxtapositions. So here are some questions it raises for me and also some overall impressions:

wingspans/ minarets stoop over //are the wingspans referring to the birds? the sky would be above the minarets so how do they stoop over what is above them? If it were just "stoop" without "over" I wouldn't feel that confusion. The stooping makes me think the minarets are falling which could be like the fall of tradition
         a convincing sky like a storm
might start anytime
and whirl an undertow of birds
          in a breath we share

“thus have i heard” //I wonder why this is in quotes
the scavenging of symbols

unearthed by waves //I keep wanting to relate this to the birds, like waves of birds or maybe clouds though it creates a stronger impression of water for me. I also think of waves of thought, like during meditation perhaps//
brought back by waves
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Katlin Profile
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Re: "thus have i heard"


Hi arka,

I've been meaning to come back to this to give you my read.

I like the title being repeated in the poem. Usually I don't appreciate that technique but in this case I do. Mainly because the double emphasis encouraged me, first, to google the phrase, and then to consider what the parallel structure might mean. For example, is there more than one N? more than one listener/reader?

The way I resolved the image of the wingspans/minarets stooping over the sky was be imagining them up high on a mountaintop while I or the observer was down in a valley looking up. In that way the sky would be below them as well as around and above them. Also, I read the opening lines this way:

wingspans/ minarets stoop over
         a convincing sky {as if} a storm
might start anytime
and whirl an undertow of birds
          in{to} a breath we share

I liked the use of "we" there, found it convincing. Which reminds me, what is a convincing sky? I liked not knowing and being able to imagine for myself what it might mean. To me, one that couldn't be easily overlooked, denied.
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Katlin Profile
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Re: "thus have i heard"


wingspans-birds-the soul
minarets-temples-religion-spirituality

in an undertow of birds could be an undertow of souls (though not only) in a breath we share (love that line)

"thus i have heard" Buddhism, yes, but also any retold tales
the scavenging of symbols for me is emblematic of the seeker's search but it could also be something darker: when one religion replaces another and usurps its symbols to make for easier conversion. I'm thinking, for example, of what happened when Christianity replaced Celtic pagan/nature/goddess traditions.

hmm, scavenger souls? We don't tend to think of the soul that way, at least not here in the West, but couldn't a soul hungry for meaning be considered a scavenger/ing soul? It's a disturbing image on one level, and yet one I can identify with certain times/aspects during my spiritual quest.

Plus, of course, there is the whole scavenging of dead symbols angle, which is what so much religion has/is turned into. Not, for example, the living water, but the dead ritual. It's Eliot's TWL all over again in its way.

Last edited by Katlin, Oct/30/2013, 8:13 am
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Re: "thus have i heard"


the final couplet: I love the rhythm of it. (Ha! I just wrote: I live the rhythm of it.) waves: ocean waves, airwaves, brainwaves

"unearthed" by waves is cool too.



Last edited by Katlin, Oct/30/2013, 8:05 am
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Re: "thus have i heard"


Partially repeating myself here, Arka. my slant on your aesthetic has always involved Rimbaud. I've said that before. I may have said it early on in our relationship. To repeat, here's what Rimbaud said. "A Poet makes himself a visionary through a long, boundless, and systemitized disorganization of the senses." Something else. I have for long viewed poets as linguistics' foot soldiers. It is a point I believe I could demonstrate. It is no accident that linguistics, viewed as a science, began in the early 20th C. with one Ferdinand Saussure, precisely the same cusp of time when Modernist poets were active, and actively looking to break away from traditional approaches. My contention would be this. That study started up looking to understand experiments in the new poetry. I also just came across something I read some years ago. "There is a sense in which French postmodernism is a true successor to the surrealist movement, which also tried to disrupt supposedly 'normal' ways of seeing things." Christopher Butler. In other words, a science and philosophy born out of an art movement. "Poetry is forever fighting against the pressures and seductive power of ordinary language to falsify experience in easy, slack cliche." R. W. Hepburn.

All of this I've mentioned before in several different contexts. I'll probably say it all again, considering it important enough. But these coordinates point to how I approach your poetry and to what I think you're after. This whole Rimbaud thing of sense disorganization, for example, what is it all about if it is not a matter of getting the individual to strip down tropes of sense perception and getting one[/i]inside[i] sense experience itself? I can't say if you are successful in what you do. Present poem point in case. If I'm right in what I think is your intention I do know my body responds to what you do.

Tere
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arkava Profile
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Re: "thus have i heard" (expanded)


Queenie,

Much love for reading. Glad it didn't jar!

Caroline,

Sorry for getting back to this so late. I was trying to keep the imagery as loose as possible but you are right. On its own it might not be complete even. Hope the new version makes it clearer. Grateful for the read.

Dear Kat,

Took your advice (though took my time replying) and changed the title for that poem I posted to begin with. I like how you brought together the images in this one. Hope in the new expanded sequence, wingspans etc make more sense. But the thrust I believe is that qi ick exchange/ unreality of symbols. The carrion I have no clue about. Dome sort of air burial sequence but I would be lying. The divine tinnitus riding on flesh maybe. Not sure. The poem (for now) seems more coherent than my thoughts/ comments on it. It's weird and possibly retrogressive but I got the measure of this sequence of poems ass backwards. I mean the trigger thought. I couldn't identity the trigger thought, the place I was writing these out of , till I completed the nek chand poem.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_Garden_of_Chandigarh

Place I visited almost a year back and was reminded of by a post on FB from Raw Vision journal. The Ganesh Pyne and the Suhrawardi came together in ways I could not have imagined. For the first time I feel completely honest to my background and my life.


Tere,

Man. I owe you. An important lesson : freedom. Not just publishing but having the conviction and the strength to write something you really live through, even if fantasmatic (in my case). I was always looking for a solution to the eastern experience western experience angle. Have begun to trust myself, I think.


Yrs, arka

Last edited by arkava, Nov/5/2013, 12:09 am
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Re: "thus have i heard" (expanded)


hi arka,

I like seeing/reading the poems altogether. It will take some time to absorb. Many refractions and reflections, in and between them.

Ah, air burial. I hadn't seen it, but now I do.

I liked learning about Nek Chand and his work. Fascinating story.

Do the first two poems you've added have titles? Since you have replaced it as the title for an individual poem, what do you think about "thus have i heard" as the title for the series? I think it could work.
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arkava Profile
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hey kat, i am also not really sure i was talking air burial there. i am projecting back here in my comments. when writing i tried to keep a margin. pls take the poems as they are and if it works it works. if it doesn't let me know.

much love
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Hi Arka,

This is really other worldly and lovely to pour over. I prefer not to try to understand as I'm sure I couldn't. I wouldn't know how to offer suggestions other than I think footnotes would be helpful to the likes of me!
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Re: "thus have i heard" (expanded)


Arka, I love this line:

"an undertow of birds
          in a breath we share"

The "in a breath we share" is very pedestrian like Rod McKuen back in the day. However, the "an undertow of birds" elevates it to a surreal level. Makes it beautiful. Yesterday I was walking my dogs up a ridge, and there were 20 or 30 hawks of some kind wheeling overhead. We approached them as we climbed on the road, and saw that there was one big wheeling mass of hawks, and then there were smaller ones. The smaller birds of all kinds took shelter beneath the trees in the area. I had never seen so many of them hiding among the trees. This line above brought that vision back. The rest of your poem is like this, a blending of the accessible with the ineffable, the inaccessible. Zak


quote:

arkava wrote:

you wake up thinking
even before things get their names back  
               if experience is thought
to be the blankness

where are you?

after a while every second person
is al-suhrawardi the murdered one

“when the body is one
of the parts of every true bodily nature”

a sky made of
three dreams in a row





breathing separates
you from me
from al-furud the bright ones
                           conviction
of  experience
        minus the space unrolling b/w
waves   
can you tell the time anymore
by the way waves sound
                     making way for dreams
or mountains free of detail
     if we walk faster we can catch up
with the beauty of it
                all of it 



"steadiness for the increase of all aims"

dreams do not cross you anymore
or convictions

waves minus all the unused space
at every moment

to replace
"one is to keep the other"

both in hatching require focus
on birds

even cut up
the sky is a second person

names are for a while suspended
then displace

a revision
“every thought is not of the sky”

continuous
the length of a shadow at noon


there the sky grows on you
aloof
what a faster eye is
a red wingspan/ moved by birds         
end to end “degrading
bodies to mere illusion”
          ascending distance echoing distance





tinnitus with carrion on its back

wingspans/ minarets stoop over
         a convincing sky like a storm
might start anytime
and whirl an undertow of birds
          in a breath we share

“thus have i heard”
the scavenging of symbols

unearthed by waves
brought back by waves



"a face sanctified from the world”

the sense of light dimming
evening half a wave
fading over hunayn ibn ishaq‘s
study
the water thinning out to
where trees grow inner
redness moving into a storm
"an inner parallel of dramatic sound”
an orbit unclouded by waves


na-koja-abad


the black of the intelligible heaven grows 
specks and then a citron background against 
which a cube of pure yellow its sides 
experiencing saturation
minarets of red carried by the anchoring lines
two of those moving almost vertical
the third decidedly transverse
nothing moves in the composition
unless one accepts the anchoring lines
as gradients/ cross sections
two of the lines move roughly parallel
to the composition
 now in the shadow of “the second person"




suhrawardi on ganesh pyne

the sky grows out of
an orbit
red in its whirl
against the thinning world           

 ......dimming its share
to a fading wingspan brings
a hyacinth to the ground
there

to fire and then to water
its face inches from the ground
its neck anchored lightning
its wings modified hands

as birds crossing unfurled waves
as undertow scavenging saturation




nek chand troubled by visions


against the trees 
thinning limbs
of scarring and the white of the eye
memories of people
left alone   
       there
a dead end
without the scattering
of plasticity     
      eyes feeling through
other eyes
successive promotion of faith          
     precession  
of waves and dead ends  
and left alone




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arkava Profile
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Re: "thus have i heard" (expanded)


quote:

carolinex wrote:

Hi Arka,

This is really other worldly and lovely to pour over. I prefer not to try to understand as I'm sure I couldn't. I wouldn't know how to offer suggestions other than I think footnotes would be helpful to the likes of me!



Caroline, excellent suggestion. I am thinking of writing small footnotes which can form part of the poems. Like not watertight definitions or further readings but enough to lend some context.
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Re: "thus have i heard" (expanded)


Brother Zak,

I think surreal is the best compliment I have got in a while. The past year was spent going back again and again to Breton's essays on art and Peret and other surrealists (notably Tzara), not just the 1920s but also people like Will Alexander. What hit me was the ease with which these guys could construct metaphors. Free associative in the real sense of the term. After a long gestation, now images have started coming more easily now. Not commenting on quality, but the very fact that I could do it as an exercise, gave me a kick. But Buddhism keeps me grounded. My latest acquisition, An Evaluation of the Vedantic critique of Buddhism. I spent the day trying to understand the chapter on causality. Most of it has been misreading I am sure. But I am hopeful this might make it to a poem some day. A poem I can be proud of for a change. Well a guy can dream.

Loved the vision of the birds. Disturbing too a bit. Good hit on the pedestrian/ surreal thing. I had gotten into the habit of using tortuous ( and poeticized) syntax in the past and I used to kid myself that it was complex. Now I am trying to write in complete sentence s and keep the syntax diction as direct as possible.

Yrs
arka



quote:

Zakzzz5 wrote:

Arka, I love this line:

"an undertow of birds
          in a breath we share"

The "in a breath we share" is very pedestrian like Rod McKuen back in the day. However, the "an undertow of birds" elevates it to a surreal level. Makes it beautiful. Yesterday I was walking my dogs up a ridge, and there were 20 or 30 hawks of some kind wheeling overhead. We approached them as we climbed on the road, and saw that there was one big wheeling mass of hawks, and then there were smaller ones. The smaller birds of all kinds took shelter beneath the trees in the area. I had never seen so many of them hiding among the trees. This line above brought that vision back. The rest of your poem is like this, a blending of the accessible with the ineffable, the inaccessible. Zak


quote:

arkava wrote:

you wake up thinking
even before things get their names back  
               if experience is thought
to be the blankness

where are you?

after a while every second person
is al-suhrawardi the murdered one

“when the body is one
of the parts of every true bodily nature”

a sky made of
three dreams in a row





breathing separates
you from me
from al-furud the bright ones
                           conviction
of  experience
        minus the space unrolling b/w
waves   
can you tell the time anymore
by the way waves sound
                     making way for dreams
or mountains free of detail
     if we walk faster we can catch up
with the beauty of it
                all of it 



"steadiness for the increase of all aims"

dreams do not cross you anymore
or convictions

waves minus all the unused space
at every moment

to replace
"one is to keep the other"

both in hatching require focus
on birds

even cut up
the sky is a second person

names are for a while suspended
then displace

a revision
“every thought is not of the sky”

continuous
the length of a shadow at noon


there the sky grows on you
aloof
what a faster eye is
a red wingspan/ moved by birds         
end to end “degrading
bodies to mere illusion”
          ascending distance echoing distance





tinnitus with carrion on its back

wingspans/ minarets stoop over
         a convincing sky like a storm
might start anytime
and whirl an undertow of birds
          in a breath we share

“thus have i heard”
the scavenging of symbols

unearthed by waves
brought back by waves



"a face sanctified from the world”

the sense of light dimming
evening half a wave
fading over hunayn ibn ishaq‘s
study
the water thinning out to
where trees grow inner
redness moving into a storm
"an inner parallel of dramatic sound”
an orbit unclouded by waves


na-koja-abad


the black of the intelligible heaven grows 
specks and then a citron background against 
which a cube of pure yellow its sides 
experiencing saturation
minarets of red carried by the anchoring lines
two of those moving almost vertical
the third decidedly transverse
nothing moves in the composition
unless one accepts the anchoring lines
as gradients/ cross sections
two of the lines move roughly parallel
to the composition
 now in the shadow of “the second person"




suhrawardi on ganesh pyne

the sky grows out of
an orbit
red in its whirl
against the thinning world           

 ......dimming its share
to a fading wingspan brings
a hyacinth to the ground
there

to fire and then to water
its face inches from the ground
its neck anchored lightning
its wings modified hands

as birds crossing unfurled waves
as undertow scavenging saturation




nek chand troubled by visions


against the trees 
thinning limbs
of scarring and the white of the eye
memories of people
left alone   
       there
a dead end
without the scattering
of plasticity     
      eyes feeling through
other eyes
successive promotion of faith          
     precession  
of waves and dead ends  
and left alone







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Re: "thus have i heard" (expanded)


I've come back to the poem. I find it is still a good poem. Follow this lead, Arka. Give this lead rein.

Tere
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