Wednesday, November 11, 2009

music may be older than language (2009)

Recursions. Glitching stars tap out the spectrum.
Trees bend fractal. Ventriloquist froglife. Dub-
pond & thicket. Spiralling through. Halt at the
fire to be its student.

Fire lifts, farewells. Night masquerade: some
of the women stand winged; men wear their
animal. Plant ingesters. Shamanic bass. En-
theogen shaving story-layers.

Cosmologies, soteriologies. The death
side. n, n dimethyltryptamine hyper-
space. Discarnate remedy. Pharma-

kon. (Dis)enchanter.

An audience with. Far space, upper
time. House of the elders. Inter-
section. Coming to. Drums


  1. "Shaving story-layers"--what a fascinating idea...

    I like where this goes. Each line is quite unexpected.

  2. That is cool. I like the shape of it, kind of reducing shape like the words are getting less and it is fading from thought into a primal music. This poem would be cool to read through dimethyltryptamine eyes. Do you happen to have any?

  3. Thanks to you both.

    I was very conscious of the shape when composing this one, so glad you noticed that, Paul.

    And in response to your question, there are trace amounts of DMT in the human body, so the answer has to be yes! ;)

  4. Looking at "Recursions" and "Trees bend fractal" I wondered if you were thinking of a kind of experimental music I don't understand (my music theory's rudimentary): fractal music, music with recursive patterns, perhaps in connection with John Cage. Actually the poem itself is a fractal, isn't it? Each stanza is a small copy of the shape of the whole. And what would you call that shape? Shortly before reading your poem I was looking at drawings of poem/stanza shapes from Puttenham's Arte of English Poesie, e.g. the "lozenge" and "tricquet displayed" used by Dylan Thomas in "Vision and Prayer." Your shape wasn't among those shapes. It's like a sconce, a bracket. An anvil. A lover's leap.

  5. I composed this in the spirit of tribal music, (psy-)trance / ekstasis and 'techno-shamanism'. Which probably all sounds like a bit of a wank, but there you go! I would say that psy-trance especially has a fractal structure. The same could be said about strands of dub, dubstep and drum & bass. Of course, most music involves recurring patterns - although Cage et al explode this through the use of aleatory methods, etc.

    In terms of the shape, I was trying to make a beautiful pattern without thinking too much about its symbolism. But it has turned out to be a kind of fractal.