A little quip – a bit of slick perusal, quick catch!: too dark to make much out – but there is always this interiorly strange conundrum stuff to whip, regale and fluff you into something that might just erupt enough: sufficiently to blast a little freedom in and up and through your winter heart. Slide down the slope, my dear: I’ll meet you at its nether part. Today we’ll close our eyes and belly whop onto the frozen Universe for art.
Some prevailing wind – a weather system you were in – continual expenditure of energy in one direction – as if sped ahead along the blank containing banks of some eruptive river which, invisible yet irresistible,
refused not to enlist you in its insurrection: not unlikely as the narrative, the story you would fashion of your past. It plausibly suggests why nothing lasts: too fleet and indiscriminate: though maybe faulty in its
implication of a unity: as if one thing advanced more than another. You think about your mother, born on Christmas Eve. Pushing off the isthmus of her death, you’d had to leave so many harbors: out to find
new marvels of a rich autonomy – which surely ached, still aches to grow. But strange, the way things go, always pushing off the banks into another river. If she were here, you wonder what you’d have to give her.
Let’s try to take the measured earthbound view: evince the sort of body-laden equilibrium that might just make a fine fit animal of you: pick through the front-lines of your consciousness to find the bits that proffer unsymbolic thinking:
“should I stuff an egg or kick a football?” – something that prevents the sinking and the bluffing puffery of involuted self-examinations, with their proto-sicknesses and folderol and castitooshigations: which, besides which, get thick in the way
of sex and piss and food and drink and sleep and all the other excretory, incretory bodily sensations, functions, blinkingly unconscious celebrations of the flesh, than which there are no better ways of living pleasurably. Keep it fresh:
activate a confluence of motor instincts – scrap that nuanced questionably “fascinating” introspective mesh. Be a constitutionally un-poetic treat. Condense into the potent unadulterated essence of your dumb inimitable meat.
A rippling underneath – a symmetry of neural network – coalescing of a shape in chaos – chaos which is never chaos – circling, looping, swooping into, out of, over and below a strange complex insistent flow in which the nature of all meaning seems to wink – you grab at it in outline:
in a blink it slips away but leaves a residue which speaks to you: tells you to go off again into the cloud in whose amorphousness a pod of porpoises allows you just a fleeting view of form: a phallus or a palace –
the fractal lure of sex, a vexed perplexity which just as soon as you’ve accepted it resumes pursuit of a geometry beneath the whole damned thing.
There is a grandeur and a gladness to this liquid afternoon, this covert light, this pearled translucent weather – a strange aggrandizement of blessings in the rain, its backdrop alabaster air – near colorlessness – which obtains today between Manhattan street trees’ dormant
branches: sky is quietly announcing something large and private. December afternoon cannot not praise the coming night: an envelope of darkness has embraced the whole, and we are never not in starlight – and I hear the tap of drops outside and I am in such golden warmth and stillness
in this room: a nearly cataleptic trance: to move at all would be to injure an essential stance: the pause between the steps of some god’s dance: a hush, a glance, a savoring: I know no way to translate this soft shadowed being into language, but ever-pressing nearly-winter sky demands I try.
In this opal well of light and shade from which December afternoon is made – in its grand volume and complexity – its dance of dust in angled sun from which I must avert my glance – before its solar cataract combusts and overruns my eye – in this incursion of the sky into the room –
this incarnation yet again of some felt bloom – some sense of sometime – when? – faint grasp of past, beyond my own – in this attenuated flow and tone – this proof of time’s illusion – this rhymed allusion to a dimly recollected home – not this one, no, and not in London, no –
but fluidly partaking of the source of each, as if an ocean of some distant century had now begun to lap its gentle waves upon a beach – to draw Baroque striated swerves and geometric curves in sand with broken bits of shell – some code informs me all is deeply well.
The utterly reliable completeness with which refrigerated milk fulfills whatever yearning my mouth, soul and psyche regularly bring to it recalls the barest glint and whiff, vestigial trace, the almost utterly forgotten grace not of my childhood so much as of the source of something farther, farther – so much farther back than human intercourse of any kind; beyond all genesis of Mind: where had a sentient spirit somehow come to be, and thought
to seek to find it – the rebounding echo of the vast and pounding first primordial Lack to which the Big Bang rushed with its attractions – might have offered all at once its absolution of an answer to all vexing existential fears. That, perhaps, begins to say, convey some fraction of the bliss with which, through years, I’ve turned to the experience
of this entirely efficient counteraction to the visceral somatic memory of that first dire abyss. Whatever factions of experience have since ensued – whatever cyclic eons in which energy and matter have become unglued, construed
or mis- construed – there can have been no
greater satisfaction in one bit of it – no sweeter glory – than what is hinted at, implied
inside the story I can tell about the way a gallon of refrigerated milk, sipped through the night, so incrementally provides its perfect and divine delight, through its suggestive pearl-white flow of potable sweet liquid silk.
The Work takes notice of you only insofar as you affect it – health and mood must hit sufficient pitch for it to go about the enterprise of dealing with its germinating itch: although you do not have to be awake for it: it sorts through your unconscious waverings, your somnolent
half-hollow dreams for what might be its best negotiable schemes – retrieving this or that exacting insight, pulsing color, scent, arousal to effect theatrical espousal of regret or celebration, confession of defeat or prideful hot assertion: it investigates all traces of the grace of your erotic yearnings –
any dregs of desolate desertion – assiduously burrowing, inquisitive about your latest least exertion and how useful any of its consequences –: how it kisses, kicks the heart – might prove to the creation – wielding, molding – of a gratifying art. Chilling how unwilling it appears
to care about your happiness: (all that, to it, is sentimental sappiness): but it does care more than you know that you find ways to counteract all tendency to stop and foster everything it takes to make you go. It hopes you’ll get the hint. You are its only instrument.
I think the whomp of time difference is affecting me – oddly – I’m tired at 9 a.m. (4 a.m. nyc time) despite having slept all through the night – 8 hours & more – my body isn’t buying the light. yesterday: Chelsea again for brkfst (stockpot), picked anglesea arms as dinner spot for tonight, deposited richard’s 20 pound note in hsbc, tubed to Leicester sq and walked over to Trafalgar square: deep dive into 15th thru 1900 british faces at nat’l portrait gallery (how interesting to me that the 16th century – largely the dutch/Flemish guys, Holbein et al – really captured our sense of the modern face almost before any other art quite captured what we think of as the modern mind: as if the visual arts are always at the vanguard) – walk down strand/aldwych to get tkt for endgame – pushed further down to st clement danes, royal courts of justice – saw endgame, quite marvelous, kept beckett as interesting as he can be by riding the line between despair & comedy with great exactitude – dark wonderful London, an hour of the nat’l gallery, very struck by rembrandt’s heads – mostly old people including a self-portrait in his last year (a room away from a young self-portrait) – gave me the idea that if I drew anything here it will probably be an amalgam face – an old man – I am coming slowly to think of London as a “he” – first city to evoke that for me – had a comparatively healthy (compared to the eng. brkfsts I’ve been subsisting on) light Italian meal, walked up to Leicester sq and happened to pass a quaker meeting building on st martin’s lane at 6:13 – 6:15 meeting about to start so I went in & sat down for 45 minutes in quiet. Two men spoke – one of them I found very attractive – Brit quakers all. It’s strange to me still to think that if you poked one of any one of them they’d involuntarily erupt in an English accent. Increases my sense of the place being irrevocably stained with itself – as surely every place is. But there is a completeness to it here for me that continually piques/interests. Tiny breaths of word choice – ice cream commercial (for ben & jerry’s!): “perfect for a night in.” A night in! My back hurts from the bed, I think: at any rate it did yesterday too & it made walking a stiff business at first until it unkinked, which it did completely, and which it will today too. British museum this morning, I think, and then a walking tour thru Kensington, then back here, perhaps, to start on that amalgam face & head, before Nigel Kelly & wife come to meet me & we proceed on our walk past QC’s beaufort street abode & to dinner at anglesea arms. I have no idea what or if I’ll ‘write’ – no poem occurs. I think life has entirely moved into the place poems used to be. One is living it, isn’t one.
Have no idea what writing will come. I am too deep in the middle of a sleep-deprived recall - on Kings Rd @ the 'stockpot' - slavic-women-run 'simple' restaurant where I just wolfed down a complete English brkfst -- too much -- too fast. Walking in a mostly but not entirely awake semi-stupor - but oddly (as in a dream) sure-footed -- out of Gloucester Road tube into instantly almost shockingly familiar London. I can't get over how many 'things' - car dealership, restaurants, food shops - haven't changed - some (like the 'star of india,' my first indian restaurant good heavens - down the road from my first gay bar) not since 1971. Can't get into my room at Aston's yet (which won't have a balcony but somehow I look forward to its cocoon, esp. today) until noon. Meanwhile: Neville Terrace, Onslow Gardens - South Ken turning into Chelsea - as excruciatingly pretty & settled as ever - after this I'll walk to the Thos. More church and the river - Cheyney Ct. and Henry James. Cool/warm damp pleasant not rainy, exactly as overcast as my dream of it. Then S-L-O-W-L-Y will track back up towards South Ken & dip a bit into the V&A. But I will need to lie down somewhere soon. Rush-hour tube train ride from Heathrow absolutely SILENT. Forgot how quiet Londoners are en (that kind of) masse. Actually surprised to see a lot of "English" (stereotypically so - blond, pale, appealingly pasty) people in London -- wasn't expecting it. It really is stamped with itself, this place. Walking down Old Church Street, past what had been the Eden House Hotel Richard & I stayed at 25 years or so ago -- it's astonishingly THERE, in situ. Flowers sold on the corner, just as back then.
in my room now. They 'upgraded' me to a double room because they couldn't get me a balcony room ("they" - a pretty blonde girl who happened to be at the desk) - and I like it. Brit TV on whilst I napped -- now need to struggle back up & out & make a sort of more waking mark on the place, shake myself into gaping, stimulate myself into stark fatigue again, so I can sleep tonight (which will be easy to do -- shake myself into gaping anyway) --
this after that dip into a harrowingly over-gorgeous V&A -- god, it's one thing to see all that English self-glorification at the Met, but whoa - HERE - again -- well, talk about The Thing Itself. Compulsively endless. Really almost frightening -- this after a long moment spent in an entirely empty St. Lukes (on Sydney Street; I know it from an AA meeting I went to in its prodigious back last time I was here: morning meeting - will probably go to it tomorrow, not least just to be in that building again) in Chelsea - one of the first gothic revival (1824) churches in London -- golden Bath stone fucking cathedral of a place -- nothing in the USA built in the 1820s is anywhere near as grand: again: the empire insisting on itself almost offhandedly -- just because it could - but (because of the 1820s) with grace. Dickens got married there I think. Oh, I know this is just 'stuff' -- but it's all in some sort of swoony marvelous almost slightly scary dream: not least a product of my physical state. But I really am loving it. Took a phone-photo of the swatch of 'garden' - presumably the one after which Rosary Gardens is named - out my window. here it is.
much to come, but/and am gladly staying to my determination simply to "be" here. I forgot I hae a little kitchenette in this place -- will go out & get little overly fussy british snacks & stuff.
'poems'? maybe this is a proto-one. drawings? we shall see.
Some gallantry is what you’d dare to hope for first – here or there, no matter where – that it might bear the gently bursting air – the generosity – of something graciously alert – concerned –
though with enough cool distance to insure whatever prepossessing breath – detachment – wisdom – were required to assess the larger view. A mild availability and receptivity and firm consistency,
you’d hope, might so comprise the tone – that of the sort of softly reassuring sighing lullaby you’d want to overhear a mother sing to some already sleeping child – that it would quiet every tremble, trepidation
at the prospect of the wild and savage truer nature of what you, alas, at last, are sure we have to face instead. There may be Paradise for an Eternal Life – but there’s no heaven for the dead.
I write roughly one poem a day. This blog is a continuation of a series of poem depot websites I'd also had through google, but which seem now to have filled up with my stuff to the point where I can't edit or add another page.
So here I am. Since April 1, 2009 I've been adding drawings, one a day. To see them fuller size left-click on the drawing - and voila.
To get an idea of who I am, google on "Guy Kettelhack."
To see poems I've written previous to the ones in this poem depot, google on Guy Kettelhack + Act 2 (or just Guy Kettelhack + poetry): for kind unsolicited observations about my work by photographer Rick Shupper: google Guy Kettelhack + Holtermann Design LLC. (I'd provide links but they don't seem to stick here.)
thanks for stopping by.