The Twelfth House: Art and the Unconscious

The Twelfth House: Art and the Unconscious

This paper was published in a leading Western Occult publication, The Fenris Wolf, which is available for purchase here.  First presented as a talk at the "Psychoanalysis, Art and the Occult" conference in London, March 2016.

Since my earliest studies as a poet I have sought to uncover unifying threads in human culture in order to understand human history with less bias and more permission; to understand with more truth. Poetry, a non-commercial and in this way non-regulated art (for better and worse), was one entrance. The other was astrology. Western astrology (discussed herein) is of course specific in cultural detail but the originating principles – math, measurement and scientific precision – are shared across astrological systems. The vast majority of early civilizations studied the literally sparkling unknown of the night, and with little more than the eye, a ruler and writing utensil, developed majorly complex measurement schemas; a feat which tells me all humans have the propensity and capacity to measure their worlds systemically. Let it be noted, that while certainly in the eye of the beholder I’ll argue staunchly that the similarities in cross-civilization astrological symbolisms overwhelmingly outweigh the differences. Astrology has fundamentally taught me how similar ancient civilizations are in a "universal grammar" kind of way.

OMNIBUS PREFACE

OMNIBUS PREFACE

I have a theory.

I believe women writers have existed at every moment throughout history. We can’t see them in the historical record because of (a lack of) “documentation” – the process of publishing and critical reviews and writing of histories: the process of canonization. I think it’s absolutely about process and nothing to do with existence or excellence.

EDITOR'S NOTE: PLEASE ADD TO THIS LIST

EDITOR'S NOTE: PLEASE ADD TO THIS LIST

The idea of “canon” is appalling to Bernadette Mayer—

a club she would not enter alone without her students, comrades and contemporaries; she credits this piece of writing, Experiments, as “written with her St. Mark’s Poetry Project Workshop.” This piece of writing which performs in so many directions: as pragmatic muse, as granting of permission, as Ars Poetica about not “what is poetry,” but literally “what poetry can be”—which says it all about Mayer’s Poetics. Mayer’s poetics include just about everything (and radically well or better at that), but I’ll mention here poetry as communal practice: the poetry of dialogue whose daily place in the wordplay of society means everything to all of us. In Experiments, Mayer opens the door to generativity in the most democratic of manners. And how expansive and resonant the conversation! What a terrific symbol of our era!

DEAR ALAIN AUTHOR'S NOTE

DEAR ALAIN AUTHOR'S NOTE

Can love, thinking as two, be enough to bond poetry which thinks as "elsewhere" and philosophy which thinks in distinctions?

Despite the dramatic metaphor, in the end there is not a mathematic answer to such a question. Each answers their own way. Love the union of singulars.

Now then, is this poetry? If Badiou's conditions are all redoubled here, poetry on philosophy, philosophy on poetry, etc. then is is too much of a Godel trick to ask? (the Indians wrote their calculus in verse, you know.)

Either transcendental way, and I don't really mind as long as it's transcendental, what I want to say is I think the relationship between philosophy and poetry is like what happens at the real projective plane: various degrees of infinite, like a mobius strip.