Nostomania
#1
Nostomania (edited)


They were awaiting the roads
that would take them home;
all standing like planted trees
with wind blowing through their bones.

Human beings, ah? what a disaster,
what a travesty!
Man, the only animal that rots before he’s dead, 
(his own cannibal and his own mother) 
gives birth to himself and then eats himself.

They stood, up to their ankles in mud.
Every one a philosopher, an artist, a poet.
Each one more definite than the last.
Each one more certain and profound.
Each one swaying, broken, little verbivore

You see, these ones got the smarts, Ma.

pullulating like rats 
fucking in overcomplicated nests of thinking

These boys sure are sharp, Ma.

catching ideas, 
eaten by spider-men,
and regurgitating them to fortify the walls.

Some of them moved around—
surbaters! Leaving their friends left for dead. 
These ones didn’t last long in the wilderness. 
Blindly looking for somewhere to plant their feet (or head).
Some looked into the mud and found thinking there—
found something human about it all.

There is no humanity, 
not down there, not up here.
And some were you!
A cunt langsuir sucking the marrow from the nothing 
of our newborn’s animal.
Reply
#2
(12-23-2017, 08:19 AM)shemthepenman Wrote:   Nostomania (edited)


They were awaiting the roads
that would take them home;
all standing like planted trees
with wind blowing through their bones.

Human beings, ah? what a disaster,
what a travesty!
Man, the only animal that rots before he’s dead,
(his own cannibal and his own mother)
gives birth to himself and then eats himself.               cannibalism of ideas? and "verbivore" in that context? 
  i wondered if there´s a way of uniting this line with the one in brackets above to avoid the direct explanation.

They stood, up to their ankles in mud.
Every one a philosopher, an artist, a poet.
Each one more definite than the last.
Each one more certain and profound.          profound...-ly stuck in mud?
Each one swaying, broken, little verbivore

You see, these ones got the smarts, Ma.

pullulating like rats
fucking in overcomplicated nests of thinking

These boys sure are sharp, Ma.                                       these two lines are contrast the narrator in their naive way.. almost seem like the narrator at a younger age. 

catching ideas,                                                                              
eaten by spider-men,                                     if those spider-men ate the ideas wouldn´t they also regurtitate them??   besides that, the next line is great, continuing the nest-metaphor to a grotesque but fitting image
and regurgitating them to fortify the walls.                  

Some of them moved around—
surbaters! Leaving their friends left for dead.              what is surbate? similar to abate?
These ones didn’t last long in the wilderness.
Blindly looking for somewhere to plant their feet (or head).          seems part of becoming human  is to lose connection to nature.. (not an interpretation of your line, just what it made me think)
Some looked into the mud and found thinking there—           this kind of thinking made me think of your finnegan-poem
found something human about it all.   

There is no humanity,
not down there, not up here.
And some were you!             i imagined a swear word after "some"   , for example "human" in the poem´s context
A cunt langsuir sucking the marrow from the nothing             does this relate to the "mother" spoken about above or.. i looked up langsuir and it seems female already, so is cunt there for anatomical reasons to describe that act?
of our newborn’s animal.                  i probably get this wrong but "animal" makes me think of that clichéd word "spirit"


this transports feelings of alienation to me and a strange sense of something thats lost.
 am probably not getting what you meant and still like it.
...
Reply
#3
hello,

yes, i agree the bracketed line and the following line are... well one of them is redundant. i’ll either cut one or the other. 

the cannibalism is the distillation of a complex philosophical concept. giving birth to one’s self is obviously existential, specifically relating to Sartre and his famous saying “existence precedes essence”.  following on through that, to “Process Philosophy” and Whitehead, Deleuze etc. and the philosophy of becoming—later references to becoming-animal, etc. but like the snake that eats it’s own tail (i have temporarily drawn a blank for the name of that)-—but not like the Nietzschean “eternal return” and so on. but this is all by-the-by, it’s metaphorical. abstract thought (awareness of self, life, death, etc.) creates self, life, and death. and wittgenstein tells us 

1. the world is everything that is the case
2. what is the case is the existence of states of affairs 
3. a logical picture of facts is thought
4. a thought is a proposition with a sense
5. a proposition is a truth function of elementary propositions 
6. the general form of a proposition is the general form of a truth function: [p ̄,ξ,N(ξ)].
7. whereof one can not speak, thereof one must be silent. 

and if this weren’t peculiar enough, he later makes an entire revision and so on and so forth. but this is all a bit mansplainy as i’m sure no poet worth their salt hasn’t read wittgenstein. and so it goes.
i should say, although this poem seems to be harsh on “people”, there is no alternative. the negativity arises from the dismal concepts we propagate. possibly. 

yeah, the whole “catching ideas...” stanza, needs serious reworking. it’s a bit rubbish. 

a “surbater” is someone who tires you with walking. . 

yes, indeed “cunt”, though not gendered in british english, is gendered here. and yes, animal is opposed to “spirit” to a certain degree. although, being a deleuzian, the concept of the “animal-spirit” is never far away. 

thanks for reading. i will think about your comments and try to make some changes. unfortunately, this is a pretty old poem, and i’m not sure i agree with its purpose. 

cheers.
Reply
#4
(12-24-2017, 06:43 AM)shemthepenman Wrote:  abstract thought (awareness of self, life, death, etc.) creates self, life, and death.

i´m glad this is in misc.
maybe animals have an idea about death too (even if it´s more a concept of fear than this useless pondering of what if anything should come afterwards)
and that would be why they avoid pain (like us). elephants are said to mourn their dead.

and wittgenstein tells us
1. the world is everything that is the case
2. what is the case is the existence of states of affairs
3. a logical picture of facts is thought
4. a thought is a proposition with a sense
5. a proposition is a truth function of elementary propositions
6. the general form of a proposition is the general form of a truth function: [p ¯,?,N(?)].
7. whereof one can not speak, thereof one must be silent.

 i don´t think this summary will make me read wittgenstein. 
1. and 2. seem like wordplay to me
in 3. he seemed to lack a definition of "logical".. how logical can things become once they´re abstract? everything depends on definitions that are hard to make about things you can´t grasp.
4. sense? that´s when i started to think he was arrogant. 5. and 6. contribute to that.
7. basically that sounds pretty circular (though i still suspect he meant it in that way that excludes people like me who can´t follow his reasoning about truth functions but that´s probably subjective).


a “surbater” is someone who tires you with walking. .

you mean someone who can make their state creep inside someone else? (in case of those mud-figures, the unrest that made some walk away)  
isn´t that what poets do sometimes?
...
Reply
#5
maybe animals do have a concept of death. but it’s unimportant here. the animal/spirit duality is metaphorical. the animal is, let’s say—to use nietzschean terminology—active. abstraction is reactive, and self-reactive, at any rate. i shouldn’t like this to be a promotion of idealism à la berkeley. i’m not saying death isn’t a “matter of fact”. but it’s conceptual presence is something different. it acquires certain unique qualities as it passes through abstraction. francis bacon once said that he wanted his paintings to look as if a human being had passed between them, leaving a trace like a snail leaves its slime. it might be said that the abstract passes through existence this way, leaving its slime on everything. etc. or, more correctly, when objects of experience pass through abstraction, etc. 

i would recommend reading wittgenstein, despite your reservations. i am not sure if he was arrogant or not, but he was, apparently, “difficult” to get on with. he was supposedly very intense. he was one of those kind of geniuses. the intense kind. the kind you wouldn’t invite to a dinner party. 
anyway, the Tractatus Philosophicus is a slim book, and these 7 propositions are its backbone. it makes no sense to try to unpack them as they are presented here, without also going through the sub-propositions. 
also, circular or not, the last is definitely paradoxical. 

having said all that, these are just trivialities. the poem is what it is. and what it isn’t is a philosophical treatise. it is, itself, the antithesis of some of the ideas it’s alluding to (a bit like the Tractatus itself).
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!