Hands in the Land and a Daimon by the Throat
Lecture on Ripples
The subject for the day is Through
the Substance: Ripples of Splendor.
I had to satisfy my Western compulsion
for verifiability. So I asked
the participants: Why
do you do what you do, and mostly
the answer: To feel better,
I went to make myself feel better.
Power medicine. Perfect Medicine.
These are the words that come into the mouth
willing for an English. As for the point
of the ritual:
To promote the transfer.
Render the lips to the words
and the shapely substance utters itself.
So the theory goes. Such is the spectation
in the mind of the doers.
coexists with the principle of time itself.
The principle times itself to coexist
with the transfer of power.
Coexistence principles itself
through the power of time.
Time coexists in the principle of power.
Hence the transfer.
There are many ways
for the substance to say itself.
Why is it we are doing what we are doing?
Is it the notorious transfer of ambrosia?
Translate this back into Sanskrit
and see where that gets you:
through the sky
or back into the lexicon.
Two tongues meet in lexispectation.
And so we are given the Tibetan word men drug,
to think medicine, drug for the men, mind dragging itself out
of any particular hole,
thus: “to accomplish or retain.”
Hold the seed long enough
for the transfer, keep
the middle open to itself, we are reminded
never often enough. The word
enters the dictionary
to begin its poem, the definition
is ta’wil on its own first word.
So when I say ambrosia I mean anything
usable in the present context.
Correlative semantic device. Power medicine.
We read the dictionary in order
to feel better. The backward opening word
cures, in order to move forward.
Close the page to turn the mind.
We were speaking before the break about
Gnostic equanimity or
the further fabrication of the self.
Now we are no longer before the break and
so we no longer have to speak about it.
The transfer from tongue to tongue
by the King of Ambrosia through the langue d’oc
is a complexity of Yes in the urge of the mind
to turn on itself. The Mage closes the Book
and nods to the Numen, and even he
is led by our being led by him
in what he says. Stress,
strain, and general entropy of the body
get together in the transfer:
Soma, as against soma.
Tongue placed against the tongue.
Sense it in the tip of saying
It touches the Alveolar Verge
in order to utter It tongues itself.
Tiny sound with a diamond center,
the Daimon cures in kind.
King. Queen. Quaynte.
Hard tone heard in the enter.
Put your head in your hands and hear it enter.
Put time in the tone and you think it to enter.
This then is the center of turning. Time lapse.
The entropy of body enters
the ripple of splendor
and the rot is transferable music.
This is the rite
as against phlegm which causes ignorance
in the brain and semen producing desire,
and so Mara soars.
This is a very esoteric subject and few will speak of it.
Someone interrupts the train of thought
always before the secret is spent.
We keep it in context
in order to feel better, we keep
the three channels open, left,
right, and center.
that we are skipping all the vital data.
Patience. There is an art of listening
that may instruct us even in this
kingly but questionable discourse.
We have to watch our tongue
or we’ll lose track
and let the word out of the vocal sack,
and lose our double nature.
O double double soil and ripples
everything is twice come,
twice seeding. Blood
is the origin of the gross and the subtle,
Soma rubbing against soma.
Let it ignite. We have touched the tone
and burned the tongue in the open process.
Lure the spiritus into the materia.
Listen to the distance: Charlie Chan
is in the next room, he has ordered a wrecking crew
to repair the lost Train of Thought. O Orient
with your slanted tongues!
Teach us the trick of the Ambrosia Cycle
as it pumps out the blood and semen.
Help me across these Urals of word
bearing a pack of healing mushrooms
into the body of the text.
When we accept all the roles that have ever been
we will use as many strains as exist in the tongue.
Congestion in the lung is a fact of the lecture.
Divine pride is a fact in the mind of the doer
in the time of the rite. Time is a person.
Or time is the medium of the transfer
and it gets personal. It lapses
and we have our spectrous thoughts, yogis
of the word eating our vile substance.
Lure the spiritus further
into the materia.
[Explosions outside the text.]
Mahakala in this distance, approaches.
Tantric blessings and powerful medicine
for all you folks out there. And you,
Herr Reich, you come too, there’s room
for you too.
In the Seventh Stage
the Ambrosia comes to life.
In the Tenth, Purification
of the Three Doors.
You can’t see him doing it but he’s doing it.
Anoint the genitalia with a drop of Ambrosia.
Note that this is what we call
Metaphoric Reality. And yet
we believe it when the voice says
This Is Your Life, your poetics,
This is your Kleopatra Chrisopoeia.
And the text reads: One
is the Serpent which has poison
according to two compositions.
O Language! Restore me my ears
as the end of the Art of Hearing.
I hold up the Lycurgus Cup of green chalcedony
and light it from the center:
and I discover: All facts are simple
by the fact of factuality, it makes me
say it is so.
Mercury halts the stroke of time.
As for Melusina, she slides down
the central pole
of my body. Time
is where the dragons join.
She anoints the genitalia, a drop
of Gnosis, and the rain of flowers.
Here we enter together.
We transfer, so to speak, our addresses,
I is we is you is the God,
and so forth. Ambrosia in semen
in blood in thought in
word. Hence this feeble lecture.
Hence the calling it up
Taking the Powers.
All expectation lessens
in the crevice of mind. All your life
which This Is you will struggle
for the Opening Middle, and the poetics
is never the way you thought.
The insight must be shared,
that is the path elected in the fact of text,
and you will forever try
to weasel out of it. Coward that you are.
Blood and semen on the brain
until the biological state extends, O Worry
that you will never know . . .
Add the bios to the logos
and lay out the life.
You have passed through a part of the dark
and now you may notice:
and Transubstantiated Spiritual Horses
passing before you.
Now you have heard it
and may begin
to dissimilate. The Goddess
officiates at this stage.
your Body Power. Now Speech Power.
Now Mind Power.
Receive the Syllables.
Two. Eat up. Leave no sacrament on your plate.
Ripples out and beyond sight. This
is about the process of hearing
it said in time. Twisted
as the strand seems.
Here we gently turn our minds:
the Lovers awaken.
Recall the first time
you heard your parents shriek in the sexual bliss.
Water. Blackness. Visible and audible decay.
These are the stages, now place the finger
of the mind
in this sticky structure.
What have we done in doing what we do?
We entered the fire.
We entered the tree.
We entered the lily.
We summoned the demons and used the garlic.
We placed it all in the urine of a camel.
And now we return.
Back into form. Back into philosophy.
And here the Goddess asks us
to explain the Golden Pill.
We snort and slurp our words like the swine we are.
We mumble something about the synthesis
of body, speech, and mind.
Togetherness of the organs
through the fiery grip in the thighs of time.
O Time, give us a break,
we cry in the spirit of Confidence,
the Great Racket
at the end of the Negative Rainbow.
Three Conflagrations. See?
The rite calls us to attend the Festivities.
Attention of turning: See?
We’re moving toward form. The ass brays
in the lapis tones of Tibetan:
Firetime is Mahakala,
Inner Heat is Energeia. See?
We’re developing our skills.
Ointment is like a vulture that goes in the sky.
The eye weighs ten thousand pounds, but: See?
We can fly.
Outward is exoteric and away from the body
and here we begin, fleshly taught
in words, on the wings of poesy.
Inside, what’s going on can’t be seen.
So we have no choice
but to show it all
all the time.
It’s all pragmatic,
you feel a little better.
Black girls, white girls with fiery eyes,
Obviously it’s very dangerous.
Thank you for your patience,
and thanks also to the
Goddess of Ambrosia.
Note On Somapoetics 74
[Note written for Alcheringa, New Series, Vol. I, 1976]
Following somapoetics 73: Essie Parrish in New York [Alcheringa, New Series Volume One #1, 1975, P. 27], this poem completes the Eighth Series, Hands in the Land and a Daimon by the Throat. The series has a continuing thread of ‘daemonial speech’ as a guide through ‘the Land’ and an initiation into healing. This poem connects with Essie Parrish in New York as a special sort of ethnopoetic event in which I function partly as scribe: in the one case (Essie Parrish) an almost literal transcription of a dream‑vision, and in the other a more complex weave of lecture notes from a talk on Tibetan medicine and a direct ‘calling up’ of the Daimon—’Taking the Powers.’ “
The first draft of somapoetics 74 was actually written off the words of the lecture as I heard them at a seminar on Tibetan medicine at the Newark Museum (part of a conference on Tibetan Buddhism, sponsored by the Buddhayana Foundation, October 1975; the lecturer was Prof. William Stablein). The second draft brought a further complexity in that I was obedient to two voices: the lecturer, speaking with deep sympathy for the materials but with appropriate caution; and the power of Tibetan ritual healing. The key event is the Transference of Power, wherein what we call transference in psychoanalysis meets the ritual event of identification of participant and deity. The poem hovers between the two. And in this respect it is truly an event in Ethnopoetics, which may be defined in part as a modality of creating a fertile terrain between us and the Sacred. As for the title, Lecture on Ripples, it comes from the central ingredient in the ritual healing, “ripples of splendor” (the Tibetan word which I gently parody in “Prof. Chin-Lap”). I was interested to learn of a vision-aiding ointment that is rubbed on the eyes, doubtless what we call a psychotropic agent. And the concern with Ambrosia and the homeopathic like cures like gave a further rhyme with Somapoetics, with its doublestrain of “liminal body” [=between physical body and other body, sometimes "corpse"] and the Vedic Soma. (Soma first appeared to me in the oneiropoetic space between dream and the composition of a long poem, Of a Woman the Earth Bore to Keep [Stony Brook 1/2, 1968], in the fall of ’68, in which Soma gave Four Proverbs, and two years later I learned [via Susan Quasha, who got it from Charles Olson in his last class at University of Connecticut, Storrs] of Gordon Wasson’s research on “The Divine Mushroom of Immortality,” and Susan and I went to meet Wasson) A final gloss on the poem: Ta’wil (like much of the poem, not derived from Stablein’s lecture) is a recurrent theme in Somapoetics, standing for an Art of Reading that is a sacred Telling. (See Henry Corbin, Avicenna and the Visionary Recital, Bollingen LXVI, and Ta’wil or How to Read (1973).)
Rokeby Farm, Barrytown, NY, 1.21.76