Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Stream of Consciousness



Stream of Consciousness

(A piece of automatic uncensored writing a la James Joyce. This is the type of exercise the writer and poet Pat Boran taught me when I attended a creative writing course some 15 years ago. Take pen in hand and write and let what comes come. Why not try it yourself. i have pages of it. What you do when finished is pick out the good sentences or the good thoughts or the lovely combinations of words here and there and use them as a basis for a poem or whatever.)

Still it is after the rain’s and dream’s end and I write unmindful of structure uncensored thoughts that come to a cloudless mind like a blue sky screening patterns from God knows where but it is a lovely calm day away from the concerns of more worldly cares and I write to see what the unconscious may throw up haphazard under the touch of plastic keys on a keyboard somewhere at one point one minuscule point irrelevant one dot one jot one iota on the plane of infinity stretching like a figure eight always folding in upon itself uncomplicated unlike those myriad folds in the cortex of the brain that thinks the higher thoughts but why should the higher thoughts be more important that the lower ones why should the higher placed block be more important than the block placed lower down in the building all blocks matter surely all bricks have a part to play in the overall structure and I still type trying to attempting to hoping to reach out and envelop all that is within my consciousness bring it in to those areas of my cognition ah but the words are piling high today driving fast today wanting to play like lion cubs not wanting enforced order and I think of Lear shouting and roaring like a madman before the storms that shook his foundations and there have been so many that have shaken my own foundations and foundations is a lovely word so applicable I want my foundations to be strong though I fear their dissolution their devastation their crumbling into nothing no-thing but in the absence of no-thing there must be some-thing surely and my muscles in my right wrist pains me as I type calling me to another small consciousness of the extension in space of who or what ever of what and who ever it is that I am of what and who ever this consciousness is that types and I search and I yearn for a path for a purpose for a meaning in the myriad pathways that lead ever onward in a wonderfully plural world searching for a unity and I think of big bangs and that infinitely intense singularity that is thought to have been our origins the origins of all matter thinking and unthinking feeling and unfeeling I must think now without commas without semicolons or colons or full stops because matter has its own in-built purpose and structure almost chaotic and there is a chaos theory beautiful chaos oh yes let me ponder the beginning if there was a beginning with all that intensity in one pointed singularity and that bang blast and bits everywhere clouds of smoke and then infinite expansion and everything flying apart apart flying filling the universe and still expanding I could never get my head around time and space bending over one another and then I was brought back to Picasso with his handless clocks bending over branches of lonely trees and lonely is the thinker lonely yes the observer of it all still as the dawn this day the dawn that was some hours before my consciousness came alive and crawled from the sheets of dreams somewhere resting somewhere over the rainbow where there are songs that will lift the spirit and all the time man’s mind woman’s mind want to create want to form something new want to shape stamp order on the chaos and the day is good the sun has begun to shine poke its nose into this attic study into this attic brain into this comfortable place into the sitting room of my mind where I sit astounded at what comes to this blank screen and Joyce was right now I know what he was attempting when he did his stream of consciousness and I understand a little only a little because there is so much that I don’t understand so much so much and I remember bits and pieces of poems and prayers and lines and words that chant in my mind like old litanies of long ago behind a vested figure at a lonely altar and the words rising and rising in a incense smoke in a smoke of incense and the hymns and the latin latin latin latin words like tantum ergo sacramentum and chanting chanting down the corridors of time they come past marble steps and wooden coffins and the water sprinkled on dead bones before we carried the coffin forth for the black hole of death to swallow whole the victim maybe not victim maybe not maybe that was what Aristotle meant when he said that death was just a dreamless sleep a no-thing a no-where a point of no-being a point of non-existence because no consciousness and these thoughts race and God only knows if there is a God but it does not really matter if there isn’t because it is the thinking that matters it is the trying to understand that matters and when the understanding fails breaks down it is then that the slow acceptance ever so slow the bloody acceptance of things that we can do nothing about and that is what I must do learn to accept the things I can do nothing about nothing about and the litanies of words still jam my brain still come bits of words and full words and words that put themselves together like quaint atoms forming molecules of thought and then sometime somewhere somewhere beyond time outside time outside even a where or a place there will be a big crunch and all will fly back again to an intense pulsating singularity beyond plurality and the world is incorrigibly plural as the poet said long ago I’ve forgotten his name but the future will be incorrigibly singular and will it even exist if there’s no one there to notice no one there to observe to be conscious that it exists and why is there something rather than nothing why cannot there be nothing rather than something and how do I explain how do I accept the crumbling into nothing of my mother devastated breaking down as she is mind and personality and body crumbling back to originality back to the dust like all those gravestones through which I walked last week marble and stone and stone and marble and names upon names upon names written neatly and here and there the empty cans of cider and beer and thinking what a place indeed to drink your cares away well maybe the best place to drink your cares away and the world longs for some rest before the final crunch.

(Obviously there is no structure to the above. The creative writer learns first through this exercise to let all that is in his mind run riot on the page. It does bear some similarity to what Sigmund Freud meant by free association. This little method also allows what's in the unconscious to come forth. hence you should not censor what you write. Thankfully nothing crude at all came into my mind when doing the above exercise in stream of consciousness)

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