Thursday, June 26, 2014

Freudian Dream Symbolism

The theme of “drawer” takes yet another turn as we are searching for psychoanalytic meanings about the subject of “drawers” or “boxes”. Throughout Freud’s works, we come across two principle meanings with which drawers tend to be associated: 1) a chest of drawers is equated to a torso of a woman, as Salvador Dali already depicted it in both painting and sculpture with The City of Drawers and The Woman with Drawers. The “empty” drawer, on the other hand is a symbol of a woman’s uterus, a space that produces life but also forebodes death. Thus by extension, the drawer/ box also acquires the meaning of the final box/ the casket in which we place the dead body. In his Interpretations of Dreams (1900), Freud writes: “that the heart will be represented by hollow boxes or baskets (p.86.); “Boxes, cases, chests, cupboards and ovens represent the uterus” (p. 354); A man had a dream of 2 his brother being in a Kasten [box]. In the course of interpretation, the Kasten was replaced by a Schrank [cupboard - also used abstractly for ‘barrier’, restriction]. The dream – thought had been to the effect that his brother ought to restrict himself [sich einschraenken] - instead of the dreamer doing so. “(407) In Freud’s famous case history of Dora, the symbolism of box/ Schachtel acquires center stage as one of her dreams reveals the close unconscious link between a box and a woman as well as the tie between a key and a man. Freud (1905) writes, “Where is the key?” seems to me to be the masculine counterpart to the question “Where is the box?. They are therefore questions referring-to-the genitals.” (p.97)

In a later, less known essay, The Theme of the Three Caskets (1913), Freud discusses The Merchant of Venice and King Lear and derives at the conclusion that when a man has to choose between three caskets as the suitors are obliged to do as they woo for Portia, the suitors are not really choosing between three caskets but between three women. “If what we were concerned with were a dream, it would occur to us at once that caskets are also women, symbols of what is essential in woman, and therefore of a woman herself - like coffers, boxes, cases, baskets and so on.” (1913, p. 292)
- Jeanne Wolff-Bernstein

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Just a Snort!

The first time I drank gin
I thought it must be hair tonic.
My brother swiped the bottle
from a guy whose father owned
a drug store that sold booze
in those ancient, honorable days
when we acknowledged the stuff
was a drug. Three of us passed
the bottle around, each tasting
with disbelief. People paid
for this? People had to have
it, the way we had to have
the women we never got near.
(Actually they were girls, but
never mind, the important fact
was their impenetrability. )
Leo, the third foolish partner,
suggested my brother should have
swiped Canadian whiskey or brandy,
but Eddie defended his choice
on the grounds of the expressions
"gin house" and "gin lane," both
of which indicated the preeminence
of gin in the world of drinking,
a world we were entering without
understanding how difficult
exit might be. Maybe the bliss
that came with drinking came
only after a certain period
of apprenticeship. Eddie likened
it to the holy man's self-flagellation
to experience the fullness of faith.
(He was very well read for a kid
of fourteen in the public schools. )
So we dug in and passed the bottle
around a second time and then a third,
in the silence each of us expecting
some transformation. "You get used
to it," Leo said. "You don't
like it but you get used to it."
I know now that brain cells
were dying for no earthly purpose,
that three boys were becoming
increasingly despiritualized
even as they took into themselves
these spirits, but I thought then
I was at last sharing the world
with the movie stars, that before
long I would be shaving because
I needed to, that hair would
sprout across the flat prairie
of my chest and plunge even
to my groin, that first girls
and then women would be drawn
to my qualities. Amazingly, later
some of this took place, but
first the bottle had to be
emptied, and then the three boys
had to empty themselves of all
they had so painfully taken in
and by means even more painful
as they bowed by turns over
the eye of the toilet bowl
to discharge their shame. Ahead
lay cigarettes, the futility
of guaranteed programs of
exercise, the elaborate lies
of conquest no one believed,
forms of sexual torture and
rejection undreamed of. Ahead
lay our fifteenth birthdays,
acne, deodorants, crabs, salves,
butch haircuts, draft registration,
the military and political victories
of Dwight Eisenhower, who brought us
Richard Nixon with wife and dog.
Any wonder we tried gin.
- Philip Levine, "Gin"

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Used and/ or Abused?

...what differentiates hysteria from psychosis is their different relation to the “enjoyment of the Other” (not the subject's enjoyment of the Other, but the Other who enjoys [in] the subject): a hysteric finds it unbearable to be the object of the Other's enjoyment, she finds herself “used” or “exploited,” while a psychotic willfully immerses himself in it and wallows in it. (A pervert is a special case: he posits himself not as the object of the Other's enjoyment, but as the instrument of the Other's enjoyment—he serves the Other's enjoyment.)
-Slavoj Zizek, "Less than Nothing"

I saw Nina Raine's "Tribes" at the Everyman Theatre in Baltimore last night. Ever wonder what language means to the deaf? The born deaf? The going deaf?

Wonder no longer.

We don't always get to chose our own, or the "other's" tribe. But hopefully, we can chose to understand them, and how both they and us come to "meaning".

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Another Way to Think About Numbers....

Fix belt tip under books on table top
While holding buckle level, step away
Rotate the buckle once; two pi nonstop
A twist results which looping won't unplay.
Restart and rotate buckle four times pi
And now by looping belt round buckle end
The twists are cleared, exhibiting to eye
Zen essence of rotation; comprehend?
Never mind.

October sixteenth, eighteen forty-three,
beside the Royal Canal of Dublin town,
Will Hamilton glimpsed spatial clarity,
as view from fourth dimension looking down.
For multiplying triples, fly one higher,
by summing in a more capacious zone,
‘A circuit closed and spark flashed' to inspire
famed maths graffiti carved in Broome Bridge stone.
i^=j^=k^= ijk = -1
- Diane Hine, "Quaternion"

Monday, June 16, 2014

Babylonian Born

17 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.

6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
Revelation 17

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Limit of Reason, Colours Seen and Unseen, Expanses Stretching Beyond Weight & Measure

Of all the streets that blur in to the sunset,
There must be one (which, I am not sure)
That I by now have walked for the last time
Without guessing it, the pawn of that Someone

Who fixes in advance omnipotent laws,
Sets up a secret and unwavering scale
for all the shadows, dreams, and forms
Woven into the texture of this life.

If there is a limit to all things and a measure
And a last time and nothing more and forgetfulness,
Who will tell us to whom in this house
We without knowing it have said farewell?

Through the dawning window night withdraws
And among the stacked books which throw
Irregular shadows on the dim table,
There must be one which I will never read.

There is in the South more than one worn gate,
With its cement urns and planted cactus,
Which is already forbidden to my entry,
Inaccessible, as in a lithograph.

There is a door you have closed forever
And some mirror is expecting you in vain;
To you the crossroads seem wide open,
Yet watching you, four-faced, is a Janus.

There is among all your memories one
Which has now been lost beyond recall.
You will not be seen going down to that fountain
Neither by white sun nor by yellow moon.

You will never recapture what the Persian
Said in his language woven with birds and roses,
When, in the sunset, before the light disperses,
You wish to give words to unforgettable things.

And the steadily flowing Rhone and the lake,
All that vast yesterday over which today I bend?
They will be as lost as Carthage,
Scourged by the Romans with fire and salt.

At dawn I seem to hear the turbulent
Murmur of crowds milling and fading away;
They are all I have been loved by, forgotten by;
Space, time, and Borges now are leaving me.
Jorge Luis Borges, "Limits"

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Infant Sorrow

My mother groaned, my father wept,
Into the dangerous world I leapt;
Helpless, naked, piping loud,
Like a fiend hid in a cloud.

Struggling in my father's hands,
Striving against my swaddling bands,
Bound and weary, I thought best
To sulk upon my mother's breast.
-William Blake, "Infant Sorrow"

Sunday, June 8, 2014

"Other" Worldly Emergent Daseins...

When I close my eyes and fall asleep
That is when I dream
Entering an entirely different world
Where there are different souls
Having a great time playing with them
The fun never seems to end
There's no limit to the time up their
It's very clear and everybody cares
The adventure and the view is to die for
It's like being a little timetraveller, in the sky you know
The people are friendly and there's no violence
Their lives are so hectic that that they go about in silence
Another world a place that's perfect
Boundless, breathtaking, Celestial
And when you wake up, you back in reality
In a place where there are crimes and mortality
But Hopefully this will change
And everything just like it was in my dream be perfect and great.
Lee John Siebritz, "Another World"

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What Happens when the Love Runs Out?

When the love runs out
it will use the household vents
to escape

it will drift out with the heat
leaving you with the air conditioning
you so desired.
- Maya Furukawa

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Overstated Undertones

I look at him,
And a smile grows in my face.
Just to remember the times,
When he could've been mine.

As he gives me a hug,
While he puts his arms around me.
I remember what I would've gave
To only have a chance with him.

But now I see him,
In a different light.
Yes, he still means the world to me,
But now its a different way.

His friendship means a lot to me,
Although we never had much anything else.
Now I see why God doesn't answer all prayers,
Because some things are left better untouched.
Chole, "Untouched"