Recently in Canada we had a minor brouhaha in Parliament. A satirical magazine depicted the former Leader of the Opposition wearing a neck brace with his caucus in body casts, wheelchairs, etc…
I cropped the photo in a circle & added text to make my own satirical statement. No. I decided. Something else. So I began to manipulate the images. Emerging psychedelic shapes with the politician becoming 19th century-like wearing a clerical or clown collar.
Shapes emerged as I worked intuitively with Photoshop.
A symbol began to emerge. Or something that looked like it wanted to be a symbol.
Recently my investigations have led me (in books & online) to India where the Celtic God Cernunnos is preceded by a similarly depicted figure revealed by artifacts from the Indus Valley.
The similarities of the visual language are striking. Mythologies are a bit like dreams, arising from the same ‘bedrock’ of consciousness. Or from somewhere beneath the bedrock.
Jokes also lead to interesting places. And who might be both psychedelic and from an earlier century while wearing a clerical – clown collar. The depictor. Or the depicted. Or someone else entirely. And where is the poem in that?
Original photo credit: The Beaverton
I never planned
Paul is dead
To the conspiracies
Swimming in my head.
But as they say
Never say never.
One could write poetically concerning When Birds Were Fish.
Or When Birds Were Suns. When Birds Were Moons.
Soaring and skimming from here to there, across times, flying into the rivers of the underworld.
Emerging silently into the forbidding underworld of Jean Cocteau’s 1949 film Orphee, situated within the relic of postwar France: A modern world as silently old order as mythology itself.
Orphee, played by Jean Marais, interrogated by an underworld tribunal.
Stating his occupation as poet.
To write without being a writer.
The Princess of Death, played by Maria Casares, asking him for a pen (to sign her confession).
Her confession of love. He has no pen.
She laughs. She forgot he is not a writer.
The scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_o9l3OqPMk
Film images courtesy The Criterion Collection.
& When you think of who you are,
The deep waters rising about you, within you,
& Within you, who you are, symbols embedded within & upon a book of code,
Like a stamp or seal upon a document, & you swim through the hollow and the false,
Bearing metaphorical code,
& When you think of who you are and what you have delivered, you realize
The brave are still within us,
& Your metaphor is reality, holding fast to your sense of balance, carrying out your mission,
& You never venture from your footing upon this precipice,
& your children walk upon dry land.
U.S. Naval Archives Photo # 80-G-238786: USS San Jacinto steaming with USS Lexington in the Mariana (Islands) area, 13 June 1944.
My father was on active duty aboard the San Jacinto (foreground aircraft carrier) when this photo was taken. I remember him as a young man, remembering also transferred memories… physical and emotional, memories flowing like water. I was thinking about DNA as well as the memory within, and of, water. In the back of my mind I was thinking about Berta Cáceres. The work she did with water. Her radiant identification with Mother Earth, the Mothership, and the water running through Her veins.
I knew it was over
When she came home
There’s a spoon
In the sink.
Images: Photographic still from director Nicholas Rays They Live By Night (1949), starring Farley Granger and Cathy ODonnell and a detail from Piet Mondrian’s (1943) Broadway Boogie Woogie.