Flaming the Muses: Poetic Pyromania

Haunted by data, hounded by blog-bots, assailed by algorithms, poets have been reduced to human resources, fractionated, monetized and commodified like petrochemical residues of the antediluvian world. In keeping with that metaphor imposed upon us by ourselves, we await a mere spark to begin consuming our own fuel, flaming voraciously into poetic combustion. Through this incendiary process, we liberate the very energy that an unpoetic world seeks to label, quantify and merchandize. Flame, however, cannot be commodified—only intensified, suppressed, or extinguished. Elemental fire may be started by lightning, produced by physical friction, electro-chemical reaction, or started from a pre-existing blaze. Poetry is similar; whether sent from God as a bolt of epiphany, a spontaneous combustion, or as a transposed flame inspired by anterior works, April is our month for playing with metaphysical fire. It is thus that we, as elemental (or just mental) poets, refuse, at all levels (lyrical, cultural, mercantile, geologic, celestial and infernal, etc.) to be co-opted, commodified, and/or in any way politically corrected.

We poetic oilmen and women are the active nihilists of a nihilistic era. We locate promising sites, then we draw up, from below poetic bedrock, raw inspiration. NaPoWriMo allows us to drill deep into the sedimentary layers of poetry and tap into the deposits of lyrical fuel trapped within. Some gets pumped up, some comes gushing spontaneously to the surface in a crude form. It can then be refined to varying degrees of flammability and into differing types of fuel; think diesel versus jet fuel… one will take you further faster, but both are indeed fuel.

As oilmen and women, we pump our precious resource up in raw form from subterranean seas—the remains of lyric flora and fauna of a previous age buried under the silt of an inundation of data-driven global dullness. Through sheer creative will we set these deposits ablaze, to produce, out of the incoherent night that surrounds us, poetic illumination. In the light of our own flame, we cerebrate celebrate the utter uselessness of our artistic product—by continuing to create it, refine it, and then burn it up in a transcendent pyre of irrelevance. Thus, we wage uncompromising war against the powers and principalities of technoid global dominion. Our useless words, unread and unwanted, undermine the process of attempted global conquest by the unpoetic Enemy.


Dead Poets & Asses

      Anatomise the dead poet and the dead ass, and you will find as much genius in one as in the other; therefore there is no genius! Who that valued his life would set his foot on such a bridge as the rickety “therefore”? But some men will venture upon any bridge that seems to lead away from God.
A very simple anatomy will find the reason; it is because “they DO NOT LIKE to retain God in their hearts” (Rom. 1:28). It is not because of intellectual superiority, but because of moral distaste. An internal cancer accounts for this invincible aversion.

Joseph Parker: Poet, Seer, Preacher 

from: The Unknowable God

Great Sire of Floods: Mix-Master P.F.

I feel a bit guilty for posting Iggy & the Stooges recently so I need to reel it in and bring it back to the theme of this blog. This 18th Century quintessential American poem gets the most views here at ConnectHook. I love this poet’s imagery, patriotism, and octosyllabic rhyme. Give it up for Mix Master P. Freneau!

 

On the Emigration to America and Peopling the Western Country

Philip Freneau (1752-1832)

To western woods, and lonely plains,
Palemon from the crowd departs,
Where Nature’s wildest genius reigns,
To tame the soil, and plant the arts–
What wonders there shall freedom show,
What mighty states successive grow!

From Europe’s proud, despotic shores
Hither the stranger takes his way,
And in our new found world explores
A happier soil, a milder sway,
Where no proud despot holds him down,
No slaves insult him with a crown.

What charming scenes attract the eye,
On wild Ohio’s savage stream!
There Nature reigns, whose works outvie
The boldest pattern art can frame;
There ages past have rolled away,
And forests bloomed but to decay.

From these fair plains, these rural seats,
So long concealed, so lately known,
The unsocial Indian far retreats,
To make some other clime his own,
When other streams, less pleasing flow,
And darker forests round him grow.

Great Sire of floods! whose varied wave
Through climes and countries take its way,
To whom creating Nature gave
Ten thousand streams to swell thy sway!
No longer shall they useless prove,
Nor idly through the forests rove;

Nor longer shall your princely flood
From distant lakes be swelled in vain,
Nor longer through a darksome wood
Advance, unnoticed to the main,
Far other ends, the heavens decree–
And commerce plans new freights for thee.

While virtue warms the generous breast,
There heaven-born freedom shall reside,
Nor shall the voice of war molest,
Nor Europe’s all-aspiring pride–
There Reason shall new laws devise,
And order from confusion rise.

Forsaking kings and regal state,
With all their pomp and fancied bliss,
The traveller owns, convinced though late,
No realm so free, so blest as this–
The east is half to slaves consigned,
Where kings and priests enchain the mind.

O come the time, and haste the day,
When man shall man to longer crush,
When Reason shall enforce her sway,
Nor these fair regions raise our blush,
Where still the African complains,
And mourns his yet unbroken chains.

Far brighter scenes a future age,
The muse predicts, these States will hail,
Whose genius may the world engage,
Whose deeds may over death prevail,
And happier systems bring to view
Than all the eastern sages knew.

1785