“If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” The warning is one which calls men to self-scrutiny. They need to examine their primary beliefs, their very intuitions of right and wrong, lest all they do should be vitiated at its very source. The call to do this implies that they must have a Light by which to judge their light, a Standard by which to test their standard, and that Light and Standard are found in the teaching of the Light that lighteth every man"
The bumper sticker told passers by to "Spread random acts of kindness and senseless beauty." I don't like the sentiment or the message of this cheerful and peace loving phrase.
Kindness should not be random. When you know nothing about who you are kind to, you do not care if they deserve it or not. Find out about them and it becomes hard not to weigh their 'goodness' against your 'goodness'. Staying random keeps things easy because you don't have to care at all. All focus goes off the person onto the giving. Kindness becomes something arbitrary instead of something unconditional.
Beauty is everything but senseless. Beauty, in the eye of the beholder, springs from a reckoning of aesthetic to intent. this holds especially when there is no intent - weather, natural landscapes and postmodernism all have beauty when our senses are - even when they are nonsense - engaging with the art and pronouncing it beautiful. We connect with something and call it beautiful because we care about it. Senseless beauty would have no one to pronounce it beautiful, because no one would care.
The bumper sticker is well intended but it emphasises the personal actions of the individual as being most important for beauty and kindness, rather than the relationships and interactions with the wider environment.
Now, I don't know where this form came from, but it reminds me strongly of Rauschenberg's erased Willem de Kooning, minus the scandal. We commonly print thousands of genuine copies of books, and only one genuine copy of paintings, but the act of losing content does tug faintly on the heartstrings even if you're only defacing an old book of vapid children's poems. The price of progress.
Also related is The DaDa Vinci Code, where someone is making erasure poetry out of the pages of the Dan Brown novel, and doing a very good job of it.
"Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning. The resulting poem can be defined as either treated: changed in a profound and systematic manner; or untreated: virtually unchanged from the order, syntax and meaning of the original." - from Wikipedia
Taken from Introduction to Electrostatics.
A simple electrostatic configuration
Consisting of four conductors
so the plusses are near the minuses.
It all looks very comfortable.
Now, what happens if we join them in pairs,
by tiny wires?
Twelve Blocks Of Concrete: It's exam time. This means I am clambering for distractions. This also means I am going to post every three days or so a "Block of concrete" This will be one or several poems in an unusual form. The inspiration comes from "Concrete Poetry".
Concrete or shape poetryispoetryin which the typographical arrangement of words is as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem, such as meaning of words, rhythm, rhyme and so on.It is sometimes referred to as visual poetry, a term that has evolved to have distinct meaning of its own, but which shares the distinction of being poetry in which the visual elements are as important as the text. - (Wikipedia).
These will be experimental. I have neither the experience nor the fame to justify the worth of these poems on the back of my name alone. You may not like them, and that is okay. You may like them for some silly reason, or for reasons you can't quite place. That is okay. Concrete poetry is something I like for silly and difficult to explain reasons, but I like it a lot and want to see what I can do with it.
My first block: This is an idea I thought up: twenty-five letter long poems, arranged into five by five blocks of letters. The appeal comes in the visual appearance of repeating letters, like tiling, and in the gradual revealing of words as your mind dissects and interprets the squares.
#1 S A C C H A R I N S W E E T N E S S L I N G E R