Poem: I am Bacchus or Dionysus

I am a mess

I am a God who is dying

A hundred generations ago as Bacchus or Dionysus

In Ancient Greece and Rome I had cults

I went by different names in Haiti and Africa

Baron Saturday

I was worshipped

With the Berzerkers’ blood-rage

With Romeo and Juliet’s lusty obsessions

That dissolves good sense

That break taboos

That inspire the laws of bureaucratic civilisation

I am the God of parties that go to far

Of extreme intoxication

Of the freedom of insanity

Of the riot

And of thoughtless selfishness

For a while, I drove Christians

To change Apollo’s name

Torture and hang him on a cross

Women tore each other apart once or twice a year

To escape the drudgery of their enslavery

I am trance

I am the darkness of a nightmare

When the peace of sleep gives no rest

I am the ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and the theatre of righteousness

That justifies terrorism

You may imprison the grape-harvest, winemaking and wine,

To avoid my rites of spring

Of fertility, of orchards and fruit, of vegetation,

To try to be a good girl and good boy

To be a rational scientist

A philosopher

A monk

To create a fairy garden of beauty and control

Of flowers and fruit that bloom at the right moment

But I am the magnificent storm, Shiva Rudra

That washes away your plans

I am the unfair freedom everyone secretly wants

The freedom the Marquis de Sade and Crowley preached

The freedom from shame and guilt

The freedom to follow your will

Your power

That you drink, dance and snort for

Driven from within

That lets you forget consideration

Forget the feelings of others,

Forget empathy

Forget laws police imposed and lore told as lessons exposed

It is true that when I lived at full flight

When I was named

My ceremonies were the night to Apollo’s day

He was the sharp lines of rationality in daylight

Predictable

Knowable

Prose

While I am dreams and visions

The imagination of the night

Associations and correspondences

Knowledge from your gut

Poetry

Together we made you whole

Terror of the unknown

Of the spaces between thoughts

The body’s needy vulnerability

Nature’s gargantuan gorgeousness

The way feelings can be earthquakes

Can be sunny days in winter

Or a song that opens you naked to a moment

Has you reaching for the safety of solid sunlight

Of Apollo’s comfortable prophesies

The command and control of your hand brushing your teeth

The delusions of a web of meaning that will cocoon you

From lightning

From sad stories that make no sense

From trees that drop branches on you without warning because a wildfire hasn’t trimmed them.

If you embrace me

You will learn the art of letting go of control that leads to wisdom

Then the wildfire becomes a release that prunes the forest

My ceremonies become Mardi Gras and New Year

That mark the cycles of life, the seasons

That let lusts grow into the depth of beauty that is the love of Aphrodite

Trump’s communication techniques

I’m not sure what is scarier that Trump knows what he’s doing, or, like so many liberals in the USA and around the world say, that he is a fool and doesn’t. Either way, it is useful to examine how he does what he does because whatever you think of his policies (or lack of them) he certainly has a powerful influence with those who believe in him and with those who seek to resist him.

As an Australian, we take great pride in giving our leadership shit. The more powerful, the more self-assured (or arrogant) and serious, the more we use humour to take them down a peg, remind them that leadership is supposed to be an act of service. My impression is that in the US they like doing this too. They have their roasts and the Washington journalist’s dinner (which Trump hasn’t attended). I spent 5 years living in the States and I have a continuing interest because my son still lives there and because our politics is influenced by our country’s little brother hero-worship attitudes. :-p

It’s true that US citizens are generally much more passionate about politics and religion than we are. It does worry me any time, regardless of the culture, society and nation when people don’t apply scepticism to all political players regardless of their tribe (I mean party). Watching from a distance I worry about the cancel culture and the rudeness and absolutist thinking that I see there (and to some extent elsewhere). I love politics so I don’t shy from it when I see it here or anywhere.

It is sad, but understandable, that some people make personal attacks when they don’t have a strong comeback.

If you are interested in politics and communication, in general, read up about classical rhetoric. 2500 year ago (and with continuing development through all that time) they knew there are 3 appeals on which effective and influential communication is based – authority (ethos), emotion (pathos) and evidence (logos). Different audiences are reached in different ways.

Trump appeals to authority and emotion and purposely pushes away people who respond to evidence. He invites conflict because it creates a sense of drama that appeals to the mass media (including the social versions) and to those members of the nation that are seeking heroes and adversaries, for simplistic black and white stories, who appear to have authority and excite their emotions. He uses the “analog markers” of NLP and the speech rhythms of preachers to deliver embedded commands. His version of the preacher is not as obvious as Obama talking to an audience of African Americans, but it is there subtly because it is part of the public speaking style of the States.

It’d be nice and I’m sure he’d like people to believe that he is a natural genius at this stuff. But he used to teach workshops, present at conferences and was involved with the great NLP Maestro Anthony Robbins – teaching and talking about sales and influence. So I think he’s done a lot of training on how to influence people (check out the Will Smith movie ‘Focus’ about criminal confidence tricksters for the great examples of the dark side of these techniques)

Here’s an example from today of the white Mr T (they both love gold) in action. Close your eyes as you listen. Note the pauses, the rising and lowering intonations, the changing speeds of his delivery – Donald Trump says he has directed a halt to his country’s payments to the World Health Organization pending a review of its warnings about the coronavirus an…

My Future Integrating Words, Vision and Performance

Here’s an experiment with combining poetry, performance and art.

It’s for a poem “who will I be” about the anxiety I face meeting other men. It was inspired by women talking about their feelings when meeting strangers, specifically men. The thing that is scary and that seems overlooked is that actually the vast majority of men in the west (at least) are very polite to women they don’t know and that women should be more worried about men they know, than strangers. While for men violence is more likely to come from strangers. In both cases alcohol is most likely to be involved, though ‘Ice’ seems to be becoming a more common contributor, but still no where near as dangerous as alcohol or as expensive to our economy. Interestingly most of the other illegal drugs only contribute to violence as a result of their illegality, because it pushes people to associate with criminals.

The majority of violence in the world is between men. It doesn’t get reported because it is so natural as to be invisible. It only gets noticed when the violence is “dishonourable” that is an ambush punch, or the victim is considered weaker. This is the same source of the shaming that goes on with domestic violence and rape. The other types of violence, or maybe part of violence that gets notices is when there is no consent. “Combatants”, that is soldiers, are consenting participants in violence while “civilian” men, and automatically children and women haven’t consented to participate in the “war”, the most extreme violence. This is a common theme of my poetry, and other writing. There will be more on this site.

art @ RPA

This is the product of a carterie project “Village” all participants use the same set of recycled materials but each came up witht heir own designs even if they had to be helped with the making.

 

Today thanks to St George TAFE School of Fine Arts and especially Thanks to Chris Casali a group of us got an intro to an amazing and beautiful project that acknowledges that being in hospital is tough and that art can help.

Arterie@RPA uses art therapy and art projects to help at least distract people from difficulties of their discomforts, pain and powerlessness of being in hospital.  They do this in a number of ways.

  1. The art is used both to provide direct therapy in the sense of art helping people with their healing process. For example helping stroke victims with redeveloping fine motor coordination. Or to help re-establish (or slow the deterioration of) thinking and problem solving from acquire brain injuries, dementia and stroke.
  2. Then they have Artists in Residence (AIR) who do art on the walls and share their process in public for three weeks. This helps break up the boredom, providing interesting experiences for patients, carers, family and staff. And a beautiful environment for everyone including staff.
  3. There are the travelling art helpers as part of “Carterie”. Volunteers and paid staff take carts around with art supplies and a variety of themes and materials that spark conversations and collaborations that also distract, but also help patients and carers manage the stress of the hospital life.
  4. There are workshops in a central area for patients, carers and staff that basically allow them to socialise and feel empowered and supported emotionally. Some also help people to communicate across the whole range social backgrounds.

    These are 10cm square canvases done with a limited colour pallet, participants could do whatever designs pleased them. The colours allowed them to fit together beautifully.

This project and its processes is such a beautiful modern and advanced health practice. It acknowledges the importance of mind in the healing process in away that goes beyond older ideas of psychology as separate to physiology, as individuals being separate to their environment.

On this visit we were given presentations by staff of the information above, then we were taken on a tour around the hospital showing displays of the results of various Artists In Residence projects and some of the carterie collaborations with patients and carers. Then we participated in a project to create 150 canvas tiles to decorate a rehab exercise area in blue, green aqua and white.

The Aims of This Site.

This site will be a place for me to show explorations, experiments, works in progress (WIP), finished creative works. If I can say it out loud I’m a polymath.

I sometimes hate, but always finds it hard to to be stick to genres, techniques, subjects but I do try to live by an ethical code and philosophy, that of exploration, seeking meaning and understanding, being respectful of others and creativity.

I write, I draw, I paint, I make videos, I make sounds, some of it traditional and some digital. I sit around thinking and feeling and celebrating.

My subjects are sex, politics, violence, philosophy (in the sense of asking who am I, how do I know what I know, how/why do I behave the way I do), everyday crap, and sometimes I have nothing to say at all I’m just playing.