Frequently, I’m asked why I am not on Twitter.
The landscape of language is being fracked… its eco-system destroyed by a truncating of the complexity of language, both written and spoken.
There is the banality of evil and then there is the evil of banality. The banal mind of the crackpot pragmatist must reduce earth, sky, language, and psyche to controllable (dreamless and dead) bits.
I attack all those persons
who know nothing of the other half,
the half who cannot be saved,
who raise their cement mountains
in which the hearts of the small
animals no ones thinks of are beating.
— Federico García Lorca, excerpt: New York (Office and Attack)
Consequently, we stare at our appliances as exquisite things are extinguished, forever… mistaking configurations of pixels for the breath and brilliance of the world.
Poets and adept prose stylists i.e., intrepid sojourners and skilled chroniclers of the resonant landscape of language give testament to depth-delving understandings (e.g., those revealed by poems, dreams, psychoanalytic insights) – those sounds and images that reveal hidden knowledge – and can partially restore what has been lost to blinkered expediency.
Lorca termed the alchemical marriage of the subterranean and terrestrial ‘Deep Song’, an auto-chthonic music that allows us to live beyond ourselves… to glimpse larger and more nuanced realities, thus escaping our self-constructed prison, wherein we believe the worlds of subjectivity and habit are the only world possible.
Lorca’s concept of “Deep Song” is not a mood music for those in a Prozac-popping, platitude-clutching, planet-devouring state of mind. It is the chord progression of the Cosmic Blues. It wails primordial storms and collapsing stars; it sings of unchartable, strange seas of quanta and of the alien oceans of our tide-tossed hearts.
A compulsive reductionism in regard to image-rich language stands as anathema to the soul’s yearnings. Thus: Prepare to do battle with those who are the enemy of complex and poetic speech. Shun the truncations of Marshall Meme, Captain Whatever and their side-kicks Keep-It-Simple Boy and Emoji Girl.
“But the Duende — where is the Duende? Through the empty arch enters a mental air blowing insistently over the heads of the dead, seeking new landscapes and unfamiliar accents; an air bearing the odor of child’s spittle, crushed grass, and the veil of Medusa announcing the unending baptism of all newly-created things.”
— Federico García Lorca, excerpt: The Duende: Theory and Divertissement (1930)
Image by Dan Booth. Not to be reproduced without express prior permission.
Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City.
Yet a bio amounts to dharma for dimwits: It defines a human being in the same manner and degree of veracity as a restaurant menu describes the various slabs of meat offered … commodified things that were once living beings.