Easter Psychosis

1.
Wacko

A.

In Lacanian world,
madness
has a logic mathematical:
he eats his lover’s heart
served on a silver platter
a la Hannibal
to be one with his passion—
she in him
pulsing organic
in his bloodstream,
like transmuted wine
of Lent.
She didn’t show up
at the appointed hour—
he thereafter wrote
her name
on a napkin in his florid handwriting
to honor her
elegant absence,
then burned it
in a glass…
To hide a minor scandal
he quickly poured rhum
on the flame,
the while praying.
“You must forever be
interred
in the crystal urn.”
No more
memory’s visitation:
never the heart
must wander
like a monk
with his begging bowl.

B.

She keeps rising
in the mist of his mind,
but she’s a signifier
who has lost a name…
verily, all lovers
turn mad,
slowly slaughtered
by playful gods.
Will he survive
the wakeful holocaust?
No.
The poet will not,
for passion
is a crime
in the order of the damned.

2.

Easter Message

The Phoenix, read in the modernist angle of Lacanian psychoanalysis, is the phantasy that compels us to repeat ourselves—something it is said that claims the contrary: “we never really learn from the past.” The pain & suffering must continue, because the fantasy of the imaginary—nay, our encounter with the mirror—enables us to follow what we’ve been unconsciously programmed to recoup.

Thus, with a twist, from the ashes the ancient bird reassembles itself for another try at salvation, much like Jesus who rises from the grave to pronounce immortality.

History repeating itself is not a problematic of error that is hidden, unseen, left to languish at the margins: things happen, as if we didn’t know, in the done deal of our unconscious.

[That he must lament he’s through with women is an empty chatter: he’ll commit the same mistake because desire, which never manifests itself in the knowing, calls the shots; unceasing, like curse.]

3.
Math of Chaos

A.

Lacan’s graph of desire is his fetishism for mathematically establishing chaos as an ordered universe representable by number. Even if mathematicians would sneer at his equations as muddled, almost inexplicable, his notion of representing desire in diagrammatic form & equation merely underlines his thesis that there must be structure in what is deemed as the interminable play of the psyche. After all, if desire is beyond representation, how talk about it lucidly? It will reduce psychoanalysis to guesswork, bordering on mysticism of early savages who must underscore the world & its phenomena as manifestations of Being.

It is in this context that Wall Street before the meltdown, had seduced physicists, then heavy with scientistic arrogance, to track down the permutations of desire, capitalism & profit.

According to Dennis Overbye, Dr. Derman was one of physicists who “flooded Wall Street,“ knowns as Quants, who were wont to “apply skills they once hoped to use to solve the mysteries of the physical universe to making money.”

They would churn out computer models that analyze otherwise unmeasurable risks and profits of arcane deals, or nun their own hedge funds and sift through vast universes of data for the slight disparities that can give them an edge.”

But the recent crash would show the scientific Merlins up. “Lee Smolin, a physicists at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in the Waterloo, Ontario, said ‘What is amazing to me as I learn about this is how flimsy was the theoretical basis of the claims that derivatives and other complex financial instruments reduced risk, when their use in fact brought on instabilities .’ “

The lay wisdom, of course, is most tempting to quote: You can’t double your dollar at someone else’s expense. At the end of the road, there must be a payback for evil comfort.

B.

The Fatal Circle

One curious note to all this is Nikolai Kondratieff “who was executed in 1938, a victim of the Stalinists purges.” He was known for the economistic theory named after him, “Kondratieff Waves, in which he identified four stages in each cycle, corresponding to the seasons. After spurting ahead in the spring phase… the economy cruises through the summer, experiencing a scary drop as a autumn sets in and then—no matter what governments do to try to ward it off—descends into a winter phase that can last up to years.’ “

Almost like Spengler’s cycle of history that recurs every 500 years.

Paul Klugman is pessimistic about the stimulus package & the blueprint for economic recovery, given the structural defects that steer clear of nationalization. The IMF foresees recession deep into 2010—& counting. Patience is the new battlecry of Obama, who’s barely in sync with the public. The global economy is grinding to a halt & panic is slowly gripping the marketplace.

Should we turn to the oracles of Nostradamus?

4.
Nude Sketching
A.

O How she adores
her body
so when two-penny painters
asked her—
shrewdly,
aesthetically?–
to pose for them
& be gazed at
like the marble statue
of Michaelangelo,
she was all ears.
It takes only
a grunt
to make her disrobe:
as if
the gaggle
around her
were not as stone-cold.

B.
Offering

They gave her
a hundred bucks
for the generous effort,
plus the original canvas
she could parlay
into local Hollywood.
O How virgins
are easily suckered
by dirty old men
who make out
as da Vinci & Picasso.
It’s an old trick
but who would
tell her off—
her heart
is wrapped
in tinfoil
savagely devoured

5.
Game Play
(for Rebelyn)

It was foretold
a long time ago.
Was it something
in her name?
They wanted her father,
& she must serve as bait.
Failing in their comic ploy,
they make sure
she had to bestially pay.
She’s a woman, after all,
& easy prey.
But they are dead men
walking—
No, they won’t let out
as they strut & jive
they’re quaking
in their boots,
fingers trembling
as they clutch
at their shrinking balls.
For the secret shadows
in the undergrowth
know how to even the score.
She was no game,
fair or foul.
In the history of warfare,
footnote was she
to a predicate.

6.
Mercury

A Filipina ballerina
who’s star
of her troupe
knew her body well:
it could fly like Nijinsky
& hover above the earth
as if she were meant
to traverse the sky
from one latitude
to another—
& it must have been
this calculation
in space & time
that made her rush
across a Washington street
but the oncoming car
was bulletfast…
So young at 21
to have lived
so briefly—
like a short candle—
but her lightness
didn’t have the speed
of Einstein’s
infinity clock.
Her swift body
she set great store by,
had fatally betrayed her
for the first
& last time.

7.

Scene at the Gates of Hell

All my life,
the old gigolo rued,
I have spent
running after women
as if they were life’s
absolute & necessary hunt.
But the shadow interjected—
I was only a step behind,
but you couldn’t hear me say,
You’re chasing
apparitions of air.

8.
Loyalist

A.

Neighbors saw them
sprawled on the pavement,
the dog under
his thighs
as if seeking shelter,
or keeping vigil
for its master had inexplicably
expired in the dead
of night.
To keep him warm?
Be company to his solitude?
It never knew
he would never wake up,
& while paramedics
zipped him up
in a cadaver bag
it would run in circles
as if bewildered
by the mournful air…
It would take days,
weeks,
before it would dawn
no one to walkabout
that side of town.
Sensitive souls
wanted to put the animal
under their human watch
if only to prove
compassion & loyalty
could match
the noble canine’s.

B.
Poetics

When will all this end,
the interminable bellyaching
as if something grand
may yet thankfully happen
at the end of the poetic line.
But repetition
we are all heir to
in the fantasy
of our unknowing…
[O Didn’t Sylvia Plath’s son
commit suicide, too?]
The heart’s blackmail
& mishap
keep springing
like Jack in the box.
When will we ever settle
for the plain truth
nada, nada, nada
rules whatever we say, behold?
The loss, the gain
are all happenstance
& the art of writing
serves no one,
even himself
sitting in his rocking chair
& mumbling like an idiot
while the breeze
drolly hums
on his mind.

9.

Seppuku

When the businessman
entered the Suicide Forest
in Japan,
the die was cast.
He slashed his wrists,
letting the blood
redden the grass,
then roamed around
the bush trail
until he fell
half-dead to the ground.
Mountain guards
were quick
to give him relief.
Eventually, he seemed
to have found his bearings:
but, now & then,
he would stop
in his tracks
as if perturbed
by the what-ifs
today suspiciously brings .

10.
Workshop

Acolytes of the summer trade:
Profs of creative seminars
who have proclaimed themselves
as such
without imprimatur from God
pontificate like the Pope
on the art of discursive craft:
looking you in the eyes
measuring the depths of your jive
they start to babble in style:
The word is like a bottle of moonshine.
If you feel a tingling in the gut,
this is sign of an upside.
Is the liquid text good? or bad?
Your taste at the moment of desire
will temporarily decide—
if the weather is April hot,
& ice cubes are chilly rocks,
it must be worth
another tipping round for the crowd.
The trick is, poet wannabes,
if it feels all right,
your void turns strangely baritone,
no way the gadflies of the claque
can invoke the rule
it’s bitter
if they didn’t the brew certify.
Gulp it down
like a cat swallowing a mousse…
& who cares if the drink
doesn’t come up to their standard?
That’s ok. That’s cool.
Time to plug your ears
at all the academic bull.

11.

Cycle

They sneer,
at the fool in the corner
who keeps muttering,
Who will stop the killing?
But to stop the killers
they have to kill them, too.
Monks started the bad habit
when they set themselves
on fire—
but did that stop the killing?
Suicide bombers
hurled themselves in Iraq—
but did that stop the killing?
Kill, kill, kill!
is the mantra
that echoes like a prayer
all over the archipelago,
like a song
hymned by red-robe angels
at the inferno.
They sneer
at the fool in the corner
who keeps muttering,
Who will stop the killing?
They will have
to kill him, too
for asking the question
over & over again,
[The killing field
is in the heart]

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2 Responses to Easter Psychosis

  1. John Alliage Tinio Morales says:

    Sir, ako po si John Alliage Morales ng Journalism Dept. Kinuha ko po ang inyong subject na CL110 noong second sem ng 2007-2008. Nabigyan niyo po ako ng grade noon. 1.75. ngunit nagkamali ang OUR at nalagay ay C110. kaya kailngan ko pong mag-apply ng change of matriculation. nandito po ba kayo sa UP ngayon linggo?

    hindi po ma-clear ang graduation ko dahil po dito.

  2. Sasabihin ko sa clerk. Bakit mo kailangang grumaduate? Mahirap magtrabaho.

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