5 a.m. Lucubrations…
… as the snowploughs drive me out of sleep & bed to the desk where I open the window against the offensive heat of a mid-winter Brooklyn apartment building, and relax in the light swoosh of cars cruising along the Belt Parkway in 3 or 4 inches of new snow. I haven’t read the book yet, but love the circuitous way the news of its publication came to me: via a Google alert concerning one of my favorite poetas — an alert led me to an Australian website carrying a review that mentioned said poet and the name of whose author I remembered half way through the review, having met him in the flesh only once in the early seventies in London. From there to locate the book on the publisher/author’s website was simple, but first I started reading into it on Amazon, and much enjoyed the following quote from the preface:
We of the anarcho-liberal contemplative persuasion continue to sip our soy lattes and chais from the counters of retro-hip cafés and vegan restaurants and to inscribe our careful thoughts into Moleskine notebooks while our fellow entities of the human swarm get trafficked across Third World borders to be work slaves or sex slaves, are forced to labor in “Free Enterprise Zones,” slowly starve, are imprisoned by the millions for seeking to alter their consciousness through some plant or chemical agent, commit mass suicide as their farms fail with the aid of terminator seeds forced on them by Monsanto, die in imperialist wars and preventable disasters, continue to be brainwashed by invasive corporate media, and the list could go on. It is probably a good sign that the inner peace we seek through Buddhist detachment and ayahuasca ego-zap continues to elude us.
Well, I do prefer Jameson’s and never, ever, ruin good coffee with any cow- or bean-extract, nor frequent vegan restaurants (actually to see the meaty menu — wild boar — we ate last night, check out Nicole’s blog later today) — still, I have to concede that I do use Moleskine notebooks. That quote is Daniel Pinchbeck writing in January 2010, taken from the preface to the book mentioned above, namely Richard Grossinger‘s latest, 2013: Raising the Earth to the Next Vibration (North Atlantic Books), which you can get here direct from the publisher or here via Amazon. If back in the seventies I tried to read all of RG’s books despite the incredible rate at which they were coming out, the rate (of my reading, but also that of his writing) has slowed down over time — though every few years I do go back for a Grossinger prose bath (nearly wrote “sponge bath”), and clearly now I’ll have to read 2013 before that — fateful? — date. But here a couple paragraphs from said review, which is by Kris Hemensley, from his Poetry and Ideas blog, and you can find the whole review here:
I identify with Grossinger’s style of thinking & writing; by no means haphazard but the natural order of an intelligence following the maze of references his experience has endowed. Closer to innocence than magic, one’s also been receptive to that internal/external match-up of which Grossinger derives a dramatic concordance. But it’s the scale of his table & therefore the ability to exclaim & encompass (literally the same breath, the same perception) that distinguishes him.
Reflecting on his lack of recognition of Jose Arguelles’ Mayan thesis at the time he was offered it for publication, Grossinger submits, “My snub became an unconscious throwback to old elitist publishing habits as to what constituted a worthy curriculum, attitudes that I was in the bare beginnings of overcoming and that were still largely unexamined. I was an intellectual snob, with vestiges of Black Mountain literary machismo in my head, and I was pretty much in thrall to the anti-kitsch imperatives of Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Ed Dorn, Robert Kelly and crew.” (Introduction, p15) True enough. Which is why, perhaps, the New York Scene is what it is –serious, sincere & hilarious with the junk of the everyday –and not Black Mountain!
I simply havent delved into the authors Grossinger respects as teachers & companions –Richard Hoagland, Arguelles, Terrence McKenna among others. Some I remember from Io magazine & the milieu North Atlantic Books described. I respect that he’s done the hard yards (to use an appropriate Australianism) in the mind/body practices either side of orthodoxy.