Not a dream for once! Chris Wayan's journal 1990/1/1
HOW IT HAPPENED
I'd read my silver paperback copy of Yeats so much I grew a shameful brogue, and his spine wore out, and he broke into pages. My hammer'd gone bust too, but I stuck the head back on, and nailed that book like Jesus--three painful holes. Then, with old phone wire, I bound the errant pages.
And then this poem gripped me. Channeling Yeats!
Here's my argument--follow if you dare:
Faith was a greenwood. Like Amazonians, we never saw the horizon, never learned perspective. So science, even as it grants our oldest wishes, makes us nervous as deer; we see too far. We look so small under the open sky. Faced with mass production, we produced mass people. So Fascism rose under many names--but it's just a transition-zone, like a beach of crashing surf. Dictators can't ride the waves of change, or bear the light of the Net and TV.
On the far side's the sea of possibility: technology indistinguishable from magic.
And our new dilemma, now that we have the power to attain what we want, is... What do we seek? What's the land of heart's desire?
My silver Yeats was crumbling, so I bound him new:
"Crass symbol of your crass age," he'd say--
Yet as our century slouches on,
Faith was never a sea!
But we came to a shore:
We crossed the beach, gaping at raw
But now we're in the sea, all green again.
Now you have the tools to do
Forget the Dirty War--
We're falcons unhooded--
Bitter, mute, sweet--
As we all say, TV sucks.
All daemons that are, are breaking free--
--San Francisco, January 1990. And since then, its Net truth has only grown.
None. I won't annotate this one--Crucifixion, Samurai blade, the Book of Kells, wild swans, Byzantium, Sphinx, falcons, a bee-loud glade, a terrible beauty... these aren't private dream-symbols, after all! Read Yeats and learn. He's one of the few true visionaries of his hard-headed, hard-hearted century.
Mind you, this poem's no mere tribute--I'm arguing with him. He wanted to restore tradition; thought we need an elite to nurture arts and sciences that take long training, skill and subtlety--for the masses will never amount to much. I'm American--I think decent public schools, democracy, and a uncensored, noncorporate Net may give us the elbow room to build a livable world, traditional or not. History may not be dead... but it can be deadly! I'm a child of the sixties:
World Dream Bank homepage - Art gallery - New stuff - Introductory sampler, best dreams, best art - On dreamwork - Books
Indexes: Subject - Author - Date - Names - Places - Art media/styles
Titles: A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - IJ - KL - M - NO - PQ - R - Sa-Sh - Si-Sz - T - UV - WXYZ
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - Catalog of art, books, CDs - Behind the Curtain: FAQs, bio, site map - Kindred sites