End O’ May….

Once a soul has awakened to the continual music of life, that soul considers it as his responsibility, his duty, to play his part in the outer life, even if it be contrary to his inner condition at the moment.

– Hazrat Inayat Khan

This entry was originally based on these 3 videos: Allen Ginsberg With Paul McCartney “Ballad of The Skeletons” Allen Ginsberg in London-Ah Sunflower Allen Ginsberg – Father Death Blues… I had just watched “The Life And Times Of Allen Ginsberg”, and was hot on the old Allen track.
This is another large entry; I have broken my promise to put out something daily, something small. It seems I want to do the large thing, and if I had the time I would be doing this daily.
I am working on Dr. Con’s new book and setting up the next issue of “The Invisible College”, and trying to launch a new business. Bizzy Bizzy Bizzy. I have been selling off music equipment, Skulls and other items…
Rowan arrived back from out door school last night, and seems no worse for wear, though he did sleep 12 plus hours…
</aPeter’s 50th Birthday I want to note an important event in our part of the Multiverse. My Brother-In -Law Peter is turning 50 years old! (I am amazed how quickly he arrived there, until of course I look in the mirror and see that old guy looking back at me.) Wow. Time hurries on. Peter is perhaps one of the sweetest beings I have had the privilege to know in my time on this lovely green and blue globe… Not only is he a good guy, but a great dad, and one of those who puts his actions where his words are with his work for the environment, for the community and an advocate for life on all its various levels. He is one of the main supporters of Radio Free Earthrites, with generous donations of time and sound over the years. Peter I just have to say: “I love ya man. I do. We wish we could be there for the party. I want you to have a great time!”
That is it for this beautiful Saturday. I wish you all the best, and may love guide you in all things.


On The Menu:

The Links

Jocelyn Pook – Her Gentle Spirit

Sufi Aphorisms – Hazrat Inayat Khan

In An Eastern Rose Garden – Intuition – Hazrat Inayat Khan

Allen Ginsberg Videos

The Poetry Of The French Bohemians: Gerard De Nerval

Gerard De Nerval Biography

Jocelyn Pook – Masked Ball

Artist: Thomas Cole (Biography)

The Links:

What If Marijuana Was De-Criminalized?

Libertarian Radio Host Tries A Little Waterboarding..

Did AI Cause The Financial Crisis?

The Taliban’s War On Sufism

Intelligent Life Sciences Search Engine…

The Illusion Of Sex

Were Mad Men Painting The Caves?

Jocelyn Pook – Her Gentle Spirit


Sufi Aphorisms of Hazrat Inayat Khan:
The limitless God cannot be made intelligible to the limited self unless He is first made limited. This limited ideal becomes like an instrument, a medium of God who is perfect and who is limitless.
Many do good, but how few do it wisely! To do good wisely is the work of the sage.
The one who lives in his mind is conscious of the mind; the one who lives in his soul is conscious of the soul.
Truth is unlimited and incomparable; therefore, truth alone knows, enjoys, and realizes its own existence.
The soul is light, the mind is light, and the body is light-light of different grades; and it is this relation which connects man with the planets and stars.
The infinite God is the self of God, and all that has manifested under name and form is the outer aspect of God.
Spirituality is attained by all beings; not only by man but by beasts and birds, for they each have their religion, their principles, their law, and their morals.
The pride that says, “I am so spiritual,” is not spiritual pride; it is earthly pride. For where there is spirituality there is no proud claim.
Spiritual realization can be attained in one moment in rare cases, but generally a considerable time of preparation is needed.
Fineness of nature is the sign of the intelligent. Fineness can be acquired by love of refinement.


In An Eastern Rose Garden – Intuition

– Hazrat Inayat Khan

Intuition is a part of knowledge that is beyond man’s personality, and above his knowledge of things and names. It comes at times when man becomes passive and exposes himself to that knowledge, consciously or unconsciously.
There are some who are more intuitive, and there are others who are less so; and if we study the nature of their character, we shall know the nature of their intuition. Those who are confused, who are constantly hurried, who are changeable in their nature, who are afraid of death, of disease, of their own actions, of their enemies, of their surroundings; those who have constant doubt, wondering whether they can trust this person or that, whether a friend may or may not prove worthy, and so on it is all these who have less possibility of intuition. Those who can trust without troubling themselves, those who have few doubts, are usually cleared in their perception. Those who trust in the inner guidance, who understand the secret of the instinct that works through animals and all creatures, those who are pious, those who wish to walk in the light, who always prefer the right way of thinking and speaking and acting it is these who often experience intuition.
Intuition is the first step, inspiration is the second, and revelation is the third. When revelation begins, it has arisen from intuition; for intuition is the fist stage.
What is its way of manifestation? How is intuition expressed? Intuition is of two kinds: it may come without intention, without being invited, or it may come when one asks oneself a question. In the first kind a person may be sitting down, and the thought comes to him that a danger is awaiting him; in what way it may occur he does not know, he just feel it. Next day he finds that something was going to happen to him. Then he sometimes thinks that happiness is coming from a friend, that someone from whom he has been parted for a long time is coming to see him. Sometimes he thinks an enemy is going to turn into a friend; and yet he had not been thinking of the subject. The thought comes to him suddenly. It proves true, it proves right. Without inquiry a thought comes to us which tells us of a coming event. People sometimes take this to be a spirit-communication; sometimes they take it to be thought-transference from someone else. Both ideas are possible, but intuition is a greater and higher thing than spirit-communication or thought-reading, because it is pure; it is our won property; it belongs to us. In this we do not depend upon a spirit, or upon another person sending a thought to us. In this we are perfectly independent; we receive the

knowledge from within, which is far superior, greater, and higher.
The second kind of intuition is that of which it is said in the Bible, ‘Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ Knocking at the door is asking within one’s own self, ‘What will become of this particular business, or aim, or object that I am thinking of?’ As soon as one knocks at the gate of God, which is one’s heart, from there the answer comes, and it is a truer answer than any other person can give. There is no one who can know as much about our life, affairs, objects, motives as we do ourselves. And therefore nobody can advise us better than ourselves.
Mankind cannot understand this secret, and consequently begins by depending on the advice of others. This would be advantageous if one had the good fortune to find a better adviser. But sometimes the person from whom advice is asked is foolish, sometimes he is an enemy, sometimes he himself is in confusion and cannot advise. Therefore people keep themselves from their real and true adviser: the guiding faculty within.
Intuition begins in the form of impressions. As soon as we see a person we have an impression of him. His face, his features, his expression, his atmosphere have in a way made an impression on us of his goodness, his righteousness, his wisdom or foolishness, his being useful or not, his being displeased with us or not, his being our friend or enemy. Whatever his condition may be, we receive it without knowing from any other source that these are his feelings. According to our own openness of spirit we get our impressions. We may receive a kind of impression as to whether we will be successful in our business or not. All these impressions convey to a man that his intuition is beginning. That is the first step.
After having intuition about individuals in their relation to ourselves, the next step is the intuition which occurs when another person is telling us of his projects. We have an impression as to whether they will be successful or not. We cannot give a reason for it; or even if we do we become aware that as we utter the reason it is not the real reason. For as soon as we begin to think it out, we at once descend from the higher, the spiritual source of information. To try and prove the basic truth of its spiritual source by means of reason, is to use earthly means to establish that which belongs to heaven. A proper reason for an intuition cannot be given.
The source from which this knowledge comes is not reason. People who are very good at reasoning can go on fighting all their lives, and yet nothing may come of it. Ultimately their reasoning turns into a play on words and terms; and as a word can be made to mean anything, they have always an easy way of escape from being caught by the person with whom they argue. It is just like wrestling; or just as in a court of law two barristers will each present their case as being the truth even though they may in fact know that it is not true. They fight with their reason and logic.
First of all, it is necessary to realize that when we see that our impressions are right and our doubts cannot destroy them, and we have been right in ten impressions and wrong in only one, then we know that the wrong one was not what we thought it was. When this realization has evolved, then we are able to know things intuitively. The difference between imagination and

intuition is sometimes puzzling to define. Both come in the same way. When a certain imagination began to construct itself, we cannot say. The imagination came suddenly; but so also does intuition. That is why it is so difficult to discriminate between them. The truth is that if imagination comes with light, then it is certainly intuition. Every imagination is intuition until it has been corrupted by reason; and when the intuition is corrupted by reason it becomes imagination. But every imagination and every thought which is illumined by the intelligence is always an intuition; and therefore to an illuminated person any thought or imagination is intuition.
To him there is never a thought or imagination which is not an intuition.
But it is difficult to keep these from being corrupted by reason, because as soon as they are produced we doubt whether they are right or not right. We doubt it until we have killed all the truth of our intuition. Our doubts are always the enemies of our intuition; and therefore practice is required in everyday life to keep intuition from being corrupted and finally destroyed by our

doubts. We ought to build a fence round intuitions as if they were delicate plants, and protect them from being destroyed by reason and doubts. By doing so, in time we grow to be sure of our intuitions, and then we never fail to get things right. And when the intuitions become right then the dreams become right. We see what is really going to happen in every thought which

comes to us; the truth of life. Then our life becomes a miracle; there is no need to look for wonders in the outside world. Our own has become full of wonders. To the illuminated one every night’s dream becomes a book that tells the past, the present, and the future, both of himself and of all those whom he cares for or wishes to know about.
The next step is inspiration. Inspiration is not only the coming of a single thought, a single idea, but of a flow of ideas. One may express them in poetry, in music, in philosophy, in speech, in writing, in thinking. The inspirations come as many ideas. Inspiration is developed intuition. The expression of inspiration is according to one’s particular ability. If a person speaks a beautiful language, he can express his ideas in that language. All prophets and messengers have received the same message, but they have uttered it in different language. Why? Because surely it is one idea, one knowledge from heaven , but it is expressed according to the language the receiver is accustomed to, seeing that he has no other with which to express it.
The angels are not as great as man, because though they are gifted with the higher knowledge and are in the higher spheres, they have no power of expression. Man gets his knowledge from the higher source, but expresses it through the means provided by the lower spheres.
The Qur’an tells that God said to the angels, ‘I am going to create man, who will be the chief of creation.’ They asked, ‘Are we not a satisfactory army of servants who are always busy in Thy praise and admire Thy beauty and glorify Thy name? Why intendest Thou to create one who will do evil and shed blood, as he will do?’ The answer was, ‘Are you capable of appreciating all that I have made? Can you tell me what are the names of these things that I have made?’ God asks man; man tells Him all the names of things, the things that are sweet or bitter, then names of all manner of things; he knows and enjoys all these things in nature. That is why God says, ‘We have created him that he may be the chief of all creation, and enjoy all that We have created.’ Therefore those who think that the heavenly knowledge is sufficient are mystical; but the joy of the heavenly knowledge and the full understanding of it come from being able to express it in this world’s medium of expression. Therefore man can have knowledge both from within and from the external world. When the two come together, there is a perfect expression.
The last and most delicate degree of intuition is revelation. This comes to prophets and perfected beings. This is a full light thrown upon the human personality, full light from within. To their eyes, ears, sense of taste or touch, all things disclose their secret. Those who have received this knowledge even partly, have by receiving it come to understand the properties of this plant or that, to know that this bitter medicine is good for this purpose,, this sweet one for that, this drug or that vegetable for another. The knowledge of the property of the names and forms of the world is understood by them to the extent that revelation has helped them. When they look into the mind, they know all about the mind. When they study the earth, they come to know it. Whatever they try to know, they succeed in knowing; such is revelation. Those who look in the higher spheres are prophets, those who look on the earth are scientists, musicians, soldiers, and so on. It is from the direction in which he has studied that a man receives the revelation. In the higher spheres all things become clear to those who direct their attention to these spheres.
A man even sees his future in the teacup, with limited light; similarly he sees it in cards, in the crystal, in the coals of the fire, in smoke. All these things have the future written in them; it is the same light that shines upon them and begins to reveal itself in them. It is not only books, but all things in nature which begin to reveal the secrets of nature to him.
Sa’di says, ‘When the eyes open and begin to see with the divine light and divine sight, even the leaves of the trees become as the pages of the sacred Book.’

Allen Ginsberg Videos:
Allen Ginsberg With Paul McCartney “Ballad of The Skeletons”

Allen Ginsberg in London-Ah Sunflower

Allen Ginsberg – Father Death Blues

The Poetry Of The French Bohemians: Gerard De Nerval

An Old Tune
There is an air for which I would disown

Mozart’s, Rossini’s, Weber’s melodies, –

A sweet sad air that languishes and sighs,

And keeps its secret charm for me alone.
Whene’er I hear that music vague and old,

Two hundred years are mist that rolls away;

The thirteenth Louis reigns, and I behold

A green land golden in the dying day.
An old red castle, strong with stony towers,

The windows gay with many coloured glass;

Wide plains, and rivers flowing among flowers,

That bathe the castle basement as they pass.
In antique weed, with dark eyes and gold hair,

A lady looks forth from her window high;

It may be that I knew and found her fair,

In some forgotten life, long time gone by.

El Desdichado

(Translated as The Unhappy One) – Published in Les Chimerès (1854)
I am the shadowy — the widowed — sadly mute,

At ruined tower still the Prince of Aquitaine:

My single star is dead — my constellated lute

Now bears the sable sun of melancholy pain.
In darkness in my grave, you who once could cheer,

Return me Posilipo and the Italian sea,

The flower which was to my tormented heart so dear,

The trellis where the rose and vine entwined could be.
Am I Amor or Phoebus?…Lusignan or Biron?

My forehead is still red from that kiss by the queen;

That grotto where the siren swims, I’ve had my dream…
Two times the conquerer I’ve crossed the Acheron,

And on the lyre of Orpheus, changing from key to key,

I’ve sung both saintly sighs and sung the fairy’s lay.


Published in Les Chimerès (1854)
It is of you, divine enchantress, I am thinking, Myrto,

Burning with a thousand fires at haughty Posilipo,

Of your forehead flowing with an Oriental glare,

Of the black grapes mixed with the gold of your hair.
From your cup also I drank to intoxication,

And from the furtive lightning of your smiling eyes,

While I was seen praying at the feet of Iacchus,

For the Muse has made me one of Greece’s sons.
Over there the volcano has re-opened, and I know

It is because yesterday you touched it with your nimble toe,

And suddenly the horizon was covered with ashes.
Since a Norman Duke shattered your gods of clay,

Evermore beneath the branches of Virgil’s laurel,

The pale hydrangea mingles with the green myrtle!


There is a melody for which I would surrender

All Rossini, all Mozart, all Weber,

An ancient, langorous, funereal tune,

With hidden charms for me alone.

And every time I hear that air,

Suddenly I grow two centuries younger,

I live in the reign of Louis the Thirteenth.

A green slope yellowed by the sunset,

Then a brick castle with stone corners,

Its panes of glass stained by ruddy colors,

Encircled by great parks, and a river

Bathing its feet, flowing between flowers.

Then I see a fair-haired, dark-eyed lady

In old-fashioned costume, at a tall window,

Whom perhaps I have already seen somewhere

In another life. .. and whom I remember!
Biography Of Gerard De Nerval
The French poet Gérard de Nerval (1808-1855) was an early romantic. His prose and poetry mark him as a precursor of the many movements, from symbolism to surrealism, that shaped modern French literature.
Gérard de Nerval was born Gérard Labrunie on May 22, 1808, in Paris. Because of his parents’ immediate departure for Silesia, where his mother died, Nerval was taken to the home of maternal relatives in the Valois. This region played a prominent part in many of his works. The fact that his early years were bereft of parental care probably contributed to his subsequent lack of mental equilibrium.
Upon his father’s return from the Napoleonic Wars in 1814, Nerval returned to Paris. As a day pupil at the Lycée Charlemagne, he distinguished himself by his precocious literary gifts and made the acquaintance of a lifelong friend, the poet Théophile Gautier.
Nerval’s translation in 1827 of J. W. von Goethe’s Faust (Part I) earned him the praise of Goethe and opened influential Parisian literary circles to him. His admiration for Victor Hugo converted him to the romantic movement. In the 1830s Nerval belonged to the petit cénacle, a group of minor artistic figures that gravitated around Gautier.
In 1834 Nerval received an inheritance from his maternal grandparents that enabled him to pursue exclusively the literary career of which his father disapproved. Nerval gave up his nominal study of medicine and made a brief trip to Italy, a tour that had a powerful and lasting effect on his imagination.
Meanwhile, Nerval fell in love with Jenny Colon, an actress, for whom he founded a theatrical review, Le Monde dramatique. It failed after 2 years. The brilliant and gay life that Nerval led during this brief period of prosperity was succeeded by a lifetime of financial difficulties and personal sadness. The poet lost both his small patrimony and Jenny Colon, who married another. During this period Nerval centered his main literary efforts on the theater, a genre basically uncongenial to his talents. In spite of an occasional success, such as Piquillo (1837), his efforts in the theater generally met with failure.
The years 1839-1841 were ones of growing eccentricities and depression for Nerval. His translation of Faust (Part II), which appeared in 1840, culminated in a mental breakdown that caused him to be hospitalized in 1841. His mental stability thus shattered, Nerval’s life became more precarious and difficult because he depended upon his pen for his living. In order to mend his health, Nerval made a trip to the Orient in 1843. His health regained, he published articles dealing with his travels in serial form in various periodicals. During these years of remission from mental breakdown, he also published chronicles, essays, poems, and novellas in many magazines, all the time trying unsuccessfully to establish himself in the theater. He also traveled in foreign countries and in the Valois. Wandering had become a temperamental necessity, and it is an important theme in his major works.
In 1848 Nerval published his translation of Heinrich Heine’s poetry. In 1851 Le Voyage en Orient appeared. Under the guise of a travelog, it concerned itself with the pilgrimage of a soul, being more revealing of the inner geography of Nerval than of Egypt, Lebanon, or Turkey.
Nerval’s major works were all written in the last few years of his life under the threat of incurable insanity. A serious relapse in 1851 marked him irrevocably. In 1852 he published Les Illuminés, a series of biographical sketches of unorthodox and original figures. In 1853 Les Petits châteaux de Bohême appeared. It was a nostalgic recounting of his happy years. It also contained the Odelettes, early poems in the manner of Pierre de Ronsard. Nerval then published his best and most famous story, Sylvie, in the Revue des deux mondes. In this tale he explored the sources of memory and transfigured the Valois of his childhood. It was included in Les Filles du feu in 1854. That same year Les Chimères, a series of 12 hermetic sonnets, also appeared.
During this period Nerval was also writing an autobiographical work, Les Nuits d’Octobre, and Aurélia, his last and most occult work. In Aurélia Nerval described the experience of madness and his attempt to overcome it by means of the written word.
In January 1855, destitute and desperate, Nerval committed suicide by hanging himself in a Parisian alley.

Jocelyn Pook – Masked Ball

Thomas Cole Biography:
The nineteenth century saw the development of a type of painting which came to be called the “Hudson River School.” One of the founders and greatest painters in the Hudson River School was Thomas Cole.
Thomas Cole was born in Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire, England in 1801. His family immigrated to America when he was 17. Cole probably learned the basics of oil painting from an itinerant portrait artist named John Stein, and in addition spent two years at the Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts. He first exhibited in New York, where painter Asher B. Durand and Colonel John Trumbull saw his work and found patrons for him.
In the nineteenth century there were several ways artists sold their work. Some artists worked on commission, in which case a person, called a patron, would hire them to paint a certain scene or portrait. These patrons often provided money for artists to travel, particularly in Italy, Greece or France. European travel was considered essential to an artist’s development and training. In addition, artists could make work that was not specifically commissioned, and put that work in shows or galleries where people would see the work, and possibly purchase it. After purchasing several of Cole’s paintings from the gallery where he was exhibiting, George W. Bruen paid for Cole’s first trip up the Hudson River, the area he and other painters would return to so frequently in their work that they became known as the Hudson River School.
The Hudson River School consisted of a group of artists that painted romantic landscapes of the northeast portion of the United States, particularly around the Hudson River area. Cole is considered a founder of this group and the style of landscape painting the Hudson River School artists were famous for. Cole painted American landscapes, and argued for the unique place American scenery had in the world.
In the nineteenth century America was searching for an identity. A young, untested nation, an “experiment in democracy,” it needed a way to show the world its uniqueness and value. One way Americans could assert the validity and power of their nation was through paintings that argued for America’s unique scenery. Cole’s powerful landscapes showed aspects of America such as mountains, forests, and waterfalls that did not exist in the same form in Europe.
In his “Essay on American Scenery” Cole praises the value of landscape itself, extolling the spirituality inherent in the beauty of scenery. Nature was inseparable from religion, according to Cole. He himself was active in the Episcopal Church. Cole was married in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Catskill, in 1836. Cole married Maria Bartow, the niece of John Alexander from whom Cole rented a summer studio in 1834. Both Cole and his wife were baptized at St. Luke’s several years into their marriage. He was also the primary architect in the rebuilding of St. Luke’s after it was destroyed by fire, and a delegate to an Episcopal convention in New York.
Cole criticized the march of modern society, accusing people of losing their regard for “simplicity and beauty.” In his “Essay on American Scenery” Cole states, “the spirit of our society is to contrive but not to enjoy–toiling to produce more toil–accumulating in order to aggrandize.” It is not surprising that much of Cole’s work celebrates nature, and often has a theme of the underlying power of the natural world.
When people appear in Cole’s paintings they are dwarfed by the immensity of nature. Some of Cole’s most famous and renown works include the paintings in the series entitled “The Course of Empire,” which shows the rise and fall of a civilization. The last painting in this series is an image of trees and plants springing up around the ruins of the fallen empire–nature reclaiming the landscape.
Thomas Cole died in 1848 in Catskill, New York after several months of poor health. He contributed a unique way of showing American scenery. He provided a large body of work arguing for the value of landscape, specifically in the United States. After his death he was memorialized in a painting by Asher Durand and continues to be remembered by painters and lovers of American art.


Flags Snapping In The May Wind…Part 1

On The Music Box: Hydrogen Jukebox: Philip Glass &amp; Allen Ginsberg
“Anarchism does not mean bloodshed; it does not mean robbery, arson, etc. These monstrosities are, on the contrary, the characteristic features of capitalism. Anarchism means peace and tranquility to all.”

–August Spies, Haymarket anarchist

Just watched the film: The Life And Times Of Allen Ginsberg. It is a keeper. I was amazed watching him read Kaddish, at the depths of emotion that he brought to it. It is in the face, combined with the voice. A life is etched into those words, the life of his mother Naomi, mad and gone. After she died, Allen received a letter from Naomi written just days before died. “I have found the key, it is in the sunshine. I have found the key, it is in the air”.
I was truly moved by the film, and the thumbnail sketch it gave to Ginsberg’s life and loves. I would suggest it to anyone.
Three Political Wonders:
Has anyone been watching the spectacle of Richard Cheney lately? It will end up with a heart attack or worse. It is watching a maddening spiral of justification that so far no one is buying and few seem to care about. I don’t think Richard is exactly sleeping well as of late.
Another anomaly I have been watching is Michael Savage, and his adventures with the British Gov’t. not allowing him to visit the UK. He has appealed to Hilary Clinton to intercede for him. This is a wonder, after all the horrible things he said against her over the years, and her family…. Still something might give, and Hilary will be gracious and intercede.
Did anyone pick up on the new “Drug Czar” Gil Kerlikowske saying: “Regardless of how you try to explain to people it’s a ‘war on drugs’ or a ‘war on a product,’ people see a war as a war on them,” he said. “We’re not at war with people in this country.” I am not holding my breath (well maybe I am because my head is spinning)… What does this mean for the hundreds of thousands in prison at the present time?
Well, I hope life is sweet for you in these early days of summer. Slightly confused, bemused and misused in Portland… 80)
Yours In Poesy,


On The Menu:

Anarchy Quotes

Arabesque- Germaine Tailleferre

The Great Marijuana Hoax – Allen Ginsberg

Nocturne – Germaine Tailleferre
Flags Snapping In the May Wind… Part 2

The Colours Of Mystery – George Auric

Hashish Poems

Anarchy Quotes:

“If we have to use force, it is because we are America.” –Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
“We are going to inherit the earth . There is not the slightest doubt about that. The bourgeoisie may blast and burn its own world before it finally leaves the stage of history. We Are not afraid of ruins. We who ploughed the prairies and built the cities can build again, only better next time. We carry a new world, here in our hearts. That world is growing this minute.” —-Durruti
You can’t mine coal without machine guns. –Richard B. Mellon, Congressional testimony quoted in Time, June 14, 1937
“The only means of strengthening one’s intellect is to make up one’s mind about nothing – to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts. ” – John Keats
“‘What I believe’ is a process rather than a finality. Finalities are for gods and governments, not for the human intellect.” – Emma Goldman
“The essence of all slavery consists in taking the product of another’s labor by force. It is immaterial whether this force be founded upon ownership of the slave or ownership of the money that he must get to live” -Leo Tolstoy
“Anarchists are opposed to violence; everyone knows that. The main plank of anarchism is the removal of violence from human relations. It is life based on freedom of the individual, without the intervention of the gendarme. For this reason we are the enemies of capitalism which depends on the protection of the gendarme to oblige workers to allow themselves to be exploited–or even to remain idle and go hungry when it is not in the interest of the bosses to exploit them. We are therefore enemies of the State which is the coercive violent organization of society.” –Errico Malatesta

Arabesque- Germaine Tailleferre

The Great Marijuana Hoax – Allen Ginsberg

How much to be revealed about marijuana especially in this time and nation for the general public! for the actual experience of the smoked herb has been completely clouded by a fog of dirty language by the diminishing crowd of fakers who have not had the experience and yet insist on being centers of propaganda about the experience. And the key, the paradoxical key to this bizarre impasse of awareness is precisely that the marijuana consciousness is one that, ever so gently, shifts the center of attention from habitual shallow purely verbal guidelines and repetitive secondhand ideological interpretations of experience to more direct, slower, absorbing, occasionally microscopically minute engagement with sensing phenomena during the high moments or hours after one has smoked.
One who has the experience needs no explanations in the world of explanatory language, which is, after all, a limited charming part of the whole phenomenal show of life. A few people don’t like the experience and report back to the language world that it’s a drag and make propaganda against this particular area of nonverbal awareness. But the vast majority all over the world, who have smoked the several breaths necessary to feel the effect, adjust to the strangely familiar sensation of time slow-down, and explore this new space thru natural curiosity, report that it’s a useful area of mind-consciousness to be familiar with, a creative show of the silly side of an awful big army of senseless but habitual thought-formations risen out of the elements of a language world: a metaphysical herb less habituating than tobacco, whose smoke is no more disruptive than insight — in short, for those who have made the only objective test, a vast majority of satisfied smokers.
This essay in explanation, conceived by a mature middle-aged gentleman, the holder at present of a Guggenheim Fellowship for creative writing, a traveler on many continents with experience of customs and modes of different cultures, is dedicated in the author’s right mind (i.e., not high) to those who have not smoked marijuana, as an attempt to bridge the conceptual gap, or cultural gap as may be, to explain the misunderstanding that has too long existed between those who know what pot is by experience and those who don’t know exactly what it is but have been influenced by sloppy, or secondhand, or unscientific, or (as in the case of drug-control bureaucracies) definitely self-interested language used to describe the marijuana high pejoratively. I offer the pleasant suggestion that a negative approach to the whole issue (as presently pertains to what are aptly called “square” circles in the USA) is not necessarily the best, and that it is time to shift to a more positive attitude toward this specific experience1. If one is not inclined to have the experience oneself, this is a free country and no one is obliged to have an experience merely because a great number of one’s friends, family, or business acquaintances have had it and report themselves pleased. On the other hand, an equal respect and courtesy is required for the sensibilities of one’s familiars for whom the experience has not been closed off by the door of choice.
The main negative mythic images of the marijuana state that the general public is familiar with emanate from one particular source: the U.S. Treasury Department Narcotics Bureau.2 If the tendency (a return to common sense) to leave the opiate problem with qualified MD’s prevails, the main function of this large bureau will shift to the persecution of marijuana. Otherwise, the bureau will have no function except as a minor tax office for which it was originally purposed, under the aegis of Secretary of the Treasury. Following Parkinson’s Law that a bureaucracy will attempt to find work for itself, or following a simpler line of thought, that the agents of this bureau have a business interest in perpetuating the idea of a marijuana “menace” lest they lose their employment, it is not unreasonable to suppose that a great deal of the violence, hysteria and energy of the anti-marijuana language propaganda emanating from this source has as its motive a rather obnoxious self-interest, all the more objectionable for its tone of moralistic evangelism.3 This hypocrisy is recognizable to anybody who has firsthand experience of the so-called narcotic; which, as the reader may have noticed, I have termed an herb, which it is — a leaf or blossom — in order to switch away from negative terminology and inaccurate language. A marvelous project for a sociologist, and one which I am sure will be in preparation before my generation grows old, will be a close examination of the actual history and tactics of the Narcotics Bureau and its former chief power, Harry J. Anslinger, in planting the seed of the marijuana “menace” in the public mind and carefully nurturing its growth in the course of a few decades until the unsuspecting public was forced to accept an outright lie.4 I am not a thorough patient sociologist and this is not my task here, so I will limit myself to telling a few stories from personal experience, or relating stories that have been told me.
I must begin by explaining something that I have already said in public for many years: that I occasionally use marijuana in preference to alcohol, and have for several decades. I say occasionally and mean it quite literally; I have spent about as many hours high as I have spent in movie theaters — sometimes 3 hours a week, sometimes 12 or 20 or more, as at a film festival — with about the same degree of alteration of my normal awareness.
To continue, I therefore do know the subjective possibilities of marijuana and therein take evidence of my own senses between my own awareness of the mysterious ghastly universe of joy, pain, discovery, birth and death, the emptiness and awesomeness of its forms and consciousness described in the Prajnaparamita Sutra central to a Buddhist or even Christian or Hindu view of Kosmos which I sometimes experience while high, as for the last two paragraphs, and the cheap abstract inexperienced version of exactly the same thing one may have read in the newspapers, written by reporters (who smoke pot themselves occasionally nowadays) taking the main part of their poorly written squibs of misinformation from the texts and mouths of Chiefs of Narcotics Bureaus, Municipal or Federal — or an occasional doctor notorious for his ungracious stupidity and insulting manners.
One doctor, facing me across a microphone in a radio broadcasting booth on a six o’clock chat show, pre-recorded, opened our conversation reading aloud a paragraph of Kaddish (a poem I had written in memory of my mother, and a tribute to her which made my own father weep; a text widely read, set to music or anthologized in portions, translations of which had met with some critical approval in various languages — Spanish, French, Italian and German, by now some Bengali or Hebrew; a text which I submitted as among my major poems in applying for monies from great foundations; a text applauded in recitation before academies; a text recorded for a large commercial business establishment’s circulation; a text which I’d spent months daily transcribing as a movie scenario — in short a straightforward piece of communication integrating the subjective and objective, private and public, and what is common between them) — disapproving and confused — declared firmly that the dashes used as this — indicated that the broken measures of phrase — moment-to-moment consciousness during which syntax and meaning and direction of the — pauses for thought — were a sign of marijuana intoxication and were incomprehensible. He could not follow the thought. He s
aid, as I remember — marijuana retains associations and goes from one thought to another if verbalized — that I was, in fact, quite mad.
Such a notion I thought quite mad on his part; my mother had been that. They were both quite insistent in their obsessions, or opinions, and sometimes harsh and premature in their judgments. This doctor and my mother did not differ so much from myself; the announcer was sympathetic to both of us. After the show I got quite angry with the doctor — it seemed quite a self-righteous remark; but I suppose I could not match his Power by any other means at the moment and felt that frankness and a show of emotion might shake his composure — alas, I yelled Fascist in his face, and had to be reprimanded by my companion Mr. Orlovsky for losing my temper with the doctor. I have a most excellent reason in such cases and so calmed myself, but I did believe that he was a quack-mind of sorts and a sort of negative judger with professional credentials. I had as friends many psychiatrists who treated me as interesting and no madder than themselves; and had in fact graduated from 8 months in a psychiatric institute to be told smilingly by a doctor that I was not schizophrenic but in fact a bearable neurotic, like many other people — but this was years earlier when I was a poet with a tie and an obsession with eternity. True, I had changed much in the intervening 13 years, I had pursued my thoughts to India and was now satisfied with my self and bodily existence, and a little more in harmony with desire for life, I had begun singing mantras daily — Hindu practice of japa and kirtan — and I had smoked a lot of marijuana in those years; but I had not, despite my odd little biography in Who’s Who, maintained so much confusion over my identity as to forget to end a sentence, if I wished to, tying together simultaneous association and language and memory with correct punctuation and obvious thought for the reader (to make it obvious, I am doing it now): I had not so much changed and broken away from communication from my fellow selves on earth that anyone should judge me mad. His remark (on the radio) only made me feel slightly paranoid; and I suppose it is no cure to try to make the other fellow feel paranoid, so perhaps I misunderstood the doctor and must take a charitable position and assume that I am Mad (or Not-Mad) but that the doctor also misunderstood my syntax; and judged too abruptly before the revelations possible thru pot had been deciphered … In any case I had not been high on marijuana when Kaddish was composed. The original mss. were bought by New York University library and are clearly labeled as written primarily under the influence of amphe*amines, familiar to many a truck driver, doctor, student, housewife, and harried business executive and soldier in battle — a common experience not generally termed mad.
The mind does wander and that’s another way around; to give by example a manifestation of the precise record of the effects of marijuana during composition on the subject itself, showing the area of reality traversed, so that the reader may see that it is a harmless gentle shift to a “more direct, slower, absorbing, occasionally microscopically minute, engagement with sensing phenomena” — in this case the phenomenon of transmuting to written language a model of the marijuana experience, which can be understood and related to in some mode by those who have not yet met the experience but who are willing to slow their thought and judgment and decipher the syntax clause by clause; not necessarily as slowly as composed, so the affect will differ; and of course two bodies cannot, they say, occupy the same place in space. Yet in another light, they say we are one being of thought and to that common being — perceived in whatever mode one perceives — I address this syntax.5
Returning to the mundane world of order6, may I compare the mental phenomena of the preceding anecdote with the criminal view of it as presented by the Narcotics Department for years in cheap sex magazines and government reports — reports uninfluenced by the Narco Department take a contrasting view7 — base paranoia close to murder, frothing at the mouth of Egyptian dogs, sex orgies in cheap dives, debilitation and terror and physiological or mysterious psychic addiction. An essentially grotesque image, a thought-hallucination magnified myriad thru mass media, a by-product of fear — something quite fiendish — “Dope Fiend,” the old language, a language abandoned in the early sixties when enough of the general public had sufficient personal experience to reject such palpable poppycock and the bureaucratic line shifted to defense of its own existence with the following reason:8 necessary to control marijuana because smoking leads to search for thrill kicks; this leads to next step, the monster her*in. And a terrible fate.9
In sound good health I smoked legal ganja (as marijuana is termed in India where it is traditionally used in preference to alcohol), bought from government tax shops in Calcutta, in a circle of devotees, yogis, and hymn-singing pious Shivaist worshippers in the burning ground at Nimtallah ghat in Calcutta, where it was the custom of these respected gentlemen to meet on Tuesday and Saturday nights, smoke before an improvised altar of blossoms, sacramental milk-candy and perhaps a fire taken from the burning wooden bed on which lay a newly dead body, of some friend perhaps, likely a stranger if a corpse is a stranger, pass out the candy as God’s gift to friend and stranger, and sing holy songs all night, with great strength and emotion, addressed to different images of the Divine Spirit. Ganja was there considered a beginning of sadhana10 by some; others consider the ascetic yogi Shiva himself to have smoked marijuana; on His birthday marijuana is mixed as a paste with almond milk by the grandmothers of pious families and imbibed as sacrament by this polytheistic nation, considered by some a holy society. The professors of English at Benares University brought me a bottle for the traditional night of Shivaratri, birthday of the Creator and Destroyer who is the patron god of this oldest continuously inhabited city on earth. Bom Bom Mahadev!” (Boom Boom Great God!) is the mantra yogis’ cry as they raise the ganja pipe to their brows before inhaling.
All India is familiar with ganja, and so is all Africa, and so is all the Arab world; and so were Paris and London in smaller measure in high-minded but respectable 19th-century circles; and so on a larger scale is America even now. Young and old, millions perhaps smoke marijuana and see no harm. And we have not measured the Latin-American world, Mexico particularly, who gave the local herb its familiar name. In some respects we may then see its prohibition as an arbitrary cultural taboo.
There has been a tendency toward its suppression in the Arab world with the too hasty adoption of Western rationality and the enlarged activity of the American fanatic Mr. Anslinger as US representative to the UN World Health Organization Single Narcotics Commission — a position from which he circulates hysterical notices and warnings, manufactured in Washington’s Treasury Department, to the police forces of the cities of the world — so I was told by a police official in Tel Aviv, an old school chum who laughed about the latest release, a grim warning against the dangers of khat, a traditional energizing leaf chewed by Bedouins of Arabia and businessmen and princes in Ethiopia, as well as a few traditional Yemenite Jews.
There seems to be a liaison between Anslinger and some policemen in Egypt, which has now formally outlawed its hashish or kif form of marijuana (even though masses of non drinking faithful Muslims prefer a contemplative pipe of kif to the dangers of violent alcohol forbidden by the Koran). We find government bureaucrats with the well-to-do (as in India) taking knowing delight in alcohol a
s a more sophisticated and daring preference; and stories of mad dogs frothing at the mouth and asylums full of people driven mad by some unheard-of brand of hashish (would god it were imported to America like some fine brand of Scotch or pernod) circulated from the police information bureaus of Egypt — or perhaps some single cranky Egyptian Dr. Baird — thru the Treasury Department Narcotics Bureau and thence by interview and press release to the mass media of America and an inexperienced public (encouraged to drink intoxicating beer by millions of dollars’ worth of advertisement). The Egyptian evidence has been quoted for years, most recently by the present head of the Narcotics Bureau, a Mr. Giordano, one of Mr. Anslinger’s former intimates in the department.
Professor Lindesmith has already objected in public print to the Department’s manipulation and attempted quashing of various medical-juridical reports; a Canadian documentary film on the drug subject has been blocked from being shown in this country thru activity of the Treasury Department — perhaps an import license was refused; the impartial LaGuardia Report was rudely attacked by Anslinger; a President’s Judicial Advisory Council Policy Statement (1964) has characterized the activities of the Bureau as exceeding legal rightfulness in “criminalizing” by executive fiat and administrative dictum those addicted to addicting drugs who for decades have been prevented from going to a doctor for treatment unless it was under the aegis of Lexington jail and thru police channels. Memory of the British East India Hemp Commission report, the largest in history, done in the 1880s, which concluded that marijuana was not a problem, has been ignored,11 memories of our own Panama Canal military reports giving marijuana a clean bill of health have been unavailing in consideration of the Bureau,12 doctors have complained of being harassed and framed by one or another police agency; sick junkies have died in jail; thousands of intelligent citizens have been put in prison for uncounted years for possession or sale of marijuana,13 even if they grew it themselves and only smoked in private; youths have been entrapped into selling small or large quantities of grass to police agents and consequently found themselves faced with all the venomous bullshit that an arbitrary law can create from the terrors of arrest to the horror of years in jail; the author receives letters of complaint and appeals for help from many US cities, from acquaintances, fellow litterateurs, even scholarly investigators of the subject writing books about it, as well as from one energetic poet founding a fine project for an Artist’s Workshop (John Sinclair in Detroit, sentenced to 6 months for letting an agent buy marijuana for the second time) — one becomes awed by the enormity of the imposition.14
It is not a healthy activity for the State to be annoying so many of its citizens thusly; it creates a climate of topsy-turvy law and begets disrespect for the law and the society that tolerates execution of such barbarous law,15 and a climate of fear and hatred for the administrators of the law. Such a law is a threat to the existence of the State itself, for it sickens and debilitates its most adventurous and sensitive citizens. Such a law, in fact, can drive people mad.
It is no wonder then that most people who have smoked marijuana in America often experience a state of anxiety, of threat, of paranoia in fact, which may lead to trembling or hysteria, at the microscopic awareness that they are breaking a law, that thousands of investigators all over the country are trained and paid to smoke them out and jail them, that thousands of their community are in jail, that inevitably a few friends are “busted” with all the hypocrisy and expense and anxiety of that trial and perhaps punishment — jail and victimage by the bureaucracy that made, propagandized, administers, and profits from such a monstrous law.
From my own experience and the experience of others I have concluded that most of the horrific affects and disorders described as characteristic of marijuana “intoxication” by the US Federal Treasury Department’s Bureau of Narcotics are, quite the reverse, precisely traceable back to the effects on consciousness not of the narcotic but of the law and the threatening activities of the US Bureau of Narcotics itself. Thus, as the Buddha said to a lady who offered him a curse, the gift is returned to the giver when it is not accepted.
I myself experience this form of paranoia when I smoke marijuana, and for that reason smoke it in America more rarely than I did in countries where it is legal. I noticed a profound difference of affect in my case. The anxiety was directly traceable to fear of being apprehended and treated as a deviant criminal and put thru the hassle of social disapproval, ignominious Kafkian tremblings in vast court buildings coming to be judged, the helplessness of being overwhelmed by force or threat of deadly force and put in brick and iron cell.
This apprehension deepened when on returning this year from Europe I was stopped, stripped, and searched at customs. The dust of my pockets was examined with magnifying glass for traces of weed. I had publicly spoken in defense of marijuana and attacked the conduct of the Bureau, and now my name was down on a letter dossier at which I secretly peeked, on the customs search-room desk. I quote the first sentence, referring to myself and Orlovsky: “These persons are reported to be smuggling (or importing) narcotics…”
On a later occasion, when I was advised by several friends and near- acquaintances that Federal Narcotics personnel in New York City had asked them to “set me up” for an arrest, I became incensed enough to write a letter of complaint to my Congressman. He replied that he thought I was being humorless about the reason for my being on a list for customs investigation, since it was natural (I had talked about the dread subject so much in public); anyway, not Kafkian as I characterized it. As for my complaint about being set up — that, with my letter, was forwarded to the Treasury Department in Washington for consideration and reply.16 I had schemed writing some essay such as this in addition to a letter of reminder to my Representative, for it would be to my safety to publish.
I had had the earlier experience after a nationwide TV discussion show, during which the moderator, John Crosby, the anthropologist Ashley Montagu, and celebrated fellow-writer Norman Mailer all concluded — perhaps for the first time over a nationally publicized medium of communication in the last three decades — that as far as we knew there was nothing wrong with marijuana — of learning that the Treasury Department, true to its obsession, had forced its opinion back on the medium thru a seven-minute video-taped refutation (including an incredible rehash of the Egyptian mad dogs), and placed it on the air against the wishes of Mr. Crosby on the insistence of his network, which had received a communication from the Narco Bureau, possibly thru intervention of FCC. Years later I read an account of the incident by Mr. Crosby in his syndicated column, formally complaining about the affair.17
At that time, looking forward to the occasion of this essay, a difficult one, I made a preliminary epistle on the subject to Anslinger himself, a ten-page composition saying I thought he was a dangerous fraud, responsible for untold death and suffering, and that some day soon, those who had experience of the matter would band together with reasoning and documentation — such as one may find in this book — to come out in the open to explain the actual horror of the US Treasury Department Federal Narcotic Bureau to an already suspecting public.
Allen Ginsberg 2 A.M. Nov. 14, 1965
Rather than alter the preceding composition — let it remain, for the reader who has not smoked marijuana, a
manifestation of marijuana-high thought structure in a mode which intersects our mutual consciousness, namely language — the author wishes to add here a few thoughts.
The author has spent half a year in Morocco, smoking kif often: old gentlemen and peaceable youths sit amiably, in cafés or under shade trees in outdoor gardens drinking mint tea, passing the tiny kif pipe, and looking quietly at the sea. This is the true picture of the use of kif in North Africa, exactly the opposite of the lurid stereotype of mad-dog human beings deliberately spread by our Treasury Department police branch. And I set this model of tranquil sensibility beside the tableau of aggravated New York executives sipping whiskey before a 1966 TV set’s imagery of drunken American violence covering the world from the highways to Berkeley all the way to the dirt roads of Vietnam.
No one has yet remarked that the suppression of Negro rights, culture, and sensibility in America has been complicated by the marijuana laws. African sects have used pot for divine worship (much as I have described its sacred use in India). And to the extent that jazz has been an adaptation of an African religious form to American context (and will have been in no small measure the salvation of America, if America survives the decades of coming change), marijuana has been closely associated with the development of this indigenous American form of chant and prayer. Use of marijuana has always been widespread among the Negro population in this country, and suppression of its use, with constant friction and bludgeoning of the law, has been one of the major unconscious, or unmentionable, methods of suppression of Negro rights. The mortal sufferings of our most celebrated heroic Negro musicians, from Billie Holiday thru Thelonious Monk, at the hands of police over the drug issue are well known. Such sadistic persecutions have outraged the heart of America for decades. I mean the cultural and spiritual heart — US music.
Although most scientific authors who present their reputable evidence for the harmlessness of marijuana make no claim for its surprising usefulness, I do make that claim:
Marijuana is a useful catalyst for specific optical and aural aesthetic perceptions. I apprehended the structure of certain pieces of jazz and classical music in a new manner under the influence of marijuana, and these apprehensions have remained valid in years of normal consciousness. I first discovered how to see Klee’s Magic Squares as the painter intended them (as optically 3-dimensional space structures) while high on marijuana. I perceived (“dug”) for the first time Cézanne’s “petit sensation” of space achieved on a 2-dimensional canvas (by means of advancing and receding colors, organization of triangles, cubes, etc. as the painter describes in his letters) while looking at The Bathers high on marijuana. And I saw anew many of nature’s panoramas and landscapes that I’d stared at blindly without even noticing before; thru the use of marijuana, awe and detail were made conscious. These perceptions are permanent — any deep aesthetic experience leaves a trace, and an idea of what to look for that can be checked back later. I developed a taste for Crivelli’s symmetry; and saw Rembrandt’s Polish Rider as a sublime youth on a deathly horse for the first time — saw myself in the rider’s face, one might say — while walking around the Frick Museum high on pot. These are not “hallucinations”; these are deepened perceptions that one might have catalyzed not by pot but by some other natural event (as natural as pot) that changes the mind, such as an intense love, a death in the family, a sudden clear dusk after rain, or the sight of the neon spectral reality of Times Square one sometimes has after leaving a strange movie. So it’s all natural.
At this point it should be announced that most of the major (best and most famous too) poets, painters, musicians, cinéasts, sculptors, actors, singers and publishers in America and England have been smoking marijuana for years and years. I have gotten high with the majority of the dozens of contributors to the Don Allen Anthology of New American Poetry 1945-1960; and in years subsequent to its publication have sat down to coffee and a marijuana cigarette with not a few of the more academic poets of the rival Hall-Pack-Simpson anthology. No art opening in Paris, London, New York, or Wichita at which one may not sniff the incense-fumes of marijuana issuing from the ladies’ room. Up and down Madison Avenue it is charming old inside knowledge; in the clacketing vast city rooms of newspapers on both coasts, copyboys and reporters smoke somewhat less marijuana than they take tranquilizers or Benzedrine, but pot begins to rival liquor as a non-medicinal delight in conversation. Already 8 years ago I smoked marijuana with a couple of narcotic department plainclothesmen who were trustworthy enough to invite to a literary reception. A full-page paid advertisement in The New York Times, quoting authoritative medical evidence of the harmlessness of marijuana, and signed by a thousand of its most famous smokers, would once and for all break the cultural ice and end once and for all the tyranny of the Treasury Department Narcotics Bureau. For it would only manifest in public what everybody sane in the centers of communication in America knows anyway, an enormous open secret — that it is time to end Prohibition again. And with it put an end to the gangsterism, police mania, hypocrisy, anxiety, and national stupidity generated by administrative abuse of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.
It should be understood once and for all that in this area we have been undergoing police-state conditions in America, with characteristic mass brainwashing of the public, persecution and deaths in jails, elaborate systems of plainclothes police and police spies and stool pigeons, abuse of constitutional guarantees of privacy of home and person (even mode of consciousness) from improper search and seizure. The police prohibition of marijuana (accompanied with the even more obnoxious persecution of sick heroin addicts who all along should have been seeing the doctor) has directly created vast black markets, crime syndicates, crime waves in the cities, and a breakdown of law and order in the State itself. For the courts of large cities are clogged with so-called narcotic crimes and behind schedule, and new laws (such as the recent NY Rockefeller Stop and Frisk and No-Knock) spring up against the citizen to cope with the massive unpopularity of prohibition.
Not only do I propose end of prohibition of marijuana, and total shift of treatment of actually addictive drugs to the hands of the medical profession, but I propose a total dismantling of the whole cancerous bureaucracy that has perpetrated this historic fuck-up on the United States. And not only is it necessary that the Bureau of Narcotics be dismantled and consigned to the wax-museum of history, where it belongs, but it is also about time that a full-scale Congressional investigation, utilizing all the resources of the embattled medical, legal and sociological authorities, who for years have been complaining in vain, should be undertaken to fix the precise responsibility for this vast swindle on the administrative, business and mass-media shoulders where it belongs. What was the motive and method in perpetrating this insane hoax on public consciousness? Have any laws of malfeasance in public office been violated?
Not only an investigation of how it all happened but some positive remuneration is required for those poor citizens, many of them defenseless against beatings, sickness, and anxiety for years — a minority directly and physically persecuted by the police of every city and state and by agents of the nation; a minority often railroaded to jail by uncomprehending judges for months, for years, for decades; a minority battling idiotic laws, and even then without adequate legal
representation for the slim trickery available to the rich to evade such laws. Pension must be made obviously for the cornered junkies. But for the inoffensive charming smokers of marijuana who have undergone disgraceful jailings, money is due as compensation. This goes back decades for thousands and thousands of people who, I would guess, are among the most sensitive citizens of the nation; and their social place and special honor of character should be rewarded by a society which urgently needs this kind of sensibility where it can be seen in public.
I have long felt that there were certain political implications to the suppression of marijuana, beyond the obvious revelation (which Burroughs pointed out in Naked Lunch) of the cancerous nature of the marijuana-suppression bureaucracy. When the citizens of this country see that such an old-time, taken-for-granted, flag-waving, reactionary truism of police, press, and law as the “reefer menace” is in fact a creepy hoax, a scarecrow, a national hallucination emanating from the perverted brain of one single man (perhaps) such as Anslinger, what will they begin to think of the whole of taken-for-granted public REALITY?
What of other issues filled with the same threatening hysteria? The spectre of Communism? Respect for the police and courts? Respect for the Treasury Department? If marijuana is a hoax, what is Money? What is the War in Vietnam? What are the Mass Media?
As I declared at the beginning of this essay, marijuana consciousness shifts attention from stereotyped verbal symbols to “more direct, slower, absorbing, occasionally microscopically minute engagement with sensing phenomena during the high …” Already millions of people have got high and looked at the images of their Presidents and governors and representatives on television and seen that all were betraying signs of false character. Or heard the impersonal robot tones of radio newscasters announcing mass deaths in Asia.
It is no wonder that for years the great centers of Puritanism of consciousness, blackout and persecution of the subtle vibrations of personal consciousness catalyzed by marijuana have been precisely Moscow and Washington, the centers of the human power war. Fanatical rigid mentality pursuing abstract ideological obsessions make decisions in the right-wing mind of America, pursuing a hateful war against a mirror-image of the same “sectarian, dogmatic” ideological mentality in the Communist camp. It is part of the same pattern that both centers of power have the most rigid laws against marijuana. And that marijuana and versions of the African ritual music (rock ‘n’ roll) are slowly catalyzing anti-ideological consciousness of the new generations on both sides of the Iron-Time curtain.
I believe that future generations will have to rely on new faculties of awareness, rather than on new versions of old idea-systems, to cope with the increasing godlike complexity of our planetary civilization, with its overpopulation, its threat of atomic annihilation, its centralized network of abstract word-image communication, its power to leave the earth. A new consciousness, or new awareness, will evolve to meet a changed ecological environment. It has already begun evolving in younger generations from Prague to Calcutta; part of the process is a re-examination of certain heretofore discarded “primitive” devices of communication with Self and Selves. Negro worship rituals have invaded the West via New Orleans and Liverpool, in altered but still recognizably functional form. The consciousness-expanding drugs (psychedelics) occupy attention in the highest intellectual circles of the West, as well as among a great mass of youth. The odd perceptions of Zen, Tibetan yoga, mantra yoga, and indigenous American Shamanism affect the consciousness of a universal generation, children who can recognize each other by hairstyle, tone of voice, attitude to nature, and attitude to Civilization. The airwaves are filled with songs of hitherto unheard-of frankness and beauty.
These then are some of the political or social implications of the legalization of marijuana as a catalyst to self-awareness. The generalizations I have made may also apply to the deeper affects and deeper social changes that may be catalyzed thru the already massive use of psychedelic drugs.
And it is significant that, as marijuana was once monopolized by a small rabid bureaucracy in the Treasury Department, the psychedelic drugs have this year in America been officially monopolized by the Pure Food and Drug Administration — within months a large amateur police force has mushroomed. I’ve heard it rumored that the precise group of citizens least equipped for “responsibility” in this area — the least “mature” pressure-group in the States — already acts in an advisory capacity on licensing. This group is the Chemical Warfare Division of the Pentagon.
1 Editorial in the English Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, November 9, 1963. ….At most of the recent references the question was raised whether the marijuana problem might be abolished by removing the substance from the list of dangerous drugs where it was placed in 1951, and giving it the same social status as alcohol by legalizing its import and consumption.
This suggestion is worth considering. Besides the undoubted attraction of reducing, for once, the number of crimes that a member of our society can commit, and of allowing the wider spread of something that can give pleasure, a greater revenue would certainly come to the State from taxation than from fines. Additional gains might be the reduction of interracial tension, as well as that between generations; for ‘pot’ spread from South America to Britain via the United States and the West Indies. Here it has been taken up by the younger members of a society in which alcohol is the inheritance of the more elderly.
2 Anslinger, Harry J., and Oursler, W. C.: The Murderers, Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1961 (p. 38).
Much of the irrational juvenile violence and killing that has written a new chapter of shame and tragedy is traceable directly to this hemp intoxication….
As the Marijuana situation grew worse, I knew action had to be taken to get proper control legislation passed. By 1937, under my direction, the Bureau launched two important steps: First, a legislative plan to seek from congress a new law that would place Marijuana and its distribution directly under federal control. Second, on radio and at major forums, such as that presented annually by the New York Herald Tribune, I told the story of this evil weed of the fields and river beds and roadsides. I wrote articles for magazines; our agents gave hundreds of lectures to parents, educators, social and civic leaders. In network broadcasts I reported on the growing list of crimes, including murder and rape. I described the nature of Marijuana and its close kinship to hashish. I continued to hammer at the facts.
I believe we did a thorough job, for the public was alerted, and the laws to protect them were passed, both nationally and at the state level.
3 H.J. Anslinger, Commissioner of Narcotics, Correspondence, Journal of the American Medical Association, Jan. 16, 1943 (p. 212).
….information in our possession…that marijuana precipitates in certain persons psychoses and unstable and disorganized personality … may be an important contributory cause to crime … by relaxing inhibitions may permit antisocial tendencies…
Of course, the primary interest of the Bureau of Narcotics is in the enforcement aspect. From that point of view it is very unfortunate that Drs. Allentuck and Bowman should have stated so unqualifiedly that use of marijuana does not lead to physical, mental, or moral degeneration and that no permanent deleterious effects from its continued use were observed.
4 “Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs,&#
8221; Report by the Government of the United States of America for the Year Ended December 31st, 1938, by Hon. H. J. Anslinger, Commissioner of Narcotics (p. 7). “The Narcotics Section recognizes the great danger of marijuana due to its definite impairment of the mentality and the fact that its continuous use leads direct to the insane asylum.”
5 As stated in the text, which stands almost completely unrevised from first composition, the author smoked one marijuana cigarette at the beginning of the fourth paragraph.
6 The author is still high to the end of Section I.
7 The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, Goodman and Gillman, 1956 ed., (p. 20). “The federal narcotic regulations and a number of supplementary laws include drugs such as papaverine and marijuana which do not produce narcosis.”
(pp. 170-177). “There are no lasting ill effects from the acute use of marijuana, and fatalities have not been known to occur.
Careful and complete medical and neuropsychiatric examinations of habitués reveal no pathological conditions or disorders of cerebral functions attributable to the drug.
“Although habituation occurs, psychic dependence is not as prominent or compelling as in the case of morphine, alcohol, or perhaps even tobacco habituation.”
8 Hearings before the Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives, 75th Congress, 1st session April and May 1937: House Marijuana Hearings (p. 24).
Rep. John Dingall: “I am just wondering whether the marijuana addict graduates into a heroin, an opium, or a cocaine user?”
Anslinger: “No, sir. I have not heard of a case of that kind. I think it is an entirely different class. The marijuana addict does not go in that direction.”
9 In historical context this recent excuse for repression of marijuana seemed to the author so irrational that it was unnecessary to analyze. Yet public confusion may warrant some precise analysis.

A) There are no legitimate sociological/medical study documents warranting the Narcotics Department’s assertion of causal relation between use of marijuana and graduation to opiates.

B) There never had been any hint of such association before the two classes of drugs were forcibly juxtaposed in black market by said department; Anslinger testified to that in 1937. (see footnote #8).

C) A greater number of opiate users started with bananas, cigarettes and alcohol than started with marijuana — no causal relationship is indicated in any case.

D) The number of millions of respectable Americans who smoke marijuana have obviously not proceeded to opiates.

E) In test sociological cases, i.e., societies such as Morocco and India where marijuana use is universal, there is very small use of opiates and no social association or juxtaposition between the two classes of drugs. What juxtaposition there is in America has been created and encouraged by the propaganda and repression tactics of the Narcotics Bureau.
10 Saddhana: yogic path or discipline.
11 Report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, 1893-94, Ch. XIII (263-264, par. 552)
Summary of conclusions regarding effects. The Commission have now examined all the evidence before them regarding the effects attributed to hemp drugs. It will be well to summarize briefly the conclusions to which they come. It has been clearly established that the occasional use of hemp in moderate doses may be beneficial; but this use may be regarded as medicinal in character. It is rather to the popular and common use of the drugs that the Commission will now confine their attention. It is convenient to consider the effects separately as affecting the physical, mental or moral nature. In regard to the physical effects, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all. There may be exceptional cases in which, owing to idiosyncrasies of constitution, the drugs in even moderate use may be injurious. There is probably nothing the use of which may not possibly be injurious in cases of exceptional intolerance….
In respect to the alleged mental effects of the drugs, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs produces no injurious effects on the mind….
In regard to the moral effects or the drugs, the Commission are of opinion that their moderate use produces no moral injury whatever. There is no adequate ground for believing that it injuriously affects the character of the consumer…for all practical purposes it may be laid down that there is little or no connection between the use of hemp drugs and crime.
Viewing the subject generally, it may be added that the moderate use of these drugs is the rule, and that the excessive use is comparatively exceptional.
12 Panama Canal Zone Governor’s Committee, Apr.-Dec. 1925: (The Military Surgeon, Journal of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, November 1933, p. 274).
After an investigation extending from April 1 to December 1925, the Committee reached the following conclusions:
There is no evidence that marijuana as grown here is a “habit-forming” drug in the sense in which the term is applied to alcohol, opium, cocaine, etc., or that it has any appreciably deleterious influence on the individual using it.
Panama Canal Zone Governor’s Committee, June 1931 (vide supra, p. 278):
Delinquencies due to marijuana smoking which result in trial by military court are negligible in number when compared with delinquencies resulting from the use of alcoholic drinks which also may be classed as stimulants and intoxicants.
13 12,229 convictions for marijuana in 1963 and 1964 reported from California alone, according to Prof. Lindesmith. The whole scene is so shrouded in bureaucratic mystery that there are no national figures available anywhere.
14 By March 1966 Dr. Timothy Leary faced a minimum of 5 years in jail and A.P. reported that the celebrated novelist Ken Kesey was a refugee in Mexico threatened with extradition by the FBI to face marijuana charges in California.
15 Proceedings White House Conference on Narcotic and Drug Abuse, September 27-28, 1962, State Department Auditorium, Washington, D. C. (p. 286). It is the opinion of the Panel that the hazards of Marijuana per se have been exaggerated and that long criminal sentences imposed on an occasional user or possessor of the drug are in poor social perspective. Although Marijuana has long held the reputation of inciting individuals to commit sexual offenses and other antisocial acts, the evidence is inadequate to substantiate this. Tolerance and physical dependence do not develop and withdrawal does not produce an abstinence syndrome.
16 Reply received December 22, 1965:
“I would advise you that I have been in touch with the Bureau of Narcotics and am of the opinion that nothing has been done in your case that is illegal or inconsistent with law enforcement practices designed to enforce the narcotics laws.” In this case it was police request to arrested friends that they carry marijuana to my apartment and to that of the novelist William S. Burroughs.
17 New York Herald Tribune, November 22, 1963.


Nocturne – Germaine Tailleferre

Flags Snapping In The May Wind Part 2

Colours Of Mystery – Georges Auric

Hashish Poems:
Bread, Hashish And Moon
When the moon is born in the east,

And the white rooftops drift asleep

Under the heaped-up light,

People leave their shops and march forth in groups

To meet the moon

Carrying bread, and a radio, to the mountaintops,

And their narcotics.

There they buy and sell fantasies

And images,

And die – as the moon comes to life.

What does that luminous disc

Do to my homeland?

The land of the prophets,

The land of the simple,

The chewers of tobacco, the dealers in drug?

What does the moon do to us,

That we squander our valor

And live only to beg from Heaven?

What has the heaven

For the lazy and the weak?

When the moon comes to life they are changed to


And shake the tombs of the saints,

Hoping to be granted some rice, some children…

They spread out their fine and elegant rugs,

And console themselves with an opium we call fate

And destiny.

In my land, the land of the simple

What weakness and decay

Lay hold of us, when the light streams forth!

Rugs, thousands of baskets,

Glasses of tea and children swarn over the hills.

In my land,

where the simple weep,

And live in the light they cannot perceive;

In my land,

Where people live without eyes,

And pray,

And fornicate,

And live in resignation,

As they always have,

Calling on the crescent moon:

” O Crescent Moon!

O suspended God of Marble!

O unbelievable object!

Always you have been for the east, for us,

A cluster of diamonds,

For the millions whose senses are numbed”

On those eastern nights when

The moon waxes full,

The east divests itself of all honor

And vigor.

The millions who go barefoot,

Who believe in four wives

And the day of judgment;

The millions who encounter bread

Only in their dreams;

Who spend the night in houses

Built of coughs;

Who have never set eyes on medicine;

Fall down like corpses beneath the light.

In my land,

where the stupid weep

And die weeping

Whenever the crescent moon appears

And their tears increase;

Whenever some wretched lute moves them…

or the song to “night”

In my land,

In the land of the simple,

where we slowly chew on our unending songs-

A form of consumption destroying the east-

Our east chewing on its history,

its lethargic dreams,

Its empty legends,

Our east that sees the sum of all heroism

In Picaresque Abu Zayd al Hilali.
-Nizar Qabbani



The Hashish Eater -or- the Apocalypse of Evil
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;

I crown me with the million-colored sun

Of secret worlds incredible, and take

Their trailing skies for vestment when I soar,

Throned on the mounting zenith, and illume

The spaceward-flown horizons infinite.

Like rampant monsters roaring for their glut,

The fiery-crested oceans rise and rise,

By jealous moons maleficently urged

To follow me for ever; mountains horned

With peaks of sharpest adamant, and mawed

With sulphur-lit volcanoes lava-langued,

Usurp the skies with thunder, but in vain;

And continents of serpent-shapen trees,

With slimy trunks that lengthen league by league,

Pursue my light through ages spurned to fire

By that supreme ascendance; sorcerers,

And evil kings, predominanthly armed

With scrolls of fulvous dragon-skin whereon

Are worm-like runes of ever-twisting flame,

Would stay me; and the sirens of the stars,

With foam-like songs from silver fragrance wrought,

Would lure me to their crystal reefs; and moons

Where viper-eyed, senescent devils dwell,

With antic gnomes abominably wise,

Heave up their icy horns across my way.

But naught deters me from the goal ordained

By suns and eons and immortal wars,

And sung by moons and motes; the goal whose name

Is all the secret of forgotten glyphs

By sinful gods in torrid rubies writ

For ending of a brazen book; the goal

Whereat my soaring ecstasy may stand

In amplest heavens multiplied to hold

My hordes of thunder-vested avatars,

And Promethèan armies of my thought,

That brandish claspèd levins. There I call

My memories, intolerably clad

In light the peaks of paradise may wear,

And lead the Armageddon of my dreams

Whose instant shout of triumph is become

Immensity’s own music: for their feet

Are founded on innumerable worlds,

Remote in alien epochs, and their arms

Upraised, are columns potent to exalt

With ease ineffable the countless thrones

Of all the gods that are or gods to be,

And bear the seats of Asmodai and Set

Above the seventh paradise.

In culminant omniscience manifold,

And served by senses multitudinous,

Far-posted on the shifting walls of time,

With eyes that roam the star-unwinnowed fields

Of utter night and chaos, I convoke

The Babel of their visions, and attend

At once their myriad witness. I behold

In Ombos, where the fallen Titans dwell,

With mountain-builded walls, and gulfs for moat,

The secret cleft that cunning dwarves have dug

Beneath an alp-like buttress; and I list,

Too late, the clam of adamantine gongs

Dinned by their drowsy guardians, whose feet

Have fell the wasp-like sting of little knives

Embrued With slobber of the basilisk

Or the pail Juice of wounded upas. In

Some red Antarean garden-world, I see

The sacred flower with lips of purple flesh,

And silver-Lashed, vermilion-lidded eyes

Of torpid azure; whom his furtive priests

At moonless eve in terror seek to slay

With bubbling grails of sacrificial blood

That hide a hueless poison. And I read

Upon the tongue of a forgotten sphinx,

The annulling word a spiteful demon wrote

In gall of slain chimeras; and I know

What pentacles the lunar wizards use,

That once allured the gulf-returning roc,

With ten great wings of furlèd storm, to pause

Midmost an alabaster mount; and there,

With boulder-weighted webs of dragons’ gut

Uplift by cranes a captive giant built,

They wound the monstrous, moonquake-throbbing bird,

And plucked from off his saber-taloned feet

Uranian sapphires fast in frozen blood,

And amethysts from Mars. I lean to read

With slant-lipped mages, in an evil star,

The monstrous archives of a war that ran

Through wasted eons, and the prophecy

Of wars renewed, which shall commemorate

Some enmity of wivern-headed kings

Even to the brink of time. I know the blooms

Of bluish fungus, freaked with mercury,

That bloat within the creators of the moon,

And in one still, selenic and fetor; and I know

What clammy blossoms, blanched and cavern-grown,

Are proffered to their gods in Uranus

By mole-eyed peoples; and the livid seed

Of some black fruit a king in Saturn ate,

Which, cast upon his tinkling palace-floor,

Took root between the burnished flags, and now

Hath mounted and become a hellish tree,

Whose lithe and hairy branches, lined with mouths,

Net like a hundred ropes his lurching throne,

And strain at starting pillars. I behold

The slowly-thronging corals that usurp

Some harbour of a million-masted sea,

And sun them on the league-long wharves of gold—

Bulks of enormous crimson, kraken-limbed

And kraken-headed, lifting up as crowns

The octiremes of perished emperors,

And galleys fraught with royal gems, that sailed

From a sea-fled haven.
Swifter and stranger grow

The visions: now a mighty city looms,

Hewn from a hill of purest cinnabar

To domes and turrets like a sunrise thronged

With tier on tier of captive moons, half-drowned

In shifting erubescence. But whose hands

Were sculptors of its doors, and columns wrought

To semblance of prodigious blooms of old,

No eremite hath lingered there to say,

And no man comes to learn: for long ago

A prophet came, warning its timid king

Against the plague of lichens that had crept

Across subverted empires, and the sand

Of wastes that cyclopean mountains ward;

Which, slow and ineluctable, would come

To take his fiery bastions and his fanes,

And quench his domes with greenish tetter. Now

I see a host of naked gents, armed

With horns of behemoth and unicorn,

Who wander, blinded by the clinging spells

O hostile wizardry, and stagger on

To forests where the very leaves have eyes,

And ebonies like wrathful dragons roar

To teaks a-chuckle in the loathly gloom;

Where coiled lianas lean, with serried fangs,

From writhing palms with swollen boles that moan;

Where leeches of a scarlet moss have sucked

The eyes of some dead monster, and have crawled

To bask upon his azure-spotted spine;

Where hydra-throated blossoms hiss and sing,

Or yawn with mouths that drip a sluggish dew

Whose touch is death and slow corrosion. Then

I watch a war of pygmies, met by night,

With pitter of their drums of parrot’s hide,

On plains with no horizon, where a god

Might lose his way for centuries; and there,

In wreathèd light and fulgors all convolved,

A rout of green, enormous moons ascend,

With rays that like a shivering venom run

On inch-long swords of lizard-fang.

From this my throne, as from a central sun,

The pageantries of worlds and cycles pass;

Forgotten splendors, dream by dream, unfold

Like tapestry, and vanish; violet suns,

Or suns of changeful iridescence, bring

Their rays about me like the colored lights

Imploring priests might lift to glorify

The face of some averted god; the songs

Of mystic poets in a purple world

Ascend to me in music that is made

From unconceivèd perfumes and the pulse

Of love ineffable; the lute-players

Whose lutes are strung with gold of the utmost moon,

Call forth delicious languors, never known

Save to their golden kings; the sorcerers

Of hooded stars inscrutable to God,

Surrender me their demon-wrested scrolls,

lnscribed with lore of monstrous alchemies

And awful transformations.
If I will

I am at once the vision and the seer,

And mingle with my ever-streaming pomps,

And still abide their suzerain: I am

The neophyte who serves a nameless god,

Within whose fane the fanes of Hecatompylos

Were arks the Titan worshippers might bear,

Or flags to pave the threshold; or I am

The god himself, who calls the fleeing clouds

Into the nave where suns might congregate

And veils the darkling mountain of his face

With fold on solemn fold; for whom the priests

Amass their monthly hecatomb of gems

Opals that are a camel-cumbering load,

And monstrous alabraundines, won from war

With realms of hostile serpents; which arise,

Combustible, in vapors many-hued

And myrrh-excelling perfumes. It is I,

The king, who holds with scepter-dropping hand

The helm of some great barge of orichalchum,

Sailing upon an amethystine sea

To isles of timeless summer: for the snows

Of Hyperborean winter, and their winds,

Sleep in his jewel-builded capital,

Nor any charm of flame-wrought wizardry,

Nor conjured suns may rout them; so he fees,

With captive kings to urge his serried oars,

Hopeful of dales where amaranthine dawn

Hath never left the faintly sighing lote

And lisping moly. Firm of heart, I fare

Impanoplied with azure diamond,

As hero of a quest Achernar lights,

To deserts filled with ever-wandering flames

That feed upon the sullen marl, and soar

To wrap the slopes of mountains, and to leap

With tongues intolerably lengthening

That lick the blenchèd heavens. But there lives

(Secure as in a garden walled from wind)

A lonely flower by a placid well,

Midmost the flaring tumult of the flames,

That roar as roars a storm-possessed sea,

Impacable for ever; and within

That simple grail the blossom lifts, there lies

One drop of an incomparable dew

Which heals the parchèd weariness of kings,

And cures the wound of wisdom. I am page

To an emperor who reigns ten thousand years,

And through his labyrinthine palace-rooms,

Through courts and colonnades and balconies

Wherein immensity itself is mazed,

I seek the golden gorget he hath lost,

On which, in sapphires fine as orris-seed,

Are writ the names of his conniving stars

And friendly planets. Roaming thus, I hear

Like demon tears incessant, through dark ages,

The drip of sullen clepsydrae; and once

In every lustrum, hear the brazen clocks

Innumerably clang with such a sound

As brazen hammers make, by devils dinned

On tombs of all the dead; and nevermore

I find the gorget, but at length I find

A sealèd room whose nameless prisoner

Moans with a nameless torture, and would turn

To hell’s red rack as to a lilied couch

From that whereon they stretched him; and I find,

Prostrate upon a lotus-painted floor,

The loveliest of all beloved slaves

My emperor hath, and from her pulseless side

A serpent rises, whiter than the root

Of some venefic bloom in darkness grown,

And gazes up with green-lit eyes that seem

Like drops of cold, congealing poison.

What word was whispered in a tongue unknown,

In crypts of some impenetrable world?

Whose is the dark, dethroning secrecy

I cannot share, though I am king of suns,

And king therewith of strong eternity,

Whose gnomons with their swords of shadow guard

My gates, and slay the intruder? Silence loads

The wind of ether, and the worlds are still

To hear the word that flees mine audience.

In simultaneous ruin, al my dreams

Fall like a rack of fuming vapors raised

To semblance by a necromant, and leave

Spirit and sense unthinkably alone

Above a universe of shrouded stars

And suns that wander, cowled with sullen gloom,

Like witches to a Sabbath. . . . Fear is born

In crypts below the nadir, and hath crawled

Reaching the floor of space, and waits for wings

To lift it upward like a hellish worm

Fain for the flesh of cherubim. Red orbs

And eyes that gleam remotely as the stars,

But are not eyes of suns or galaxies,

Gather and throng to the base of darkness; flame

Behind some black, abysmal curtain burns,

Implacable, and fanned to whitest wrath

By raisèd wings that flail the whiffled gloom,

And make a brief and broken wind that moans

As one who rides a throbbing rack. There is

A Thing that crouches, worlds and years remote,

Whose horns a demon sharpens, rasping forth

A note to shatter the donjon-keeps of time,

Or crack the sphere of crystal. All is dark

For ages, and my toiling heart-suspends

Its clamor as within the clutch of death

Tightening with tense, hermetic rigors. Then,

In one enormous, million-flashing flame,

The stars unveil, the suns remove their cowls,

And beam to their responding planets; time

Is mine once more, and armies of its dreams

Rally to that insuperable throne

Firmed on the zenith.
Once again I seek

The meads of shining moly I had found

In some anterior vision, by a stream

No cloud hath ever tarnished; where the sun,

A gold Narcissus, loiters evermore

Above his golden image. But I find

A corpse the ebbing water will not keep,

With eyes like sapphires that have lain in hell|

And felt the hissing coals; and all the flowers

About me turn to hooded serpents, swayed

By flutes of devils in lascivious dance

Meet for the nod of Satan, when he reigns

Above the raging Sabbath, and is wooed

By sarabands of witches. But I turn

To mountains guarding with their horns of snow

The source of that befoulèd rill, and seek

A pinnacle where none but eagles climb,

And they with failing pennons. But in vain

I flee, for on that pylon of the sky

Some curse hath turned the unprinted snow to flame—

Red fires that curl and cluster to my tread,

Trying the summit’s narrow cirque. And now

I see a silver python far beneath-

Vast as a river that a fiend hath witched

And forced to flow reverted in its course

To mountains whence it issued. Rapidly

It winds from slope to crumbling slope, and fills

Ravines and chasmal gorges, till the crags

Totter with coil on coil incumbent. Soon

It hath entwined the pinnacle I keep,

And gapes with a fanged, unfathomable maw

Wherein Great Typhon and Enceladus

Were orts of daily glut. But I am gone,

For at my call a hippogriff hath come,

And firm between his thunder-beating wings

I mount the sheer cerulean walls of noon

And see the earth, a spurnèd pebble, fall—

Lost in the fields of nether stars—and seek

A planet where the outwearied wings of time

Might pause and furl for respite, or the plumes

Of death be stayed, and loiter in reprieve

Above some deathless lily: for therein

Beauty hath found an avatar of flowers-

Blossoms that clothe it as a colored flame

From peak to peak, from pole to sullen pole,

And turn the skies to perfume. There I find

A lonely castle, calm, and unbeset

Save by the purple spears of amaranth,

And leafing iris tender-sworded. Walls

Of flushèd marble, wonderful with rose,

And domes like golden bubbles, and minarets

That take the clouds as coronal-these are mine,

For voiceless looms the peaceful barbican,

And the heavy-teethed portcullis hangs aloft

To grin a welcome. So I leave awhile

My hippogriff to crop the magic meads,

And pass into a court the lilies hold,

And tread them to a fragrance that pursues

To win the portico, whose columns, carved

Of lazuli and amber, mock the palms

Of bright Aidennic forests-capitalled

With fronds of stone fretted to airy lace,

Enfolding drupes that seem as tawny clusters

Of breasts of unknown houris; and convolved

With vines of shut and shadowy-leavèd flowers

Like the dropt lids of women that endure

Some loin-dissolving ecstasy. Through doors

Enlaid with lilies twined luxuriously,

I enter, dazed and blinded with the sun,

And hear, in gloom that changing colors cloud,

A chuckle sharp as crepitating ice

Upheaved and cloven by shoulders of the damned

Who strive in Antenora. When my eyes

Undazzle, and the cloud of color fades,

I find me in a monster-guarded room,

Where marble apes with wings of griffins crowd

On walls an evil sculptor wrought, and beasts

Wherein the sloth and vampire-bat unite,

Pendulous by their toes of tarnished bronze,

Usurp the shadowy interval of lamps

That hang from ebon arches. Like a ripple

Borne by the wind from pool to sluggish pool

In fields where wide Cocytus flows his bound,

A crackling smile around that circle runs,

And all the stone-wrought gibbons stare at me

With eyes that turn to glowing coals. A fear

That found no name in Babel, flings me on,

Breathless and faint with horror, to a hall

Within whose weary, self-reverting round,

The languid curtains, heavier than palls,

Unnumerably depict a weary king

Who fain would cool his jewel-crusted hands

In lakes of emerald evening, or the field

Of dreamless poppies pure with rain. I flee

Onward, and all the shadowy curtains shake

With tremors of a silken-sighing mirth,

And whispers of the innumerable king,

Breathing a tale of ancient pestilence

Whose very words are vile contagion. Then

I reach a room where caryatids,

Carved in the form of voluptuous Titan women,

Surround a throne flowering ebony

Where creeps a vine of crystal. On the throne

There lolls a wan, enormous Worm, whose bulk,

Tumid with all the rottenness of kings,

Overflows its arms with fold on creasèd fold

Obscenely bloating. Open-mouthed he leans,

And from his fulvous throat a score of tongues,

Depending like to wreaths of torpid vipers,

Drivel with phosphorescent slime, that runs

Down all his length of soft and monstrous folds,

And creeping among the flowers of ebony,

Lends them the life of tiny serpents. Now,

Ere the Horror ope those red and lashless slits

Of eyes that draw the gnat and midge, I turn

And follow down a dusty hall, whose gloom,

Lined by the statues with their mighty limbs,

Ends in golden-roofèd balcony

Sphering the flowered horizon.
Ere my heart

Hath hushed the panic tumult of its pulses,

I listen, from beyond the horizon’s rim,

A mutter faint as when the far simoom,

Mounting from unknown deserts, opens forth,

Wide as the waste, those wings of torrid night

That shake the doom of cities from their folds,

And musters in its van a thousand winds

That, with disrooted palms for besoms, rise,

And sweep the sands to fury. As the storm,

Approaching, mounts and loudens to the ears

Of them that toil in fields of sesame,

So grows the mutter, and a shadow creeps

Above the gold horizon like a dawn

Of darkness climbing zenith-ward. They come,

The Sabaoth of retribution, drawn

From all dread spheres that knew my trespassing,

And led by vengeful fiends and dire alastors

That owned my sway aforetime! Cockatrice,

Chimera, martichoras, behemoth,

Geryon, and sphinx, and hydra, on my ken

Arise as might some Afrit-builded city

Consummate in the lifting of a lash

With thunderous domes and sounding obelisks

And towers of night and fire alternate! Wings

Of white-hot stone along the hissing wind

Bear up the huge and furnace-hearted beasts

Of hells beyond Rutilicus; and things

Whose lightless length would mete the gyre of moons—

Born from the caverns of a dying sun

Uncoil to the very zenith, half-disclosed

From gulfs below the horizon; octopi

Like blazing moons with countless arms of fire,

Climb from the seas of ever-surging flame

That roll and roar through planets unconsumed,

Beating on coasts of unknown metals; beasts

That range the mighty worlds of Alioth rise,

Afforesting the heavens with mulitudinous horns

Amid whose maze the winds are lost; and borne

On cliff-like brows of plunging scolopendras,

The shell-wrought towers of ocean-witches loom;

And griffin-mounted gods, and demons throned

On-sable dragons, and the cockodrills

That bear the spleenful pygmies on their backs;

And blue-faced wizards from the worlds of Saiph,

On whom Titanic scorpions fawn; and armies

That move with fronts reverted from the foe,

And strike athwart their shoulders at the shapes

The shields reflect in crystal; and eidola

Fashioned within unfathomable caves

By hands of eyeless peoples; and the blind

Worm-shapen monsters of a sunless world,

With krakens from the ultimate abyss,

And Demogorgons of the outer dark,

Arising, shout with dire multisonous clamors,

And threatening me with dooms ineffable

In words whereat the heavens leap to flame,

Advance upon the enchanted palace. Falling

For league on league before, their shadows light

And eat like fire the arnaranthine meads,

Leaving an ashen desert. In the palace

I hear the apes of marble shriek and howl,

And all the women-shapen columns moan,

Babbling with terror. In my tenfold fear,

A monstrous dread unnamed in any hall,

I rise, and flee with the fleeing wind for wings,

And in a trice the wizard palace reefs,

And spring to a single tower of flame,

Goes out, and leaves nor shard nor ember! Flown

Beyond the world upon that fleeing wind

I reach the gulf’s irrespirable verge,

Where fads the strongest storm for breath, and fall,

Supportless, through the nadir-plungèd gloom,

Beyond the scope and vision of the sun,

To other skies and systems.
In a world

Deep-wooded with the multi-colored fungi

That soar to semblance of fantastic palms,

I fall as falls the meteor-stone, and break

A score of trunks to atom powder. Unharmed

I rise, and through the illimitable woods,

Among the trees of flimsy opal, roam,

And see their tops that clamber hour by hour

To touch the suns of iris. Things unseen,

Whose charnel breath informs the tideless air

With spreading pools of fetor, follow me,

Elusive past the ever-changing palms;

And pittering moths with wide and ashen wings

Flit on before, and insects ember-hued,

Descending, hurtle through the gorgeous gloom

And quench themselves in crumbling thickets. Heard

Far off, the gong-like roar of beasts unknown

Resounds at measured intervals of time,

Shaking the riper trees to dust, that falls

In clouds of acrid perfume, stifling me

Beneath an irised pall.
Now the palmettoes

Grow far apart, and lessen momently

To shrubs a dwarf might topple. Over them

I see an empty desert, all ablaze

With ametrysts and rubies, and the dust

Of garnets or carnelians. On I roam,

Treading the gorgeous grit, that dazzles me

With leaping waves of endless rutilance,

Whereby the air is turned to a crimson gloom

Through which I wander blind as any Kobold;

Till underfoot the grinding sands give place

To stone or metal, with a massive ring

More welcome to mine ears than golden bells

Or tinkle of silver fountains. When the gloom

Of crimson lifts, I stand upon the edge

Of a broad black plain of adamant that reaches,

Level as windless water, to the verge

Of all the world; and through the sable plain

A hundred streams of shattered marble run,

And streams of broken steel, and streams of bronze,

Like to the ruin of all the wars of time,

To plunge with clangor of timeless cataracts

Adown the gulfs eternal.
So I follow

Between a river of steel and a river of bronze,

With ripples loud and tuneless as the clash

Of a million lutes; and come to the precipice

From which they fall, and make the mighty sound

Of a million swords that meet a million shields,

Or din of spears and armour in the wars

Of half the worlds and eons. Far beneath

They fall, through gulfs and cycles of the void,

And vanish like a stream of broken stars

into the nether darkness; nor the gods

Of any sun, nor demons of the gulf,

Will dare to know what everlasting sea

Is fed thereby, and mounts forevermore

In one unebbing tide.
What nimbus-cloud

Or night of sudden and supreme eclipse,

Is on the suns opal? At my side

The rivers run with a wan and ghostly gleam

Through darkness falling as the night that falls

From spheres extinguished. Turning, I behold

Betwixt the sable desert and the suns,

The poisèd wings of all the dragon-rout,

Far-flown in black occlusion thousand-fold

Through stars, and deeps, and devastated worlds,

Upon my trail of terror! Griffins, rocs,

And sluggish, dark chimeras, heavy-winged

After the ravin of dispeopled lands,

And harpies, and the vulture-birds of hell,

Hot from abominable feasts, and fain

To cool their beaks and talons in my blood—

All, all have gathered, and the wingless rear,

With rank on rank of foul, colossal Worms,

Makes horrent now the horizon. From the wan

I hear the shriek of wyvers, loud and shrill

As tempests in a broken fane, and roar

Of sphinxes, like relentless toll of bells

From towers infernal. Cloud on hellish cloud

They arch the zenith, and a dreadful wind

Falls from them like the wind before the storm,

And in the wind my riven garment streams

And flutters in the face of all the void,

Even as flows a flaffing spirit, lost

On the pit s undying tempest. Louder grows

The thunder of the streams of stone and bronze—

Redoubled with the roar of torrent wings

Inseparable mingled. Scarce I keep

My footing in the gulfward winds of fear,

And mighty thunders beating to the void

In sea-like waves incessant; and would flee

With them, and prove the nadir-founded night

Where fall the streams of ruin. But when I reach

The verge, and seek through sun-defeating gloom

To measure with my gaze the dread descent,

I see a tiny star within the depths-

A light that stays me while the wings of doom

Convene their thickening thousands: for the star

increases, taking to its hueless orb,

With all the speed of horror-changèd dreams,

The light as of a million million moons;

And floating up through gulfs and glooms eclipsed

It grows and grows, a huge white eyeless Face

That fills the void and fills the universe,

And bloats against the limits of the world

With lips of flame that open . . .

-Clark Ashton Smith

In The Time Of Re-Invention….

I am still making order out of chaos by reinvention.

– John Le Carre

Greetings from the beautiful North West… (1:00 PM)
With the passing of Beltane, and on the cusp of the full moon, the day is of exceptional beauty. Blue skies, forever it looks like, and a very pleasant 70f out. The streets are full of people, babies, dogs, bicyclist, kids, dancers, and young and old lovers. It is a sight to see when all the doors of Portland open up and spill the inhabitants onto the streets!
I have been giving Rowan driving lessons down in the inner S.E. in the old industrial section. So far, so good. I think he might make a good one. He seems to have the proper amount of caution built in, and he is eager to learn.
We have had a week of friends coming by, Ginnie and Terry came by for dinner, Joanne O., stopped by for some shared strategic ruminations, Ally and Austyn were by to see Rowan, and James K. is coming down from Seattle today to visit for a bit. The sense of the summer flow through Caer Llwydd is beginning to build…
It has been a wacky week (and even wackier year so far). We have been scrambling to make ends meet, and it is a bit like jumping from tussock to tussock in a bog. I have a better grasp on it; the national numbers for unemployment for people involved in construction puts the numbers at 21%. I venture that it is higher, as the agencies try to downplay what is really going on. It seems no one needs painters at this point, so we are trying to figure out what we are going to do to keep our local ball of wax going. Lots of money coming in from the Feds, but not for the self employed, but for more track for the local light rail. (which I applaud, but it does zip for the painters I have to say)
So far, we are looking at web work, and at throwing our hats into the ever dwindling grants ring for arts. If you are somewhat local, and you need something done give us a call! 80) Everything will be considered!
I have never seen a dry spell like this, and it looks like a drought from here on out for awhile. I know we are at the beginning of great changes, but it is a tad uncomfortable at this point in Oregon….
This week I have been working on Gwyllm-Arts.com… please see below…
(!0:00PM) Had a great day with James K., went and saw Patrick at a recording session, he brought a very talented guy, Synon over from Turkey for his new album… Amazing stuff.
Bright Blessings


There is an electric fire in human nature tending to purify – so that among these human creatures there is continually some birth of new heroism. The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in rubbish.

-John Keats

On The Menu:

Re-Invention: Gwyllm-Arts.com

The Links

Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending

The Quotes

The Tiger, the Brahman and the Jackal

Poetry: Your Body – My Kabbalah – Elise Cowen

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Tallis Fantasia

Artist: Elihu Vedder

Elihu Vedder Bio


So over the last weekend and into the early week, I worked on re-inventing Gwyllm-Arts.com.
We have several new sections, including paintings, downloads, prints, etc. It has been a task coding everything again, and I have another re-write to go, but you can really see (I think) what direction it is going in. I am pretty happy with it. I was thinking of putting a feed from Turfing to there, but enough is enough. Next thing ya know I will be putting music videos on it as well… 80)
Let’s go over some of the new features:
Prints: You can now buy prints at a very good price, choosing from either high-end digital reproductions to giclée prints. These are not limited reproductions so the pricing is pretty sweet! We have a wide selection.
Paintings: For the first time in several years There is an actual gallery up. It gives a good snap shot of the work I have been doing with brush and airbrush, not all of them mind you but more than I have ever posted before.
Downloads: Free stuff for your desk top, which will be updated frequently. We have 3 pieces right now that are pretty sweet!
Coming Attractions: Post- Cards &amp; Cards… we will soon have a selection for you in various groupings and formats.
If nothing else, take some time for a visit!

Cheers – G


The Links:

The Mysterious Monopole…

Big Foot Hobbit….

Mysterious Emissions In Cumbria…

Holy Salami!


Ralph Vaughan Williams…. I can’t count the hours I have listened to his pieces. I love his works, and the beauty they unfold – G

Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending

The Quotes:
Antoine de Saint-Exupery | “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
Clare Booth Luce | “Lying increases the creative faculties, expands the ego, and lessens the frictions of social contacts.”
Wilson Mizner | “A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.”
William Feather | “Setting a good example for children takes all the fun out of middle age.”
Frank Dane | “Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything.”
Rita Holt | “There it was, hidden in alphabetical order.”
John Andrew Holmes | “Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where it often substitutes for both.”
Noel Coward | “Television is for appearing on – not for looking at.”
Richard Feynman | “We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.”
Stephen Leacock | “Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.”


The Tiger, the Brahman and the Jackal
Once upon a time, a tiger was caught in a trap. He tried in vain to get out through the bars, and rolled and bit with rage and grief when he failed.
By chance a poor Brahman came by.
“Let me out of this cage, oh pious one!” cried the tiger.
“Nay, my friend,” replied the Brahman mildly, “you would probably eat me if I did.”
“Not at all!” swore the tiger with many oaths; “on the contrary, I should be for ever grateful, and serve you as a slave!”
Now when the tiger sobbed and sighed and wept and swore, the pious Brahman’s heart softened, and at last he consented to open the door of the cage. Out popped the tiger, and, seizing the poor man, cried, “What a fool you are! What is to prevent my eating you now, for after being cooped up so long I am just terribly hungry!”
In vain the Brahman pleaded for his life; the most he could gain was a promise to abide by the decision of the first three things he chose to question as to the justice of the tiger’s action.
So the Brahman first asked a papal- tree what it thought of the matter, but the papal-tree replied coldly, “What have you to complain about? Don’t I give shade and shelter to every one who passes by, and don’t they in return tear down my branches to feed their cattle? Don’t whimper–be a man!”
Then the Brahman, sad at heart, went further afield till he saw a buffalo turning a well-wheel; but he fared no better from it, for it answered, “You are a fool to expect gratitude! Look at me! Whilst I gave milk they fed me on cotton-seed and oil-cake, but now I am dry they yoke me here, and give me refuse as fodder!”
The Brahman, still more sad, asked the road to give him its opinion.
“My dear sir,” said the road, “how foolish you are to expect anything else! Here am I, useful to everybody, yet all, rich and poor, great and small, trample on me as they go past, giving me nothing but the ashes of their pipes and the husks of their grain!”
On this the Brahman turned back sorrowfully, and on the way he met a jackal, who called out, “Why, what’s the matter, Mr. Brahman? You look as miserable as a fish out of water!”
The Brahman told him all that had occurred. “How very confusing!” said the jackal, when the recital was ended; “would you mind telling me over again, for everything has got so mixed up?”
The Brahman told it all over again, but the jackal shook his head in a distracted sort of way, and still could not understand.
“It’s very odd,” said he, sadly, “but it all seems to go in at one ear and out at the other! I will go to the place where it all happened, and then perhaps I shall be able to give a judgment.”
So they returned to the cage, by which the tiger was waiting for the Brahman, and sharpening his teeth and claws;
“You’ve been away a long time!” growled the savage beast, “but now let us begin our dinner.”
“Our dinner!” thought the wretched Brahman, as his knees knocked together with fright; “what a remarkably delicate way of putting it!”
“Give me five minutes, my lord!” he pleaded, “in order that I may explain matters to the jackal here, who is somewhat slow in his wits.”
The tiger consented, and the Brahman began the whole story over again, not missing a single detail, and spinning as long a yarn as possible.
“Oh, my poor brain! oh, my poor brain!” cried the jackal, wringing its paws. “Let me see! how did it all begin? You were in the cage, and the tiger came walking by–”
“Pooh!” interrupted the tiger, “what a fool you are! I was in the cage.”
“Of course! ” cried the jackal, pretending to tremble with fright; “yes! I was in the cage–no I wasn’t–dear! dear! where are my wits? Let me see–the tiger was in the Brahman, and the cage came walking by–no, that’s not it, either! Well, don’t mind me, but begin your dinner, for I shall never understand!”
“Yes, you shall!” returned the tiger, in a rage at the jackal’s stupidity; “I’ll make you understand! Look here–I am the tiger–”
“Yes, my lord! “
“And that is the Brahman–”
“Yes, my lord!”
“And that is the cage–”
“Yes, my lord!”
“And I was in the cage–do you understand?”
“Yes–no – Please, my lord–”
“Well? ” cried the tiger impatiently.
“Please, my lord!–how did you get in?”
“How!–why in the usual way, of course!”
“Oh, dear me!–my head is beginning to whirl again! Please don’t be angry, my lord, but what is the usual way?”
At this the tiger lost patience, and, jumping into the cage, cried, “This way! Now do you understand how it was?”
“Perfectly! ” grinned the jackal, as he dexterously shut the door, “and if you will permit me to say so, I think matters will remain as they were!”


One of the great un-sung poetesses…. died tragically early, but left 80 wonderful poems. Her family destroyed the rest of them upon the occasion of her suicide. – G

Your Body – My Kabbalah – Elise Cowen

Teacher–your body my Kabbalah

The aroma of Mr. Rochesters cigars

among the flowers

Bursting through

I am trying to choke you

Delicate thought


Frankenstein of delicate grace

posed by my fear

And you


Take me by the throat
The body hungers before the soul

And after thrusts for its own memory
Why not afraid to hurt elig–

couldn’t hurt me except in wit, in funny

I couldn’t, wouldn’t art in relation

but with a rose or rather skunk cabbage
Just–Mere come I break through grey paper




What is the word from Deberoux Babtiste

the Funambule I

Desnuelu (who’s he?) to choke you

Duhamel and you

De brouille Graciously

Deberaux Take me by the throat





French logic

Black daisy chain of nuns

Nous sommes tous assasins

Keith’s jumping old man in the waves


morning dance of delicacy

“I want you to pick me up

when I fall down”

I wouldn’t and fell

not even death

I waited for


with the room

like cat shit

would take me

Donald’s first bed wherein this fantasy

shame changing him to you

And you talking of plum blossom scrolls

and green automobiles

Shame making body thought

a game

Cat’s cradle &amp; imaginary

lattices of knowledge &amp; Bach


Fearing making guilt making shame

making fantasy &amp; logic &amp; game &amp;

elegance of covering splendour

emptying memory of the event

covering splendour with mere elegance


sneer between the angels

Wouldn’t couldn’t

Fear of the killer

dwarf with the bag of tricks &amp; colonels picture

To do my killing for me

God is hidden

And not for picture postcards.

Emily white witch of Amherst

The shy white witch of Amherst

Killed her teachers

With her love

I’ll rather mine entomb

my mind

Or best that soft grey dove.

Sitting with you in the kitchen

Talking of anything

Drinking tea

I love you

“The” is a beautiful, regal, perfect word

Oh I wish you body here

With or without bearded poems.
No love

No compassion

No intelligence

No beauty

No humility

Twenty-seven years is enough
Mother–too late–years of meanness–I’m sorry

Daddy–What happened?

Allen–I’m sorry

Peter–Holy Rose Youth

Berry–Such womanly bravers

Keith–Thank you

Joyce–So girl beautiful

Howard–Baby take care

Leo–open the window and Shalom

Carol–Let it happen
Let me out please–

–Please let me in
Elise Cowen, this is believed to be her last poem


Think of this as a gift of the early summer…. sit back, or wander your house with this on… Blessings, G

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Tallis Fantasia

Elihu Vedder Biography:Vedder was American-born Romantic painter and illustrator whose reputation is based primarily on oil paintings derived from dreams and fantasies.
Elihu Vedder was born in New York city, 26 February, 1836.
Vedder had his first instruction in art in his native city, and later studied with Tompkins H. Matteson in Sherbourne, New York, and Francois Edouard Picot in Paris. In 1856 Vedder went to Italy, and subsequently he opened a studio in New York. Vedder was there elected an associate of the National academy in 1863, and an associate two years later. Subsequently Vedder removed to Rome, Italy, where he still resides. Elihu Vedder paintings, while naturalistic and vigorous in treatment, are ideal in motive, and bear witness to the fertility of imagination and versatility of the artist. In many of his paintings Vedder aims, as one critic has said, “to give to the unreal and impossible an air of plausibility and real existence.



The great religions are the ships, Poets the life boats. Every sane person I know has jumped overboard. – Hafiz

Well, this is not so much a traditional Beltane entry… Just a good note from Eric Davis, partially illuminating the greater mystery.
I have been coding and redesigning on Gwyllm-Arts.com

for the last couple of days, and I have yet to complete it. I am adding all kinds of goodies, I will keep ya alerted to what is going on.
I hope you are keeping yourselves healthy, and not worrying so much about the state of the world, ’tis always a turmoil…
Anyway, here is to the beginning of Summer, and all the rituals performed! I am heading off for a bit of that myself. 80)

“In somer when the shawes be sheyne,

And leves be large and long,

Hit is full merry in feyre foreste

To here the foulys song.
To see the dere draw to the dale

And leve the hilles hee,

And shadow him in the leves grene

Under the green-wode tree.
Hit befell on Whitsontide

Early in a May mornyng,

The Sonne up faire can shyne,

And the briddis mery can syng.”

– Anonymous, May in the Green Wode, 15h Century

On The Menu…

The Links

Andreas Scholl -”How sweet the moonlight”

Eric Davis, an introduction:Mushroom Magick

Brendan Behan Poetry

Andreas Scholl canta “Flow my tears”


The Links:

5 Deadliest Pandemics In History…

Yer Stuck With Yer Name…

Dressing For The Occasion

The Madonna of Orgasm Church…

Mummies, Mummies Every Where!

Andreas Scholl -”How sweet the moonlight”


From Eric Davis, an introduction: Mushroom Magick A Visionary Field Guide
Abrams has just released Mushroom Magick, a marvelous field guide to Psilocybe and other hallucinogenic fungi, illustrated by Arik Roper, one of my favorite trippy young illustrator artist types. Here is a portion of my introduction to this excellent volume.
Mushrooms are all about appearances. They emerge in the dark of night or the blink of an eye, and sometimes disappear just as quickly. Now you see them, now you don’t. No wonder the ancients thought they were germinated by thunderbolts: they don’t seem to grow out of the ground so much as to pop out of thin air. And now we know that the mushrooms that do show up above the surface are themselves just transient representatives of a more lasting organism: the branching tangle of multi-cellular fungal threads that lies hidden beneath the soil. Under certain conditions of temperature and moisture, this internet of mycelium—sometimes vast, sometimes ancient—sends up fruiting bodies like periscopes in order to distribute reproductive spores. The mushroom, then, is already an icon of itself, appearing in our visible world of fields and forests like an avatar of some deeper, subtler spirit.
The appearance of the mushroom bodies themselves also resemble nothing else on earth, even though these shapes so often remind us of other things: hats and gnomes, umbrellas and cocks, or furniture for toads. Goofy and exotic, elfin and obscene, mushrooms are caricatures of themselves. Their colors can be vivid and strange: blue-blacks and purples and rusty sunset blazes that seem more like the work of fin-de-siècle bohemian artistes than the cheery sign painters who give birds and flowers their bright and happy hues. Some mushrooms even glow in the dark.
Growing out of rot or turd, in damp caves or along dead tree stumps, mushrooms appear in worlds that lie between life and death, animal and plant. Is it any wonder that our ancestors, making their way through the enchanted landscapes of life before science, associated mushrooms with the uncanny, with mischief and sorcery, with spirit transport and immortality? This occult legacy is still inscribed in the common names of so many species: Magecap, Witches Hat, Destroying Angel, Devil’s Urn, Jack-O-Lantern. Or consider the dozens of mushroom species whose fruiting bodies form circles or arcs on meadows and the forest floor. Can you fault the old ones for calling these designs “fairy rings”—ronds de sorciers in French, hexenringe in German—or for claiming that they mark the circle dances of pixies or hags? Even the Japanese call the fly agaric beni-tengu-take (“scarlet tengu mushroom”), after the tengu—Japan’s mythical bird-like trickster imps—who are said to get drunk from eating them.
Mushrooms are all about appearances, and appearances deceive. Even as the ancient Taoist sages wandered through their misty pine mountains hunting for the Marvelous Fungus that grants eternal life, many other mushrooms can—and do—kill. In English we find a traditional linguistic divide between mushrooms (edible) and toadstools (deadly), but this distinction, like most black-and-white moral schemes, does not hold. The mushroom is fundamentally undecidable. Experts still confuse tasty and poisonous specimens, while fungal classification itself remains a notoriously hairy and fractious scientific problem. “The more you know them, the less sure you feel about identifying them,” said the composer John Cage, an ardent mycophile. “Its useless to pretend to know mushrooms. They escape your erudition.” Embodying both elixir and toxin, salve and bane, the mushroom may be biology’s purest example of what Plato called a pharmakon—a term, or a substance, that can mean both poison and medicine.
Somewhere between immortality and death, poison and medicine, lies the realm of visions. Given the mushroom kingdom’s enchanted profile in folklore, is it any wonder that within its alkaloidal pharmacy there exist a handful of molecules that shift and magnify the human mind? Over a hundred species of mushroom are known or suspected to contain psilocybin and/or its near relatives psilocin, baeocystin, and nor-baeocystin—the main psychoactive ingredients in the “shrooms” that are now found and gobbled across the planet. A smaller set of Amanitas—the most famous being the red-coated, pearl-spotted A. muscaria, the most caricatured of all mushrooms—contain muscimol and ibotenic acid, which are also powerful if more tricksy hallucinogens. Other, weirder species lurk in the wings, half-grokked blends of toxin and drug.
Mushrooms are all about appearances, and the visions that come with a few dried grams of shrooms are nothing if not a stream of appearances. At low doses, the visible world of rocks and clouds takes on a mirthful incandescence that blooms, on the inner screen of the eyelids, into mandalas, mosaic patterns, and other abstract convolutions. At higher doses the mushroom seems to act like a portal into other dimensions. As waves of powerful emotions—awe, bliss, terror, hilarity—bathe the mammal body, the bemushroomed person become what mycologist R. Gordon Wasson, echoing Emerson, famously called a “disembodied eye.” Cyclopean palaces and blinking UFOs may rise out of lost junglescapes, while insect lords and almond-eyed goddesses play hide-and-seek behind shimmering veils of alien hieroglyphs. One’s mind becomes the stage for an apocalyptic mystery play, whose final, flirting curtain promises a revelation of such cosmic import that it threatens to unravel the very texture of time and self.
Given such jaw-dropping phantasmagoria, it is understandable that some students of the mushroom believe that in the fungus they have stumbled across the hidden origins of human religion. Perhaps the most celebrated of these was Wasson himself, a Wall Street banker who, in a 1957 edition of Life magazine, revealed the existence of a “magic mushroom” cult practiced by peasant healers in the remote mountains of Oaxaca. Given the great deal of evidence we have for pre-Columbian use of Psilocybe mushrooms in Mesoamerica, Wasson reasonably believed that he had discovered the smoldering embers of an ancient tradition. Wasson went on to argue that psychedelic fungi contributed the secret sauce for soma, the mystical brew lovingly described in the Vedas of India, as well as for the kykeon guzzled during the ancient mystery rites of Eleusis.
Wasson was hardly alone. In 1970, John Allegro published The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, which argued that the origins of Christianity were fungal as well, a secret encoded in the Eucharist. Druids and Vikings were also speculated by some to be magic mushroom eaters, an argument that went down well in a counter-culture striving to ground its own hallucinogenic explorations in deep history. In the early 1990s, the scintillating psychedelic bard Terence McKenna picked up the thread and wove an even larger tale. As the rave scene sparked a new wave of mushroom gobbling around the globe, McKenna argued that the mushroom’s semiotic rocket-ride kick-started language itself, and that human consciousness can be traced to the first ancestor who decided to munch some of the cow-pie companions that popped up on the Serengeti plains. In other words, mankind is mushroomkind.
But appearances can deceive. Despite the fact that Psilocybe spores carpet-bombed wide swaths of our planet millennia ago, there is little hard evidence for psychedelic mushroom use in traditional societies—even among groups that consume other mind-expanding plants and brews. Along with Mesoamerica, where royal weddings were capped with mushroom-fueled dance parties, the only other bulls-eye is Siberia, where shamans (and ordinary folks) consumed Amanita muscaria, the non-psilocybin-containing fungus whose psychoactive alkaloids were also passed around through the quaffing of urine. In Europe, there is scant s
uggestion of mushroom use, despite the ubiquity of several species. Solidly documented cases of probable Psilocybe intoxication begin in the eighteenth century, and they suggest that these accidental shroomers discovered nothing particularly cosmic in their trips—although some did get the giggles.
Nonetheless, a number of authors insist that a hidden mushroom cult of fungal gnosis, rooted in Neolithic shamanism, has been passed down secretly. Given our theme here, what’s most interesting about the evidence they marshal is how much of it depends on the appearance of mushroom-like images. As far as the Neolithic past goes, McKenna was particularly fond of a rock-art image from Tassili, Algeria, which depicts a wizardly character with a horned bee-shaped head and a body covered with some suggestive protuberances. Looking toward the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Clark Heinrich points to mushroom-shaped anomalies drawn from alchemical texts, illuminated manuscripts, and bronze panels from medieval cathedrals. Giorgio Samorini has offered similar speculations about the occasional “mushroom trees” found in early Christian art. Even the modern commercial images of Santa Claus—a magical figure in red and white clothes who flies through the air and lives in the frozen north—has been interpreted as residue of Siberia’s Amanita shamanism.
Yet those who are looking for mushrooms may simply be more inclined to find them. Images deceive. The shapes on the Tassili figure may be fattened arrowheads, or the sort of abstract designs that permeate rock art around the world. Medieval iconologists identify the spindly mushroom tree on the oft-mentioned bronze panel from Hildesheim as a stylized ficus. For true believers, the fragmentary nature of this evidence simply confirms the sneakiness of the cult. Either way, there is a great irony in taking mushroom shapes found in art literally, as unambiguous evidence for the existence of psychedelic magico-religious rituals along the lines of the ones Wasson found in Oaxaca. The message that the mushroom delivers to the eye of the beholder may suggest another story: that appearances themselves are a trickster, a glamour, a phantasm. Now you see it, now you don’t.

Brendan Behan Poetry

I remember in September,

When the final stumps were drawn,

And the shouts of crowds now silent

And the boys to tea were gone.

Let us, oh Lord above us,

Still remember simple things,

When all are dead who love us,

Oh the Captains and the Kings,

When all are dead who love us,

Oh the Captains and the Kings.

Far away in dear old Cyprus,

Or in Kenya’s dusty land,

Where all bear the white man’s burden

In many a strange land.

As we look across our shoulder

In West Belfast the school bell rings,

And we sigh for dear old England,

And the Captains and the Kings.

I wandered in a nightmare

All around Great Windsor Park,

And what did you think I found there

As I stumbled in the dark?

It was an apple half-bitten,

And sweetest of all things,

Five baby teeth had written

Of the Captains and the Kings.

Open the door softly,

Shut it-keep out the draught,

For years and years, I’ve shed millions of tears,

And never but once have I laughed.

It was the time the holy picture fell,

And knocked me old Granny cold,

While she knitted and sang an old Irish song,

It was by traitors poor old Ulster was sold.

So open the window softly,

For Jaysus’ sake, hang an old latch,

Come in and lie down, and afterwards

You can ask me what’s the catch.

Before these foreign-born bastards, dear,

See you don’t let yourself down,

We’ll be the Lion and Unicorn,

My Rose unto your Crown.

Just outside the town of Macroom.

The tans in their big Crossley tenders,

Came roaring along to their doom.

But the boys of the column were waiting

With hand grenades primed on the spot,

And the Irish Republican Army

Made shit of the whole mucking lot.

It was on an August morning, all in the moring hours,

I went to take the warming air all in the month of flowers,

And there I saw a maiden and heard her mournful cry,

Oh, what will mend my broken heart, I’ve lost my Laughing Boy.

So strong, so wide, so brave he was, I’ll mourn his loss too sore

When thinking that we’ll hear the laugh or springing step no more.

Ah, curse the time, and sad the loss my heart to crucify,

Than an Irish son, with a rebel gun, shot down my Laughing Boy.

Oh, had he died by Pearse’s side, or in the G.P.O.,

Killed by an English bullet from the rifle of the foe,

Or forcibly fed while Ashe lay dead in the dungeons of Mountjoy,

I’d have cried with pride at the way he died, my own dear Laughing Boy.

My princely love, can ageless love do more than tell to you

Go raibh mile maith Agath, for all you tried to do,

For all you did and would have done, my enemies to destroy,

I’ll prize your name and guard your fame, my own dear Laughing Boy.

Andreas Scholl canta “Flow my tears”