As you may have gathered, the human propensity for patterning is an enduring interest of mine, and my collecting of such things as ouroboroi, parallelisms, paradoxes, moebius formats and mirrorings is effectively a small pattern language study after the example of Christopher Alexander‘s Pattern Language. Mine, drawing its materials from verbal and visual exemplars rather than architectural ones, perhaps reveals more about the workings of the human mind, aka consciousness.
The “outer world” has yet to catch up with the significance of these studies..
At a time when my worldly goods in book form consisted of fifty or so over-thumbed, used science fiction paperbacks and one hardback — I no longer recall what it was — I won a minor poetry prize of $50 and decided it was better to splurge it on one thing I’d really treasure than to dribble it away, a coffee here, a sandwich there.. much though I like my coffees.
Henbce, for about $45, I aacquired my copy of Alexander’s book — hardback #2!
An I Ching for the West! Nobel-worthy! A Master’s Masterpiece!
[ by Charles Cameron — on the supposed world-shape — real, imagin’d, or foggy with scattered insights ]
Two to my mind great poets of the language on the world-shape.
The first, John Donne, brilliantly stands astride the ancient metaphysical and modern scientific understandings of world-shape with his stunning, succinct corners of the round earth — he’s familiar to the point of ownership with both traditions, at a time when the ancient was ceding way to the modern..
The second, Bob Dylan, shuffles anonymously among us at a no less fraught time of anguish as to realities, sings unsure of what’s what or which — a coin toss, a twist of fate..
In August, Glosser published an essay in Politico magazine chiding his nephew by sharing the family’s own immigration story as Jews who fled the shtetls of Eastern Europe. “I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew,” Glosser wrote, “an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.”
Is House of Cards a poem, then?
Doug Stamper is the dog.
In the opening moments of Netflix’s House of Cards premiere episode from 2013, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) hunched over a dog that’d been injured by a car. “There are two kinds of pain,” he said into the camera. “The sort of pain that makes you strong, or useless pain, the sort of pain that’s only suffering. I have no patience for useless things. Moments like this require someone who will act, who will do the unpleasant thing, the necessary thing.”
He then broke the dog’s neck. “There,” he said. “No more pain.”
In the final moments of the final episode of House of Cards—which occurs in a truncated season made after Spacey left the show due to allegations of sexual misconduct—the president, Claire Hale Underwood (Robin Wright), cradles her dead husband’s henchman, Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), in her lap. She has just stabbed him in the belly with a letter opener after he nearly slit her throat with it. Underwood puts her hand over his mouth and nose and tells him that everything’s going to be okay. His eyes close. “There, no more pain,” she says. Her eyes flick toward the camera. The credits roll.
Some sort of rhyming is going on here, clearly, but does the poem mean anything?
That “rhyme” is a DoubleQuote, really — a thought-rhyme if you like, and on a technical film-making sense a clever twist to end on. Not so much a synchronicity or coincidence, more a twist of authorial fate.
Twists of fate, eh? And tangled up in blue? Here are two recent Dylan pieces to note:
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.