From Hakim Bey
IN PERSIA I SAW that poetry is meant to be set to music & chanted or sung--for one reason alone--because it works.
A right combination of image & tune plunges the audience into a hal (something between emotional/aesthetic mood & trance of hyperawareness), outbursts of weeping, fits of dancing--measurable physical response to art. For us the link between poetry & body died with the bardic era--we read under the influence of a cartesian anaesthetic gas.
In N. India even non-musical recitation provokes noise & motion, each good couplet applauded, "Wa! Wa!" with elegant hand-jive, tossing of rupees--whereas we listen to poetry like some SciFi brain in a jar--at best a wry chuckle or grimace, vestige of simian rictus--the rest of the body off on some other planet.
In the East poets are sometimes thrown in prison--a sort of compliment, since it suggests the author has done something at least as real as theft or rape or revolution. Here poets are allowed to publish anything at all--a sort of punishment in effect, prison without walls, without echoes, without palpable existence--shadow-realm of print, or of abstract thought--world without risk or eros.
So poetry is dead again--& even if the mumia from its corpse retains some healing properties, auto-resurrection isn't one of them.
If rulers refuse to consider poems as crimes, then someone must commit crimes that serve the function of poetry, or texts that possess the resonance of terrorism. At any cost re-connect poetry to the body. Not crimes against bodies, but against Ideas (& Ideas-in-things) which are deadly & suffocating. Not stupid libertinage but exemplary crimes, aesthetic crimes, crimes for love. In England some pornographic books are still banned. Pornography has a measurable physical effect on its readers. Like propaganda it sometimes changes lives because it uncovers true desires.
Our culture produces most of its porn out of body-hatred-- but erotic art in itself makes a better vehicle for enhancement of being/consciousness/bliss--as in certain oriental works. A sort of Western tantrik porn might help galvanize the corpse, make it shine with some of the glamor of crime.
America has freedom of speech because all words are considered equally vapid. Only images count--the censors love snaps of death & mutilation but recoil in horror at the sight of a child masturbating--apparently they experience this as an invasion of their existential validity, their identification with the Empire & its subtlest gestures.
No doubt even the most poetic porn would never revive the faceless corpse to dance & sing (like the Chinese Chaos- bird)--but...imagine a script for a three-minute film set on a mythical isle of runaway children who inhabit ruins of old castles or build totem-huts & junk-assemblage nests--mixture of animation, special-effects, compugraphix & color tape-- edited tight as a fastfood commercial...
...but weird & naked, feathers & bones, tents sewn with crystal, black dogs, pigeon-blood--flashes of amber limbs tangled in sheets--faces in starry masks kissing soft creases of skin--androgynous pirates, castaway faces of columbines sleeping on thigh-white flowers--nasty hilarious piss jokes, pet lizards lapping spilt milk--nude break- dancing--victorian bathtub with rubber ducks & pink boners-- Alice on ganja...
...atonal punk reggae scored for gamelan, synthesizer, saxophones & drums--electric boogie lyrics sung by aetherial children's choir--ontological anarchist lyrics, cross between Hafez & Pancho Villa, Li Po & Bakunin, Kabir & Tzara- -call it "CHAOS--the Rock Video!"
No...probably just a dream. Too expensive to produce, & besides, who would see it? Not the kids it was meant to seduce. Pirate TV is a futile fantasy, rock merely another commodity--forget the slick gesamtkunstwerk, then. Leaflet a playground with inflammatory smutty feuilletons-- pornopropaganda, crackpot samizdat to unchain Desire from its bondage.