Before we go anywhere, I’d just like to point out there is no such thing as absolute identity through time. Which apart from just sounding good, I feel is entirely true. Raymond Ruyer, the chap who said the above also contributed to the concept of panpsychism which is the idea that all matter has consciousness, which can lead us to believe that all matter, matters.
Rachel Mennies’ poem Rapture popped into my timeline today, a fruit salad of sex and god. Although it is mostly peaches, the pits. The poet modulates the obvious link of sex and fruit, hunger/desire, to that of god and religion. The rapture, a climax, who is looking forward to the rotten bodies of the dead under the sun — which seems to have something to do with the way sex is linked to the idea of being beheld.
A little like last week’s flash fiction Religious Experience the poem uses the idea of an experience of god that’s all consuming and links it to the unchaining of sex, the dumbstruck stone brain, free of consequences.
The New Yorker shared this recently, it’s from May 2015: Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong by Ocean Vuong.
I’ll share the end of it, but you should go and listen to the whole thing.
The poet is talking to themselves, this is a poem about seeing the self and talking onesself through the fears that it is okay to exist in the world. The quiet, slow tone of the reading is consolution. The poem is about the reassurance the that world exists as it does — with those who die around you, the annoyance of terrible objects, war, the need to escape terror.
The body is the running theme because it is the thing that exists in the world whether you want it to or not. You can wish the world out of existence in your head, but your body will remain a mucky reality. It is this changing of the body context with compliments like:
“The most beautiful part
of your body is wherever
your mother’s shadow falls”
“The most beautiful part of your body
is where it’s headed.”
and the passing of ghosts through the self as a wind chime that make the body context one that is irreconcilably true, and not something that can be forgotten. From it, that fact of existence, is where the speaker encourages the strength to be drawn.
I feel I have shared this before, but It’s Called The Sea by Ellen Welcker, is a prose poem about the act of naming, and how we supply the reality of our world with the names that we give to things.
Thanks for reading Etch To Their Own. As always, it was written by @CJEggett, and proofread by no one. We’re coming up on a year of this newsletter, and I hope that you still find it a pleasure to have in your inbox, or in whatever feed you have strapped directly to your eyeballs. Aurvi of Guernica Magazine wrote in her newsletter this week that it has been a year of their newsletter. They were writing and reading as an act of resistance to Trump’s ascension. Me, I started writing as part of a project to rehabilitate my brain against the horrors of modern capitalism. It’s kind of the same thing, it kind of isn’t. At the core of it however is the will to have a richer interior life than the one that slips out of the factories and from our screens in our lazier moments. There is something important about leaving a big brain full of colour and flavour in the ground for the worms.