Author Topic: L.A. Alchemy  (Read 822 times)

Offline indar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
L.A. Alchemy
« on: November 30, 2017, 12:51:20 PM »
At T's suggestion--an old one about art and religion

L. A. Alchemy
 
Clouds hang like
rotten mushrooms
over leaden sea-swells
a doomsday scene
until the sky
is torn asunder--

and shafts of light shot
with searing gold
burn the water to fiery molten
signaling
a miraculous occurrence
 
as in an epic movie
by Cecil B. De Mille
who borrowed stunning images
from Renaissance masters
to depict the moment
the spirit descends
and the people are struck with awe.
 
Yes,
 
the spirit is descending on me,
I feel it.
I believe there is a possibility
of redemption
in the purity of light
that bursts through cloud cover
over the ocean

because that is how the story always ends.



Probably not what T had in mind
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 01:31:45 PM by indar »

Offline drab

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3891
Re: L.A. Alchemy
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2017, 10:09:18 PM »
Hi Linda,
I love the title.
S1 I'm not too fond of, some phrases are quite cliched.
I'm not crazy about 'Rotten mushrooms' either.
S3 is prose, so it has a disjointed feel compared to the other stanzas.
I still enjoyed the read. I'm sure we've all observed this, and thought about
some or other Deity revealing his/her shining light as it broke through the clouds.
I've been trying to attach a photo I took that your poem reminded me of...without success.
I'll email it...or maybe I'll just fax it  ;D
To live, with gentle but cunning deceit, and accept the consequences, is the destiny of every man.

Offline Tom 10

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8845
Re: L.A. Alchemy
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2017, 09:35:12 AM »
Great title.  I like the way the N admits succumbing to the story formula - welcoming it.  Converted . . . DeMille-ified.  ;D   So that's what happens to Lutherans in Cali!

The text can be tightened, but the heart is there.

Cheers.

T

Offline indar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
Re: L.A. Alchemy
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2017, 03:47:42 PM »
https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Mushrooms-Religion-Alchemy-Heinrich/dp/0892819979

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19342039.2013.787810?scroll=top&needAccess=true

I may have gotten carried away with this one. I was obsessed with Jung years ago. I haven't noticed any discussions of his thought for quite a while. That might be the result of a change in my lifestyle and pursuits or perhaps human imagination has moved on to other things.

Art, be it  Rennaissance painting or movies have given us the symbols and belief systems we live with. Might be a good idea to inspect the narrative that goes with. Dross or base metal to gold the purification of the soul and the new-found science .

Thanks drab and T. I barely reworked this from an original post. Some times I like something I've written and keep foisting it on people whether at a reading or this repost and find out I'm my only admirer. :D :D :D

Offline matty11

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 577
Re: L.A. Alchemy
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2017, 01:35:33 AM »
hi Indar

I liked the rotten mushrooms and the De Mille reference (perhaps an option to use the word film rather than story in the concluding line and stole rather than borrowed?)

best

matty


Offline Mark T

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4076
Re: L.A. Alchemy
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2017, 11:00:51 AM »

Good read. I take the Hollywood allusions to reference the reality within illusions. Powerful writing, the first two verses are almost biblical in scope.

Offline indar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
Re: L.A. Alchemy
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2017, 11:38:11 AM »
Indeed Mark, the original language of the NT reflects the image of the curtain that covered the ark containing the covenant with God being "torn asunder"from the OT. It heralds the destruction of the legalistic formula _(commandments as found in both Yahwist and Elioist traditions in the Pentateuch) and the coming of the NT covenant--"love one another". 

The original language has been watered down to "the sky was opened and the spirit descended on him" at the moment John the Baptist baptized Jesus. But the earliest accounts say the spirit went into him and he was "driven onto the desert". That was an account of his becoming chosen. The son of god stuff was added later as earlier mythology, e.g. Persian Zoroastrianism, was incorporated during the process of prosthelytizing to other pagan religions.

As an inquiring atheist at the time I studied this, I was struck by how sophisticated the structure of scripture is---especially in its purest form. Understanding the forces that shaped that writing was fascinating to me.

So, the language in this poem should sound familiar and Biblical--an ancient story that was passed through generations first by oral traditions  and then set down in writing by various communities. And eventually we have the image of Charlton Heston before the burning bush etc etc. (and the happy ending--the promised land.

Matty thank you for your read and suggestions. Maybe the above explains why I chose the word "story" in the closing line. Thank you for liking "rotten mushrooms" I hope there are several ways that summons up associations.

OK everybody yawn on the count of 3

Offline duck

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2921
  • The best laid plans of mice and men turn to ...
Re: L.A. Alchemy
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2017, 12:32:27 PM »
Hi Indar
Took me a while to warm to this and still feel it needs tightening since its narrative is held together too much by the more prose strong elements.
Thanks for the read and your good good heart

Offline indar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
Re: L.A. Alchemy
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2017, 01:03:46 PM »
A friend of mine is writing a memoir. She also writes poetry. She recently said poetry is so much easier. I disagree of course but this "poem" is a fine example of having something to say but not wanting (or able) to write some academic paper: this is the result. I can't begin to imagine how to keep the narrative of this while de-prosing it. Will think about it though.

Thanks Duck for your kind comments.

Offline duck

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2921
  • The best laid plans of mice and men turn to ...
Re: L.A. Alchemy
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2017, 01:38:10 PM »
for example,

Clouds hang like
rotten mushrooms
over leaden sea-swells
a doomsday scene
until the sky


shafts of searing gold
ignite water to fiery molten
 
as in an epic Cecil B. De Mille
Renaissance movie
in which spirit descends
and people are struck with awe.
 

Offline indar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
Re: L.A. Alchemy
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2017, 03:19:47 PM »
Thanks Dave

I will try a rewrite on this one. Hard to let go of current forms sometimes :)