G E R A L D I N E M O N K
COLLABORATIONS WITH THE DEAD
The potential infinities of poetry are impossible in one poet alone.
Our minds are the embedded journalists of our bodies. We can't see everything but everything we do see is edited by the determination of our own psychological make-up. There may be trivial or profound reasons why we prefer or obsess about a certain colour, sound, word or perfume or there may be no reason at all except a physiological preference given at birth: to luxuriate in the word, colour, texture and romantic provenance of ‘olive' but to abhor the taste creates an unavoidable ambivalence. The 'olive' becomes the 'curate's egg' — good in parts. Eggs and olives taste: paeans do not make them perfect.
Together we produce x-trillion variegated preferences whereas individually our variations are miniscule but it's what makes you not me. These are the necessary limitations on the unlimited mind. No matter how much we try to second guess or out-wit our own leanings, learnings and obsessions we can never convincingly escape our own embedded psychological and physiological states.
But we are human so we try.
Artists of all disciplines try even harder. We try every subterfuge we can muster to undermine or overstep our given social, temporal, geographic and individual entrenchments by experimenting with form and content. We experimented to the point of abstraction via chance and random elements. From the psychic dabblings of the ouija board or planchette to found texts/objects, from surrealism to super realism, from the nonsense rhymes of pre-speak to the disruptive devices of deletion and obliteration. The ultimate form is the attempted obliteration of self or identity by forays into persona or pseudonym.
But no matter what subterfuge we employ if we work alone we always have the last word. Such an effective self–policing of the mind can only be truly disrupted by the invasive undermining or enhancement of an other. This other is ‘collaboration'. But collaboration can sometimes lead to a very negative loss of control over one's work. It is a double-edged sword which may add another voice that isn't necessarily going where we want it to go. Even if we're not sure where that place is we know if we are going in the wrong direction. It can be fraught and end in tears before bedtime.
So I collaborate with the dead.
n e x t
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