«From Soulard’s Notebooks Assistant Editor: Kassandra Soulard Poetry by Ric Amante 1 Notes from New England [Commentary] by Raymond Soulard, Jr. 9 ...»
From Soulard’s Notebooks
Assistant Editor: Kassandra Soulard
by Ric Amante 1
Notes from New England [Commentary]
by Raymond Soulard, Jr. 9
by Judih Haggai 27
by Joe Ciccone 32
Paelo Redemption [Travel Journal]
by Charlie Beyer 35
by Joe Coleman 45 Baby Steps Up into the Sky [Travel Journal] by Nathan D. Horowitz 55 Many Musics [Poetry] by Raymond Soulard, Jr. 59 Psychedelics and Lucid Dreaming: Doorways in the Mind [Essay] by A.S. Kay 91 Poetry by Tom Sheehan 99 Poetry by Czesław Miłosz 105 Labyrinthine [A New Fixtion] by Raymond Soulard, Jr. 115 Notes on Contributors 157 2014 Front and back cover art by Raymond Soulard, Jr. & Kassandra Soulard. Original Cenacle logo by Barbara Brannon. Interior art by Raymond Soulard, Jr. & Kassandra Soulard.
Accompanying disk to print version contains:
• Cenacles #47-88 • Burning Man Books #1-66 • Scriptor Press Sampler #1-14 • RaiBooks #1-7 • RS Mixes from “Within’s Within: Scenes from the Psychedelic Revolution”; & • Jellicle Literary Guild Highlights Series Disk contents downloadable at: http://www.scriptorpress.com/cenacle/supplementary_disk.zip.
The Cenacle is published quarterly (with occasional special issues) by Scriptor Press New England, 2442 NW Market Street, #363, Seattle, Washington, 98107. It is kin organ to ElectroLounge website (http://www.scriptorpress.com), RaiBooks, Burning Man Books, Scriptor Press Sampler, The Jellicle Literary Guild, & “Within’s Within: Scenes from the Psychedelic Revolution w/Soulard,” broadcast online worldwide weekends on SpiritPlants Radio (http://www.spiritplantsradio.com). All rights of works published herein belong exclusively to the creator of the work. Email comments to: email@example.com.
Thank you to Tom Furrier at Cambridge Typewriter, for restoring my beloved old machines to functionality.
This issue is dedicated with loving remembrance to my mother, Annette Soulard.
1 Ric Amante Seasonal Affective Disorder Just before dusk a wide flange of sky erupts above the smokestacks of American Axle, a diagonal shaft of plasma-colored sunlight silently splitting the drab cloud cover only to be swallowed whole by a leaden scroll whose sliding gray cursives don’t so much spell out gloom as artistically disperse it.
It’s December again, and the unwelcome beginning of a long siege of sunlessness and introspection wherein everything that wounds and vexes will now jab harder and longer yet still lack the force to break through.
And you’ll try making room for this dour incursion by giving more weight to what is right and beautiful about your long and patchwork life, but each afternoon grows more opaque than the last, each night a lengthening estrangement.
Come morning you rise at dawn, but the sun remains muffled, mythical, vacant in this season of shutdown, crash, impairment.
Saint Someone I once met a man in Seattle whose fragile psychic network ran his speech to shiver and quake.
At first I thought “DT’s”— personal hieroglyphs between pints of white port— but after walking much and saying very little, then drinking anew and long on moon-splashed docks, it became apparent the tremors were broadcasts from other realities, his red and ultramarine throat incapable of further vocalization, his perpetual blue eyes all god.
Young Apollo He’s the boy with the sun in his eyes, the sure-footed stalker of the real piloting a slant-six Dodge Dart with an eight track a six-pack an ice ax a red Bic a quick smile.
You’ve seen him downtown, upstate, ecstatic, abject, profound, comic in search of the raw and the cooked.
What strange and beautiful fires tear through the skies when you’re seventeen!
Flare through brain and cock, fuse old beauty to green heart.
How does he hold such majesty, and when does he plan to release it?
Memories of Stevens Pond Male bluegills raise round gravel-beds up from the pond’s sand-ribbed bottom.
A nest of stones in different shapes hefts lusters energies— herded poked nuzzled captured in a rough and lovely ring.
And then fierce ceremonial sweepings of the perimeter, gold and silver scales glittering, aquatic shimmying of eyes, fins, and tails.
“O do swim into my homespun lair— enter freely and gladly this open space and we shall press close and true amidst the swirls of life created.” ***
Less is More It’s what you don’t do, it’s who you’re not, it’s when you go about it and why you tend the light.
It’s where you once lived, it’s how you let go, it’s all about what can’t be known hiding in plain and grateful sight.
January Thaw Time feels kind and luxurious again as the old dog walks you slowly down the street and honeyed shafts of sunlight silently ignite the damp mats of dark brown oak leaves freshly uncovered of their snow-white linens on a mid-day Monday stroll most folks away just the alders and boulders and you uncoiling in the hillside’s warming filaments.
Branches unfreeze in a sheen of lemon filigree, each stone brims with glacial amber, the dog sniffs joy on every surface— the earth would like to welcome you back.
The following continues the series originally called Notes from New England, begun in issue 24-25 (Winter 1998), then revived in issue 59 (October 2006) as Notes from the Northwest, & appearing since issue 75 (October 2010) under its original title. It is intended as a gathering-place for observations of various lengths upon the world around me. It will be culled, like much of my writing, from my notebooks, and perhaps these thoughts will be expanded upon sometimes as well.
Dream Raps, Volume ThreeI’m Listening to the Folk Singer
Well now, I step back into old years. Far gone years. And I’m listening to the folk singer on the phonograph, and he’s there, sitting with me, and we’re listening to one of his songs, a good one, we’re talking. I’m telling him how I cried at news of his death, how much his music means to me, and then he says, I’m going to travel with you for a while, and we decide to go to a show, as seems logical, when you’re traveling with an old folk singer.
And there’s a long line, and I don’t know who’s playing. Who are we waiting to see? It’s a good question, perhaps without an answer, and eventually we go to the show but I’m not so sure it’s such a great show. The band doesn’t seem very enthused. In fact, they only play a chord or two, and then just start to doze. They start to fall asleep right on stage, they drift away. And someone says, hey man, wanna come to a party? Sure, we say.
And we follow this guy out into his van, it has no roof, and it’s pulled along the road by several horses. Hi-ho, Gold! he cries, not wanting to be like everyone else. We end up at a party, with lots of people, and someone’s playing guitar again, to the tune of Jingle Bell Rock, the old Christmas tune. Someone is singing other words, and there is talk of a place called Hamilton Mill, in 1905, the whole town is excited about tooth tattoos. Everyone is excited, this is the big thing for all of them. Tooth tattoos. But then I cry out, look out! Here comes television! here comes television! here comes television!
That Mobile Home When we went back, long and far and deep, it was to that mobile home. Now abandoned, this is where I came from. I lived there as a child. And everything’s still here, it’s as though we’d left without packing anything, or that we’d had so much stuff that we’d brought plenty and left lots behind.
And I’m walking through all of this decay, and I’m trying to figure it out, I’m trying to understand what was left behind, and why, and I find myself focusing on all the toys, little miniature figures, they seem to be Disney figurines, and there seem to be hundreds or maybe thousands of them. And I’m thinking to myself, well, you know I’d like to take something from here, I’d really like to do that, I’d really like to have something that I take away from my coming here this time, and I can’t find anything but Disney figurines. Everything else is almost destroyed beyond form, and it’s very peculiar and, well, I don’t find anything.
I just don’t find a thing, so I leave. And I walk out the door, and I walk for miles, and I come to a different kind of neighborhood, and there I walk into a large house, and I think it might be mine but I’m not really sure.
There’s something about the curtains that are weird, they’re red curtains, really, but there are green curtains over the red curtains, and I’m disturbed by this and I don’t know why one set of curtains has covered the other set of curtains, and then I come into a room, maybe it’s on the second floor or the third floor, and one of the curtains is gold and this is even stranger and so, really, what it comes down to is that when you wander in such a way, you don’t return.
****** Down Below There’s a Frozen Body of Water This moment is culmination and cumulation, this moment is culmination and cumulation.
It’s spooky, though, I have to say. I’m on a hill with someone and, down below, there’s a frozen body of water. And, uh, I find that I’m throwing rocks to crack the ice, and I look across the water and there are these strange crystalline formations, and I’m trying to break them too, throwing my rocks at them, their different colors, their strange and disturbing formations across the frozen water, and I seem to have a lot of rocks and I seem to be throwing them at the water and at the formations.
And I wake up in the room of a castle and there’s this fly buzzing at the window. It’s a small room, buzz is loud, small fly though, loud buzz, small room. I open up the window and I let the fly out. This castle seems like everything, but really the Island is everything, culmination and cumulation.
This Was a Science Test Like None Other This was a science test like none other I’d ever taken, let me tell you. Well, I was studying for it by a river, that’s how I prepared. Reading my books, looking at my notes, I was getting ready.
And I thought, OK, I’m ready to go. Or maybe I didn’t so much think that, but at some point, ready or not, there I was, taking this test.
The test was not on paper, however. The test was in a container of food, a plastic container of food, it was sort of a dry pudding. And I was reading the pudding as though it was a series of questions. I was poking my fingers into it, to find the questions and then answer them.
And this may seem strange to you, it may seem very strange to you, it was probably strange to me too. But what had happened was, I woke with instructions for taking this test, and the instructions were: forgive, understand, reconcile. That was what this plastic container of pudding science test left.
****** It Begins With the Smallest of Kittens It begins with the smallest of kittens, who wears a long blue top hat. Sometimes sleeps on a piece of cardboard. Sometimes rests on the very tips of my fingers. Well, sometimes that tiny kitten is not there, and so I will leave the room, and I will float through the hallway, riding in a white bucket. Sometimes I will see old faces, known from other times.
Float on and on, outside there is a field. And above this field are a million shooting stars. There are people picnicking beneath the shooting stars, having a party. I think to myself, I’ve got to get more room for that tiny kitten.
But, anyway, I have to go to work. And I work in a big store. I’m in the back, and I can’t find my book bag. Not quite sure where it is, find myself walking back to the city, street after street.
There’s a record store owner sitting outside his store, and he shows me a map. Later there’s a pizza place, empty, but for all the dancers inside. I can’t find my bags. And I keep walking, buildings getting older and older, and finally I find myself sitting in an empty ballpark with an AM transistor radio, and I’m listening to the Creature Common Show with DJ Squeak.
I come to a bar, walk through the door, accompanied by a girl with a bottle for a leg. We sit down with two strangers. I start talking about what could strangers initially have in common before speaking. The lady laughs at me. I don’t know if she enjoys my statement, I don’t know if she doesn’t. But she looks at me and she says, love is violins, tributes, and ghosts. She continues on, saying that all through her day walking here she’d seen it scrawled everywhere, and she had joined in, and she brandishes a strange crayon before our eyes.
The Cenacle | 88 | April 2014ScriptorPress.com12 13
We turn, for the night’s entertainment is about to begin at this bar and, at the podium, which is behind the bar, high up where all can see, there is a lecturer. The lecturer speaks of spirituality, goes on and on, and concludes that Christianity is the only way. I had admired his speakings, known him previously, but now I start to shout other religion’s names, Zoroastrianism! Jainism!
Buddhism! ismism! I shout and shout and the place engulfs in riots.
****** A Shifting Design In a car, with other documentary film producers. We work for the same network. We’re driving down a very narrow street, with a crowd of cars, and then a crowd of people. My friend somehow manages to get the car turned around, steers us through. It’s like we’re driving backwards through the crowd of cars, crowd of people.
What happens next is that we arrive where we were going all along. It’s a place, oh I don’t know about this kind of place, you might say it’s, uh, a kind of place where you don’t arrive to too often, and you certainly never get there unless someone brings you there. And there’s a back room, and I see professors from my old college. They taught about books but, you see, I never took their classes. I took the classes of others. And here we are, and they are glad to see me. I seem to be passing through, passing on, and passing elsewhere.