Sunday, 11 February 2018

Screaming in the Snow

            There was another snowstorm on Friday and I was glad I didn’t have to go anywhere in that salty wet brown frozen grit.
            I worked on my journal.
            I got caught up on watching The Big Bang Theory. The two episodes were entertaining but nothing worth writing about.

            On Saturday morning during song practice a young woman was walking around on Queen Street and screaming. It was a high, piercing scream that would have been extremely effective as an alarm if she hadn’t been all alone. It wasn’t a casual, screaming for fun scream but a desperate sounding scream but the only thing coherent I heard her shout after one of her screams was, “I need a cell phone!” It was such a clear and resonant scream that I would guess from it that she is probably a good singer. I think I heard a guy warn her at one point that she was gonna get locked up if she get on with the screaming.
            I worked on getting caught up on my journal and I decided not to go to the food bank because Saturdays are my best day for writing these days. It would have been a hellish morning for it because we had another snowstorm and the streets were once again full of brown slush.
            At 9:30 I was so sleepy that I went to bed till 11:00 and still felt tired when I got up. I shaved and showered and then finished my journal entry about my class on Sylvia Plath. I felt tired again after that and went to bed but immediately realized that I wasn’t tired enough to sleep, so I got up and coped some poems by Frank O’Hara into a Word document. After that I was tired enough to sleep and took a one-hour siesta.
            I went outside to buy a couple of cans of Creemore. What a mess it was on Queen Street with all the dirty snow and the filthy puddles at each corner. I’m glad that I don’t have to ride anywhere again until Wednesday night. Hopefully we won’t have another storm between now and then.
            I watched an episode of Star Trek Discovery. They managed to beat the bad guys in the evil universe and get back to their own but they arrive nine months after they left and found the Klingons have won the war.
            I finally got back to working on my essay. In the Wasteland Eliot has made Tiresias different from the myth. In the original stories of Tireseas as a trans gendered being he was turned into a woman, then seven years later he was turned back into a man, but in the Wasteland he describes himself as an old man with an old woman’s breasts and so he has both genders at the same time. He is also not only blind but others are blind to him, as he is in the typist’s flat as she prepares the tea and waits for her male guest. He cannot be disembodied and still have breasts and so he must be an invisible voyeur. He stays with the woman after the date rapist has left. His interest and sympathy is with her and yet he didn’t try to stop it. He even knew it was going to happen. But then maybe he’s a ghost, which would explain why an invisible old man would not make noise in the woman’s apartment. He says he was there and so it is not just a vision of the future he is having, though he implies that he did see it coming. Tiresias seems to be a bridge, not only between men and women but also between day and night.
            In the Wasteland Tiresias is the only narrator with a name. In Howl there seems to be only one “I” that saw everything. Perhaps it is Ginsberg himself, though Ginsberg does not name himself in the poem. He sees it in the past. Tiresias is seeing the rape in the present moment. But outside of narration, in Howl the only singular connecter of the sexes is Neil Cassady in that he appears as a bisexual icon, although he is presented as having switched from boys to women when he became a man. The switch is presented as being manipulated by outside forces and his interactions with women are presented as having mystical proportions. He does not have sex with the anus of dawn but the “snatch” and so the sexuality is clearly heterosexual. Ginsberg’s presentation of the change from homosexual boy love to heterosexual man love as being effected by muses implies that their power is beyond human control, but the fact that they are one-eyed implies, in addition to them being vaginas is that they are forces that are limited in vision. They each can only see reality or sexuality in one way.

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