I was going to write further about RED & CHINA with a coherent intersection to EXALTATION IN CADMIUM RED. I was going to explain the bizarre connections; delve into a personal mytho-poetic, which corresponds to almost all experienced poets and their texts that I have read and/or come across. Now, a few days later, I find myself in the aftermath of The Tianjin (New Binhai Area) Explosion; I remain looming in Rupture or was that Rapture? Sonic. Smoking. Saturated.
I wrote in an earlier post an opening few lines about RED CHINA & POETRY. (A beginning toward connecting my dots? Making a plausible argument for serendipitous interactivity. RED Atoms meeting for correspondence or collision.) The Tianjin Explosion seems to have ‘literally’ confirmed such speculations.
1. I’ve always been fascinated by the following Regions: Nomadic Mongolia, Colder Siberia and Russia, mostly for my fascination with the Tzar empire. The Romanov mystery and its majestic literary culture of the past three centuries though mostly male, the work has inspired and lifted my desire to write. Recently I was researching the Siberian Trans-National Railway Expeditions they have. Expensive though Enticing. I am in awe of how these people managed to travel from one part of that massive land mass to its opposite end and establish a name for discovering ‘The Cradle of Civilization’.
2. It really wasn’t something that lived through me at the conscious forefront but I have always been a Communist at heart. I have wanted to believe, like many artists, that this Politic among peoples is the ideal. When I first came across Marx (Marxism and The Communist Manifesto) along with all humanities-spirited “individuals” from the University years (and I write Individuals with intention) who are bestowed then steeped into a Western knowledge of such ideologies, enthralled in the philosophies of Poli-Sci. Those 20-30 somethings who want to believe that such ideas and ideals reign. And they do. They can. With a price not usually a compromise. Always with a RED price. However, for myself, I think it reaches further than that, as ever most of the things we face before us is to apprehend a great awareness of ourselves and who we are in relationship to our existence and what we seek to better know or understand as well as (of course) what we attract. As I am the granddaughter of a Communist minded grandfather (on mother’s side) who fled Italy in 1953 for Canada, first arriving through the infamous Halifax Pier, then returning to Italy for 6 years undecided and uncertain, as he dreaded the advent of Mussolini’s fascism, which paraded as a propagandized Communism. He returned to the US by way of Ellis Island returning north to Canada, settling back in Toronto while his brother stayed between New York State and New Jersey.
O the Reds, that bombastic Colour Red! The colour of Pompeii’s frescoes, the colour of hot lava; a perilous heat and ooze that burns, tortures and kills. The colour that pumps our hearts. The colour of the life force–Blood steeped in primal instinct, in a collective of microscopic life-triggering and enhancing cells. The thick un-liquid that tastes like metal filled with protein and feels like warm like sex. How is it that this Primary colour of epic, earthly and fire infused proportions has come to represent Communism? Is it any wonder at how both cohere with Power? An Individual coheres with Internalized Self-enhancing Capitalist Power but, what does RED Power mean? Is it Totalitarian. Authoritarian. Nationalistic? Lenin. Mussolini. Mao Zedong. And those that followed–Gorbachev. Deng Xiaoping. Castro. (Well, he was a bit more Orange but also in the Red.)
When I look at the Canadian flag there’s that silent non-descript RED paraded by White, which doesn’t seem so extreme but I ask you to look closely, just a little bit longer…are we now looking into more of that RED? I’m not a liberal. I’m not Tory. I’m just seeing a lot of Red. Have I been looking for it. In a way yes, since I published my first book of Poetry–Exaltation in Cadmium Red. (That toxic primary oil paint colour that deliciously consumes the most fabulous of visual art works in layered depth and passion.) Most flags carry RED. It’s a PRIMARY COLOUR with PRIMARY FUNCTIONS. Red is the Colour of the ROOT CHAKRA. Red is the colour of spilt blood. The gaping wound a thick sticky gush. RED. The colour of the turn of 20th Century Modern Political Movements across the Globe. The advent of Communism versus Capitalism collasping the towers of hundreds of years’ reign from Monarchs, Sovereignty and their Feudal Laws. How are ‘we’ (populations) to live together? How are we to Correspond with One Citizenship? How are we to Cohere with Government? Where does Imperialism end and Nationalism begin? Where does Nationalism end?
3. I’m a RED person. I’m passionate. I’m explosive. I’ve a killer instinct and I’m beautifully dangerous as some good friends have put it. Embracing this has only made it more syncronistic to watch my WILD HEART come ever closer to fruition. To Manifest itself fortuitously as a Red (thorn) Rose (Yes, it’s a cliché; one that’s ever real and continues to remain present as long as we bear an earth, its water, its flowers.) Bleeding with life. An Open Wound. My greatest fight with existence has always been to ground myself. Essentially tame that RED ROOT CHAKRA. Find Inner Temperance. So, it’s not a wonder to me that I’m headed to CHINA. That I’m pursuing a movement of place and a Poetry Residency in the far east where Hong “(Red) is the colour of Communism. In China, it also has a traditional meaning of happiness. The big yellow star represents the Communist Party. The smaller yellow stars represent the four classes: the soldiers, the peasants, the workers, the scientists.”(How very Modernist) Oracle Bones–A Journey Between China’s Past & Present, Peter Hessler, 2006.
4. Ye Xin (of a WILD HEART)
The day that I stopped in at Indigo books to seek out Evan Osnos’ China’s Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth & Faith in the New China, I got home to receive an unexpected surprise of yet again, serendipity or as referred to in the book–A Fortunate, and Truly Capricious Beautiful Destiny?
After picking up a pair of comfortable walking shoes in preparation for my trip to Beijing, I walk into Indigo books for fun. I wanted to have a browse. I find a $16.00 purple book bag I fall absolutely in LOVE with and I can’t get away from it so I impulsively go for it. Afterall, it’s ONLY $16.00! Most significantly, I am excited about the inscription and the colour. This is definitely SONIA! with more than a bite.
I walk upstairs and look around. I decide to look up Evan Osnos’ book to see if they have a copy in the store. YES! I head directly to Journalism and Poli Sci. Voila! A paperback edition just released with more than 5 copies. It’s hot on the market. It’s obviously ‘a trend’. I grab a copy. Excited. Then, I walk over to the poetry section. I’m looking at Canadian poets. I’m curious.
Presented face out rather than spine, like the Age of Ambition Book, I see 4 copies of Classical CHINESE Poetry, An Anthology. Translated and Edited by Peter Hinton. (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, Copyright 2008, First Paperback Edition, 2010.) This is the paperback distributed by Douglas & MacIntyre Canada.
Seriously? Is this real? What is going on here? I grab this too. I’m ready and eager to get home and ‘GO FOR IT.’
I start with Age of Ambition. Dig in. Love it. Already the Prologue gets me in a tizzy. China refers to new trends as ‘FEVER. There’s a new philosophy or style. Example–Louis Vuitton Fever! (Well, that’s not entirely new) Everyone knows how much China loves Louis Vuitton & Hermes. Recently, they broke into Finnegans Wake by James Joyce Fever with a new translation. And Poet, Xinhua Yu. This is a serious Poetry FEVER that’s still HOT!
In the Prologue, Osnos writes: “Up close, the deepest changes were intimate and perceptual, buried in daily rhythms that were easy to overlook. The greatest fever of all was aspiration, a belief in the sheer possibility to remake a life.”
“Lu Xun, China’s most celebrated modern author and poet, once wrote, “Hope is like a path in the countryside: originally there was no path, but once people begin to pass, a way appears.”
I arrive at Pg. 27, Part I – Fortune, Chapter 2, titled The Call.
“But the change that startled me most surrounded the word for “ambition,” ye xin–literally, “wild heart.” In Chinese, a wild heart had always carried the suggestion of savage abandon and absurd expectations–a toad who dreams of devouring a swan, as an old saying had it. More than two thousand years ago, a collection of political advice called the Huainanzi had warned rulers o “keep powerful positions out of the hands of the ambitious, just as one keeps sharp tools out of the hands of the foolish.” But suddenly I was seeing references to “wild hearts’ everywhere–on television talk shows and in the self-help aisles. Bookstores carried titles such as Great Wild Hearts: The Ups and Downs of Pioneering Entrepreneurial Heroes and How to Have a Wild Heart In Your Twenties.”
Once I read this: Uhm. Elated? Enlightened? Can these words describe the EPIC Gravitational COLLISION of my experience? How to describe the frightening and wonderful sensations of awe? The vibration of intersections in time and space, of inner knowledge. In an instant there fell upon me Destiny, Universal Timing and the All Together understanding that I’m expanding (in Buddhist terminology) with ‘right intention’ toward ‘right direction.
That’s it for now.