Chaos perches on a sky-mountain: a huge bird like a yellow bag or red fireball, with six feet & four wings--has no face but dances & sings.
Or Chaos is a black longhaired dog, blind & deaf, lacking the five viscera.
Chaos the Abyss comes first, then Earth/Gaia, then
Desire/Eros. From these three proceed two pairs--Erebus &
old Night, Aether & Daylight.
Neither Being nor Non-being
neither air nor earth nor space:
what was enclosed? where? under whose protection?
What was water, deep, unfathomable?
Neither death nor immortality, day nor night--
but ONE breathed by itself with no wind.
Nothing else. Darkness swathed in darkness,
The ONE, hidden by void,
felt the generation of heat, came into being
as Desire, first seed of Mind...
Was there an up or down?
There were casters of seed, there were powers:
energy underneath, impulse above.
But who knows for sure?
Tiamat the Chaos-Ocean slowly drops from her womb Silt & Slime, the Horizons, Sky and watery Wisdom. These offspring grow noisy & bumptious--she considers their destruction.
But Marduk the wargod of Babylon rises in rebellion against the Old Hag & her Chaos-monsters, chthonic totems--Worm, Female Ogre, Great Lion, Mad Dog, Scorpion Man, Howling Storm--dragons wearing their glory like gods--& Tiamat herself a great sea-serpent.
Marduk accuses her of causing sons to rebel against fathers- -she loves Mist & Cloud, principles of disorder. Marduk will be the first to rule, to invent government. In battle he slays Tiamat & from her body orders the material universe. He inaugurates the Babylonian Empire--then from gibbets & bloody entrails of Tiamat's incestuous son he creates the human race to serve forever the comfort of gods--& their high priests & anointed kings.
Father Zeus & the Olympians wage war against Mother Gaia & the Titans, those partisans of Chaos, the old ways of hunting & gathering, of aimless wandering, androgyny & the license of beasts.
Amon-Ra (Being) sits alone in the primordial Chaos-Ocean of NUN creating all the other gods by jerking off--but Chaos also manifests as the dragon Apophis whom Ra must destroy (along with his state of glory, his shadow & his magic) in order that the Pharoah may safely rule--a victory ritually re-created daily in Imperial temples to confound the enemies of the State, of cosmic Order.
Chaos is Hun Tun, Emperor of the Center. One day the South Sea, Emperor Shu, & the North Sea, Emperor Hu (shu hu = lightning) paid a visit to Hun Tun, who always treated them well. Wishing to repay his kindness they said, "All beings have seven orifices for seeing, hearing, eating, shitting, etc.--but poor old Hun Tun has none! Let's drill some into him!" So they did--one orifice a day--till on the seventh day, Chaos died.
But...Chaos is also an enormous chicken's egg. Inside it P'an-Ku is born & grows for 18,000 years--at last the egg opens up, splits into sky & earth, yang & yin. Now P'an-Ku grows into a column that holds up the universe--or else he becomes the universe (breath-->wind, eyes-->sun & moon, blood & humors-->rivers & seas, hair & lashes-->stars & planets, sperm-->pearls, marrow-->jade, his fleas-->human beings, etc.)
Or else he becomes the man/monster Yellow Emperor. Or else he becomes Lao Tzu, prophet of Tao. In fact, poor old Hun Tun is the Tao itself.
"Nature's music has no existence outside things. The various apertures, pipes, flutes, all living beings together make up nature. The "I" cannot produce things & things cannot produce the "I," which is self-existent. Things are what they are spontaneously, not caused by something else. Everything is natural & does not know why it is so. The 10,000 things have 10,000 different states, all in motion as if there were a True Lord to move them--but if we search for evidence of this Lord we fail to find any." (Kuo Hsiang)
Every realized consciousness is an "emperor" whose sole form of rule is to do nothing to disturb the spontaneity of nature, the Tao. The "sage" is not Chaos itself, but rather a loyal child of Chaos--one of P'an-Ku's fleas, a fragment of flesh of Tiamat's monstrous son. "Heaven and Earth," says Chuang Tzu, "were born at the same time I was, & the 10,000 things are one with me."
Ontological Anarchism tends to disagree only with the Taoists' total quietism. In our world Chaos has been overthrown by younger gods, moralists, phallocrats, banker- priests, fit lords for serfs. If rebellion proves impossible then at least a kind of clandestine spiritual jihad might be launched. Let it follow the war-banners of the anarchist black dragon, Tiamat, Hun Tun.
Chaos never died.
IN PERSIA I SAW that poetry is meant to be set to music &
chanted or sung--for one reason alone--because it works.
A right combination of image & tune plunges the audience into a hal (something between emotional/aesthetic mood & trance of hyperawareness), outbursts of weeping, fits of dancing--measurable physical response to art. For us the link between poetry & body died with the bardic era--we read under the influence of a cartesian anaesthetic gas.
In N. India even non-musical recitation provokes noise & motion, each good couplet applauded, "Wa! Wa!" with elegant hand-jive, tossing of rupees--whereas we listen to poetry like some SciFi brain in a jar--at best a wry chuckle or grimace, vestige of simian rictus--the rest of the body off on some other planet.
In the East poets are sometimes thrown in prison--a sort of compliment, since it suggests the author has done something at least as real as theft or rape or revolution. Here poets are allowed to publish anything at all--a sort of punishment in effect, prison without walls, without echoes, without palpable existence--shadow-realm of print, or of abstract thought--world without risk or eros.
So poetry is dead again--& even if the mumia from its corpse retains some healing properties, auto-resurrection isn't one of them.
If rulers refuse to consider poems as crimes, then someone must commit crimes that serve the function of poetry, or texts that possess the resonance of terrorism. At any cost re-connect poetry to the body. Not crimes against bodies, but against Ideas (& Ideas-in-things) which are deadly & suffocating. Not stupid libertinage but exemplary crimes, aesthetic crimes, crimes for love. In England some pornographic books are still banned. Pornography has a measurable physical effect on its readers. Like propaganda it sometimes changes lives because it uncovers true desires.
Our culture produces most of its porn out of body-hatred-- but erotic art in itself makes a better vehicle for enhancement of being/consciousness/bliss--as in certain oriental works. A sort of Western tantrik porn might help galvanize the corpse, make it shine with some of the glamor of crime.
America has freedom of speech because all words are considered equally vapid. Only images count--the censors love snaps of death & mutilation but recoil in horror at the sight of a child masturbating--apparently they experience this as an invasion of their existential validity, their identification with the Empire & its subtlest gestures.
No doubt even the most poetic porn would never revive the faceless corpse to dance & sing (like the Chinese Chaos- bird)--but...imagine a script for a three-minute film set on a mythical isle of runaway children who inhabit ruins of old castles or build totem-huts & junk-assemblage nests--mixture of animation, special-effects, compugraphix & color tape-- edited tight as a fastfood commercial...
...but weird & naked, feathers & bones, tents sewn with crystal, black dogs, pigeon-blood--flashes of amber limbs tangled in sheets--faces in starry masks kissing soft creases of skin--androgynous pirates, castaway faces of columbines sleeping on thigh-white flowers--nasty hilarious piss jokes, pet lizards lapping spilt milk--nude break- dancing--victorian bathtub with rubber ducks & pink boners-- Alice on ganja...
...atonal punk reggae scored for gamelan, synthesizer, saxophones & drums--electric boogie lyrics sung by aetherial children's choir--ontological anarchist lyrics, cross between Hafez & Pancho Villa, Li Po & Bakunin, Kabir & Tzara- -call it "CHAOS--the Rock Video!"
No...probably just a dream. Too expensive to produce, & besides, who would see it? Not the kids it was meant to seduce. Pirate TV is a futile fantasy, rock merely another commodity--forget the slick gesamtkunstwerk, then. Leaflet a playground with inflammatory smutty feuilletons-- pornopropaganda, crackpot samizdat to unchain Desire from its bondage.
JUSTICE CANNOT BE OBTAINED under any Law--action in accord
with spontaneous nature, action which is just, cannot be
defined by dogma. The crimes advocated in these broadsheets
cannot be committed against self or other but only against
the mordant crystallization of Ideas into structures of
poisonous Thrones & Dominations.
That is, not crimes against nature or humanity but crimes by legal fiat. Sooner or later the uncovering & unveiling of self/nature transmogrifies a person into a brigand--like stepping into another world then returning to this one to discover you've been declared a traitor, heretic, exile. The Law waits for you to stumble on a mode of being, a soul different from the FDA-approved purple-stamped standard dead meat--& as soon as you begin to act in harmony with nature the Law garottes & strangles you--so don't play the blessed liberal middleclass martyr--accept the fact that you're a criminal & be prepared to act like one.
Paradox: to embrace Chaos is not to slide toward entropy but to emerge into an energy like stars, a pattern of instantaneous grace--a spontaneous organic order completely different from the carrion pyramids of sultans, muftis, cadis & grinning executioners.
After Chaos comes Eros--the principle of order implicit in the nothingness of the unqualified One. Love is structure, system, the only code untainted by slavery & drugged sleep. We must become crooks & con-men to protect its spiritual beauty in a bezel of clandestinity, a hidden garden of espionage.
Don't just survive while waiting for someone's revolution to clear your head, don't sign up for the armies of anorexia or bulimia--act as if you were already free, calculate the odds, step out, remember the Code Duello--Smoke Pot/Eat Chicken/Drink Tea. Every man his own vine & figtree (Circle Seven Koran, Noble Drew Ali)--carry your Moorish passport with pride, don't get caught in the crossfire, keep your back covered--but take the risk, dance before you calcify.
The natural social model for ontological anarchism is the child-gang or the bank-robbers-band. Money is a lie--this adventure must be feasible without it--booty & pillage should be spent before it turns back into dust. Today is Resurrection Day--money wasted on beauty will be alchemically transmuted into elixir. As my uncle Melvin used to say, stolen watermelon tastes sweeter. The world is already re-made according to the heart's desire- -but civilization owns all the leases & most of the guns. Our feral angels demand we trespass, for they manifest themselves only on forbidden grounds. High Way Man. The yoga of stealth, the lightning raid, the enjoyment of treasure.
THE UNIVERSE WANTS TO PLAY. Those who refuse out of dry
spiritual greed & choose pure contemplation forfeit their
humanity--those who refuse out of dull anguish, those who
hesitate, lose their chance at divinity--those who mold
themselves blind masks of Ideas & thrash around seeking some
proof of their own solidity end by seeing out of dead men's
Sorcery: the systematic cultivation of enhanced consciousness or non-ordinary awareness & its deployment in the world of deeds & objects to bring about desired results.
The incremental openings of perception gradually banish the false selves, our cacophonous ghosts--the "black magic" of envy & vendetta backfires because Desire cannot be forced. Where our knowledge of beauty harmonizes with the ludus naturae, sorcery begins.
No, not spoon-bending or horoscopy, not the Golden Dawn or make-believe shamanism, astral projection or the Satanic Mass--if it's mumbo jumbo you want go for the real stuff, banking, politics, social science--not that weak blavatskian crap.
Sorcery works at creating around itself a psychic/physical space or openings into a space of untrammeled expression-- the metamorphosis of quotidian place into angelic sphere. This involves the manipulation of symbols (which are also things) & of people (who are also symbolic)--the archetypes supply a vocabulary for this process & therefore are treated as if they were both real & unreal, like words. Imaginal Yoga.
The sorcerer is a Simple Realist: the world is real--but then so must consciousness be real since its effects are so tangible. The dullard finds even wine tasteless but the sorcerer can be intoxicated by the mere sight of water. Quality of perception defines the world of intoxication--but to sustain it & expand it to include others demands activity of a certain kind--sorcery. Sorcery breaks no law of nature because there is no Natural Law, only the spontaneity of natura naturans, the tao. Sorcery violates laws which seek to chain this flow-- priests, kings, hierophants, mystics, scientists & shopkeepers all brand the sorcerer enemy for threatening the power of their charade, the tensile strength of their illusory web.
A poem can act as a spell & vice versa--but sorcery refuses to be a metaphor for mere literature--it insists that symbols must cause events as well as private epiphanies. It is not a critique but a re-making. It rejects all eschatology & metaphysics of removal, all bleary nostalgia & strident futurismo, in favor of a paroxysm or seizure of presence.
Incense & crystal, dagger & sword, wand, robes, rum, cigars, candles, herbs like dried dreams--the virgin boy staring into a bowl of ink--wine & ganja, meat, yantras & gestures-- rituals of pleasure, the garden of houris & sakis--the sorcerer climbs these snakes & ladders to a moment which is fully saturated with its own color, where mountains are mountains & trees are trees, where the body becomes all time, the beloved all space.
The tactics of ontological anarchism are rooted in this secret Art--the goals of ontological anarchism appear in its flowering. Chaos hexes its enemies & rewards its devotees...this strange yellowing pamphlet, pseudonymous & dust-stained, reveals all...send away for one split second of eternity.
WHAT THIS TELLS YOU is not prose. It may be pinned to the
board but it's still alive & wriggling. It does not want to
seduce you unless you're extremely young & good-looking
(enclose recent photo).
Hakim Bey lives in a seedy Chinese hotel where the proprietor nods out over newspaper & scratchy broadcasts of Peking Opera. The ceiling fan turns like a sluggish dervish- -sweat falls on the page--the poet's kaftan is rusty, his ovals spill ash on the rug--his monologues seem disjointed & slightly sinister--outside shuttered windows the barrio fades into palmtrees, the naive blue ocean, the philosophy of tropicalismo.
Along a highway somewhere east of Baltimore you pass an Airstream trailer with a big sign on the lawn SPIRITUAL READINGS & the image of a crude black hand on a red background. Inside you notice a display of dream-books, numbers-books, pamphlets on HooDoo and Santeria, dusty old nudist magazines, a pile of Boy's Life, treatises on fighting-cocks...& this book, Chaos. Like words spoken in a dream, portentous, evanescent, changing into perfumes, birds, colors, forgotten music.
This book distances itself by a certain impassibility of surface, almost a glassiness. It doesn't wag its tail & it doesn't snarl but it bites & humps the furniture. It doesn't have an ISBN number & it doesn't want you for a disciple but it might kidnap your children.
This book is nervous like coffee or malaria--it sets up a network of cut-outs & safe drops between itself & its readers--but it's so baldfaced & literal-minded it practically encodes itself--it smokes itself into a stupor.
A mask, an automythology, a map without placenames--stiff as an egyptian wallpainting nevertheless it reaches to caress someone's face--& suddenly finds itself out in the street, in a body, embodied in light, walking, awake, almost satisfied.
--NYC, May 1-July 4, 1984