Some of these are "sincere" slogans of the A.O.A.--others are meant to rouse public apprehension & misgivings--but we're not sure which is which. Thanx to Stalin, Anon., Bob Black, Pir Hassan (upon his mention be peace), F. Nietzsche, Hank Purcell Jr., "P.M.," & Bro. Abu Jehad al-Salah of the Moorish Temple of Dagon.
II. Some Poetic-Terrorist Ideas Still Sadly Languishing in the Realm of "Conceptual Art"
1. Walk into Citibank or Chembank computer customer service
area during busy period, take a shit on the floor, & leave.
2. Chicago May Day '86: organize "religious" procession for Haymarket "Martyrs"--huge banners with sentimental portraits, wreathed in flowers & streaming with tinsel & ribbon, borne by penitenti in black KKKatholic-style hooded gowns--outrageous campy TV acolytes with incense & holy water sprinkle the crowd--anarchists w/ash-smeared faces beat themselves with little flails & whips--a "Pope" in black robes blesses tiny symbolic coffins reverently carried to Cemetery by weeping punks. Such a spectacle ought to offend nearly everyone.
3. Paste up in public places a xerox flyer, photo of a beautiful twelve-year-old boy, naked and masturbating, clearly titled: THE FACE OF GOD.
4. Mail elaborate & exquisite magickal "blessings" anonymously to people or groups you admire, e.g. for their politics or spirituality or physical beauty or success in crime, etc. Follow the same general procedure as outlined in Section 5 below, but utilize an aesthetic of good fortune, bliss or love, as appropriate.
5. Invoke a terrible curse on a malign institution, such as the New York Post or the MUZAK company. A technique adapted from Malaysian sorcerers: send the Company a package containing a bottle, corked and sealed with black wax. Inside: dead insects, scorpions, lizards or the like; a bag containing graveyard dirt ("gris-gris" in American HooDoo terminology) along with other noxious substances; an egg, pierced with iron nails and pins; and a scroll on which an emblem is drawn (see p. 57).
(This yantra or veve invokes the Black Djinn, the Self's dark shadow. Full details obtainable from the A.O.A.) An accompanying note explains that the hex is sent against the institution & not against individuals--but unless the institution itself ceases to be malign, the curse (like a mirror) will begin to infect the premises with noxious fortune, a miasma of negativity. Prepare a "news release" explaining the curse & taking credit for it in the name of the American Poetry Society. Mail copies of this text to all employees of the institution & to selected media. The night before these letters arrive, wheatpaste the institutional premises with xerox copies of the Black Djinn's emblem, where they will be seen by all employees arriving for work next morning.
(Thanx to Abu Jehad again, & to Sri Anamananda--the Moorish Castellan of Belvedere Weather Tower--& other comrades of the Central Park Autonomous Zone, & Brooklyn Temple Number 1)
NURSING AN OBSESSION FOR Airstream trailers--those classic
miniature dirigibles on wheels--& also the New Jersey Pine
Barrens, huge lost backlands of sandy creeks & tar pines,
cranberry bogs & ghost towns, population around 14 per sq.
mile, dirt roads overgrown with fern, brokenspine cabins &
isolated rusty mobile homes with burnt-out cars in the front
The Kallikak Memorial Bolo & Chaos Ashram: A Proposal
land of the mythical Kallikaks--Piney families studied by eugenicists in the 1920's to justify sterilization of rural poor. Some Kallikaks married well, prospered, & waxed bourgeois thanx to good genes--others however never worked real jobs but lived off the woods--incest, sodomy, mental deficiencies galore--photos touched up to make them look vacant & morose--descended from rogue Indians, Hessian mercenaries, rum smugglers, deserters--Lovecraftian degenerates
come to think of it the Kallikaks might well have produced secret Chaotes, precursor sex radicals, Zerowork prophets. Like other monotone landscapes (desert, sea, swamp), the Barrens seem infused with erotic power--not vril or orgone so much as a languid disorder, almost a sluttishness of Nature, as if the very ground & water were formed of sexual flesh, membranes, spongy erectile tissue. We want to squat there, maybe an abandoned hunting/fishing lodge with old woodstove & privy--or decaying Vacation Cabins on some disused County Highway--or just a woodlot where we park 2 or 3 Airstreams hidden back in the pines near creek or swimming hole. Were the Kallikaks onto something good? We'll find out
somewhere boys dream that extraterrestrials will come to rescue them from their families, perhaps vaporizing the parents with some alien ray in the process. Oh well. Space Pirate Kidnap Plot Uncovered--"Alien" Unmasked As Shiite Fanatic Queer Poet--UFOs Seen Over Pine Barrens--"Lost Boys Will Leave Earth," Claims So-Called Prophet Of Chaos Hakim Bey
runaway boys, mess & disorder, ecstasy & sloth, skinny- dipping, childhood as permanent insurrection--collections of frogs, snails, leaves--pissing in the moonlight--11, 12, 13--old enough to seize back control of one's own history from parents, school, Welfare, TV--Come live with us in the Barrens--we'll cultivate a local brand of seedless rope to finance our luxuries & contemplation of summer's alchemy--& otherwise produce nothing but artifacts of Poetic Terrorism & mementos of our pleasures
going for aimless rides in the old pickup, fishing & gathering, lying around in the shade reading comics & eating grapes--this is our economy. The suchness of things when unchained from the Law, each molecule an orchid, each atom a pearl to the attentive consciousness--this is our cult. The Airstream is draped with Persian rugs, the lawn is profuse with satisfied weeds
the treehouse becomes a wooden spaceship in the nakedness of July & midnight, half-open to the stars, warm with epicurean sweat, rushed & then hushed by the breathing of the Pines. (Dear Bolo Log: You asked for a practical & feasible utopia--here it is, no mere post-holocaust fantasy, no castles on the moon of Jupiter--a scheme we could start up tomorrow--except that every single aspect of it breaks some law, reveals some absolute taboo in U.S. society, threatens the very fabric of etc., etc. Too bad. This is our true desire, & to attain it we must contemplate not only a life of pure art but also pure crime, pure insurrection. Amen.)
(Thanx to the Grim Reaper & other members of the Si Fan Temple of Providence for YALU, GANO, SILA, & ideas)
"I NEED ONLY MENTION in passing that there is a curious reappearance of the Catfish tradition in the popular Godzilla cycle of films which arose after the nuclear chaos unleashed upon Japan. In fact, the symbolic details in the evolution of Godzilla filmic poplore parallel in a quite surprising way the traditional Japanese and Chinese mythological and folkloric themes of combat with an ambivalent chaos creature (some of the films, like Mothra, directly recalling the ancient motifs of the cosmic egg/gourd/cocoon) that is usually tamed, after the failure of the civilizational order, through the special and indirect agency of children."--Girardot, Myth & Meaning in Early Taoism: The Theme of Chaos (hun- t'un)
In some old Moorish Science Temple (in Chicago or Baltimore) a friend claimed to have seen a secret altar on which rested a matched pair of six shooters (in velvet-lined case) & a black fez. Supposedly initiation to the inner circle required the neophyte Moor to assassinate at least one cop. /// What about Louis Lingg? Was he a precursor of Ontological Anarchism? "I despise you"--one can't help but admiring such sentiments. But the man dynamited himself aged 22 to cheat the gallows...this is not exactly our chosen path. /// The IDEA of the POLICE like hydra grows 100 new heads for each one cut off--and all these heads are live cops. Slicing off heads gains us nothing, but only enhances the beast's power till it swallows us. /// First murder the IDEA--blow up the monument inside us--& then perhaps...the balance of power will shift. When the last cop in our brain is gunned down by the last unfulfilled desire-- perhaps even the landscape around us will begin to change.../// Poetic Terrorism proposes this sabotage of archetypes as the only practical insurrectionary tactic for the present. But as Shiite Extremists eager for the overthrow (by any means) of all police, ayatollahs, bankers, executioners, priests, etc., we reserve the option of venerating even the "failures" of radical excess. /// A few days unchained from the Empire of Lies might well be worth considerable sacrifice; a moment of exalted realization may outweigh a lifetime of microcephalic boredom & work. /// But this moment must become ours--and our ownership of it is seriously compromised if we must commit suicide to preserve its integrity. So we mix our veneration with irony--it's not martyrdom itself we propose, but the courage of the dynamiter, the self-possession of a Chaos-monster, the attainment of criminal & illegal pleasures.
THE A.O.A. DECLARES ITSELF officially bored with the End
of the World. The canonical version has been used since 1945
to keep us cowering in fear of Mutual Assured Destruction &
in snivelling servitude to our super-hero politicians (the
only ones capable of handling deadly Green Kryptonite)...
The End of the World
What does it mean that we have invented a way to destroy all life on Earth? Nothing much. We have dreamed this as an escape from the contemplation of our own individual deaths. We have made an emblem to serve as the mirror-image of a discarded immortality. Like demented dictators we swoon at the thought of taking it all down with us into the Abyss.
The unofficial version of the Apocalypse involves a lascivious yearning for the End, & for a post-Holocaust Eden where the Survivalists (or the 144,000 Elect of Revelations) can indulge themselves in orgies of Dualist hysteria, endless final confrontations with a seductive evil...
We have seen the ghost of Rene Guenon, cadaverous & topped with a fez (like Boris Karloff as Ardis Bey in The Mummy) leading a funereal No Wave Industrial-Noise rock band in loud buzzing blackfly-chants for the death of Culture & Cosmos: the elitist fetishism of pathetic nihilists, the Gnostic self-disgust of "post-sexual" intellectoids.
Are these dreary ballads not simply mirror-images of all those lies & platitudes about Progress & the Future, beamed from every loudspeaker, zapped like paranoid brain-waves from every schoolbook & TV in the world of the Consensus? The thanatosis of the Hip Millenarians extrudes itself like pus from the false health of the Consumers' & Workers' Paradises.
Anyone who can read history with both hemispheres of the brain knows that a world comes to an end every instant--the waves of time leave washed up behind themselves only dry memories of a closed & petrified past--imperfect memory, itself already dying & autumnal. And every instant also gives birth to a world--despite the cavillings of philosophers & scientists whose bodies have grown numb--a present in which all impossibilities are renewed, where regret & premonition fade to nothing in one presential hologrammatical psychomantric gesture.
The "normative" past or the future heat-death of the universe mean as little to us as last year's GNP or the withering away of the State. All Ideal pasts, all futures which have not yet come to pass, simply obstruct our consciousness of total vivid presence.
Certain sects believe that the world (or "a" world) has already come to an end. For Jehovah's Witnesses it happened in 1914 (yes folks, we are living in the Book of Revelations now). For certain oriental occultists, it occurred during the Major Conjunction of the Planets in 1962. Joachim of Fiore proclaimed the Third Age, that of the Holy Spirit, which replaced those of Father & Son. Hassan II of Alamut proclaimed the Great Resurrection, the immanentization of the eschaton, paradise on earth. Profane time came to an end somewhere in the late Middle Ages. Since then we've been living angelic time--only most of us don't know it.
Or to take an even more Radical Monist stance: Time never started at all. Chaos never died. The Empire was never founded. We are not now & never have been slaves to the past or hostages to the future.
We suggest that the End of the World be declared a fait accompli; the exact date is unimportant. The ranters in 1650 knew that the Millenium comes now into each soul that wakes to itself, to its own centrality & divinity. "Rejoice, fellow creature," was their greeting. "All is ours!"
I want no part of any other End of the World. A boy smiles at me in the street. A black crow sits in a pink magnolia tree, cawing as orgone accumulates & discharges in a split second over the city...summer begins. I may be your lover...but I spit on your Millenium.
Recently some confusion about "Chaos" has plagued the A.O.A. from certain revanchist quarters, forcing us (who despise polemics) at last to indulge in a Plenary Session devoted to denunciations ex cathedra, portentous as hell; our faces burn red with rhetoric, spit flies from our lips, neck veins bulge with pulpit fervor. We must at last descend to flying banners with angry slogans (in 1930's type faces) declaring what Ontological Anarchy is not.
Remember, only in Classical Physics does Chaos have anything to do with entropy, heat-death, or decay. In our physics (Chaos Theory), Chaos identifies with tao, beyond both yin- as-entropy & yang-as-energy, more a principle of continual creation than of any nihil, void in the sense of potentia, not exhaustion. (Chaos as the "sum of all orders.")
From this alchemy we quintessentialize an aesthetic theory. Chaote art may act terrifying, it may even act grand guignol, but it can never allow itself to be drenched in putrid negativity, thanatosis, schadenfreude (delight in the misery of others), crooning over Nazi memorabilia & serial murders. Ontological Anarchy collects no snuff films & is bored to tears with dominatrices who spout french philosophy. ("Everything is hopeless & I knew it before you did, asshole. Nyahh!")
Wilhelm Reich was driven half mad & killed by agents of the Emotional Plague; maybe half his work derived from sheer paranoia (UFO conspiracies, homophobia, even his orgasm theory), BUT on one point we agree wholeheartedly--sexpol: sexual repression breeds death obsession, which leads to bad politics. A great deal of avant-garde Art is saturated with Deadly Orgone Rays (DOR). Ontological Anarchy aims to build aesthetic cloud-busters (OR-guns) to disperse the miasma of cerebral sado-masochism which now passes for slick, hip, new, fashionable. Self-mutilating "performance" artists strike us as banal & stupid--their art makes everyone more unhappy. What kind of two-bit conniving horseshit...what kind of cockroach-brained Art creeps cooked up this apocalypse stew?
Of course the avant-garde seems "smart"--so did Marinetti & the Futurists, so did Pound & Celine. Compared to that kind of intelligence we'd choose real stupidity, bucolic New Age blissed-out inanity--we'd rather be pinheads than queer for death. But luckily we don't have to scoop out our brains to attain our own queer brand of satori. All the faculties, all the senses belong to us as our property--both heart & head, intellect & spirit, body & soul. Ours is no art of mutilation but of excess, superabundance, amazement.
The purveyors of pointless gloom are the Death Squads of contemporary aesthetics--& we are the "disappeared ones." Their make-believe ballroom of occult 3rd-Reich bric-a-brac & child murder attracts the manipulators of the Spectacle-- death looks better on TV than life--& we Chaotes, who preach an insurrectionary joy, are edged out towards silence.
Needless to say we reject all censorship by Church & State-- but "after the revolution" we would be willing to take individual & personal responsibility for burning all the Death Squad snuff-art crap & running them out of town on a rail. (Criticism becomes direct action in an anarchist context.) My space has room neither for Jesus & his lords of the flies nor for Chas. Manson & his literary admirers. I want no mundane police--I want no cosmic axe-murderers either; no TV chainsaw massacres, no sensitive poststructuralist novels about necrophilia.
As it happens, the A.O.A. can scarcely hope to sabotage the suffocating mechanisms of the State & its ghostly circuitry--but we just might happen to find ourselves in a position to do something about lesser manifestations of the DOR plague such as the Corpse-Eaters of the Lower East Side & other Art scum. We support artists who use terrifying material in some "higher cause"--who use loving/sexual material of any kind, however shocking or illegal--who use their anger & disgust & their true desires to lurch toward self-realization & beauty & adventure. "Social Nihilism," yes--but not the dead nihilism of gnostic self-disgust. Even if it's violent & abrasive, anyone with a vestigial 3rd eye can see the differences between revolutionary pro-life art & reactionary pro-death art. DOR stinks, & the chaote nose can sniff it out--just as it knows the perfume of spiritual/sexual joy, however buried or masked by other darker scents. Even the Radical Right, for all its horror of flesh & the senses, occasionally comes up with a moment of perception & consciousness-enhancement--but the Death Squads, for all their tired lip service to fashionable revolutionary abstractions, offer us about as much true libertarian energy as the FBI, FDA, or the double-dip Baptists.
We live in a society which advertises its costliest commodities with images of death & mutilation, beaming them direct to the reptilian back-brain of the millions thru alpha-wave-generating carcinogenic reality-warping devices-- while certain images of life (such as our favorite, a child masturbating) are banned & punished with incredible ferocity. It takes no guts at all to be an Art Sadist, for salacious death lies at the aesthetic center of our Consensus Paradigm. "Leftists" who like to dress up & play Police-&-Victim, people who jerk off to atrocity photos, people who like to think & intellectualize about splatter art & highfalutin hopelessness & groovy ghoulishness & other people's misery--such "artists" are nothing but police-without-power (a perfect definition for many "revolutionaries" too). We have a black bomb for these aesthetic fascists--it explodes with sperm & firecrackers, raucous weeds & piracy, weird Shiite heresies & bubbling paradise-fountains, complex rhythms, pulsations of life, all shapeless & exquisite.
Wake up! Breathe! Feel the world's breath against your skin! Seize the day! Breathe! Breathe!
(Thanx to J. Mander's Four Arguments for the Abolition of Television; Adam Exit; & the Moorish Cosmopolitan of Williamsburg)
AS LONG AS NO Stalin breathes down our necks, why not make
some art in the service of...an insurrection?
I. Salon Apocalypse: "Secret Theater"
Never mind if it's "impossible." What else can we hope to attain but the "impossible"? Should we wait for someone else to reveal our true desires?
If art has died, or the audience has withered away, then we find ourselves free of two dead weights. Potentially, everyone is now some kind of artist--& potentially every audience has regained its innocence, its ability to become the art that it experiences.
Provided we can escape from the museums we carry around inside us, provided we can stop selling ourselves tickets to the galleries in our own skulls, we can begin to contemplate an art which re-creates the goal of the sorcerer: changing the structure of reality by the manipulation of living symbols (in this case, the images we've been "given" by the organizers of this salon--murder, war, famine, & greed).
We might now contemplate aesthetic actions which possess some of the resonance of terrorism (or "cruelty," as Artaud put it) aimed at the destruction of abstractions rather than people, at liberation rather than power, pleasure rather than profit, joy rather than fear. "Poetic Terrorism." Our chosen images have the potency of darkness--but all images are masks, & behind these masks lie energies we can turn toward light & pleasure.
For example, the man who invented aikido was a samurai who became a pacifist & refused to fight for Japanese imperialism. He became a hermit, lived on a mountain sitting under a tree..
One day a former fellow-officer came to visit him & accused him of betrayal, cowardice, etc. The hermit said nothing, but kept on sitting--& the officer fell into a rage, drew his sword, & struck. Spontaneously the unarmed master disarmed the officer & returned his sword. Again & again the officer tried to kill, using every subtle kata in his repertoire--but out of his empty mind the hermit each time invented a new way to disarm him.
The officer of course became his first disciple. Later, they learned how to dodge bullets. We might contemplate some form of metadrama meant to capture a taste of this performance, which gave rise to a wholly new art, a totally non-violent way of fighting--war without murder, "the sword of life" rather than death.
A conspiracy of artists, anonymous as any mad bombers, but aimed toward an act of gratuitous generosity rather than violence--at the millennium rather than the apocalypse--or rather, aimed at a present moment of aesthetic shock in the service of realization & liberation.
Art tells gorgeous lies that come true.
Is it possible to create a SECRET THEATER in which both artist & audience have completely disappeared--only to re-appear on another plane, where life & art have become the same thing, the pure giving of gifts?
(Note: The "Salon Apocalypse" was organized by Sharon Gannon
in July, 1986.)
THE MANICHEES & CATHARS believed that the body can be
spiritualized--or rather, that the body merely contaminates
pure spirit & must be utterly rejected. The Gnostic
perfecti (radical dualists) starved themselves to death to
escape the body & return to the pleroma of pure light.
So: to evade the evils of the flesh--murder, war, famine,
greed--paradoxically only one path remains: murder of one's
own body, war on the flesh, famine unto death, greed for
The radical monists however (Ismailis, Ranters, Antinomians) consider that body & spirit are one, that the same spirit which pervades a black stone also infuses the flesh with its light; that all lives & all is life.
"Things are what they are spontaneously...everything is natural...all in motion as if there were a True Lord to move them--but if we seek for evidence of this lord we fail to find any." (Kuo Hsiang)
Paradoxically, the monist path also cannot be followed without some sort of "murder, war, famine, greed": the transformation of death into life (food, negentropy)--war against the Empire of Lies--"fasting of the soul," or renunciation of the Lie, of all that is not life--& greed for life itself, the absolute power of desire.
Even more: without knowledge of the darkness ("carnal knowledge") there can exist no knowledge of the light ("gnosis"). The two knowledges are not merely complementary: say rather identical, like the same note played in different octaves. Heraclitus claims that reality persists in a state of "war." Only clashing notes can make harmony. ("Chaos is the sum of all orders.") Give each of these four terms a different mask of language (to call the Furies "The Kindly Ones" is not mere euphemism but a way of uncovering yet more meaning). Masked, ritualized, realized as art, the terms take on their dark beauty, their "Black Light."
Instead of murder say the hunt, the pure paleolithic economy of all archaic and non-authoritarian tribal society--"venery," both the killing & eating of flesh & the way of Venus, of desire. Instead of war say insurrection, not the revolution of classes & powers but of the eternal rebel, the dark one who uncovers light. Instead of greed say yearning, unconquerable desire, mad love. And then instead of famine, which is a kind of mutilation, speak of wholeness, plenty, superabundance, generosity of the self which spirals outward toward the Other.
Without this dance of masks, nothing will be created. The oldest mythology makes Eros the firstborn of Chaos. Eros, the wild one who tames, is the door through which the artist returns to Chaos, the One, and then re-returns, comes back again, bearing one of the patterns of beauty. The artist, the hunter, the warrior: one who is both passionate and balanced, both greedy & altruistic to the utmost extreme. We must be saved from all salvations which save us from ourselves, from our animal which is also our anima, our very lifeforce, as well as our animus, our animating self-empowerment, which may even manifest as anger & greed. BABYLON has told us that our flesh is filth--with this device & the promise of salvation it enslaved us. But--if the flesh is already "saved," already light--if even consciousness itself is a kind of flesh, a palpable & simultaneous living aether--then we need no power to intercede for us. The wilderness, as Omar says, is paradise even now.
The true proprietorship of murder lies with the Empire, for only freedom is complete life. War is Babylonian as well--no free person will die for another's aggrandizement. Famine comes into existence only with the civilization of the saviors, the priest-kings--wasn't it Joseph who taught Pharaoh to speculate in grain futures? Greed--for land, for symbolic wealth, for power to deform others' souls & bodies for their own salvation--greed too arises not from "Nature nature-ing," but from the damming up & canalization of all energies for the Empire's Glory. Against all this, the artist possesses the dance of masks, the total radicalization of language, the invention of a "Poetic Terrorism" which will strike not at living beings but at malign ideas, dead-weights on the coffin-lid of our desires. The architecture of suffocation and paralysis will be blown up. only by our total celebration of everything-- even darkness.
--Summer Solstice, 1986