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The Poetry of Astrology: Notes from the Full Moon Weekend

“Birth is not the beginning of life - only of an individual awareness. Change into another state is not death - only the ending of this awareness.”  ― Hermes Trismegistus, Corpus Hermeticum

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I love poets. There’s something reckless and romantic about describing yourself as such and the puritan in me has always been somewhat averse to the term “poet”, though lately I’ve begun to re-embrace it. I found myself eschewing work this weekend and wandering and wondering at my old streets of Brooklyn, mind racing from having nothing specific to cling to save for the nostalgia of the Gowanus canal. I was thinking about poetry, about poetry as a break from syntactical rules, unplugging from the grammar police state, and poetry as a means into unexpected and WEIRD thought forms. New syntaxes, poetics and poethics, everything new but familiar because it’s old and rearranged. These thoughts arrived after an urgent astro session in a cafe on the Scorpio full moon, followed by a long debate on the validity of the canon with a friend. I was thinking, too, about Agnes Martin’s grids. The poetry of them, I mean. It seems to have something to do with astrology, with the wisdom of the stars.

Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin

Also the “innocence of the grid”

Also the honesty of rushing

of procrastination, too

Also The Hermetica

Also questioning “education”

Also America is laying down laws on women’s bodies when the whole world is collapsing, climate changed and plastic

Also the way we treat women is the way we treat the earth is the way we survive or not

Also, and also, and also

Back to my “point” about the poetry of astrology

Mike Kelley

Mike Kelley

You’ve heard myself and others utter it before: Astrology is a language. Maybe that’s why so many poets love it. To astrologize is to feel a connection to the cosmos and to project one’s own psyche and daily life stuffs onto the larger sky, the galactal echo of as above, so below and as below, so above. It can really help.

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Today, hungover from the ultra Scorpionic full moon and feeling slightly rejuvenated from reading and writing poetry, from taking a break from paragraphs and sentences, from spellcheck, reasoning, and logic. No, do not check the remainder of the document. Today, after the full moon and as the moon wanes and thins and so too the tides (they’re outside my window) get thinner, somehow, more manageable but still not at all manageable — today I’m settling into the word poetry. If the origin of the word poetry comes from the idea of making or creating and the origins of the word astrology comes from an account of the stars, study of the stars — then the poetry of astrology has something to do with creating stars, of making accounts of the stars, of attempting to understand via language obscure and soul-spoke, the ways in which our bodies, made mostly of water, correlate to the cosmos, made mostly of chaos or the opposite of chaos. Same, same. My sentence did not finish, as I can’t really finish this point and have lately found it tiring to try to come to conclusions. Perhaps it’s the impending Gemini season, the mercurial airiness of twins speaking to each other with words and silence.

West Hollywood in March.

West Hollywood in March.

And now I’m remembering a meditation class I took at the new moon in Pisces in West Hollywood. I always appear to be a good student. The class was held in one of those achingly stylish LA houses where cosmology met Mike Kelley met minimalism met a color coded bookshelf. I did ache for how beautiful this place was. But I was there to meditate and so I did. Anyway, there was a photograph of a famous cosmologist on one of the strategically disheveled shelves and I wondered at this choice. No it was not Aristotle or Stephen Hawking. I think it was, though I might be wrong, Carl Sagan. A Scorpio who sent the first physical messages out into space. In the black and white photo, he stared off into the distance, no doubt contemplating something beyond our capacity for understanding or perhaps his hair.

As I write this, a dragonfly bats against my kitchen window and Hanna sleeps, belly up, on the couch in front of me, looking more today like a hound dog than a collie. Mike Kelley (Scorpio) said, “Art saved my life. Art was the place that made me want to educate myself. When I became an artist, it was where the most interesting thinkers were." So perhaps that’s what I mean.

Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan

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