Friday, September 24, 2010

Landscaping the Gated Community's Factory Farm

Keep a fire burnin' in your eye,
pay attention to the open sky,
you never know what will be
comin’ round.
---- Jackson Browne

'Fleissig' the Germans christen it.
At first hearing I
thought it the manic, agitated,
continuous, pointless, franticness of a fly.
Fly-sig -- lighting, darting, buzzing,
circling -- literally, industriousness.
As busy implies busy-ness, so both
industry and then industriousness.
The activity in question
a dedication to motion, activity
for the sake of nothing
but activity. The root notion is one
of spreading --- and this allies
etymologically with strewing, straw,
structure, construction, stratagem,
stratocracy, perestroika, bremsstrahlung, prostrate
and street --- the chief architect of contemporary

Again, with landscape we are nearly
at a dead
end. Find only the root 'lendh'
implying OPEN land, see connected only
island, home-land, hinterland,
lawn and the more obscure
auslander. Perhaps this suffices
to demonstrate the innate
contradiction of 'landscape' and 'industrial',
that the groaning,
commercial weighting of the land with titanic
furnaces, smokestacks, and thousand
acre walls, the boutique gift-wrap
retail shopping mall good
cop to the Love Canal bad
cop and his rusting skull
and crossbones steel drums --- that
the sprawl or razor-
wire and cyclone-
fence handcuffing ownership to the bureaus
of land-title, spread out only to close the
what-in-its-essence only is
when open; the open-ness of land.

I begin again.
Imagine a prison
and, following Hamlet,
a prison within
a prison. What then do you mean
by escape? Did you ever know
captivity before release
and had I chosen
my metaphor (or is it an allegory) differently,
perhaps a cave within
a cave, would this ensnare me
in a plagiarism of Plato, and then
what Shakespeare and his
play within
a play. I have heard it called a founding
myth that the founding fathers
gazed out on panoramas of virgin
land. The Romans were more honest
in tracing their empire
to an entire community
of Sabine rape. The Chumash
farmed Pacific shores with fire
long before the constitutional
liars invented their conspiracy of one-sided
equality. And so the dialog of vegetation
with the human
animal -- everything from the germination
of wildflowers to the age
of forests was a poem
of our-kind's construction for
generations untold --- but an industry with living,
breathing blueprints, with margins of
error and toleration -- breathing room,
negotiated without the distant
dictatorship of imperial
jurisprudence written
in irrevocable ink. How are we
to think of how we might
have thought without the Guttenberg
technology? The press gang of the printing
press has stolen our within without
our knowing. How close the words
library, liberty, and liberation? How,
shy of Oedipal blinding, free
ourselves of reading? (Not just the deed
but the ability?) Can you
see no prison here and who made
the decision? Were you
competent to decide? How
affix a signature to choose
either for or against
literacy? And once the ability
to write and read has stolen from the stolen
land into and about you how
undo, how even begin to un-
do the exponentiating corrosion of epidemic
industry, construction and production?
How regulate the consternating
avalanche of regulation, where
even the sky --- air rights, flight
plans, stationary orbits in outer space ---
are obliged to written

There are heights no wings can fathom. Beyond air
buoyancy ceases and so
even flying resembles freedom
only within
limits. There is always the reciprocal
of intention, by convention we open
the frontier only
to close it. Once
opened to closing
everything --- the planet's constriction,
conscription becomes itself
conception and we prevene
to stage even authenticity. The tide
suffers its reflection
from the breakwall of intended
escape, while the gargantuan lifeless
hulks move on to manufacture
imagination, construct
the information of their own
perpetuation where everything is
owned and bartered even freedom,
conceived as nothing
beyond question.

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