Saturday March 3, 2018

My mood quickens, turns, rushes recklessly toward sublime paranoia as I read a photograph of a concrete poem handwritten by German-born Jewish psychonaut Walter Benjamin. “The little sheep reads,” reads the printed translation below the photograph. “Is the figure a writing-song is it an image. Sleep my little sheep sleep. Write my little sheep write.” After this encounter, I experience rhapsodic visions. The protocol from Benjamin’s mescaline experiment of May 22, 1934 abounds with allegorical riches and utterances of Delphic import. (See also Scott J. Thompson’s translation of Ernst Joël and Fritz Fränkel’s “The Hashish-Rausch: Contributions to an Experimental Psychopathology.”) Heads oscillate continually between waking and dreaming states. The illuminated tip of a Lighted Head Demagnetizer leads me to Osamu Kitajima’s Benzaiten.

Let us concern ourselves again with experiences. Let us relaunch the project Benjamin believed Surrealism had set for itself: “to win the energies of intoxication for revolution.” Voices speak to me. “Go ahead and listen,” warns one. We are sonic beings, transmitting signals into meatspace using navigable databases filled with recorded samples of spoken word. Truth is only possible when silence is broken.

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