Sunday, August 1, 2010
Strike, dear mistress, and cure his heart...
Visionary poet and counter-culture activist Lenore Kandel has been described as a second generation Beat writer who developed psychedelicized aesthetics in the style of Allen Ginsburg. Lenore was immortalized by her lover Jack Kerouac's in his novel Big Sur (1962) as Romana Schwarz. She also appears in Kenneth Anger's film Invocation of my Demon Brother. She authored two books of poetry: Word Alchemy and The Love Book. The Love Book is a reproduction of a Tibetan scroll symbolizing the union of male and female principles in the Universe, and much of Kandel’s writing inside the book takes on the feeling of a chanted prayer. She herself referred to her verse as holy erotica. When Lenore was asked if was religious, she responded, "Yes, and everyone who makes love is religious." Her poem "To Fuck with Love", provoked cencorship and is one of her most dramatic statements of the link between ecstasy and enlightenment.
…the tongue between my legs spreading my thighs to screams
and I burst I burst I burst
…my god the worship that it is to fuck!
"The human body is her instrument, and the acts of sex are her solos and harmonies. Her phrasing builds in intensity, breathlessly reaching for crescendo and moving beyond it to different dimensions."
I am the god-animal, the mindless cuntdeity, the he-god animal
is over me, through me we are become one total angel
united in fire united in semen and sweat united in lovescream
sacred are our acts and our actions
sacred are our parts and our persons
The wild is not separate from the divine, and both are utterly human, she wrote:
to fuck with love
to love with all the heat and wild of fuck
…leaving me pure burned into oblivion
…SCREAMING DELIGHT over the entire universe
Kandel’s eroticism reaches its highest level of poetic expression in Word Alchemy. “Love-Lust Poem,” in particular, stands out as perhaps the best example I know of the marriage between eros, ecstasy and the divine. The entire poem is a celebratory song of love that is expressed ecstatically. It is a song of innocence and incandescent desire that reaches toward the divine.
I want to fuck you
I want to fuck you all the parts and places
I want you all of me
…I am not sure where I leave off, where you begin
is there a difference, here in the soft permeable membranes
…and the taste of your mouth is of me
and the taste of my mouth is of you
and moaning mouth to mouth
…I want you to explode that hot spurt of pleasure inside me
and I want to lie there with you
smelling the good smell of fuck that’s all over us
and you kiss me with that aching sweetness
and there is no end to love
Lenore Kandel herself expressed her intent in the most noble terms: "I believe when humans can be so close together to become one flesh, or spirit, they transcend the human into the divine."
I kiss your shoulder and it reeks of lust
the lust of hermaphroditic deities doing
inconceivable things to each other and
SCREAMING DELIGHT over the entire
universe and beyond
and we lie together... and
we WEEP we WEEP we WEEP
the incredible tears
that saints and holy men shed in the presence
of their own incandescent gods...
And it concludes:
we are transmuting
we are as soft and warm and trembling
as a new gold butterfly
at night sometimes I see our bodies glow.