The Poetry Project

Wolfli/Darger: Contorted Equations

Will Alexander

They remain world’s that exist and post-exist via the appellations of Wolfli and Darger, who registered themselves via secrecy, via occulted pressure, not unlike hawks or owls, haunting parallel planes imbibing sparks from basic carbon, as if they both had had a antidote to oxygen, as if they were insignificant figments, as if they leaned on themselves as ghosts, as overzealous mongrels having breached the difference between the primordial and non-engaging cognitive advance. In them, prior systems blaze, as if a complex galaxy pre-existed inside another, so each personality ceased to register, as if the three dimensional boundary were only a minor transparency, an insignificant angle, a minor conduit, that ceased to reconcile itself with the overwhelming.

As if their visible remains were unfulfilled data, wandering around a granary of ghosts, as unfulfilled machinations, as non-quantitative learning curves, where the prison shelves and the janitor’s closet equated to emptiness, to the formula that reversed itself in order to grant itself failure by opening itself to embrace itself as code or emblematic scansion, as if trying to mix the score of an a-sequential aria, as if we heard Webern and Wolfli, or Skalkottas and Darger spontaneously coding an imaginal roundelay in a dark magnetic forming realm, where a treatise on pustules carries itself to the nth degree.

One thinks of the Vivian Girls in The Realms of the Unreal, and the ghosts that corrode Darger’s Crazy house. Symbols of abuse and isolation which is not unlike the complication that was Wolfli, and his transmutation via his written epic as St Adolf. Vacantly parallel epics from Chicago and Bern, that understand psychic asphyxiation full of meddlesome conflict and outrage, burning it’s gestures in solitude, being cursed munificence, they being a living diptych possessing the magnetics of contorted equations, both of them, endemic number that continues to hail via darkened glandular beauty. Unlike sterile attempts as pre-planned cognitive pattern, they never ranged within the un-kindled poverty of intellectual gerunds, as if stilled as applicants for quotidian assignation. As if Wolfli in Bern, and Darger in the Northern portion of Chicago, overlapped by being alive and dead not as an angry mechanism but as quantum vehicular syntax, as stupendous beckoning, fleeing themselves and coming to themselves via bottomless empathy, seemingly listing as would a transparent frigate, angled towards sidereal portals, witnessing implausible galactic contact, as if they were ghosts possessed by anti-arterial exposure possessed as one would be by a ghostly maximum body, come back to the three dimensional via painting, haunting the secular eye knowing that the viewing public is always maximized by sullied sesterces.

Their personality never invaded according to quotidian noun-set, but as mottled hawks, as arachnoidal solar forms wafting into our view via the Eskimo Nebula, via stunning macular expansion far beyond the tropes that corrode inside the spell praised by critics as possessing the energy that exists within the heights of accessible genius. The latter, nothing other than wizened turpitude, nothing other than wizened anti-clerical advance.

Imagination provides me the scope to aurally investigate a Wolfli-Darger orchestral merger with the former singing on a quantum paper trumpet, and the latter roaming vapourous chords on a chordless Gurdjieffian piano, the sound, spiraling up aural tides of vapour where they collaborate with remnants of Webern and Skalkottas as the latter continue to compose. This being aural nutation other than conventional neurological limit ceasing to spiral into posthumous circulation. It is this posthumous circulation that we instantly understand to be poised reflections of Chicago and Bern, understood as forms that trigger a realm of open kindling, a nervous wattage, a nervous alchemical wattage if you will, having nothing in common with scholarly stricture. In this context the sequential mind can do nothing other than self-service itself according to the dictates of extinction in order to make itself known via anti-habitation, via astral ducts, via enigmatic obscuration, that rational instigation can never secure.

Issue 14