Ah! j’en ai trop pris: – Mais, cher Satan, je vous en conjure, une prunelle moins irritee! et en attendant les quelques petites Iachetes en retard, vous qui aimez dans 1’ecrivain 1’absence des facultes descriptives on instructives, je vous detache ces quelques hideux feuillets de mon carnet de damne.
– Arthur Rimbaud. A Season in Hell
The real struggle is with the duende…. To help us seek the duende there is neither map nor discipline. All one knows is that it burns the blood like powdered glass, that it exhausts, that it rejects all the sweet geometry one has learned, that it breaks with all styles….These dark sounds are the mystery, the roots thrusting into the fertile loam known to all of us, ignored by all of us, but from which we get what is real in art. . . .”
– Frederico Garcia Lorca
Steven Craig Hickman, poet and writer of weird tales and horror, speculator of our strange days, exploring the labyrinths within which we all live and have our being seeking answers to the darkest impulses which move humanity. Growing up in Northern Louisiana and West Texas as a child I moved between differing worlds and social climates which have affected my life into adulthood. Having immersed myself in the cultures of German, French, Spanish and Anglo-Saxon that commingled in my family along with certain of the native Indian populations – myself having married a woman of the Ogallala Lakota tribes I became enamored of history and the ancient ways of both my ancestors of these various worlds and cultures spread across time and memory. I feel a deep closeness to both wilderness and the native peoples of the earth, not only of the Americas but of all indigenous lands of the world. They are our lifeline and songlines to the a past that is slowly being lost in this vast encrustation of artificial modernity that has for two-hundred years assumed wrongly that it could surpass the living heritage of our planetary cultures. The amnesia of our species in regard to its own past is worse than the terror of political and social consequence. If we lose our memory we lose our humanity. Period.
Worked as a Master Sous-Chef for years in Denver, Colorado with Pierre Wolfe at the Quorum till my lovely wife died of cancer at too young of an age. Tired of having worked 60 hour weeks for so long, and having missed out on so much time with her I decided to re-invent myself during the early 90’s as the beginnings of the Internet geared itself up. Being an auto-didact at heart I taught myself software engineering from the ground up. Worked with various start-up’s and Tech giants like Rational Software, Nokia Mobile Phones, Sterling Software, and others till I branched off and became an Independent Contractor traveling across the U.S.A. and overseas on various assignments till I finally retired in 2012.
I take an interest in all things: travel, write, love, and most of all ponder the mysteries of existence. I believe we are at a distinct boundary zone in our existence on earth, a time wherein our oceanic world traveling amid the voids of being is undergoing a transition both terrible and wondrous, and we have a responsibility to ourselves and to those non-human others we share this planet with to begin collaborating both locally and globally in the creation of a sustainable existence worth living. Ecologically, politically, socially, and economically we must work together in devising alternative visions and forms of governance and livingness, forms of egalitarian and democratic and communitarian societies; for both human and non-human alike.
Darkness and its relation as matter-energy, as process and mattering, as explored within the sciences and arts is central to my vision: physics, astronomy, ecology, mysticism, speculative realism, psychoanalysis and literature, and politics. As a conceptual framework, noir materialism engages with mattering at the thresholds of its extinction and enfoldment beyond the topographies of a ‘base or libidinal materialism’, and at the very edges of forms of thought wherein objects, things, and spaces of reason on which it depends exert their independence.
Georges Bataille’s ‘libidinal or base materialism’, shape an aspect of my own noirish and fantastic realism: thematically ‘psychoanalytic’, methodologically “genealogical, diagnostic, and enthusiastic for the accentuation of intensity that will carry it through insurrection into anegoic delirium. Stylistically it is aggressive, only a little sub hyperbolic, and—above all—massively irresponsible…” (TA: 14). A voyager in dissolution, a decadent hyperpilot of a psychedelic finitude, a scientist of strange days he tells us that no “one could ever ‘be’ a libidinal materialist. This is a ‘doctrine’ that can only be suffered as an abomination, a jangling of the nerves, a combustion of articulate reason, and a nauseating rage of thought. It is a hyperlepsy of the central nervous-system, ruining the body’s adaptive regimes, and consuming its reserves in rhythmic convulsions that are not only futile, but devastating” (TA: 14).
Yet, within the interstices of my vision lie those old time materialists and new alike: Lucretius, Spinoza, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Freud, Lacan, Bataille, Cioran, Foucault, Deleuze & Guattari and Nick Land; as well as those others that have marked certain passages in the being and events of our age: Heidegger, Whitehead, Analytical and Continental thought and praxis, and those who escape under a dark blood moon to ride the black daemon of the duende inhabit the interstices of my vision: poets and authors of the mad and rabid nihilistic tracts, communist and socialist, anarchist and social libertarians, and fringe thinkers with that spark which lights the fire of mind. Within this blog will be an acknowledgement of a revolutionary materialism that seeks the emancipatory vision of human and non-human alike through poetry and essay.
Also I must admit a fondness for that quirky poetry criticism of Harold Bloom, even if I disagree with him at times on his strange adherence to certain political and social ideas with which he is little capable of registering much less sounding an opinion on. But his mythology of the ephebe, of influence, of a sort of secular gnosis that ties us to an alien aspect of our own being that is confronted with a certain impossible possible at the heart of existence intrigues me. This is why such poets as Rimbaud and others who have pushed the limits of the mind to its end points hold me; as in Hart Crane whose magnificent hyperbolic poems still mesmerize me, but to which I myself do not aspire in the form of transcendence that he hoped to attain. Instead I want to remain here with our darkness, with the modes of our darker gnosis, with the kingdoms of strangeness around us that we continually obfuscate and deny. At the heart of reality is a core darkness as well as light, a light that is itself almost to horrible to bare. We have yet to understand or even enter into this darker lair of timespace where the realms of darkmatter and darkspace inhabit the non-material planes beyond the matter we know of as the Universe. Scientists only surmise it from models and mathematics that describes what our instruments cannot. But this means we are still a very open universe that has many problems and issues, and an uncharted mapping of being that has of yet not even entered the poetry of our age. We need new mythologies, scientific ones that will assume new forms and poetic statements to attune us toward such futurities as are coming our way.
Like that old nihilist of desire, Emile Cioran: “The approach of disgust, of that sensation which physiologically separates us from the world, shows how destructible is the solidity of our instincts or the consistency of our attachments. In health, our flesh echoes the universal pulsation and our blood reproduces its cadence; in disgust, which lies in potential hell in order to suddenly seize upon us afterwards, we are isolated in the whole as a monster imagined by some tetratology of solitude”. Out of this disgust the renegade philosopher must “invent another genre of solitude, expatriate himself in the void, and pursue – by one exile after another – the stages of uprootedness”. Homeless and solitary, set adrift within the incommensurable incongruities of these unreal political dystopian worlds that dominate our current global civilization the new philosopher moves toward a post-humanism without regret: “The human adventure will certainly come to an end… we need only look at man in the face to detach ourselves from him… Thousands of years of sufferings, which would have softened the hearts of stones, merely petrified this steely mayfly, monstrous example of evanescence and hardening, driven by one insipid madness, a will to exist…”
“Metaphysical revelations begin only when one’s superficial equilibrium starts to totter…”
– E.M. Cioran
“…the consolation of horror in art is that it actually intensifies our panic, loudens it on the sounding-board of our horror-hollowed hearts, turns terror up full blast, all the while reaching for that perfect and deafening amplitude at which we may dance to the bizarre music of our own misery.”
– Thomas Ligotti
“When early youth had passed, he left
His cold fireside and alienated home
To seek strange truths in undiscovered lands.”
– Alastor, Percy Bysshe Shelley
Hegel once told us that the “aim of knowledge is to divest the objective world of its strangeness and to make us more at home in it.” But what if the opposite were true that the real aim of knowledge is to invest the objective world with abject strangeness and to alter our mode within it as pure homelessness?
Homeless voids roam the empty abyss of this universe licking up light from the swirls of galactic clusters surging round the infinite drift of dust and stars; black holes like the gods of some delusionary dream shuffle among the broken quasars seeking out the dark filaments of superfluous suns, each cannibalizing the light of a thousand civilizations on the edge of cosmic nothingness.
We all live like haunted specters on a dead planet full of bones and ashes, each wandering in the erotic tribulation of a nervous thought that can never find its way back home; guided by the Lamentation of a melancholic despair we drift lethargically toward the interminable finitude that is. Renouncing all hope of ever regaining that frozen paradise of fire and ice from which we fell into this funerial world we wander among its dark chemistry seeking out a Vulcan science to explain the hidden order of its black life and the broken symmetry of its amor fati. Exiled from our true home we wander forever between desolate voids like misguided children haunting a deranged landscape of jungle and mountain and snowbound chaos: seeking in each other’s gaze the nacreous light of that original corruption which first gave us this blasted world; and, like fallen angels who have lost their wings, we have fallen into each other’s dream hoping to awaken that darkening spark that once lit the cosmic firestorm of all being.