Monday, August 15, 2016


Narcissus, Carravaggio, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome


There is an art to following
a poetic experience. Consider
Carravaggio’s pool.

If you dream,
dream such an encounter
nine shades deep; what

saturates the air
of a waterless syllable
watery in nonbeing

slumbering where a roof leaks in;
a tapper, M___ in living darkness
pools darkness shading each drop

inward with watery syllables. M___
seems ghostly but she’s not. As
medium she inspires the first word.

The first word, the medial word
not only inspires kings and poets
before you, it inspires a god to make

love with M___  from the other
side. And now, from that side
where there is no other side

and, if
you are

some waterless syllable
dream-gathers the muse
a dream dreams in you

nine shades deep. M___
where the roof leaks
watery in nonbeing

inwardly dreams
thing-less things
alive with being―

B(e) comes being―
out of it (e)M-Bodied (experienced)
the dream, always speechless

doesn’t say squat; it
shows you something
you wouldn’t otherwise see (or know.)

Mnemosyne’s watery atlas of images 
(in likeness) initiates you into a
metaphysics of pure presence

Yet, of the tapping toneless tone
neither first nor lasting echo, being
of image talking with image

the medium
is the message.     

©2016 Mneme's Pool (What Carravaggio’s Narccissus Encounters)
stephanie pope


1. “The medium is the message”, Marshall McLuhan’s line, reminds me that the form of the medium embeds itself in the message. This creates a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. Not only does content influence reality, the characteristics of the medium do. McLuhan says the content of the medium is another medium. The contents of our psyches express another medium, a spiritual one— the one in which I can’t even say “ours”.

2. Abraham Maslow in working out his psychology of being, (TPB) thinks very few people developed themselves spiritually. He also plays with the image soul of this language, medium/message: mess age/massage/mass age

3. He refers to our spiritual need as self-actualization as did Jung but perhaps one can reimagine the contents of spirituality (archetypal images) actually as a present absence, a specific lack or lag in spiritual development across the human species itself.

4. M____ the medium for spiritual self-actualization didn’t start out that way but developed as the poem developed over time.  M___ began as a mytheme, that story about a longing in the soul for the impossible return from that side where there is no other side, long absent and beloved.