Monday, December 26, 2011

A Selection of Dorset Landscapes

In the land of ‘this’ – you are ‘that’. In the land of ‘that’ – you are ‘this’. But in the ‘land of this and that’,
I would seem to have mislaid your telephone number. How sad – I could very easily have telephoned you;
Could easily have given you a ring; could maybe, have given you at least two rings – lovely golden rings:
Intricate, delicately ribbed golden bands, sure to become more glamorous, alluring, and beautiful with age.
And you - you could have given me a fine gentleman’s watch, keeping time so accurately that the second hand
Would precisely corroborate beeps counting seconds to Radio 3 Nine o’clock news, we could have celebrated
With rich cake ornamented in green and red icing; driven hire-cars to West Wales; lit fires in luscious fields;
Made tea and toast in moist meadows; run out of fuel for northern lights; high-tailed out of Llanrhydian
Showered night with luminous laughter as ghosts of inbred psychopaths brandished pitchforks at shadows.

I could have given voice with the Dakinis: “I only gave you my money, I couldn’t give you any funny paper.”
I would have like to have given you: pertinent administrative embrace; a plethora of silk Parisian panties
Laced with fringe benefits – seamed with inflation linked index romantic novel mortgage repayment scheme,
Rapturous arrangement covering standing orders and other financial exigencies - but, just between you and me,
Time, doesn’t actually exist. The scientists—it would seem—have been keeping quiet about it in order that:
Financial security still seems possible and Department of Stealth and Total Obscurity does not seem suspect;
Broad cross-section citizens do not become nervous. Garrulous gift shop of coy sentiment remains open;
Mid-life hot-line mail-order catalogue glows in the dark, and offers plausible alternatives to palpable coefficients;
People don clean underwear to go to hospital; and, policemen’s heads do not become pointed like their helmets.

The world needs to be sure that: mainstream professionals can remain moderately confident about their plans;
Neurosurgeons do not get their wires crossed; Marilyn Monroe remains topic of specious spectator speculation;
Romantic pain can be economically recycled; vertigo cannot be accidentally construed as field of possibility;
Vanishing-point does not come any closer; viragos on Venus take the right vector for planetary verisimilitude;
God remains a virtual vegetarian; Jesus continues to clean his nails; and Buddha is not caught in a strip-joint;
Clear statements can made about reality and its inhabitants; those in authority have properly functioning toilets;
Media-morphs continue to articulate in recalcitrant reticulated retrospect; Ta’i-chi trousers do not shrink to fit;
Seekers still find answers in Alice Bailey; Blavatsky Astral-plane ‘Tibetan guides’ continue to teach Theosophy;
Play of Dharmakaya seems like duality in order that: ‘Safe Way’ does not become ‘ever-so-slightly-risky-way’.

Try this for size: memory is merely mislaid future. Future is merely careless concoction of unfinished plans.
Forgetfulness is merely scatological guidebook to covertly re-negotiated complicity – and as for the present:
That might well be found in missing persons file, but Chögyam could very easily be encouraged to say:
“Present is: mellow yellow Dorset evening – Lunch-time ‘City Lights’ San Francisco; 1:00 a.m. - Tso Pema.”
Splendid coolness, frank morning rain - green residue iron oxide hills. Fresh perfect lack of June sunshine.
Glistening wet oaks, beech trees, and sycamores make up for rapidly fading ostrich plume and feather boa
Which might very easily singe your ears under open sun-roof – to the tune of with majestic humming engine.
Misted Dorset hills—nestling under rolling acres of retiring sky—convocation of opaque jade wood-lice,
Sheep-shaped beings nibble grass and cascade of bird-shit marbles bonnet of Chögyam’s Vauxhall Cavalier.

Pavarotti sings the only notes in existence - and it is possible that nothing is happening anywhere - but,
Everything is somehow sequentially twitching – as if—as if—as if, it were almost about to make sense.
One could easily smile widely on witnessing such conspicuously contrary elegance - such prim flamboyance
On the part of phenomena: everything—quite effortlessly—makes simultaneous sense and nonsense - and
There is no one to see it happen—just Jehovah’s Witnesses, in grey anoraks; who do not noticing anything.
So, it’s all right then? Everything can just remain where it is? No absolute need for severe cerebral contusion?
No need to take out a second mortgage in order to pay for the extensive repairs and underpinning of reality?
Chögyam isn’t entirely sure it’s wise, to put money into property at this present time – the market is unstable,
And there are always things needing attention. Things need pointing and re-grouting. Things need insulation.

Reality—posing as dualistic realty—tends to have suspect roof and wiring, suspect drainage and damp course.
But, driving Dorset lanes with gusting winds and Nessun Dorma is unquestionably and quietly unfathomable.
In the Land of overdraft facilities, you are Maria Callas. In the Land of filing systems you could be Tséringma;
In the Land of University lectures on ‘interpersonal behaviour’, you are Vajra Yogini; if you only knew it –
In the Land of possible and impossible you are so plausibly and implausible – it’s hard to say what you are.
But in the Land of ‘yes’ and ‘no’, I can remember listening to you play piano under a copious castor oil tree,
In ‘Glory Days’ yellow study with matching ceiling and skirting. Telephone stand and stripped floor boards,
Sumptuous with serial coats of yacht varnish betray echoes of fanciful architectural plans and painted tiles
Which resonate with corpulent corpuscles, redolent of luscious lachrymose luxury at no one immediate expense.

Family difficulties—however—look to see: melanistic peacock oyster emporiata and adjacent cornucopia.
Magnificent walrus ivory still possessed by walrus; television repairs, Humberside fish trade, Sargasso Sea,
Marks and Spencer trousers; assertive underwear at argumentative dinner parties in industrial wastelands,
Crab specialities – pinched in perspective with clams and dreams (can you really sing the Blues?) and so on.
Chögyam is continually surprised by: otter, remaining otter – or by seagull, continuing in flight as seagull;
Hare, listening for predators – or whale surfacing as whale, when whale might easily surface as herring -
Herring with hearing aid well may surface as photograph album with black pages and copious white writing:
Owl with fixed grin; marshmallow with impeccable business suit, signing cheques to applause without pause;
Fire-flies in the wallet of spiritual experiences; and, large ladies in lascivious lemon latex ‘doing’ Callanetics.

But no - Buddhist Centre literature is devoid of wholesome buttock delectation or buxom hors d’oeuvre;
Highway 61 impermanence billboard is possibly just a road sign at every junction between here and there.
Chögyam says: “Make it Simple.” Chögyam says: “Go for the throat.” Chögyam says: “Let the blood gush!”
Chögyam says: “Apply a tourniquet.” Chögyam says: “Roast me a stuffed marrow one Summer evening.”
Chögyam says: “Drink until your hangover leaves of its own accord - in order to seek psychotherapy.”
Chögyam says: “Don’t cry, it’ll be all right.” Chögyam say: “Go ahead—cry—it’ll be goddamn terrible.”
Chögyam says: “Whether you cry of don’t cry - it’ll be a gyroscopic series of superlatives and laxatives.
Chögyam says: “It will be worth crying about—so, please don’t cry—or if you do cry - cry for everyone.”
Cry for: maniacal matriarchal messiah; maternal Mephistopheles, and amateur radio dominator disaster.

Cry for: rubber-band prune pudding; fox cubs crushed on the road Between Hartgrove and Shaftesbury;
Costly credentials; exceptionally bad timing; glorious sentimentality; promiscuous time slipping sideways;
Retirement villa somewhere in France; elderly ginger tom cat; Zio Pin kitchen arch; underestimated responses;
Dangerous coastal path advice; fairground terror rides; X-ray lung shadow; penumbra of premature death;
Ambiguous ambivalence in Festinger’s Cognitive Dissonance Theory amphitheatre of appropriated emotions;
Contiguous counties to London and their cornucopia of traffic islands; Albigensianism with lambasted alabaster;
Long playing records on distended wooden racks that serve no purpose – but will do for the time being;
Cosseted corsets and audaciously underwired brassieres buttressed with polemics and infatuated filanderings
Morgan’s Pomade and truculent succulence superimposed on systematic surfeit of suffering - cry for everyone.”

But then again—it’s good to see trees—green Chartreuse gliding into itself and rows of bubbles rracing curve
Of champagne glass in perfect participation expectation scenario. Charming young leaves; succulent grass;
Vitality of stinging nettles; Hovis Hill New World sympathy; Kestrels hanging on palpable shock up-draughts;
Sudden flamenco heel showers; timid rabbits that might so easily un-rabbit, becoming empty shape of rabbit
Full of delicious thistles. Yes my dear - it is all there to see. Jump at the chance! Sit in the London Planetarium!
Search for Reso-stoma octopus on beaches of West Wales! Grab your titanium trophy typewriter and run!
Sell everything that doesn’t fit into an overnight bag! Rip off your high polish office clothes this very instant!
Divest yourself of selectively self-scandalised secretarial make-up! Jump free of paper clips into brilliant morning!
Joy knows no bounds. Sing until the icicles chime in the merry willows, and newts smile round eyed in the night.

29th of June 1990

1 comment:

About Doc Togden (Ngakpa Chögyam)

As the caption on the author-designed cover of Doc Togden's (Ngakpa Chögyam) upcoming collection of poetry ravings of a mild mannered maniac reads:

Tantra is Art - and a tantrika explores the sense-fields through the Arts. This work paints with the cadences of language - because the poet is both a painter and musician. He marvels at existence whilst lampooning the prevalent sociopathy of spirituality. As semantic Jazz - linguistic density jives with space, taking readers into realms where linear logic is only one possible vector amongst many. Comedy and tragedy dance, provoking a cascade of surreal impressions that change with each reading. Rock & Roll lyrics sung by dakinis erupt in counterpoint to the paradoxical hymns of a 'vicar or vajrayana' - a trans-Atlantic Englishman who raves, tongue-in-cheek, on the nature of reality. This is the first volume to be published in the contemporary genre of 'Critical Mass Poetics' as defined by the author and his students.

On the phenomenon of having two names, he writes:

"I appeared on FaceBook as Doc Togden because I wanted a fresh start in terms of the Arts. I have often found a dual prejudice to exist. If one presents as a musician / artist one is not taken seriously by Buddhists. If one presents as a Buddhist one is not taken seriously by musicians / artists. This is obviously a generalisation – and as such, probably meaningless for anyone apart from myself. It is true however, that Captain Beefheart had to give up his Rock musician persona to be taken seriously as a painter. A few Tibetan Lamas—such a Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche—have managed to evade the censorious radar of common opinion – but the same largesse of view would not seem available to the inconsequential eccentric yogi and yogini. Doc Togden is as much my name as Ngakpa Chögyam because the name on my passport—and other legal documents—is Dr Chögyam Togden. The Tibetan designation ‘ngakpa’ is hard to pronounce for most people and so, as I have a doctorate in Vajrayana Psychology I use that in everyday association outside my rôle as Lama. The title doctor releases me from having to designate myself by gender and appeals to my sense of humour vis-à-vis my fondness for Doc Holliday and a variety of musicians who have ‘Doc’ as their first name. I have five FaceBook friends called Doc and they are all musicians.

The time has now arrived to merge Doc Togden and Ngakpa Chögyam – and to allow them to be as they have always been. Hopefully those who may have looked askance at either will feel reconciled to the fact that they can talk with me as an artist and Buddhist teacher without feeling wary on the one hand or fearful of potential religious polemic on the other. I have no desire to convert anyone to Buddhism – but I do have a desire to offer aspects of Buddhism to the world of Art and Art to those who practise Buddhism. I believe there to be a common language – an essential language that speaks of the timeless efflorescence of the elements. The Arts arise from vision—from the empty space of primal creativity—and that space is the space everyone can access. Buddhists say that everyone is essentially a Buddha. I take from that that everyone is essentially an Artist. Now . . . did Ngakpa Chögyam say that, or did Doc Togden say that? Who ever said it, he’d also like to say that there is essentially no difference."

On Facebook, Doc Togden (Ngakpa Chögyam) describes himself as a "Teacher / Artist: painter; poet; author; life-style choreographer, and musician (vocalist, harp, rhythm bass, and 12 string / resophonic guitars)."

In reference to the roles of "Teacher" and "life-style choreographer", the informed reader will notice the uncanny resemblance of Doc Togden (Ngakpa Chögyam) to Ngak'chang Rinpoche, whom together with Khandro Déchen are the lineage holders of the Aro gTér. The Aro gTér is a stream of Vajrayana Buddhism in which ordination is congruous with romance, marriage, and family life that focuses on the teaching and practice of the Inner Tantras from the point of view of Dzogchen, an essential non-dual teaching.

As a writer, Doc Togden's (Ngakpa Chögyam) most recent books include an odd boy and wisdom eccentrics.