Friday, October 2, 2009

Jeff Harrison | Two Tales

Jeff Harrison
Two Tales

The Melting of Salts, or, A Defence of Poetry

A substance that passes through the fire (that is to say, the line) becomes metaphorical. As most of the Sulphur turns metaphorical, the incombustible Mercury remains (often still garmented with combustible Sulphur) as a liquid Salt or a celestial Salt, or both. The Salt in the ashes is its fixed counterpart. It may be inferred from an entire reading of Percy Bysshe Shelley's A Defence of Poetry that what is commonly referred to as "Spirit of Philosophical Wine"(the delineable metaphor), and also as the "Secret Fire" (the readable metaphor), and also still the "Alkahest" (the destructive, or the audible metaphor) will, by itself or containing the tinctures or Salts of various subjects, when burned, produce this type of volatile Mercurial Salt as an exalted fixed remainder. The volatile is for a health of an entire reading, the fixed is for transmutation of metals.

You, reader, can go about crying in your nakedness for the burning through the line, but the burning through the line is done after the vestal stage of an entire reading, which does not occur before the mortification of the atramentous stage, which is not enjoyed by jumping up and down. Beware the eating of the burning through the line, for where will its Sibylline clouds lead you? Only back to lead; beware, reader; you will poison yourself beyond repair.



The Low Rose

Repeated Cohobation of a distilled Spirit of any substance or salt upon its body meliorates its nature, for the purpose of extracting the verbal (its own, some would say) (see Paracelsus, Circulated Salt, "Archidoxis", tenth book). Sometimes this makes a fixed body volatile, and sometimes a volatile body fixed. This "Solve et Coagula" process is analogous to when the Huntress feigns English (She lacks, Herself, human complete with fate overcast).

Putrefaction of a substance separates its elements and reduces it to its initial matter which is a Water (see Edgar Poe's "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar"). The Vegetable and Animal require a moist putrefaction, but the Mineral can be putrefied the dry way by Nitre or the moist way with the fixed liquor of Nitre: the Huntress would sooner give repose to the beating of Her hounds' hearts than repose to a syllable distinguishing the Rose (this syllable in the same breath, at times, addressing Fright) (see William Collins, "Ode to Fear").

Incubation and Circulation of a composed substance burns as a low rose, allowing the male and female principles to operate on one another in the vessel until they hang together, inseparable, as a immobile hermaphrodite: thus hangs the Huntress, reader; She hangs Nervals all (resigned and versed. Unconquered! Why the low rose certain to be grasped by stray innocents?). This retains the features of a natural substance (courtly above despair its gaze, as though a lyre) by restriction of heat and transferral of features to it from other solvents: an appearance of what is dressed as the Rose, which has Palingenetic properties (ethereal form of the plant visible) (see Percy Shelley, "The Sensitive Plant").

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Copyright ©2009 by Jeff Harrison

Jeff Harrison has publications from Writers Forum, MAG Press, Persistencia Press, and Furniture Press. He has two e-books at xPress(ed), and one at Blazevox. His poetry has appeared in An Introduction to the Prose Poem (Firewheel Editions), The Hay(na)ku Anthology Vol. II, (Meritage Press), Sentence: a Journal of Prose Poetics, Xerography, Moria, NOON: journal of the short poem, Dusie, MiPOesias, and Jefelsewhere.

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