As/Is







12.15.2014


The Posit Trilogy: Dracula on Literature


The Posit Trilogy, which begins with Posit and was completed in 2013 (revised in '17), has its own unique identity as (like Equations) a possible dialectic in poetry/literature. I am looking into the way that Deposit and Re-Posit complete the Trilogy, and attempting to discern whether or not the dialectical form of discourse (thesis/antithesis/synthesis) is properly fulfilled. The Posit Trilogy, in its fanciful sense of characterization and levels of imagination, reads to me like a more advanced, subtler version of Opera Bufa. For instance, the absurdist chiasmus between Saint Augustine and Dracula as propelling the Trilogy forward; and that the manner in which Dracula, who is allowed air-time in precisely two persona poems which end (respectively) Deposit and Re-Posit, girds himself around with rhetorical heft against both Augustine, purity, and confession, and then the purity and potential transparency of major high art consonant literature, demonstrates that The Posit Trilogy is playing games both with pop culture, with poetry-as-theater and texts as staged, with intellectual seriousness being balanced with playful vistas opening, and with a deconstructive interrogation of literary seriousness itself, on guard against overrating texts and textuality:

You can’t tell me
you don’t feed on
the mysterious disappearance

of the need to do this—
that raw life & blood
would suffice to

satisfy, & gird you
against the grinding
towards sphere-music

you fancy you make.
I’ve lived a thousand
years among human

souls, all in need of
blood, little else, and
words are no blood

at all— what suffices
for such as you is
(as you say) a

simulacrum of blood,
with limited flow-
potential, & as such

I counsel you (if
you ask) to feed on
something more wholesome-

don’t scoff— wholesome
is not relative
for the human species,

& your words are dirt,
feeding no one directly,
& those who feed are

suspect, chilled by
exposure to terminal
frosts, unable to bite

what might suffice in the end

We may or may not choose to take Dracula’s critique seriously; The Posit Trilogy in steeped in investigations of subjectivity, and Dracula’s “I,” his sense of himself, is manifestly abased. There is also the sense that the ironies of us, a human audience, reckoning a vampire who hopes to convince us of the obsolescence of textuality, are potent ones: Dracula can stand in, however whimsical he seems, for mechanistic, brutish, repetitive, materialistic society, as a kind of door slamming shut, warning us not to take the textual action here too seriously, that menacing forces hover behind even what texts are germane to us. That, ultimately, Dracula (and those masses he is a synecdoche for) is an “anti-I,” and thus the greatest threat to the poetic “I” when properly employed, is another subtext beneath the whimsy. Equations goes out of its way to make its essential dialectic explicit, which bodes well for its surface-level popularity; The Posit Trilogy is more shadowy. When Dracula wins, in a context like this, it may be a sign of the times.