Monday, March 26, 2012

Interview with CA Conrad (at The Academy of American Poets)

Somatic is derived from the Greek, and it's our flesh. It's also the body's cavity, the place where our organs rest, live, and work. The organs where EVERYTHING we eat, drink, and breathe EVERY DAY gets processed, built into the cells of the body, or of course discarded. THE MOLECULES! THE MOLECULES! I like to take the traditional definition of Somatic further because I believe VERY STRONGLY that every memory we have is cellular. The latest research on the human brain locates the actual, physical life of memory. Memory is a THING. It's in the brain, and it's alive, as alive as a toe or lip. We also know from centuries of pressure-point manipulation, acupuncture, and massage that muscles and other human tissue hold memories. Our bodies actually remember. They remember trauma, love, joy. Memory is everything, for without it we couldn't be having this conversation. Living in the present, as my Buddhist friends keep urging, is futile. It's a search that needs the memory of language, the memory of conduct, love, fear; it's a search, which relies, as any search would rely, on memory, and all memory is past unless you are psychic and see the future, but that's just another kind of memory. I have nothing against Buddhism by the way, in fact I have more affection for Buddhism than any other structured religion. My religion is Poetry, not a religion of kindness and love but one of absolute permission. If poetry doesn't strip me naked in front of me enemies then nothing will.

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