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Dreaming in the Face of Disaster

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A world of disaster… this is all that capital offers, all that it has ever really offered, but now it can’t even hide this behind the apparent abundance of goods. The world falls apart as it becomes one huge poisonous supermarket. Desperation abounds in its many guises. The loss of values, of principles, a desperation that is willing to take any action, and so mostly acts in ways that reinforce the current order of things. The apocalyptic visions of collapse, the dreams of the hopeless, replace revolutionary desire. If joy can’t ever be ours, if wonder and the festival of revolt are beyond our reach, at least we can imagine the collapse of our misery, the fall of the horror, even if it must take us down with it (all but the elect few who will somehow survive in its poisonous ruins). So the “dream” of some is nothing more than the belief that this sad, impoverished vision is the only possibility, because the other possibilities that they imagine, variations on the continuation of the present desolate survival, seem so much worse.

But isn’t the worst aspect of our current desolation precisely the impoverishment of imagination, the death of every utopian dream that is not a program, a scheme, i.e., a conception of how to continue the present existence? Certainly, at this point, our hatred of the present reality requires the strength of dreams, of desire, of the utopian journey that is the opposite of every utopian program, of the utopian experiment that rejects all schemes. Capital can only provide the final answer, the final solution. But final solutions only bring death. Life is continual questioning, experimentation, exploration. So as everything closes down around us, we cannot follow suit, letting our dreams drown in the misery of realism, pragmatism and utility. Now, more than ever, we need to grasp all the marvelous force of impossible dreams expressed in the fiercest of insurgent principles, in the refusal of compromise, with the fullness of our passion and our reason. Not out of a desire for purity (which is always an illusion), but from the realization that dreams of freedom can only be realized in freedom, that dreams of a life lived fully as our own can only be realized by living our struggle here and now as our own without any willing compromise with the institutions of domination. Disaster surrounds us, but our lives must not be defined by it. In its midst we must continue to dream and to grasp our dreams, transforming them into our reasons for revolt.


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It is clear that we are living in a world moving further and further into horror and misery. Sometimes in the name of great ideals, more often nowadays quite blatantly in the name of naked power, the rulers of this world pursue policies that homogenize and impoverish existence, spreading disaster everywhere. But this is not really so new. Didn’t Columbus begin to spread this process (already well under way in Europe) when he brought a religion that gloried in death and an economy with an insatiable appetite, eating everything in its path to produce shit, to a world already thriving with human life, as well as that of plants and animals unknown in Europe? Thus, a process euphemistically called colonialism, more accurately described as genocide, began to spread throughout the world, slaughtering and enslaving people everywhere, kidnapping black Africans to enslave them in the Americas, all after having dispossessed the peasants of Europe, forcing them into destitution and survival by any means necessary. This process of dispossession has advanced to the point that now our language diminishes and it often seems that even our thoughts are not our own.

The masters of this world tell us that we cannot go back. And they are right as far as they go. We cannot go back. The world has changed too much and we have changed too much. But though we can’t go back, this does not mean we must go forward. If the path we are on can only lead to a drab and lifeless horror and if the passage back is blocked, then we must go elsewhere, the elsewhere of the unknown that is insurrection, the utopian dream. If Columbus helped to forge a path that meant misery for nearly all of humanity, then we must diverge absolutely from all known paths, to enter into the marvelous of wild, uncharted desires.


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I am in love with a dream, and the moisture between my thighs is utopia.” So spoke the dark eyes of a woman whose beauty was a mist that drew me into its marvelous obscurity. Her earlobes sang of insurrections exploding through her nipples caressed by silken fingers and the wings of butterflies.

The poetry of true utopia rests within the heart of desire. It is at war with the schemes that would define every moment of life. The bureaucrat’s vision of paradise where everything is perfect and nothing is human, where love is forgotten and dreams are ignored, this is the enemy of poetry.


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Where are the fiery-eyed utopians, those whose passions have no patience, those whose hearts burn so hot that their eyes flash flames of madness, the madness of utopia and love that has not divorced itself from lust? It has been far too long since I danced naked on a wild, barren hilltop that rises from a singing forest with other wild dreamers, leaping to kiss the moon.

Here is the difference between utopias: Those of dreams glimmer in the moments that spark revolt, that move us toward insurrection. Those of schemes are never seen in the present except in the form of holocausts and genocides, the holy wars of true believers, because schemes must rid themselves of the unpredictable. Dreams, on the contrary, depend on the unpredictable, thus on the passion of love, the erotic spark of lust. It is not by chance that revolt is a lover seen backwards through a cup of (mushroom?) tea.


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Dark shining eyes

like an octopus dreaming

caress the cavity of my mind,

plunging into caverns

where the flowers of desire

glow in iridescent midnight blue

like the thorax of a tree frog

whose marvelous tongue

engorges the flattening flies of

the midnight sun.

Once again the dances find

a universe within the spreading thorax

of a hummingbird

who sings of dreams

that scamper past the limited

utopias of those who accept

the measurement of rulers.

I have clothed myself

in vaginal splendor

in those times when insurrection

spread its aphrodisiac face

across the horizon

and the wombats found their pleasure

in a cup of minstrel wine

left by the eyeless girl

whose lovely dreams went far

beyond the world of drawers.

For hours we danced within

midnight flowers licking the petals

of our skin which was the paper

of a manifesto of lust

that spread its seed throughout

the continent of daydreams

and found the land of silver-backed

gorillas laughing at the amber fluid

of a lovely dreamer of symptomatic beams,

and the days flourished through the vibrancy

of beer and love.

One day we would find our dream

and it would not be an Eden

but a voyage to unknown places.


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It is a delightful paradox that utopian dreamers are so often accused by utopian schemers of only being negative – always criticizing but never making positive proposals. Such accusations have been flung at anarchists, surrealists, libertarian communists and so many others. Yet when these vibrant dreamers choose to become schemers, their schemes always seem to fall short of the critique offered by their dreams. This is no accident. When one rejects all hierarchy, all domination, all representation, then one cannot present a completed vision of the world that one desires. Rather it would be a world that transform in every moment with the desires, needs and aspirations of those who live in this world freely interacting coming together in love or common interest, separating when conflict of desires moves them in different directions. It would be no paradise, but a constant, adventurous journey without end full of loves and hatreds, joys and sorrows, real conflicts as well as joyful intercourse of all sorts. And those who strive to impose their schemes of a perfect world, a paradise, who strive to force this journey to a predetermined end, are as much my enemies as the current institutions of domination that impose so many barriers to this journey. So, indeed, like all utopian dreamers, I am a great negator – I seek to destroy every barrier to the marvelous journey of a free existence.

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