Conversation about Coleridge

31 October 2012

So you know how I reminded you of how
I’d said Coleridge invented the word
subconscious, and then I said but I don’t think
I can have been right? Well, while you all
went on to the pub to talk like Coleridge
into the night about Aeolian harps or meme theory
or Bronies or whatever arcane topic
played itself out over your intellectual strings,
I entered the labyrinth of my H-drive files
and located there notes on the unconscious
according to which Leibnitz and Wolff
in the seventeenth century already
used the word; in the eighteenth, Rousseau
was experiencing with passionate intensity
what Leibnitz and Wolff recognised in theory;
and oh, by the nineteenth, the sturm und drang,
the amnesiac dreams, the vertiginous descents,
the wilful belosing of regular sense …
I wouldn’t read any further if I were you.
Turn back to your drinks till I am through
this dark and haunted section of my notes,
this inner chamber, this extra quarter inch
of largeness on the inside where no
string sounds …
Finished? Hungover? Not quite sure
how you got to where you’re at? We’re
on the same page, then, and right
at the end of my notes is what I must have
remembered when I reminded you of how
Coleridge invented the word subconscious
which he didn’t: the word was …
psychosomatic!
And now I’d like the word
psychosomatic to take us in a loop
back to the start of the poem to give it
the shape of Coleridge’s conversation poems
but instead, the word seems to have
caused some sort of a block, and
what is that knocking sound I think I hear?

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