SMART!? Probably has something to do with my age and the way my cognitive craves have been nourished over the years. A few months ago, I left my old Samsung for a new Apple. Well, I “sung” better before and the Apple has taken a real bite out of me with all its Apps/Sites/Facebooking and a Siri ready to fulfill all my needs. Multitaskers Heaven with Fingertip Euphoria. ADDICTION!!! Well, not me. My brain-life may indeed be strange all on its own. But the phone was adding extra extras that seemed ( really ) to “influence” my routines causing lack of sleep and mental weavings in my normal functionality. So I’ve decided to use it “mostly” as a phone and a camera. All else I take back to my computer writing, emails, and reading habits of books and printed things. Well, as best as possible. Alas, techs are unavoidable….but need to be managed. — As this was “smarting,” I came across the following quote from Shakespeare (Othello, Act 3, Scene 3 ) in T. S. Eliot’s THE SACRED WOOD( Methuen & Co. Ltd. — 1920 to 1960):
Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrops of the world
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou owedst yesterday.
Well, the “gist” popped home. (No need to label all the “mandragoras” of today.) I was suddenly newly awake to sleep’s connection to the new “tastes & touches” in now’s digital-presentor-cafeteria of “techy-do.” My i-Sleep WAS sweeter before i-Phone. Alas, olding-age in new-age-demand is it’s own precursor-influence of how to perform anew (under the influence, as it were). Eliot augured Harold Bloom’s position that Shakespeare had no “precursor” of note — so he was not a subject in Bloom’s ANXIETY OF INFLUENCE, (ANXOINFU, as I amalgam it ) which was primarily concerned with a poetic consciousness working its way from past-poetries to its own ( “aboriginal”) primal-now-authenticity. ( I’ll not attempt to harmonize these two into my own theory of poetry in this brief comment: but heed implications.) At my time-juncture, I’m more engaged with interplays of “my own” precursor past– trying to blend with all today’s techy stimuli global & cosmic. So, my anxiety of influence is coming from both — my past and my present. I’ve found now’s “medicine” cocktails to disturb both sleep and awake patterns. So, I must manage the overcome of ANXOINFU by walking-live with my fully grown gait. (You won’t see me walking into traffic or a light pole from being transfixed to my smart phone.) There is another dimension of ANXOINFU that Bloom speaks of as follows: “For every poet begins (however ‘unconsciously’) by rebelling more strongly against the consciousness of death’s necessity than all other men and women do.”(P.10– Oxford University Press, 1973). Now, whether or not this is the case, the reality of death’s closeness to such as me is a “portenitor” (portend&preditor&vigor-actor) over all precursor- presentors of anxiety. Thus, I become more engaged putting my house in order than trying to smart-up with all the happenings out of other house-puttings..
In all, I believe in the old primal-aboriginality urge of the mysticisme et poesie. All of the multitasking and worlds of everything being held in one’s own hand can affect the working of one’s own hand and signature…and sweet sleep. That said, I conclude with Eliot’s comment (discussing Dante ) page 170: “The aim of the poet is to state a vision, and no vision of life can be complete which does not include the articulate formulation of life which human minds make.” So! This means, midst today’s mind-making, that one’s “i” must out-smart the smart phone—or lose the magic of one’s own signature vision. I felt the bite of the snappings and tongue waggles of Facebook, the relentless diarrhteics of celeb-trysts, and world catastrophes. My “management” must bear fruit. The whole Apple! Life’s ultimate ANXOINFU — precursor-presentor-portenitor — DEATH . . . will have to bite upon a self-polished apple. SWEET!!