I am awash

before my own eyes– 

turn the light


that I might


the world behind

the falling scenarios 

whose aereobatics

descend in swells 

of orientation dis-




from the solar


entire swatches of conscious life

propelled as misdirection. 

Another color

not even held away.

Another general biome

not even


Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 26.02.10



Once Was a Red Rose (Winter Solstice, 2009)

I see the Rose —

She is Rosa Mundi

She is dark — labially labyrinthine — she is red

Red as the petals of Hecate

How did she come to cultivate us?

Our star is her attar

Our blood is the dew on her thorns

Our fleeting desire, her immortality

Our momentary bodies, her bouquet
Mikhail Horowitz, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, 21.12.09

Orchids are from Elsewhere (050509)

I have seen these wheels in another time. Sour, sweet,


…the bitter wheel

Whirls both ways

And time

Is neither

One of them.

It ramrods orthogonal

From that center

Where the interchange of tinctures

Orders all vortices.

Death walks on apace. The death of one Will

Is the contract

of All.

The sky has divided from the earth.

The Gap between

Precedes the separation.

Tomorrow’s achievement

Sits on the Buddha’s nose.

The frogs are green.

Quiet secrets

Trigger The Queen’s

Derision, but the frogs don’t mind.


Luminous and vertical

Beyond the cut

Of the Rim.

Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 05.05.09

Amanita mordomdia [13.06.08]

Reina de la Noche [27 de mayo 2008] for Tara & Nathan

Nopal [05.03.08]

Orchids are from Elsewhere. This one is from Someplace Beautiful [04.04.08]

“And One More for the Road”

Cthulhu in R’lyeh! He wishes we were there, his million fingers quiver.

What a strange Epiphany for Twelfth Night Morning.

The snow is everywhere but on the roads. Meaning we can only go and

not stay. But everything means that, doesnt it.

Robert Kelly, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, 7 January 2008

Orchids are from Elsewhere – This is How They Get Here

Telarana turmolina tailandia, sp., desconocido [ 20:12:07]

Peyote (to the memory of Carlos Castaneda)

In 1973, Carlos Castaneda gave a talk at the California Institute of Art (CIA) in LA, and Clayton Eshelman was in attendance. After, Clayton started to ask a question that began, “There is a poet in Boston …” Before he could utter the first syllable of my name, Carlos raised his right arm, pointing the first finger towards the heavens, and loudly exclaimed:

“That Harvey Bialy is a creep!”

When Robert Kelly relayed this story to me, knowing I would be delighted, I remember saying: “Famous, at last!”

The reason for Clayton’s unasked question, as well as the most Estimado Senor Castaneda’s treasured utterance, is to be found here.

And with the hindsight of 34 years, the closing remarks in “his letter” make me now think he was upset that I (quite unintentionally) gave away his game.


Orchids are from Elsewhere (29.07.06)

Orchids are from Elsewhere 300706

An angel face above the gorgeous schema. With puffy cheeks as if she were one of the winds, (which Olson castigates Ferrini for thinking are ever only four-though they are in the Odyssey, certainly, in or out of the Wallet-but bubbly clouds and far from human eye dots, that are NOT dots but perforations, the device that punctured the which cannot be deduced from the shape thereof.

And membranous flakes and transpicuous intersecting…

Everything eludes me. For the last two days, it has seemed that thoughts from elsewhere (and not only orchids) were appearing on my scanners, exciting and requiring further meditation, far far into the ever-onward-quite exhausting. For instance, in the early centuries of Platonic thought a serious goad to speculation was the difficulty of deriving sensible things from pure Principles: Principles (Monad and Indefinite Dyad) generate numbers, numbers geometric figures, but how the deuce do you derive mud or jackals from triangles and icosohedra? A similar difficulty bodes, but with a different trajectory: what is to be derived from these extravagant colors? “Where” is the “there” that you can’t get to from so luxuriant a heredom?

Or the geometry of the little gadget that holds the aijna charka of a figure that is but weakly configured, though the gadget is strong as vajras. It sits on the forehead of a goofy little guy whose crisis has a shrug for an essence. The infant Hermes, certainly. But the diadem and its geometry are so wonderful they make my heart ache to think them.

In meditation, waiting is a bad idea, however. It is even worse than anticipation, because it seems cognizant of the undercoursing temporal energy and can do nothing with it. On the other hand, to act under these circumstances is but “to move an anxious hand.” So let us exit with two imprecations (which I worked out earlier today, before this orchid solicited my will to exaggeration:


Charles Stein
Barrytown, NY
31 July 2006

Orchids are from Elsewhere (18.08.06)

The Wings of the Dove Descending traditionally symbolize the Descent of
the Holy Spirit into Creation through the wafer of the Mass and more

Begin at the center of any instance of organic life, assuming a certain
primacy for organic life, and it is clear why in this asidereal, the
dove ascends, as spirits fuming from the matter.

A robot’s arms hang loose, and the question occurs to me, rather
suddenly, is Dr. Bialy in pursuit of his golem? The artist strives with
his work, to discover which one is god, which artifact. (Site one
Norbert Weiner on this matter. But here we note something more condign
and occluded than cybernetic structures and the literal construction of
robots, or even the dominance of nature by a will to recover the organic
entirely under any provenience whatsoever.)

The authorization for the Golem, as we know, comes from a certain
assignment of Abraham. And the point of the mythologem was not primarily
to address the needs of ghetto Jews for defense against the Cossack;
rather, to fashion a golem was an indication that its fashioner had
ascended to a certain contemplative level.

The enlightened state becomes spacious or spacelike when brought into
proximity with space. It is not narrow, not circumscribed, not
obstructed. Whatever exists or takes place within it does not distort or
fill or displace it. It is not pinched or confined, compressed or
compacted. It permeates, it overwhelms, it fills and fulfills. These
qualities, properties, capacities, accrue to it from relations that
obtain in ordinary mundane spaces. In itself, it is not about space. It
is not, for instance, a topological property such that the objects
within it are but infoliations of it. Where such infoliations obtain, it
takes its departure, and the pertinence of space and spatiality to it,
is no more.

Sensation has no scale. Yet every sensation can be saturated with
continuum, without interpretation, without a unit. Sensuous granulations
generate scintillae infinitesimally. Sensation dissolves therein. Yet
all this is but a chance of nature. The enlightened state is released
therefrom, as from any other device practiced to arrest it. Yet it has
not vanished wherever consciousness even is enthralled. Claim it and the
claim check is not in your pocket. Yet in the darkest state of
self-conscious self-castigation, it is the principle by which such agony
sustains itself.

Expand the figure, and the ground folds in. Allow the eye to follow its
wont across the picture’s surfaces, and images contained in images cease
to be so contained. Part and whole no longer suffice as descriptives.
Container, containing, and contained do not obtain. Permeable membranes
are membranes no more. There can be no exclusive totalization, no field
adequately grasped as figure such that all is taken into account. There
is no account taken that is not fed back into the configurative
operation. Yet feed-back or feed-ahead, no more than containment, have
no privilege as organizing noemes; though surely at every glance, an
impression of hyper-organization cannot be gainsaid of the visual field.
Can we say that this degree of complexity bodes organic?-not the moist
and glossy surface of the glandular, the viscocity of the vicera, the
microphoto fixed at an optical range convened for the natural eye, but
is there an ungraspable essence to the surface-structure? The infinite
variabilityof figure and scale? The saturated realm of all potential
iconicity, as symmetry attracts the provenience of the emblem? Then the
organic would be the limit to which an increase in emblematic
complexity, expressed over innumerable simultaneous dimensions,
converges. Do living forms, then, deteriorate to icons? There surely are
historical and psychological conditions, under which it would so seem.

The dove has vanished. It isn’t there where I thought to look before,
but a wolf with a red nose. There are Wolf Men in Arcadia.

The outside has no head.
The deck of cards has no edge.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 18.08.06


The Guardians of Casa Sanchez

secret pig sacrifices
in a circle of unhewn stones

image of it
wrought in sand

is it my own body
or that of my consort
whose blackness
all other

such little hands


we return to the matter of constating a principle of excess

excess of that which, not so constated, instigates
and absolutely


“it doesn’t matter what the wise ones believe”


the name of the Dark Lord
as such
is retracted
within its own blackness


The vertical ledger is flattened against the sand
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 09.16.06

Orchids are from Elsewhere (Draculus)

Orchids are from Elsewhere (230906)

Something at last has become precipitate.
It is the richest ruse of Being Herself,
that the goddess swells in pristine isolation.
She lives in a Shell
that is
a sea-girt isle
“at a site that is the very navel of the sea.”

One’s faith in the efficacy and ultimacy
of the Image Scene
inspite of everything

Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 9.25.2006



If Mulla Nasruddin is as wise as it gets…

The Milk of The Stars from Her Papswere, in spite of this, no opium dream. But what sort of dream?

A bright blue one, certainly.
A purple tourquoise dream
with happy fish leaping
and the sea-water separating,
it being some relief to learn
that at bottom things are not wet at all
but a handsome chamber
lined with teak wood
and inlaid with intricacies
symmetrical and lucent
all secrets
tucked nicely
in a cabinet
with excellent ornaments

and the sky is also not wet
however the stars are teats
upon which all beings have succor

and yet as the blue fish fly
there are secrets here too.
For is that well-wrought cabinet
not a casket
and the mummy
the secret
of ourselves
and between the fishes
if you care to look
the face of the skeletal form of the tedious lord
and will not be devoured
or eliminated outright
from any of these proceedings.

Above the canopy a prisoner
with a conical hat, round-rimmed, with steeple point invisible,
an emblem of an Odysseus
other than Homeric
whose affinities disturb
his latter day serenities.

We’ll leave it at that.
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 7.10.06

Orchids are from Elsewhere (Maxillaria)

Ambiguities of an Olive Branch

A man does not say what his mind cannot bring to speech. But there is
something present, prescient, something pressing. It forms an image as
best it can, out of whatever media–neurological, cybernetical, at all
events, some manner of digitial, some manner of harmonic alignment on
the quantum hazard, the coup de des at the bottom of the going materium.

And now an image is delivered over the wires or over the almost sentient air waves-a misnomer, no doubt-neither aer nor aether having much to do with the transmission, except by way of interference. All that is air in the air waves is noise. But the message is sent and delivered. And its recipient, inspecting the missive, generates intelligence that reconstructs not merely the image, but the inarticulate thought that initially was forfended by speech.

There are ambiguities-to put it mildly, in every asiderial image. There is no site in the construct at which an image is delivered as merely itself, rather than as a transient juncture along the passage to yet some other image soon to come. An image-thought passes through the image-seen (the image scene). “Ambiguity” rather than suggesting some fresh dubiety, rather stultifies the sense, as if what were at stake here were merely two intentions, not the familiar jet stream of cinematic flux.

B &W already quells speculation. But fundamentally, one is called to wonder what the war zone in particular must be, on the margins of which this olive branch has been somewhat unsatisfactorily proffered. Extracurricular information will not resolve the matter, polemical enterprises notwithstanding. There is a “situation” no doubt in the wings, and it is sufficient to know that something in particular is amiss in reference to which a more general meditation is proposed; its target: the one-sidedness of the traditional semiotics deployed in suing for any termination of hostilities whatever. An olive branch is presumably of deeper moment than the waiving of a white flag, for instance. The terms of peace are presumably understood to both combatants, and yet the offering of it is a gesture initiated by but one of the parties. And yet again, there is a presumption that the gesture will not be summarily dismissed. It is in spite of these presumptions that ambiguities are indicated.

To the image. The central column is supplemented by rib-like formations that, partly due to the translucence of the B &W option, suggest an X-ray negative. We are looking at a vertical series of somatic segments. The spine sports the familiar totem pole of likely suspects’ heads and bodies, with variously grim physiognomies, changing before one’s gaze, delivering useful data regarding asanas and mudras, chakras and image-access to forbidden possible worlds. The X-ray quality merely locates the entire fracas within some human corpus and perhaps suggests a consciousness pervading the scene but not represented among its multitudinous internal transformations. This may or may not be something new to the asiderials. Is this the olive branch? One would do well to doubt it, for the perennially ominous qualities exuded by the temporary beings inhabiting the image-plasm cannot be expected to sue for an end to hostilities, if by that one is to understand the possibility of a termination of energetic tensions that the image content routinely delivers. That would be ominous indeed. Once stated thus, it is obvious that the wariness on the part of combatants at the denouement of any concrete engagement depends upon the resonance of said engagement with the ontological coil wound in these images.

Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 11.13.2006

More “Full-Tilt Botany” (with “Notes”) can be seen here


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