Exhibits in the ‘Full-Tilt Biology’ Gallery

bad blood

Bad Blood (20.05.10)

carrion eaters

Carrion Eaters

eat her eat
eat everything
do you think there is still something to be eaten
do you think there is still some shale
some slate
some shirt
does the body have an outside
look at the bottom of your coffee cup
nor everything be so devouring
insignia the trace of its maker
signatures, the doctrine of
many years after the initial discovery the followups still keep on coming
the mystery deepens
the blackness blackens
until it reach sufficient
that shines a beautiful sable black
the fur goes electric
the filaments twitter in the closed test bottle
everything but a tiny figment in a larger globule
there can be no end to the darkness that enfolds us
but that it is always there…


it gets lighter
as it breathes

as you sit before it
the external intestines that have already devoured
the road kill
present their arguments

they are people too
they have angels too
nothing to be afraid of

we have already been devoured

are already down the gullet
covered over everywhere
inside and outside
by the acids and the el cids

it gets lighter

the air has eaten all
that happens underneath it and inside it
time does not relieve the things in time
matter has us, is us
the moon rules all things mutable, the old idea
all things swampy with emotions
the sun all things that live by warmth and requiring
negentropic gradient

sociality encloses round so many habits
language too
the things that people think
so that theory closes the last gap
law the final loophole

logic has us held in mighty bonds

existence doesn’t suggest an outside

it’s a strange fish or eel
leading the blackened garden hose of a body
all over the persian carpet
what has it eaten for lunch today?
where is its watery habitat?
where is its sky?

a boyscout with a party cap
and the body of a black bear
embraces a small primate–her body
is ink or absence
she puts her arm on his arm amicably
waiting to be devoured or to do some devouring

a panther sits in the center of everything
erect like he were a man
with spread legs
and big knees

a strange fish or eel
leading the blackened garden hose of a body
all over the persian carpet
what has it eaten for lunch today?
where is its watery habitat?
where is its sky?
Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 23.01.10

Altruistic Genies – There Aren’t Any (04/2009)

Metastasis (04/2009)

To unseal is to reveal

Mandarin Seal 7

my interest in the isomorphism between the genetic code and the i ching dates back to 1968 when gunther stent and i jointly realized that the 64 elements of which they are each composed were more than accidentally connected.

in 1974, i published this essay in a journal of the ‘traditionary’ sciences called Io.

until very recently, the essential unanswered questions there remained unanswered. no longer. por ejemplo…this piece explains how the exoteric trigramic elaboration of the hexagrams conceals their true esoteric origins in the 4 digrams. others (like the real number line) explain the origin of the 4 building blocks of life from the nothing that is nothing along lines detailed by rene thom and g. spencer brown.

34 years of chewing.


A much shorter exposition of the basic principles underlying the I Ching – DNA correspondence appeared in America A Prophecy: A New Reading of American Poetry from Pre-Colombian Times to the Present (edited by Jerome Rothenberg and George Quasha, and published by Random House in 1973.)

It can be seen here.

If the genetic code and the I Ching go good together, what about Thelonious Sphere and the Chinese pipa?

This performance of Ask Me Now by Min Xiao Fen at Lincoln Center on 6 December 2003, answers that question as Monk himself might have…with a resounding : Riiiiiight .

Epigenetic Landscapes (for George Gabor Miklos)

The underlaying image in this duo is an electron micrograph of DNA showing, as they like to write in scientific papers before bastard editors like me remove it, for the first time the double helix replicating, being transcribed and simultaneously translated. Since it is an E. coli genome captured in this PhD winning photo [awarded by Oscar {Miller} the photographer’s mentor at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the rest of her thesis committee] this is possible.

Barbara Anne Hamkalo showed a slide of this at a seminar she gave in Berkeley in 1968/9, and shortly afterwards mailed me the print that was used in the conjunction of this sunny morning on Jupiter. The electron micrograph was also used as the cover of the 1974 Biopoesis issue of Io that has Michael McClure’s book length essay Wolf Net, and my essay The I Ching and the Genetic Code and which can be read here. A more widely circulated exposition of these ideas is found in Gunther Stent’s book, The Coming of the Golden Age: A View of the End of Progress, published in 1969 and out of print but easily available.


This visual proof of “coupled transciption/translation in eukaryotes” was the final confirmation of the best idea Gunther Stent ever had about E. coli genetics – a field in which he was a true master, but always with the caveat that ‘if Gunther thought it, it was for sure very clever and almost equally for sure completely wrong’. (In the old days of molecular biology this was a very good thing since clever ideas provoked experiments to test them and in the end the answers were bound to be interesting new questions.) Shortly after this triumph, Gunther left the field and turned his considerable intellect to the neurobiology of leeches, a field in which his instincts turned out to be more often correct than not, and for which endeavors he was elected to the National Academy.


Mitosis (11/2005)

Jewels, Gels and the Lasers of Life, for Gerald H. Pollack

Jewels, Gels & the Lasers of Life, for Gerald H. Pollack

The minds of the beings that assembled the patterns revealed in the Sepher Yetsirah, the periodic table, the Enochian tablets, are not dissimilar in certain respects. Consider this. An intelligence capable of assimilating the details of the second as a child without effort and not dissociating himself by the casual magic of that association from the affordances of the third or inquiry into the matter of the first.

There have been others.

I am about to travel to Roma not explicitly to perform operations adjacent to a shadow empire that has recently undergone dental surgery, but to assist in the infestation of an ancient wound. Something is going to arrive there.

There will be sussurations on a scale I had not hitherto imagined. A barbarous name, newly flicked from the ethers, intoned in a certain register, will lose one letter upon each iteration and diminish to a single sign, then reverse and expand, etc. Another, in a complementary register, shall first expand, etc. Intoned by simultaneous choruses distributed about the ruins. Flecked throughout by random voices, points of ecstasy, points of intensity, points of distraction and dismay.

All possible configuration spaces converge on a single intensity and spark, as if no more than a spark, the momentary theurgy of a spark. Beyond the spark the flecks and flicks.

I was talking about Dr. Bialy. It will not be for nothing.

Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 5.10.2005

A short while ago i received an email from Robert Kelly in response to this:

hola roberto,

trust this finds you well. the other day i put something new in the white city that derived from thinking how i could translate the essential, simple and therefore very beautiful concept of gerald h. pollack (the duesberg of cell biology) – that the cell is not a bag but a gel – into an imago … he wrote a fantastic textbook entitled, “cells, gels and the engines of life” that rocked my cell biology world in 2000 the way peter did my view of cancer viruses in 1982.

as you cannot possibly remember (but perhaps ‘you’ do), back at bard my senior project with richard clarke had to do with ideas abt how cell membranes were generated…well guess what…just like the sanity clause, there is no cell membrane…it is an artifact of mental predisposition and bad experimentation… colorful water organized by a few paracrystals is all ‘what’ we are.

the piece was meant to convey this.

your opine is graciously solicited,


dear Harvey,

your letter gives me happiness and hope. our first argument, maybe 1965 or so, was not about some girl or some poetry but just exactly this, that I maintained, desperately, prayerfully even, that there is no such ‘thing’ as a cell membrane,

I needed, still need, for my otherwise harmonious view of things, that there be no membrane:

no membrane but behavior.

While you, reluctantly, but faithful to Richard Barnabas Clarke, insisted,perhaps sadly, that there was a membrane and you guys were in charge of it.

Bless you for sending this info, only forty years late but so what?

Do you remember: we are cell(f)? Where could the membrane be?



and what is a gel but an inquiry of light, light inquiring into its own hope sol to gel gel to sol sun to.. when thought is on the loose the light’s released “unstopped un produced” (I too remember that discussion very well

brain and mem (water) brane the brain in cerebro spinal water dwells
the zohar ruminates

when the changelinks
whose substance is mercury
rise from the common puddle
the phallomorphic fact of erectile history
for a moment
shows . no more than mercury
a membrane has a brain
does the light penetrate
the substance that is its yearning?
by the lip of the lake
I cried I
‘ve been sol
too long

(key word: levitas

Sol to gel

There is something more in the  previous than mildly incoherent carvings from the matter of the moment, so I wish to parse it:

“sol to gel” is not only the moniker for a piece of avantgarde industrial exploitation (google it and you’ll see what I mean)

but a salient property of the extra-cellular matrix-

that quasi-liquid crystalline matter in which we, considered qua matter, for the most part, swim

as the brain is afloat in cerebro spinal fluid, as I say.

Whilhelm Reich was the first in modern language to discern that what, in modern language, is configured as a Psyche (previously a soul) constrains itself responsively through constrictions and contractions of belts of muscular armor; and after Reich, Ida Rolfe, modernly discerned that not only the musculature was involved in such contracture, but the sheet or sheath of collaginous tissue known as the fascia, contracted and decontracted too

but more recent discerners of somatic resilience find that the responsiveness of the extra-cellular matrix as it passes continuously from sol to gel from gel to sol registers instantaneous modifications of what post-modernly is no longer configured as the psyche but furtively remembered as the soul.

Now were it that the cell has no membrane, its gelatinous business were continuous with this matrix, this liquid crystalline matter in which we

swimmingly dwell, so that the cell, as self, were likely similarly responsive.

And another thing.

Rudolf Steiner says somewhere that there is a force in history, if not in physics, dual to gravity, he wants to call levity. Gravitas/levitas.

Moreover, it is a configured fact that when shape-shifters return to their primordially shapeless mass, they pass from solid form to a mercury-like quasi-liquid, and when they rise from their common pool, before assuming human shape, for a moment, they look like nothing else than the human phallus, rising. And I saw, for a moment, what Steiner meant: that “the soul in its progressive rise” (Olson says that somewhere) assumes its vertical form, as if in response to an attractor in the sky, is in fact a matter of a kind of collective tumescence, slow on the historical plane. And that the sol-to-gel condition of the liquid that swims in us, responsive, tumescent…were.

In the post-modern state we no longer have a “nature”-rather we discover and affect configurations of ourselves as we may and can. In one register we configure ourselves as energy, modulations of the light, timelessly effulgent, as light surely is. In another, we recover what Thales meant, and comprehend all being as phases of the aqueous.

Charles Stein, Barrytown, NY, 5.15.2005

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