Utopian Poetics

when i say ‘i write utopia’ it’s probably not the kind of utopia you’d be expecting.

my utopia is a state of consciousness.  it’s not a place or a society or a future ideology.  it’s a dynamic state of being that’s open to infinite possibilities, aware of the subtle interconnections between self and other, and consciously co-creating with every breath in word and silence.

in my writing, i play with ways of creating a glimpse or an experience of that utopian consciousness as it arises between the text and the reader.

to me, the utopian is as much about the dynamic that yearns for perfection, as it is about the realised ideal of perfection itself.  so when i write utopia, it’s often grounded in the everyday, in what’s here and now – the violence, envy, pain and sadness; the senseless destruction of life and the world around us.  its presence can be most poignantly felt in longing, in hope and in death.

in fact, it’s often in our attempts to realise the perfection – whether in fiction or society – that the utopian can be betrayed by its nightmarish shadow side.  utopia itself has given rise to countless violent atrocities across the world – at least, the idea or ideology of it has.

because when we start to define utopia, we necessarily create its limits and its limitations: we close off the possibilities which were once infinite and we begin the process of creating an ideology.  alternatively, we create a benign utopian fantasy.

i don’t really want to create either of those things. but that doesn’t mean that i don’t want to explore the infinite possibilities of utopian consciousness and the manifestations this might take. 

so i’m interested in the movement of the utopian dynamic and the illuminary moments of utopian consciousness that manifest themselves in the knots and tangles of our everyday encounters.  i’m interested in [r]evolution and its consequences.  and i’m interested in the glimmers and glimpses of the utopian ideal that never fully reveal themselves, as well as the possibility of an apocalyptic final violent revelation of the utopia that was concealed all along.

this is the utopia i write.  and i’m not saying it’ll be pretty.

most of my work is experimental, which means both that it can be a raw kind of work-in-progress, and also that i don’t necessarily think i’ve achieved what i set out to do yet (but that’s partly the unfinished nature of the utopian experiment, as it is).

you can find some examples by choosing the ‘Utopian Poetics’ category from the list.  as ever, i appreciate and welcome your feedback.