I know this probably ain’t the place to do it but. I’ma do it anyway.
So there’s this word in ancient Greek.
I showed it to one of my boys at the Greek joint I work at.
He said it was a last name.
Derrida says different.
He says it is a word that appears and does not appear in Phaedrus by Plato.
Derrida is interested in the way it operates though absent as part of a semi-evident word chain.
I am interested in it’s moving definitions.
It seems to be a word that slurs. A symbol that slides cleanly from meaning poison to meaning cure.
I wonder if it don’t pick up all the meanings in between. If so does that make it all words. Only being one word. If so does this make it mean the whole world entire.
My Ex used to say, quoting someone, that New York was an attraction repulsion devise to extreme to be invented.
It just is.
Pharmakon also relates to two separate phenomenon that interest me a bit.
It seems that Pharmakon is used to describe the gift of writing. From the God Teuth to the King Thamus. As a cure for Memory.
Then it turns into a poison for memory.
Okay. So this thing meant to fix the problem insinuates itself in between the problem and us, exacerbating the problem and making itself as the cure more necessary. With the writing you don’t need to remember so good is the cure.
Pharmakos is also a religious custom. Seems people used to be cast out of the village once a year in ancient Greece. Seems it was to purify the village. Seems they was mostly the ugly and the poor. Seem it happened in May.
Seem like they took all the sin on them.
They treated them nice first.
Fed em. Got em drunk.
Then pushed 'em off a cliff.
Some folks think they were burned.
When it wasn’t the ugly and the poor.
It was the beautiful. The brilliant. The rich.
Especially in times of plague. In times it seemed the village was being punished more than usually.
That’s when the best went instead of the worst.
They come at Oedipus that way.
They come at all lambs that way.
Jesus seemed to throw himself in their way.
Seemed to step in between the problem and us. Seemed to say I’ll take one for the team.
So then every Sunday.
My family goes to church to eat the best man we ever heard of.
In magic. In symbol. In metaphor.
So we don’t have to kick anybody out of the village.
But that ain’t really enough.
Cause every once and a while.
The metaphor got to be reinvigorated.
We got to kill a bad man. With a lightening chair.
A monk gotta pour himself all over with gasoline.
A pop star gotta killim self with pills.
Or a car.
Or twelve year old boys.
Cure to disease.
And the mutherfucker of it is.
It is bigger than the definition.
It is bigger than the word.
It might just be bigger than all words.
It might just be a thing that we cain’t understand.
Over and over and over again.
So big. It takes up the entire world by bein the entire world.
Even though we know ain’t no angry God to appease.
We keep doin it.
And if it is as inescapable as all that.
Mightn’t it be as though there were a God we cannot escape.
That’s what I been thinking.
The Poison Cure.
Come see E.S.T.'s Marathon.
I wrote a play with some of this in it.
It’s called Matthew and the Pastor’s Wife.