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Now remember,
And breathe in
Okay, one more.

Now just to review,
you’re going to light
the candles.

settle down.
the light of knowledge
One hundred years ago,
in this room

what are the four pillars?
Tradition, honor, discipline, London.

No tears now.
This is for sinuses
trouble breathing
remember your vaporizer

Travesty. Horror. Decadence. Excrement.
welcome to Hell.
tough as a genius

It’s open.
Future Lawyer and Future Banker.
horrible phalanx of pubescense.

chapter tomorrow.
Agricolam. Agricola. Agricolae.
Agricolarum. Agricolis. Agricolas.

test this point.
Brain damage.
Well come on.
Not a clue?
Walt Whitman
Abraham Lincoln

dispel rumors
fester into facts.
attended Hell and survived.
the mental giant
the intellectual
Byron in my face.

page 542
the first stanza
“To the virgins, to make much of time”
Somewhat appropriate

“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
old time is still a flying,
and this same flower that smiles today,
tomorrow will be dying.”

Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem.
food for worms.
believe in this room
stop breathing, turn cold, and die.
step forward over here
faces from the past.

They’re different from you
haircuts. hormones
Invincible, you feel.
The world is their oyster.
They believe they’re destined,
just like many of you.
Their eyes are full
of hope, just like you
now fertilizing daffodils.

hear them whisper their legacy
make your lives extraordinary.

Spooky Me. Me.
Anything’s better than Hell
I’ll second that.

I know where you’re headed,
like father like son
Just replace these numbers with “x”,
for “x” and “y”.
the problem?
Terrible. Awful.

Why? What happened?
the most beautiful girl
practically engaged.
could eat a football.
it’s a tragedy. A girl this beautiful
in love with such a Holy cow.
Did you see her naked?
No radar.

To fully understand poetry,
we must first be fluent with
its meter, rhyme,
and figures of speech.

how artfully has the objective
of the poem been rendered,
the poem’s perfection,
determining a poem
becomes relatively simple.

If the poem’s perfection is horizontal,
its vertical yields the measure of
its greatness.

A sonnet by Byron on the
vertical, only average on the

A Shakespearean sonnet, both
horizontally and vertically,
yielding a massive total area,
the poem to be truly great.

Excrement. We’re not laying pipe,
we’re talking about poetry.
I like Byron, but I can’t dance.
Now I want you to rip out that page.

I want it gone, history.
Leave nothing of it.
Rip, shred, tear. Rip it out. I
want to hear nothing but ripping.

It’s not the bible, you’re not going to
go to hell. I want nothing left of it.
Rip, rip, rip! Rip it out, rip!
I hear enough rips.

This is a battle,
a war.
the casualties
could be your
hearts and souls.

Armies measuring poetry.
No words and ideas change the world.
achieving other ambitions.

I have a little secret.
We read and write poetry because
  it’s cute. We read and write poetry
  because we are the human race.
  And the human race is passion.

But poetry, beauty,
  love, these are what we
  stay alive for.

the questions, the endless
trains of the faithless, of cities
filled with the foolish.
life exists.
the powerful play goes on,
and you may contribute
a verse.

very fascinating, misguided
to be Rembrandts, Shakespeares or Mozarts
We’re not talking artists
we’re talking free thinkers.

a cynic, a realist.
Show me the heart
unfettered by foolish dreams,
and I’ll show you a happy man.
But only in their dreams can man be truly free.
Twas always thus, and always thus
will be.

Cambridge bound,
the Poets.
Man most likely to do anything.

the Dead, can you keep a secret?
The Poets dedicated
to sucking the marrow out of life.
the old Indian cave
reading poetry magic.

a Greek organization,
we were romantics. We just read poetry,
let it drip from tongues like honey.
Spirits soared, women swooned, and gods
were created, Tonight?

the stream
the waterfall.

Don’t you like snakes?
I’m a poet.
It’s too wet trying to smoke
Oh God. Clowns.

forget the fire.
I hereby reconvene the Dead
I went to the woods
I wanted to live deliberately.
I wanted to live deep
and suck out all the marrow of life.

To put to rout all that was not life,
discover that I had not lived.

a dark and rainy night,
a passion for jigsaw puzzles, a new jigsaw

pieced the puzzle together,
the image that formed was her
very own room.
And the figure in the center was herself.
And with trembling hands, she placed the
  last four pieces and stared
  in horror at
  the face of a demented
  madman at the
The sound of breaking glass.

This is true, this is true.
driving through the forest
the plague of life,
slit her bloody throat.

a real poem?
You memorized a poem?
An original piece.
Take center stage.
this is history. This is

Teach me to love
The god of love, if such a thing there
  be, may learn to love me.

not too late to seek a newer world
to sail beyond the sunset.
equal temper of heroic hearts

Made weak by time and fate
but strong in will.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to

I had religion, I had a vision.
I could not turn from their derision.
Then I saw the black forest with a golden
  A man is exhausted.

Are you a man
an amoeba?
to communicate. To women
talking about Shakespeare.

I know. Shakespeare as someone.
Friend, countrymen. You can imagine a
dagger before me?
I stand to remind
in a different way, the world

Just when you know something,
you have to look another way.
Even though it may seem wrong,
you must try! Now, you read
what the author thinks.
what you think. strive to find your own

Most men lead
lives of desperation.
be resigned to that.
walk off the edge like lemmings.
  Look around you.

Dare to strike
find new ground. Now,
a poem, an original work.
the hell of you, you mole. Take power! Keep
  your eyes in the boat!
Free America!

A Dream?
I can remember,
I’ve wanted this.
hold a minute.

kill an audition
No, no, no, no.
Bullshit impossible.

disobeying Jesus,
shit being stirred.
You stirred up as a cesspool.

We are dreaming of Poetry!
I’m being chased by Walt Whitman!

Let me have other human beings
push us to excel. I want you to come
    over here.
time to inherit the earth.
rise above your name
to struggle against great odds.

To meet enemies undaunted.
you’re daunted.
Say it like you’re undaunted.

I live to be a slave.
To mount the scaffold.
To advance to the muzzle of guns
with perfect nonchalance.
  To indeed be a god!

a sweetness in her smile.
Blight light shines from her eyes.
But life is complete; contentment is
mine, Just knowing that...
just knowing that she’s alive.

The cat.
negative laughing,
laughing near your poem.
Sometimes poetry can be like a cat,
the stuff of revelation.
there in agony. misery.
worthless and embarrassing.

a demonstration barbaric
Yell like a man!
you have a barbarian in you, after all.

What madman? Just answer.
a poet floats beside me.
A sweaty-toothed madman with a stare
  that pounds my brain.
hands reach out and choke me.
Wonderful. Wonderful.

Truth is like a blanket
that always leaves your feet cold
stretch it, it’ll never be enough.
You kick at it, beat it,
it’ll never cover us.

From the moment we enter
crying to the moment
we leave dying,
it will just cover your face
as you wail and cry and scream.

Don’t you forget this government.
We’re here to help.
Smoke that. Put that in your pipe and
  smoke it.
Friend, scholar, men.

a lamp.
No. This is the god of the cave.
Laughing, crying, tumbling, mumbling.
Chaos screaming, chaos dreaming.

I love the clarinet.
The saxophone is sonorous.
I can’t take it anymore. I’m gonna kill
I’ll do something about that.

kill me.
it kills me. Yes.
Would you like to come?
Would I like to come?
Yes. Say, yes.
But that’s not the point.
That’s not the point at

Just take a stroll.
I don’t know, but I’ve been told
Doing poetry is old
driven by deeper force
maintaining your beliefs
a great need for acceptance.
trust your beliefs are unique
“Two roads diverged in a wood,
I took the one less traveled,
and that has made

find your own right.
You don’t have to perform. Just make it.
Swim against the

I think you’re underestimating the
aerodynamic marrow of life.
It’s my cave. Watch your step.
an announcement to make. In
the spirit of passionate
experimentation of the Dead,
call me Nuwanda.

go downstairs
Make yourself at home
have some whiskey.

She walks in beauty
cloudless climes and starry skies.
dark and bright, her aspect
and her eyes. beautiful.
God help me.

I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
you die working on a hi-fi system.

Are we just playing around, or
  do we mean what we say?
  a bunch of poems
  What the hell are we doing?

Honor appeared profane
and unauthorized.
ferreting out the guilty
Just a moment
we should have girls.
Wipe your face. Assume the position.
and all will be forgiven.

Sucking the marrow out of life
choking on the bone
a time for daring
a time for caution
a wise man understands
  which is called for.

golden opportunities.
Phone call from God
it wouldn’t been daring.
Wait, please. Excitement.
I don’t hear any excitement
about Spaghetti and meatballs!

you’ve wasted your time with acting.
you’re quitting.
the world comes to an end tomorrow
I made great sacrifices

Tea. Sure.
Like some milk or sugar in that?
No, it’s part of the monastic oath
worldly things distracting me

She’s pretty.
She’s in London.
Makes it difficult.
I don’t wanna be anywhere else.

Acting’s everything to me.
About passion for
acting’s a whim,
I should forget it.
it’s a whim for your conviction
and your passion.

I’m trapped
in room 111.
a poem I wrote for you.
I can’t care. I love you.
you’re crazy.
All I’m asking you to do is listen.

The heavens made a girl
With hair and skin of gold.
To touch her would be paradise.

Seize the day!
Beautiful baby.
You’re so cute.
I’m trying to fix this.

Getting red? What does that mean?
It’s an Indian warrior symbol
  Makes me feel potent,
  can drive girls crazy.

The girls
coming here and killing you.
I love you. I’ll walk.
To a play? Are you kidding?

I’ll stay away forever.
I promise. I’ll bow out.
I am that merry wanderer,
a roasted crab
And when she drinks, against her lips
  I pour the ale,
  telling the saddest tale,
  for love and courtesy
Lie in human modesty

Here’s your crown.
If shadows have offended,
you have slumber’d here
While visions did appear.

I thought you were wonderful!
You have the gift. What a
performance You left even me speechless.

Oh, my God!
Oh! No!
Stop it! Stop it! Stop it.
It’s so beautiful.

All my life
Thy light shall surely follow me
And in God’s house forevermore
My dwelling place shall be
The death is a tragedy.
And he will be missed.

We’re all fried.
Think about it.
They need a scapegoat.
We’re the victims.

I have a detailed description.
for reckless and self-
  indulgent behavior.
  blatant abuse of death.

Read that carefully.
Sign the paper.

We the Romantics.
What about the Realists?
I believe most of that.
What is poetry?

To fully understand
poetry, we must first be rendered
  and objective?

the poem’s perfection
the poem’s greatness
the poem plotted
on the horizontal of a graph

It’s true.
I do believe you.
Thank you. Thank you.
Lazzarato, M (2014) Signs and Machines: Capitalism and the Production of Subjectivity. Los Angeles, USA: Semiotext(e).

Schulman, T (undated) Dead Poets Society (Online) Available here. (Accessed: 21/03/2017)

We go to the cinema in order to suspend for a moment our usual modes of communication.
—Felix Guattari
A political battle has unfolded and continues to unfold around cinema for control of the effects of subjectivation and desubjectivation that the “non-human” semiotics of the cinematographic image produce on the individuated subject. The three preverbal senses of self, the sense of a verbal self, and semiotics (at once asignifying, symbolic, and signifying) are mobilized by cinematographic machinism which by deterritorializing the image and perception (the “film-eye”) risks undoing, in its way, the unity of the subject.
With the cinema, we have a textbook case of how the signifying machine comes to neutralize, order, and normalize the action of symbolic and asignifying semiotics which exceed dominant significations. By hierarchizing the latter through signifying semiotics, the film industry functions like group psychoanalysis, powerfully aiding in the construction of the roles and functions and, especially, in the fabrication of the individuated subject and his unconscious.
Guattari lists precisely the semiotics at work in the cinema:
—the phonic fabric of expression that refers to spoken language (signifying semiology);
—the sonorous but non-phonic fabric that refers to instrumental music (asignifying semiotics);
—the visual fabric that refers to painting (both symbolic and asignifying semiotics);
—the gestures and movements of the human body, etc. (symbolic semiologies);
—the duration, movements, breaks in space and time, gaps, sequences, etc., that make up asignifying “intensities.”1
The cinema, whose effects derive above all from its use of asignifying symbolic semiotics (“linkages, internal movements of visual images, colors, sounds, rhythms, gestures, speech, etc.”2) represented for a brief moment the possibility of moving beyond signifying semiologies, of bypassing personological individuations, and opening up possibilities that were not already inscribed in dominant subjectivations.
Film images cannot be directly encoded, marked out, and framed by the syntagmatic and paradigmatic axes that ensure the relative stability and invariance of meanings as in language. With cinema, it becomes possible to rediscover the features of pre-signifying semiotics in a post-signifying world. The cinema does not put two components of expression (signifier/signified) into play, but rather, as in primitive societies, “n”: the images, sounds, and words spoken and written (texts), movements, positions, colors, rhythms, and so on. Depending on the component that prevails, there are different modalities of reading and seeing a film. “It can be seen through its colors or rhythms, through its images, through the chain of affects it creates, and there is absolutely no univocal, necessary, or unmotivated relationship between a signifying chain and the contents signified.”3
As in primitive societies, images (symbolic semiotics) and intensities, movements, intervals, temporalities, and velocities (asignifying semiotics) reintroduce ambiguity, uncertainty, and instability into denotation and signification. Expression once again becomes polyvocal, multidimensional, and multireferential. “The semiotic components of film glide by each other without ever fixing or stabilizing themselves in a deep syntax of latent contents or in transformational systems that would lead, superficially, to manifest contents.”4
The same impossibility of formalizing filmic language is analyzed by Pasolini. For the Italian poet, the cinema as well as an important part of human reality and of things themselves are expressed through systems of signs, in other words, by nonverbal (images or “im-signs”) and non-human “languages.” Images from memory and dream all have the features of film sequences, they are “almost prehuman events, or on the border of what is human. In any case, they are pregrammatical and even premorphological (dreams take place on the level of the unconscious, as do mnemonic processes).”5
The cinema is at once “fundamentally oneiric” and a “hypnotic monstrum.” The “irrational” elements of the language of film, “barbarous, irregular, aggressive, visionary,” cannot be eliminated; thus the difficulty in establishing an “institutional film language.”6 Indeed, these features, which Pasolini terms “irrational,” make up the modalities of expression of affects, intensities, velocities, etc., whose functioning depends on a logic other than that of the individuated subject’s rationality.
The cinema is thus capable, if for only an instant, of making us “orphans: single, amnesiac, unconscious, and eternal,” and removing us from the social divisions of labor that assign us a role, a function, and a meaning.7
The intensities, movements, and duration of film images can produce effects of desubjectivation and disindividuation in the same way that childhood, drugs, dreams, passion, creation, or madness can strip the subject of his identity and social functions. Cinema suspends perception and the habitual coordinates of vision, making the sensorimotor system malfunction. Images and movements no longer depend on the movement of the object nor on the brain; instead, they are the automatic products of a machinic apparatus. In turn, montage disrupts the links between ordinary situations, images, and movements by compelling us to enter into different space-time blocs.
But instead of eluding dominant subjectivations, film images can, conversely, chain us to them. They are only focal points of subjectivation. As vectors of subjectivation, they can only trigger, initiate, or open processes of heterogenesis (both the production of heterogeneity and processual genesis). The consistency of subjective heterogeneity depends on the interplay of a multiplicity of forces, apparatuses, and techniques. It depends, in the final analysis, on a politics and an aesthetics. The ethico-political battle, which the American cultural industry has resoundingly won, has been fought over this focal point of heterogeneity. The industry has worked to neutralize and stifle heterogeneity by exploiting, like psychoanalysis, personological and familialist signifiers.
The shift of cinema’s multireferential and polysemic semiotics toward dominant values and the domestication of the “oneiric monster” and its “irrational elements” have occurred through the reduction of symbolic semiologies and asignifying semiotics to the models of capitalist subjectivity.
The commercial cinema is “undeniably familialist, Oedipian, and reactionary. [...] Its ‘mission is to adapt people to the models required by mass consumption.”8 If it is incapable of establishing as invariable and stable significations as language, it can still produce models of subjectivity that have the force of examples, the obviousness of physical presence. Cinema acts on the depths of subjectivity because it provides subjectivity with identities and models of behavior by exploiting asignifying and symbolic semiotics. In this way, it functions like “group psychoanalysis,” normalizing intensities, hierarchizing semiotics, and confining them within the individuated subject.
Commercial cinema’s effect on the unconscious is even more powerful than that of psychoanalysis, since its unconscious, “populated by cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers” (in other words, a non-Oedipal consciousness, an unconscious equal to the world around us), and the range of semiotic mechanisms it mobilizes “directly connect with the spectator’s processes of semiotization.”9
The effect produced by commercial cinema and in turn by television has nothing to do with ideology, for it does not involve reflexive consciousness and representation.
“All its irrational, elementary, oneiric, and barbaric elements were forced below the level of consciousness; that is, they were exploited as subconscious instruments of shock and persuasion”10 by the cultural industry and industry in general.
Consciousness-raising is not a sufficient response because images affect us and organize themselves in direct relation with the three “selves” preceding the linguistic self. Asignifying, symbolic semiotics do not act on consciousness but rather directly on “the continuous variation and force of existing and potential action.
Here, subjectivity has nothing to do with Althusser’s ideological apparatuses, because it, and especially its components, are produced as a whole, bringing to bear what I call asignifying elements, which provide the basis for relations to time, rhythms, space, the body, colors, and sexuality.11
end notes:
Félix Guattari
Chaosophy (2009)
Semiotext(e) p. 243
Ibid., p. 242
Félix Guattari
Agencements. Transistances. Persistances
(Seminar of December 8th 1981)
Félix Guattari
Chaosmosis (1995)
Indiana University Press. pp. 263-264
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Hermetic Empiricism (1998)
Indiana University Press. p. 169
Ibid., p. 172
Félix Guattari
Chaosmosis p. 266
Ibid., p. 267
Ibid., pp. 265, 267
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Hermetic Empiricism
p. 172
Félix Guattari
Les Annees d’hiver: 1980-1985
(Paris: Les Prairies ordinaires, 2009), p. 129