Saturday, September 17, 2016

Jack Scott writes

[Part II]

Tanned by time,
toughened by too much of it,
leather is the tightest fit,
tailored by myopia,
potpourri, a quilt,
well proportioned
for a flashbulb instant,
but with no room
allowed for growth-
straitjacket skin.
The bible might well have said
that god is thread.
Though one eye’s on the sparrow
his other’s on the needle
tautly stitching souls into their sacks,
a sermon at a time.
Straight shooters
don’t always hit their target;
suicides leap off the bridge,
sometimes miss the water
because their skin’s too tight,
never broken in just right.
Claustrophobia’s hell.

We needn’t know just what it is
as long as we can use it
and it remains within the rules
we conjure for it.
Plug, receptacle and wire -
it is that simple
in our worship and our practice.
Raw power raging in,
obedience trickling out.
A something to keep nothing
beyond arm’s reach
and mindless.
another name for deity.

Specific life is short,
Appetite’s long, insatiable,
lusting to outlast death
and, as instincts, able.
Starvation dies only
when appetite has eaten
itself and every crumb
then, regurgitating boredom,
attempts to piece into the puzzle
Rorschach silhouette remorse
for not fulfilling promise made at birth.

Appetite is hunger, passion
for anything the mind’s bent on.
Starvation takes too long
for tidy suicide: amnesia.
No equity for hunger artists,
who, uncommissioned,
go unsung, unpaid,
no royalties or tips,
and no applause.
The larger hunger, fast,
is eaten by the longer, slow.
My appetites are older than I will ever be.
Life is longer than all its appetites
served as a single meal,
stronger than any single passion to curtail it,
but the one that pulls the trigger.

1 comment:

  1. Hermann Rorschach was a Swiss psychoanalyst who developed a test to reflect unconscious parts of the personality that "project" onto the stimuli. In the test, individuals are shown 10 inkblots, one at a time, and asked to report what objects or figures they see in each of them. The test has been widely used to examine personality characteristics and emotional functioning and to detect underlying thought disorder, especially in cases where patients are reluctant to describe their thinking processes openly, though Rorschach developed it to test for schizophrenia and was always skeptical of its use as a personality test. His father was an art teacher, and young Hermann was nicknamed “Klecks” (inkblot) because of his enjoyment of klecksography (making fanciful inkblot "pictures"). Unable to decide whether to pursue a career in art or science, he asked the biologist Ernst Haeckel for advice, and Rorschach then enrolled at the University of Zurich’s medical school, where he studied under psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler (who had also taught Carl Jung); as a student he began showing inkblots to schoolchildren and analyzing their responses. Renaissance painters Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli had discussed using interpretation of "ambiguous designs" to assess personality, and French psychologist Alfred Binet had experimented with inkblots as a creativity test, followed by others who used inkblots to study imagination and consciousness. After graduation Rorschach continued his own experiments with several hundred inkblots, studying 300 mental patients and 100 control subjects, but even though he was the assistant director at a regional psychiatric hospital at Herisau in the Swiss canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden and vice president of the Swiss Psychoanalytic Society, he had trouble getting “Psychodiagnostik” (1921) published. (He died the following year at 37.) The book attracted little attention at first, but in 1927 Verlag Hans Huber obtained publishing rights and eventually obtained a registered trademark for “Rorschach.” In 1933, fleeing Nazi Germany, Bruno Klopfer spent a year studying with Jung at the Zurich Psychotechnic Institute and discovered the Rorschach test, then moved on to the US to work at Columbia University, where he worked closely with anthropologist Franz Boas. In 1936 he founded the “Rorschach Research Exchange and Journal of Projective Techniques”(which became the “Journal of Personality Assessment” in 1971) and became the director of the Rorschach Institute in 1939, the first year that the Rorschach method was used as a projective test of personality. Six years later he published “The Rorschach Technique: A Manual for a Projective Method of Personality Diagnosis,” and in 1954-56 “Developments in the Rorschach Technique” with attachment theorist Mary Ainsworth, By the 1960s, the Rorschach was the most widely used projective test, but it continues to be controversial due to concerns over its verifiability and validity, the limited number of psychological conditions which it diagnoses, the bias of its pathology scales towards greater numbers of responses, and the objectivity of the testers and inter-rater reliability (the statistical degree of agreement among raters). In 1974, John E. Exner, Jr., published his Comprehensive System, which became the standard method of administering, scoring, and interpreting the test, especially in the US, but many Europeans apply methods that are rooted more deeply in the original psychoanalysic principles, especially object relations theory (which posits that the way people relate to others and to situations is shaped by family experiences during infancy).


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