Friday, July 03, 2009

Interview: Spotlight on Poet Heller Levinson and Hinge Theory by Joy Leftow

James Heller Levinson and I met at Willy’s Bar and Grill on Manhattan’s Upper East Side to talk about hinge theory. Staff was gracious and did not mind that we had our long interview first and waited to eat. We both forwent drinks, sticking to water. We began with an application to put practice into action and to break the ice. Heller said,

“Let’s use with as the pivot.”

“Sure, with celebrity, works with that.” I said.

That led to bulbs flashing and purple irises.

We then tried another. “With arson,” Heller said. “embers,” I replied and thus we jump-started our interview.

Heller’s lust for this theory has taken on a life of its own, as has the hinge process. He’s utterly and hopelessly consumed by it or perhaps it’s the other way round, and the theory has consumed him and he’s become part of its core. I love being an observer of passion. True passion feels me. When someone has passion and conveys that passion, it’s contagious.

I’m jumping a bit here and want to explore this organically without explaining what the theory is about, would like to begin where the passion lies, and that is in the possibility of causal effects triggered by using the applications of hinge theory in our daily lives. The dream is that hinge theory and its applications will have limitless effects on world peace, and creating cogent solutions in musical arrangements with the universe. Now that I’ve got my passion under control I can move on to discuss hinge and its applications.

Hinge is not reducible to smaller denominations; it is expandable. The title of Heller’s book, Smelling Mary became clear as we spoke. Smelling is one of our six senses and is also investigative. We smell to explore and learn. Heller’s entire world is hinged on creating a new linguistic universe composed of modules (which are the pivots like with above). If we use language to cure our lives by expanding, enriching, enhancing and embellishing, our universe is a didactic dialogue. It gives us tools to use language cogently with complexity. It’s a stimulating mental exercise that is also instinctual. If we stop to analyze the experience while we are practicing we may lose the preciosity of the moment. If we follow the flow organically, for example, navigating the circulating pulmonary rotators the hinge process is an investigative expansive living entity. Heller explained how he and Michael Annis, the discoverers of hinge, experimented by translating hinge applications to Spanish using experienced translators. Then they translated back to English to see that the applications proved their theory in terms of expansiveness and practicality. Heller called the applications “a linguistic medicinal healer and mind expander.” How can anyone go wrong with an economic application used to enhance the spirituality of life?

Heller spoke about how we as artists, have power to spread spiritual awareness and to make the earth mellifluous and profitable for all species. Heller sees hinge as the antidote to the Walmart experience. He spoke passionately of Soutine and referenced him several times as being inspirational to hinge and described how Soutine personally blew him away. Excoriate Exhale: Routing Soutine, Heller’s 22 page chapbook was the finalist for the 2008 poetry competition by Refined Savage Press.

This made me research the Jewish abstract expressionist painter who died from a bleeding ulcer while trying to escape the Gestapo. This made me very sad. I always feel more Jewish knowing how much prejudice there still is in the world against Jews, even though I am not a practicing Jewess. I have experienced a great deal of anti-Semitism first hand – right here in NYC. If hinge will cure prejudices I’m all for it. Hinge revolves inside of power systems.

Our political world is set up like this, we little schmucks fight about bs while others hold the power. The hope here being that the power of hinge may unhinge us from our parallel powerful past experiences. This ultimately is in reach for higher truth and universal enlightenment radiating positive energy. I’m a sucker for this theory Buster, I’m all for bettering ourselves and the universe too. I want world peace to be affected and effected by my artistic energy too. This is contagious energy.

I ask about the title, Smelling Mary, since smelling is a sense and Mary is originally a Jewish woman’s name and she is Christ’s mother. Over years, Mary has become a Christian name, like John or James – which is Heller’s middle name. I wanted more. Heller provided it after agreeing smelling is an investigative experience and Mary is a religious figure associated with purity.

“In the beginning was word. Language found us. All species communicate through their own language. Dinosaurs ruled the earth for one hundred and fifty million years before they died out,” Heller explained. “Humanoids have only been around for thirty thousand years. The earth, life, the human species, and language; all emerged from the original gases. There is a symbiotic health between the universe, life, and language.” Hinge has unlimited possibilities in promoting world peace and solutions for global warming and world economy intrinsically built in to its usage. The spread of infinite linguistics will affect and effect social and behavioral phenomena.

“This affirms what I already know,” I say, “We are entering a new enlightened age minus Reagan and Bush is what I say.” He agrees with me that hinge has emerged organically and simultaneously with a new political view.

This brought our interview full-circle and we ended where we began, discussing pivots modules and applications of hinge using mermaids as an example. Mermaids will evolve into their own universe of applications (poems). Mermaids will become a vehicle for hinge, a module to be followed, extensionality and complementarily; infinitely incremental and complementing.

In my head I imagine a class of several six or seven year olds practicing word analogies based on mermaids. I imagine holding out linguistic delights poetically to our young ones with analytic descriptions of how limitless words can be intrinsically. I share these images.

Levinson laughed and agreed absolutely we could, that “everything in its complexity enhanced, everything specialized and distinct to a mermaid in her own existence, you know he said, “it’s all mupae.”

I think my mouth may have fallen open here but I’m not sure. Heller didn’t tell me if my mouth was agape.

“What,” I said, flabbergasted and intrigued, “what is mupae?”

“Ah glad you asked,” he said waving his arm expansively “mutational update panel animation extenders.”

Poetically leaving me at that moment, with the obvious question, “what are mutational update panel animation extenders?” Hmmm guess that will have to be part II of this interview, investigating mutational update panel animation extenders.

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