Stephen “Hansha” Bailey – Parallels


Artist statement for his Parallels

I am a practicing Roman Catholic living out my faith-life in the 21st century in Aotearoa/New Zealand. As such, my life is deeply immersed in a very incarnational, contemplative, and eucharist-centered spirituality. Any of my writing  that “sees the light of day” is hopefully charged with that essential core.

As a spiritual exercise, the Rosary focuses on a number of mysteries related to the earthly life of Jesus Christ via his mother. To pray each mystery, the prayer breathes the mystery while reciting the repeated prayers and fingering through the beads of each decade. Filled with grace, the focused meditation on each mystery, accompanied by the lip’s repetition of the prayers and the fingering of the beads as one concurrent act, one becomes immersed in an experience of “mysterious profundity.” It is experienced as a cosmic sensation, a pervasive shift that creates a momentary gap in consciousness.

The practice of Lectio Divina leads me to a similar sensation.

I relate the experience to that part of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl litany where he pays homage to the avowed praxis of Paul Cézanne,

who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and
trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental
verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation
of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus

In my parallel poems I build onto what I have learned from the experiment known as English Language Haiku to bring into juxtaposition multiple planes of my engagement with the world seeking to generate in the reader that cosmic sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus.

It has not escaped my attention that Ginsberg’s fellow beat generation poet Jack Kerouac is said to have coined the term “beat” in respect of his longing to experience the beatific vision.

Should I call these kind of poems beat generators?