When reading this book, it might be useful to note that the word, ‘Ontologistics,’ refers to a theory of social change in which disparity causes estrangement. What’s more, the conflict between objectification and self-affirmation, creates a feedback loop of increasing alienation, which in its turn causes more incompleteness or disharmony (conflict between man and nature, between man and man, and between the individual and the species). According to the Urban Dictionary, “Ontologistics depicts a recursive (self-referencing) path of social change.” And much like ‘hope,’ it seeks genuine resolution.
Gaia Perhaps we returned to you too late. Green and lovely mother. Unchanging mother, buried in the oceans of the past. Up to your neck in the slops and spoils of enlightenment. We’re no longer students of philosophy. Poetry. Mythology. We’re no longer the young poets who wrote all the best lines. Wanderers in the Minotaur’s labyrinth of blood and illusion.
The queen of sea and shadow has grabbed us now, as if by the balls. But still we’re guided by a star of hope. And only hope can scupper or save us.
Prof. Kelli Allen wrote:
How we perceive the world affects how we behave. Our behavior is killing the planet. If we succeed in changing our behavior, it will be in great measure because of books like this one. I am grateful to Mark Murphy for writing this book.
So many moments call us to disappear into the wilderness of quiet, of turning too far inward, and missing the orchestra of natural movement pushing the swirl ever-forward. In Mark Murphy’s Ontologistics of A Time Traveller, we are asked to stay awake at the feet of what we deem Beloved until we decide to live forever like leaves do, changing again and again into wardrobes meant for the wind. The work in this collection begs the reader to wonder why “Some days we hardly notice music/in the Horse Chestnuts” and how our ignorance feeds a decay too swiftly overtaking capital B-beauty. Murphy does not ignore the landscapes of the quotidian, but he does not make the everyday seem holier than it should be against a backdrop of grief and the longing that leads us all, eventually, to silence. The poems here remind their readers that even though “Always, there are voices that come/from the trunks of trees/And their voices are always most troubled,” we have more than a duty to bear witness. We have a duty to claim and speak our acts of witness for those whose voices are extinguished, and those whose conversations stumble into memory as we sleep. These are poems of and from a poet who convinces us to say aloud, “Our turn to be forgotten, will come /all too soon.” Murphy is a poet demanding change in the largest possible setting—that of human imagination and capacity to heal wounds our own hands have made and cast. This collection, while grave and bursting with warning to be heeded, comes from a man in love with the sheer size and precious fragility of the spaces we occupy, the breath we carry.