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Annihilating Illumination

A poem by George Andrews, 1963

While being struck by lightning in slow motion
the fire sears away layer after layer
sizzles me down to my ultimate ash
I quiver shrieks of laughing crystals
the radiant frenzy of the storm’s soul dwells
in the guts of the dragon
the bomb in my belly blasts my body to bits
a million suns burst into being
naked free no rings around me but my own desire
I hold the lightning in embryo in my arms
the blood of the cactus is the blood of a snake
and the blood of a star
magnetic dragon throbbing in each corpuscle
shining snake of the light wave our beings are based on
glyph of the nucleus of the cosmos
original flash of let there be light
the boat of the sun navigates through
the underworld of my intestines
perpetual pilgrim doomed to wander
through the chromatic repercussions
the intimate structure of the transparent signs
flower of light flowing through the blood of the universe
I wander through the mazes of the glory
and the horror of the life slime
vital jelly swarming in all possible creatures
I see the dead and the living merge
the dead call to us the living may we recognise them at last
the dead are in our blood each corpuscle an ancestor
the day all the living die the dead shall live
herald of the apocalypse sound the doomsday horn
man stop the wheel of creation and look inside
the stars are all contained within our organs
galacitic music spins within the bones
coruscating symphonies coalece iridescent vibrations
coupled poles of attraction combust
the salt of a fantastic caprice
philosphers stone cooking in the cauldren of my skull
drain the bitter cup to its last drop
potent is the sorcerer's broth
mighty is the giant bird who swoops down and carries me away
to the motionless point around which all motion spins
I see touch and count the seeds of destiny
I see how fate weaves its webs
dreaming worlds into being from the ooze of my own brain
God born of the goo of my membranes
and has suffered ever since
the intricate combinations of the opposites
afloat forever a bubble on the surface of reality
oh to make one perfect thing at last
of all the worlds of wandering
a ransom for the soul’s pain
drink liquid lightning from the sacred river while it is before you
don’t miss a drop no one sees it twice
fire swims and pulses through each cell of my being
the seed of strong delight stirs
myriad joys feel at home in an angel’s nest
revolving wheels of splendor palpitate potent beauty
clear colors cascade undulating reflections
of the diamond in the brain the pituitary gland decalcified
the mirror in the mind
the heavenly heart awakens the first beat tells the worlds
germ in the guts of God or God in the guts of a germ
I am that I am the same dance is everywhere
the one law of cyclic change
that constantly accelerating fugue of incandescent experience
flaming sequences of rhythm patterns
I am alive within the living God
I throb unique among the infinite variations
and so what if all the evolution of consciousness
only leads to the knowledge
that I am a germ in the guts of a greater being
I am older than creation older than all beings
the stars revolve within me
I voyage through the inner space between my atoms
I take spaceships to the different parts of my body
each organ becomes a constellation as I spread across the sky
wheeling throught the Zodiac weaving the fate of future races
concieve a cosmos where life does not need to kill to live
create a system free from pain
in the spawn and seethe of the primeval ocean
out of chaos I pass the current
immortal diamonds shimmering on the foam of the instant now
scintillating images of the flux that never fixes
explode into extreme intensities
constantly generating golden brilliance
face to face with the annihilating illumination
how much revelation can an organism sustain and stay alive
mortals beware the rays of the absolute
Nerval: “They consider me insane but I know
that I am a hero living under the eyes of the gods.”
glistening tender stars in the organs of all forms of life
trembling jewels flicker as they crawl like snakes
hidden energy roots of the soul body contact
subtle link between the sun and our life metabolism
invisible fiery wheel inside me
one spark that transforms everything
I’ve been to paradise and out the other side
zoomed through it
like the midnight express through a whistle stop
I have been torn apart by the fingers of the flash
flayed alive on my electric skeleton
pulverized by the power of the spasm
I am the bridge between the living and the dead
I am the spirit in the shaman’s drum
I quiver to the rhythm of the Sphinx
I visit my own body as a stranger
incredible paroxysms of the luminous protoplasm
kindle multiple modulations of rare royal reality
to know that at each moment the crown jewels of the absolute
are dancing in the slime of my tissue
the play of the light in the growing cell_
pours through the pulse of my perception
phoenix singing in my flesh
bird that breathes lightning as we breathe air and fishes water
intricate egg of fire fluctuating
in the magnetic field of my affinities and repulsions
where myriads of globdules circulate cross-wires hum
most amplifed fantasy of the diamond body harvest
I free my nucleus gathering ecstasy for the ages
my psyche digests the apocalyptic wisdom
interplanetary nausea
perfection signals tremor on the skin
Oh frail fine blue star
your faint fragile tonalities swoon triumphant rainbows
as the berserk fury of the thunders roar
fades into words on paper.

This poem originally appeared in Psychedelic Review, Issue Number 1, Summer 1963. It was lovingly transcribed by volunteers at The Castalia Foundation in Millbrook, USA.

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The Castalia Foundation | Est. 1963 | Millbrook, USA | Founded by Timothy Leary