Consider the application of Kitasono's method of producing orthodox poetic effects to the identification of salient features of our itemized crystogram.
There seem, for example, to be only two properly objective, appropriately inhuman, solid, soulless and static "things" on the list, namely, a matchbox and a cigarette. To see that these are the only two dead things in the bunch, it is enough to try to produce what Kitasono described as a mere "aesthetic feeling" (without "further development") by the articulation of three items, using the classic line
a shell, a typewriter and grapes
as a paradigm. We get lines like the following.
a matchbox, a cigarette and an outstretched hand
a matchbox, a cigarette and a shaking
a matchbox, a cigarette and a mouth
a matchbox, a cigarette and someone else
a matchbox, a cigarette and a failure to evoke
All these give us more than an aesthetic feeling, which is to say, they evoke an image. I leave it as a challenge, but I'll claim that there are no three things on the list that can be put together without inadvertently producing imagery. (When I was younger, after watching a PBS special on mathematics, I spent many hours trying to draw a map that would need more than four colours to ensure that no two territories of the same colour were to touch. This challenge is like that.)
The thing to pay attention to here is the way the crystogram uses body parts (a hand, a mouth) and gesticulations (shaking, thrusting) as preconditions (a priori conditions) for the solidity and soullessness of things (a matchbox, a cigarette). I was trying, in a much simpler way, to do something like this by setting a naked body against a glass monolith in the pursuit of metaphysical composure.
This contrast renders the things transparent or rain-sparkling, while giving the person his necessary opacity. Somewhere around here we may locate the tension film, the "thin veneer of immediate reality". The next step will be to understand the composition of the thingly and personal items in this image in their relation to "the whole life" or "existence" described. In my next post, I'll therefore look at the desire to smoke and the correlative belief of the smoker.