Algo Poetry-Behind the Lines

Why do we want what we want (And can’t have)?

I am overwhelmed at the reaction to my third collection, A Light Goes On, available now, exclusively on Amazon. This is the culmination of a trilogy that has taken me from the depths of despair to a crack in an Unreconciled Door, where some light has now become visible.

Thanks to all of you for reading and listening along to my first two collections and I really hope you enjoy A Light Goes On, which book ends that period of my writing and of my life.

“Petit Object a” is the second poem from the third collection and the subject of this week’s Behind the Lines.

“Objet petit a” to give it its vernacular French, was a theory espoused by Jacques Lacan, who some would say, was the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud. He came from a house where the care givers were a travelling salesman and the other a devout Catholic.

This guy was no ordinary shrink. He hung out with Breton, Dali and Picasso and being a mate of James Joyce, was at the first reading of Ulysses in a Parisian bookstore. All of the above are reasons why I wanted to learn more about him.

His theory that is the subject ,and slightly mangled title , of today’s piece states that, simply put, we are lacking something, a sense that there is a part of the self missing. That missing piece is “a”.

It is in the obsessive language of poetry or pop music-the unattainable object of desire.

It’s in his childhood, as someone once said, and Lacan’s theory is rooted in the separation of mother and child.

The primitive demands of the infant may only be babbling, incomprehensible screams, but they bring the Other to minister to the infant’s needs. However, the presence of the Other soon acquires an importance in itself, that goes beyond the satisfaction of need, symbolising the Other’s love.

Lacan, L’artiste

Hence demand soon takes on a double function, serving both as an articulation of need and as a demand for love.

However, whereas the Other can provide the objects which the subject requires to satisfy his needs, the Other cannot provide that unconditional love which the subject craves.

Desire for the unattainable or “getting what you want” becomes a key driver.

Human beings are intrinsically driven creatures and without this, perhaps no “New World” would have been discovered, no space race, no Manhattan project, no unrequited love for Yeats to write about.

The poem concludes with a certainty, that regardless of the outcome of our search for “a”, that we will not be satiated with the attained or unattained result.

Humans, you have to love us, right?


P.S. No prizes for guessing where the title for the third collection came from.

A Light Goes On is available to order now in Kindle format on Amazon for just $€£ 0.99

If you like and if you can, having being delighted by this daily dose of dissonance, maybe Buy Me a Coffee please ,or even better, order A Light Goes On, so you can read along with Behind the Lines.

My second collection, Unreconciled Doors, is the subject of Season 2 of the Algo Poetry-Behind the Lines podcast-follow it on your favourite podcast provider to listen along.


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