A Tenure & Promotion Dossier

To think.

To get done.

To be done.

To survive.

Get by.

Endure.

[what will feed and fuel us?

                                    how might we grow like errant plants?]

There is weight, great,

like words of Beckett,

terse and heavy

with ridiculous

mind

To go on.

In spite of.

Anyway.

[to round a bend, turn it in, be relieved

                                    to be accepted, acceptable, acknowledged.]

To count, to mean, to matter

Anyway.

Because

we happen

and go on…

[if I might vine, might drink the spoiled

                                    to live, to thrive, to weed]

To make the turn

into what grows

anyway, despite

out of joint, or time, or space,

terrorized

refusal

The flagrant

Remainder

Unmerited

Surplus

[as if we were another sort, not a same-seeded,

                                    same-growing, same-veined kind]

Even though at least one said:
“Everywhere

being is dancing”

and another

how alike are dancing and sex

And another

and another

the variety

the merited

surplus

 

We forgot.

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Hold Lightly, Leave Be

 

Hold lightly, it said,

there are so many voices,

movements.

Hold lightly,

lest you repeat,

she said.

[the surfaces, and distance, beneaths]

I listened:

breezes, waves;

windiness and water;

the moon riding along,

each night so differently

the same.

 

Without repetition,

she said,

my hands open,

palms and whatever fingerprintings,

the bruising, barely,

again and again,

so differently.

 

How tides change,

or seasons:

things we’ve come to think of –

each you, each I,

each every –

quivering along

like leaves

 

through the years.

In other words:

over and over

without repeat

again, anew –

how ‘new’ requires reference

of similarity.

 

So love

hold lightly,

she said,

it says,

as wheat falls into ground

and suns set down, again,

as moons rise – (which, neither) – and

never the same.

 

Both-and

either-or

neither-nor

and so on

without repeat

within the like,

the long, the loving.

 

You come again.

I try to grip lightly –

the future never knows –

I’d like to leave it,

to gather you,

to hold…

you.  You.  You.

 

(Again, differently).

“Hold lightly”, you (she) says,

“lest you repeat

and grow tired…”

My palms are open                                                                             (to touch, to pass by)

I am trying to read,

to listen.

 

To leave be.

Now, and so on: an addendum

I do not doubt that we are all capable of learning to freeze.  Or starve to death, for that matter.  Death will not be a stranger for any, for long.

.

There are reasons we are constituted in uncertainty.

We are able to learn.

Everyone will.

.

It’s why I told her how much I trusted her.  To change.  And therefore never knew anything, asking so many questions, again and then again, about plans.  Who knew when?  or then?  or now?  I said.  Things fluctuate as they die.

Or I never knew.  Having so little to do with facts or truth, beliefs or trust.  IS is always something else.  Or here is always different.  NOW has never been, in other words.  Even if the words are the same.

.

And. So. On.

Apparently.

.

There is music.  And recognition – recognizability – (memory?) – a passion for pattern, a shine to similar, a longing for location, locatability.  For what it’s worth – a pronounced inaccuracy and pro-found nostalgia.  As the ‘similar’ is founded on what’s been experienced before (pro-found), and at least less than (or more?) than present.  Pre-sent?  NOW was given / sent before?  I doubt that… but feel wary that that’s all we’ll ever know, never quite catching up to being.

In another sense: the inherent lag of perception.  How old (again, pre-supposedly) are the stars we ‘see’?  Or the squirrel on yonder branch; your eyes across the table; our held hands… by the time they register?

What happens, “now”?  And why are we occupied with what we call “next” when we can’t even exist at once’s occurring?  Seeking a head start?  A virtual or imagined pre-sent?

.

Yes I heard what you said…after you’d said it.

There’s our “now.”

The cut from stepping on glass… and then the pain… later.

The bite of food, licks of flesh, kisses… and then the tasting.

The breeze and then the leaf, light and then its outline.  Mostly shadow.

“Hello,” I reply in turn, but your head already bowed and path resumed, on the far sidewalk.

.

I fall behind.

.

Suppose this is why, in conversation, ever losing our way in delay, we ask “where were we?” rather than “where are we?”  What is it we wish to know?  Where do we hope to be with one another?

As I was saying – with requisite gap between whatever may have been transpiring in my ‘mind’ (or whereverywhere thinking occurs) and the sludgy musculature, instruments, and carefully crafted formulation of alphabetic symbols to display attempts of communication or composures…

…now I’ve forgotten…

Exscribing: a Process

Image result for hand writing with pen on paper

How stories are written.

They are experienced.  They are felt, intimated, intuited and interpreted.

Sometimes spoken through or about.

They become body.

They are lived – if only imaginatively – they are invented (always).

If inescapable or unavoidable, the only way to “pass” them – find them, become in relation to them (i.e. ‘go on’) – is to expel, express them… put them outside the body, psyche, person: MAKE them, forge them, create with them…

“ex” (out-of) “term” (language) “in” (-scribe or –voke) “ate” (devourable form) them.

Stories are composed, inscribed, evoked, in order to ex-term-in-ate them.  To live on – through and past – to survive what marks/marked the person who must process and be rid of them in order to… go on experiencing (live).

.

Search those tales that traverse your body – its space, and over time. 

Watch what arises again and again – a trope, a chorus, a theme, a complaint.

Though memory (creative narrative), perhaps it holds a not-forgotten, an almost-permanence.  That which seems to stay with you, in you, may be of you – there’s story there.  Don’t worry truth.  Truth never worries.  And no stories are about it.  And constructs of “facts” – or, agreement of observations and perceptions – hardly tells as well.  Stories – good, real stories – lie in differences.

Perhaps difference is kind of true.

Practice synesthesia with what you uncover / discover: hear what you see; taste the sounds; feel what you smell; look deeply at all you touch; be something like a being – an organism whose senses are always combined in the perceiving and experiencing.  That you are is a thing unto itself, and can not be exhausted as long as.

.

And so to write, to exscribe.  In the beginning was… the true fact that you are, however doubting and unknowable.  This too is experiencing.  To be experiencing is to live.  Prepositions and propositions notwithstanding.

It writes.

.

And so it is said, a kind of exscription, a thinking-out-with.  As breath surges sound or even whispers.  To follow – not following – the forms of the objects (obstacles) – lungs and throat and palate, tongue and teeth and lips, not to mention faces and the movements of limbs and digits.  The lineation of terms and letters, vocables and consonants – exscription-with, even air, atmosphere.  And should the context change (and it is changing as you say, think, exscribe) – you write, you sound, you scribble, going-on-with…

Thus it is written.

.

And so it becomes.

Stories are an history of mortality.  Where it begins in first awareness that it ends.  And so memories, so comparisons – lessness and mostness and the little by little of forgetting.  How it’s made through its undoing, to the last.  We story only as we die.

What is it that was said?  You say?

Dusk becomes, and a sort of lost.

The first way in, being out.

Ex-scription.

The forth is all.  Experiencing.

.

Letting it air out.  This seems important though many might advise that writing is a matter of devotion, dedication, discipline.  Maybe it is?  What have I written in way of stories?  Much time is involved in the shaping of rivers’ courseways… and chance… and the continuous involvement of the with-out.

.

Re-membering that the activity and activist (one doing the activity – actor/actress?) are entirely muddled in the ‘between’ that equals: “Here.”  Forging or forcing ex-scription tends to falsify the act and turn it towards an in-scription of something – report or epitaph, confession, statement, fable, style, form.  But storying and writing, like living and all activity, are between formless and formed – taking form, forming.  We are not producing or conveying information, we are in formation through the activity of writing. To assume a stance, a stasis, a point-of-view or position or stake… authorial authority or control – is to leave the messiness of “here” and arbitrate a “there.”  No longer the presence-between sayer-and-saying, thinker-and-language, writing-and-written, imagining-and-inventing, feeler-and-feeling, etc… but reduced to a repetition of forms, ideas, concepts – borrowed, received, believed, or accepted (“in-formed”).  Composed verses composing; produced versus producing; almost a copyist versus a compositor (with com-posing and com-positing referring to making-with, viewing-with, creating-with complex multiplicities).

.

Con-, com-, con-.  With, with with- (these are the fields of ‘between’ where we are).  Ever, always, only – between – experiencing through exscribing – this stays on, vibrating in the lettering, arcs and tones of the writing…as activity going-on.  Experiencing.  Energy.  The forthness of creativity is its unknowable, indecipherable, inextricable withness.  Perhaps.

.

Authorial authority or control a sort of repetition of law, convention, acceded power, regime(n).  An attempt to step aside from the stream of experiencing and treat the activity of writing (or exscribing) not as an activity of being – alongside thinking, loving, believing, feeling, working, etc., – but something mechanical, technical, somehow outside the confluence of being, the flow of experiencing.  Feigning objectivity, knowledge, pre-cluded rather than preludic (decided-before versus approaching the play or dance or swim of activity in complexity).  Told versus happening.  Production versus process.  Untrue, or less or more than actual.  Mortality – dead letter – versus verbal occurring…as-is.

.

To return to ending – the beginning of story – our limits, death, and finitude – that which forces us to forge – to attempt memories, notate change as loss or gain, seek patterns, learn, sing, exscribe, act… imagine… dream… craft and create – the knowing, the reality, that experiencing is not endless.  Attend: it ends.

And so we story.

Exscribing…experiencing…what there is, while there is, along many modes of action.  What is perceived as happening and runnels through the body, swirling currents of memory, the staining of refrains… and the activity of exscribing it – of moving it out-with-in-to relation of world as compositing – not copying, stating, reporting – but ever keeping in mind that the activity of writing is also a live, indeterminate, and infinitely complex way of being-with-world… we are hardly machines translating experience, or computers spitting out data… everything we do so long as we’re living, is living – alive and uncertain, conformation-with everything that surrounds and drowns us.  Participation.  Being.

Exscribing as a process of being alive.

 

NOW OH ON

+ Samuel Beckett +

When else is there?  Or where?  Only now, on… no how, on, on only now.

What I mean is that we will strive.  We strive.  From “strife” – disturbance, struggle, war… the turbulent activity that alive involves.  Motion.  Something we don’t know how to stop, without action.  Activities of ‘the last.’  Unable to experience their ceasure, their ends.  What ends?

The unknown?  Surely not the motility of the parts in wholes unceasing.  An idea of action?  Its ‘language’?  Such saying for to be said, missaid, always.  Another ‘end’ without knowledge, perhaps.

Perhaps misaware of limits?  A particular sort of activity’s borders?  Perhaps solely misaware.  Distracted by activities we might call abilities simply because ‘we seem able to’ – to what?  Disturb, turbulate, live.  How else aware, even unawares?

We go on (“to strive” “to make strife”), even, sometimes, without ‘effort,’ insofar, just continue, with no how, but on.  Merely on.  Even imagining we’re “not” sometimes – its own ongoing.  Now, oh on, anyway, even without how, like repetition or citation, trundling referencing.

I mean to say – we strive (and make strife) – often in lieu of intention, even with apposite purposes – breathe again, anti-again, attempt to negate or destroy (even ourselves) going on no how, now oh on, almost without prejudice, only preference or opinion, some direction made by lack, discomfort, disturbance, desire, indifference, doubt.  Now oh on…

As if a play of breath.  A texture of emissions, an inseparability of matter and space commingled duration, a wish for absence to enable our moves and again to sense we are here, now… oh on… no how, only, on, again, ever different(ly, also).  That kind of same, as in memory, forgotten or impossible become.

Missaid, misaware, avoid negation, probably not (!) un- or ends would have already come.

From other ideas for language: from sight, from feels, from motion.  From other (s) – language or motion… from strife and disturbance, from obstacle… anything to notice, perceive, accidentally endure, to become.  Now, oh on.  Anything – even a wishing for no (thing) is something – perhaps without how, but still on.  It’s a song, or could be, hardly motion sans sound, even whispers – how else could silence arise?  Even rising – difference – a change in the scene or a sense – never stoppage: now, oh, on.

To get back to the strife or the striving – the friction that comes from duress or caress – just the difference – a surface, an alter, a scrum or a veil – misaware of the motion, the context, the seamless mobility clipped for the eye or the hand, the scent or the senses or thought.  As a dream – and perhaps! – misaware and missaid, misperceived.  We go on, now – oh on, nohow on, only on…

Akin to ‘the next thing’?  If even the ‘last’?  What becomes like an ‘on’ if undoing (unbecoming, unmaking, erosive, erasing, destruct)?  What gets lost, what survives, of what IS?  No how can be told, but goes on.  Loss is but change and perturbance, disturbance (again, but now ON) – now, oh, on… anyhow, always now, ever on…

The end an invention of language perhaps – to imagine – a “not” to the on…

 

Measures of Life

“‘Word work,’ Toni Morrison said in Stockholm, ‘is sublime because it is generative,’ its felicity in its reach toward the ineffable. ‘We die,’ she said.  ‘That may be the meaning of life.  But we do language.  That may be the measure of our lives.'”

Lewis Lapham, Word Order

Lapham Word Order

Read full text here: Word Order, Lewis Lapham

Untitled

Then:

pregnant with fore and aft –

a jumbled detritus

of flotsam and jetsam

and chance.

.

Like now.

But where is the body

alive?

in what chances,

for whom –

all the whens,

all the wheres,

.

here:

nothing happening

but thought and a world;

what is: being some feeling of –

circumstance – small bubble,

same as there.

.

Go on,

take your rest

and escape…

you cannot leave it.

And then you do.

The Loop: Shite I keep writing

because I haven’t posted anything in quite awhile, and because I have been writing, but because nothing has seemed publicly interesting or worthy.  And yet, some representative scrap-examples of the past couple months….

For any triangle, you can draw a circle that fits perfectly inside (the incircle) and also one that connects all its corners (the circumcircle). This shows the path of the centre of the incircle, as a triangle is shuffled around its circumcircle....

It happens to be quiet here, sunny and cool after a damp, cloudy day, nearing dusk, studying suicide(s) and languaging.  Thinking of my children and loves, family, my own strange trajectory, feeling flabby and less than optimally healthy, but not quite hopeless or dead.  The world has a certain, conspicuous fullness, after all.

We experience time without believing in it.  And it’s complicated to know what we believe.  I do not understand facts (so-called).  Events.  Places.  Persons.  Everything seems more motile than we think.  And finite, and brief, ephemeral.  Liquid, as it were.

I never encounter the same child, parent, lover, or friend.  Not “my” yard, home, car, path.  Even the rocks and books are changed, even the words and numbers.  We are never still.

Given Two Hours: A Potential Entry

or, My failures are easy to find.

or, I was never good at math (that includes geometry).

Kafka said: “Life is merely terrible…one or two hours for writing is not enough… ten hours would be perfect, but since perfection cannot be achieved one must at least come as close to it as possible, and not give a thought to sparing oneself…”

So, 10 minutes then, maybe half an hour, before inevitable intrusions or interruption: children calling “Dad!,” “I love you!,” “I need…,” or the coffee or vodka run out, or bladder, or laundry needs switching or a stranger waves or a parent calls or…

Also the bills need paid.

And now I’m tired.

Given two hours, and only 32 books to read today, and a fresh, blank, lined notebook… perhaps I should write in pencil today – what did I have in me so burning to get at, out, smoldering and smoking in there as if about to blow… and a limited window… and an urge, a compulsion really [“what kid!?!…yeah, that’s fine, go ahead” What? the phone rang?  Why say that to me?  The oven ding’d?  What!?  So what!?  What?  Why?]…where was I?

Oh yes, Beckett:  having nothing to write and desperately compelled to… in pencil?  No, too easy, too impermanent, erasable – which is why I can’t use these electric jobbies tapping at vanishing light – if a keystroke makes it disappear why choose a key at all?  No necessary difference, hardly any time or effort involved in devolution – what ‘correction’?  What where to correct?  Pen will serve fine, pen and paper, various inky colors, the muscles of my hand forcing lines into letters to words to phrases, perhaps meanings (from somewhere into otherwheres – ‘meanings’): the ache, the minutes, the struggle, the thoughts… writing.  “Ten hours would be perfect…” given that “there is nothing to express, nothing with which to express, nothing from which to express, together with the obligation to express…”

Well maybe not so many nothings, there is language after all (the little I know, and that always changing, unsteady, ambiguously loaded with history, culture, and a billion other author-ities… and billions yet to come upon any reading or hearing)…so maybe so many nothings after all…certainly the “from which” and the “is.”

Nevertheless, given two hours… (“ten would be perfect…”) maybe something will come of all the nothing confused in the effort and exercise, the obligation and chaos and chance of tangling with language indelibly, in pen, on paper, of matter.  Something to live with, on, against, work at, anyway.

The surprised way she says “I love you!” for instance.  Variable emphases, nearly uptoned into question, almost astonishingly emitted, as if amazed at admitting some sound-noun, naming an unknown representation – what evokes or revokes as experienced.  “Wah!?  I love you?!”  “Wha-?! I love you??” “Wait!? I love you?!” etc… varietous befuddlement presenting…nothing?!  Who knows.  But she says it, and with all the madness of disbelief and unbelieving wonder.  For what is there to believe?  Does anyone know?

Given two hours, perhaps will get somewhere.  I learned about it from language, and anything I’ve heard about it has come round that way as well.  Needless to say.  Yet each occasion, each her or him and subsequent emittance or pronouncement, promise or claim of expression, is never the same, nor often even that similar… “love” seems to have no stable referent, and yet apparently it is rife in the world, like violence or lying, or hate.

I’m trying to ‘think about it”… with the assistance of shaping something of material trace and difficult erasure.

“I love you!?!”

Intuitively (or habitually?) I perceive and interpret her intoned curiosity as all about me – solipsistically (intuitively, perceptually, and learned) – her astonishment must be that (of all humans) she discovers herself obscurely (the nature of the ‘love’-beast) loving “ME” (i.e. ‘you’ in the phrase) – me, the hardly lovable mishmash mess with large laundry lists of problems and unlikelihoods, aged and unattractive, mired in single-parenting, alcohol, odd literary obsessions and wildly improbable dreams and plans, thoughts and tastes… her surprise must be ALL ABOUT ME – what a wonder that such as she should find herself mystery-feeling toward this one!

But I was flummoxed as well… often when I can’t help saying the phrase of cliche’d madness, I too feel startled by the sound and urge of it: “I love you!?!”  And again I devour it all as having to do with ME.  (I never question HER lovability – youthful, beautiful, intelligent, copiously interesting and talented, sexy, etc.) – it seems a wonder that “I” – in my accruing age, multiple divorces, quatro children, ailing vitality, addictions, moderate learning, boring introverted and nearly solitary routines – might still find myself convinced there was no other term for this cynically skeptical ominous and overwhelming desire, this severe joy and delightful anguish I was experiencing toward this quite obviously deserving human specimen.  The alarm must be that “I” might be capable whatsoever of such an unlikely happening – wherewithal in my condition, situation, state-of-being (if such it could be called).  In whatever case, EGO is a whale, our largest mammal by far, even when proclaiming its undoing, inadequacy, or failure.

But she says it again, and again, and yet again, and continually wonder-full-y.  As do I find myself unable to cease exclaiming the phrase – at times in return or reply, and often uncalled-for, as if there where simply nothing else for it.  “It” – that untangleable knot of what we (similarly indecipherable to “love”) entitle “experience.”  And again.  And again.  As if repeating it coincides to making it ‘the case’ – some truth, a factual reality.  And we are concomitantly evolving a stress on the syllables “love” and “you.”  The phrase almost trinitarian or as necessarily pointed as ancient rules for a triangle.  I.e. without which (any point): NOT.  That started me thinking about the other nodes and angles beyond “I,” tectonically realizing how “I” was gobbling up both “love” and “you” as if they were all synonyms of a one-lined bar (“I”) rather than thoroughly separate shifters, depending on the context of saying.

Wait – could I really be a you and would love find its way to exist in both directions of the shape?  Why hadn’t I cared more about equations and Euclid as a youth – those so-called “abstract truths” that worked anytime anywhere and perhaps for any entities or numerals – “universals” as it were – independent of fallacious and fallible worlds (‘realities’)?  Perhaps I should be working on a PC – a light hand of erasure and displacement, easy correction, replaceability.

What if every I is also You, and You can be I sometimes and Love either way is what swervishly links and actively ties them into phrases, shapings, and being?  What if “I” is not my only or even predominant name?  What if I am equally you…or many times over a You – and only rarely and sparingly and minimally an “I”?  And what if Love is what invents and brings either pronoun to the clearing – crafts them perceptible – sets either up and out as ex-isting?  Ex-ist – to be ‘out of’ either ‘I’ or ‘You’ or both interchangeably in the contextual relation of the ‘world’?  Egad!  Suddenly, math.  The n or x factors – the ‘unknown-anys’ – the placeholders/integers – at any time filling an equational place worked out toward some solutions or remainders or unsolvables?  And where does infinity fit?  Sets?  Differentials and non-linears?  I was never good at math… Were you?  Was I/you?  Who loves?

Is it then x + y = n?  Where each is a variable struggling through maddening effort toward balance, equaling?  I/you + You/I = love?  Interchangeable probabilities if the integers work – remainders, powers, deficits, and all?  I’ll never understand, am incapable of working it out, and doubt computable laws anyway… and yet… I sense that we are variables and that love makes some surprising solutions to complex problems, no matter how simply or radically signified or symbolized.

In any case “I”‘m a “shifter” just like “You” and “love” seems to be a contextual identifier, a strange conundrum of situation that (at least momentarily) selects values for each unknown of the equation.  A clearing, a possibility, probability, hypothesis.  The fields where beings may appear, are called forth, identified, or occasionally ‘fit.’  What solves for Be.  Here.  or Now.  I/You + Love.  You/I.

Given two hours, and pen, and paper, something might come to matter, to be, to strive for x or render a variable triangle.