“the void is waiting for vocabulary”

-Edmond Jabes-

Hundreds of thousands of bloggers just today.  More hundreds of thousands of words.  If internet and web cloud technocommunication virtuality haze space signifies anything to me it’s an enormous, incalculable black hole.  Like numbers of the dead in war-torn countries, the mind numbs, is unable to actually perceive, barely conceive the truly vast amounts of language traversing the aether even as my fidgety cursor leads me on.

Greyscale.  Fog.  If we could layer the sentences uploading and downloading each nanosecond we would create a gigantic palimpsest of shadows and abstraction.  With all of these voices, all these digits and copies and pastes and links and quotations and -ipedias of information flooding, flooding, pouring forth…who might hear?  How will your line or my line, each individual’s arrangement, profession, offering into the dialogue/multilogue languaging necessarily is – find a hint of an echo, a reverberation, let alone a true response?

“There are many more languages than one imagines.  And humans reveal themselves much more often than they wish.  So many things that speak!  But there are always so few listeners, so that humans, so to speak, only chatter in a void when they engage in confessions.  They waste their truths just as the sun wastes its light.  Isn’t it too bad that the void has no ears?”  -Friedrich Nietzsche-

Void:  deaf and hungry, is that what I’m understanding?  Like black-hole-vacuumings…taking everything in without distinction, churning it up like a sink-e-rator, farting it further through the absence of space?

And what of Jabes…a seer…some hopeful pseudo-Biblical desert screamer…personalizing the void?  Trying to soothe or encourage us in our madness to express, uncover, discover, be acknowledged, be heard – urging us to seed the void with our words?  A void without ears waits for language – what does this mean?

“the whole struggle of literature is in fact an effort to escape from the confines of language”
-Italo Calvino-

“Any page of writing is a knot of silence unravelled”

“Letters give form to absence”


Closer…at least to some thinking…that this reaching, this stretching, this hope beyond hope and irrational exigency to language language language this world…is also to get further, farther out, farther in to our world in its muteness.  Void might be empty, deaf, dumb, blind…and our language, our images and movements and sounds might cohere once in awhile…if only…this cosmosphere of chatter (i think i’ve even read “blogosphere” somewhere) might possibly torque us forward, pulling from our mouths languagings that belong…”to make writing appear, is not to dispose of privileged knowledge: it is to discover what everyone knows but no one can say.  It is to try, just once, to raise the veil which maintains us in an obscurity we have not chosen” (Philippe Sollers)

So everyone, keep feeding the sphere, fertilizing clouds, singing into the canyon…the void waits and waits and will always be waiting (else it could not be void)…there seems to be something Promethean, mythic, human about the effort to fill it, one word at a time

“the blank page, the void where everything is called into question”

-Ronald Sukenick-

“and you’d know.  You would know goddamn it.  And never be able to say”

-Denis Johnson-

“mysteries are problems that encroach on their own data” (George Santayana)…

to be continued

WordRain, an experimencte


Words are dropping like heavy Autumn rain off of leaves. I walk over them like lily pads, every step a stride over something not said, that liquidy deep.

They lie here tendentially. Bobbing so lightly against the surface of things, skin on a bubble, what can they hold?

They feel heavy, made of water and air, a breath. I test them with “heaviness,” with “weight.” They hold. I try “mountain,” I try “sea.” I heave “sorrow” and “darkness” and “death” into the words. They continue to stick to the surface, though I could not see them underneath.

I step again. Around me the pluck and leave marks, then vanish away.

I step. I have landed on “brick” held fast by the world. It wobbles a bit as if in a thick fluid, but I’ve balanced and am able to stand. I use “house” to shelter and observe. I choose “window” and “bay” and “uncovered” to watch them fall, to try and count them.

How they plop and then slide on each object in my surround. For moments they adhere, just long enough for me to piece them out – “branch” “wagon” “tarp” “barn” “flower” and then they have wriggled on and away, objects identified by attention and sense. Yet the rain of words is steady and all-over-at-once so I cannot take them off-guard, or catch something before its language is there. This is true as well for all of my perceptions.

I smell “must” and “dust” and baking “bread.” Wet “smoke,” “plants,” and “heater fumes,” some I am unable to see,

the sounds of “piano” and “strings” traveling toward me from great distances, invisible, and yet filled up with words.

I step again, into this grey rain.

I am wanting more language to catch on more surfaces, especially the unseeable ones. These “feelings,” “melancholy” and “nostalgia” with “sentiment” and “ennui.” More words please, more details in this downpour: identify “griefs” and these “loves.” I open my arms out wide, hunch over, lean back – where must they fall in order to land on these things I uncover no words for?

“Silvery” “mercurial” and “faint.” “Ominous,” “wistful” and an “obtuse pain.”

Not only. So much more without name in them!

“Molly.” “Wendy.” “Theodore.” “Distance,” “remorseful,” “unrequited” and “maimed.” “Misbegotten,” “disabled,” “mourn of the manufacturer’s defect.” “Insoluble.” “Ineffable.” “Now.”

I lay down. Afloat on the words as the stream together, overlap and cohere. Wide open now, mouth, legs, eyes and arms, rain runneling ears and nostrils, fingers and clothes – saturate me with words, let me hear of it all, all that there is, inward and out –

I am ready to drown – if all might be covered in words.

N Filbert 2011