I, for instants : a fictional series

I would like to start experimenting here with another fictional idea I have of a series of brief sketches of a pronoun.  “The concept or open field behind “I, for instants” includes the linguistic function of the pronoun (“‘I’ can only be identified by the instance of speech which contains it, and by that alone” –Emile Benveniste), an inquiry into the use of the singular pronoun with pluralities of selves/individuals (“Language is like drinking from one’s own reflection in still water.  We only take from it what we are at that time.” –Simon van Booy) and the spatio-temporal/multivalent/polyphonic boundary of it all (“where the wash of uncertainty begins” –Nelly Sachs).

In bursts of instants of writing, I (Is) speak(s).  Multiple instants of Is.  Exploring I via time, place, situation, knowledge, composition, etc. hopefully thereby instigating some of us to consider (reconsider) our “Is” and engage personality and community in its becoming.

This instant seemed apropos to Valentine’s Day:

If I grew, for instance, in which direction?  Perhaps a swell, a fissure, a scar or disease.  I believe I reach out, long crooked arm with a wide-opened hand.  Or is it grasping?  Even the relation feels fictional.  How could I know?  Without you.


“I do not know whether semiology will ever establish itself as a science.  The very people who observe this discipline have difficulty in defining it because everything is a sign in the world of forms, sounds, and colors, and a science embracing everything remains inconceivable.  But if we want to bide by verbal languages there are certainly considerable differences between the word as it is seen and the word as it is read and understood.  The word as it is seen is far less alphabetical than the word as it is read and pronounced.  It can be regarded as an ideogram.

Its faults are its lack of multivalence and its claim to some lasting truth.  The industry of communication would be basically undermined if the various means of expression claimed to have any duration in time.  What we need is not language but the suggestion, the arabesque, which is born and dies within a few minutes.  What we need is that which we see, hear, and touch for a single moment, and which is then consumed and replaced by a similar stimulus”

-Eugenio Montale-


Words are Misleading (an addenda)

The “Time” Machine (or, Words can be Misleading)

They pronounced the words

and pointed at the face

the face with the hands.

They announced the words

as terms and math and concepts.

Other things they had named and gestured:





But these hands, this face

they designated “time.”

So that it might be lost

or found

gained or squandered

like a toy, a friend

or the contents of a wallet.

But it is not like that.

Time cannot be “there.”

Is not a nearness or distance

It does not take up space

It is no thing

And so the words were all wrong

full of pasts, presents, futures

rather than nows or occurings

manifestings or become.

I misunderstood

as do we all, it seems

at least us who greet

the great face of numbers

with plans and regrets

and false concepts called speed

I am tired of our language

listening now to Hopi & Shawnee

to Far East and Far South

signs accounting for Einstein

and Heisenberg

not abstracted like equations

or metaphysical symbol

but present in all its various forms

and modes of meaning(s)

faceless globes without hands

and pointing in every direction

N Filbert 2012