First Award / Acknowledgment

I would like to thank G.E. at for nominating myself and others for the “One Lovely Blog Award.”  It is nice to know that our work is being read and that people are also glad that they are reading it.

7 things you wouldn’t already know about me?

1.  I’m a classically trained musician

2.  I have a name.

3.  I actually exist in space and time, embodied.

4.  I am part of a large complex rewarding family.

5.  I really really really like the music of Mark Kozelek

6.  I am looking for work in the writing field.

7.  I studied in Jerusalem, Heidelberg and Oxford during undergraduate days.

I commend to you the following:

Written in Water

brainsnorts, inc.

very small kitchen

the dad poet

life in relation to art

pigment pondering

Alphabet Soup Miniscule

canadian art junkie

the light ekphrastic


Anton Jarrod

you each and so many more i would love to press – lovely blogs indeed

the “rules” for the award, I guess, are to thank and link and nominate 10 or so you likewise think are lovely

thanks all!

Remarking Mark…Part the Second

Mark Marking Questions

“Man is a riddle.  Our complex relation to others may also be affected by our fascination with this riddle…Origin means, perhaps, question”

Edmond Jabes


“Writing as the ‘talking cure

he thought, thinking in language what he thought language might do.  Be doing.  To him.

He heard “why?,” a term learned early in order to learn, and thenceforward laid over nearly everything he read, encountered, overheard or stumbled across, as if it were his placeholding destiny in some infinitely progressing equation simplified “world.”

He’d read he needed other persons and things, places and times to know his own.  – “Why?”

He’d heard “until others acknowledge or teach you your shape, your ideas, what you see what you feel what you taste or speak or hear, your perceptions and scope, you won’t be aware of a thing.  You’ll have no ideas or sensations per se, you’re essentially Nothing without Them.”

Arching his back and shrieking a sound at an absence of breast: “why?”

“I guess I’m just punctuated that way,” he came to think, as he adapted vocabulary.  “My role in a sequence is: – ?”

“And God said ‘Let there be light,’ and there was…” well, maybe – ?

“The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao…” well, maybe –  ?

“1 + 1 = 2,” well….maybe – ?

“You are Mark, a male form of a human animal, replete with these working organs, the English language, and certain beliefs.  These are your parents, your sibling, your probable friends.  Here are some feelings, some expressions and thoughts.  Here are your words.”  Well.  Maybe – ?

Shaped with letters and numbers and sounds.  Voices and touchings and feels, he became, slowly, surely, puttied toward a recognizable form – perceptible to others, acknowledged, even affirmed or engaged from time to time.

“Why?” propelled the lengthening problem of life but never grew toward solutions.

He read elaborate explanations and descriptions as he borrowed more languages.  Spiritual terms, medical terms, words scientific, political, philosophical and intimate.  Thick reams of median symbols asking to be joined or embraced, understood or imbibed.

Mark enjoyed these fabrics, and found a belonging among them.  Layers and theories, emotions and dreams – he simply need append his simple gesture – ?


Trouble, in the form of discomfort or pain, of disjunction, arose when agreement was desired.  Explicitly or implicitly, this undermined his form.  In situations where reciprocation or statement, some firm relation was called out for, his questioning mark failed to serve.  Choices, commitments, integrities or beliefs turned to drizzle around his definitive (self-identified) symbol.

“I love you,” she wooed.  “-?-“ he replied.  “I cannot know what you mean, what your language portends, I am unable to verify why?” he’d respond.  To collapse and retreat.

Even thoughts and decisions were questioned and split open on his sharp weapon of a mark.  He was not trusted or deemed trustworthy as doubt was perceived an anomaly.

He remained uncertain.

Self-perceivably, he reliably questioned, he’d respond and then take it away with his mark, his “signature move” as it were, his undoing.  “Yes I will…” “This I think…” “I am…” always followed by his -?- (which sounded like “why?” in the air) and found no rationale that could not be further put to query.

The world was unstable as well as a “self” for him.  All under the branding shadow of “why?”  This Mark never outgrew in all his adaptations, acquisitions, mutations and metamorphoses.  His certain core of uncertainty.  His permanent doubt.  His oxymoronic reality of being, not-being -?-

They perceive him – they really do – but as full of content with no substance; as possible and capable yet a great risk; as veritably human but unnamed from within.  Without “identity.”  This is true even of his wife and his children, parents and friends, all unsure who or what they are relating to, marked with the sign of the -?-  The indeterminate one, the questionable and uncertain, the duplicitous and vague, are various ways he is read and conceived – standing there as he does on his tiny spot of here, long-legged and stooped as in prayer, or inquiry – ? –

The Vision – Friday Fictioneers June 1

We could see what we wanted, almost taste it on our tongues.  The smell of our promise with its head blown off.  We’d never get there, our dreams were lodged in clouds.  We stumbled to a halt to decide.  Going up or going down?  Together or parting our ways?

Contemplating our vision, we agreed it was beautiful.  Perhaps beyond telling.  It was then that it dawned: if we can’t say it to each other, we’ll never make it real.

N Filbert 2012

Friday Fictioneers, June 1, 2012

Making Senses: A short essay (perhaps poetic) of thoughts or aphorisms

my post today at Spoondeep mag :
thought it bore semblance to my workings going on here 🙂


Making Senses: A short essay of thoughts or aphorisms


In a sense, then, the world gifts us a skin, a flesh, in perceiving it.

And perhaps re-cognizing us, individual specimens, into a social situation.

In a sense, then, language expresses us.  As our inner individual experience is able to fit itself into the social commerce of forms, terms, gestures, behaviors and intonations, so that “self” is able to be known, observed, engaged and interpreted or received.  “Responded” to/with.

Each of our “Response – abilities,” our responsibility.

In a sense, then, our sense are middle ground clothed in mutuality – a “zone of contact with the present in all its openendedness” (Mikhail Bakhtin).

In a sense, then, here is where we meet, and that-here (“there” hypothetically) is where we continually be-come (or come-to-be).

In a sense, then, our “name” for existence – “Being” – is appropriately an action…

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Telling Our Stories

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Telling Our Stories

After all, it is language, this story.  This telling of you, of me, of our feelings and years, whatever we’ve done.  We are just speaking, really, creating from language our world and our children, our works and our actions as if we remembered.

I can’t see the harm in it.

I say I remember, here looking at you, that first time in your eyes, whether 18 or 40, when we may have sat facing each other or entwined, as if we’d first met and must absorb everything.  How large they seemed, how blue and soft as rain, how far I could swim there as if building a nest.

I don’t see the danger in using our language to say so.  In making up stories, alone or together, about us; our world and our selves, what we think.

After all, it is language we share.  As you bend at your work, your collar reveals a fresh sentence, your skirt a painting of terms, in your flesh all these stories I study to learn.  Of your breast and your elbow and hair.  The nape of your neck exclaims and your scars everywhere.  What the poet said, also with words, combining verbs and adverbs and nouns: “Your body is a book of thoughts that cannot be read in its entirety.”  Just words, but I keep them and sing them again, I can’t see the harm in the trying.

I love you with terms of my body.  I sign them to you when it’s dark.  It is language, oh yes, and you hear me.  We read with our skin.  Typography refers to impressions.  You impress me, even as I Braille what I need.  How else might we weave what is we without terms and strokes or gestures?

Only language, after all, that we borrow, I get it.

But where is the frailty in trying?

I read and I read and I read what you tell, ever growing a Talmud of comment.  I notate, I argue, I vent.  Then repeat.  I praise and I question and soothe.  You likewise make of my verbiage a stream; a spring from far peaks that dissolves to a delta.  What should we call what we do?  Relat-ivity?  Our capacity to engage and to meet – to relate?  Communication?  Always co-, ever with, filling munitions and messaging, our vocation?

To say, to listen, to hearken, to spell.  Here we tumble and thicken and age.  Her we interpret, reply and enrage.  Here we bind ourselves, it is language we keep using, keep finding, continue to tell…

“………………..Even in sleep

our bodies seek each other, your face the moon

lighting my dreams.  And by day, scenes beyond

untanglement.  Tell me my story, love;

how could I know it, we are such knotted things?

-Philip White, from Aubade

Heroes Ringing True

Robert Musil

On “the writer type”:

One can describe this type as the person in whom the irredeemable solitude of the self in the world and among people comes most forcefully to mind:  as the sensitive person who is never given his due;  whose emotions react more to imponderable reasons than to compelling ones; who despises people of strong character with the anxious superiority a child has over an adult who will die half a lifetime before he will; who feels even in friendship and love that breath of antipathy that keeps every being distant from others and constitutes the painful, nihilistic secret of individuality; who is even able to hate his own ideals because they appear to him not as goals but as the products of the decay of his idealism.  These are only isolated and individual instances, but corresponding to all of them, or rather underlying them, is a specific attitude toward and experience of knowledge, as well as of the material world that corresponds to it.”

On the writer’s region (“nonratioid”):

“There is no better way to characterize this region than to point out that it is the area of the individual’s reactivity to the world and other individuals, the realm of values and valuations, of ethical and aesthetic relationships, the realm of the idea…in this region facts do not submit, laws are sieves, events do not repeat themselves but are infinitely variable and individual…there is in the writer’s territory from the start no end of unknowns, of equations, and of possible solutions.  The task is to discover ever new solutions, connections, constellations, variables, to set up prototypes of an order of events, appealing models of how one can be human, to invent the inner person…which then nevertheless branches out somewhere into a boundless thicket, although not without somehow fulfilling its purpose…”

These quotes come from his exceptional small essay Sketch of What the Writer Knows

which I desperately wanted to reproduce here…

if it “rings true” for you – please find a mentor and friend in Robert Musil:


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We wanted love.  This sentence has no meaning outside a sentence.  We wanted a multitude of words.  Love was to become the quarrying of ourselves, emerging from a completely different side of the narrative…Representing ourselves to ourselves was an unmanageable task from the beginning.  To continue being a reality while simultaneously becoming its sign that dissembles nothing, only relentlessly elevates itself in a continuous shadow –

-Arkadii Dragomoshchenko-


There was no doubt we wanted.  What it was that we wanted, exactly, was another matter.  We wanted love?  Perhaps.  Love made from words and signs and gestures.  From the beginning we had trouble representing ourselves.  Being a reality while also signifying it and being its addressee – inveigled us in a continuous loop.  We needed another view.  From a completely different side of the narrative.

Maybe we wanted to drink reality to its dregs.  We wanted love.  Someone who could read the being and its signs and comprehend its address.  Someone to help interpret the loop, quarry the signs, chart and map the shadowy spiral.  We wanted a multitude of words.  Words we’d never thought of.  Never heard before.  Synonyms and antonyms to set apart our signs, that we might, perchance, see who we are.  Learn, not just be.  We wanted love.

Loving ourselves was clinging to continuous shadow.  Ourselves always just ahead of us, being, quarrying experience, fabricating new signs, dissembling nothing.  We didn’t know, anything.  We wanted love and a multitude of words, of gestures – significations of action and matter – we wanted to be real.

Your side was completely different.  There you were – being, assembling signs, dissembling words I thought I knew into paradoxical meanings.  I’d see a sign that seemed familiar but the language was foreign, the reference obscure, of exotic materials.  Where were you quarrying?  I was stunned and fascinated – we could make such similar things of our surround and within – yet pointing in apparently opposite directions!  How could this be?

We wanted love.  I followed your signs, tried to tell you what they meant.  We wanted for multitudes of words.  You sought to explain, what with the being, the source, the signs and address,  indicating your shadow, not mine.  I, forever chasing the shade of your dress.

We wanted for love and showed each other signs.  We gestured and addressed our bodies and songs, put on shows of ourselves for each other.  Here are my banners and pennants.  Here my consistent mottoes.  Here the images we keep – representations of ourselves like lost memories.  Here our directions and contents, graphics and readings.  Signs, signs, and a multitude of words.

We began telling one another their stories as we read.  Replete with new words, new signs and misreadings.  This did not often go well.  With each sign that we made we were reading the last.  We couldn’t keep up, swimming in continuous shadow.

A multitude of loving and words.  We believed we wanted reality.  We decided to quarry together – our insides working into a shared surround.  We disagreed on its representation and agreed to post personal options.  We grew confused and crowded with signs and gestures.  Grabbing some of these, we started swinging, thinking ours might outlast the others, might prove “right,” win out, or be “true.”

Our signs began to shatter as our words and gestures dissembled.  We established picket lines and separate camps.  We fashioned more signs with blazoned slogans of ourselves and our views, losing them inside our shadows.  We decided to climb.  Perhaps a view from afar, or you’ll be off on expedition.  We located a guide.  Who seemed to think all of our signs were true.  We looked again and could read that we wanted for love.  Our valley was riddled with signs.  Our guide interpreted gestures the same.  Words of pain, words of fear, a multitude of words.  All quite similar but in our own languages.

We wanted love, he said.

Someone to read our beings, our signs and receive their address.  Someone to help interpret our loops, quarry new signs, and map our spiraling stories.  We wanted multitudes of words and we had them.  Words we’d never thought of nor read.  Words replete with variant meanings and references.  Synonyms, antonyms distinguishing our signs, redirecting our shadows.  If we listened and looked, and with care, he said, perchance we might see who we are, being.  And learn how to be.  If we wanted for love, we had it, he said.  Just look at the signs.

The Cleaving

“Connection is the recognition of the  intimacy of a division…

to make a division is to give substance form”

Madeline Gins

“Therefore shall a person leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto another

and they shall be as one flesh”

Genesis 2:24

The Cleaving


How do we come to know, believe or accept this ancient concept?  It has mited its way to the deepest reaches of Being (Dasein): Heidegger’s rift, linguistics address, each individual body’s pulse or breath or tremor.  That only the separateness may truly join.  Only the differences are recognized as similar.  Only the rifts require a bridge.

I do not know.  It is a reality I feel with as much pain as hope or joy.  That cleaving is both the splitting apart, the splintering wood and severing rope, AND their clinging together, their sealing and sealant.  It undoes me.  As a metaphor, concept or signification it rings true and carried dark howls and bright screams out of the depths of me.

And yet it comes so naturally.  Fight or flight.  Attack, retreat.  The extremities of the urges to join and drive to cease.  In the utterly intimate action of cleaving, we expose and unite – right in the most susceptible, vulnerable, life-threatening places.


The “cutting out,” “cutting off” – to cleave – you know what I’m referring to – when that which is most important to you becomes unreachable.  That impression that you are being “given up on,” that someone is “letting go,” even actively removing themselves or casting you away, chopping the cord – the umbilical torn, gushing, pulsing, the infant left writhing and wailing in the dumpster or thorny woods, a closet or dark alley.  Cleft.

In truth:  that severing of relationship, whether momentary or fatal, is a life-threatening, death-dealing blow.  Abandonment.  The dawning that you are at the front and there will be no reinforcements, you are cut from the supply train.  There is shock, there is scream and then a canyon of void with no other side.  It is we at our most disastrous, mortally dependent state.

We in the face of absence.  We without response – no face in a mirror, no echo of sound, NO THING.  Cleft.

Individual, alone, solitary entity.  Facing the reality:  we are insufficient to our needs, incompetent to our existence, impossible to self-sustain.  We in our fragility.  Our valid, appropriate, ontological FEAR.

Whack!  In anger, in grief, in silence, in bruise, we are severed, ultimately exposed, whether through small offense or enormous rejection – we have been cut.  Past the bone.  The reverberations tumble and crumble out far and wide, seemingly ubiquitously, regardless of the specific instant’s severity.  This is “the cleaving” done as much to us as by us in our madness to survive, to be real, to be verified and validated.


In the “drawing near,” in the “clinging” of to cleft, on the other hand, we are born.  We become.  As another reflects or responds to our raw broken mortally wounded finitude and fragility, we get glued to the vitality of these limited lives we have in us.  As these fearsome exposures are clasped, bonded, covered by another – transfused and salved, bandaged and wrapped or dressed by another – we know we are possible, we feel we exist and we matter, we join toward world and its being, brief though it is.

These are our chances and capacities: to effect, to mean, to act, create or be.  It is in the drawing near that what life there may be is acknowledged, fostered, affirmed.  Con-firmed.  Cleft – grafted into the ongoing reality of things, parting through wholes, participating and enhancing of semiotic systems.  As if life does not really belong to us, but we must belong to it, by belonging with one another.

“Leaving,” “cleaving.”  The leaf cleft from its branch will not survive, but cleft or grafted to another stem or soil or root may for awhile yet, live on, grow, produce, change and become.

We continuously leave and cleave to varying extents, and these just may be the principal elements of our thriving.  Cleft we perish, shrivel, die away.  Cleft we heal, nourish and grow life.  Both options/realities occurring in the cuts, the core places, the sources.

Here we panic, here we rejoice.  Here we suffer, here we love.  Here we become, and here we cease to be.


This mysterious activity necessitates both significations, counter-intuitive though it seem.  The need to be cleft exposes the places needing cleft.  Awareness of the sources for supply determines the crucial treasure, dependency, and gifts of supply.

We are chopped to the truth of death

and joined to the reality of life


A resonance in technical difficulties

“Writing is for me a means of modulating and organizing phenomenal and circumstantial information from all points of experience, a process I refer to as ‘tuning’ myself.  As I grow older and seemingly remove myself from unity with any singular, or even plural, socio-cultural environment, I seem more ‘on my own’ in a vast environment of internalized experience.  My approach to poetics has become the search for responses and behavioral modes relative to this experience, to surviving it as well as conditioning myself to it.  Constantly the effort seems to be away from any formalization of ideas or structure or definitive process and towards a rejuvenating line of ‘basics’, that mythical point where each process is fresh and new and wholly responsive to indigenous conditions…

“In a sense, I am trying to cope with the urge of poetry as opposed to the structure of it.  This urge seems to lie within the rooted and individual beginnings of the activity, centered on a meditative, self-encoded embrace of those issues and inclinations I find within my own humanness.  The intention therefore becomes the opening of experience toward a continual address of the self”

-Craig Watson-