Friday Fictioneers, August 31, 2012


How well I remember the day, injured, sharp pain in every step, alone and far, hoping for once the rain might hold.  That solid, turbulent sky.  Street smells of rot and iron, bodies and fuels.  All muffled for me in the reasons – what sense and thinking does – that thick overlay of shiftings and emotion.

It was here, right here, looking up for bearings, that I knew all was doubtful.  Doubtful I’d find my way, doubtful my body would hold up, doubtful anyone would wait or notice.  Particularly not the distant.

Of course I knew what to do.

And what about the rain?

N Filbert 2012



“The Artist, he who even takes the shadows of things in hand…”

-Macedonio Fernandez-

“He who imagines will never know non-being.”


A morass of shadows.

A repletion of blips and flashings.

An absence : I understand.


I swipe my hand through the shadows.  I sense disturbance, but my palm returns empty, save the moisture of fog in dark woods.  If even.  There has been dust.

I stir the ashes.  I kindle the fire.  The brain a roadmap of chaos.  And intricately precise.  Subject to accident and lesion and a cross-pollination of impulses and energies beyond present calculations.  Not withstanding infinity, of course, which hardly makes sense, given the matter.

A squalor of shadows.

Currents of whispering air, of motion.

A ubiquity that trembles.

I open my mouth to the world.  I emit and inhale.  Shouting resonant within, because I have ears.  Equipped with particulars.  Apparatus.  Other cells stay quiet but do not cease, I lack the equipment to hear.  Stone, lizard, mushroom.  Light in its veils.  I cry out.  Echo =, tree hardly cares.  I’m remiss and listen myself for response.

Breathing the smoke.  I stink and I cough and I smell.  My hand passes through without ashes or mist.  I am not everywhere.  I do not know my ends.  If a melody came through like a sight or a sound, I would not name it.  I am emptying full.


As shadows thicken and disperse.

Objects as subjects and objects again.

Something live in the darkness.


That is darkness for me, not the night owl or mouse, salamander or bat, not the tree.  No, it is me, I, we, that conjure the “darkness” as difference from “light,” however similar, however same.  As if emitting symbols.  As if meaning to manufacture.  I construct a sign and call it poem, collaborate a you and a me.  We converse.  I begin.

If doubt incites a thought, thought conspires doubt to further action.  As if shadows were transparent.  And meaningless was choice.  Eye – mouth – hand : open to the world, the world opens.  I begin in signs and gestures, a collaborative entanglement, reentered.


In dispersion shadows reconvene.

Clearly thickened by old growth.

Body minding nets.


Would I make a “here” it would be “we.”  A desire for presents is relation.  What its plural ought to be (“presence”).  I unwrap unable to view the gift.  Tell me of it, will you?  “Inside” is lost in shadows.  What’s perceptible from “there”?  Tree, raven, sky.  Plastic object pulsed in heartbeat or emotion: what could I learn from “there”?

What isn’t simultaneous?  And how like the infinity we are constrained not to absorb?  Enclose me.  Lend me a form, a border, a threshold.  Entangle.  Experience may come.

“the silence of the page allows us to hear the writing”

-Octavio Paz-


Pre-qual(ia): A sort of introduction: What Language: &

            We happen in a substantial liquid.  A surround we effect.  Are affected by.  We move, it moves.  It moves, we are moved.  Moving it.  Being moved by.  Each, all.  What’s between.  Those spaces.  Empty and full, of course.

You know what I mean.  You breathe.  Hearing silently what is written.  You see.  Thinking the emptiness between, what fills.  Is filled by.  Is full.  Before it thinks empty.  Feels.

Liquid, permeable as skin, as mobile, as inseparable.  The thought, the body of that thinking.  Or, a “body of text.”  Such liquid air.  Insubstantiated emptiness without which we would not.

Happen in that liquid/not-liquid.  Like particles and waves.  Either-ors reduced to ands.  Themselves.  With which is struck a chord.  Male/female, yes/no, self/other, you/me, hot/cold: variations of permeable boundaries, without borders, like overlapping zones, difficult transparencies.

We grew out of, becoming, precedented, pro-perceptive/re-perceptive.  Remember.  Without parts, but designated.  You hear.  You see.  You taste.  You feel.  You, thinking emotion, feeling in brain, mind matterless matter…mem(e)brane(-ain).  Liquidy occur.  Movement.

The leaf.  Exhaust.  Intake.  A wave.  A particle.  Re-perception.  Mem(e)ory.  Or me.

You know the drill.  Acting.  Play.  A wobble, a quiver.  We tremble.  We hum.  We happen.  It’s a wonder.  Every it.  Unknown, unknowable knowledge experienced.  I-qualia.

Sense-making.  What is.  In essence nonsensical.  Incommunicable between.  Inescapable intersubjectivity.  Either parts public, private.  Neither/nor.  This boundary, porous.  And.  As conscious would not be a thing but a process, more definitively.  Noun/verb.  And.  Shared structures of DNA, destructured and oscillate.  Me/you.  Either and or.  Bubble pierced with raindrops.  A fashioning.  A possibility that.

Existence.  IS.  Co-existence.  AND.

I being either noun and verb or neither.

As liquid is not.

So a border a threshold, a line, a triangle.


“that silk is stitching our lungs”

-Christina Mengert-

“In order for my specific subjectivity to fill the general slot of the first person pronoun, that word must be ‘empty’:  ‘I’ is a word that can mean nothing in general, for the reference it mines can never be visualized in its consummated wholeness…it is a general token of absence that can be filled in any particular utterance.”

-Michael Holquist-

It happens


            It would happen.  The things approach us.  We feel them in our horizons.  Extending out behind us.  A sort of fullness.  A swelling, sweltering cool.  Billowing possibility.  Stand and stare, even in our movement, unseeing.  We blindly gaze.  Caught short, upended, the rhythm is certainly sea.  We are dry.  We will happen.  We are bound to.  Look out.

Remote murmur.  You know.

Not trauma.  Distant thrumble.

You speak.

Echo absorbs.

It would happen.  Consider.

It will happen.  Just you wait.

A world is a kind of ode.

Your body a stylus.

We are here.

N Filbert 2012

for Friday Fictioneers, August 24, 2012

Minding the Gaps in the Membranes: A perforation, an hiatus, a foramen


It is likely you will experience “an interruption in the intensity or amount of something.”

Quite probable, in fact.  Possibly certain.

I might say that a human being is a process consisting of a body and a situation in constant flux and adaptation…dialogue of inescapable intersubjectivity.

Now I have.

Lyn Hejinian has said that “‘aboutness’ (in writing, but, I would argue, also in life) is transitional, transitory,” and that,

“language is a medium for experiencing experience…of inquiry…writing is a process of improvisation within a framework (form) of intention…”

like consciousness, self, and all of its constitutive surround…

i.e. being (or becoming) human.

In the midst of which…otherness, the unknown, openness in the structure

– a gap, a leap, a hiatus, an abatement –

For instance, this blog.

Having been fortuitously enabled to devote considerable amounts of time and effort to it this past year, it has changed and moved, grown and altered me beyond my expectations – experimenting in language with experience and painstakingly risking and studying, following passions and trails, ideas and stories – always attempting to language the knowing – has been a phenomenal (literally) vocation for me.

The contexts are shifting…whatever I am is being differently situated – times, spaces and surrounds…requiring temporary suspensions to my efforts here at manoftheword.

I will work seriously to keep up with at least 100 words of fiction per week (thank you for the promptings Madison-Woods and Friday Fictioneers) and any poetic bursts or artifacts that get me along in my experiences; images or residual thought-projects that are not necessary to my schoolwork, family or professional life I purpose to share in this forum and spoondeep mag or gypsy wall.  My wife and I are currently committing ourselves to a larger multi-media project over the next year or so, but will also attempt to freshen Ekphrastix Arts as time allows, at least with updates.  My own creative efforts are being redirected to my studies at SLIM, some exciting articles for an upcoming art exhibition in Wichita, Kansas (stay posted with Lux Fisch Haus Exhibition and related links) as well as a longer project I’m committing my sanity (or its loss) to – currently denoted in myself as Qualia, probable connected fragment-instants of subjective experience which also may leave some effluvia worth commending to you here.

All of this to say a ginormous THANK YOU and KUDOs to the incredible world of WordPress bloggers and visitors – please continue to follow and check on us – I promise at LEAST weekly there will be new content here – your support and attention mean such a great deal to me/us.  And I will certainly continue to read and view what I can in the interstices of my goings-on.  I genuinely appreciate everyone’s efforts, creativity and artifacts here.

“[language]…is denotatively social…but not knowledge in the strictest sense; it is, rather, acknowledgment – and that constitutes a sort of unknowing.  To know that things are is not to know what they are, and to know that without what is to know otherness (i.e., the unknown and perhaps unknowable).  [Writing] undertakes acknowledgment as a preservation of otherness – a notion that can be offered in a political, as well as an epistemological, context.

This acknowledging is a process, not a definitive act; it is an inquiry, a thinking on…”

(Lyn Hejinian)


Seasonal Survival: Autumn Reading

Survival Supplies – Seasonal Semester


The way I go about selecting what I “need” to be reading ends up functioning by the time the list competes its way out to also be a “Recommended Reading” list, as if the titles that capture my attention withstand engagement and require careful full attention clearly I’ve decided (for me) that these books are worth adding to my internal world.  So the purpose of periodically posting the books I spend time in each week (usually for a few months), is both a bibliography to the thought that comes out in my writings, as well as an “I think these books are worth anyone’s time” should you share some of my interests.  That being said, it is August, and I’m in a full week of graduate school (full-time) after over 15 years of private personal schooling within my home and 16 years of marriages, parenting and retail employment.  Reentry is daunting, particularly as technologies of education have changed radically, so all my moments are being rearranged and reallotted, but I need books and literary languages for so many things in my life (indeed, for quality of life itself), that my body demands I make moments for all it craves throughout every process.  The following is what lines my desk as “essential” as I enter this Fall semester (many are repeats – not quite finished from the busy Summer):

This time, from left to right around the perimeter:

Christoph Niemann: Abstract City

Jonathan Safran Foer: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Michael Chorost: World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the     Internet

Gerald Edelman: second nature: brain science and human knowledge

Antonio Damasio: Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain

Norman Doidge: The Brain that Changes Itself

Mengert & Wilkinson, eds.: 12×12: Conversations in 21st Century Poetry and Poetics

Michael Holquist: Dialogism: Bakhtin and His World

Michael Chabon: Manhood for Amateurs

Viktor Shklovsky: Bowstring: On the Dissimilarity of the Similar

Lyn Hejinian: The Language of Inquiry

Octavio Paz: Convergences: Essays on Art & Literature

Ronald Sukenick: narralogues



Ben Marcus: The Flame Alphabet

Lance Olsen: Girl Imagined by Chance

G. Gospodinov: And Other Stories

John Gardner: The Wreckage of Agathon

Lynne Tillman: This is Not It

David Foster Wallace: The Pale King



Wallace Stevens: Opus Posthumous

William Bronk: Life Supports

Larry Levis: The Selected Levis

William Stafford: The Way It Is

Edmond Jabes: From the Book to the Book

Arkadii Dragomoschenko: Xenia

Rosmarie Waldrop: Curves to the Apple


Edward Sapir: Language

J.R. Firth: Speech

Ann Smock: What is There to Say?

V.N. Volosinov: Marxism and the Philosophy of Language

H.L. Hix: Spirits Hovering Over the Ashes

M.M. Bakhtin: The Dialogic Imagination

Maurice Blanchot: The Infinite Conversation

Richard Rubin: Foundations of Library and Information Science

Cassell / Hiremath: Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century

Carol Kuhlthau: Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library & Information Services


Locating my mind

Nothing is the force / that renovates the world.

-Emily Dickinson-

Please read the following conversation between poets Christine Hume and Rosmarie Waldrop (pp.76-88, click on image for text)

Rosmarie Waldrop

Waldrop has always been a heroine of mine, and I’ve been struggling again with “Who am I?” “What do I do?” “How am I?” – questions of identity and difference that come up in times where we are suffused in roles – students, parents, spouses, artists, employees, gendered, and so on…In insular places where I feel safe I am able to theoretically conjure a kind of flow, that these aren’t choices but movements, that things and actions do not exist, only ‘occasions”, “relations,” but under stress I quickly find myself wishing I knew who/what/where/when/how I am.  Today I received this book through inter-library loan, and kept opening to the Waldrop chapter… apparently for good reason.  I share many of her points of view, and would like to share them with whomever finds themselves interested.

I think of the ‘between’ more in terms of both, and of extending the gray zone between the black/white in the direction of multivalence. ‘The yes and no in everything.’

-Rosmarie Waldrop-

The Sounding Tree

quick submission to Madison-Woods Friday Fictioneers…thankful for a task I can get my mind around!  Please join, newcomers.


As close as he would ever come to stillness, the boy, lying here, slit and dying at the base of this strange tree.  How could he have?  Only one simple task, one clear instruction that might have spared them all.  Any boy could do it, why not he?  Why must he never be capable, never succeed, always fall short?  How he’d run, as the marauders swooped down, how he’d raged through the woods, torn through the brambles toward the sounding tree.  How could he have missed it, faltering here, now, cut from ear to ear, staring at the shofar of alarm, secure in its nook?

Humanity & Change

“Humanity moves in contradictions…through the palpability of change, 

the change of systems, the change of functions in old rituals and social constructs.

Humanity moves and consciousness changes.

The history of literature is a record of the change in consciousness.

We witness the creation of the world in the change of consciousness.”

– Viktor Shklovsky –


A Supreme-Librarian in Meta-Space

Apparently I am soon to be one of these.

But just now, I’m

one of these…

and it’s the first official day of classes!

It reminds me of playing the saxophone.  Throughout high school, academics, vocal/piano and saxophone, tennis, religion and friends all vied for the top spots on my list of passions/interests/priorities and concerns…and all got ample time and attention.  Upon entering the load of college and the requirements of degrees in theology, music performance (piano & voice) and composition, saxophone-playing and tennis became those delights one participates in for fun and relief, the “free associations” as it were.

It is not my intention, but I can tell by these first few days of hours spent trying to navigate Blackboard, discussion threads, wikis and tikis and tavs, assignment links and syllabi texts, lists and conduits and course reserves, moduled lectures and more…that manoftheword is going to be leaking into to sheer babel and blather by the time he/I opens this page and clicks “new post.”

Case in point.

I’m hoping you’ll stick with me as my energies transfer and translate.  I’m expecting a rough patch of blurted postings until some new rhythm evolves and I’m able somehow to manage my time and brain between “free associations” and “required readings and writings / uploading assignments and creating virtual connections with teams.”  (Not that I don’t “require” a fair amount of the “free” to remain a person, it’s just…)

my time for tripping over a knot in the language ropes, plopping down and unraveling/tangling loose ends is getting gravely delimited.

I’ll figure it out

surely I’m OCD or enough anxiety-prone to devise

necessary borders and boundaries, divisions of timespace to synergize the tasks.

just giving you fair warning…there may be a lot of vomiting/swallowing circular writing here…and less obsessive drilling into pipes of terms and letterings…a little more of simply touching base or syncing up or finding bearings….