The Anniversary

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS – WEEK OF February 1

(please consider joining us)

The Anniversary

I remember what the sculptor said, at our wedding:

“How very many years it takes to get to this – the unitary lean.  Two figures completed in one.  So much stripping and friction, hacking and cuts.  So very many tools applied.  The hurt and the loss, the heat and the cold.  Form and substance are hard to reshape.  A person is a stubborn thing.  Nuance and habits of matter overcome.  Natural processes and straining retrained.  Rock removed from its quarry – blasted and torn where it rested and grew.  A new context of becoming so forceful and delicate.  Ravaged and renewing till it holds itself up.”

– how our weight is supported, these 22 years.

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I have to say I have strong urges to insist that no one’s gone farther…yet

Meyer Lane's Short Attention Span Press

“We are all born mad. Some remain so.”

“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
from Worstward Ho

“You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that.”

“The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh.”
from Waiting for Godot

“Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.”

“Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

“The end is in the beginning and yet you go on.”
from Endgame

“Normally I didn’t see a great deal. I didn’t hear a great deal either. I didn’t pay attention. Strictly speaking I wasn’t there. Strictly speaking I believe I’ve never been anywhere.”

“I always thought old age would be a writer’s best chance. Whenever I read the late work of Goethe or W. B. Yeats I…

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Live Models

Notes on Fiction and Philosophy

(complete text linked)

Brian Evenson

I thickly recommend you print and mark up the entire essay, but to tantalize your imaginative mental taste buds, here’s a representative nuggety excerpt:

“Good fiction, I would argue, always poses problems – ethical, linguistic, epistemological, ontological – and writers and readers, I believe, should be willing to draw on everything around them to pose tentative answers to those problems and, by way of them, pose problems of their own.  For innovative writers, I believe, philosophy is always best an errant affair, a personal and intense wandering, a series of tools that one can employ, move beyond, come back to; it is our ability as writers to stay curious, to borrow, to bricoler, and to adapt and move on that keeps us from becoming stale.”

Fiction in Families – 9

the collective to now:

language

9

“There was something tragic in fighting the borders, the heroism of shortcomings, the panic of passion.”

-Bruno Schulz/Jonathan Safran Foer-

Remembering first site: where met, what seen, who did, said and how.

We can go there, recreationally, anew.

Tangly garden, the smell of food, moisty air and a she and a him wandering through florid trellises on barely trails.  Something begins.

An arrival, a vision, a breath.

 

They eat and speak, jostling giggles, tangling knees.  They are happy with anticipation to realize.

Eye-movements and alcohol, presenting.  Blending to flavor their mouths for the meeting.  And further still, past introduction – names and facts and telephones – for months of hours.

Even sleeping through nights, receivers awake in their slumber.  But face-to-face invented an optimal – expression exceeding – verbal/aural toward visually kinetic.

Hand to dancing leg, uplifted and exposed, a slight flirtation interlocking and embrace.  The sky was leaking bliss and they without umbrellas, faces opened and upraised to be forward.

 

The rented room, hesitant jumble.  Limbs like ganglia on music, flailing and pulsing and alternating rhythms.  On such a scale.  Spiraling themes, and everything improvised.

 

Which became the uncanny and announcements to friends.  “That’s a lot of baggage,” they replied to excitement, calculating spouses, careers, digiting the children and distant thousands of miles.  Let alone all the dangling remainders.

 

And yet they persist.  Airfare and phonelines, sitters and several states.  Unable to locate square roots, figuring unresolvable answers to nonlinear equations.

 

Seemingly insoluble.  They worked at the problems, nearly convinced of their theories.  Hypotheses and tangents matched excuses unrestrained.  A mountain hollow downpoured with rain.  Something fell, an infidelity to measures.  And again, wrapped in a mail bomb of message.  Risk was reported.  Purporting fear.

 

The letters flew over the lines, bodies mired in their pasts.  Something was bound up to break.  And fracturing, she did.

 

Gallery of Linguistic/Semiotic Hero(in)es

How many do you know?  How many do you “love”?

“…We know we can never be anything but parallel

And proximate in our relations, but we are linked up

Anyway in the sun’s equation, the house from which

It steals forth on occasion, pretending, isn’t

It funny, to pass unnoticed, until the deeply shelving

Darker pastures project their own reflection

And are caught in history,

 

Transfixed, like caves against the sky

Or rotting spars sketched in phosphorous, for what we did.”

-John Ashbery, from The Sun-

Families of Fiction. Pt 8.

link to previous:

Family 1

 suggest reading accompanied by : Home Again by Keith Kenniff

8

“we live in accumulations of the actual / with so little understanding”

Verlyn Klinkenborg

I believe that it is possible to make stories out of anything, with words.  Even wordless ones.

Stories on the move, within movement, perhaps even moving.

Accumulation and erosion, not addition and subtraction, multiples or divides – not mathematics, simply or complex.

In relations – part of related systems of relations, related further on, in, out – there are no statics, numbers, letters – even hypothetically.  When you fix one you’ve simply entered another system of relations relating to other fixed (or agreed-upon) relations, lifeless but for you.  Until employed.  Then your letter, number, static sign or symbol dissolves right back into what it came from – the roiling motion of temporal patterns and relations – change processing itself.

The meanings meander through like liquids.  Each part spilling its own glass.  Watch it flow, divert, tumble and pool.  Percolate.  Evaporate.  Stories.

Describing them, no matter how many points of view or entry, how many semiotic systems employed, internal or external – observation is evaluation, almost objectively subjective – merely mean a story, embodying an absorbing and evaporative spilling of change.  Eddies a bit, branches and drips, absorbs here and there, ever morphing form and content.

I can only ever tell you – in this system of systems of relations, this language – what I do not know.

The fathers, the mothers, their partners and pasts, the living of nine children to this moment – refuse to be snap-shotted still, photographed, imagined, or defined.  They are unknowns, rife with variables, and related.  Related to relations and related systems of relations related further out, in, on…

Genuinely incomprehensible.  Evaporating almost as soon as precipitate, incalculable with options and openness – far more than this system can relate.

The fathers love their wives and women, their sons and their daughters, and sometimes it’s even perceived that way.  The women, mothers, partners, also love – and everyone’s love is conditioned and conditional.  Givers, receivers, assertive, supportive, neglectful, abusive, indulgent, and free at a price.  Relational acts in related systems of relations – addressors and addressees, perceived and perceiving, at once.

Each its own glass spilling.  Each its own refilled.  The sharing of endless waters.

Shagg dribbles fluid ice-cold onto a young one’s burn.  Rather than soothe it stings.  Recoils.  Mother in attempting to quench a thirst, drowns it instead.  A child spills that all might see, might hear, might feel.  Instead it’s absorbed deftly and quickly – instinctively – by inanimate terry cloth, a dish-towel, a bathrobe.

A possiblitiy of endless supply, of infinite, is foreign to all but dreams.  We know nothing unpolluted or immeasurable.  We must not write what we know.  Nothing there but an emptying glass.

Instead, perhaps, to offer and receive – these fluids, this language – of unknown origin and imperceivable limit – spilling together compounding toward stories.  Even as it spills.  Even uncontrollable and ill-perceived.

Families of stories.  Write what you do not know.

a blast to read

Trevor Abes: Writer

Particles

10. According to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, the inability to simultaneously predict your and your lover’s locations and velocities means that, whether still or moving, spicing up the relationship is already implicit in the universe.

9. Spreading out like a wave comes in handy during lapses in judgement, because it allows you to consider or “try out” all the options at hand before compacting into a particle when it’s time to take responsibility for your actions.

8. Because you can only predict probabilities at the quantum mechanical realm of atomic and subatomic particles, you can never really win, no matter the argument.

7. There are minor temperature variations across the sky and as far back in spacetime as when it was cold enough for atoms to fire up their nuclei. These variations are leftovers from the formation of planets and galaxies billions of years ago. Analogously, that thing you did in…

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Fictional Families, pt. 7

click here for previous entries

Family 1

 

7

“…like a kaleidoscope which is every now and then given a turn, society arranges successively in different orders elements which one would have supposed to be immovable, and composes a fresh pattern.”

Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove

Boy meets girl.  Man, Woman.  Husband, Wife.  Father, Mother.  Produces the child, a child, children.

Pieces shake out of joint.

Father.  Husband.  Man.  Girl.  Woman.  Boy.  Produces the child, a child, children.

Arranges different order.

Husband meets girl.  Man, Woman.  Husband, Wife.  Mother, Father.  Mother.  Produces the child, a child, children.

Jumble and collide, slide over.

Girl meets boy.  Man.  Husband.  Father.  Woman.  Husband.  Wife.  Mother.  Mother.  Child, child, children.  Produces none.  Adds three.

Kaleidoscopes fresh patterns.

Husband, Wife.  Men.  Women.  Father.  Father.  Mother. Mother. Mother.  Child. Child. Child. Child. Child. Child. Child. (Children).

Many is the new unit.  Same – the new variety.  Names – the faulty designators.

Fall the doctrines of origin and cause.  The sense belong.  The myths of ontology.  Infinite regress.  Unlimited semiotics.

Turn the scope, altering view – collage is the new entire.  Copy – the new original.  Fragment – the new whole.

Child. Child. Child. and Child. Child. Child. Child. “belonging” now to Father-Mother. Father. Mother-Mother. Mother-Father.

Fresh pattern.

By steps and halves and partnerships; alliances and circumstance and blood.

Arithmetic of variables multiplied by chance and power.

Now Mo3 + M3 = 2 + 2 + 3.5 or F3 + W3 = 2(-1/2) + 2(-1/2) + 3-1 where Mo=mother (Mo1, Mo2, Mo3, Mo4), M = man (F=father, W=wife, H=husband, and so forth-1 once removed).

The scraggly male through one variable and nonsymmetrical equation would be F2×2(+3/.5)H3M? for W3/C2+C2+1/2C3 or Father of C=biological children 4 times via 2 sets with 3 additional ½-children by marriage to W3 (third wife) which man or woman they are for one another is an n = unknown variable.

A physicist might be able to map this new arrangement, fresh patterning of conventionality: the family by strands of blood and webbed relations multiplying, bending and stretching (read: re-signifying) concept terms and nouns of relation such as brother, sister, mother, father, spouse &/or partner.

All in variable contexts.  Involves Theory of Complexity.  Without mastery or solutions.  No absolutes.  Arbitrary forms actively adapting.  No truths.  A world of half-breeds and bastards.  Infinite regress.  Anomaly.

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