Toying with significance, practicing writing by hand.

                 Cause of which:  online graduate school (hybrid) perhaps.  Blackboard (not a blackboard + a hand moving chalk), wikis, MS Word, blogosphere…

                  Writing is a different word than typing (“keyboarding,” “texting,” “thumbing,” “fingering?”)

                  Handwriting – is there another?

Writings is different from typing.

not only pacing.

Significance - Handwriting


“People exist

to attach importance”

(Rae Armantrout)


Once I had the most beautiful pen-man-ship.  Admired, envied, revered.

My hand now working by jolts and shirts (“stammering”)

Wife says I jerk in the night, in my sleep.  As if the wires were hot and crossed.  “Traumatic,” she says.

Like my father.

Who has elegant penmanship – consistent, beautiful, and flowing.

What I aspired to.

And achieved.

Now interruptive.  Herky.  Stuttering.  Multi-controlled.  Cross-wired.

Muscles, nerves, vision, brain + its fabricating memory and prediction: out of sync.

     I exercise a few moments in which I don’t feel particularly pressured and am thinking about significance.

“I listened with great interest and desire to have it be of no significance.

But you know how it goes.  Significance abounded.”

(Percival Everett)

Now my thoughts arrive sturdier through a machine.  Body – extension – return.  The pen was extension.  The ink.  Dependent on the body.  Embodied, enminded.  Transductive.

“‘transductive’ (a relationship whose elements are constituted such that one cannot exist without the other – where the elements are co-constituents)”

(Gilbert Simondon)

Tools.  Media.

Humanity — technology.

Me : keyboard : thought : language.

Me : pen/paper : thought : language.

Transductive.  Co-constituent.  Interdependent.


Dreaming of – imagining – my recovered penmanship.

Therefore, exercise.



“It’s incredible that a sentence is ever understood.  Mere sounds strung together by some agent attempting to mean some thing, but the meaning need not and does not confine itself to that intention.  Those sounds, strung as they are in their peculiar and particular order, never change, but do nothing but change.  Even if grammatical recognitions are crude, meaning is present.  Even if the words are utterly confusing, there is meaning.  Even if the semantic relationships are only general or categorical.  Even if the language is unknown.  Meaning is internal, external, orbital, but still there is no such thing as propositional content.  Language never really effaces its own presence, but creates the illusion that it does in cases where meaning presumes a first priority.”

(Percival Everett)

“A metaphor cannot be paraphrased”


Window Dressing

for Friday Fictioneers, May 31, 2013

Copyright - Janet Webb

You, in your bluish hue – nostalgic and hopeful – ever inhabiting a kind of aether, neither here nor there, but possible – like heavens, like waters – deep, open, beyond.  A different form of presence, not with, but altogether.  Perhaps.  Whereas I, in fleshy, earthbound, soiling tones – dressed to catch the eye – hang myself into the world of shapes and edges, angles and points – risking extravagant extension rather than mirroring sea and sky.  Butting bodies – yours forgiving and surrounding, just shy of the resistance for friction – mine stolid and secure, and flagging its pronouncement.

N Filbert 2013

Stammering Great Literature

“Great literature is written in a sort of foreign language.  To each sentence we attach a meaning, or at any rate a mental image, which is often a mistranslation.  But in great literature all our mistranslations result in beauty”

Marcel Proust

“Having a bag into which I put everything I encounter, provided that I am also put in a bag.  Finding, encountering, stealing instead of regulating, recognizing and judging…It is an assemblage, an assemblage of enunciation.  A style is managing to stammer in one’s own language.  It is difficult, because there has to be a need for such stammering.  Not being a stammerer in one’s speech, but being a stammerer of language itself…writing does not have its end in itself precisely because life is not something personal.  The only aim of writing is life, through the combinations which it draws…and there is no method for finding other than a long preparation…”

-Gilles Deleuze-


Borrowed Mask 1.

The only rule,

the only law

of genius, of imagination, of abandonment, of truth,

is change.


Not reworking, but change.


What is this borrowed mask?

The same old song once more?

Will Apollinaire defend us

this time?

As he did Renoir,

                       his Arcadia, his nudes.

Who will bring back

the soul of art?

Who will bring it back

from the Underworld?

                      Picasso having played

                      Orpheus this go round.


Never rework,

the influence being imaginary

at best, but isn’t that



Always new again,

though there is no new


No new paint.

Only rearrangement.

No change.

Nothing to be changed.

No looking back.

No back upon which

                               to look.

-Percival Everett-

Waiting for words to tell…

Immersed in summer and studies, I find myself struggling with capacities of some purer form of origin beyond connections.  The creativity that satiates me in relationship and studies is one of associations, extensions, combinatory experiments of life-experiences and informations and knowledges.  Fiction and poetry, in a unique manner, seem to process the connectivities and associations invented somehow more within myself.  Not so much in activities of external bonds and ties that loop within/without between concepts and voices, persons and family, and my own; but what bonds those activities and informations spawn within me.  I am finding that these recognitions and constructions take a different sort of time and attention than the frenetic and immediate processings of conceptual knowledges and intimate relations.  Those, of necessity, must be continuous, on the fly, in situ.  Creative writing, in distinction, requires for me the ability for bracketing a space and time in which I am able to attend (somehow) to the recursive loops and dangling ganglia of my own organism of thoughts and emotions.   A sort of internal processing vaguely distinguishable from reciprocal or social processing.  It may not even be real, but only a sensation of process, a variant attention, a sidelong perspective.  In any case, it emits something unique in my writing and reflection, feelings and sensations, and something that I cannot simply produce; something that must be prepared and allowed for, visited, beckoned, welcomed.

I recognized this as I struggle to create for a project, and also possess a yearning to be creating new fictions.  The process art both provides and requires is unique and intense, difficult and serious.  It calls to mind the “effortless efforts” of things like meditation and awareness, mindfulness and tolerance.  The writings of Laura (Riding) Jackson piqued this recognition for me and I will share a couple of early paragraphs from her book The Telling.

“[1] There is something to be told about us for the telling of which we all wait.  In our unwilling ignorance we hurry to listen to stories of old human life, new human life, fancied human life, avid of something to while away the time of unanswered curiosity.  We know we are explainable, and not explained.  Many of the lesser things concerning us have been told, but the greater things have not been told; and nothing can fill their place.  Whatever we learn of what is not ourselves, but ours to know, being of our universal world, will likewise leave the emptiness an emptiness.  Until the missing story of ourselves is told, nothing besides told can suffice us: we shall go on quietly craving it.

[4] Everywhere can be seen a waiting for words that phrase the primary sense of human-being, and with a human finality, so that the words themselves are witness to what they tell.  The waiting can be seen not only in the eager inclined posture of believers.  It can be seen also on the faces of disbelievers, the idolizers of the evident: they are not happy in their impatient assurance of there being no cause but uncaused circumstance, they wear the pinched look of people whose convictions make them a meagre fare.  In the eyes of all (in the opaque depths in them of unacknowledged presentness to one another) are mirrored (but scarcely discerned) concourses where our souls ever secretly assemble, in expectation of events of common understanding that continually fail to occur.  We wait, all, for a story of us that shall reach to where we are.  We listen for our own speaking; and we hear much that seems our speaking, yet makes us strange to ourselves.

[5] …A religion addresses the longing in us to have that said from which we can go on to speak of next and next things rightly, in their immediate time – the telling of what came first and before done forever…How our story has been divided up among the truth-telling professions!  Religion, philosophy, history, poetry, compete with one another for our ears; and science competes with all together.  And for each we have a different set of ears.  But, though we hear much, what we are told is as nothing: none of it gives us ourselves, rather each story-kind steals us to make its reality of us.

from The Telling by Laura (Riding) Jackson, 1967


Here. Now.

Reading Maturana & Varela’s accounts of how we ought to go about engaging scientific activity (and life)… with integrated mindfulness/awareness and sense of our embeddedness in whatever we are observing, inquiring…

coupled with required textbook for LIS – metacognition and reflection in learning contexts:

and then this comes on…..the sound of the meaning, I guess….


Infinite Medium / Unlimited Meaning

“And the fact is that ordinary words don’t have just two or three but an unlimited number of meanings, which is quite a scary thought; however, the more positive side of this thought is that each concept has a limitless potential for variety.  This is a rather pleasing thought, at least for people who are curious and who are stimulated by novelty.”

– Douglas Hofstadter & Emmanuel Sander –


Never Good With Numbers – 24 May 2013 – Friday Fictioneers

knee-jerk response trying to coax the writing machine within, thanks Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and Friday Fictioneers community

Copyright - Danny Bowman

I was never good with numbers.

I meant, I intended, I felt the pressing need to say, to clarify.  But I was never good with numbers.  At least to specify, remonstrate, apologize, perhaps even to confess.  Certainly profess, express remorse, plead a little, cry.  I wanted you to know.  So many things.  How you struck me, thudded through, infiltrated, saturated, overwhelmed.  How I craved and believed.  What I dreamt.

But I was never good with numbers.


Henry Magazine

Greetings all – thanks to the continuous hard work of Lisa Thatcher et. al., the experimental literary-aesthetic new magazine Henry is live!  I’m excited about this project, not only because Thatcher’s own work and interests are so astute and lively, but the principle of the thing and the open energy of the legacy of Henry Miller.  I invite you all to check it out (helps if you are able to read French), and you will also find a piece of creative writing by myself within.  Thanks Lisa & co., thanks Henry for verve and example, thanks writers and readers – it manifests!

a link to my piece on The Whole Hurly Burly