It’s hypnotic. Illogic. You may recall genetic components – a sentiment, experience, curiosity or sensation…the fabrication begins its own spells. That plane where you drift from expression or fractaling inquiry toward Medium. When plot is played out and the voices keep talking. Or some other member begs a word.
You are no longer quite “author.” When it begins I’m usually puzzled or amazed. A vague and shifty core obsesses and eludes me. I ponder awhile, do research, spawn a dialogue or few with available others…but eventually turn to writing. A word inscribed in secret not only leads to more, but ricochets through spacetime like a pinball. The versions of the brain call out over the callosum: “Felt anything like this before? Have we had an experience that resonates?” / and / “Say – it seems I’m in the midst of something – check it out! Any words in your concordance for such as this?” To and fro – attemps to signify and symbolize, reify, rectify, making truce with our immersion.
The “language drill.” As it burrows metaphor, it fragments and splinters dust around the edges. Retrieving as it leads. Recalling through invention. I use my handwriting to find out. To find out. Searching something, spelunking expeditions, a nettling curiosity blind-feeling hunches and perceptions. Pulling them towards words in attempts to trick them into trap. Building tunnels, margins, stairwells to aim the lights at. As if broad enough term-corrals might lasso and then spiral, slowly cinching it round, whatever “it” is.
But whoa then, hold on! Once a breadcrumb trail’s discerned, it forges. Makes its rhinoceric way in accrual and erasure. Constructing as you follow, conundrum’d and deleting. A word – and sources cling like filaments. None of them accurate and all informing. History, culture – traditions. Intimate pain and joy. Perception, conception and query. Discovering bewilderment. Creating the unsaid.
Victim and perpetrator both, you, author, artist, song. Skewing and distorting in equal measures. Changing as you change it. This is the making. The being-made. Creator and created both. The artist in her medium.
There is no “having done.” Failure or not, it virals and contaminates. The path is incompletion. “The Artist’s Way…” Never through, until it’s through with you, coincident with a life.
Who do we say that we are?
Another “aside” – writings that happen in the meantimes…
I consider myself ‘straight as an arrow’ that swerves like a boomerang. In other words, I ruminate clear sensations, desires, opinions – consider, and then revise. It all comes back to me.
When I was a child, I thought as a child, behaved as a child…but now…now that…well, I’ve put away the childish things. Now I’m just a fucked-up adult. It’s hard for me to tell from what’s coming or going.
She’s cumming. Now she’s going.
I saw a coyote the other day. I was driving in the country, speeding along a gravel road. A grey coyote, large, apparently healthy, came streaming through the corn or wheat or soybeans pacing my van like a dog. These things surprise me. And happen.
Now she’s going.
Like a coyote I set out to pace her, run alongside, track and trace her. She’s cumming, I’m breakneck, I’m hungry, I’ve got her, I’m with her, we’re “in” as it were…
I run straight and fast and hard and she knows it. I’m honest. I can’t tell truth from lies. She loses me, I parallel, and now we’re neck-and-neck, side-by-side, and sprinting, I’ve got her, she’s stretching, I’m on her, she’s spreading, I’m ravenous, she’s daunting, I fear, I crave, on point, in flight, the Caravan has nothing on me.
If I were a sailor. An aardvark. A policeman. I am none of these. But I love her, she outpaces me, I can’t catch, and she looks back, and she’s cumming, and now going.
And that would be how it would end, with my wishing, her being, my envisioning and inventing and conspiring, but there’s more. And the coyote, and the rabbit, and the hawk and howling wind. And the mountain and the river and the ocean and breezy glade. And there’s life – yes, there’s that, and we’re here, or somewhere, and everything rushes, and to be honest I don’t know deception from reality, my perceptions and illusions are the same, but I dream. And a coyote, and a boy. And a human and a male. And she’s a lady and a wolf, a rodent and a scream, and we tossle and we fight, and devour and delight, and it’s all a simple game – a complex, coordinated, disjunctive weather of dance that never quite syncs up, and that’s okay, because the coyote thrives in run, and the owl lives for the hunt…the mouse delights in escape, and the thought its incompletion…
And I straight as an arrow, swerving like a boomerang.
What happens when I avoid “required texts”…
Difficulties & Pronouncements
For this is what I do.
When facing difficulties, Harlan makes pronouncements. Conundrums = hypotheses. “Yes, I love you, consistently,” he might say, but does not think, for Harlan does not think, he behaves, that is, he acts habitually.
Sometimes I think I am a writer.
For instance, Harlan might be confused or confounded by the behavior of others, particularly those with whom he shares his life, interacts with daily, corresponds. He might find himself baffled, able to find no explanation or solution for a “problem” – (situation in which he does not know what to do) – and therefore announce that which he considers a “reality.” E.g. – when happening upon his children bickering and unable to agree on peaceable courses of action, he might state: “it is common for people to consider the ‘ways they do things’ as the “correct” ways TO DO things…but when such consideration involves more than one family, group or person, there is often conflict, i.e. – ‘what should be done?’” Thereby solving nothing, nor finding any resolution, only offering up his own feelings of helplessness as a catalyst.
He looks at her.
Sometimes I look at you.
Sometimes I think I am a writer.
For instance, Harlan might find himself bewildered by mixed emotions (a “difficulty” in his habit-of-being) and, instead of naming the mixed emotions and going from there, instead might pronounce – “humans are complex interfusions of emotion and reason, biology and philosophy/psychology – we aren’t yet quite sure what con-spires to activate and animate us.” Thereby solving nothing, nor finding any resolution, only offering up his own feelings of helplessness, his own uncertainties, as a potential catalyst to reason.
Reason is insufficient.
Harlan speaks to me about the insufficiency of reason: “Say, you know how we often try to make lists of what we ought or need to do? You know, IF we (perhaps) performed the following activities, accomplished the following feats, we might feel some sense of order in our lives, some sense that we were possessed of a direction, a purpose, a…modus operandi, and therefore felt that LIVING made a kind of SENSE?” I nodded. Sometimes I think I am a writer, and therefore listen carefully.
Anyway, plans are confusing because so regularly undone.
He looks at her. They gaze. I (also) look at you, but your eyes are closed. Still I look, and look again, and look more (at you, wistfully – imaginatively ‘into’ you) and just am looking. Harlan and Meribeth are actually looking AT, perhaps ‘toward’ or ‘con-spicuously’ WITH one another. I’m just borrowing, observing, wishing, and longing-for.
Harlan says – (there is difficulty) – “isn’t she beautiful?” (a sort of backwards pronouncement – he thinks, well, not ‘thinks,’ rather ‘feels’ [or whatever] she is beautiful) – often we respond out of habitus, instinct, notion – I keep looking at you, hoping I’m, well, wishing (sometimes believing) that I’m a writer, after a fashion, of sorts, perhaps or probably…
Harlan states the obvious obscurely when faced with problematics. Harlan is attracted to Meribeth, and Meribeth to Harlan, but such a combination of lives, of persons, of families, of children, of burdens and complexities = DIFFICULTY… and difficulty (for Harlan) stimulates the regurgitation of flimsy “absolutes” – or conventional, accepted “Truths” – therefore Harlan simply states – “I love her Nathan, god knows – or Whomever – or No one – that I desire and adore and wish for and ache in relation to that lady, Meribeth.” I know that, I say, being acute and observant, sometimes thinking I am a writer and therefore privileged to description and awareness.
The kids cry. The movie’s over and it’s far beyond ‘bedtime’ on the absolute clock of shoulds and woulds (for “good” parenting). Harlan says – “Brush ‘em and orchestrate [they don’t know that word, but clearly understand what it means, unlike machines or ‘predictive text’] yourselves for nighty-night!” Harlan looks at Meribeth – the sort-of ‘fun aunt’ or ‘older girl cousin’ or ‘delightful female guest’ the kids have been curious about this evening and attempted to entertain or woo or utilize to their own purposes THIS evening – with a kind of drunken swooning, a kind of animal desire, a kind of helpless confusion and bewilderment – and Meribeth looks back at him with a kind of “Am I all that? Am I really distinct, different, unique-in-the-world, exceptional?” look… and the kids begrudgingly and grumblingly rumble off toward the bathroom because Harlan’s voice has a certain gruff, man-like edge to it (a growling of a different sort of desire from authority – the older ones might tick it the ‘daddy-voice’). I notice all these things because I consider myself a ‘writer’ – a person attuned to the subtle realities of human-animalness, quirks of idiosyncratic behaviors – someone predisposed to inventing or discovering or collaging words from language into odd combinations of metaphors that might shake loose emotions related to the ways our particular species behaves (NOT thinks or reasons, or rather AND thinks and reasons) in this world – and Harlan exhibits clear, semi-drunk desire for Meribeth, and Meribeth mirrors a kind of dumb, flattered and pretend-complimentary bewilderment to Harlan’s aching want, and I jot scribbly notes into a little travel notebook with sketches of London on its cover, and people are confused and want each other [or SOMEone] and I chuckle at the ingenuity of children, and wonder at the difficulties and pronouncements that accompany the rest of us.
“It’s a boatshitload,” Harlan says.
Perhaps we join in a wooded area, wander about, espying for foxes and deer, or bunnies.
Maybe we just use our eyes.
Sometimes we use the term-containers – words of our languages – bring varieties of ourselves, our experiences, our learning, our responses to syllables and sounds, and craft new spaces whereby the potentials echo.
I raise my hand, you respond in kind. A nod, a wave, a shake.
Perhaps the fuzzy boundaries of ourselves engage – we hug, we kiss, we make sounds one to another…
Both leaping over the log. Both scrambling the scaffold.
Gazes infiltrating one another on the river, on the Van Gogh, on the sculpted heap.
“You heard that too?”
Suppose we take up space. Suppose we are compositions of compositions that make a kind of interactive boundary – both for ourselves and that which surrounds us. The same, but different. Suppose all that spins around me gives me a sort of “area.” Suppose I lend the air, the water, the sound and ground a similar sort of “area” by my own buzzing, my own movements. Call me color. I am “blue.” But when I engage you in my blustering – you, “yellow” – we don’t end up making stripes…
WE, are “green.”
I breathe…my compositions of compositions exchange and interchange – some re-inhaled, some new and distinct, some left to re-compose. I enter you. I lend a boundary. I find I do not dissolve. And yet, exchange.
Our voices, carried by term-containers, expand, swell, contract, until there is a blend of meanings, intentions.
Maybe we only inflect.
Our fuzzy, buzzing boundaries.
Engage, exchange, co-constitute.
You move. You lend me form. I respond. I interact in kind.
Fuzz, buzz, calibrate.
You said. I replied. I summarized. You disagreed. Partially. Edit, recompose.
If “I” am a composition. I am composed of compositions – recognizable. Body. Organs. Veins. Plasma. Neurons. Molecules. Clusters. DNA. Synapses. Atoms….
You, composition of compositions…a composition within compositions : surround, situation, “space” (is there such thing?). Space, time – any emptied space to occupy? No. Displacement, exchange. Calibrate.
Table. A/C. Drink glass. Water. Music. Each element, action, “happening” altering, vibrating, co-creating the rest…
Co-composing…compositions made of compositions made of…within compositions of compositions…making…
I enter you. We correlate. Calibrate. Collaborate. Co-create.
You, though different, remain.
How intimate it can be…and yet.
We lend and are lent. Gift and are gifted.
Our fuzzy, buzzing borders.
We climb. We calibrate.
We dance, we speak, we respond, we laugh, we play, we swim…
We dream, we sleep, we breathe…
This is mysterious to me. Mysterious and wonderful. How I tend to think I “know” I am made of the same miniscule moving structures as you, as air, as mountain, as stream… And yet I retain a form… maintain an autopoietic and dynamic interchange and existence (for a time) as a cognizable (humanly) and dynamic “organism” or form of life. Like a language, a rock, a helix, an artwork, an idea. That I “know” these elemental spaces composed of tinier spaces making up larger spaces are all active, are full, are constantly coming and going, interacting and recombining, becoming and altering, editing and con-forming… and yet we identify, recognize, perceive…and do it again – come together, and calibrate…
Action. Language. Presence. Exchange.
Remain. Begin. Engender. Preserve.
Each of it: action, communication, gesture, touch, sense, perception, behavior, belief,
OPPORTUNITY and ENACTMENT of CALIBRATION…
HERE. Abandoned places fall apart. Decay to exposure. We, bereft. We, grieving. In the absence of care… Upkeep. Keeping up. Often when significant change occurs, we do not bother “keeping up.” Rather things, people, places, seem to hold on as long as possible to what is familial / familiar / to what seems known, as long as they can. Perhaps this marks some difference between survival and thriving. Maintenance versus development. Preservation versus advance. Enclosing versus opening.
But time. Molecules move and shake around; synapses shift, come undone, frackle, rewire…adjust. Adapt. There are new conditions. The movement of beings, of the world, continuously alters our context, alters ourselves. When they left, or something seemed lost, other inhabitants, presences, qualities, realities fill the perceptive interoperable surround…some constraints are increased, some loosened, restraints, license, “competition”: wind, rodents, weather, routine… The primary structuring relationships morph. Continually.
Now wife. Now wife and children. Now certain finances. Now no finances. Now surety, stability, now uncertainty, hazard, CHANGE. CHANGE (never not occurring) ALWAYS EQUALS OPPORTUNITY (for living things), ALWAYS EQUALS DIFFERENCE.
Now no wife. Now children. Now no job. Now scrapping for sustenance. Now certain friendships. Now the absence of certain friends.
Now different care.
What will the winds do? The rain, the sun, the heat, the ice? Critters? What new sounds will my structure make – interactions – given the changes in conditions, in surround? WHAT ARE WE NOW? The same. Structurally – a form made for interaction, a part of the world, interlocked and interwoven, a bundle of functions and processes, intentions and conditions – exposed by happening in a world.
“Things fall apart, the center cannot hold”
(Great! How else…life?)
And how beautiful the potencies of change. How messy. How easy to attribute – “good” “bad” “difficult” “help” “harm” “ease”…
But is what’s happening to the homestead, the barn now – in lieu of human use and care – less easy? Less beautiful? Does not every context surrounding and composing a structure of forms – both help and harm of a sort?
Would it be false to say this erosion, this abandonment to other interests and types of care, this shifting of primary interactions, reciprocating attachments, looks like loss? With all that light pouring through? All the redolent air and wheezing whistling and rattle? Has the new (ever-altering) context of comings-and-goings helped or harmed this structure…or, perhaps mostly…BOTH? Just like the previous and every future one?
We. I. You. Crafted ever-so-intricately in contexts we are unable to adequately identify (comprehensively) or evaluate – for they ARE the context that is co-creating (in-forming) our identifications and evaluations. We interpret – according to the context we are enmeshed in/with.
CHANGE CONTEXT – CHANGE PERCEPTION, INTERPRETATION, IDENTIFICATIONS, EVALUATIONS…change even what we look for…
A breaking, a leaving, an abandonment, some loss…(simply, really, change) – do they not equal a kind of damage, a kind of harm, so full of openings, exposure, new perspectives granted the initializing structures that we truly DO NOT KNOW what living is for? But this? – TO LIVE?!
The rent places let the outside in in novel ways, creating coevally novel openings for the inside to emerge. The wear co-creates other structural stresses and reliefs, new releases and new enclosures, novel shapes and textures, colors perhaps we never knew were possible to begin with. Never a potential until the context came that facilitates and allows, enacts and enables.
Always interacting, we change. Always changing (along with our entire surround) defines INTER-ACTION. Barn: Enter, Action. Always.
Experiences confoundingly rendered with these sound contexts: