An attempt viewed in incompletion

sad skeleton


Arid time and things, they pass

Erase, not quite, deteriorate

Inexact as well, but depleting




Not exactly end, ending

Never a beginning

Ever picked up midstride


Only ever in the midst


Tiring then,

Worn down,

Depleted, she said,



and yet what from?

From what is he so tired

unto ruin?

What is ruin-ed?

What never was?



Always midstride, then

Nearer to the end

this depletion




Begun ever

Certainly nothing

ever completed.

Always midstride,

and nearer to the end,

incompleted, and




Unable to keep up with 1/8 of the 9-year-old,

worrying the 10, the 17, the young man

fails the partner

fails the weather

failing his own mind

            own dreams

            his own body






Always midstream,

frozen in place

nearer to the end

this present



Would like to write it out

Write it off

Pick up again

Declare a start

But he can’t

or won’t


Nearing the end,

Never getting there,

(near completion, never that)

only begun and that just barely

joined midstride

nearer to the end

simply depleting




Without fail.

The one thing without fail.

The one absolute success.

The one almost-completion:





Always midstride

and nearer to the end –

very much like dancing

on bleeding broken legs


Ash grey little body only upright heart beating face to endlessness.  Old love new love as in the blessed days unhappiness will reign again.  Earth sand same grey as the air sky ruins body fine ash grey sand.  Light refuge sheer white blank planes all gone from mind.  Flatness endless little body only upright same grey all sides earth sky body ruins.  Face to white calm touch close eye calm long last all gone from mind.  One step more one alone all alone in the sand no hold he will make it.

– Samuel Beckett, Lessness

Distractedly riffling through old notebooks stacked, shelved and scattered about my working space, some dating to 1991. 

For most of my life I’ve desired to be a writer.

Nearly all of my life I’ve been writing.

Reading.  Writing.  Reading.  Writing.  Reading.  Writing.  Thinking.

Once out of the home, off on my own, out in the world,

the marginalia and doodles, notes in the headers and footers,

grew redundant with desire…

…desire for language to do some certain things,

…desire to be a certain sort of sayer, singer:

to write the ambiguities.

Repeatedly:  to be a writer of “the grey,” “the foggy,” the layered and the liminal.  Experience thickly translucent, ambivalent, inconclusive and unclear.  That light in which even our shadows go unseen.

Yet over time, enduring work, assembling children, compiling experience, occasioning love and its passing by,

encountering mortality in its consistent accumulation of extraction,

my writing desire grows more active,

toward the active,

and its happening,

writing verbally,

writing living:

to write losing.

Losing in its agility and operation, its perpetuity. 

Losing as it eventuates and proceeds, universally, in each instant.


to loose losing

…perhaps to lose it…

…face to endlessness…

will he make it?

Provisionally, some fiction


– a novel? –

We untiringly construct the world in order that the hidden dissolution, the universal corruption that governs what ‘is’ should be forgotten [Death, or its refusal] in favor of a clear and defined coherence of notions and objects, relations and forms…

-Maurice Blanchot-

Thought and writing weave an apprenticeship…

…it will not hold, meaning and words, it will not hold.

-Dan Beachy-Quick & Matthew Ghoulish-

our limited mode of access to reality

-Laurie Scheck-

The novel hurled to the ground breaks into verse and achieves a perfect synthesis

-Ben Lerner-

each page a fractured, beating thing

-Laurie Scheck-

He woke far too early, and could not back to sleep.  Even slumber.  Broken into verse.  Eyes needled with discomfort, asking for their closing, refusing to stay shut.  And her.  Her, the one pushing away, the one who woke him, the one asking him to ‘please move farther’ when there is no room.  And so he enters a deep – after a fashion, or of a sort – a sleepy sleepless land, an engagement like great fiction.

Without synthesis and not unbroken, but scattered in its way, as insomnia might be, like stars, like sky, the bewilderment of travel.  An apprenticeship in weaving.  The dreaming in the waking.  Age-old questions, rich and beautiful: unanswered.  The meaning and the words continue refusing to hold.  Something “like” that, unlikably.

our words are so light that they keep opening out into questions…

…when you affirm, you still question

-Maurice Blanchot-




Extravagant generosity of depletion.

Lust with which the world gives way.

And life.




I have entered a world

in which I am




and eaten away


It is “Today”

this world –

the realm, the sphere, the moment:


A time that’s never,

only almost

and a just-was.


Each beginning

what equals

another end.

That time.

What was.

What will be.

What I remember

and predict.


The first day

once again;

each possibly

the last


It is like this –

each time –

it is the present:

that attachment

that letting go.

Incessant welcome,

and its goodbye.