Harlequin piecing it together

the_seated_harlequin_1923
The Seated Harlequin 1923 Painting by Pablo Picasso

The Harlequin can’t remember.  Harlequin patchworks a quilt.

  • RR 1 Box ?? Clearwater, Kansas
  • ???? Independence – Wichita, Kansas
  • Jerusalem, ISRAEL (dorms)
  • ??? Ash – Hays, Kansas
  • 2505 Cardinal Drive – Wichita, Kansas
  • Penndel (Langhorne?), Pennsylvania (apartment complex)
  • 5711(?) N. Athenian – Wichita, Kansas
  • Glen Elder, Kansas
  • Heidelberg, GDR
  • Somewhere near Orme & Edgemoor – Wichita, Kansas
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Sellwood, Oregon (duplex)
  • 11?? Willow Drive – Wichita, Kansas
  • 508 N. Belmont – Wichita, Kansas (son & daughter born)
  • ???? (house) – Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • ???? Cornell – Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • L—– Switzerland
  • Alt—- UK
  • 1151(?) Hermitage – Grand Rapids, Michigan (son born)
  • 350(?) S. Clifton – Wichita, Kansas (son born)
  • New Hope, Pennsylvania
  • 3028 E 2nd N – Wichita, Kansas

In no particular order.  Revisits.  Can’t remember much.  Side streets, neighborhoods – nothing is familiar.  More apt to recall where friends or lovers lived than “self.”  Makes a list:

-Baxtrom – Welch – Kremenak – Kruse – Evans – Lathrop – Keil – Allen – Erickson – Welch – Rose – Martha – Neel/Franklin – Krieger – Fall – Bond – Franz – Jones – Hartig – Russell – Griffin – O’Callahan – Farha – Goldbarth – Coleman – Harder – Reffner – calls them “foundational relations” – friends and lovers slewn together.

May as well include family – origins – surnames:

Alberts * Fishers * Kresins : Filberts * Foos’s * Deutsches

And those with whom he converged DNA: Wells / Grovers ^ Linds / Zogelmans

Or those with whom he co-habited: Lathrop – Beckman – Linnebur

Considers the places stitched in/with:

CO, CA, NY, MA, MS, VA, FL, KY (Berry), AR, OR, TN, NC, SC, AL, OK, TX, NM, UT, AZ, ID, NE, WY, MT, WA, DC, WV, ME, CT, NH, DE, PA, MI, IL, MN, NJ, NH (Hall), VT (Buechner), NV, MO, GA, KS : Switzerland, GDR, Hungary, Holland, Syria, Egypt, Italy, Mexico, UK, France, Canada, Czechoslovakia (no more), Austria, Lebanon

the co-created organisms: Tristan, Aidan, Ida, Oliver

and domesticated mammals: Cracker, Andromeda, Nicodemus, Gizmo, Zorro, Tippy, Freddy, Indigo, Scarlet, Max, Zazie – probably more…

self-selected (!?) identities:

Dostoevsky, Giacometti, Kafka, Lispector, Cixous, Blanchot, Nietzsche, Jabes, Beckett, Wm. James, CS Peirce, Lorca, Wittgenstein, Rilke, Pessoa, Schiele, DF Wallace, Kozelek, Musil, Fernandez…and those lying in wait: This Will Destroy You, Vila-Matas, Marcus…Harlequin has inscribed in his flesh.

Might be useful to make a story.

The way things are – with everything falling apart, coming undone, wearing down or out, dwindling in function – calls for such measures – i.e. fitted to new purposes, given new life, repurposed, renamed, remixed, restored.

Making lists against memory.  Visiting / revisit.  Trying.

It’s coming apart.

He’s worked long in this manner.

Something breaks or dies, goes defunct…fix it with change.

Washing machine, body parts, relationships, parents.  Tools or appliances, activities and paths… rather than forcing some obedience to its past or presence – alter the context (as large as it needs to be – micro to macro) round about it, until its usefulness is assuaged or established, regained or reconstructed.  Until it makes sense – AS-IS-NOW.

“Presently” includes all of above.  His body – losing ‘shape,’ gaining aches, kinks, and torsions; doorways and windows, paint and light fixtures; machines and vehicles grinding down – leaking, cracking, and broken; dwindling desires of his partner; increased independence and mystery of his offspring…nothing quite capable of ‘control.’  Employer threats of performance and reviews; family tensions of politicized faiths; stamina shot as both parent and friend; patient lover and male…

…all it requires a new mythology – some new scaffolding – structure and content and aim.

What story is.  What languaging is for.  Imagine – abstraction and dream.  What neuroses.  Subject and author and plot.  Continuous revision – the edit and pulp and rewind.  We cut and paste and press ‘new.’  File, document, folder, image: LIFE.

We rename.

There is story and language and code.  Writing and saying and message.  Harlequin’s not the first to say “I think by writing” and perhaps he will not be the last.  Some perspective invented, some objective fabrication, some construction of a feeling of reflection, recount.  Grappling after what is getting lost.  A dream that a ruling, an external, can be seen or encountered, manipulated and tested.  If an accounting exists, there is material (reality) AGENCY to work WITH, THROUGH and ON.

Harlequin forms words.

Yet there are none that he ‘makes’ – just borrows, revises.  Uses, shapes, and arranges.  Gives place.  Inscribes in some ancient tradition – it’s “writing” – using marking or code in conventions.  Absorbing idiosyncracies into generalities.  Depending on a community that shares such signs – can lend, agree, and interpret.  It’s fragile.  Insecure and uncertain.  There’s no meaning.  Like the earth – writing just IS.  To be taken and changed, charged and made and appropriated.  Dis-card-ed.

What was a ‘card’ but token carrying message or code?  In-formation – letters arranged.  Who knew – and why – and how?  Doesn’t matter.  Undone.  Broken and over and through.  Electronic currency now – if this you can even decipher (decode).

Letters, stories, and language.  Harlequin marks on a page – sets of signals.  The cells, the emotions, the organs – signals and signs.  Tired and old and afraid – always dying.  Since day one, always dying – fearfully.  How It Is.  He remembers and prays (in a way) – a communication with the dead – mediated – to the Beckett, the Kafka, the Dostoevsky.  David Foster Wallace, Hegel and Marx.  Maybe Nietzsche, Deleuze or Blanchot.  And the ladies: Lispector, Cixous and Dickinson.  Doesn’t matter.  For Harlequin, all a part of the same realization – it comes, it ages, it goes, and it’s gone.  Human living.  Human life.  Just what is: How It Is.

Labor, relation, and trial.  What is being?  Labor, relation, and trial.

He succumbs.  Is succumbing.  Is tearing apart.

A story makes of it what it will.

You can have your knowledge – facts or theories, experiences and concepts – but the stories reason and resemble them.  Lend them ambiguity and occasional senses.  Possibilities.

Perchance they go together like this.  Or like that.  Or another way.  Stories.  Sanity.  Something.

Something becoming – a linked set of symbols in an ecological order.  Stories try experience on for fittings.  Until it fits.  Until it tatters, or is otherwise overused or outgrown.

Becomings and undoings.  Compositions and deletes.  All the edits (on the fly).  Survival.

And bowls of cereal are not allowed.

Ida_Cereal
found sign created by daughter

 

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2 thoughts on “Harlequin piecing it together

"A word is a bridge thrown between myself and an other - a territory shared by both" - M. Bakhtin

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