Not-Belonging, Chapters

I feel somewhat apologetic, but here is one more selection from my archives.  Another that when I re-read I am unable to see how I might do better, or how I ever got it done at all, yet all my work un-published or rejected, so I know it is not “good enough” per whatever the current cultural milieu would prefer.  “No matter.  Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better.”  Perhaps.  In any case, it circles around for me like the tail-eating snake I am, in hopes it might engender something new, no, in hopes it might be put to rest.  For any who read it, I would be hard pressed to metaphor my astonishment, humility, gratitude and begging-of-patience, including a sheer and sharp ache of deep appreciation for your life’s time and likely unwarranted, gracious, attention.

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Chapters That Don’t Belong

(please click image or title for text)

many thanks

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from Archives – Family: A Fiction

wandering through my own writings, and stumbling on things that surprise me.  This seems (to me) to be some of the best writing I’ve ever done, something I can’t imagine being able to do, something I’m not sure I ever did – the bewilderments – something I can’t imagine doing again.  Thought I’d share…I wonder who/what I might be.

Family

Family: A Fiction – NW Filbert (2012?)

Let Me Get This Out of Your Way

Intriguing stumble-upon.  Clearing an old flash drive for my daughter I ran across this – texts from my first and only public reading – featuring art by George Ferrandi and Laura Barbuto, which occurred in an interactive reading space with many assistants and much assistance a couple years ago.  Seemed like it belonged in this space.

space_ferrandi

  1. Sitting at table amid a narrative hum. No one speaks.

“Getting it Out of the Way: A Response”

(texts by Nathan Filbert; art/images Laura Barbuto/George Ferrandi)

 

Alias Ouroboros; or, Alias and [the Philosophy of] the Process of Elimination

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Looks, stares, gazes.  Alias, alone (with ants).  In bathroom.  Facing mirror.

Is reminded (from whence and where?) “My way of not being the same is, by definition, the most singular part of what I am.”  Remembers Foucault wrote that (how? why?).

Contemplates.  Scrutinizes.  Reflects.  Adorno: “To make things of which we do not know what they are.”  Wherefore?  Examines his old face for repetition.  For resemblance.

What ever did he suppose the “self” was?  Leans closer.  12 years old, exploring raggedy woods surround childhood farm in the Kansas countryside with a crooked clumsy stick (a settler’s gun).  Who did he posit “others” to be?

Laramie, somewhere far.  Laramie: OFF.  Sister.  Sometime “friends.”  Lucy (before that H____, before that T_____, and prior A______, D_______, J_____, and so on).  Had he come to approximate “himself” at all?  And who and what and where determined that?  Where is the Observer?

What constitutes the subject in its relations to the true, to rules, to itself?” (Foucault had queried) – the “I” in a sentence – and why had he ever read that stuff?  Why did he feel himself “drawn” to it?  Magnetized to self-reflection, chaotic perspective gyroscope?

Can almost see the swallowing snake.  How long he’s longed (like Laramie) to shed obligations and self-evolving charges (children, lovers, homes and labor)…and how lonely alone turns out to be.

Leans back.  The hair, the shoulders, the wrinkles and beard.  Sheer size alone an entirely variant specimen from 12, shape of 20, motility of 3, vim of 47.

But the naming remains: Harlequin – spanning centuries, derived from ancestor’s medieval roles.  “Ignatius” and “Evgeny” – monikers pilfered from grandfathers – representing both (or some) genetic “sides” – the mother’s and the father’s.  Then Alias, alas – selected purely for sound and almost a joke – “let him make his own name” his dad was supposed to have said – “make a name for himself.”  Alias i. e. Harlequin – an identity of shifters.  Contentless, versatile signs.  This or that, also known as, patchwork jester.  Volatile collage.

Multi-colored robes of Joseph – Alias certain he’s never led anything out of bondage – let alone himself.  A joker then?  Entertainer with a deathly fear to perform.  Chameleon, hodgepodge, bum.  Rag-tag coddle of experiences, interests and events: people, places, actions and things.  Jumbled potpourri of knowledge sans expertise.  “Who is this what that I am?” he thinks, unattended, gaping at the bathroom mirror.  “How?”

Sways toward.  Yellowed teeth, crudded sockets.  Webs stringing out from the eyes indexing smiles – from when?

Drinks.  Diarrhea.  Trembles.

Considers process of elimination.  Engages, ingests, transforms…and turns it all to shit.

Precisely!  If we could do without metaphor!  “The real,” “the rules,” “itself” and “other” hacked, torn and blundered, mulched and mushed, pulped and extracted…some to nourish, some to harm, random keeps and passes…What if “itself” were able to masticate, dissolve and disperse, digest and diarrhea itself?  If thinking passed like food and water?

Crush the judgments, statements, words and perceptions. Struggle to swallow.  Swill the pains and fears – chug through the gullet – expel from the sex.  Crap the hopes, the dreams.  Piss prejudice and myth.  Ingurgitate logical systems, impressions and lust.  Eliminate ruin and waste like a transitioning, dynamic…eroding, decrepit, diminishing body.

Examines physique – misshapen shapeshifting slush.  Deliberates learning.  Vocations.  Training.  Behaviors and “talents.”  Successes.

Swallows again, more of a choking or gulp.  Peers closer.  Slurps and gobbles, wriggling it down – acids and micro-solutions…expel, eject, devour.  Autosarcophagy, necrotizing fasciitis, auto-immune (how did he know these things?) parasiting himself – is it possible to empty?  To void?  And where’s Laramie?  Lucy?  The children?

The trots again.  He starts to gag.

Alias and the Ants

trailofants

Alias observes the ants in his bathroom.  Each Spring.  Spring or Fall, no matter his warfare – treating / trimming / grooming the perimeter of ‘his’ home – no difference (or differance) – Spring and Fall, a trail, a train, a miniscule “army” (whether ‘Army Ants’ or no, he could not say) of tiny insects crossing his counter from sink rim to (nonexistent) god-knows-where and back again, doing god-and-perhaps-scientist knows what…traversing, infesting, conquering, appearing, occurring…

…Alias is unattended…

Observing ‘his’ (not-his) ants.  A collective of interminable insects roving to and fro between a Lilliputian crack along the paint of his lavatory wall (an outside boundary of ‘his’ ‘home’), the cylindrical rim involving ‘his’ ‘vanity’ (does he still possess any of that?) sink, his children’s toothbrushes (the “family” so wishes the infestation undone) and wherever they might journey over the surface’s edge, the drainage holes, the drawers…

Ants.

Alias composes both paste and powder of Boric acid and particled sugar.  A supposed deadly mix for puny pests.  Like “life” for him.  Murderous moments of sweetness colluded with deathly compounds: vodka, cigarettes, illicit sex; bacon, buttery-fried flour, altitude…

Responsibility (instinct) and desire (impulse).

Alias is alone.  Most definitely that.  Solo and (interpretively) forsaken.

His ‘kids’ are grown.  His loves (clearly) outworn.  His ‘friendships’ recursive, reductive, assumptive, routine.  But the weed-trees, the weather and wear, the spiders, the crickets, termites, and dust…and ants, carry on in a differently (and differantly) incessant way.

Indefatigable.  Undefeatable.  (Like death.)

That within succulent sweetness, luscious limnings of love, lie poisons and trace, exposures – never a joy without risk, no ecstasy lacking its peril, no thriving without its decease.  Positives all laced with negatives, happiness balanced in depress.

Alias gazes.  He stares.  Isolated, trimming at an untrimmed beard over a sink he did not install, looking (and failing to see at all) into a mirror replicating demise…above a trail of ants he’s fed sugary poison for weeks, which appear to be active and thriving, in differance to his own ‘self’ – choking and chortling on pleasures that keep resulting in pains, experiments emerging as monstrous, efforts destroying their ends.

He sighs, does Alias.  However he seeks a team and a trail it leads him to toxin, bane eroding his chance.  Considers Laramie, Lucy (his wife), and each child.  Ruminates purpose or promise or hope.  Wonders how relief repulses its reasons.  Why remedy acts against cure.  How ants insist on their patterns.  Why exultation evinces in ruin.

 

 

A Far Story – Samuel Beckett

I wait for me afar for my story to begin, to end, and again this voice cannot be mine.  That’s where I’d go, if I could go, that’s who I’d be, if I could be.

– Samuel Beckett

Beckett - Stories Texts Nothing

Nos. 3 & 4, Texts for Nothing by Samuel Beckett

it doesn’t get better than this…unless it’s more of beckett

Alas, Alias

kitty-litter

“Cat litter,” the last thing said, and something about that abandoned bicycle, a child’s bike, deep red, repainted, left askew on their lawn for days.

Those were the last things.  The last things she said.  And so he’d begun to move about much more carefully.  Timidly some might say, an amalgam of caution and care.  Ever tender, aware that things break, or tear, spill, or fall apart.  End.

But then Laramie, his sister, mother, the kids – some entities seem to persist, so few and so stubborn, inexplicably, threatening almost, as if an accumulating disaster, an heavier withdrawal.  He doesn’t know what to make of it.

Abandonment crushes all scales and statistics – but pebbles and dust, foundations and roots still remain.  Persistent.  Resilient.  Irrational.

Like a sloth he repaired to his desk, as delicate and slow.  He took up a pen with his head in his hand.  He was lonely, alone but for quiet, sweet silence, and branches and birdsong and wind, autos and dogs.  Not quite quiet.  Not quite alone.  But abandoned, far as he could surmise.

He wrote.  Rather drew.  Looping lines that were shaky on paper.  Tried to make his operation more smooth.  It failed.  He shakes now, does Alias, from drinking and smoking, aging and grief.  From perspective.  His perspective.

A rattling undone, an erosion.  He sighs.

A bike, and “cat litter,” then gone.  Others had left for much more and much less.  Litanies of reasons of wrongs are so easy with humans involved, never mind the ‘weight of the good.’  Can’t compete.  Won’t compute. There are mistakes, and effort involved – both are failures, no matter the theories or talk, no matter their universality.  He was wrong and a failure, which equals abandon no matter the words they produced.

Alas, Alias.  A depression.  An outlook that colors the field, but it’s charcoal.  No matter the ‘whom’ it will bleed, run them dry, and disfigure.  No one’s withstood it for long, for all of his kindness and passion (devised to distract from the swallowing dark, or the primer – his base coat is death).  He’s alone.

Not a Laramie, mother, or kin.  Without doubt there’s no lover, no friend.  Just a man and his books and incessant grey thoughts, and a pen.

He begins, looping lines…forming “Cat litter,” the last thing she said…

Bike