Even a blank page
can be beautiful, asking:
Who goes there? What? Where?
Even a blank page
can be beautiful, asking:
Who goes there? What? Where?
“If there is progress then there is a novel.”
William Carlos Williams
You wait for it to come, grow, become. You may be waiting forever. Like love.
Perhaps it will visit, pass by. You’ll notice, probably feel hopeful, or inspired. Forlorn.
You’ll keep trying, as in waiting. Wanting and waiting are such wrestlers.
From time to time you’ll dream. Fantasies and nightmares.
But language will twist your words.
“Today I wrote nothing.”
Someday maybe, someone will say of me that I “tore up language,” made it useless.
Maybe, someday, someone will “feel” that. That I destroyed something precious. Something necessary. Like oxygen, or water: something we could not live without. And I ruined it. Like meaning.
That would be something. Something I could do, with nothing.
Simple undoing. To sequester and burn. Try or experiment. Atomic bombing atoms. Untangle into knots – vacuum emptiness, so to (un)speak. Rather ask than say. Rather ponder or wonder than postulate or state. To query, not question. Change, not challenge.
Disorder and dismember as an alternative to reordering and remembering. Dissolute versus dissolve. “Me.”
How significant that would be! How real and present I might become! How impossible to ignore! Then ‘I’ might come, be-come, cum-cum… be undone, finally.
De-ranger opposing A-rRanger. The chaos, disturbance, tremor and volatility… the tension pulling on the only bottom we can conceive… the bottomless. Topless. Beautiful that way. Exposed. Denuded. Open. Available. A fresh take. Lake. Like. Lack. Unknowable. Perhaps deep or infinite. Perhaps uncontained.
Let’s say “language.” Let’s say molecules, atoms, cells. Let’s say “space” or “time.” Let’s say “let us say.” (i.e. let’s assume something).
Like hallucinogenetic drugs without purpose. Instrumentalization. Meaning. Like feeling too cold or too warm. Like grief or ecstasy – any of these experiences we don’t understand.
Disjunctive dysfunction. The uncanny. Morphology. K would call it (maybe) “infinite possibilities of infinities without numeration – perhaps most of which are empty” – and how would we know (or be able to know) what that means? Like this here = that.
Suppose you could “see” it (imagine – image-in) – I use language. I’d use language. I would. To “see” it. To image-in, to imagine the impossible…compossible.
To love. To be. To live. To try.
Apparently (according to K) that doesn’t “do” anything – doesn’t instrumentalize or operationalize the unknown potential, even though I compare it with sound or dance or computers or nuclear war – as physical.
Whatever. (Exactly!). The vague potential of supposed infinite possibilities we cannot possibly comprehend, uncover, dis-cover, realize (as far as we know, at our scale of experiencing) – but how is it not part of these possibilities? Actualized, instrumented (pen / paper / sign), operated-in or upon or with or for…
Here is your possible result: an 100th Monkey.
Water moved all over me – a bath, a shower, the rain… I broke my skin stumbling on a curb, and bled… a knife, a table… Ha! I have a body. Yes, there it is. Maybe I’ll make love – what will be discovered then? Yes, “we.” I have a porous body.
Another reason writing is an instrumentalized “reason.” Eat this. Peace among worlds. Going on a manhunt for a woman. A particular ‘one.’ Watch me (if you want).
I can pull at the hair on my face. I just gathered my child in an embrace (a ‘hug’ we called it). Ha! I have a body, it is porous. Operationalized by “desire” (we call it).
Part II: Language (we call it).
Floor (feet feel). Hair (hands hold, harry, hank). Skin (sentences slit, suckle, sense, susurrate, sing). Grass (gander, gaze, grab, grackle). Oh the things you can do! Meaningless, morbid possibilities.
To prove – ? What? – “I” hear? “I” touch? “I” see? Taste? Feel? Encounter? Interrupt? Intrude? Act with and upon? To what purpose?
Proof of possibility? Infinite (unknown) potentials? What do “I,” am “I,” wanting?
“Desire” I wrote (instrumentalized) earlier. Ha. A word. An action. [I have a porous body]. “I” (what I call) “love.”
In other words, this was the day K hobbled away. You wouldn’t understand. [meanings].
I’ve written other words, even what might be called “assemblages” (markings in accord with other ‘possibilities’…infinitely (?) variable).
In other words… the spread of the tree. This one sends its branches this way into the world… (porous)… this one yearns vertically… these at certain angles… sentences… reactions…
I am thankful for Kansas… for sex… for her… for elsewhere…
For Pakistan. Where she first appeared… from California… I “love.”
It’s, she’s, notable. Noteworthy. I mark them.
The refrain: I love. I have loved. I will. [“desire”]
“I” say “yes”
Yes, M. Yes D. Yes A, T, H, H, J, M, T, J, M, J, S, R, R, R… yes almost anyone almost anywhere… yes.
Let us try this out: language. Touch. “Yesterday.”
And something becomes. The unknown (unknkowable?) – K’s infinities paralleled and interwoven. What is liminal.
The liquid between every book on my shelves, every line, the air and its waves, the light and hard matter. [porous].
G, D, K, M, Lispector… what do we see? Le spectre. The specter. What we see. What can (not) be seen.
The visible and the touchable – “the Prose of this World.”
Trees sprout branches slantwise.
And there… the name “Steiner.” A Viking. A Spartan. A Cherokee. And there is “rain” (we call it). And I: love. And that can be its own end. The German. The Thai. The Nubian. Each native as The World Goes On in The Physics of Sorrow… selected, selected, selected…
A gold, glaring like sunlight, like foil paper,
glints out of the hands, gathered to plead,
like tears with their measure of salt, gleaming
an eye, like the viscous reflecting residue
of pleasure – piss, blood, the living sweats
and leaks, we run, we water the dying.
You there. You. There.
Far cries (moans, wails, echoes) from here.
You here. You. Here.
Murmurs, whispers, gasps, and laughter.
Breath upon an ear.
Blue radiance from the heart, red running out the vein.
The wheeze that squelches exhale.
Stuttered stumble – each mistake…the trial being
to sketch, to trace, erase.
Once we waved at one another.
Each goodbye a beckon.
And all digress.
Too often, once more… for Thucydides…
Feathers, flowers, for Filbert,
little donkey he must be,
ass-braying poems – silt and muck of muddle,
collecting stones and eyes and sunsets,
almost any gaze. Almost an acknowledgment.
To be. For. Anyonething. Anywhere.
Once necessary. Once.
And then more…
I’ll map it out for you.
No, I’ll inscribe it.
47 cuts (myopic) in everything.
Unfinished. Inability to understand apparatus. Has not accomplished death.
Librarian, parent: attempts to track, preserve, and access – things precious, silent, useful.
Pseudo-scholar (any otherwise?), thinker: an inability to avoid pollution when considering or engaging relics of world.
If desired sexually, probably will… it depends.
Sometimes only in pieces.
Life is hard to figure. Mostly illegible, as well.
47 marks on anything.
Read what you can, listen.
Skin-shaped textures. Walks on land. Occasionally tree or canyon. Mountain, river, ravine.
As easy to trace as wind.
Kiss for kiss. Breathing.
Something (someone?) called “melody.”
Intimate uncertainty? Certainly not. Perhaps. She would know.
Maybe furry, fuzzy androgyny.
Offspring reveals: “Crow’s a Decomposer.”
What is poet?
Said all things grow, cannot hold, to dust and such. Singing.
Some might remember.
Touch. Taste. Trying.
Loves deeply. Expects nothing but passing, passage.
Dances. Slowly. Grasslands. Prairie.
AND. OR. NOT. (every day. moment) +/-?
Like erasure. Accumulation. Obscurity.
Decomposer. Lover. Friend. Everenemy.
“Love” (used, spoken, felt, lost, wished-for, pondered).
Language, landscape, living organism… perhaps that equals.
Sing “You Fucking Did It”
When does death arrive? Why?
Glossy haze = language, landscape, living organism.
Children. Music. Language. Elements of play.
Stretched out. A boy and a girl (E. Whitacre). A boy and a boy. Girl upon girl. They and them.
A poet working a way to an underworld.
Death is. (a “thing”). Exists. =.
Kansas: what gives silence for silence.
As easy to trace as wind.
Igloo. Cabin. Family farm.
DNA. Bacteria. Cancer(ous) cellular cell’d activity.
The living. The dying.
47 paces toward the dark.
How life gets made. A ratchet, a sprocket, an engine and a wheel. Add water. Fuel to the fire. Desiccate.
Perhaps it will rain. A slight ritard. Some sounding quiet. Remediate.
Watching flowers blooming to dissolve. A capture.
Sight slated to dim. Shuffling ensues. The stoop.
In a chair nearby, another. More better for company. When alone.
47 paces in the fog.
Take three, four, and so on.
Circle round. Loop back. Never again.
Easy to trace as wind.
Leaving lights on.
Reading words, far from men.
Lost facilities. The stakes.
Dwindle toward final.
The effort, the offspring, the progeny.
47 accounts of the night and the wheel-well thickened with road.
Splashes the mill. Grinds crank. Pressures to turn,
turning back, away, toward.
47 gaps in the shawl. Inconnu.
With something like delight. How to stand before them.
Poeting down for underworld.
Was there ever progress?
Takes the hand.
Strikes the key. The 47th.
Saturate for stupid. Loses steps. Must wake.
A happy mess. Weighted results, dependencies, accumulation.
As easy to trace as wind.
Utilizes snow too much. The rain.
Abandoned places. What removes. The melt. What remains.
The unfinished. Undoing. Become.
For ‘I’ is a thing that breaks.
47 footprints from the hands. The notable.
Swirly ways of working. Feels like – .
Inspiration hopelessness. This language.
This living organism. Landscape.
47 miles to go. All the cracks and divets.
Bolt after bolt unscrolled as flesh. Laid out. Stretched out. Smoothed. Sagged. Ironed. Smelt.
Felt for quality. Caressed and examined.
The lonely wonder. Represent.
47 X x = ?
Confusion persuasive. Revelation / insight. Chords resolve. Dissonance.
Language + landscape + living. 47 measures.
Months go by. Chairs and couches filled by others’ beds. Warmth weighs.
Waits on wisdom. Depletion. Adventure as excited strain.
Poison intravenous. Copulating cells and fluids.
Ends of the guilty. Interpret unfinished systems. Dis-ease.
The long whine wail across the prairie. Animal manual. Wind wires rain.
What gets whispered and transcribed.
Stumbling toward the underworld. Looking back.
Eyes up, ocean bottom.
Some things are out of hand.
The grey and black. The dimming.
47 warnings. The morning comes.
Making it. Happens.
Diagnoses and analyses.
Shuffles, stumbles, strikes the keys.
Easy to trace as wind.
Chorded coagulation, confounding,
comprehending (very little, almost nothing)
language, landscape, living,
another note tunes the swing on the porch –
what’s wide open, open wide
Shrewd and undiminished.
Minimize = understanding.
A matter of scale,
for I am a thing that breaks.
47 slices of nothing.
How seeing depends… opacity, clarity… foggy horizons between tumultuous sea and sky…
Light, as a feather – the dawn in darkness, or the hoping carrying despair.
What is seen, then? What fore- or back- grounds an image? How? In mist, in motion. In a dream that waking brings.
In which direction, grounding? And wherefore? Lightness limning itself again, again, in midst of darker swells and slighter traces.
How seeing depends… on light, the eye, the stimmung – the stemming of mood – and graver swirls… beg-ins and sets-out from. Within. Without. Finding curious concord. Even when there’s barely there. Either.
Deepens, depends, opens out, away, in deep ends, hollow holing, turbulent tunnels, seeing unseen, a groping for/in light where none. Peering is something, as the closing of the eyes – telescopic blindfold.
Perhaps dawn is down, where despair is rising. Hope precipitating beyond eithers, or… differences imperceptible save the seeing…
How seeing depends… and deepens with what is searched for, what wants, who opens, what feels, within each where-when, becoming there-thens, seeing how.
It begins, then, all seeing, between. Bounding back-forth in light and light and any weighted things, ever shifting seeing-sea and emptied sky, re-membering differences to seamlessness, with opaque clarity, as such your “I.”
after Helene Cixous’ First Days of the Year (all quotations from)
“…writing doesn’t know the story…”
– Helene Cixous –
Writing had dissipated, eroded and erasured, “the stream, the slender silent stream with its singing arms,” dried, swallowed, scabbed to dusty ground, hardened wounds, simple soundless scarring – unmarked, unmapped, uninterpreted or deciphered.
“Writing, that link, that growth, that orientation” and mysterious connection in the veins – beneath earth, across times, that leaky, throbbing, flowing, trickling tickle in the fingers of the throat – evaporated to ether.
Space is full of voids again, the entire body is corpse. It was air that was missing – oxygen and hydrogen – a liquid, invisible, fluid force and blazing trail – its quiet tireless effort coursing, a desert without shore.
“’It has been many years now,’… thought the author”…many years of dwindling, echoing thoughts…many years without solution or solvent, no bed, no pull, no sea or slope – an eviscerated wandering lacking movement, without promise or retreat, direction or return, rather something absent, lost, unknown.
Bedrest – a way to heal by falling fallow, running out, caesura and inaction. Some old trace viewed from scale, an only remnant held by wind – a sentenced shrub, a stop of phrase. Riverbedrest and desertduned unwinding – depiction’s dearth, branches clotstopping gravity’s swill or swirl, deadwooded filaments tumbling anywhere the green had been, the iron bled from vein.
“I am going to write,” he had thought at first… but I weigh 47 years and “writing is eternal [knowing] neither weight nor time,” it will not lift and carry me, breezing past as it always has every present unto present – ageless phantom, foreign phrase I am unable to pronounce.
Vanishing link between the bodies, submerged and buried and unspoken – “writing doesn’t know the story” – dumb and blind as memory’s ‘I.’ The lost and forgotten, what will not come to be. “To me, this is a blow, a threat.”
“…the book we do not write. There is a book. That we do not write…” … wordless and disobeyed, unwritten extinction, disordered and undone. Passage and passing of this now here. This book that’s not here. Irrelevant utopia. A desiccated thread, a wilderness with imperceptible end, some perhaps forlorn and far-off song, long since warbled into stillness. I “do not have what it takes to make a book,” long-lost imagining and fabricated dreams, suffered weeping for what-is-not, what-never-was, the known and haunting will-not-be, pains of life assigned to us.
Sightless, flightless bird without brain enough or claw for scribbles, vision canceled by the crossings-out and scratchings, greedy skimming scamper seeking recognizable seeds, some words less foreign or forgotten, that might crack in the craw and cackle a sigh, a chortle, some wheezy whisper… anything other than absence, the starving shame, the empty marrow, acrid arteries, and granulating groin. Wretched rictus claw, blindly scraping at a pen, a page, a flesh-as-grass, a drop of dew, some ancient call –
HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL
…and thank you
A man stumbles into a bar… (perhaps you’ve heard this one before)… truly more of a sauntering in seeming need of assistance… must be no stranger here, his drinks await him wherever he finds or chooses or results in sitting: a something-with-vodka, large glass of water, and occasionally a cup filled with coffee.
“You’re the one that always has books,” some say, “you some kind of writer or something?”
“I don’t know what I’m doing,” he mumbles. “I’m always tired, I feel ugly and old, I don’t like my body but don’t desire doing anything about it, perhaps I should, I’m sure to lose it someday…” (he isn’t talking to anyone). “Thank you, always, you’re ever so kind,” he says.
He says “My children seem to remember me,” shifting in his chair as if to leave, or relocate tables, “my children they seem to remember, and they hurt me, they have hurt me, my body hurts, mostly in sport, and what they do and don’t remember.” He opens a book, looks as if he’s reading, another round of drinks appears.
He writes and marks in many colors. He is dirty. He wears overalls and moccasins. He never seems cold. It is cold.
“I decided to shower today,” he mutters. “Some ladies still talk to me,” something-and-vodka drips through his beard, “some will even hug or hold me yet, even this way” (patting his belly, grimacing) “I guess I didn’t like my smell or simply thought it might change me, it’s awful hard to be alone with my body.” He moves, his drinks are waiting at another table, both fresh fills and half-drunks, and a sandwich of some kind. The cook passes and pats him on the shoulder, smiles, asks of how he’s doing. They hug. The man praises him and his eyes are moist. The man isn’t anyone in particular. He isn’t anyone.
“What you doing with all those books?” she asks, he thinks. Pretends that someone’s interested. “Not the young ones much anymore,” he says, “they are needing something else, they can tell I’m aged and tired, carrying the trouble of experiences, but a few, a few older ones will let me hug them, touch, perhaps a kiss, perhaps an accidental overnight, that strange collapse.”
“I have them to read,” he replies, “there’s always more to read,” he whimpers, “so much, so many, to read,” he sighs and smiles like a boy receiving toys, “if only people, my children, if, if they felt read this way by me, some women, some wonderful women, if I could delve, could attend, if others felt read this way, these books, I love them, I love and need them, their words, I love and need and want them…if others felt that way, I’d like to feel that way – loved, wanted, needed… sometimes my children…”
“Another?” she says so warmly with her tight and fast-moving body, lithe and breasted, friendly with its clothes. She has a fresh vodka-with-something, he says “no I shouldn’t, but sure, I guess, you’re so kind to me, why not? I will, yes” (wanting, loving, needing.. books scattered over the tabletop, all closed). He drinks.
“My children, my friends – so smart, so beautiful, with verve… so helpful… I did shower today,” he thinks, “maybe I’ll be useful to one or some of them, but probably not, what could they need or want of me,” he drinks. “Not the young ones, though, not anymore,” he thinks, “what could I offer – these worn experiences, these words and doubts, these lacks of memories, confusions, waking dreams, these wonders.”
“You’ll need to go soon,” she chides, “you can’t be staying here.” “But he’s the writer,” a boisterous drinker shouts, “he oughta tell a story, oughta earn his keep!” Drunk old friendly at two in the morning (bar time – it’s actually 1:35).
“Tell us something,” they gather, they prompt. “Say some of those words,” they prod.
So he opens his notebook and begins to write…
“…the contradiction which awaits the writer is great. There is no mission, he cannot undertake it and nobody has sent him on it, that is to say he will have to become nobody to accept it; a contradiction which he cannot survive. That is why no writer can hope to preserve his life’s freedom for the benefit of the work… everything takes place between the artist and himself; no one else can do anything about it; it is a mystery like love that no extraneous authority may judge or understand.”
– Maurice Blanchot-
“Whether it makes any difference what you say – whether there is any point in it anyway; whether there is any point in saying anything anyway.”
– Rush Rhees, Wittgenstein & the possibility of discourse
It was the mystery that found us, all the unknown buried beneath and beyond.
She said to me, or rather she offered her hand, or rather we made eye contact, well, she greeted me and held out her hand and we looked at or into one another’s faces. Just the surface of the ocean. Seas and skies are larger than our imagining.
Say skin, language, thought, or feeling are flexible bordering insides and outsides, contained and beyond. Something like that I thought, unknowingly.
He spoke to me, then hugged me, with an asking. I couldn’t know the question, but I understood the words. We seemed friendly and respectfully embraced, hesitant and expressive at once. There’s a cliff at the end of the trail. Sometimes I don’t remember.
Sharp curves on roads in mountainous terrain. That sort of thing, voids that look empty but allow plummet.
And whether it makes any difference, she said.
Difference is made, apparently.
Mother used to tell me, what was it? Her voices are clear, kind of, almost, but the words are lost in others. Deep waves are like that, it seems; hard to follow or find, prominent and obvious while rocking the boat, regardless the size. Clouds. Wind makes little sense of skies. Everything is out there.
Inside, it’s raining.
I was asked for a cigarette and large trees moved above rooftops. She offered her hand the way he hugs me, my son playing music on the piano while a cat escapes and someone’s doing homework. They say the ground goes deeply down beneath us, compiled by potential millennia. Nobody knows, though we have tools to measure by. Whatever those tools measure.
I remember first times. Every time. Only it’s perplexing that they’re exactly the same.
Does anything repeat?
Father got on me again about irresponsibilities, my dreaminess. If only I’d been military I’d be disciplined. Different. She offered her hand plus an ankle, a hip, a breast, a womb. I’d have values. The crook of a knee, a neckline. Take responsibility. He wanted it in my mouth – that feels best, he said.
What do I know?
Surfaces of oceans.
She stops and reads books. I do. There is music and a din of dialogue. Raucous. Discomfort. Anxiety is familiar, always the first time again.
I am afraid. Usually. Deep water disturbs me. No one knows. Many are afraid of flying.
Crying is its own thing. How is an ocean made? I won’t succeed.
Whether it makes any difference – saying anything anyway. Someone speaks at me. Eyes meet. A brush of lips. A grasp of hand. What is the question? Skies and oceans. Earth’s depths. What do I understand? Always ending begins, beginnings. What ends. What has no end? It begins. Again. Always first times. Nothing.
Her breath tastes good, inhaled. His muscle. Seawater burn. Heartloss. So much fresh air. The turn is sharp.
Saying anything anyway: the point is whether, weather, difference…its repetition.
The how and why of her. Of him. Of it and other.
There I must have been when I saw her or felt it or once again the beginnings. Once again the first time. Always again. Begin. While ending. While ends.
He said so – whether there is any point in saying anything. He said what felt best when he hugged me, kindly.
She offered. Someone asked for something. Like surfaces on oceans. Horizon lines. The ground beneath our feet, beneath that. Differences. The above. I cut my skin.
We tried, once.
Attempted an adjoining.
No one cared or cares.
It’s not a point.
I never wanted it to mean anything.
It never has.
(I never wanted it to).
Never really thought it could.
The only point I perceive
Is our dismissal.
Another term we use for mortality.
The way of things.
I’m not here.
I’m not anywhere.
There are birds.
hedy bach original photography mixed stories and music
Essays on Creative Nonfiction
Idea Splotches from an (African) American Librarian
Studies in Occult Detective Literature
a home for instrumental and experimental music
Conjured by Sarah Doughty
Montréal * Poésie * Photos
"As for me I reduce everything to a tumult of words" - Clarice Lispector
"As for me I reduce everything to a tumult of words" - Clarice Lispector
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