for LMK: Living Mitigates Knowing: the Sirens’ Song

Birdcall.

Morning.

Activity-signal.

 

Somewhere day arrives.

 

We are in bed.

Day neither comes nor goes.

Neither night.

 

We inhabit a single chair.

A reciprocal rebellion.

Atemporal, atopos.

 

The other.

The relation.

The kiss

 

that undoes the you, the me,

joining any separation

as touch

 

along with bodies of skin,

skinned together,

indeterminable

 

without one, another

within, without each –

a combinatory beast

 

where components are absent,

extended, present-ly,

be-coming

 

birdcalls and signals

dependent on immanent surrounds;

nothing undone,

 

anything in their crafty work

and wrestling,

Eriegnis, evental –

 

a pleasure and desire

formulating forms

without priors –

 

echoed and originary;

unpredictable, unknown;

tandem happenings

 

we sometimes describe

 

as love.

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Ways of Naysaying

It was funny how she, how I, refused, declining enticing invitations of love.  Once.

Then again.  Or not.

Still, it happens, rejected or otherwise.  Naysaying, that is.

Negotiations.

Strange relations.  Using yes for no, and their returns and variations.

She says no though.  I did.

It eventuates, seemingly regardless of our answers.

Check boxes.  Lists.  Identities.  Likert-scales of experiencing.

Mouths inclining.  Decline.  A trajectory of eyes.  Reclining seduction.

I decided not to go along.  (Where do we go instead?  Who goes?  When?).  Each denial an assent.

What did the trees refuse?  What was the grass fighting, then?  The clouds?  I watched… she observed birds.

The dancers’ bodies.  A dismissal of space.  The removal of sound.  Absent silences.

Where was she?  I?

We said no.

Do words incline or recline for us?  What of the ear, the eye?

Still I smelled her.

“I love,” I thought, “I cannot love.  I can not.”  She declines.

These are the ways of naysaying, all our doubled negatives, equaling… what, exactly?

I love her.  I can not.  She won’t.  Will not.  Negativity in a vacuum.  Apparatus.

The squirrel upside down, above the lawn, on the long tree limb.  What is it denying?  And where is the use of speech?

We cried out, decrying.  (What could that mean?  That seems always in question).

I asked Beckett and Blanchot.  They each said that she said “no.”

Apparently, she says “no.”  “I’d really like to, but can not, must not,” i.e. “no.”

It rings out, like bells – so radiant, so silent, such dissipation.  Such temporal hazard and warning.

Something refuses the air.

I remember.  She traces back.  What means “over”?

Sound refusing silence.  The first.  The second.  The next.

What is “last”?

She says no.

I recall dreams from time to time.  Unable.

Something may have been said.

A Conversation of Humanity

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-

The Incompletion of Words

We tried, once.

Attempted an adjoining.

No one cared or cares.

It’s not a point.

THE point.

.

I never wanted it to mean anything.

It never has.

(I never wanted it to).

Never really thought it could.

It might.

It doesn’t.

It won’t.

Hasn’t.

.

The only point I perceive

Is our dismissal.

Evolution.

Another term we use for mortality.

.

Something hopeful.

Never helpful.

Just is.

The way of things.

.

I’m not here.

I’m not anywhere.

There are birds.

Little Offerings

This Autumn has found very little time for sustained reading and writing, resulting therefore in meager offerings here.  But I am finding jottings, thoughts, and notations in scattered journals that have somehow happened anyway.  Please accept these little offerings as efforts to remain in dialogue…

Journal Entry

Why do we (at least some percentage of us) take such pleasure (or at least seem to relish) in dark and heavy sorrow, like longing?  Grief, hopelessness – is it finitude and mortality that cause us to feel so at home in it?  Our drowning womb, begun from a watery coffin?

The sweet, rebellious, anarchy of loving, passion, writing, painting, music…sex – whatever it is we do that works our death deeper in us, through ecstatic bursts that we respond to like life.

We all ways dying…from that first launch…that initial spark of convergence – our long elimination.

Praise for the Name what Remains

By the light of the last thing decaying,

Erosion, they call it,

a painful dwindling away

.

Inception that won’t return

Sand, soil, snow, wind,

some sort of passage

.

One-Way.  Only.

Irreversible.

It is called.

.

Loss, we name it.

Lossness, lessness:

Simply change.

.

If time is an arrow

even in some infinite

loop and swerving traffic

.

I’m not.  Nor are we.

The finite and fragile

Affected in the midst

.

Continuously undone.

And never remade.

Brief Entry

On my Deathbed

 

I told language:

Thanks for having my children

 

The language had names,

As did the children:

 

They were all words.

 

I dreamt of a door

The kind without windows

 

That always stands open.

I remembered some more

 

So I said the unspoken:

I gave them my want.

 

It declined.

Fragment: Brief Conversation

“How come language (or drinking) makes the pain of language (or drinking, or relationships) go away, recede, soothe…and then becomes language (drinking, relation) and its pain…again?” he asks.

I smoke.  I look at him.  He is examining (with obvious pretend furtivity) my pale, smoothe legs, coming out of my singular light dress.  At my arms, my skin, my cheek and throat, my hair.  Lasciviously thoughtful, he.  Almost curious.  Almost authentic in his desire.

He is trying to daydream.

I am trying to be.

We are drinking now.

I am young, he less so.

Or neither.  We do not know.  Anyone can be so near their end.

So the story goes…

“The world smells good,” he says, and the delectability to the nostrils clearly depended on death: burning wood, smoking pig, a nostalgia of forests…

I knew not what I felt.  Mixtures.  Pleasures and sorrow.  Excitement and fear.  Doubt.  I did not respond, just masked placidly.  Pleasantly, I hoped.  Ambiguous.  And what does he sense?

Meaning

…still seems

to occupy us

as an open question

 

who (yet) knows

what language means?

 

I love/d you.

What more is wanted

ever?

 

With all of its not

mattering, like changing

seasons, world

 

going on.  A hawk

(or owl) shrieks

‘beauty’

 

We ask again

at the canyon,

the peak, the abyss,

 

And I say simply

‘You are beautiful,

Thank you…

 

therefore I love you.’

 

Nothing meaning

but some report,

some expression –

 

Elementary assignment:

This is why I’m alive.

Possessives and plurals,

the mysteries remain.

http://www.schirn-peace.org/en/post/marcus-steinweg-notizen-zur-liebe/

Cabin Reflections

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“Penelope remembers having read that of all the liquids and fluids produced by the human body – sweat, semen, vaginal fluid, saliva – tears are the only one without any trace of DNA… Impossible to identify someone from their tears, we’re all identical when we weep despite the many different reasons we have for weeping, something like that.  Unlike unhappiness, tears don’t set us apart, they make us the same.”

Rodrigo Fresan, “The Invented Part”

Last week I spent with my four offspring at a cabin on the Pikes Peak Massif in Colorado.  Mostly I register grief and loss in my experience of living… but interestingly enough, the first entry of my vacation journal begins with the simple sentence “I’m happy.”  Unqualified, that’s it – myself + my offspring + a rich world reeking of “no service” and untellable beauty… “I’m happy.”  Here are some notes I made throughout the week:

Simple things innerheard during cabin stay:

The stars: “We can’t tell the difference: between light or dark, death or what remains.”

The streams: “Where have we come from, where are we going? / Where we have come from, where we are going.”

Growing things (grass, moss, wildflowers, mushrooms, wild berries, etc…): “Not yet, not yet.  Who knows?”

The rocks, the boulders: “Once upon a time.  Now.”

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The mountain(s): “Maybe.  May Be.”

The cabin:  “Us.  Here.  We.  With.  Hold.”

Phrases of my children:

  • “It’s good to live this way once in awhile.”
  • “Why do we leave here, ever?  I never want to.  What is have to?”
  • “Dad, everything here is your ‘favorite‘.

And me:

  • “Nothing is like this.  Nothing… Belonging, I belong.  Time changes, it’s different here.  As if there isn’t.  THIS PLACE IS ‘BEAUTY’ TO ME.  THIS PLACE IS WORTH MY LIFE.”
  • on climbing: “I’m a dad: we ALL make it, or none of us really do.”
  • on love: “If I say ‘I love you’ – please don’t hear it as worship, as inordinate.  In love we see the ‘too much‘ of the other – that which is always beyond our own reach, the ‘too much’ in each of us we struggle with, and seem to be unable to assimilate or observe in mirrors of our own.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons the conundrum we call ‘love’ exists?

Addresses to my children and loved ones:

  • To T: “Always beware of logic – our fabricated things.  What we may wish toward but doesn’t make matter.”
  • To A: “Recall.  There are differences.  Beware.  There are openings for more life.”
  • To I: “You have it.  You carry your own water.  Your own dreams.  Your own beginnings.”
  • To O: “Heroes also may shrink you, diminish, contain.  You are deeply your own.”
  • To H: “Never mind.  I am not the one who can conquer it in you.  I believe someone will.”
  • To ?: “I love you.  Like literature: the possible of life.  Impossible.”

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Thank you mountains, rocks, growing things, streams….

Any Story

AnyStory

Don’t start reading.  The writing always stops when there’s something to read.

There’s always something to read.

Somethings you really, really want to read.

Avoiding frustration.

Urges.

You want, gutturally – in the stomach of your heart – she’s ill, she’s suffering, the phone, to text, just text, “still love you”, like that, she must need care, she must (perhaps not, perhaps she’s been more than cared for, is ecstatically happy, relieved, content, unbothered – it was she who chose to leave, who left, after all).

Divert.

Text someone else, another, one who maybe wants you to love her, who misses.  Avoid frustration.

No.  Write it.  Write about the urges, the diversion, the avoidance.  Read a little first, get a taste, a feel for what letters, what language, might do…

Avoid frustration.

Write.

Take a drink (an attempt to frustrate frustration, avoiding satisfactions, short-circuiting risks with another), no texting, follow your fears, note your diversions, attend your avoidance, but act elsewhere.  Write.

Fear.

Could start anywhere, and none a satisfaction, only inscriptions or actions of frustration – to read, to write, to love the one who doesn’t want it, who’s trying to get away (has gotten away, but also wants to leave it behind), to contact one who might or who does want to hear from you (but you don’t, don’t know, just want love, some response) – want to write…

…for ANYone, any SOMEone, perhaps yourself, perhaps all the opportunities lying about you wanting to be read – no, you want to read them…

Avoid frustration, settle for imagined response, even address, to be called – the words in the books rarely fail in calling you, addressing you, which for you feels like response, like being wanted, almost needed, like a text from ANYone, any SOMEone, who invites your love.

Take a drink, frustrate frustration, move into fear, toward satisfaction (or one of its bastard offspring).

Just write.

Don’t check that phone.  Don’t even touch it.  Leave it in another room.  Turn it off, power it down.

See the words come easy when you simply write them out instead of fracturing them, spreading them thin through a network, splaying them across pages and phones and emails and…

Write.

I read.

I drink.

It floods.

Another day.

Any story.