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?
The month of March, in Kansas, can be almost anything, like most of the other months of the year, almost. Tonight it is moisty, breezy, there is wetness hovering like a redolent air, nearly a fog. I am killing myself. You are feeding me. I sharpen your knives in the kitchen. From the top of my throat toward deep in my belly is an acidic ruin caused by far too many liters of hard alcohol in far too much volume, too often, for too many hours of too many days over too many years to not be transforming my internal landscape into a ravaged terrain of destruction. So though I’m unable to breathe, speak, lie down, or work without unignorable hurt, I am still useful. I am sharpening your knives in your modest kitchen. I am reading and writing sentences. I am trying to keep myself from you. You are preparing a meal for us, and I find it so difficult to stay away from you – to not breathe at your ear, kiss or nibble your neck, grasp at your bottom, finger your elbows, hover, caress, overwhelm.
Boundaries are reduced in mist and wind. In motion it can be hard to tell where the lines that mark objects begin or end. In cloaks of obscurity finding shapes or sounds, edges or entries, can be, well, con-fusing (over-mixed, blended, woven)… as perhaps any “thing” we try to think apart ‘in fact’ always is… “inscrutable,” “indivisible,” “unclear.”
If you extricate the ginger from the garlic from the cabbage from the chicken from the oil, the rice, the salt, the pepper, the lime and ancho, the butter, the liquids and oxygens, thicknesses and scents… where is the meal? If you separate “me” out from “world,” relations, surround (like a theory, a concept, a logic…) how might I then live, or “be” what you presume me to be? I will not, cannot, am not (removed from my surround) and so it goes… limbs and flesh and organs… dissect… to cells and fluids, molecules and motions, viscosity and energy… to atoms… to subatomic ‘particles’ and/or ‘waves’ – and at each dismantle you will have lost the entity you proposed or pursued.
Division does not equal.
You’ve quoted out of context – neither copied, reproduced, nor plagiarized. Simply failed. Missed. Lost.
The burning rot, corrosive erosion of my body by the maladies of my preferences, pleasures, and habits…
…erasure of letters, terms, phrases, meanings…
…excision and surgery, atopic autopsying of…
…are things already dead, deceased once de-cised, as ‘identifiable portions or pieces, ‘things'”?
These written marks with definable shapes and spaces… yet if disjoined… no sense can be had…
What might “it,” “I,” be… apart-from?
I lay on a ground I cannot stand up without, cannot jump, move, fly or float away without…
I address you – impossibly – unless we’re inseparable… otherwise address and interaction cannot…
The gesture recognizes the necessary collusion as a dream of a fictive repartee, a figurative gap which – if there really were a break or breach – would have no effect or recognition – no reach, no contact…
Relation is repetition of conjoinment, actions without function if connectedness is not always already…
…as if drawing attention toward redundancy.
And so we kiss, we eat, we call out, we listen, as repercussions of contact… reassurances of inseparability. You reach for your phone, I fall to sleep, unable to be undone or we would not be able to know
…and so we think. I do not say we must think, for I do not think that is so – it is simply a kind of capacity we have, apparently related to external pressures and a possible pleasure, or unknown effects involving desire – a torsion, disturbance, a stirring unsettling perhaps necessary to our living continuance, like pain, like lust.
An activity we call by many names and nuances – reflection, perception, analysis, intuition, sensation, theorizing, dream… but all uncanny practices of turbulence as if trying out invisible options on our world, imagining alternatives, inventing holding frames for experiencing that must constantly and continuously alter and adapt and reorient as living never stills. Like language, like longing, like living. Such things show no signs of resolving, their solutions are their ongoing instrumentalization, their habitude.
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…
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
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…
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
It is called.
Loss, we name it.
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
And never remade.
The “world,” as it were, as it ‘is’ (also, reduced, in addition) “for us.”
How it comes to be as we are – briefly. Almost incalculably miniscule. Almost ‘happenstance.’
“Our” world, as it were: all we cannot know, that we are part in, of, with.
One wonders what “world” can possibly mean.
Every meaning apparently nothing outside of this microscopic sliver of kind… EVERYthing and more, “for us.” Some ‘infinity’ or ‘void;’ ‘abyss’ or ‘chaotic complexity’ – a reference to every-thing (or not) that so far surpasses us, outstrips us, beyonds us. Some so-called…”world.”
One could turn toward all that, could ‘be-itself,’ bi-pedally, shrimpishly, speck-o-dust uprightedly, with/in ‘it’…and have a dwarfed, almost indiscernible ‘experience.’ Or “one” (were such a thing possible) could de-cide, di-vide, con-sider (?) – place oneself ‘over against’ or ‘in contrast’ (contra-di-stinction) to all that: otherness, ‘world,’ ‘uknown/unknowable,’ ‘beyond,’ ‘out-side,’ infinite… and de-term-in.
Squash it down to ‘one’s own scale, name it / call it / sign it, and ‘fit’ it in. i.e. cut it small enough to be comprehensible, digestible, sensible (according-to-one’s-own) and pre-tend, fore-tell, image-in, sign-i-fy it ACCORDING TO… ‘one,’ ‘us,’ ‘me’ (such as math, logic, language, communicable signs, etc – in-(ter)ventions on/of our own terms).
Human knowledge, inquiry, disciplines, creations, theories, etc. are EXACTLY (and perhaps ONLY, one surmises) THAT: at the scale of the human. ‘One’ is prone to automatically grant every ‘other’ (plant, material, organism, structure, system, etc) the ‘same’ ‘world’ – as Wittgenstein indicated: indecipherable, untranslatable or communicable between kinds, but most probable, no? – Umwelts – worlds upon worlds within worlds outside worlds… we (‘ones’) can have no share, understanding, con(with)cept, com(with)munication of…
To each its scale of experiencing, and all scales together…
Given the human (so-self-called) scale, this seems pertinently and poignantly most evident…
…why would we chafe against our limits… or (perhaps) every scale always is – no ‘one’ could know this… ones (and many ones) are only ones – more and less than their own possible perspectives… in- and out-looks OF. Scale. (Perhaps).
Obviously, com(with)posing in your/our language… whatever I dream is representative of my scale… i.e. is only a capacity of ‘one’(kind) … of many.
Pleasurably so… or why not?
Dreaming beyond scale (or, inventing scale and its beyond – in the de-term-in-ing) demonstrates itself as a capacity… (e.g. mythology, science, religion, fiction/fantasy, psycho-anything, spirituality, philosophy, history, and so forth) … all imagined efforts beyond-scale, that, in occurring demonstrate the possibilities/limitations of human scale…
What ‘beyond’ could ‘one’ see, think, feel, etc., that is not a demonstration of limited and actual capacity of ‘one-scale’-to-experience?
So ‘one’ has a-, con-, etc. scales… all part of one’s scale (abilities, capacities, possibilities, options, kind). Against, with, creative, reductive, but ALL and ANY activities of one kind (so-self-called ‘human’) show its locked and limited capacity. One never goes beyond.
To ‘work limits,’ and boundaries are clearly elements of our ‘limits’ and ‘boundaries’ of the scope and scale of the ‘human.’
“Gods,” cosmologies, dreams, histories, theorizing, etc., all contained within the ‘bounds’ or capacities of the ‘kind-of-thing-‘One’-is. Perhaps.
It is the ‘perhaps’ that haunts us. [but what could ‘haunt’ indicate but another human capacity – perhaps a ‘felt capacity’ of bursting or extending our capacities?]
Witchcraft. Art. Technology. Religion. Theoretical and experimental anything. Logos. Arche. Tohu. Bohu. Beginning. Universe (must needs always shrink to one’s own scale… in order to uni-anything… ‘multiverse’ simple exponents of capacities for in our microscopic self-experienced sphere… we named ‘infinity’ – is there no exponent we can’t add – within our tiny range of potential?).
One’s own anthropology.
Logically [though I excessively distrust that program of human-ing] – what con-cept, i-dea, imagine-ing, or object-ivity is not necessarily always paramatered by the human ex-periential capacities?
The bounds may be elastic or no – there would be no way for a kind to know – being all-ways the ‘one’ experiencing.
Macedonio Fernandez shrewdly intimated that among the difficulties of communicable perfection (language or literary wholeness, completeness) were the problems writers have, in that, among other things:
“2) They don’t know how to render the ‘unsayable’ with ‘ineffable’ style” (Museum of Eterna’s Novel, p. 11)
As if imagination must copulate with impossibility; creativity found within the non-existent; wayfinding nothing. Perhaps.
“I” (a good example of the above) often worship the symbol: ? “I’d” like to place it everywhere, upon everything, anything imaginable OR conceivable – even the unknown – as well as any compendium of ‘facts’ or apparently common-sensical / self-evident elements of being-living. As if… to draw attention or recognition (‘to render’) human limitation, finitude, fragility – PART-‘I’-CIPATION – in world (+ whatever falls beyond such an impression). A kind of belief as a participating occurrence that whatever might be indicated by such terms as “truth,” “love,” or “existence,” (or “you” or “I”) are best translated by = ?
This nettling evocation is (perhaps) a personal ‘creed’ in a singular (obviously impregnated) mark: ?
Something I might ‘live’ and ‘die’ for.
Am I trying to communicate? What am ‘I’ doing in relation to language, to shared understandings, to concepts, and so-called knowledge or knowing? Am ‘I’(s) capable of relating to anything (or nothing) beyond these indications? Unmediated ways and forms of experiencing given to ‘me’?
Experience (seeing-peering WITH outside-of) is one set of possible parameters in living-being (limitations, capacities, informed possibilities, finitudes & fragilities – necessitudes of part-‘I’-cipation).
What might we ‘name’ alternate – those in excess of experience; those far diminished via enforced-informed; ‘other’ impossibilities of ex-perience? (Bataille’s ‘Inner Experience’ – inperience?: without outer? might be an exploration) ‘mysticism’? spirituality? mystery? simply Impossibles? Unsayables? Unknowables? ANYthing beyond-limit, we might ‘say.’
Excess. Perpetual. Eternal. Infinite. Incomprehensible. Indeterminate. All ex-perceptions that would demand or require ‘ineffable’ style to be en-gaged. Out beyond (or in-beyond) outsides or othering that might be accounted for, perceived, en-countered, or ex-perienced: impossibles that must most likely (it would seem given our minimal, limited, finite, participatory living-being IN AS PART OF ‘world’ or whatever our most expansive imagining) occur. Perhaps even non-ex-is-tences, nothing and never.
These might be the description of fields or planes where I in-tend and pre-fer to operate or inquire (under the sign of ?) and therefore, lacking or failing in ‘ineffable style’ whereby to render ‘unsayables’ – simply can not.
Thus please forgive my erratic forays into production here – communication, conversation, even imaging-in (imagining) – ‘I’ simply can not. I am mostly unable to ineffably style unsayables.
I beg your forgiveness and again fall silent.
“But could I forget my ignorance for a moment? Forget that I am lost in the corridor of a cave?”
– Georges Bataille –
“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.”
The mountain(s): “Maybe. May Be.”
The cabin: “Us. Here. We. With. Hold.”
Phrases of my children:
Addresses to my children and loved ones:
Thank you mountains, rocks, growing things, streams….
It’s been quite a long time since I’ve whittled away at my brain toward a poem… I’m not sure that’s what this is, but it’s fresh effort:
Working Around the Void
How can we have
such clear impressions
of what is not?
I believe I dream
as a doubt-drenched thinker
As long as we’re using language
for these –
what is our perception of love?
Between appear and disappear.
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