The bestial want
is it ever more?
at what is not
What can be taken?
In the seeking,
or the glance –
Such beastly want,
forth or out
I reach –
a solid pane.
I am limited
it would seem
I see clearly
but it cannot be
‘I’ is alone
comes from ‘you.’
So ‘I’ scopes –
a feral yearn –
tapping at windows
“language cannot cope with its relation with the world”
– Giorgio Agamben –
“language is a part of our organism and no less complicated than it”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein –
Sometimes it seems that words might do anything! Connecting things and people; defining, describing, explaining and exclaiming; naming, inventing, questioning… arguing, fomenting, discovering; seducing, displacing, and singing. Very little experiencing of the human kind comes unaccompanied by terms. – Is that so?
There are dreams – like signs and billboards of liqueous or exaggerated perceivings… “the sign – is the quietest razor of darkness” (A. Dragomoshchenko)… and slit it does. We bleed.
And breathing, heart’s-pulse, sleeping along with the intake of food, its output as waste, our birthing and walking, working and running… and dying. All our play. Intercourse, of course. Do moans and groans, grunts and cries and sighs, lisps and complaints (our myriad utterances) – mean words? mean language? What of our relative silence? The thrumming body of the speechless and deaf? Eye-gaze dumb, its blindness?
The skin has been rubbed off my fingers.
Wordlessly, soundlessly, lust and desire screech on…shrill in body and bone – both where the starving exudes and toward its petulant prey.
What of the growth of grasses? Is language there? In rhythmic patterning of rain? A sense of sunlight?
Sometimes wind whispers.
A cat moves. Silently.
And a “sign – is the quietest razor of darkness” – darkness visible, darkness speaks – (it has been claimed – via words, the verbal).
Sweet and troubling confluence: activity and languaging (the same): the “verbal.” Of sound and motion. Our noise. Moving sound around in and with our bodies – in speech or dance, in strain and the clamor of being.
What falls (or grows, blooms, disappears) outside the devouring knife – that which segments and shrivels the fluid songs of experience and reverie? Of presence. The Slicer-Dicer we’ve composed, posing together to cut from faultless fabric?
As utterance, inscription fondles its way, brushingly and blade-like, sensually surreptitious. Caressing and crafty, rapaciously blessing its praying and braying of names – who can counter its reduction, repression, its blame or silvery shame?
Ye without words, cast the first stone.
As if genesis were language and time: space to create with.
The littlest pieces –
– form clouds.
Droplets, ions, atoms.
What is called “molecules”?
lost to view,
in dense fog.
toward some clearing.
at large scales.
“For Nathan…with love”
“Nathan” signifies me,
Imagination and dream…
a fog and a swarm of birds,
into the unknown
a thing humans are prone to
do by “nature”
– ? –
who or what evaluates “nature”?
We followed the arc of the diver, losing it in the fog, wishing to make it out clear. I might have said this meant “philosophy.”
“Poetry,” he said, “is utilizing known language to invoke the unknown.” Or certaintly uncertainty, or something like that, which I liked, and indicated by asking what is not uncertain?
Your hands, the music. My desire, a naming for them. I think of your waist as a séance.
What is it to be crippled? I keep trying to use words.
Another asked about the “arc of the diver.” How should I know? All of my sentences should be read as questions. I wonder how divergent questions or commands might be… as statements.
She said, “it falls between. It has to go somewhere.” I guess we pressed it there… were poietic… since we couldn’t find a name. “Dis-appearance” might be one. Like a guess that can’t be falsified.
We all hold a paper marker printed “You are here.” Perhaps paper is too substantial. But it still seems like an invitation I wish we had.
Maybe this is why Albahari inscribed “Words are something else.” We leave it at that. And are flummoxed as to what “that” refers to.
Still we look.
You move like flocks of birds that wheel. I’ve never comprehended “swarm.” Mathematics doesn’t cut it, though it certainly uncertainly tries.
The telephone Pictionary of ear-mouth-brain when we issue sound or gaze. Don’t foibles equal actions? Parts of us experience this as violence, as valence.
Relation as a struggle to balance victimhood and perpetration. Uncertainly.
When or where does this infiltrate unknown?
He went on to say…
I thought (imagined?) your ankles, knees, elbows and knuckles as adroit sworls in swift mountain streams.
So also losing it in the fog, hoping to remember where the trees were. Philosophy. Or was it the forest?
Poetry as ocean surface between “known”/unknown? So wavy, so heaving. No one said that.
The richest respect he gave was his readiness to call me “Nobody.” Or “Anybody.” Carte blanche.
I can hardly perceive what’s in your head now. Potentia? An horizon of waves. A place where words press images press events, the banal. Perhaps. Uncertain sphere of unknowing? They say learning happens there. Like a cell in a culture, animal in terrain. Cacophony of dreams.
Each time we encounter.
Who – would I listen to, be remade among today?
And where from a resistance?
We always know (somewhere in our bodies or bones) that ‘to begin’ was begun
long before what ‘begins.’
It is raining.
We say, “the rain has begun.” How long ago?
We say, “I am here, now.” For -?
Where are we? How much?
We are there. Continuously outstripping a here.
And how? How? How indeed.
So what is it – that we are seeing?
What is it we think we see?
How? Why? Why that and not other(s)?
Propensity. Proprioception. Perspective.
Always already before or begun?
I’ve written before (again and again
when I take up the pen):
“I set out.”
From where? Why? When? and whom?
Still how? How? How, indeed.
He looks in.
Into what? And from where?
We set out.
per language, per feeling, per sensational thought,
per activity, movement, receipt.
We set out.
I’ll map it out for you.
No, I’ll inscribe it.
47 cuts (myopic) in everything.
- That’s as far back as the lineage has been traced. A patchwork of stitches, genes, and lines (or lies).
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.
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.
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 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.