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.
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).
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…
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.
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).
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…
“Thoughts constituted by non-uttered words…This monologue always – ‘I speak’”
Paolo Virno – Word Became Flesh
“its thisness, then, cannot be fully articulable since any such articulation would require the articulation of a complete context, which in all cases is the world…often the experience includes an awareness of not being able to give an account of the this”
Jan Zwicky – Wisdom & Metaphor
“457. Yes: meaning something is like going up to someone”
Ludwig Wittgenstein – Philosophical Investigations
“…I wept up to a great age, never having really evolved in the fields of affection and passion, in spite of my experiences”
Samuel Beckett – Malone Dies
“to frame the unsayable, & mute the sayable… he was the singing and the no one there…”
Larry Levis – The Darkening Trapeze
“All this must be considered as if spoken by a character in a novel – or rather by several characters”
Roland Barthes – Roland Barthes
– I believe I told them that “all language was like a metaphor” in several characters.
I heard nothing, I said to myself, as if nothing were something that might be heard.
Still I stroked her ankle, index-finger-pad to delicate-bird-bone. And lip. Finding textures and surfaces with lips and tongue. Precarious…it never lasts. Taste and touch are like that [metaphor] immediate.
Am I speaking when I write?What is happening now?
– “often the experience…includes an awareness of not being able…” (J. Zwicky)
She tasted of…
“…to give an account of the this…” (Zwicky)
…coffee grounds, sandalwood, humidity, and turquoise…
I left off my exploring.
What is it like [metaphor] to…?
I told them that ‘I speak’ is a metaphor…as is indeed all the rest having to do with language.
(consolations of philosophy)
I hear nothing when I talk with myself. [metaphors].
The sounds of flying a kite.
It’s rare that I am naked. But “yes: meaning is like going up to someone” (L.W.)…some sort of connection is made (some convergent affect) and a resolution leaks open…resonance…endlessly (perhaps).
“I wept up to a great age”…by which we always mean the aggregate…which seems quite less than my ‘great age’, if ever there was one.
What is ‘great’ like?[metaphor]
Once I was younger…
– Always wished you’d known –
Are photographs metaphors?
I said that ‘nothing made is like.’
(“in spite of my experience”)
“Did I say I only say a small proportion of the things that come into my head?” (ontology of perception) (Samuel Beckett)
I intended to quote: “It is a pretty little object, like a – no, it is like nothing” (Samuel Beckett)
But what is ‘nothing’ like? A “pretty little object”?
We know what he means (“like going up to someone”) … I was naked, I tasted.
You know the story… “I wept up to a great age.” I touched, I tried, I felt.
What do you see?
Hardly ever the point. Perception + Reflection = Imagination (perhaps) I told them – it’s a metaphor – a “crossing-over,” some traversal. The trace of sweat behind her knee just above the calf.
Once I was alive.
I crossed over.
Several characters: ‘I speak.’
“Affection. Passion.” I said. (what I had thought it was ‘to learn’ [metaphor]).
– “in spite of my experience” –
Perhaps language wasn’t made for speaking.
Someone. Somewhere. Maybe. Here. Now.
That thing that words do [metaphor].
The “experience of this”…”non-uttered words.” Non-utterable? Perhaps, this. (I traced the swerve of her, its curvature, hair-smell and sounding…’I speak,’ non-uttering…)
What is writing?
I believe I was speaking of metaphor…
“Yes,” I said, “yes…” “it’s always alright to weep.”
Martin responds, wondering. Curious as to that which it applies, or whom, or what. Contemplating reference. Filled with questions. Martin says, “yes,” almost under his breath.
Elf shrugs. Elf walks on.
Martin follows, thinking, looking at leaves falling into blades of grass, alerted by the shushing and darting of squirrels, saddened at the amplified pffft of cars passing by. Wishing for silence. Wondering if Elf will speak a further word or two. Sensing like a dowsing rod for meanings.
Walks on. Shuffles. Walks on.
There’s a relative silence from the two of them – these humans wandering across a concreted trail. Sure there’s the sound of their footfalls, scuffles, even some noise in the pause of it. Or the noise of the absence of noise. But you’d have to be different to hear the breathing, the heart pulse, the slide of muscles and blood. As far as humans-in-environs go, the pair presents retraction.
Hard to say for soil. The squares composing sidewalk must suffer pressure, absorbed by the earth beneath and shared out through verberations for miles. Hard to say for air. Full-grown males, plodding forth like prows along a rickety line-of-motion has to be pushing particles around, making waves. Nothing gives report.
Elf stops and sighs.
Martin responds, slowing, looking out, looking forward, looking round. Lets his hands limp his sides.
Elf crouches down.
Martin scans the street, examines bark, follows trunks and branches, admires leaves and colors and movements. Birds.
So we persisted, Jon, Jesse, and I, and the deceased Beckett, with perhaps thousands of others, unbeknownst any to each around some mythical innermost.
“Fail better.” The worst times are the ones in which one simply wants to quit failing altogether. Unfortunately (literally) that necessarily entails a kind of “end of the world as one ‘knows’ [perceives, participates, experiences, or imagines] it” – either suicide, tragedy, ‘terminal’ illness – death of some sort. Maybe silence, but that’s not certain.
The game table is always already laid, you’re always simply ‘entering’ it (LW points out this fallacy in his collections of numbered critiques of anything anyone writes or says or claims) actually (as far as we know) always already there (where you ‘find’ – what?!? – your ‘self’ – what?!?) and (again, perhaps, literally, unfortunately – or at the very least extremely limitedly) you can only occupy one position at the table (or wherever the action happens to be) at a time, that, unfortunately, always involves the very delimited…well, YOU. These are the arrangements as they transpire.
Language can (and does), we surmised, go anywhere. I try to record, invent, notate, mark, initiate. It all seems unnameable. Or of far too many names, references, usages, subtexts and connotations, inferences and denotations, already implemented in order to represent anything undone, reconstructed, deconstructed, novel or ‘new.’ “There’s nothing new under the sun” was already a cliché at the beginning / in the earliest phases.
Fires and voids all imagined early. [Apeiron. Chora/Khora. Clinamen. Flux. Infinity. ABSENCE. The ‘Other.’]. I begin. Again. GWFH and Freud refer to this as “repetition.” A hopeless hope of emergence. As different or unique as it may seem, ever a plenitude of the pre-existing. The already-there.
Been there, done that, Beckett exhausts from his grave alongside. “He was found lying on the ground…a voice comes to one in the dark” Imagine. Imagine. Everything is already there. The table set and set again, arranged. Already there when you wake to it. World.
It hasn’t…apparently…been given up. Perhaps it is inexhaustible. Limited though we be, we seem to be teeming with it/them… efforts at the unsayable. Unnameable. How it is. What is the what. Lost in the labyrinth of the occurrence, experience, now with shoddy, partial, biased and over-specified or eccentrically particular maps, guides, or rulebooks. Ourselves.
Jesse’s working up something, so is Jon. I’ve begun working again. Beckett is still dead. Or dead, still – either way he has not concluded.
There was plenty of talk – banter, chatter, fulminations, really – to the contrary, to the effect that the ‘working up’ had ceased, had dwindled, long since dissipated or been simply forgotten…not so. Now I’ve heard from Jon and Jesse, piecemeal though it be, and my own ‘working-on’ (or UNWORKING, as MB always referred to it) is near to its inception.
Something is going to emerge. Jon repeats and repeats that “Someone is going to come” and Jesse appears to have passed beyond the silence once begun, through all his notes of suicide, toward fire and conflagration and some bewildered youthfulness. Nohow On become a MUST. And all of it inconclusive, i.e. not concluded.
I work in, on, up, and ever forward, toward – ‘toward the what?’ Jon keeps asking while Jesse scrawls on napkins – figures like cartoons, clowns and foxes, masters, slaves, and mysteries – our locations go unmarked, our whereabouts unknown. This is How It Is, according to Beckett and MB. FK in the burrow. Plato in a cave. JD taking apart each domicile, meticulously.
We are looking for a place to work at our unworking, the time and space to be for what is not. Beckett named it The Unnameable.
I took to the books and letters, while apparently the others wrote, made messages and codes, secreted the symbols into texts and silences, plays and fictions full of pause. GWFH, another spell of YHWH, foretold this long ago: “the ends are reached and reached beyond, folding under, folding through, reached again, again, and…”
For years now Jon is melancholy and therefore quite abbreviated, unable to go on, full of stutters, repetitions, and always the questions, questioning, questing, the undone. Jesse through his trials and papered rooms, sometimes near and sometimes foreign, never-know, never-mind, never-where, scraping geography and clouds in search of where No Where and Now Here meet. I’ve thus far been unable to locate him. As for Ivan, Ivan and Enrique both stopped working after the library of loss – assembling detectives, interviewing the dumb and victimized, missals here and there, mostly filled of snow and jungle.
I think: crows spread across the overcast, charred ash sprinkling fields, nothing rooted, nothing grown.
The unworking. Almost a throw of the dice. Half of each sentence erased. The subtle coterie of literate mathematicians. Reports from elsewhere. WG’s layered travelogue… in search of… The work of unworking goes on.
“Splitting on difference,” he said, the passage from mayhem to insight – WG described as “Vertigo,” the verge, the swerve, the swoon. You reach an edge or limit, what cannot be undone, begin unworking. Begin unworking there.
At the grave “I can’t go on. I must go on. I’ll go on,” Beckett decries. It’s not at understanding – “splitting on difference” – but in the going-on, turning over/under, inexhaustibly or ad infinitum – convergences coming undone.
From JD Jesse gets a Post Carte, leaves it somewhere in the margins, but we know. We know we have heard, even if we can’t re-member. All variations of death, Jon thinks, Jon writes, Jon says…assembling the book of questions…the interior distance of this fierce and beautiful world filled with women, fire, and dangerous things…keeping MB in infinite conversation.
Some things don’t make sense yet seem imperative. As if there were a realm of the unsayable, a set of stanzas wedding language and death – signifying nothing – that is to say, a world of unspeakable silence that works like clamor.
Exhausting voice and nothing more. The trouble with pleasure, with suffer, with become. None of us trust ideas and yet we generate and respond.
“He was found lying on the ground. No one had missed him. No one was looking for him… An old woman found him.” (Beckett). We somehow set out to search. “That seems to hang together.” Jon, Jesse, WG, myself, scouring the globe for more – who, what…- “But finally I asked if I knew exactly what the man – what exactly was required of the man, what it was he could or could not say. No, was the answer, after some little hesitation, no, I did not know…” and so we keep on.
“A voice comes to one in the dark. Imagine.” JD post carte. Beckett’s own death, still. GWFH, WG, FK and MB’s left messages, notes, recordings. “Only a small part of what is said can be verified”…if any. We are left, bereft, full of fragments, thoughts concluded, forgotten, ignored, but still unworking – in journeys, in dramas, in fire. Hanging at the limits of ropes. To strangle or drop, and what then? What next? Splitting on difference. It comes apart, what holds together. No one knows. Nowhere, now here, very difficult to say. Meticulous dismantling, decode – recode – Unicode – uncode.
…Jesse’s working up something, as is Jon. I’ve begun working again. Beckett is still dead. Or dead, still – either way he has not concluded. Piecemeal as it may be, we are all working on (or UNWORKING, as MB liked to refer to it)…and nearing some inception.
In many times of my life, this simple challenge has kept my creative writing inertia active when seemingly the rest of my life-world was mitigating against it (such as currently). I am happy to join this group again, and hopefully contribute small pieces of worth… and ensure my pen stays active. Thank you Friday Fictioneers!
For ages, they spoke about ‘the Empties.’ Of everything, they said. No emotion, no perception, no experience, or meaning. No one would know. Even absence would be left behind. We imagined, but really hadn’t. It must have come. If/then occurred. This be ‘the Empties.’ There is no knowing. There is no happens. There is no history or time. Perhaps no space. A strange again of Only Things.