Hold Lightly, Leave Be

 

Hold lightly, it said,

there are so many voices,

movements.

Hold lightly,

lest you repeat,

she said.

[the surfaces, and distance, beneaths]

I listened:

breezes, waves;

windiness and water;

the moon riding along,

each night so differently

the same.

 

Without repetition,

she said,

my hands open,

palms and whatever fingerprintings,

the bruising, barely,

again and again,

so differently.

 

How tides change,

or seasons:

things we’ve come to think of –

each you, each I,

each every –

quivering along

like leaves

 

through the years.

In other words:

over and over

without repeat

again, anew –

how ‘new’ requires reference

of similarity.

 

So love

hold lightly,

she said,

it says,

as wheat falls into ground

and suns set down, again,

as moons rise – (which, neither) – and

never the same.

 

Both-and

either-or

neither-nor

and so on

without repeat

within the like,

the long, the loving.

 

You come again.

I try to grip lightly –

the future never knows –

I’d like to leave it,

to gather you,

to hold…

you.  You.  You.

 

(Again, differently).

“Hold lightly”, you (she) says,

“lest you repeat

and grow tired…”

My palms are open                                                                             (to touch, to pass by)

I am trying to read,

to listen.

 

To leave be.

Advertisements

Untitled Fiction III

III.  “…with murderous care…”

Jon had said, to Jesse, about the fires.

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.

 

Continuing Reading Writing

“an ‘absoluteness of absence’ if writing is to be possible” – Jacques Derrida

Certain works by Samuel Beckett eventuate an environment of silence for me.  For instance, the brief poem “What is the Word?”

What Is the Word

folly –

folly for to –

for to –

what is the word –

folly from this –

all this –

folly from all this –

given –

folly given all this –

seeing –

folly seeing all this –

this –

what is the word –

this there –

this this here –

all this this here –

folly given all this –

seeing –

folly seeing all this this here –

for to –

what is the word –

see –

glimpse –

seem to glimpse –

need to seem to glimpse –

folly for to need to seem to glimpse –

what –

what is the word –

and where –

folly for to need to seem to glimpse what where –

where –

what is the word –

there –

over there –

away over there –

afar –

afar away over there –

afaint –

afaint afar away over there what –

what –

what is the word –

seeing all this –

all this this –

all this this here –

folly for to see what –

glimpse –

seem to glimpse –

need to seem to glimpse –

afaint afar away over there what –

folly for to need to seem to glimpse afaint afar away over there what –

what –

what is the word –

what is the word

– Samuel Beckett

Perhaps the what where is always what we’re attempting to tell.  Perhaps that’s eternal recurrence / return.  The when is always known.  Always NOW.  The folly, truly folly, of our attempt to tell the what where that is our being, our being NOW, always being NOW, no when needed, no whom known, just what where presently…occurring.  Is this always what we are attempting to say?  To find words for?  To tell?  What where, now?  Always NOW – whether reading or writing, assailing past, present or future – it is NOW that it’s occurring, but what? where?  And what is the word?  What are the words for this what where we’re attempting to tell?  This is my writing, reading – in a way, it seems, the all of it – my folly.  Perhaps what where is unnameable.  

And so I also offer a reading – for even as soon as I re-read my own writing – I cannot remember the whom or what-where of the writing.  Because the reading is always right NOW.  This reading – a chapter from Mark C. Taylor’s book Tears (as both eye-leak or suffering and rift-split-rip-“tear”) entitled “How to do Nothing with Words”  (my own copy a rainbow of highlights and symbolized marginalia – like all that I read significance to). If this sort of thing – this philosophizing or wondering writing – is not of your interest – don’t bother.  But if it is kind of intriguing, or causes curiosity, I find this chapter a compelling and admirable attempt to descry the “what is the word?” tussle I constantly struggle and strive for enacting the telling what where.  

Tears

(click image for chapter, or here: How to do Nothing with Words)

And, after all that…here is neither, a short writing by Beckett to go on with…

neither

To and fro in shadow from inner to outershadow

from impenetrable self to impenetrable unself by way of neither

as between two lit refuges whose doors once neared gently close, once turned away from gently part again

beckoned back and forth and turned away

heedless of the way, intent on the one gleam or the other

unheard footfalls only sound

till at last halt for good, absent for good from self and other

then no sound

then gently light unfading on that unheeded neither

unspeakable home

– Samuel Beckett

Thank you for your time.  It goes on…

 

The Want for a Story : Texts for Nothing

Beckett_TextQuote

The want for a story.  For a ‘reason’ to be.  A far place, an illusion, the stomach knows its illegitimacy, its fantasy, irreality…yet the brain (mind?) dying toward, for, craving, starving after it.

A thread in a narrative…a plotline…a characterization – some momentary identity.  To be witnessed, accounted-for, counted, taken note of, recognized.  The mad dream of anOther aware of me, acknowledging my presence, sidling out of my way.  “Made way”…I exist.

The madness of atoms.  Nonsensical.  Not “to be” – a sort of fact as it goes – but “to be in awareness” – and not only, but much more – “to be in An-Other’s awareness!”  Too much!  Pure delusion.

We infect alt-awareness only via disturbance and/or unavoidability – interruptions, intrusions, sign or accident/event – a scream, a tragedy, an obstacle.  Interference.  No one selects for intrusion…it is managed and dealth with, endured or survived.  We (humans) don’t “mean to,” don’t “seek out” inconvenience.  (Or maybe we do?).  But no matter.  Not our ‘purpose,’ ‘intent.’ Not our ‘drive’ (to survive).

Others become aware of “me” when (and ONLY when?) I get in their way.  “Intrude.”  Otherwise – sans dependence, accident, harm, or some assumed respons-ability (‘obligation’) – I find it hard to imagine drawing the care of attention of an/other.

We spread too thin.  Period.  Once we engage/respond/encounter/experience, it is blatantly evident: WE ARE NOT ENOUGH.  Perhaps nothing is.  Perhaps learning, relating, experiencing, engaging, life…NOTHING is.  Perhaps this differentiates us as a species – UNSATISFIABLE : UNMET.

And…perhaps this is a synonym for “Life/Living” – some ‘thing’ ever striving ‘further’ or ‘beyond’ itself…

Is the ‘definition’ of “Life” simply WANTING FOR MORE?

i.e. – entities remaining alive, period – according to DESIRE?

The want for a story.  A ‘reason’ to be.  To be meaning.  To signal.  To call & respond.  To exist.

But all those are “more-than.”

The Myth in the Verse

The River of Bees

BY W. S. MERWIN

In a dream I returned to the river of bees

Five orange trees by the bridge and

Beside two mills my house

Into whose courtyard a blindman followed

The goats and stood singing

Of what was older

.

Soon it will be fifteen years

.

He was old he will have fallen into his eyes

.

I took my eyes

A long way to the calendars

Room after room asking how shall I live

.

One of the ends is made of streets

One man processions carry through it

Empty bottles their

Image of hope

It was offered to me by name

.

Once once and once

In the same city I was born

Asking what shall I say

.

He will have fallen into his mouth

Men think they are better than grass

.

I return to his voice rising like a forkful of hay

.

He was old he is not real nothing is real

Nor the noise of death drawing water

.

We are the echo of the future

.

On the door it says what to do to survive

But we were not born to survive

Only to live

  1. S. Merwin, “The River of Bees” from The Second Four Books of Poems(Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 1993). Copyright © 1993 by W. S. Merwin. Reprinted with the permission of The Wylie Agency, Inc.

 

Alias and the Ants

trailofants

Alias observes the ants in his bathroom.  Each Spring.  Spring or Fall, no matter his warfare – treating / trimming / grooming the perimeter of ‘his’ home – no difference (or differance) – Spring and Fall, a trail, a train, a miniscule “army” (whether ‘Army Ants’ or no, he could not say) of tiny insects crossing his counter from sink rim to (nonexistent) god-knows-where and back again, doing god-and-perhaps-scientist knows what…traversing, infesting, conquering, appearing, occurring…

…Alias is unattended…

Observing ‘his’ (not-his) ants.  A collective of interminable insects roving to and fro between a Lilliputian crack along the paint of his lavatory wall (an outside boundary of ‘his’ ‘home’), the cylindrical rim involving ‘his’ ‘vanity’ (does he still possess any of that?) sink, his children’s toothbrushes (the “family” so wishes the infestation undone) and wherever they might journey over the surface’s edge, the drainage holes, the drawers…

Ants.

Alias composes both paste and powder of Boric acid and particled sugar.  A supposed deadly mix for puny pests.  Like “life” for him.  Murderous moments of sweetness colluded with deathly compounds: vodka, cigarettes, illicit sex; bacon, buttery-fried flour, altitude…

Responsibility (instinct) and desire (impulse).

Alias is alone.  Most definitely that.  Solo and (interpretively) forsaken.

His ‘kids’ are grown.  His loves (clearly) outworn.  His ‘friendships’ recursive, reductive, assumptive, routine.  But the weed-trees, the weather and wear, the spiders, the crickets, termites, and dust…and ants, carry on in a differently (and differantly) incessant way.

Indefatigable.  Undefeatable.  (Like death.)

That within succulent sweetness, luscious limnings of love, lie poisons and trace, exposures – never a joy without risk, no ecstasy lacking its peril, no thriving without its decease.  Positives all laced with negatives, happiness balanced in depress.

Alias gazes.  He stares.  Isolated, trimming at an untrimmed beard over a sink he did not install, looking (and failing to see at all) into a mirror replicating demise…above a trail of ants he’s fed sugary poison for weeks, which appear to be active and thriving, in differance to his own ‘self’ – choking and chortling on pleasures that keep resulting in pains, experiments emerging as monstrous, efforts destroying their ends.

He sighs, does Alias.  However he seeks a team and a trail it leads him to toxin, bane eroding his chance.  Considers Laramie, Lucy (his wife), and each child.  Ruminates purpose or promise or hope.  Wonders how relief repulses its reasons.  Why remedy acts against cure.  How ants insist on their patterns.  Why exultation evinces in ruin.

 

 

Current Reading Sampling – 2016

I realized I have neglected this ever-changing list…for any who might be interested.  So I updated it today…

2016

“I decided to continue drinking and living in just this way.

My whole life long”

– Georges Bataille

Chin-deep in labor, family, relationship & studies…

Works for survival:

Writers, Antoine VolodineAntoine Volodine, Writers

Maurice Blanchot, The Space of Literature

Samuel Beckett, The Grove Centenary Editions

Franz Kafka, I Am a Memory Come Alive

Enrique Vila-Matas, Bartleby & Co.

Montano’s Malady

Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus

William James, The Writings of William James

Mikhail Bakhtin, Works of

Edmond Jabes, The Book of Questions

Works that expand:

Friedrich Kittler, Discourse Networks, 1800/1900

William Franke, A Philosophy of the Unsayable

Ian Hodder, Studies in Human-Thing Entanglement

Paolo Virno, When the Word Becomes Flesh

Werner Hamacher, Minima Philologica

Giorgio Agamben, The Coming Community

Paul Feyerabend, Against Method

On “waking depressed,” or, Human Clear-sightedness

skeleton

We say that we “wake up depressed” wonder why and conjure up reasons.  What is this “hollow” or “indentation” in relation to?  Depression versus delusion?

Squirming up out of dream or slumber into wakefulness, awareness – illusions and solipsism scattered by light of day, by alertness – what would be the “norm” ‘depression’ dips under?

Say we consider “normal” as the state or condition of being aligned with what is.  The only certain trajectory of living is dying.  Dying the condition of life.  The only permanent outcome of breathing, saying, doing, being…are their cessation.  In confirmation or conformation to this “reality” – what should be the normal living response?  Depression, I should say, full awareness and wakeful understanding that my promise, potential, outcome and fortune are to end.

Decay, departure and death are the certain “norms” ruling human existence.  What occurs, forgets; what merges, diverges; what events, unravels; what happens, undoes; what is made, erodes.  Assuredly, they are strange loops, ambiguous and temporal – more wave/particled than 0/1 – and yet as “fate” or “doom” would have it (definite futures) we know of no other.

Therefore it should seem “depression” would be the normal human state of life, and all forms of happiness or joy come about due to some compromise or delusion – an abnormality – some neuroses or failure to accord or conform to what is.  How might we have come to classify conformity to what is as a “disorder” or diagnosable swerve?

“Certifiable depression” is marked as a disability, a failure to thrive, a condition incapacitating function.  Yet does that not most assuredly accord with the certitude of demise, destitution, eradication?  To terminate activity, halt health, conclude creativity, finish folly and destroy delight would all seem to indisputably align with the necessary phenomenon of obliteration.

Thoroughgoing comprehension of what is – that birth has a single objective – that all roads lead to one – that all effort leads to naught – that entropy – is not lunatic, demented, deranged or unhinged – but rather most enlightened and balanced, intelligent and lucid, perspicacious and well-advised.

Being pressed down, a lowering of quality, vigour or amount, feelings of severe despondency and dejection are surely the most accurately normal experiences – regulated, coordinated and adjusted to what is versus what is imagined or desired – indications of astute apprehension and capacities of apperception to the real.

Do not be flummoxed by “waking depressed” – do not seek for treatments or reasonings ‘why’! – do not be baffled that a heaviness descends, or a ‘pressing down’ is felt or occurs – we emerge into life and descend into matter…the cradle and grave a continuous process.

everyone dies

Ends – the Means to Get There; or, Laramie says “OFF.”

ON OFF image

I drill. I devour.

Kafka, Blanchot, Derrida, Bartleby.  Pessoa, Nietzsche, Jabes, Beckett.

Into the absence of hope.

Of language.

Of body.

I drill and I devour.

Myself.

Vitality.

Capacity.

I try to think my end(s).

I want to get there.

I would like to make it to the end.

I would like to make the end.

I think.  I serve.  I love.  I ask.

I care.  I touch.  I say.  I listen.

I am not fulfilling.

I am never quite what is wanted.

I have never been “right” for a situation.

I am a person who tries very hard to be what is wanted.

I am a person who tries very hard to offer what is “good”.

How would I know?

– what is wanted?

– what is good?

I do not.

I am incapable.

But I DO know:

I AM NOT THAT.

(do not) BE HERE NOW.

simply : do not.

“I would prefer not to.”

“I will not”

No reason.

No anwer.

We are just humans.

Animals.

Purposeless.

Pointless.

Without reason(s).

Without meaning(s).

Without.

Still we go on

(for now)

Still we keep on

Still

On

On

On

OFF

(he said, said Laramie to Alias. “OFF.”  He said, said Laramie to Alias.  And then he was gone.  Really.  Gone.)

Sometimes it happens this way.

Sometimes.

OFF

Simply, over.

[Often, in my case and experience.  They come, they go.  There is a rush of blood to the brain and the loins.  There is something I assume the others refer to as “hope,” – some reason to live, to go on, to pertain.  Then OFF.  Binary.  Digital.  Technology.  Culture.  Beings-in-relation.  ON/OFF.  Lights.  ON/OFF.  Progress.  ON/OFF.  Will.  ON/OFF.  Love.  ON/OFF.  Value.  ON/OFF.  Need.  ON/OFF.  Mood.  ON/OFF.  Everything binary.  Irrational.  Abstract.  Illogical.  Happenings, events, occurrences.  ON/OFF.  ON/OFF.  Life.  ON/OFF.  Life.  ON/OFF.  Life.  ON/OFF.

Life.

ON/OFF.

We are coming to an end.

I am coming to end.

We each come, to end.

The End.

 

 

Laramie Poeticus

Laramie liked to think himself a poet.  One attuned, natural, native to his world(s).  He liked to think he had unique feelings, perhaps an “insight,” an acute attention – that maybe he saw just a little bit more than others saw.  And was able to say so.

A farmer-cowboy type from the upper Midwest, he played a lot of sports and performed muscled labor – at times enjoying the solitude of pasture rides and the company of large mammals.  He felt a “care,” not sure for what, suspect he’d call it a kind of “connection” – with crop growth, animals, the waters and the skies.  And felt he could say so.  And he could sing.  Musician, farmer, cowboy, son.  Husband, scientist, laboring man.  Father, friend, and “poet” (he might say).  Laramie James Backstagger, dearly known to Alias.

“When you’re making it – forming words or music – do you feel somehow that you’re ‘getting it’?” Alias might ask, as they ambled the fields chopping at thistles, remedying fence.  “Do words add to experience or just chop it up?  Diminish?  Reduce?” Alias chimed.

Laramie would go silent, plodding along, smelling and listening.  Looking.

At times they’d play basketball, tennis (this was all in their youth, Alias having blown out his knees at the pigskin).  And careful.

They both went on to cities: education, enlightenment, the ‘experience’ of cultural promises.  They still had their debts to pay.

“I mean, when you ‘see’ it, or ‘hear’ it, are immersed – it’s not seeing or hearing or sensing – am I right? It’s just being – and then – ?” Alias prodded, “and then – what happens?”  “You hear language, or find it or forge it, dream times or ‘intuit,’ you consider ways you’d be able to MARK it – note it down (letters or score) – recount or recreate it – even extend or rescind it – and that all seems like media to me: communication: expression or history or talk…but reduced.  Reduced to what YOU can comprise or compose – not the ‘same’ as the moments, trembling in the web, and borrowing, borrowing, borrowing – from the wind and the trees, weather and bees, family and learning, working and friends – and our culture! – all funneled and cored to some desiccated fraction of bone – eviscerated – ‘HERE LIES LARAMIE’S TAKE’: some words or an etude or painting.  Even action.  Even sowing or reaping or pruning or care…’HERE LIES LARAMIE’S TAKE’ – wow!  Really?!  Amazing!  One moment made this?!  AND WHAT CARES?  WHAT MATTERS?  WHAT PURPOSE OR POINT, BENEFIT OR CONSEQUENCE…the next ‘now’?!”

Alias could go on and on like this.  Often doing what he’d just described or decried.

And Laramie’d slow, maybe stop, often sit, and stare out.  Have a smoke (he didn’t smoke, but pretended – his children and wife didn’t like it).  And Alias would drink and get wiser.  A little calmer and sad.  And all might go quiet, save the world always humming.

Laramie Backstagger sighed.

“Well?  Whadda ya think?” challenged Alias – “how is it for you when you speak, feel or sing?”

And how would he know, ailing Laramie?  Been too many years of conflicting events and results and mixed feelings.  Too many miles that worked out without working, or failed for the working too much.  “I’m uncertain,” he said, “I’m uncertain.”  “But you’re pushing at something in me.”

By now Alias was off on his own like a mammal, had concocted a scent for to trail.  Maybe the ache was for sharing the thing they were sharing: agreement.  Maybe to get through the whole business at once, simultaneously.  Maybe to not be divided and different or just pieces of things – to be doubled or tripled or multiple?  Harlequin – pieceworked and patched, back then and now and some future.  An assemblage, a collage wanting melding.

“All uncertain,” Laramie said.  “I can’t know, just I do it and feelings will follow.  New ones.  Pains from smashed understandings, joys from promising starts, aches at the poorness I lend them – but something goes on, carries forth – it don’t end with the birds and the breeze.  The words have it too, and the voices.  The shapes and the meanings and lines.  Even tones.  It goes on, both the good and the ill, and I’m part, or it seems such.”

“How ‘bout you?” Laramie wants to know.  “Why do you carry on and keep blabbing,” he taunts.

“Just to borrow,” Harlequin murmurs.  “Just to steal.”  “To have something to say.  To keep silent.  To wish that it might carry on.”  “It’s what we’ve got, all these things.  Try as I might, I don’t know what else to do, and at times feel compelled, god dammit.  Like Foucault or Blanchot or Spinoza.  Or Buddha or Christ, Kafka or little Jane,” (little Jane was the crazy old lady – lived two miles from the Backstagger’s farm – she’d sparkle to company no matter the cause and just cackle and croon – mixing nonsense and stories, opinions and facts, just talking and talking and talking.  No one knew if it ceased when they left, it never stopped within range of the hearing).

“I hear you” said Laramie, “I see.”  To which Alias always replied “But you don’t – I don’t know that.  Have no method of saying it’s true.”  And they’d keep walking on…toward night.