he can only be distracted by nothing (the reflection of everything), light uncontained or perceived, even though he cannot cease registering her flesh and its forms, thigh-lines, tone and texture, fluidity of folding and motion. Nothing refuses to contain it, and rather brings it back, and forth, or all at once space, always “this. this here. here.” Nothing missing mirror, his emptiness replete.
Bends and scent, nonsensed, indelible.
Him, there (here), composed observer, unable/disabling any view from nowhere. It is without a not…
our small lives are traversed by momentous movements, avalanches in the depths of the everyday
How much longer still dreaming of a language
Not enslaved to words as it is today…
des forets, Poems of Samuel Wood
so we use words in order to go beyond words
Markides, Mountain of Silence
What constitutes unbounded in literature?
Knausgaard, My Struggle 6
…still she remains a remarkable beauty (how so easily contorted from inside?). If inner bodies resembled outer, how different life would be, observable reversed as well – cultural ugliness/fear/repulsion softens from inner loveliness, even as prettiness suffers its evils. That being said, the inner therefore rules the day for beauty, and earth must be divine.
Veins outstrip hand lotion. Wrinkles give the lie.
he depends on his non-mirror, and many come to light. Refractions, glints, unending activity – a world (or however you attempt to measure the imagined) exists as relation alone (all-one) – infinite interdependence ‘to be.’
slope, angle, apparent rest – the wrist, the knee, the curve to ankle, each knuckle and blade about the eye, how else to distinguish hair from head from air from skin from water – its relative.
all i do is sense and praise (that poorly) – relation, gratitude. Awareness – attention – all act. Calves, puppies, elbows, crooks – sway and struggle, chaos-strife, relations of same differences, now.
he calls out, a wave of vibrations; he smiles, a rippling fabric; looks (out or in at once) – “becoming” (some have spoken or written) – enacted, enbodied, at-once ‘taking place’ – now. Here it is, they are, him/her with in of. It goes. Nowhere but here (it comes in other words). his left, your right, his east, your west, up-down-other: relation. Occurs.
No else. No one. No thing. No where. Never. All depending, relating to this, us, that, here, now. Without which? Unknown, inconceivable, imperceptible, nonsensical…only possible.
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 –
I’m afraid to write. It’s so dangerous. Anyone who’s tried, knows. The danger of stirring up hidden things – and the world is not on the surface, it’s hidden in its roots submerged in the depths of the sea. In order to write I must place myself in the void. In this void is where I exist intuitively. But it’s a terribly dangerous void: it’s where I wring out blood. I’m a writer who fears the snares of words: the words I say hide others – which? maybe I’ll say them. Writing is a stone cast down a deep well.
Do I write or not?…A light and gentle meditation on the nothing…
Does “writing” exist in and of itself? No. It is merely the reflection of a thing that questions. I work with the unexpected. I write the way I do without knowing how and why – it’s the fate of my voice. The timbre of my voice is me. Writing is a query. It’s this: ?
I write for nothing and for no one…I don’t make literature: I simply live in the passing of time. The act of writing is the inevitable result of my being alive…
I feel as though I’m still not writing…My problem is the fear of going mad. I have to control myself…And so I’ll leave a page blank or the rest of the book – I’ll come back when I can.
And that my words are the garment of what I shall never be
Like the tucked sleeve of a one-armed boy
– W.S. Merwin, “When You Go Away”
Time keeps accumulating on my inability to write, to find time to write, to process living with language. Simply to keep this space alive, I am posting a journal-like entry so as not to give up.
Recent weeks have been dominated by readings of Doug Rice, Laurie Sheck, Jon Fosse, Georges Bataille, Larry Levis, Maurice Blanchot, Samuel Beckett, Franco Berardi, Robert Bringhurst, Jeremy Fernando, Elfriede Jelinek and others…
What a traversal, passage, the past couple of months have been…
…like following the draw of the moon through dire straits
in dark, tumultuous seas…
…a feeling that everything is at its limit (Bataille, l’extreme) – EXPERIENCE.
pressured work projects, needs, deadlines, demands
endless and constant family logistics, accidents, needs
relentless parenting, relating, service to others
throngs of people and groups
lack of friends, lovers, supportive presences
fear, health, danger, exhaustion
loss of partner
inexistence of calm or solitude
absence of sleep and rest
indulgence in desire and harm
poor eating or nourishment
lack (wellness) & excess (pressure)
…a teetering balance…
Mind you, this is how it feels in me, not how it is.
I miss everything that is/was good
There is a certain uncertain sorrow to things
(presence of melancholia, moon-draw)
Georges Bataille’s certainties:
WE ARE NOT EVERYTHING
WE WILL DIE
THE UNKNOWN THE UNSOLVABLE THE POSSIBLE
Lynda Barry & the “Underground Skateboard” – how we draw from others work what we need to survive
Lemony Snicket & the autographing instruction that I should “read something else”
immersion (doom, closure) held in levity
– 1st Tarot reading –
(processual journey mythical)
Jacob recommends Homer – The Odyssey
doubling letting go – holding together The Devil/The Chariot
dark surfaces / surfaces of darkness (The Fool)
The Moon (dark journey) crossed by the Queen of Swords (wounding love)
THE UNKNOWN THE UNSOLVABLE THE POSSIBLE
The King of Wands – leaders, pole vaulters, utilizing tension toward propulsion
leap over? through? on?
Pas sage – not wisdom FRAUGHT JOURNEY
– Odyssey –
BATAILLE: “nothing is final…”
– “what is not there, which, once it is seen, often in literature, tells us what is” (Fosse)
“the suffering of the disintoxicated” (Bataille)
challenging everything (of putting everything into question) – Bataille
always a breakdown of systems that will not be restored – Sheck
“Experience reveals nothing and cannot found belief nor set out from it” – Bataille
“The hand moves forward, the tragedy begins” – Bataille
“no one grieves with you for what you are unable to say”
“life itself…always swerves away from my mouth”
– Elfriede Jelinek –
“how I’m owned by that which will not answer” – Sheck
“What you are will be spelled by whatever
lies trapped in your hand” – Robert Bringhurst
– emptiness is also empty –
“what is the part of us… feels…unnamed…
…i must live at some distance from convinced” – Sheck
“When I say you to what isn’t there – I mean me” (Larry Levis)
..does the pleasure of writing exist? I don’t know. One thing I feel certain of is that there’s a tremendous obligation to write. This obligation to write, I don’t really know where it comes from. As long as we haven’t started writing, it seems to be the most gratuitous, the most improbable thing, almost the most impossible, and one to which, in any case, we’ll never feel bound. Then, at some point – is it the first page, the thousandth, the middle of the first book, or later? I have no idea – we realize that we’re absolutely obligated to write. This obligation is revealed to you, indicated in various ways. For example, by the fact that we experience so much anxiety, so much tension if we haven’t finished that little page of writing, as we do each day. By writing that page, you give yourself, you give to your existence, a form of absolution. That absolution is essential for the day’s happiness. It’s not the writing that’s happy, it’s the joy of existing that’s attached to writing, which is slightly different. This is very paradoxical, very enigmatic, because how is it that the gesture – so vain, so fictive, so narcissistic, so self-involved – of sitting down at a table in the morning and covering a certain number of blank pages can have this effect of benediction for the remainder of the day? How is the reality of things – our concerns, hunger, desire, love, sexuality, work – transfigured because we did that in the morning, or because we were able to do it during the day? That’s very enigmatic. For me, in any case, it’s one of the ways the obligation to write is manifested.
This obligation is also indicated by something else. Ultimately, we always write not only to write the last book we will write, but, in some truly frenzied way – and this frenzy is present even in the most minimal gesture of writing – to write the last book in the world. In truth, what we write at the moment of writing, the final sentence of the work we’re completing, is also the final sentence of the world, in that, afterward, there’s nothing more to say. There’s a paroxysmal intent to exhaust language in the most insignificant sentence. No doubt this is associated with the disequilibrium that exists between speech and language. Language is what we use to construct an absolutely infinite number of sentences and utterances. Speech, on the contrary, no matter how long or how diffuse, how supple, how atmospheric, how protoplasmic, how tethered to its future, is always finite, always limited. We can never reach the end of language through speech, no matter how long we imagine it to be. This inexhaustibility of language, which always holds speech in suspense in terms of a future that will never be completed, is another way of experiencing the obligation to write. We write to reach the end of language, to reach the end of any possible language, to finally encompass the empty infinity of language through the plenitude of speech.
Another reason why writing is different from speaking is that we write to hide our face, to bury ourselves in our own writing. We write so that the life around us, alongside us, outside, far from the sheet of paper, this life that’s not very funny but tiresome and filled with worry, exposed to others, is absorbed in that small rectangle of paper before our eyes and which we control. Writing is a way of trying to evacuate, through the mysterious channels of pen and ink, the substance, not just of existence, but of the body, in those minuscule marks we make on paper. To be nothing more, in terms of life, than this dead and jabbering scribbling that we’ve put on the white sheet of paper is what we dream about when we write. But we never succeed in absorbing all that teeming life in the motionless swarm of letters. Life always goes on outside the sheet of paper, continues to proliferate, keeps going, and is never pinned down to that small rectangle; the heavy volume of the body never succeeds in spreading itself across the surface of paper, we can never pass into that two-dimensional universe, that pure line of speech; we never succeed in becoming thin enough or adroit enough to be nothing more than the linearity of a text, and yet that’s what we hope to achieve. So we keep trying, we continue to restrain ourselves, to take control of ourselves, to slip into the funnel of pen and ink, an infinite task, but the task to which we’ve dedicated ourselves. We would feel justified if we no longer existed except in that minuscule shudder, that infinitesimal scratching that grows still and becomes, between the tip of the pen and the white surface of the paper, the point, the fragile site, the immediately vanished moment when a stationary mark appears once and for all, definitively established, legible only for others and which has lost any possibility of being aware of itself. This type of suppression, of self-mortification in the transition to signs is, I believe, what also gives writing its character of obligation. It’s an obligation without pleasure, you see, but, after all, when escaping an obligation leads to anxiety, when breaking the law leaves you so apprehensive and in such great disarray, isn’t obeying the law the greatest form of pleasure? To obey an obligation whose origin is unknown, and the source of whose authority over us is equally unknown, to obey that – certainly narcissistic – law that weighs down on you, that hangs over you wherever you are, that, I think, is the pleasure of writing…
…I’m not an author. First of all, I have no imagination. I’m completely uninventive. I’ve never even been able to conceive of something like the subject of a novel…I place myself resolutely on the side of the writers [in distinction – Roland Barthes – from authors] those for whom writing is transitive. By that I mean those for whom writing is intended to designate, to show, to manifest outside itself something that, without it, would have remained if not hidden at least invisible. For me, that’s where, in spite of everything, the enchantment of writing lies…I’m simply trying to make apparent what is very immediately present and at the same time invisible…I’d like to reveal something that’s too close for us to see, something right here, alongside us, but which we look through to something else…to define the proximity around us that orients the general field of our gaze and our knowledge…
So, for me, the role of writing is essentially one of distancing and of measuring distance. To write is to position oneself in that distance that separates us from death and from what is dead…I’m in the distance between the speech of others and my own…In exercising my language, I’m measuring the difference with what we are not, and that’s why I said to you earlier that writing means losing one’s own face, one’s own existence. I don’t write to give my existence the solidity of a monument. I’m trying to absorb my own existence into the distance that separates it from death and, probably, by that same gesture, guides it toward death…
I’dd add that, in one sense, my head is empty when I begin to write, even though my mind is always directed toward a specific object. Obviously, that means that, for me, writing is an exhausting activity, very difficult, filled with anxiety. I’m always afraid of messing up; naturally, I mess up, I fail all the time. This means that what encourages me to write isn’t so much the discovery or certainty of a certain relationship, of a certain truth, but rather the feeling I have of a certain kind of writing, a certain mode of operation of my writing, a certain style that will bring that distance into focus…
[from a crumpled writing found under a car seat among additional trash, transposed to typing as a record of a mind’s mayhem and mistakes]
“Deliver me, prays the haunted man. Therefore…”
Gunnar Olsson, Abysmal
I am Dostoevsky and I am Beckett. I am Hegel and Heidegger and Holderlin. I am Kafka.
I am not good enough for any of you. I do not merit your time nor your attention, affection, sensibilities, your human talents, or your care… no conceivable reason to mention “love.”
But I love you. I am the one who loves you. The one who writes. Who writes these words. The haunted one, the Reader, the Librarian; the Lover, Scholar, I am me. I love you. I am haunted. Words runnel through me, and with them thoughts, and with them feelings, and with them meanings, which means…nothing. No matter, no space, no time.
The “haunted man” is a passage, a passing, a ‘type.’ Of no import, little reality, barely occurrence.
I am Blanchot, am Homer, am divine Scriptures, and Shakespeare. Simply, small-ly, in my own way, this very general way, I am what humans do with language. For one another, with one another, to one another, as.
Yards and houses, flesh and voices, signs and symbols, marks and sounds, music and rhythyms and gestures, as attempts to conjoin – join and connect – survive, discover, endure, be, become, in-volve… With no idea. Or ideas that continually prove false and faulty. Elaborate records of revision, perhaps better inscribed as simple songs of effort. Urges only TO BE, and that, TO BE CONNECTED.
But what do I know? I’m Pythagoras, call me Ishmael or Ahab, Everyman or Whatever. I’m out-dated. Assign me a number. I don’t really care. I really care. I am here, and I, (at least) re-present, or present again, or presence, a sort of being. Such as it is… with no “REAL” way to evaluate, estimate, “tell,” or “express.”
Satan, then, Jesus, Joyce, Proust, Alexander. No matter, no space, no time, only IS.
A “tradition” (as it were, in our own words). We. Its + That + This. US. Humans strangely (apparently) in environments. These ways of thinking, of being, of behaving and operating, of supposedly surviving (but with what evidence? WHO or WHAT might know?).
How might elements arranged thus & so, survive? I am Nebuchadnezzar, Mohammed, Hammurabi and Ishtar. I am ab-original.
I am Nothing. Everything. No one. Me.
Each press of the pen: “Hello – ‘here’”
As simply as I can construct it (all of it, any of “it”) it goes something like this: accidents occur, accidents are weird, and accidents give way.
I, like all other(s), an accidental novel. Occasional and Whatever.
WHAT HAPPENS TO BE… at any given point-of-measurement (i.e. as far as we have a capacity to render, sunder, and effect – “Reality” (for us)). Some quirky, unlikely, ridiculous, painstaking, odds-massively-against, and over-dramatic assessment of a certain sort of being-in, being-with, co-occurrence, happen-stance, we fabricate “human.”
In many other words (for the sake or ability of ‘them,’ ‘it,’ ‘all’) I may as well be. Be Hallie or Ollie or Aidan or Rhesus. Chief Joseph or Samson or Ghandi or Jordan. Be you or Sara or Maya or Jimmy John.
“no matter. Try again. Fail again…” no matter.
THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
“the venom of the serpents were within him”
Gunnar Olsson, Abysmal
HOW SHOULD I KNOW?
And so what if I were Bernhard or Bach, Napoleon, Attila, Montaigne or Dorothy Parker? If I had the ammunition or energy (and weaponry?) – the rhetoric, the nerve, or the madness. L. Sterne, Nagarjuna, Hafiz, JL Borges?
“No matter. Try again. Fail again…”
Titian, Beethoven, Plato/Socrates, Palestrina. Michelangelo, V. van Gogh, and Chuang Tzu. You.
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.
“I am suspicious of all words, for even the slightest reflection shows the absurdity of trusting them.”
– Paul Valery, Monsieur Teste –
“You know, dear you, that my mind is of the obscurest sort…I am composed of an unfortunate mind which is never quite sure that it has understood what it has understood without realizing it.”
– Valery –
FOR NO REASON
Delight. Hope. Survival.
Homer . Beckett. Kafka. Hegel.
Wittgenstein. Heidegger. Merleau-Ponty.
Fosse. Derrida. Foucault. Sterne.
Imagination. Philosophy. Fiction.
WHAT CAN BE THOUGHT? (Philosophy) “on the verge”
WHAT CAN BE WRITTEN? (Literature) “on the verge”
Maybe I’ll just read. Perhaps suicide (stop). Perhaps create. Perhaps avoid. Perhaps participate with others (friends, family, children, pets, nature). Perhaps think and drink.
WHO CARES? NO ONE. NO SOME. DO I?
Selected “foods for thought”:
The Event – Martin Heidegger. Monsieur Teste – Paul Valery. Replacement – Tor Ulven. Inexhaustibility and Human Being – Stephen D. Ross. The Meridian – Paul Celan. Verge of Philosophy – John Sallis. and so on. Potentials.
Directions for staying alive (as human being). Follow something: desire. hope. beauty. sex. belief. pleasure. pain. Try something.
Read history and imagine imagining a world that sensible.
Read science and imagine imagining a world that ordered.
Read literature and imagine imagining a world.
Read philosophy and imagine imagining that many questions.
Read religion and imagine imagining that many answers.
Stop. Say your own. (thoughts, imaginations, feelings, perceptions) to someone or to nothing (write them).
And so on.
For no reason.
But perhaps staying alive / living a little longer.
WHAT DO YOU WONDER? DESIRE? WISH? PROPOSE?
And so on.
WHO CARES? DO YOU?
And so on…
…for no reason.
Thus the life of “the writer,” “artist,” “human,” “scientist”… WHATEVER – WHOMEVER HUMAN (so-self-called) BEING.
In other words… when we encounter “literature” we (perhaps, perhaps probably) are engaging a fellow human being in the NOW – amidst an odd tactic of applying (through a strange and meddlesome nigh-universal ambiguous medium) the operation of EVERYTHING he/she knows or has experienced to the point-of-NOW. And we (weird, individualized organisms) either find correlation and correspondence with (some or much or little) of their ‘whole’ knowledge & experience (and thus, perhaps, probably, are moved by or like them) or… find very little correspondence or similarity with our ‘own’ knowledge and experience and therefore consider them banal, useless, uninteresting, untrue, or off-putting.
WHO CARES? DO YOU?
I do. It keeps me alive, surviving. I drink, I read, I think. Attempt to forget obligations, relations, and responsibilities (I can’t). That I’m a FATHER, that i exist in a socio-economic scenario that requires the bulk of my life be passed in “bullshit jobs” that somehow appease ‘Powers-That-Be’ and allow me a place on earth and a terrible fight to try and defend or spend ANY portion of existence doing-what-i-want, or what ‘fulfills’ or causes me happiness / gladness / joy in being alive…
When I’m able to “snare,” “steal,” “TIME” – I read and write, make love, or drink alcohol – because these things make me feel GOOD or WELL as the sort of being I am.
Why is it I feel compelled to sneak, steal, or justify what gives me joy in being? (whether plant, ant, mammal, or any other cellular construction)?
I wouldn’t ‘rather’ be famous, or a president, powerful, or a businessman, artist, or ‘professional,’ or anything. I REALLY just want to be a human-in-society valuable-to-the-rest because I happen to be one who loves language, literature, pretending, fiction, inventing, thinking, imagining what might be – this-wise, that-wise, which-wise, whom-wise, where-wise, when-wise…
WHY IS THIS NOT VALUABLE? ACCEPTABLE? SUPPORTABLE? along with each alternate things-one-might-want-to-be as valuable-to-the-cumulative…
Humans seem to be multiplicitous, variable, and plentiful. Many wish/desire/like to be strong, rich, beautiful, productive, etc. Why can not there also be room for those who desire neither usefulness, beauty, riches, or power… but CANS at the verges… of language, thought, imaginings? And are these really so different from those pushing edges of other characteristics?
Suddenly this entry feels like a wallowing or a requesting of pity.
That is not the feeling.
“I am composed of an unfortunate mind which is never quite sure that it has understood what it has understood without realizing it.”
“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 for to –
for to –
what is the word –
folly from this –
all this –
folly from all this –
folly given all this –
folly seeing all this –
what is the word –
this there –
this this here –
all this this here –
folly given all this –
folly seeing all this this here –
for to –
what is the word –
seem to glimpse –
need to seem to glimpse –
folly for to need to seem to glimpse –
what is the word –
and where –
folly for to need to seem to glimpse what where –
what is the word –
over there –
away over there –
afar away over there –
afaint afar away over there what –
what is the word –
seeing all this –
all this this –
all this this here –
folly for to see what –
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 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.