(alas, the notebooks keep filling…but the time to type does not avail)
If I. If something stirred, was stirring. The dying. Any of us. Were something stirring. For me. If I. The lonely. Any of us. The longing. The longing lonely. Were something stirring. Were I. If I.
If only. Could be any. If one. If only. If I. For me. An other. Any of us. A stirring. I, only dying lonely longing one. If. A stirring. An other. Someone to speak “we.” To say “you.” A whispered “us.” For me.
What would I (if I, if other) say, if something stirred, if stirring an other, some other who, who might say “you,” “we,” whisper “us,” something stirring then, what would I say. If I. If you or we, I whisper “us,” stirring still, what would I say?
When might a story begin? Who could start the unknown? Only language. Perhaps only language knows what can’t be said. What is yet to exist. Or may not. Ever. What is that to me? If I. If indeed that is what I do.
Touching other to make us. If I. If other. Then a voice, a touch, an extra, an excess, we. If you. If I. What is story to that? How so?
From anywhere: impermanence. If an other. If I. Some story’s beginning, how begun. If there were a sound, as it were, so to speak.
I didn’t come back. Something stayed on in the far. Apart from the wires and the noise, “connections” and net-works. Somewhere away. No mistaking it was I who drove home, unlocked doors, and arrived. I who functioned and served as a placeholder. Yet I’d stayed in the cold and remote, the far reaches. Away. I haven’t returned, though something sure did – no one noticed but me.
It’s alright, there is room. Space to breathe and to think, space to listen. Apace like beyond or forgotten, the lost, misremembered – like that I was left or retained. On I wandered, as wondered; I pondered and roamed, but I did not come back, that I know, not this time – too much risk without safety to “be here.” I don’t want to – not here – no where, no now, no sure thing – not “that.” I’d like to be other, undone, in the wild, separate, immersed, and another. Not me. Not this. Not here. Not now.
So I stayed and I didn’t come back. No one noticed. Alone, I began to combine and consider. Correspond and co-question the side of the world the world was on. Difference side, or an other, not a me or an ours or an us. Just a world. I renamed there, all one, even while I returned and took care of. I escaped. Not me, only them, not I, just the others, who cares? – perhaps no one, not me and not them and not elsewise. I am gone. Gone unnoticed. It’s okay, for who cares? As long as I’m holding my place, and fulfilling – a father, a worker, a lover, a friend – no one cares if I never came back from the forest and sky or the wind and the cold. The dark places. No one knows, no one cares, nor do I, just I know, that is all, that I didn’t. Return. Rejoin or sync up. No, not I. I’ve stayed far even while it’s my body or figure that fills up the places and manners I was. I am not. And it’s fine, doesn’t matter, why would it?
I blink with the breeze o’er the road. Lodged in swift crannies and caves, dropped in canyons, and spread through the clouds. Now I’m rain, it’s okay, now it’s snow, no one knows, no one cares, reconsidered: as long as someone is caring for them (or apparent) no one cares where the person has gone – that including – the spaces the person has gone – no one knows neither cares, nowhere for nothing – simply not – sweetened absence – of care or concern – just a void, a caesura, an erasure, amiss, like palimpsest or scrimshaw or paste, and a cut.
I am cut. Paste anything there. They won’t notice, not them or there or any thing or one. There’s no matter, no wave, energy or particle, there is nothing – that’s any and every for them – what they need, that is all, what they need. What they want. I’m not here, for
I didn’t come back, from the cold, the remote, and the silence, the spaces, the less. It’s okay, no one noted, but me, for I functioned, appeared, held a place – however emptied – of me. It’s okay. I am cut. Paste anything here.
I have not returned. No one knows this (but you now, and I – keep a secret). It’s an absence I will not reveal.
Why not call it magic, this unsettling alloy of grief and anger we experience when shunted by anxiety, disappointment, depression, or loss?
We cannot deny that we crave! That we are struck through – bolted with fervent desire (all that which we experience as, well, unsettlingly – disturbingly – vital, ALIVE, active, possessive, in us) – when we are crushed, smushed, squelched, or helpless, hopeless, dismayed – how else could we be?
Without the vital, fierce passions – the damage is to no effect/affect. Depression must press against something. Must be pressing something down.
“Am I at the right house?” the internet-technology-installer asked from my gate.
“How can I know?” I responded, “it would depend on the future.”
He checked the numbers and moved away.
Now how will we ever know?
Isn’t this what every human encounter re/presents?
So de-pression presses something down in us. Anxiety stirs. Sorrow re-cognizes meanings. No negative without its positive charge. To be noticeable. And what is it that is noticeable? (able-to-be-noticed)? ONLY DIFFERENCE. Only time and space and whatever it is those veil, uncover, hide, or displace.
O-ppressed, DE-pressed, what are these SU-ppressing? Accentuating? Calling to attention, to activity, awareness, task?
Grief, loss, de-tachment and longing: what do these expose in order to occur?
Is anything ever lost?
She passes by with a friendly, perhaps even loving and happy wave. What reality is evoked in the pain of the passed-by, passed-over, un-preferred? What does it render actually present?
Is it possible that in the “missing” nothing is lost? Some present is heightened? Something even added to the present?
In losing a struggle don’t we gain what the effort was for? Clearly?
Does surrender underscore the sub-ject, the value, the relational ob-ject-ive given over? Adding acknowledging import?
Difference demonstrates value. Matter(s). Sign-if-i-can-ce. Without difference nothing would know. Indistinguishable = pure repetition. (Doesn’t matter).
Passed-over, passed-by, passed-on. De-pressed, su-ppressed, o-ppressed. Lost, lossed, re-moved, de-tached, re-apportioned. ALL LOSS ACCENTUATES HAVE. ALL DIS-POSSESSION EXPOSES POSSESS.
Difference de-scribes=in-scribes OURSELVES. What we are constructed from, contain, proffer, offer, obsess, possess, ARE. What we ARE (have and do).
Our com-position, con-stitution, con-struction are most clearly expressed in difference, ex-posure, de-struction, de-pression, o-ppression, loss.
In de-composition, we know and learn what composes us.
The question beggars: what have we to lose? What can we lose that in losing its learning is not gained? What have we to lose? And how do we know without losing?
“Why did you come out of your place in the woods?” I was asked.
“I guess so,” I replied.
This I find I cannot answer. It is irrational. Perhaps to stir and sense? Dis- or un-cover? “Strife” (from Ancient conceptions of the term). Turbulence. That something rather than nothing? Not to have one’s hands folded on one’s lap? (Dostoevsky). How should I know? It’s irrational.
Unreasonably, I’ve begun.
Of course beginning will destroy things: my stasis, comfort, stillness. Family roles, relationships, profession. Any beginning changes everything before (prior) to it. Friendships, rituals, schedules, habits.
To START (anything) means to RUIN.
In other words, if I (one) reach out – lash, swipe, caress, call, correspond, text, touch, encounter or engage – an Other (one)… all will be disturbed… it’s the nature of contact between living beings: landscapes, art, humans, animals, spaces, times, words, events. Everything alters at encounter. Period.
If I (or we) are available (or needy) and therefore present ourselves (vulnerably) to a reality (actuality, happenstance, opportunity, occurrence) everything changes.
Past. History. Future. Meaning. Understanding.
So “Why did you come out of your place in the woods?”
What was my ‘place in the woods’?
Repetition. Familiarity. Habitue.
Security? Comfort? Compatibility with my environs?
I must have desired DIFFERENCE.
And how to account for that?
This is something we just do.
Clothes, taste, touch, belief, surroundings, movement – variance, dissimilitude, change – this signals in some way to our mechanistic (apparently) methodology of ‘survival’ – that we’ve ‘still go it,’ still HAPPEN, to-be… we live. Are a-live. Existence. (See how the noun – the naming/defining – kills it? Stills and destroys it?). Existing.
Out of the woods I desire – not to be “existing”, not to crave “existence.” I do not want any THING. SOMEthing. I am simply wanting to be-ing… indefinable, indescribable, occurring, happening, all-live – not staid enough, locatable or timed enough to be characterized, apportioned, described and named. No! I (for one) am wanting to be happenING, impossible to capture, occur-ING, become-ING, vital not repeatable, unique not typified, tabulated, calculated or classified.
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.
[how might it be ANYthing other than ANYone’s guess, among us, pray tell? WHO or WHAT might qualify – among US – as arbiters or judges, experts or prophets – and by what measures or standards (or WHOSE?) as each of us species-specifically WE?]
“To bring a work to ‘a conclusion,’ as Picasso said, is like putting an end to a bull – to kill it.”
from the diaries…
Woke this morning with a particular feeling. I’ve never been one to believe people could name their emotions or feelings. The best we can say are parts.
Words like a parts catalog: indicating pieces and components, but never the working, not the operative whole. Machines are full of mystery. What’s hidden.
They say you cannot know. As you age. Cannot know if it’s the end, exactly. Perhaps they’re right – I’ve surely been surprised in middle age, believing everything was lost, doomed, downhill and erosive, some slow and steady depleting – and then WOW! Who could have known or imagined! This luck, this place, this woman or experience! Perhaps. Perhaps. But maybe we do. Maybe we really know, once twilight settles. I’ve never trusted “them” – the “experts,” the “scholars” and “scientists,” “politicians” or “leaders” or “doctors,” the “speakers for” and “authorities”…i.e. privileged observers (an illusion or delusion or both – no one ever gets to be ‘outside’ existence, any more than any other).
What with Laramie gone, and a birthday round the corner, and language just a parts catalog – my experience.
I woke with a particular feeling. That things were near their ends. That I am nearing ends. Work, love, breathing, will. That the stories I’m involved with are dwindling in pages, thin and wearing out. These ‘particular feelings,’ “somehow we just know,” kinds of things: lay down, close your eyes, cross your hands over your chest and hope things are in order. Or not. Depends on inclination and values, I suppose. What one cares about, or for. Perhaps. “They” say you cannot know.
I’ve been surprised. Even wildly. Much I’ve never been able to believe and yet it seems: my children – engendered by me and of such promise; this beautiful woman that loves me; that I’m still alive. One never knows (is what they say). So who knows what? And how do “they” know that?
I think I do, what with Laramie gone, and my faulty parts catalog, and this particular way that I feel. I’ve worked too long and too much. Tried too failingly. Never quite trusted or believed. Never found my worth. Maybe now I know. Maybe now I’m certain of something.
The end is coming – for me – always concerned and consternated by beginnings – how to start, where to set out – and now, here (nowhere) the path, it dwindles away. What have I done? What did I mean to? What did I wish? Why didn’t I?
I wanted to write a scholarly work about something that truly obsessed me. Something I’d spent my life searching. Something that likely doesn’t even exist, but no matter – because Scrabble, because poems, because science. Unscramble (by scrambling) the letters – you’ll see: it can almost be said, almost anything – existent or not – almost. Parts constructing strange wholes and plugged in, eventual malfunctions, repairs – and yet “no matter, try again, fail again, fail better” (Sam Beckett – I’ve read and I’ve taught far too long).
And one solid work of fiction and some poems. That’s all. That’s what I wanted to do.
So I studied, and traveled and loved. Raised children, made music, pushed learning and literature publicly, worked and worked, and drank and drank. Took in stragglers and strays, made it work where I could, doubted and doubted, desired. Everything but what I wanted – that’s how you perpetuate desire.
I woke today with a particular feeling, though “they” say you cannot know. Cannot know for certain, that things are yet to surprise you, yet to get better. I will not argue. Perhaps. But what with Laramie gone, and all that’s undone, maybe I know, maybe we do. Maybe we’re aware when our endings are coming. Who could know? Who could tell us?
Is reminded (from whence and where?) “My way of not being the same is, by definition, the most singular part of what I am.” Remembers Foucault wrote that (how? why?).
Contemplates. Scrutinizes. Reflects. Adorno: “To make things of which we do not know what they are.” Wherefore? Examines his old face for repetition. For resemblance.
What ever did he suppose the “self” was? Leans closer. 12 years old, exploring raggedy woods surround childhood farm in the Kansas countryside with a crooked clumsy stick (a settler’s gun). Who did he posit “others” to be?
Laramie, somewhere far. Laramie: OFF. Sister. Sometime “friends.” Lucy (before that H____, before that T_____, and prior A______, D_______, J_____, and so on). Had he come to approximate “himself” at all? And who and what and where determined that? Where is the Observer?
“What constitutes the subject in its relations to the true, to rules, to itself?” (Foucault had queried) – the “I” in a sentence – and why had he ever read that stuff? Why did he feel himself “drawn” to it? Magnetized to self-reflection, chaotic perspective gyroscope?
Can almost see the swallowing snake. How long he’s longed (like Laramie) to shed obligations and self-evolving charges (children, lovers, homes and labor)…and how lonely alone turns out to be.
Leans back. The hair, the shoulders, the wrinkles and beard. Sheer size alone an entirely variant specimen from 12, shape of 20, motility of 3, vim of 47.
But the naming remains: Harlequin – spanning centuries, derived from ancestor’s medieval roles. “Ignatius” and “Evgeny” – monikers pilfered from grandfathers – representing both (or some) genetic “sides” – the mother’s and the father’s. Then Alias, alas – selected purely for sound and almost a joke – “let him make his own name” his dad was supposed to have said – “make a name for himself.” Alias i. e. Harlequin – an identity of shifters. Contentless, versatile signs. This or that, also known as, patchwork jester. Volatile collage.
Multi-colored robes of Joseph – Alias certain he’s never led anything out of bondage – let alone himself. A joker then? Entertainer with a deathly fear to perform. Chameleon, hodgepodge, bum. Rag-tag coddle of experiences, interests and events: people, places, actions and things. Jumbled potpourri of knowledge sans expertise. “Who is this what that I am?” he thinks, unattended, gaping at the bathroom mirror. “How?”
Sways toward. Yellowed teeth, crudded sockets. Webs stringing out from the eyes indexing smiles – from when?
Drinks. Diarrhea. Trembles.
Considers process of elimination. Engages, ingests, transforms…and turns it all to shit.
Precisely! If we could do without metaphor! “The real,” “the rules,” “itself” and “other” hacked, torn and blundered, mulched and mushed, pulped and extracted…some to nourish, some to harm, random keeps and passes…What if “itself” were able to masticate, dissolve and disperse, digest and diarrhea itself? If thinking passed like food and water?
Crush the judgments, statements, words and perceptions. Struggle to swallow. Swill the pains and fears – chug through the gullet – expel from the sex. Crap the hopes, the dreams. Piss prejudice and myth. Ingurgitate logical systems, impressions and lust. Eliminate ruin and waste like a transitioning, dynamic…eroding, decrepit, diminishing body.
Swallows again, more of a choking or gulp. Peers closer. Slurps and gobbles, wriggling it down – acids and micro-solutions…expel, eject, devour. Autosarcophagy, necrotizing fasciitis, auto-immune (how did he know these things?) parasiting himself – is it possible to empty? To void? And where’s Laramie? Lucy? The children?
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…
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.