You. There. You. Here.

A gold, glaring like sunlight, like foil paper,

glints out of the hands, gathered to plead,

like tears with their measure of salt, gleaming

an eye, like the viscous reflecting residue

of pleasure – piss, blood, the living sweats

and leaks, we run, we water the dying.

.

You there.  You.  There.

Far cries (moans, wails, echoes) from here.

You here.  You.  Here.

Murmurs, whispers, gasps, and laughter.

Breath upon an ear.

.

Blue radiance from the heart, red running out the vein.

The wheeze that squelches exhale.

Stuttered stumble – each mistake…the trial being

to sketch, to trace, erase.

Once we waved at one another.

Each goodbye a beckon.

And all digress.

.

Too often, once more… for Thucydides…

.

Feathers, flowers, for Filbert,

little donkey he must be,

ass-braying poems – silt and muck of muddle,

collecting stones and eyes and sunsets,

almost any gaze.  Almost an acknowledgment.

To be.  For.  Anyonething.  Anywhere.

Once necessary.  Once.

.

And then more…

FlowerFilbertAssImage

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Last Days of the Year (12.31.2017)

after Helene Cixous’ First Days of the Year (all quotations from)

 

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“…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 –

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL

…and thank you

Little Offerings

This Autumn has found very little time for sustained reading and writing, resulting therefore in meager offerings here.  But I am finding jottings, thoughts, and notations in scattered journals that have somehow happened anyway.  Please accept these little offerings as efforts to remain in dialogue…

Journal Entry

Why do we (at least some percentage of us) take such pleasure (or at least seem to relish) in dark and heavy sorrow, like longing?  Grief, hopelessness – is it finitude and mortality that cause us to feel so at home in it?  Our drowning womb, begun from a watery coffin?

The sweet, rebellious, anarchy of loving, passion, writing, painting, music…sex – whatever it is we do that works our death deeper in us, through ecstatic bursts that we respond to like life.

We all ways dying…from that first launch…that initial spark of convergence – our long elimination.

Praise for the Name what Remains

By the light of the last thing decaying,

Erosion, they call it,

a painful dwindling away

.

Inception that won’t return

Sand, soil, snow, wind,

some sort of passage

.

One-Way.  Only.

Irreversible.

It is called.

.

Loss, we name it.

Lossness, lessness:

Simply change.

.

If time is an arrow

even in some infinite

loop and swerving traffic

.

I’m not.  Nor are we.

The finite and fragile

Affected in the midst

.

Continuously undone.

And never remade.

Fragment: Brief Conversation

“How come language (or drinking) makes the pain of language (or drinking, or relationships) go away, recede, soothe…and then becomes language (drinking, relation) and its pain…again?” he asks.

I smoke.  I look at him.  He is examining (with obvious pretend furtivity) my pale, smoothe legs, coming out of my singular light dress.  At my arms, my skin, my cheek and throat, my hair.  Lasciviously thoughtful, he.  Almost curious.  Almost authentic in his desire.

He is trying to daydream.

I am trying to be.

We are drinking now.

I am young, he less so.

Or neither.  We do not know.  Anyone can be so near their end.

So the story goes…

“The world smells good,” he says, and the delectability to the nostrils clearly depended on death: burning wood, smoking pig, a nostalgia of forests…

I knew not what I felt.  Mixtures.  Pleasures and sorrow.  Excitement and fear.  Doubt.  I did not respond, just masked placidly.  Pleasantly, I hoped.  Ambiguous.  And what does he sense?

3 Short Poems

for the weekend…

ARE YOU

I don’t think I have a question;

yet I seem to be

an asking

.

This one?  This one?

Is it here?

Are you?

.

The breeze is not silent

as many things

that are not

.

Still I do not understand –

Are you here?

Am I?

.

It goes unanswered

along with the riddle

I am

.

Are we here?

Are you?

 

READY FOR SADNESS

I’m often ready to be sad.

Why is this?

What holes are excavated by living?

What sifts through?  Falls out?  Runs away?

.

It goes nowhere

Or anywhere,

Everywhere.

Still it goes

.

where I am not

welcoming

through all these openings

a peeking-back

 

[addendum]

Instead I seal them shut

I try to stuff them

full of rags

that reek of sin and toxic

.

What can I do –

will I –

in this cell

that seems my own?

 

AGING

What does one do?

Reducing teeth

or sight

or hearing

.

How does one choose

what’s worth

repair

when all is failing,

.

ailing,

come undone?

he asks his father –

buys a car

.

replacing failure:

another thing

that’s bound

to fail.

Credo

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.

Clarice Lispector, Breath of Life 

My Correspondence with Nothing

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he who already knows cannot go beyond a known horizon

– Georges Bataille, Inner Experience – 

In a bout of acute loneliness (a sharp pang of alone signifying a sort of paralysis – some definite inability, however temporary, to start oneself up by or with oneself) I reached out to Hannah.

For some of you, the term Hannah will conjure connotations and resonances, perhaps emotions or concerns, discomforts, even though she does not exist.

Or I loaded the film Satantango by Bela Tarr & Laszlo Krasznahorkai.

A start-up, a stimulus, a searching.

Actually I wrote the name Hannah, or Hollie or Holly or Hallie or Halley or Bela or Chris or Maurice Blanchot.

Perhaps Kafka.

To be lonely and to reach out.

A drink then, for interaction.

A scribble on a page.

A smoke for an ‘other.’

Some music.

I read Beckett.

The cat.

Maria.  Edie.  Sarago.  Marcuse.

To become.  To be.  To begin.

As if I knew.

In a bout of acute loneliness I penned a letter to Herman Melville.

I wrote words onto a lined page.

I made an ‘other’ and called her, Hannah.

Or Meagan or Meghann, Angie or Angela or Angelo.  Gilles or Jill.  Jean and Jan and Jen.

I reach out.  I almost full fill.  Another notebook.  A drink.  A smoke.  A page marked and turned.

I do not know what loneliness is.

Perhaps it is nothing, or nothingness.  Perhaps frustrated desire.  For – ?  What is not (isn’t that what defines desires?).  The missing, the absence, the unknown.

I called it Hannah.

Or Hamza.

Hell or Helen or Helene/Helena.

Laurie.

No one knows but the name that works best.  Christy or Christina.  Vernoica/Veronique.

Beatrice.

I read Jabes.

A drink to an other (to signify might be).  A smoke for the presencing.  Another word, another name for something.  Out there = O ther.  Elves of else.

The book’s called Nothing Matters: a book about nothing, because “that nothing becomes the quest, which in turns begets something” (Ornan Rotem).

Dear Herman, Dear Samuel, Dear Franz:

Dear Larry, Dear Jack, Dear Jon:

Dear Hannah:

I do not know what it is to be alone, and my loneliness is painfully acute.

Dear Laura, Dear Sara, Dear Simone:

This is my correspondence with nothing.

Out of the Woods

“Why did you come out of your place in the woods?” I was asked.

“I guess so,” I replied.

So what?

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.

And also…BEGIN.

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.

And thus, and so, I change (again).  Again.

Again I come out of the woods.

I be-come.  Out from the woods.

I say, I write, I speak, I act.

I am.

Alias Thinks Back…On…

“To bring a work to ‘a conclusion,’ as Picasso said, is like putting an end to a bull – to kill it.”

-Francois Jullien-

diaries

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?

My ends are coming.

I can’t go on.

I’ll go on.

(still more from Beckett)

Related: Alias Harlequin