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How stories are written.
They are experienced. They are felt, intimated, intuited and interpreted.
Sometimes spoken through or about.
They become body.
They are lived – if only imaginatively – they are invented (always).
If inescapable or unavoidable, the only way to “pass” them – find them, become in relation to them (i.e. ‘go on’) – is to expel, express them… put them outside the body, psyche, person: MAKE them, forge them, create with them…
“ex” (out-of) “term” (language) “in” (-scribe or –voke) “ate” (devourable form) them.
Stories are composed, inscribed, evoked, in order to ex-term-in-ate them. To live on – through and past – to survive what marks/marked the person who must process and be rid of them in order to… go on experiencing (live).
Search those tales that traverse your body – its space, and over time.
Watch what arises again and again – a trope, a chorus, a theme, a complaint.
Though memory (creative narrative), perhaps it holds a not-forgotten, an almost-permanence. That which seems to stay with you, in you, may be of you – there’s story there. Don’t worry truth. Truth never worries. And no stories are about it. And constructs of “facts” – or, agreement of observations and perceptions – hardly tells as well. Stories – good, real stories – lie in differences.
Perhaps difference is kind of true.
Practice synesthesia with what you uncover / discover: hear what you see; taste the sounds; feel what you smell; look deeply at all you touch; be something like a being – an organism whose senses are always combined in the perceiving and experiencing. That you are is a thing unto itself, and can not be exhausted as long as.
And so to write, to exscribe. In the beginning was… the true fact that you are, however doubting and unknowable. This too is experiencing. To be experiencing is to live. Prepositions and propositions notwithstanding.
And so it is said, a kind of exscription, a thinking-out-with. As breath surges sound or even whispers. To follow – not following – the forms of the objects (obstacles) – lungs and throat and palate, tongue and teeth and lips, not to mention faces and the movements of limbs and digits. The lineation of terms and letters, vocables and consonants – exscription-with, even air, atmosphere. And should the context change (and it is changing as you say, think, exscribe) – you write, you sound, you scribble, going-on-with…
Thus it is written.
And so it becomes.
Stories are an history of mortality. Where it begins in first awareness that it ends. And so memories, so comparisons – lessness and mostness and the little by little of forgetting. How it’s made through its undoing, to the last. We story only as we die.
What is it that was said? You say?
Dusk becomes, and a sort of lost.
The first way in, being out.
The forth is all. Experiencing.
Letting it air out. This seems important though many might advise that writing is a matter of devotion, dedication, discipline. Maybe it is? What have I written in way of stories? Much time is involved in the shaping of rivers’ courseways… and chance… and the continuous involvement of the with-out.
Re-membering that the activity and activist (one doing the activity – actor/actress?) are entirely muddled in the ‘between’ that equals: “Here.” Forging or forcing ex-scription tends to falsify the act and turn it towards an in-scription of something – report or epitaph, confession, statement, fable, style, form. But storying and writing, like living and all activity, are between formless and formed – taking form, forming. We are not producing or conveying information, we are in formation through the activity of writing. To assume a stance, a stasis, a point-of-view or position or stake… authorial authority or control – is to leave the messiness of “here” and arbitrate a “there.” No longer the presence-between sayer-and-saying, thinker-and-language, writing-and-written, imagining-and-inventing, feeler-and-feeling, etc… but reduced to a repetition of forms, ideas, concepts – borrowed, received, believed, or accepted (“in-formed”). Composed verses composing; produced versus producing; almost a copyist versus a compositor (with com-posing and com-positing referring to making-with, viewing-with, creating-with complex multiplicities).
Con-, com-, con-. With, with with- (these are the fields of ‘between’ where we are). Ever, always, only – between – experiencing through exscribing – this stays on, vibrating in the lettering, arcs and tones of the writing…as activity going-on. Experiencing. Energy. The forthness of creativity is its unknowable, indecipherable, inextricable withness. Perhaps.
Authorial authority or control a sort of repetition of law, convention, acceded power, regime(n). An attempt to step aside from the stream of experiencing and treat the activity of writing (or exscribing) not as an activity of being – alongside thinking, loving, believing, feeling, working, etc., – but something mechanical, technical, somehow outside the confluence of being, the flow of experiencing. Feigning objectivity, knowledge, pre-cluded rather than preludic (decided-before versus approaching the play or dance or swim of activity in complexity). Told versus happening. Production versus process. Untrue, or less or more than actual. Mortality – dead letter – versus verbal occurring…as-is.
To return to ending – the beginning of story – our limits, death, and finitude – that which forces us to forge – to attempt memories, notate change as loss or gain, seek patterns, learn, sing, exscribe, act… imagine… dream… craft and create – the knowing, the reality, that experiencing is not endless. Attend: it ends.
And so we story.
Exscribing…experiencing…what there is, while there is, along many modes of action. What is perceived as happening and runnels through the body, swirling currents of memory, the staining of refrains… and the activity of exscribing it – of moving it out-with-in-to relation of world as compositing – not copying, stating, reporting – but ever keeping in mind that the activity of writing is also a live, indeterminate, and infinitely complex way of being-with-world… we are hardly machines translating experience, or computers spitting out data… everything we do so long as we’re living, is living – alive and uncertain, conformation-with everything that surrounds and drowns us. Participation. Being.
Exscribing as a process of being alive.
“If there is progress then there is a novel.”
William Carlos Williams
You wait for it to come, grow, become. You may be waiting forever. Like love.
Perhaps it will visit, pass by. You’ll notice, probably feel hopeful, or inspired. Forlorn.
You’ll keep trying, as in waiting. Wanting and waiting are such wrestlers.
From time to time you’ll dream. Fantasies and nightmares.
But language will twist your words.
“Today I wrote nothing.”
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…
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
It is called.
Loss, we name it.
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
And never remade.
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.
To be lonely and to reach out.
A drink then, for interaction.
A scribble on a page.
A smoke for an ‘other.’
I read Beckett.
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.
Hell or Helen or Helene/Helena.
No one knows but the name that works best. Christy or Christina. Vernoica/Veronique.
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:
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.
“It is the slowness of the art of writing, in its mechanical execution, that for years now has at times repelled and discouraged me: the wasted time of a writer throwing words on the page.“
Julien Gracq – Reading Writing
for Jean Lee @ Jean Lee’s World, with apologies
I really “mean” it when I say that I don’t know what I am writing, and that the REAL WHY is because I want to write, and am able, and that I honestly have no character, event, or idea in mind or body as I apply this mediatory marking instrument (ball-point-pen) between whatever-myself-is and this-blank-lined-paper.
I truly might be WASTING LIVING TIME.
OR…might be recording something useful…providing traces…leaving marks of process…like masturbation, cooking, politics, or work – HOW LIVING TIME IS “WASTED.”
Who knows? The scientists? Or neurobiologists? The philosophers or anthropologists? Historians? Pastors? Sociologists? CEOs? Artists? Who determines (evaluates and judges) what is “waste” from what is “significant”/”important”? Do humans? Does Time?
For what it’s worth, I have an ellipsis of minutes I am not (apparently) needed by children, pets, work, or world…and so I have taken up a writing tool and am drawing letters in collectives called words onto an empty section of a blank lined notebook.
Is this valuable? Don’t we wonder or ask this regarding every action and breath? From holding a child, to exercise; fixing plumbing to sleeping? Laundry. School. DOES THIS MATTER?!? And, if it might, to WHOM or WHAT…why?
I cannot imagine to whom it might matter that I am stumbling out sentences with nothing in mind other than WRITING, TO-BE-WRITING – excepting my insignificant eperiencing of “self” that WANTS TO BE WRITING – in any case. Therefore, I AM writing.
All those who seem to depend on me for their well-being, survival (or SENSE of same) also SEEM to be surviving and existing at relative comfort. Those who purchase (shamefully) my “LIFE.TIME” via employment – have proffered the day off as a normative weekend practice. For the time being, apparently NOTHING has immediate NEED of me, so I am left to determine what to do with “TIME.”
And because I overhear myself continuously complaining, desiring, wishing and bemoaning that I ‘never have time’ to write – I AM WRITING. Because.
As far as I can tell, I am writing nothing (of worth) because, as much as I desire to write, I actually don’t know WHAT to write, or for WHOM, or WHAT – and so i am just WRITING because. Serving no one, not even myself, yet perhaps. Perhaps, because the WANT or URGE “to write” as a writer…is NOT to WRITE SOMETHING (as far as I can surmise – albeit I also regularly wish I were writing something ‘great’ or ‘evental,’ etc…) but truly is simply to be IN THE ACT OF…WRITING, which I AM, and therefore I cannot know what good any of it does beyond being what I wish I were doing…becoming ACTUAL.
Wishes come true: I AM WRITING.
To no point of purpose but the fulfillment of desire: I AM DOING WHAT I WANT TO BE DOING: I AM WRITING. And it does feel good, and part of it (I think) feels good because I am unable to discover a path, direction, or ‘way’ for it to feel good FOR.
In conclusion: I AM WRITING
and this is: WHAT I WANTED TO BE.
(to/for whomever wherever whatever)
i.e. IN FACT – I AM WRITING.
This is long, and really, perhaps, does not belong here. Reading through notebooks to find references to Alias and Laramie in order to continue the trail or trace of them… I happened upon a set of pages that seemed like something under or inside the emergence of Alias and thought it might be interesting to some. Or, just something to not lose to memory, but archive in this auspicious and fragile space.
Do I think this is my last probable chance (at 45)?
(it’s undecided, presently)
then this would = my final
What would I tell you – you few that have made the time worth being?
T, A, I, O, S, K, H, J, perhaps J. Arvo Part, certainly Blanchot, Pessoa, Bronk, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Jabes, Cixous, Rilke, William James, Schiele, maybe MK. Assuredly TWDY, Bach…well, too many to mention.
Whom else? Whom else, really? Dad? Mom?
In any case – the children, H – H because truly the past two years demonstrated an adult, freely-selected relationship in a way surpassing but only referenced by S, V, PJ, perhaps, no, perhaps J – what H has explored with me re: the world and life really I’d only imagined before.
Therefore – indecision (as ever).
IF the “best” experiences rise up out from the worst (often), out of ‘end(s)’ – beginnings surprise, then how can I know (as I age) if a better-yet does not exist?
It becomes a decision of ‘enough’ or not.
A personal decision.
If I can only imagine repetition with variation, and I’m already tired and starting to ‘ail’ – then the logical decision is to stop. To peace. To quiet.
As re: T, A, I, O (my children) – in EVERY case what lies ahead is far beyond repetition with variation – much unknown, much novel, much uncharted territory to experience.
As regards H, and adult self-selected relations of emotion/passion/intimacy – probably (seems to me) little could surpass…only possibly in elements, but – enough?
That is the question – always
If “stop,” no more. Yes it will effect, hurt, harm, perhaps enable – the others (T, A, I, O, M, D, J, H, etc.) but I won’t be aware of that anymore. It’s just DONE. OVER. SIMPLY.
If “keep going” – then demonstrating a care/concern/attention for the others’ lives – T, A, I, O, etc…) that THEIR lives are worth staying alive to see, and that – who knows?! – maybe my own life still offers more truly worth experiencing.
Perpetual conundrum, weighing lives – my own little one versus a host (however small) of others – it would seem theirs count for more than mine (alone).
Hard to say.
I guess we’ll all find out tomorrow what “I” decide. Not ambitious to keep working just to feed and pay bills. I have little confidence I’m capable of making something world-enhancing. But as a parent, a friend, etc., it doesn’t feel fair to make the decision without considering their preferences as well.
I like to think I don’t like to be selfish.
I would live in the country. Woods, preferably, mountains not too far away. And rain, plenty and regular rain.
There would be hours in the day. Hours for loving, hours for reading, for working, for learning, for play. Enough hours. Hours to think about the hours, the learning, the loving, the play, and hours to think the hours writing.
I’m aging. Hair, beard, muscles, flesh all going long. Mind. Long(ing). Time, not so. Seems shortening, shortened, fore-shortened…by the hour. I wish for hours. For time. For children, partner, places, books. For human.
She would be there. Close, somewhere, sometimes. We would wander, would work, would learn, play. Would be there, away.
The children would come. Would visit, report, eat, learn, work, play. Sometimes we would laugh. Sometimes perhaps weep or cry. Contact.
Wood would be sawed. Water drawn. Yes it hurts now – knees, shoulders, joints, bones. Slowed. Steady, almost. Still dark but peppered, frosted with gray. I’m aging. Tired. Memory almost all made up already. Thought always seems new, possible. Touch. Strength. Sound.
Hours. Gone ever so soon. Thought, then paper, then feeling begins (or the other ways around?), then gone.
The pen. The paper. Lust. Flesh. Language. Learning. Where is the time? Too much required for each daily need.
A joker, a harlequin. Another, another. Another other in the midst of me. Mottled mangle, Alias. Running out of time. Running down the times, the memory, the full flesh of desires, its theory and knowledge, its aspects and affects. So very many aspects. Hand gains speed, cursive loops thin to lines. Skimped satisfaction.
I like it to take time – loving, learning, working, play. But the hours grow thin. Shortcuts, swerves, abbreviations, tastes. Hints now. Breezes. Nostalgia.
Growing monument – what cannot be said – will not – the ineffable – unsayable. Ungrasped.
How though, to here? Piecemeal person. Farm labor, religion, sport, education, family. Plains, harvest, accidents. Mountains, Mexico, Europe, lists. Music, poetry, philosophy – earliest companions – a few pets, kaleidoscope of selves, the river, the sky.
Deaths. But no death here (yet). Just on, scrappy, incisive, insecure, haphazard. Books. Remiss without mention of books and relentless ache for books and ‘broads.’ Women and words, the headstone says. Women, words, wisdom(?). Nature.
To explore. Internal, external, outward, inward bound. Sciences and arts. Creativity and logic. Psychology, anthropology, complexity and chaos, nihilism. Literature and lust. Words and women. Matter and mind.
I’d have quiet mostly. No mouths to feed, no herds or pets or things to tend. Nothing to care for. Hours. Hours to tend. With mind intact, a library, papers and pens. And lonely land, mostly cloudy, cool, drizzly, wet. And legs to stand on, arms to haul. Eyes to see, please keep these eyes a-seeing – yes they’ve heaps of assistance – but please not a final fail. Not the inner darkness, nor colorless clouds. Hearing first, before vision. If the vision is gone – ?
Breath. Biosemiosis. The sign and signal of being – a body for meaning. Complex. Confused. Barely contained. Unspecified. Though wobbling to, fro, sound, precept, percept, interpret, sense. Hope. Hope of vision, of sex, of knowledge, health – something, something – beyond, more, still…
Alias sighs. Perhaps beautiful still, but soiled and tired. Undone. Who is this one? Which one? How. Who this be? Alias i. e. Harlequin. Unnameable, the attempt to name, creating traces of not-these.
“man is but a patched fool”
-Shakespeare, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act IV, scene i
In an act of rebellion and a kind of self-serving exorcism or slate-clearing (what blog is NOT an attempt at an entity’s expression, communication?), and facing the duress of weeks burdened with commitments and inescapable responsibilities…[in other words]…I intuit I am encountering a “time” (weeks / months / foreseeable futures?) that I deduce as laden – somehow preordained – for preoccupations of employment, previously established obligations – freighted with encumberances complexly negotiated…[under pressure I compose]…and so I search for a project [as is my way] that is FOR ME[?] (something autotrophic, self-cannibalizing and nourishing at once, individually comprised and contained) an insurrection and defiance honoring self [so I surmise] facing compulsion…
…and I unearth these 9 Notebooks…all aborted undertakings from the past 12 months…via which I propose to mount mutiny by posting all that seems potentially warranted in them [upon re-reading as if the first time, long forgotten]…toward little other purpose than for purging, opening, erasing – a clearinghouse of efforts – that might evolve toward some novel substitution, unforeseen modification, development, emergence…
“this is what directs him to learning – where he may encounter fragments of his own existence,
fragments that are still within the context…”
– Walter Benjamin on Franz Kafka –
There will be stories, concepts, poems, characters, reflections, essays…and ephemeral scraps like these…
- think feel – attune to meaning – reflect and refract
- befriend your body, take care with your mind
- be gentle, be open. move fluidly, breathe
- go alert to your dreams
- wish more than hope, walk don’t run, run sometimes
- be careful of rules, they’re always changing, it’s the nature of the rule, the measure, the standard
- keep your eyes and ears open, along with heart and mind – only let things close into pleasure and pain – and that more of a wince
- don’t be afraid of your story – write and rewrite it, edit and revise, revise, revise, and write it again