Inexpressibles

The Three Oddest Words

When I pronounce the word Future,
the first syllable already belongs to the past.

When I pronounce the word Silence,
I destroy it.

When I pronounce the word Nothing,
I make something no non-being can hold.

 

By Wislawa Szymborska
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

Copyright © Wislawa Szymborska, S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

thank you Unwanted Advice

Doing Undone

It would have to be fragmentary, partial

perhaps pointing, with hope,

like us, living things,

at any given moment:

 

saying things, not yet said,

ever in the midst of acts,

if there happens to be a real

it must be incomplete and full

of undoing and becoming,

of perhapses and oops

 

I had started out

at some point,

apparently ‘past,’

taking up this pen

and applying it to this

paper,

open screen, unknowable unknown,

had started out toward

an I

in order to write

“I had started out”

 

but all is different now

and now again,

again, again,

 

pointing hope

in fragments

assertions and insertions

of possible reals or facts,

some happenings of actuals

be-fore (in face of, in lieu)

words or some expression

 

impression

It stares out, staring in,

fractured and non-finished,

fetishized with objects

that stand for something else,

 

always something else

than what “is” or which has been,

unable otherwise,

simply is

-ing,

unfinished and hardly calculable,

impossible/compossible

and inexhaustibly exhaustible

perhaps

 

seemingly unfinished

and without beginning

(or we would ‘start’)

 

on a way then, in

midst of,

doing toward undone,

We are. Are we not.

knottyhands

Beginning this way, I have jettisoned my goal.

No one is able to say precisely when it will rain, until it is raining.  Not this one.  Nor…

At times it is raining.

 

When will I be here? Or, better, perhaps – When am I here?  (Already?  Again?)  How?

Am I when and where I love you?  And how?  Forego why, too complicated.

 

Say “I am this one who loves you” now and now and now again.  As if a presence on repeat, differently again.  Registers and tones; layers, levels, circumstance; sense/nonsense and the liquid continuum between.

Who are you?

Say “you are the one this one loves.”  Or the many.  Or the one this one loves in relation to I.  Or the other-than-one loving other-than-one, here, now, again, again, differently.

When is this love?  And how?  Dropping why in the craggy abyss, as it dissipatively floats, up and away.  Where is this love?

I begin.  It is raining.  Say that you are.  If I say that you are, or how, when, or why, I have failed what I set to inscribe (you).  Say now.  I just missed it.  Say love, saying what?

I’m aware of your absence with pain I can’t tell.  I say “love.”  I say “miss.”  I say “yearn.”  Goal discarded.

Please say that you are.  I will be that relation.  Will not.  And I am.

It is raining.  What it?  Say I am and you are.  Less than one and still more, it’s becoming.  Undone.  The suture begins in the cut.  We are we.  We might be, when we are.  Now and now, say now, and is differently.

We’re unfound in this you and this I inter-change.  Inter-change-able as we.  And we’re not.  Either you or an I as these two, but not quite, there’s an extra: BETWEEN.

Which is nothing, like water in air, molecules known by connections.  Re-cognized.  Understanding might pull them apart, separate, while reason(s) constructs some assemblage.

Say I love you, as this one to this.  Say it’s so, without knowing, ‘cause with.  In between, together; understanding, a part; reasoning a sort of equation.

Where am I?  I appear in this with.  Who are you?  This one forming between.  When now comes it is raining, again, again different.  Some of the notion we are.

On Being Other

On Being Other

(after Heidegger, on Holderlin)

 

Broken off from origin: gods, family, homeland.

Early switched direction – turning back, against, since.

No belonging.  No church, no community of mortals.

Reliant on the peaks and the abyssal.

No lasting love, but efforts toward convention –

when giving up –

even offspring, domesticity,

varietous employment,

almost friends.

No lasting commerce, always in-between,

feeling resistance and restraint,

constraints of discipline and need,

of longings, love, and lust.

Searching Other

fueled by others – across the times –

creators of the peaks and their abysses.

Oscillation.

Not yet rational, it commences –

undone in the unknowing, uncertain constant flow

generates turbulence toward an opening

or a gap, some kind of fold –

“run up hard against the unsayable.”

the closing line is a quotation from Heidegger’s

lectures on Holderlin’s poems “Germania” & “The Rhine”

The Want for a Story : Texts for Nothing

Beckett_TextQuote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But all those are “more-than.”

The Myth in the Verse

The River of Bees

BY W. S. MERWIN

In a dream I returned to the river of bees

Five orange trees by the bridge and

Beside two mills my house

Into whose courtyard a blindman followed

The goats and stood singing

Of what was older

.

Soon it will be fifteen years

.

He was old he will have fallen into his eyes

.

I took my eyes

A long way to the calendars

Room after room asking how shall I live

.

One of the ends is made of streets

One man processions carry through it

Empty bottles their

Image of hope

It was offered to me by name

.

Once once and once

In the same city I was born

Asking what shall I say

.

He will have fallen into his mouth

Men think they are better than grass

.

I return to his voice rising like a forkful of hay

.

He was old he is not real nothing is real

Nor the noise of death drawing water

.

We are the echo of the future

.

On the door it says what to do to survive

But we were not born to survive

Only to live

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

 

Current Reading Sampling – 2016

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

2016

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

My whole life long”

– Georges Bataille

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

Works for survival:

Writers, Antoine VolodineAntoine Volodine, Writers

Maurice Blanchot, The Space of Literature

Samuel Beckett, The Grove Centenary Editions

Franz Kafka, I Am a Memory Come Alive

Enrique Vila-Matas, Bartleby & Co.

Montano’s Malady

Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus

William James, The Writings of William James

Mikhail Bakhtin, Works of

Edmond Jabes, The Book of Questions

Works that expand:

Friedrich Kittler, Discourse Networks, 1800/1900

William Franke, A Philosophy of the Unsayable

Ian Hodder, Studies in Human-Thing Entanglement

Paolo Virno, When the Word Becomes Flesh

Werner Hamacher, Minima Philologica

Giorgio Agamben, The Coming Community

Paul Feyerabend, Against Method

Laramie Poeticus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laramie Backstagger sighed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Absence of Center

“poetic language directs us not towards what gathers together but rather towards what disperses, not towards what connects but rather towards what disjoins, not towards work but rather towards the absence of work […], so that the central point towards which we seem to be pulled as we write is nothing but the absence of center, the lack of origin…”

-Francoise Collin on Blanchot

maurice-blanchot-4

http://research.uvu.edu/albrecht-crane/486R/Peter%20Pal%20Perbart.pdf

http://research.uvu.edu/albrecht-crane/486R/Peter%20Pal%20Perbart.pdf

http://research.uvu.edu/albrecht-crane/486R/Peter%20Pal%20Perbart.pdf

http://research.uvu.edu/albrecht-crane/486R/Peter%20Pal%20Perbart.pdf

Needing the Other

Ghandi - Interdependence

Sometimes we weep, “I need you so much.”

 

Do we grieve from the weight of the need?

Or the needing of differing things?

Do we weep that our need’s not provided?

 

We need.

And need differing things.

And need other than can be provided.

 

As long as the grief is not shame.

For what harm in need?

Like anything else,

we depend

-in truth-

on a world

made of so many

things –

to exist, to alive,

to continue.

 

And why not one another?

 

I am and you are

Without which we are not

 

That is need,

that is all,

that is fact.

 

Without air, food or water

the body declines.

Without commerce,

event,

the mind will not thrive.

Without you

what is I

will diminish.

 

That is nature.

 

There’s no shame in the needing.

No recall in the fail.

The “meeting” is all –

the approach and response,

the expression of need

and its answer.

 

Insufficient and varied,

incomplete and alloyed,

is never the fault of the need –

only moment.

 

“I need you,” I weep,

and I do, it is true,

and the you that is current

needs me.

That is all.

It is fact.

It’s the case.

We can change it, okay.

We can do.

 

But the need will remain,

because that’s how we are

dependent by nature

on nature, on world,

on persons and places and things –

on each other.

 

We’re human, you see?

Altogether because

We BE from the CAUSE

of each other.