I always wondered at my naming – “Alias V.” Not knowing where I come from, and finding all locatable Harlequins tricky and at play.
“Alias Verbum” – who would name an infant that? Another name, a word. Also known as, logos. Usually I identify as iota subscript, after Robert Frost.
No one knows my origin, but he’s very hard to find, everywhere, continually on his odyssey.
i‘m reading a book entitled “How Words Make Things Happen.” What have we made? Ideas, spells; subjects, objects, and actions. Incantations all. Beginnings, I suppose, but not the first.
As I understand it, aging along, someone had to be there for me to come about, and coming-about would be my story. Who or what might tell it? Acted, sung, or read? Becoming other after other after other. Known again as… by any other name. The player. The trickster. The Joke.
In the beginning was… and I began, an alias of something… and everything its word.
The praxis of empty signifiers : words : full of sound and fury.
If you accept the ‘I’, or find a name to call yourself – like using a credit card received in the mail (illusion of invisible funds), what do you charge to it, and does it always end in debt?
Does it make of you a consumer to believe the ‘I’? To use self-reference as a token or coin?
How soon do “my” and “mine” follow after, even though each object, event, or transaction, is clearly only a loan?
What is charged to the ‘I’ must be paid back – to put it in legal or religious terms.
Be careful what you say.
Wittgenstein claimed that we mostly speak without giving full meaning to the terms we use – that we ought remain silent whereof we cannot speak with adequate comprehension. Where we sing beyond our knowing –
very few (if any) utterances comply.
But how learn anything (even the untrue) without not-knowing? Without composing walls to break apart or knock upon, to breach or to climb? Without making it up to unlearn and repent of?
A word changes direction.
It’s happening as I write or think or imagine this. As if.
As if it signified something. I write with sound and fury. Into silence.
It’s what ‘I’ do – so I should do it! (shouldn’t I?!)
I seem to know I’m alive by touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, seeing – things other… feeling, sensing, perceiving… crafting empty signifiers like nostrils, like a tongue, a kind of eyesight and ear, my fingertips. My flesh on loan. To be paid back.
In debt to what then? ‘World’? To sing. To sound. To dance a little. Imagine.
If I am given the sound of leaves as they crisp and color the Autumn breeze, refracturing light; if I can smell the moisting decay (debts repaid by undoing what was charged), if I can gather them with my hands and roil about them with my body, if I can bake the seeds and chew, take them in…
…what does ‘I’ owe?
You sentence me: two I’s. I hear your melodious song. You whisper, close.
I say ‘I love.’ Terms lacking comprehension. Metaphysics. Their meanings beyond knowing. Unlearned. “We” are (whereof we cannot speak).
Charging invisible funds we become responsible for. Obligated.
Swiping our cards for contents.
What do we owe?
What do we know?
What can we?
Each their own set limits. Sometimes raised, sometimes lowered, depending on our fidelity to pay with interest.
We owe. We all of us owe.
Even for our silence.
Even cash-only – that empty signifier – words. Even simply action. ‘I move’ – is a statement on credit, like breath.
Sweet burst of being! To “is.” To “I.” To “we.” All so heavily borrowed, contingently. Imagine.
Imagine what it means. To owe.
Again I break the silence of what I do not know via signs of repentance. These words.
Dear Michael, Dear Jonathan, Dear Scott, Dear Laurie, Dear Lydia, Dear Sam; Dear Meghann, Dear Summer, Dear Tyler and Karl; Dear Edie, Dear Sara, Dear Mari; Dear Albert, Dear Paul, Dear Denise; Dear Tristan, Dear Aidan, Dear William; Dear Andy, Dear Pippin, Dear James; Dear Timothy, Dear Jada, Dear all of you who save my life from time to time, by being:
Perhaps I should not own a phone. It’s Short Message Service, in my employ, allows a nearly ubiquitous, immediate reach of the text, from my thumbs.
Thank you for telling me about the exhibition, I have the retrospective tome near me even now, attempting to go in and near the two-dimensional images on paper. It is not the same as being present to the sculptures and paintings, their ambience. But now I know I could not move around them, nor touch them, I’d have only to use my eyes and very little of my body.
This obsession with connection. Once I would have had to go to work unlinked to any of you for hours at a time. Once my going home would mean your absence unless we arranged for sharing space and time. Now I reach, I report, I ask and beg, and enter your lives like someone shoving a newspaper, pamphlet or flyer into your hands at will – without contact – propaganda blaring from speakerless speakers.
Your mails and email show deference and thought. I am happy to have your works near at hand to consult and resort to time and again. I see the care in the hand-writing, the pacing of thoughts, the reasoning reflection, the sense of your audience. They lie about me on the floor, I can feel them, turn them, taste them if I wish.
Your phone makes a hum or a buzz. An ejaculatory missive from Filbert again. He’s lonely, he’s excited, he’s drunk. He wants to share. He needs to share. He needs communique. He wants connection. He is not thinking of us, he suffers the duress of himself. He spouts, he shouts, he slurs. He insists he needs solitude and rest, needs quiet, less public. At any hour, at all hours, these textual packets flow.
Perhaps I should not own a phone.
Where do the gaps that make the heart grow fonder bloom? What is banal and what evental?
Thank you for your poem. I will read it again and again. Thank you for that clip of music, I repeat it throughout the days, when the mood demands an answer. Thank you for your books, your artifacts, your gardens, your hands. Thank you for your eye-contact (those of you I’ve sat or walked, camped or climbed with). Thank you for the melodies of your particular voices. Thank you for your hugs, your nourishing, your care. Your listening.
I do remember the ground there, how it fell away desperately or rose violently into sky. What the birds did. Where the fire flowed. Yes, the leaves. Yes, the sleeping bags. Here’s to the unknown trails, the stumbling, to whatever’s discovered.
I am sorry I flood your phones with less than thoughtful driveling – explosions of fear, anxiety, want. Am I alone? Am I alone? Do I matter? Does anyone want my voice? Am I also missed? But also love. Yes, sometimes I merely wish to tell you the difference you make to being alive, that I feel you out there, somewhere…
I do not doubt that we are all capable of learning to freeze. Or starve to death, for that matter. Death will not be a stranger for any, for long.
There are reasons we are constituted in uncertainty.
We are able to learn.
It’s why I told her how much I trusted her. To change. And therefore never knew anything, asking so many questions, again and then again, about plans. Who knew when? or then? or now? I said. Things fluctuate as they die.
Or I never knew. Having so little to do with facts or truth, beliefs or trust. IS is always something else. Or here is always different. NOW has never been, in other words. Even if the words are the same.
And. So. On.
There is music. And recognition – recognizability – (memory?) – a passion for pattern, a shine to similar, a longing for location, locatability. For what it’s worth – a pronounced inaccuracy and pro-found nostalgia. As the ‘similar’ is founded on what’s been experienced before (pro-found), and at least less than (or more?) than present. Pre-sent? NOW was given / sent before? I doubt that… but feel wary that that’s all we’ll ever know, never quite catching up to being.
In another sense: the inherent lag of perception. How old (again, pre-supposedly) are the stars we ‘see’? Or the squirrel on yonder branch; your eyes across the table; our held hands… by the time they register?
What happens, “now”? And why are we occupied with what we call “next” when we can’t even exist at once’s occurring? Seeking a head start? A virtual or imagined pre-sent?
Yes I heard what you said…after you’d said it.
There’s our “now.”
The cut from stepping on glass… and then the pain… later.
The bite of food, licks of flesh, kisses… and then the tasting.
The breeze and then the leaf, light and then its outline. Mostly shadow.
“Hello,” I reply in turn, but your head already bowed and path resumed, on the far sidewalk.
I fall behind.
Suppose this is why, in conversation, ever losing our way in delay, we ask “where were we?” rather than “where are we?” What is it we wish to know? Where do we hope to be with one another?
As I was saying – with requisite gap between whatever may have been transpiring in my ‘mind’ (or whereverywhere thinking occurs) and the sludgy musculature, instruments, and carefully crafted formulation of alphabetic symbols to display attempts of communication or composures…
The month of March, in Kansas, can be almost anything, like most of the other months of the year, almost. Tonight it is moisty, breezy, there is wetness hovering like a redolent air, nearly a fog. I am killing myself. You are feeding me. I sharpen your knives in the kitchen. From the top of my throat toward deep in my belly is an acidic ruin caused by far too many liters of hard alcohol in far too much volume, too often, for too many hours of too many days over too many years to not be transforming my internal landscape into a ravaged terrain of destruction. So though I’m unable to breathe, speak, lie down, or work without unignorable hurt, I am still useful. I am sharpening your knives in your modest kitchen. I am reading and writing sentences. I am trying to keep myself from you. You are preparing a meal for us, and I find it so difficult to stay away from you – to not breathe at your ear, kiss or nibble your neck, grasp at your bottom, finger your elbows, hover, caress, overwhelm.
Boundaries are reduced in mist and wind. In motion it can be hard to tell where the lines that mark objects begin or end. In cloaks of obscurity finding shapes or sounds, edges or entries, can be, well, con-fusing (over-mixed, blended, woven)… as perhaps any “thing” we try to think apart ‘in fact’ always is… “inscrutable,” “indivisible,” “unclear.”
If you extricate the ginger from the garlic from the cabbage from the chicken from the oil, the rice, the salt, the pepper, the lime and ancho, the butter, the liquids and oxygens, thicknesses and scents… where is the meal? If you separate “me” out from “world,” relations, surround (like a theory, a concept, a logic…) how might I then live, or “be” what you presume me to be? I will not, cannot, am not (removed from my surround) and so it goes… limbs and flesh and organs… dissect… to cells and fluids, molecules and motions, viscosity and energy… to atoms… to subatomic ‘particles’ and/or ‘waves’ – and at each dismantle you will have lost the entity you proposed or pursued.
Division does not equal.
You’ve quoted out of context – neither copied, reproduced, nor plagiarized. Simply failed. Missed. Lost.
The burning rot, corrosive erosion of my body by the maladies of my preferences, pleasures, and habits…
…erasure of letters, terms, phrases, meanings…
…excision and surgery, atopic autopsying of…
…are things already dead, deceased once de-cised, as ‘identifiable portions or pieces, ‘things'”?
These written marks with definable shapes and spaces… yet if disjoined… no sense can be had…
What might “it,” “I,” be… apart-from?
I lay on a ground I cannot stand up without, cannot jump, move, fly or float away without…
I address you – impossibly – unless we’re inseparable… otherwise address and interaction cannot…
The gesture recognizes the necessary collusion as a dream of a fictive repartee, a figurative gap which – if there really were a break or breach – would have no effect or recognition – no reach, no contact…
Relation is repetition of conjoinment, actions without function if connectedness is not always already…
…as if drawing attention toward redundancy.
And so we kiss, we eat, we call out, we listen, as repercussions of contact… reassurances of inseparability. You reach for your phone, I fall to sleep, unable to be undone or we would not be able to know