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Who – would I listen to, be remade among today?
And where from a resistance?
We always know (somewhere in our bodies or bones) that ‘to begin’ was begun
long before what ‘begins.’
It is raining.
We say, “the rain has begun.” How long ago?
We say, “I am here, now.” For -?
Where are we? How much?
We are there. Continuously outstripping a here.
And how? How? How indeed.
So what is it – that we are seeing?
What is it we think we see?
How? Why? Why that and not other(s)?
Propensity. Proprioception. Perspective.
Always already before or begun?
I’ve written before (again and again
when I take up the pen):
“I set out.”
From where? Why? When? and whom?
Still how? How? How, indeed.
He looks in.
Into what? And from where?
We set out.
per language, per feeling, per sensational thought,
per activity, movement, receipt.
We set out.
because I haven’t posted anything in quite awhile, and because I have been writing, but because nothing has seemed publicly interesting or worthy. And yet, some representative scrap-examples of the past couple months….
It happens to be quiet here, sunny and cool after a damp, cloudy day, nearing dusk, studying suicide(s) and languaging. Thinking of my children and loves, family, my own strange trajectory, feeling flabby and less than optimally healthy, but not quite hopeless or dead. The world has a certain, conspicuous fullness, after all.
We experience time without believing in it. And it’s complicated to know what we believe. I do not understand facts (so-called). Events. Places. Persons. Everything seems more motile than we think. And finite, and brief, ephemeral. Liquid, as it were.
I never encounter the same child, parent, lover, or friend. Not “my” yard, home, car, path. Even the rocks and books are changed, even the words and numbers. We are never still.
Given Two Hours: A Potential Entry
or, My failures are easy to find.
or, I was never good at math (that includes geometry).
Kafka said: “Life is merely terrible…one or two hours for writing is not enough… ten hours would be perfect, but since perfection cannot be achieved one must at least come as close to it as possible, and not give a thought to sparing oneself…”
So, 10 minutes then, maybe half an hour, before inevitable intrusions or interruption: children calling “Dad!,” “I love you!,” “I need…,” or the coffee or vodka run out, or bladder, or laundry needs switching or a stranger waves or a parent calls or…
Also the bills need paid.
And now I’m tired.
Given two hours, and only 32 books to read today, and a fresh, blank, lined notebook… perhaps I should write in pencil today – what did I have in me so burning to get at, out, smoldering and smoking in there as if about to blow… and a limited window… and an urge, a compulsion really [“what kid!?!…yeah, that’s fine, go ahead” What? the phone rang? Why say that to me? The oven ding’d? What!? So what!? What? Why?]…where was I?
Oh yes, Beckett: having nothing to write and desperately compelled to… in pencil? No, too easy, too impermanent, erasable – which is why I can’t use these electric jobbies tapping at vanishing light – if a keystroke makes it disappear why choose a key at all? No necessary difference, hardly any time or effort involved in devolution – what ‘correction’? What where to correct? Pen will serve fine, pen and paper, various inky colors, the muscles of my hand forcing lines into letters to words to phrases, perhaps meanings (from somewhere into otherwheres – ‘meanings’): the ache, the minutes, the struggle, the thoughts… writing. “Ten hours would be perfect…” given that “there is nothing to express, nothing with which to express, nothing from which to express, together with the obligation to express…”
Well maybe not so many nothings, there is language after all (the little I know, and that always changing, unsteady, ambiguously loaded with history, culture, and a billion other author-ities… and billions yet to come upon any reading or hearing)…so maybe so many nothings after all…certainly the “from which” and the “is.”
Nevertheless, given two hours… (“ten would be perfect…”) maybe something will come of all the nothing confused in the effort and exercise, the obligation and chaos and chance of tangling with language indelibly, in pen, on paper, of matter. Something to live with, on, against, work at, anyway.
The surprised way she says “I love you!” for instance. Variable emphases, nearly uptoned into question, almost astonishingly emitted, as if amazed at admitting some sound-noun, naming an unknown representation – what evokes or revokes as experienced. “Wah!? I love you?!” “Wha-?! I love you??” “Wait!? I love you?!” etc… varietous befuddlement presenting…nothing?! Who knows. But she says it, and with all the madness of disbelief and unbelieving wonder. For what is there to believe? Does anyone know?
Given two hours, perhaps will get somewhere. I learned about it from language, and anything I’ve heard about it has come round that way as well. Needless to say. Yet each occasion, each her or him and subsequent emittance or pronouncement, promise or claim of expression, is never the same, nor often even that similar… “love” seems to have no stable referent, and yet apparently it is rife in the world, like violence or lying, or hate.
I’m trying to ‘think about it”… with the assistance of shaping something of material trace and difficult erasure.
“I love you!?!”
Intuitively (or habitually?) I perceive and interpret her intoned curiosity as all about me – solipsistically (intuitively, perceptually, and learned) – her astonishment must be that (of all humans) she discovers herself obscurely (the nature of the ‘love’-beast) loving “ME” (i.e. ‘you’ in the phrase) – me, the hardly lovable mishmash mess with large laundry lists of problems and unlikelihoods, aged and unattractive, mired in single-parenting, alcohol, odd literary obsessions and wildly improbable dreams and plans, thoughts and tastes… her surprise must be ALL ABOUT ME – what a wonder that such as she should find herself mystery-feeling toward this one!
But I was flummoxed as well… often when I can’t help saying the phrase of cliche’d madness, I too feel startled by the sound and urge of it: “I love you!?!” And again I devour it all as having to do with ME. (I never question HER lovability – youthful, beautiful, intelligent, copiously interesting and talented, sexy, etc.) – it seems a wonder that “I” – in my accruing age, multiple divorces, quatro children, ailing vitality, addictions, moderate learning, boring introverted and nearly solitary routines – might still find myself convinced there was no other term for this cynically skeptical ominous and overwhelming desire, this severe joy and delightful anguish I was experiencing toward this quite obviously deserving human specimen. The alarm must be that “I” might be capable whatsoever of such an unlikely happening – wherewithal in my condition, situation, state-of-being (if such it could be called). In whatever case, EGO is a whale, our largest mammal by far, even when proclaiming its undoing, inadequacy, or failure.
But she says it again, and again, and yet again, and continually wonder-full-y. As do I find myself unable to cease exclaiming the phrase – at times in return or reply, and often uncalled-for, as if there where simply nothing else for it. “It” – that untangleable knot of what we (similarly indecipherable to “love”) entitle “experience.” And again. And again. As if repeating it coincides to making it ‘the case’ – some truth, a factual reality. And we are concomitantly evolving a stress on the syllables “love” and “you.” The phrase almost trinitarian or as necessarily pointed as ancient rules for a triangle. I.e. without which (any point): NOT. That started me thinking about the other nodes and angles beyond “I,” tectonically realizing how “I” was gobbling up both “love” and “you” as if they were all synonyms of a one-lined bar (“I”) rather than thoroughly separate shifters, depending on the context of saying.
Wait – could I really be a you and would love find its way to exist in both directions of the shape? Why hadn’t I cared more about equations and Euclid as a youth – those so-called “abstract truths” that worked anytime anywhere and perhaps for any entities or numerals – “universals” as it were – independent of fallacious and fallible worlds (‘realities’)? Perhaps I should be working on a PC – a light hand of erasure and displacement, easy correction, replaceability.
What if every I is also You, and You can be I sometimes and Love either way is what swervishly links and actively ties them into phrases, shapings, and being? What if “I” is not my only or even predominant name? What if I am equally you…or many times over a You – and only rarely and sparingly and minimally an “I”? And what if Love is what invents and brings either pronoun to the clearing – crafts them perceptible – sets either up and out as ex-isting? Ex-ist – to be ‘out of’ either ‘I’ or ‘You’ or both interchangeably in the contextual relation of the ‘world’? Egad! Suddenly, math. The n or x factors – the ‘unknown-anys’ – the placeholders/integers – at any time filling an equational place worked out toward some solutions or remainders or unsolvables? And where does infinity fit? Sets? Differentials and non-linears? I was never good at math… Were you? Was I/you? Who loves?
Is it then x + y = n? Where each is a variable struggling through maddening effort toward balance, equaling? I/you + You/I = love? Interchangeable probabilities if the integers work – remainders, powers, deficits, and all? I’ll never understand, am incapable of working it out, and doubt computable laws anyway… and yet… I sense that we are variables and that love makes some surprising solutions to complex problems, no matter how simply or radically signified or symbolized.
In any case “I”‘m a “shifter” just like “You” and “love” seems to be a contextual identifier, a strange conundrum of situation that (at least momentarily) selects values for each unknown of the equation. A clearing, a possibility, probability, hypothesis. The fields where beings may appear, are called forth, identified, or occasionally ‘fit.’ What solves for Be. Here. or Now. I/You + Love. You/I.
Given two hours, and pen, and paper, something might come to matter, to be, to strive for x or render a variable triangle.
…and so we think. I do not say we must think, for I do not think that is so – it is simply a kind of capacity we have, apparently related to external pressures and a possible pleasure, or unknown effects involving desire – a torsion, disturbance, a stirring unsettling perhaps necessary to our living continuance, like pain, like lust.
An activity we call by many names and nuances – reflection, perception, analysis, intuition, sensation, theorizing, dream… but all uncanny practices of turbulence as if trying out invisible options on our world, imagining alternatives, inventing holding frames for experiencing that must constantly and continuously alter and adapt and reorient as living never stills. Like language, like longing, like living. Such things show no signs of resolving, their solutions are their ongoing instrumentalization, their habitude.
- Writing, kissing, and walking are synonyms.
The “world,” as it were, as it ‘is’ (also, reduced, in addition) “for us.”
How it comes to be as we are – briefly. Almost incalculably miniscule. Almost ‘happenstance.’
“Our” world, as it were: all we cannot know, that we are part in, of, with.
One wonders what “world” can possibly mean.
Every meaning apparently nothing outside of this microscopic sliver of kind… EVERYthing and more, “for us.” Some ‘infinity’ or ‘void;’ ‘abyss’ or ‘chaotic complexity’ – a reference to every-thing (or not) that so far surpasses us, outstrips us, beyonds us. Some so-called…”world.”
One could turn toward all that, could ‘be-itself,’ bi-pedally, shrimpishly, speck-o-dust uprightedly, with/in ‘it’…and have a dwarfed, almost indiscernible ‘experience.’ Or “one” (were such a thing possible) could de-cide, di-vide, con-sider (?) – place oneself ‘over against’ or ‘in contrast’ (contra-di-stinction) to all that: otherness, ‘world,’ ‘uknown/unknowable,’ ‘beyond,’ ‘out-side,’ infinite… and de-term-in.
Squash it down to ‘one’s own scale, name it / call it / sign it, and ‘fit’ it in. i.e. cut it small enough to be comprehensible, digestible, sensible (according-to-one’s-own) and pre-tend, fore-tell, image-in, sign-i-fy it ACCORDING TO… ‘one,’ ‘us,’ ‘me’ (such as math, logic, language, communicable signs, etc – in-(ter)ventions on/of our own terms).
Human knowledge, inquiry, disciplines, creations, theories, etc. are EXACTLY (and perhaps ONLY, one surmises) THAT: at the scale of the human. ‘One’ is prone to automatically grant every ‘other’ (plant, material, organism, structure, system, etc) the ‘same’ ‘world’ – as Wittgenstein indicated: indecipherable, untranslatable or communicable between kinds, but most probable, no? – Umwelts – worlds upon worlds within worlds outside worlds… we (‘ones’) can have no share, understanding, con(with)cept, com(with)munication of…
To each its scale of experiencing, and all scales together…
Given the human (so-self-called) scale, this seems pertinently and poignantly most evident…
…why would we chafe against our limits… or (perhaps) every scale always is – no ‘one’ could know this… ones (and many ones) are only ones – more and less than their own possible perspectives… in- and out-looks OF. Scale. (Perhaps).
Obviously, com(with)posing in your/our language… whatever I dream is representative of my scale… i.e. is only a capacity of ‘one’(kind) … of many.
Pleasurably so… or why not?
Dreaming beyond scale (or, inventing scale and its beyond – in the de-term-in-ing) demonstrates itself as a capacity… (e.g. mythology, science, religion, fiction/fantasy, psycho-anything, spirituality, philosophy, history, and so forth) … all imagined efforts beyond-scale, that, in occurring demonstrate the possibilities/limitations of human scale…
What ‘beyond’ could ‘one’ see, think, feel, etc., that is not a demonstration of limited and actual capacity of ‘one-scale’-to-experience?
So ‘one’ has a-, con-, etc. scales… all part of one’s scale (abilities, capacities, possibilities, options, kind). Against, with, creative, reductive, but ALL and ANY activities of one kind (so-self-called ‘human’) show its locked and limited capacity. One never goes beyond.
To ‘work limits,’ and boundaries are clearly elements of our ‘limits’ and ‘boundaries’ of the scope and scale of the ‘human.’
“Gods,” cosmologies, dreams, histories, theorizing, etc., all contained within the ‘bounds’ or capacities of the ‘kind-of-thing-‘One’-is. Perhaps.
It is the ‘perhaps’ that haunts us. [but what could ‘haunt’ indicate but another human capacity – perhaps a ‘felt capacity’ of bursting or extending our capacities?]
Witchcraft. Art. Technology. Religion. Theoretical and experimental anything. Logos. Arche. Tohu. Bohu. Beginning. Universe (must needs always shrink to one’s own scale… in order to uni-anything… ‘multiverse’ simple exponents of capacities for in our microscopic self-experienced sphere… we named ‘infinity’ – is there no exponent we can’t add – within our tiny range of potential?).
One’s own anthropology.
Logically [though I excessively distrust that program of human-ing] – what con-cept, i-dea, imagine-ing, or object-ivity is not necessarily always paramatered by the human ex-periential capacities?
The bounds may be elastic or no – there would be no way for a kind to know – being all-ways the ‘one’ experiencing.
..does the pleasure of writing exist? I don’t know. One thing I feel certain of is that there’s a tremendous obligation to write. This obligation to write, I don’t really know where it comes from. As long as we haven’t started writing, it seems to be the most gratuitous, the most improbable thing, almost the most impossible, and one to which, in any case, we’ll never feel bound. Then, at some point – is it the first page, the thousandth, the middle of the first book, or later? I have no idea – we realize that we’re absolutely obligated to write. This obligation is revealed to you, indicated in various ways. For example, by the fact that we experience so much anxiety, so much tension if we haven’t finished that little page of writing, as we do each day. By writing that page, you give yourself, you give to your existence, a form of absolution. That absolution is essential for the day’s happiness. It’s not the writing that’s happy, it’s the joy of existing that’s attached to writing, which is slightly different. This is very paradoxical, very enigmatic, because how is it that the gesture – so vain, so fictive, so narcissistic, so self-involved – of sitting down at a table in the morning and covering a certain number of blank pages can have this effect of benediction for the remainder of the day? How is the reality of things – our concerns, hunger, desire, love, sexuality, work – transfigured because we did that in the morning, or because we were able to do it during the day? That’s very enigmatic. For me, in any case, it’s one of the ways the obligation to write is manifested.
This obligation is also indicated by something else. Ultimately, we always write not only to write the last book we will write, but, in some truly frenzied way – and this frenzy is present even in the most minimal gesture of writing – to write the last book in the world. In truth, what we write at the moment of writing, the final sentence of the work we’re completing, is also the final sentence of the world, in that, afterward, there’s nothing more to say. There’s a paroxysmal intent to exhaust language in the most insignificant sentence. No doubt this is associated with the disequilibrium that exists between speech and language. Language is what we use to construct an absolutely infinite number of sentences and utterances. Speech, on the contrary, no matter how long or how diffuse, how supple, how atmospheric, how protoplasmic, how tethered to its future, is always finite, always limited. We can never reach the end of language through speech, no matter how long we imagine it to be. This inexhaustibility of language, which always holds speech in suspense in terms of a future that will never be completed, is another way of experiencing the obligation to write. We write to reach the end of language, to reach the end of any possible language, to finally encompass the empty infinity of language through the plenitude of speech.
Another reason why writing is different from speaking is that we write to hide our face, to bury ourselves in our own writing. We write so that the life around us, alongside us, outside, far from the sheet of paper, this life that’s not very funny but tiresome and filled with worry, exposed to others, is absorbed in that small rectangle of paper before our eyes and which we control. Writing is a way of trying to evacuate, through the mysterious channels of pen and ink, the substance, not just of existence, but of the body, in those minuscule marks we make on paper. To be nothing more, in terms of life, than this dead and jabbering scribbling that we’ve put on the white sheet of paper is what we dream about when we write. But we never succeed in absorbing all that teeming life in the motionless swarm of letters. Life always goes on outside the sheet of paper, continues to proliferate, keeps going, and is never pinned down to that small rectangle; the heavy volume of the body never succeeds in spreading itself across the surface of paper, we can never pass into that two-dimensional universe, that pure line of speech; we never succeed in becoming thin enough or adroit enough to be nothing more than the linearity of a text, and yet that’s what we hope to achieve. So we keep trying, we continue to restrain ourselves, to take control of ourselves, to slip into the funnel of pen and ink, an infinite task, but the task to which we’ve dedicated ourselves. We would feel justified if we no longer existed except in that minuscule shudder, that infinitesimal scratching that grows still and becomes, between the tip of the pen and the white surface of the paper, the point, the fragile site, the immediately vanished moment when a stationary mark appears once and for all, definitively established, legible only for others and which has lost any possibility of being aware of itself. This type of suppression, of self-mortification in the transition to signs is, I believe, what also gives writing its character of obligation. It’s an obligation without pleasure, you see, but, after all, when escaping an obligation leads to anxiety, when breaking the law leaves you so apprehensive and in such great disarray, isn’t obeying the law the greatest form of pleasure? To obey an obligation whose origin is unknown, and the source of whose authority over us is equally unknown, to obey that – certainly narcissistic – law that weighs down on you, that hangs over you wherever you are, that, I think, is the pleasure of writing…
…I’m not an author. First of all, I have no imagination. I’m completely uninventive. I’ve never even been able to conceive of something like the subject of a novel…I place myself resolutely on the side of the writers [in distinction – Roland Barthes – from authors] those for whom writing is transitive. By that I mean those for whom writing is intended to designate, to show, to manifest outside itself something that, without it, would have remained if not hidden at least invisible. For me, that’s where, in spite of everything, the enchantment of writing lies…I’m simply trying to make apparent what is very immediately present and at the same time invisible…I’d like to reveal something that’s too close for us to see, something right here, alongside us, but which we look through to something else…to define the proximity around us that orients the general field of our gaze and our knowledge…
So, for me, the role of writing is essentially one of distancing and of measuring distance. To write is to position oneself in that distance that separates us from death and from what is dead…I’m in the distance between the speech of others and my own…In exercising my language, I’m measuring the difference with what we are not, and that’s why I said to you earlier that writing means losing one’s own face, one’s own existence. I don’t write to give my existence the solidity of a monument. I’m trying to absorb my own existence into the distance that separates it from death and, probably, by that same gesture, guides it toward death…
I’dd add that, in one sense, my head is empty when I begin to write, even though my mind is always directed toward a specific object. Obviously, that means that, for me, writing is an exhausting activity, very difficult, filled with anxiety. I’m always afraid of messing up; naturally, I mess up, I fail all the time. This means that what encourages me to write isn’t so much the discovery or certainty of a certain relationship, of a certain truth, but rather the feeling I have of a certain kind of writing, a certain mode of operation of my writing, a certain style that will bring that distance into focus…
“Pangs of faint light and stirrings still. Unformable graspings of the mind. Unstillable”
– Samuel Beckett –
Let’s loiter about here a little, as if language were lakelike, locatable, alive enough to lollygag loose within. Perhaps not. Perhaps it is nearly always just-becoming. Perhaps nearly all, nearly always, is thus: just-becoming – liminal lineaments languishing-then-livened, languishing-then-livened, “again” we might say, designating (de-term-ining) a balance to enlivened. How so? Why so? By what author(ity)?
“In the madhouse of skull and nowhere else” (– Samuel Beckett). Is that so?
“Skin has no choice but to converse with the world…thin, ignorant borderland of skin…myself all trespass, misunderstanding, translating, translating…” (-Laurie Sheck). Is that so?
If words were invented with sense. To “make sense” between one and an ‘other.’
What if words ARE THAT? Connective contours between.
I am inebriated, my willingness loosened to expression, though it might ruin me (like language) and I stare (Dostoevsky – ‘Myshkin’) “intently” into Mikhail Bakhtin’s face, his specific eye-gaze, and say:
“Is it the case that words are ‘meant,’ are ‘formed,’ are breathed, are…constructed, are…utilized, to be tissue woven between ‘me’…and ‘you’?”
Do we… speak, say, expire back and forth… to become? To string and weave lines, flows, strands, threads, that might forge or invent co-respondence, texture, significations combining you and myself into WE?
But Bakhtin is dead, and cannot answer. Mikhail Bakhtin does not have the capacity to co-respond.
…like Beckett, Blanchot, Plato, Montaigne, Pessoa, Pascal, Wallace or Euclid, Bulgakov, Heraclitus, or Celan (as with any and all dead!) he emits traces (tracings) with which I can consider, decipher, and interrogate in and within my ‘selves’ but not between…
What might this ‘mean’ – between anyone? Nothing.
It can not, has no opportunity to, delineate or circumscribe, draft, figure or shape any relation.
Sign emitted, call evoked, death, and then text as silent partner. Prognostic retrograde delineation.
Bankrupt, impassible, impossible, communique.
The decoding of words as communication, connection? An imaginary. A handling of terms. Inventing, devising, originary. With whom? Where? How? Hint and vestige, remnant and sketch, scheme and fabrication, inkling and outline.
Unstillable. Unformable graspings of the mind. Is that so?
If we’re limning the liminal now, let’s loosen the letters and slacken the sieves. Lasso and lounge, scatter and scrape, together (to gather) – a scintillate sense – sporadic sparks, succulent scenarios – exist for enlivening language, whatever limited lust lies therein – if language is locatable and not merely modal mechanics? A modicum of music then, some scrap of sonority, some lingual litmus ‘making sense.’ Whatever. Possibility, potential, particible particulars…
“THE TEST IS COMPANY”
“If there may not be no more questions let there at least be no more answers”
– Samuel Beckett, Company –
“We must not die: kindred spirits will be found”
– Viktor Shklovsky –
This constitutes a “free-write” – as I understand the phrase it is an allowance one gives oneself to just make language, unedited, unplanned, in a “spirit” of ex-pression…i.e. a “press(ur)ing- out.” [see suspend]
Spillage, in other words.
And…”in other words,” always, from the first word.
At its release – like an arm movement; a choice of caress, breath, or handhold; a motivation to swerve, or bend, sit, or rise; nigh-automated intention to breathe… a beating of heart, or functioning of organ; lighting a match; attention.
Release a word. Some oddly shaped sound, emitted complexly from the nerves, the brain, the belly. Bellowed air up the windpipe, wending the throat, curling the cavity of mouth, (you can almost feel air in the eyes – perhaps you can!), a scent is involved, a tongue roving weirdly, a tapping of teeth and positioning of jaw…
Or… the combination of organs and neurons, plasma and plastics, rutting a body in accord with a world, activating…firing and sliding, acting re-acting, trans-mitting… and a tension in shouldered muscle begins to stir, roiling down “arm,” triggering the delicate tendons and tissue of “hand,” fingering pencil…and con-script-ed together, they “write…”
And from the first word it is other.
Pressed into and out of the body. Im-pression, re-sponse, and in-tension. (You see the looping?). Out of, into, and back out without measure.
Mathematically speaking, the first term, generates an uncomputable, undecidable, indeterminate and infinite universe of possibilities. Simultaneously foreclosing the same.
Which is why the Moment’s of import. And why statistically, it is inane.
“Spillage” set into motion. “, in other words.” For this organism, now.
Out of infinite potential, a violent reduction to that: “Spillage, in other words.”
In other words, from the first word, an infinity ruled out. By my finitude.
In other words, from the first word, an infinity opened up. By language, and you, all the times, and the spaces.
Pressed in, it moves out. Pressed out, moving in. Always moving.
A “moment” cannot exist.
We switch on. (We do not.)
Then what are we “meaning” by “free”?
A “free-write” I inscribed, but it’s not – bound by me, my experience, education, now here. By my body-environment mesh. By this medium, this sign-system (language), this trial.
And why do then? Why mingle, behave, interact, or respond? Why continue?
continue (v.) mid-14c., contynuen, from Old French continuer (13c.), from Latin continuare “join together, connect, make or be continuous,” from continuus “uninterrupted,” from continere (intransitive) “to be uninterrupted,” literally “to hang together” (see contain). Related: Continued; continuing.
(“Online Etymology Dictionary,” 2016)
How could I “make continuous” what is never discrete? And why are our actions and terms bent on negation / separation (discretion)?
What do we wish to “clarify” by pulling-apart, setting-forth, ripping of context, of living?
We humans have so many re-‘s. As if we do it again, and ourselves (WHAT is THAT?) we might own it or know it, or even come cause. How absurd.
We’re participant. To speak is to join. To move is WITH-IN. To think and to act are to fuse with surround. As much caused as its causing, ground and ideal, this is living. To be fluidly unidentifiable, continuously as such.
What IS (chasing ‘essence’) is futile. What IS (what’s ‘existing’) is all.
How might I write in this way? Write to join? Say to be? The mouth and the ass as the same? I breathe and I shit; I grab and release; take in and give out…unrestrained. Without end or cessation (as far as we know at our miniature range)…
WITH and withOUT “us”
Here we are.
“A voice comes to one in the dark. Imagine.
…Deviser of the voice and of its hearer and of himself. Deviser of himself for company. Leave it at that. He speaks of himself as of another. He says speaking of himself, He speaks of himself as of another. Himself he devises too for company. Leave it at that. Confusion too is company up to a point. Better hope deferred than none. Up to a point. Till the heart starts to sicken. Company too up to a point. Better a sick heart than none. Till it starts to break. So speaking of himself he concludes for the time being, For the time being leave it at that” – Samuel Beckett, Company
“The words spoke by themselves. The silence entered them, an excellent refuge, since I was the only one who noticed it.” – Maurice Blanchot, The Madness of the Day
So, speaking of himself, I only noticed it.
The small furry animal, almost humming in its purr, he had chance, so he thought, to please, to comfort, with a pet, a scratch, an acknowledgment, tender, while it butted and marked itself against him. The illusion. A kind of company in itself (or to).
The ungrammaticality of occurrences. Of happening. What happens to be. Or is not. When speaking to himself. Without voice. I was the only one, as far as I am able to tell – if in fact this is telling – who noticed it. It seems words speak of themselves. From elsewise and through whom. He says, speaking of himself (or to). Without voice.
Devising. Illusion. I devise, he says, speaking to himself, of himself, without voice. Seeking – is he? – Am I? – Seeking…company?
A small child (another illusion, devised) passes by, walking a young dog and waving a nod of sorts – I don’t remember which, he says, but I returned a gesture and obtained a moment of calm in the chilly Autumn breeze. There was a sun full of color due to the leaves in their change, and fall, and flutter (due to the nothing-shaped wind). But what seemed a moment of warmth, of calm, devised by a child with a dog and a friendly (fearful) gesture, he thought (speaking of himself without voice), I was the only one who noticed it.
I take to reading then – others speaking of themselves without voice (or beyond it) – in order to devise… company? he wonders of himself, to himself. For when reading, it surely seems the words are speaking only of themselves, no matter who pens them. Such the character of the texts he chooses (I thought of myself, to myself, or an other I devised as myself, like puppets). And in part read and read for the experience or feeling that I alone notice it. That I might in fact provide the company I devise, yet hardly able to tell since I have not penned the words but merely notice – borrow, listen? (there are no voices) – the words seem to speak of themselves. Without voice. (He said of himself, devising). Something like company. Perhaps.
Even in the color-filled sunlight of Autumn days, I at times experience myself as being quite deeply in dark, he says speaking of himself, myself, devising voices, soundless, out of words that seem to be speaking only of themselves and their variegated histories and usages, and billions of potential speakers and hearers and interpreters – creators and devisers – filled with ambiguity and application. Here with me on shavings of dead trees, providing stark living contrast to Winter’s day-night. I get confused, he says speaking of himself. Confusion too is company devised, up to a point, I suppose. Obviously “fusion-with” implies an other, perhaps enough, I said, speaking to myself, without voice, here on dead leaves in black scars. In mutilation. Transgression. Inscription. Perhaps the words will speak of themselves and some other “I” will claim to be the only one that notices.
A strange delusion of company indeed. He says speaking of himself, devising a voice, its hearer, and an himself as participant and therefore a company to keep.
Reading: “only a detour is adequate” (Agamben), and “in pursuing meaning we are pursuing our limits” (Allen), and was perhaps meaning a synonym or metaphor, simile or metonymy for company he thought, speaking to himself, without voice. But with an illness, diagnosed by doctors – those scientific political powers responsible for providing facts or devising happenings, pronouncing occurrences – so in any case he is not alone, being-with his illness, I thought, speaking to myself in an absence of sound. The words spoke by themselves.
Other things as well: the furry animal, its humming purr, its actions; the trees, the leaves, the wind, the light. The child, the dog, the gestures. The books, the authors, the words themselves. Divisors of voices, of hearers, of selves. Sick hearts, confusion, and company. Am I the only one who notices? he says speaking of himself, speaking of himself as another.
So speaking of himself he concludes for the time being, For the time being leave it at that.” – Samuel Beckett
“The experimental dimension is precisely where thinking at its limit takes place, where the singularity of a given thought is being shaped…”
– Michel de Beistegui –
“the present is as long as a walk when I am walking”
– Chryssipe, quoted in Francois Jullien –
Or, “the present is as long as the sentence I’m composing…” the tune, the breath, the weather… the lunge, the gaze, the listen… the sex, starlight, heartbeat… presence determined, according to scale.
“…as long as the thought I am thinking…” that leads to the next, and the borrowed, the other, imagined. The languages lent, or made new, bastardized, reconstructed, remingled…
Therefore [have I now ‘left’ present/-ce?] the present writing is present just as long as it presents itself? Does this explain run-ons and magical realism? The refusal to pause or to finish? Avoidance of punctuation, cessation, or periods…in order to be writing? (as long as it is writing…living written?).
I am drawn in writing presence. And I aspire. To be writing as often present-ly as possible (in all the senses of the terms you might conceive). Working, present-ly, with presences that present themselves in the activity of writing – ages, layers, eons of language becoming toward these significations I am physically inscribing NOW with evolving, accumulative, adapting and erasured meanings over times and places, persons and presents/-ces. This continuous bodily activity and operation marking whatever presently transpires on lines – between my organism, this instrument and matter of lined pages – creating a Mobius-like twisting endless loop of circuitry, a breathless action (almost afraid of interruption, disconnection, or cessation) as if it would disqualify present/-ce with unauthorized and arbitrary finite personal breakage.
Yet I know (or believe) the present/-ing will continue all the same whether I am writing or not – ever assailing with near-infinite (perhaps infinite) encountering and engagements…be-ing… regardless of my regard, participation, choice of action, and awareness. Unconcerned by my present/-ce as I a grain of soil or blade of grass, singular molecules or mosquitos, the hairs dropped from our heads. Matters of scale of what matters. [To/for us. ME. At our scale, at whatever scale, DEPENDING].
Interruption occurs. Into, inter-, enter: an eruption. Anything that commands response. A call from another, a locusts’ buzz, tonal or temperature flux. Changing track and attention. I plea for intervention versus interruption, that the breathless present/ce might go on, unintruded but intervened. Eventuation, eventually, new contents entering veins of the stream I am searching, spreading, scribing…at the limit of…
Intrusion. Inter-eruption. Or inter-vention, intra-venously… WILL OUR PRESENT PRESENCE all bound up with, knotted, wound and intersecting, inserted and inserting reciprocally or complicitly…go on, remain, continue? Will it be dissipation or dissension, distension, desiccation or decay? Can we have, swerve, welcome an irruption intravenously? I hesitate, I turn. A response.
Staccato desiccation. I’ve been bombarded. Like tragedy, untranceable. Persistence and flow stuttering, gives way. The stream of thought polluted, a turbulence assigned. Coming undone, branch drying up, kindling, that is to say…
Yet if to say, that is – perhaps we’re crossing, coming-over, over-coming interruption as irruption. Response-able, disabling, but hearing more, lines converging with complexity, a chaos, a banking flow…or spilling over and dispersing?…who could know. What means – BECOME?
“the present is a write, as long as I am writing” – this presence fractured into fragments, presents, now, perhaps beyond deciphering. The mode of ciphers, potent codes – standing for?? Standing for??? Which represents THIS…what you read. Read in, read from, read into and out of. We do not step into the same stream twice, it has been said, or three times, or even once, even, again. We don’t know “same,” yet use it like a God, destructive hoping (“identity,” “non-contradiction,” even Truth(s) or Fact(s)) – that SOMEthing might not change.
NOT in this world, and we know no other. Conjuring zeroes, ideals and myths, utopias (literally “no-places”) and lines of imaginings. Hoping for control? Security? Continuance? – of what, of which…presence. Scales to track the motions with, fallibly. Attempts to stay the flow, stay with the flow, re-cognize, re-member, re-main. What continues to fall apart and reassemble, ever ‘new’ but only partly, in its occurring, range of scales ever irrupting, erupting, interrupting as comings-to-be in all their goings, it’s going…a fragile now.
But I digress along the stream, exposing fragments, perhaps connected to a mouth, a trunk or mother. Dispersive river, interminably con-fusing elements transgressing finitude. Number, line and term. Concept, law, or theory. None of it works, and some of it seems to. All may belong, depending on scale.
A matter of present/ce perhaps, and of movement. Some matter of species, perception and dream. Susurrate surround, full of disruption, riding waves, but not for long.
“the present is as long…as a singularity of thought is being shaped…”
– Chrysippe + de Beistegui –
(much later and rescaled)