Distortion of the Perceiving Eye/I

“the turned-to-water book…

with all that has room in it,

even without

language.”

– Paul Celan –

Decide to write the book-that-turns-to-water, as speech-that-turns-to-air.  All that rippling silence, even without language.

Someone asking: what is gesture?  movement?  expression-in-its-being?

Signification the silent razor.

Someone mentions music, which it claims “represents nothing at all,” (Michel Seuphor) and I doubt that: is there not expression?  confession?  some sonorous and vibratory friction or exhalation?  A “constant inscription of birth in innumerable ways…language is metaphor and metonymy, one cannot avoid it.”  (Helene Cixous)

[“where trace becomes existence” (Seuphor)]

I am tracing letters without a model, refusing to hub any wheel…

.

Out of its mouth: communication sounds.  The body moved likewise.  Undulant, suggesting.  only sounds, no discernible words.

Signification, perception, emotion, feeling, sensation… and then translations: prefrontal cortex: “meaning”?

A blockage.  Refusal.

Andre Malraux: “You are human when you can say no.”  Remembers Bartleby.

What is called ‘agency’?  Only negation?

This is how the story goes?

Prefers not to.

.

“Pleasures,” “pains.”  Pain wakes.  Pleasure lull(abie)s?

.

And when is the “system of nonknowledge” (and unknowing) not “unfinished” (Bataille) posthumous.  Post-humorous.  Generations.

What was it?  Ah, yes, the Book-that-turns-to-water.  Speech-to-air bubbles, balloons.  Hot air, as they say.  They?  We.

“even

without

language”

(someone wrote, silently saying).

.

“all that has room in it”

(same).

.

Of truth and genesis – constant inscriptions of birth.  Unthinking the point and the line.

“Not to worry about the rest of us.  Love you.”  (someone said).

.

This is the shaping of chaos, this hell of stories.

Unthinkable.

.

Unbearable lightness of being, this breath or stream of life.

Mismaking is an art (or so we hope, we think, desire, demand).

.

Men and apparitions.

[everything I letter down is plagiarism]

These – the margins of philosophy, a way of life.

Saying I no more.  Interior distance.

.

This is the writing of disaster: the book-that-turns-to-water.

Speaking turned to air.

Philosophy, the posthumous.  Dust.

.

Listening.

Abolishing freedom.

.

Text (from textare: to weave).

My documents.

My notes in the fog.

The trouble with pleasure.

.

Myopia.  My opium.

 

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What Words Do

Jean-Christophe Giacottino - Asemic writing work (Having no specific semantic content, Writing without words ... The form without the sense - Secret talismanic writings... Asemic calligraphy)

“language cannot cope with its relation with the world”

– Giorgio Agamben –

“language is a part of our organism and no less complicated than it”

– Ludwig Wittgenstein –

Sometimes it seems that words might do anything!  Connecting things and people; defining, describing, explaining and exclaiming; naming, inventing, questioning… arguing, fomenting, discovering; seducing, displacing, and singing.  Very little experiencing of the human kind comes unaccompanied by terms.  – Is that so?

There are dreams – like signs and billboards of liqueous or exaggerated perceivings… “the sign – is the quietest razor of darkness” (A. Dragomoshchenko)… and slit it does.  We bleed.

And breathing, heart’s-pulse, sleeping along with the intake of food, its output as waste, our birthing and walking, working and running… and dying.  All our play.  Intercourse, of course.  Do moans and groans, grunts and cries and sighs, lisps and complaints (our myriad utterances) – mean words?  mean language?  What of our relative silence?  The thrumming body of the speechless and deaf?  Eye-gaze dumb, its blindness?

The skin has been rubbed off my fingers.

Wordlessly, soundlessly, lust and desire screech on…shrill in body and bone – both where the starving exudes and toward its petulant prey.

What of the growth of grasses?  Is language there?  In rhythmic patterning of rain?  A sense of sunlight?

Sometimes wind whispers.

A cat moves.  Silently.

And a “sign – is the quietest razor of darkness” – darkness visible, darkness speaks – (it has been claimed – via words, the verbal).

Sweet and troubling confluence: activity and languaging (the same): the “verbal.”  Of sound and motion.  Our noise.  Moving sound around in and with our bodies – in speech or dance, in strain and the clamor of being.

What falls (or grows, blooms, disappears) outside the devouring knife – that which segments and shrivels the fluid songs of experience and reverie?  Of presence.  The Slicer-Dicer we’ve composed, posing together to cut from faultless fabric?

As utterance, inscription fondles its way, brushingly and blade-like, sensually surreptitious.  Caressing and crafty, rapaciously blessing its praying and braying of names – who can counter its reduction, repression, its blame or silvery shame?

Ye without words, cast the first stone.

As if genesis were language and time: space to create with.

Comprehensively unknown.

Fog and Birds

In swarms.

The littlest pieces –

– form clouds.

Droplets, ions, atoms.

What is called “molecules”?

.

Faiths.  Belief.

.

Trees standing,

apparently strong,

lost to view,

in dense fog.

.

Molecules…accumulated,

accumulating, gathered

toward some clearing.

Same differences,

at large scales.

.

“For Nathan…with love”

someone writes.

“Nathan” signifies me,

“love” signifies…?

.

Imagination and dream…

a fog and a swarm of birds,

an hypothesis

into the unknown

.

a thing humans are prone to

do by “nature”

– ? –

who or what evaluates “nature”?

what “human”?

if “nature”?

for SummerMLee

Thickets

Thicket

The world overgrown.  At least any accessible sector.  I’ve heard tale of open, of empty, of spacious, of dearth.  Not where I approach.  Even my own body – its in- or out-sides, its wherewithal.  Always where-with-all.

Tangled, almost briny, in some instances.  If able to determine a surround wherewith or whenwith to take a stance in.  Even thinking, even breath, even a pulse of bloodbeat.  Any sound we form toward music.  Any making-sensible.  For us.  Our kind.  Those within the overgrown – the untamable, reckless warp and weft.

To hunch there, immediately becomes here.  How different – if imagined?  To gather, to pre-tend.  To suppose a disposition, a presence somehow differentiated.  How-some?  To curl in, therefore (perchance? per theory?) “to find,” to be able to, to call, to be-in-g?  Yet how?  Or why?  Where is the for?  And what might the hole be suspected to fill?

Where is the gap between this and the other?  Between you and me, he or she, this-that-the-other, between…any/thing?  Something wishes to know, apparently… and this wishing/motion/decision/desire/activity/drive (whatever “  “) begins by implicating violence… bi-lining a world with borders, invented barriers, perceived traces, intuited splits, cuts and hacks that are not there until.  How un-till this supposed “soil” from which to distinguish, fabricate, or function?  From which to “operate.”  Surgeon-species.

What knowledge is expected by destroying?  Deconstructing (or constructing) – both requiring joints?  By suture and slice?  By taking life?  Prone to decompose.  What a trajectory.

What options?  Compelled…to con-fuse…confess…to communicate, express, enjoy, enjoin (what we find ourselves joined to) still even to de-scribe, in-scribe, in-voke, ex-tol, inter-act or en-gage provokes difference, demands separations, dismemberment.  To cleave.

To try to body.  To try to mind.  Attend.  Acknowledge.  Distortion.  To twist and torture an other, as the one or…alteration.  De-pict.

Impossible connection already seems to be.  Each, every add-ition a disconnecting, a cutting, a stitching seam according to a pattern.  Whose?  Whats?

Over, under, whelmed.  Where is the open, the undifferentiated, the is?  Always already be-fore.  All ways, all ready, be-for.  In other words…not possibly worded.  Prior to word.  Involving act (including language) but unincorporated (already corporal), defying design-ation (surprisingly? one would think ‘it’ [not] is at the end of de- or un-signing/signifying), erasure of description, all palimpsests equaling… perhaps (per-happening) – infinite, certainly uncountable, incalculable, without ordination, order, ordaining, without with-in or –out.  Only WITH, inconceivable, imperceptible (perception cuts), irretrievable (the rejection of any re-), disabused, disturbed perturb, a dreaming dreamed turbulence = a happen to be.

Still this thinks with.  Language.  Lost already, displaced and falsified by a tiny thread, an whole fabric, a world-veil at least whilst continuing as world…

Think again.  Dream.  Confuse.  Imagine.  Invent.  Art ducts (vents) for breath… further re-moves, com-pli-cations, furthering within, for fun?  A dance, a play, a re-morse (cryptic codification, surreptitious and additional) some native complicity to immeasurable complexity.  As is.  As if.  And so on…

All-ways

HE in the feeling of HER approach.  That syrupy abyss.  Unknowing.  Every anticipation and guess.

HER name.  A bird’s song.  Bird’s songs (all of them).

What other flesh is.

Any time you are enabled

to touch it.

We could imagine IT as HIM wanting.  Awaiting.

But there is no resemblance to wait for.

Only HER, the delicious, dilemma, unknown.

Loss of memory.  Hope of presence.

“Ecstasy” as commonly referred –

– the surprising rarety of ‘being-out-of’…

“HER,” “HE” calls it, names it, designates, conjures, conceives.  (Perhaps “HER” has a name?)

In the center a shrine a temple.  And no center exists, except by imagining, by metaphor, metonymy.  Delusional illusion of some living cartography.

The words “NOW,” “HERE”…continuously NO/WHERE.

He longs.  Desires.  Fantasizes.  Dreams.

This is urgency.

Each pressing and critical, earnest, persistent scenario and situation –

In-sistent.

It’s always coming.  In.  The status and singling.  Ever singing.

Sometimes shrieking.

NO/WHERE : NOW/HERE.  Same scintillating occurrence, occurring… per-sist-ence, pursuant and ins-is-isn’t-it?  Awaiting approaching.

HE/HIM/HIS – SHE/HER/HERS                                            (with)

[All-ways]

What might have been experienced as “LONGING” – that which is extended, strained toward…

SHE… a recoiling, a reconnaissance, some new emission.

HE laughs, as if capitulating, a surrender, a stab, asunder.

THEY… blend and weave inconceived.  Inconceivable.  Unknown.  Never any stasis.  Never NOW/HERE, never NO/WHERE.

In other words, too many… uncountable stories (may) have begun (begin)…

[All-ways]

How it is, part exponential

We followed the arc of the diver, losing it in the fog, wishing to make it out clear.  I might have said this meant “philosophy.”

“Poetry,” he said, “is utilizing known language to invoke the unknown.”  Or certaintly uncertainty, or something like that, which I liked, and indicated by asking what is not uncertain?

Your hands, the music.  My desire, a naming for them.  I think of your waist as a séance.

What is it to be crippled?  I keep trying to use words.

Another asked about the “arc of the diver.”  How should I know?  All of my sentences should be read as questions.  I wonder how divergent questions or commands might be… as statements.

She said, “it falls between.  It has to go somewhere.”  I guess we pressed it there… were poietic… since we couldn’t find a name.  “Dis-appearance” might be one.  Like a guess that can’t be falsified.

We all hold a paper marker printed “You are here.”  Perhaps paper is too substantial.  But it still seems like an invitation I wish we had.

Maybe this is why Albahari inscribed “Words are something else.”  We leave it at that.  And are flummoxed as to what “that” refers to.

Still we look.

You move like flocks of birds that wheel.  I’ve never comprehended “swarm.”  Mathematics doesn’t cut it, though it certainly uncertainly tries.

The telephone Pictionary of ear-mouth-brain when we issue sound or gaze.  Don’t foibles equal actions?  Parts of us experience this as violence, as valence.

Relation as a struggle to balance victimhood and perpetration.  Uncertainly.

When or where does this infiltrate unknown?

He went on to say…

I thought (imagined?) your ankles, knees, elbows and knuckles as adroit sworls in swift mountain streams.

So also losing it in the fog, hoping to remember where the trees were.  Philosophy.  Or was it the forest?

Poetry as ocean surface between “known”/unknown?  So wavy, so heaving.  No one said that.

The richest respect he gave was his readiness to call me “Nobody.”  Or “Anybody.”  Carte blanche.

She said.

I can hardly perceive what’s in your head now.  Potentia?  An horizon of waves.  A place where words press images press events, the banal.  Perhaps.  Uncertain sphere of unknowing?  They say learning happens there.  Like a cell in a culture, animal in terrain.  Cacophony of dreams.

Each time we encounter.

“That of a bird floating on the wind without moving its own wings, that of a bird which is flown by the wind.” Zeami, 15th Century

Powerful. Wow. Thank you, wanted advice…

Unwanted Advice: Reflections from a Self-Appointed Life Counselor

It’s a flagrantly irreverent kite, as it dances a silly jig back and forth, fancy-free and a mile high in the gray sky. Shadows of swallows and swifts dart all around, you can’t much see them but can feel them hurling by just inches away.  All this high above a green river, slicing through a narrow forest, carving into the dead center of city. Just a concrete bridge, an updraft, and an insect haven for the evening hunger.

Yes but I’m not happy, he says in broken English, laughing only a little. Because even though it is a plastic-blue-Walmart-superhero kite, this is serious.

You have eagle eyes, he adds, as I point out to him where in the forest the string has hitched itself. Although I side with the runaway kite, mocking his owner, finding communion with the disinterested birds.

His little boy is concerned as his father sternly reels…

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Lettering

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…

Perhaps I should not own a phone.

How, the Owl

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 ask.

We are there.  Continuously outstripping a here.

When?  Why?

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.

When?  Where?

Always already before or begun?

From which?

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?

How indeed.

We set out.

per language, per feeling, per sensational thought,

per activity, movement, receipt.

We set out.

A Tenure & Promotion Dossier

To think.

To get done.

To be done.

To survive.

Get by.

Endure.

[what will feed and fuel us?

                                    how might we grow like errant plants?]

There is weight, great,

like words of Beckett,

terse and heavy

with ridiculous

mind

To go on.

In spite of.

Anyway.

[to round a bend, turn it in, be relieved

                                    to be accepted, acceptable, acknowledged.]

To count, to mean, to matter

Anyway.

Because

we happen

and go on…

[if I might vine, might drink the spoiled

                                    to live, to thrive, to weed]

To make the turn

into what grows

anyway, despite

out of joint, or time, or space,

terrorized

refusal

The flagrant

Remainder

Unmerited

Surplus

[as if we were another sort, not a same-seeded,

                                    same-growing, same-veined kind]

Even though at least one said:
“Everywhere

being is dancing”

and another

how alike are dancing and sex

And another

and another

the variety

the merited

surplus

 

We forgot.