for LMK: Living Mitigates Knowing: the Sirens’ Song

Birdcall.

Morning.

Activity-signal.

 

Somewhere day arrives.

 

We are in bed.

Day neither comes nor goes.

Neither night.

 

We inhabit a single chair.

A reciprocal rebellion.

Atemporal, atopos.

 

The other.

The relation.

The kiss

 

that undoes the you, the me,

joining any separation

as touch

 

along with bodies of skin,

skinned together,

indeterminable

 

without one, another

within, without each –

a combinatory beast

 

where components are absent,

extended, present-ly,

be-coming

 

birdcalls and signals

dependent on immanent surrounds;

nothing undone,

 

anything in their crafty work

and wrestling,

Eriegnis, evental –

 

a pleasure and desire

formulating forms

without priors –

 

echoed and originary;

unpredictable, unknown;

tandem happenings

 

we sometimes describe

 

as love.

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Sparing Language

To be read attentively, considered… comments, thoughts encouraged

fragilekeys

To continue writing poetry, one would have to believe in the universal human value of expressions of singularity. Not in ‘big’ singularities (poets supposedly), but in small ones that coincided with their expression (delimited, circumscribed, contoured in the poem). But expressions too of a generic potentiality for thinking―for speaking the truth―faced with the empty page. Along poetry’s route, this necessitates the sparing of language, which can be described in multiple registers.

Language is spared whenever it is not enchained and constrained to a sharp finality (e.g., the instrumental purposes of capital, but also the brandishing of identities, the definition of objects); whenever language is played with, to open a world, to expose the miracle of one, or in one way or another to exhibit its capacity for conceiving wholeness, totality, the indivisibly singular―the thatness of whatever is such, the it-is-ness that poetry deems refractable through images. Such language does not have a…

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Light, as a feather

Lee_Light Feather 2018
unfixed photographic print of a feather – gift from Summer Lee

How seeing depends… opacity, clarity… foggy horizons between tumultuous sea and sky…

Light, as a feather – the dawn in darkness, or the hoping carrying despair.

What is seen, then?  What fore- or back- grounds an image?  How?  In mist, in motion.  In a dream that waking brings.

In which direction, grounding?  And wherefore?  Lightness limning itself again, again, in midst of darker swells and slighter traces.

How seeing depends… on light, the eye, the stimmung – the stemming of mood – and graver swirls… beg-ins and sets-out from.  Within.  Without.  Finding curious concord.  Even when there’s barely there.  Either.

Deepens, depends, opens out, away, in deep ends, hollow holing, turbulent tunnels, seeing unseen, a groping for/in light where none.  Peering is something, as the closing of the eyes – telescopic blindfold.

Perhaps dawn is down, where despair is rising.  Hope precipitating beyond eithers, or… differences imperceptible save the seeing…

How seeing depends… and deepens with what is searched for, what wants, who opens,  what feels, within each where-when, becoming there-thens, seeing how.

It begins, then, all seeing, between.  Bounding back-forth in light and light and any weighted things, ever shifting seeing-sea and emptied sky, re-membering differences to seamlessness, with opaque clarity, as such your “I.”

Lee Letter 2018
Text included with photograph – Summer Lee 2018

Last Days of the Year (12.31.2017)

after Helene Cixous’ First Days of the Year (all quotations from)

 

642177

“…writing doesn’t know the story…”

– Helene Cixous –

Writing had dissipated, eroded and erasured, “the stream, the slender silent stream with its singing arms,” dried, swallowed, scabbed to dusty ground, hardened wounds, simple soundless scarring – unmarked, unmapped, uninterpreted or deciphered.

“Writing, that link, that growth, that orientation” and mysterious connection in the veins – beneath earth, across times, that leaky, throbbing, flowing, trickling tickle in the fingers of the throat – evaporated to ether.

Space is full of voids again, the entire body is corpse.  It was air that was missing – oxygen and hydrogen – a liquid, invisible, fluid force and blazing trail – its quiet tireless effort coursing, a desert without shore.

“’It has been many years now,’… thought the author”…many years of dwindling, echoing thoughts…many years without solution or solvent, no bed, no pull, no sea or slope – an eviscerated wandering lacking movement, without promise or retreat, direction or return, rather something absent, lost, unknown.

Bedrest – a way to heal by falling fallow, running out, caesura and inaction.  Some old trace viewed from scale, an only remnant held by wind – a sentenced shrub, a stop of phrase.  Riverbedrest and desertduned unwinding – depiction’s dearth, branches clotstopping gravity’s swill or swirl, deadwooded filaments tumbling anywhere the green had been, the iron bled from vein.

“I am going to write,” he had thought at first… but I weigh 47 years and “writing is eternal [knowing] neither weight nor time,” it will not lift and carry me, breezing past as it always has every present unto present – ageless phantom, foreign phrase I am unable to pronounce.

Vanishing link between the bodies, submerged and buried and unspoken – “writing doesn’t know the story” – dumb and blind as memory’s ‘I.’  The lost and forgotten, what will not come to be.  “To me, this is a blow, a threat.”

“…the book we do not write.  There is a book.  That we do not write…” … wordless and disobeyed, unwritten extinction, disordered and undone.  Passage and passing of this now here.  This book that’s not here.  Irrelevant utopia.  A desiccated thread, a wilderness with imperceptible end, some perhaps forlorn and far-off song, long since warbled into stillness.  I “do not have what it takes to make a book,” long-lost imagining and fabricated dreams, suffered weeping for what-is-not, what-never-was, the known and haunting will-not-be, pains of life assigned to us.

Sightless, flightless bird without brain enough or claw for scribbles, vision canceled by the crossings-out and scratchings, greedy skimming scamper seeking recognizable seeds, some words less foreign or forgotten, that might crack in the craw and cackle a sigh, a chortle, some wheezy whisper… anything other than absence, the starving shame, the empty marrow, acrid arteries, and granulating groin.  Wretched rictus claw, blindly scraping at a pen, a page, a flesh-as-grass, a drop of dew, some ancient call –

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL

…and thank you

“Winter Solstice”: ‘The Stealing (Litany + Logos) of the Hours’: ONLY. EVER. EACH.

The longing for human solitude.

The fear of it.

Left alone / all-one to ‘one-self’: “one” “self” (being).

“Thank you ‘god’ for clear pee”, it says, standing over the toilet, after hours of only drinking water (in its alternate forms as well – vodka, fruits juices, coffee, vegetable, including ‘straight’ H2O).

Cobwebs woven on moving shoes, slow, and methodical progress…

death.  Impossible.  Inevitable.

The shallow deeps.  (The quick (shallow) & the dead (deeps)).

Radiance, swallowed.

Each.  First.  Day.

Begins.

“Human Solstice”: every longest shortest.  Every.

  • It’s never more or less than: this.  This one.  This.  Now.

Begins: only always.  Only ever.  Only each.

Do you have a sense of the ‘present’?  The only, every, each, NOW/HERE?

Without recall.

Only ever only each.

NOW.

HERE.

Happy so.

Grateful so.

Miracle THIS.

Just now.

Anytime, wherever.

 Begins.

Ends.

Now.

Here.

All-Ways.

‘Hello, I wish…’

 

[HAPPHOLIDAYS]

 

Ways of Naysaying

It was funny how she, how I, refused, declining enticing invitations of love.  Once.

Then again.  Or not.

Still, it happens, rejected or otherwise.  Naysaying, that is.

Negotiations.

Strange relations.  Using yes for no, and their returns and variations.

She says no though.  I did.

It eventuates, seemingly regardless of our answers.

Check boxes.  Lists.  Identities.  Likert-scales of experiencing.

Mouths inclining.  Decline.  A trajectory of eyes.  Reclining seduction.

I decided not to go along.  (Where do we go instead?  Who goes?  When?).  Each denial an assent.

What did the trees refuse?  What was the grass fighting, then?  The clouds?  I watched… she observed birds.

The dancers’ bodies.  A dismissal of space.  The removal of sound.  Absent silences.

Where was she?  I?

We said no.

Do words incline or recline for us?  What of the ear, the eye?

Still I smelled her.

“I love,” I thought, “I cannot love.  I can not.”  She declines.

These are the ways of naysaying, all our doubled negatives, equaling… what, exactly?

I love her.  I can not.  She won’t.  Will not.  Negativity in a vacuum.  Apparatus.

The squirrel upside down, above the lawn, on the long tree limb.  What is it denying?  And where is the use of speech?

We cried out, decrying.  (What could that mean?  That seems always in question).

I asked Beckett and Blanchot.  They each said that she said “no.”

Apparently, she says “no.”  “I’d really like to, but can not, must not,” i.e. “no.”

It rings out, like bells – so radiant, so silent, such dissipation.  Such temporal hazard and warning.

Something refuses the air.

I remember.  She traces back.  What means “over”?

Sound refusing silence.  The first.  The second.  The next.

What is “last”?

She says no.

I recall dreams from time to time.  Unable.

Something may have been said.

A Conversation of Humanity

A man stumbles into a bar… (perhaps you’ve heard this one before)… truly more of a sauntering in seeming need of assistance… must be no stranger here, his drinks await him wherever he finds or chooses or results in sitting: a something-with-vodka, large glass of water, and occasionally a cup filled with coffee.

“You’re the one that always has books,” some say, “you some kind of writer or something?”

“I don’t know what I’m doing,” he mumbles.  “I’m always tired, I feel ugly and old, I don’t like my body but don’t desire doing anything about it, perhaps I should, I’m sure to lose it someday…” (he isn’t talking to anyone).  “Thank you, always, you’re ever so kind,” he says.

He says “My children seem to remember me,” shifting in his chair as if to leave, or relocate tables, “my children they seem to remember, and they hurt me, they have hurt me, my body hurts, mostly in sport, and what they do and don’t remember.”  He opens a book, looks as if he’s reading, another round of drinks appears.

He writes and marks in many colors.  He is dirty.  He wears overalls and moccasins.  He never seems cold.  It is cold.

“I decided to shower today,” he mutters.  “Some ladies still talk to me,” something-and-vodka drips through his beard, “some will even hug or hold me yet, even this way” (patting his belly, grimacing) “I guess I didn’t like my smell or simply thought it might change me, it’s awful hard to be alone with my body.”  He moves, his drinks are waiting at another table, both fresh fills and half-drunks, and a sandwich of some kind.  The cook passes and pats him on the shoulder, smiles, asks of how he’s doing.  They hug.  The man praises him and his eyes are moist.  The man isn’t anyone in particular.  He isn’t anyone.

“What you doing with all those books?” she asks, he thinks.  Pretends that someone’s interested.  “Not the young ones much anymore,” he says, “they are needing something else, they can tell I’m aged and tired, carrying the trouble of experiences, but a few, a few older ones will let me hug them, touch, perhaps a kiss, perhaps an accidental overnight, that strange collapse.”

“I have them to read,” he replies, “there’s always more to read,” he whimpers, “so much, so many, to read,” he sighs and smiles like a boy receiving toys, “if only people, my children, if, if they felt read this way by me, some women, some wonderful women, if I could delve, could attend, if others felt read this way, these books, I love them, I love and need them, their words, I love and need and want them…if others felt that way, I’d like to feel that way – loved, wanted, needed… sometimes my children…”

“Another?” she says so warmly with her tight and fast-moving body, lithe and breasted, friendly with its clothes.  She has a fresh vodka-with-something, he says “no I shouldn’t, but sure, I guess, you’re so kind to me, why  not?  I will, yes” (wanting, loving, needing.. books scattered over the tabletop, all closed).  He drinks.

“My children, my friends – so smart, so beautiful, with verve… so helpful… I did shower today,” he thinks, “maybe I’ll be useful to one or some of them, but probably not, what could they need or want of me,” he drinks.  “Not the young ones, though, not anymore,” he thinks, “what could I offer – these worn experiences, these words and doubts, these lacks of memories, confusions, waking dreams, these wonders.”

“You’ll need to go soon,” she chides, “you can’t be staying here.”  “But he’s the writer,” a boisterous drinker shouts, “he oughta tell a story, oughta earn his keep!”  Drunk old friendly at two in the morning (bar time – it’s actually 1:35).

“Tell us something,” they gather, they prompt.  “Say some of those words,” they prod.

So he opens his notebook and begins to write…

 

 

“…the contradiction which awaits the writer is great.  There is no mission, he cannot undertake it and nobody has sent him on it, that is to say he will have to become nobody to accept it; a contradiction which he cannot survive.  That is why no writer can hope to preserve his life’s freedom for the benefit of the work… everything takes place between the artist and himself; no one else can do anything about it; it is a mystery like love that no extraneous authority may judge or understand.”

– Maurice Blanchot-

Expectation

“Whether it makes any difference what you say – whether there is any point in it anyway; whether there is any point in saying anything anyway.”

– Rush Rhees, Wittgenstein & the possibility of discourse

It was the mystery that found us, all the unknown buried beneath and beyond.

She said to me, or rather she offered her hand, or rather we made eye contact, well, she greeted me and held out her hand and we looked at or into one another’s faces.  Just the surface of the ocean.  Seas and skies are larger than our imagining.

Say skin, language, thought, or feeling are flexible bordering insides and outsides, contained and beyond.  Something like that I thought, unknowingly.

He spoke to me, then hugged me, with an asking.  I couldn’t know the question, but I understood the words.  We seemed friendly and respectfully embraced, hesitant and expressive at once.  There’s a cliff at the end of the trail.  Sometimes I don’t remember.

Sharp curves on roads in mountainous terrain.  That sort of thing, voids that look empty but allow plummet.

And whether it makes any difference, she said.

Difference is made, apparently.

Mother used to tell me, what was it?  Her voices are clear, kind of, almost, but the words are lost in others.  Deep waves are like that, it seems; hard to follow or find, prominent and obvious while rocking the boat, regardless the size.  Clouds.  Wind makes little sense of skies.  Everything is out there.

Inside, it’s raining.

I was asked for a cigarette and large trees moved above rooftops.  She offered her hand the way he hugs me, my son playing music on the piano while a cat escapes and someone’s doing homework.  They say the ground goes deeply down beneath us, compiled by potential millennia.  Nobody knows, though we have tools to measure by.  Whatever those tools measure.

I remember first times.  Every time.  Only it’s perplexing that they’re exactly the same.

Does anything repeat?

Father got on me again about irresponsibilities, my dreaminess.  If only I’d been military I’d be disciplined.  Different.  She offered her hand plus an ankle, a hip, a breast, a womb.  I’d have values. The crook of a knee, a neckline.  Take responsibility.  He wanted it in my mouth – that feels best, he said.

What do I know?

Surfaces of oceans.

She stops and reads books.  I do.  There is music and a din of dialogue.  Raucous.  Discomfort.  Anxiety is familiar, always the first time again.

I am afraid.  Usually.  Deep water disturbs me.  No one knows.  Many are afraid of flying.

Crying is its own thing.  How is an ocean made?  I won’t succeed.

Whether it makes any difference – saying anything anyway.  Someone speaks at me.  Eyes meet.  A brush of lips.  A grasp of hand.  What is the question?  Skies and oceans.  Earth’s depths.  What do I understand?  Always ending begins, beginnings.  What ends.  What has no end?  It begins.  Again.  Always first times.  Nothing.

Her breath tastes good, inhaled.  His muscle.  Seawater burn.  Heartloss.  So much fresh air.  The turn is sharp.

Saying anything anyway: the point is whether, weather, difference…its repetition.

The how and why of her.  Of him.  Of it and other.

There I must have been when I saw her or felt it or once again the beginnings.  Once again the first time.  Always again.  Begin.  While ending.  While ends.

He said so – whether there is any point in saying anything.  He said what felt best when he hugged me, kindly.

She offered.  Someone asked for something.  Like surfaces on oceans.  Horizon lines.  The ground beneath our feet, beneath that.  Differences.  The above.  I cut my skin.

 

 

The Incompletion of Words

We tried, once.

Attempted an adjoining.

No one cared or cares.

It’s not a point.

THE point.

.

I never wanted it to mean anything.

It never has.

(I never wanted it to).

Never really thought it could.

It might.

It doesn’t.

It won’t.

Hasn’t.

.

The only point I perceive

Is our dismissal.

Evolution.

Another term we use for mortality.

.

Something hopeful.

Never helpful.

Just is.

The way of things.

.

I’m not here.

I’m not anywhere.

There are birds.

Little Offerings

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…

Journal Entry

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

.

One-Way.  Only.

Irreversible.

It is called.

.

Loss, we name it.

Lossness, lessness:

Simply change.

.

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

.

Continuously undone.

And never remade.