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

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Learning-With, Working In-Between

I found the following paper when cleaning up our dining room table to prepare for dinner:

Ida_Blog

What I learn from the inscriptions of my freshly teenaged/screenaged daughter is this:  POWERFUL WRITING CAN BE ABOUT ANYTHING.  Which inspires me, and supports a potent hunch I’ve been harboring over recent years and studies: that writing that works on or in us, that gnaws at us, strikes or challenges us, perhaps even changes or ‘enlightens’ us, nourishes or crushes us (as the human species we happen to be – capable of participating, communicating, coordinating variously fabricated scales of signification from the organismal, cell-based to communal (‘personal,’ ‘social,’ ‘political’-based) tends to be concocted up out from textures and materials of authentic self-report and confusion or lack [wonder? – our ability to ‘put-into-question’?].

That we make effort, perhaps progress, are sustained or contained, constrained or extended by core curiosity (query, investigation, inquiry, desire) around perceived conundrums, or LACK.

“This in-between feeling”: self-report (authentic within constrained conventions, perception, culture) + confusion, curiosity, a questioning, experimentation, conundrum = an access to the uncertain, the open, the unknown.

“If it is true that there is (in the Chinese language) a written character that means both ‘man’ and ‘two,’ it is easy to recognize in man he who is always himself and the other, the happy duality of dialogue and the possibility of communication. But it is less easy, more important perhaps, to think ‘man,’ that is to say, also ‘two,’ as separation that lacks unity, the leap from 0 to duality, the 1 thus giving itself as the forbidden, the between-the-two [l’entre-deux]”

– Maurice Blanchot, The Step Not Beyond

 

Human scientists, when they’re ‘successful,’ or ‘good’ combine observation / passion / desire / perception (experiment + experience) as authentic self-reports in a conventionalized constraint PLUS putting the conundrum or confusion (joining-with beyond-certainty) into question… open… ‘What Is…?’ ‘What If…?’ WHAT MIGHT MY HUNCHES, TROUBLES, EXPERIENCE, SENSES, DESIRES indicate?  Anything?  No-thing?

The litterateur, artist, therapist, musician – what COM-PELS us (pushes us forward-with-world, with-being) seems to be a kind and variation, repetition and difference of this experience + experiment – attempt at authentic self-report wedded to curiosity/wonder/or the putting-into-question of it.

Some empty set.

So Cantor’s infinity.  Einstein’s relativity.  Godel and undecidability.  Hegel, Husserl, Heidegger’s existentialism or phenomenology, Wittgenstein’s language and forms of life, Beckett, Joyce, Blanchot, Wallace proliferating or desiccating sentences – all seem to be appropriately tied, threaded and submerged in Experience + Lack, Perception + Desire, what we do not, perhaps can not, know.

When William James delivers a cumulative, culminative authentic and conventionalized self-report, a curious address called “Is Life Worth Living?”, or Socrates-Augustine-Leibniz-Nietzsche-Shakespeare-Kierkegaard [substitute names at will – Dante, Darwin, Dostoevsky, Proust, Sartre, Peirce, Melville, Dickens…] inquire “Why is there something rather than nothing?” or “Why is there anything at all?”… Why this!? We’re hovering about a lack – of understanding, apparent meaning, dissatisfaction, perhaps frustration, an emptiness, a hole in things we’re troubling, questioning.

‘Scientists,’ ‘psychologists,’ ‘poets,’ ‘lovers,’ ‘activists,’ ‘parents,’ and ‘priests’ are all pushed forward in these questions… core-conundrums, felt-vacuums, hitches, indications of LACK.

Resulting in remarkable attempts at authentic self-report coupled to curiosity / questioning / doubt.

Inquiry is effort.

In-between: knowing/experiencing and unknowing/confusion – experience and experiment.

“The center…[does] not hold”

Lacks.

We are not-yet-one (self-sufficient) and less-than-two (self and other).  Not an observer or experiencer without something observed/experienced.  Not a language or emotion without a group or felt-with or in-relation-to.  Not a happening without a happening-in, a happening-here, a happening-to.  Not a sound without a hearing.  A cell without surround, a border and environment.  No self without an other and all incomplete, undecidable, in flux and underdetermined.

ALWAYS IN-BETWEEN AND UNCERTAIN

An adolescent is able to capture and confess this…that alone tells me nothing together might do.

No “what if?” without something to work with.  No awareness without awareness-of.

And so “I,” her progenitor-father, study NOTHING.  The “what if nots?”  Incomprehensible, inexistent, perhaps inconceivable questions… indeterminable, indecipherable, perhaps unexperiencable and irrational.

At breakfast we speak of it.  Curiously, we authentically self-report our wonder, confusion and conundrums – our LACK – of understanding, of method, of language, of expression, experience… our limitations we might call ‘impossibility…’

That nothing is only possible when nothing is NOT.  That if we are able in relation to nothing… ‘we’ can not be there, or ‘be’ at all.  Nothing not even itself, not even an absence… to speak or think of it is to rush it away…

These are things I learn from my children – that our questions go unanswered, are (perhaps) unanswerable, that attempting authentic reportage (communicating) experience coupled to wonder, and putting-it-to-question, with humility, then, in doubt… perhaps drives our systems, our logics, our literatures, arts, sciences, and love… LACK that we do not know, can not (perhaps) know, are participants-at-scale – finite and fragile – and have our limits, open and undecided…

Without which…nothing?

Thank you dear children.

I am comforted almost to imagine you might be driven on…

…by your lack, your honest confusion, unsettledness, and authenticity.

Funny enough, the following short piece arrived in my email the same day…

Buechner_blog

Marking My Way

What follows is exemplary of my tendency when I open a notebook and begin to write… digression… sigh…

“a man, however intelligent, is no better at maze-running than a rat, unless assisted by notes, whether these are remembered verbally or sketched out in a drawing”

– Michael Polanyi, The Study of Man –

artwork – Pamela Caughey

I am beginning this story with words, for I am writing, and writing has often occurred as the transformation of experience to perceivable mark for communicable purpose: programming code, impressions in sand, lines about the mouth and eye, numbers, letters, notations and visible strokes.

The mark I begin with is “I.”  To imaginative purpose.  Say we could coordinate belief around marks (which “we” already have, or “you” are unable to comprehend, co-perceive or mutually interpret anything of what “I” am scribbling).  Imagine with me that we can: foster markings and gestures, sounds and expressions, that stabilize over time toward agreement…

1, I; 2, we; 3, you; 4, with; 5, world; 6,… and so on… where marks come to re-present a sharing or relation toward – together we assemble at “tree(4)” or “word(4),” at “sign(4)” or “kingdom(7),” at “ours(4)” and “us(2)” and at “we(2)” or whatever(8).  All might be marked other ways, sounded or gestured – a squirrel’s flicking tail, a whale’s sonic wail, bird twitters, rock cracks and colors, cloud movements, sighs.  Images, letters, motions, or sounds.  Impressible, expressible movements.  Relations enacted, touches and probes, effects and affects across spaces and times, this is language in-scribed and con-scribed –communicability – glance of finger or toe or of eye, brush of hair or of death or of light… con-tact.  Tactility, touchability, WITH.

Imaginatively-agreed-illusory and often elusive – “Abstraction (11, or 10+1, or..)” – What-is-not becoming what-is.  “Creation(8 or eight or 11111111…).”  Coordinated occurrence of subjectless objects and objectified subjects and things among things among things “co-existing(10),” – or so “we” mark “it.”

I begin with a mark that is “i” or 1, or the slightest, least notable line.  “iota” in Greek, as Frost deftly inscribes – just a pass, accident, happenstance, hardly constructed and simple – a stick falls from a tree and leaves an “L” or a “Y” in the soil, but an “i”?

A mistake usually, a drip.

So “I” use it to refer to “just 1” = “what-is-not.”  No “one(1)” has yet known only one.  With “one(1)” there is nothing ‘to know’ – to attend to, perceive.  With 1 there is only the one – less than nothing.  1 counts the same in negation.  You have nothing or one, but once perceivable three – the 1, the 0, the difference.

We make marks.

The mark I began with is “I,” just the least, the inception, the start of a “we.”  A cry, a twitch, a tone or effect, a coloration, occurrence.  What’s the difference…

“I” could have made a sound.  Could have poked, puked, stomped, wriggled…simply gestured into wind…

ANYthing, EVERYthing can only happen as more-than-one.  More than meaningless mark (/) or vanishing point, it indicates RELATION.  If 1=nothing, we still get 1 + -1 = 0…all ways at least 3.  And if 1 is alone (“all-one”) there’d be no knowing, telling, perceiving, deciding without at least a “NONE(4, 0)” or “TWO(3, 2)” to proffer recognition – ALWAYS MORE THAN ONE for there “2B.”

I could not propose “I” without other or else (no-thing could be perceived without difference, and difference demands at least two + a relation, [even similarity – which always harbors difference] – therefore 3 at the least for a mark).  If “you” couldn’t tell a difference (perceive or experience something…how would you know some thing is?).  Identi(cal)ty would seem (necessarily) IM-perceptible.

1 NEVER EQUALS 1.  Such is my thesis.  If equality and sameness are possible no one could mark it, perceive it, proclaim it – 1=1 is not perceptible.  For 1(“I”) to be identifiable, not-1(not-I) is required, which demands a 3rd(third) that might distinguish or experience – whether relation-itself 1±1 or Otherness to “tell apart” or cleave.

Identification demands Other.  A mark, even the slenderest, simplest, accidental dash – to be perceptible, to matter – must be different from an other.  Therefore, always 2 have to be for a 1 to be, and for that to be perceptible a third(5, 3) must exist… 1≠1=3, and 1=1=3…

i.e. I begin with “I” to invoke/inscribe MANY.

I am beginning this story with words…

Michel Foucault: “Speech Begins After Death”

.

..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…

Foucault saisi par la révolution - Vacarme | Michel Foucault | Scoop.it

Untitled Fiction III

III.  “…with murderous care…”

Jon had said, to Jesse, about the fires.

So we persisted, Jon, Jesse, and I, and the deceased Beckett, with perhaps thousands of others, unbeknownst any to each around some mythical innermost.

“Fail better.”  The worst times are the ones in which one simply wants to quit failing altogether.  Unfortunately (literally) that necessarily entails a kind of “end of the world as one ‘knows’ [perceives, participates, experiences, or imagines] it” – either suicide, tragedy, ‘terminal’ illness – death of some sort.  Maybe silence, but that’s not certain.

The game table is always already laid, you’re always simply ‘entering’ it (LW points out this fallacy in his collections of numbered critiques of anything anyone writes or says or claims) actually (as far as we know) always already there (where you ‘find’ – what?!? – your ‘self’ – what?!?) and (again, perhaps, literally, unfortunately – or at the very least extremely limitedly) you can only occupy one position at the table (or wherever the action happens to be) at a time, that, unfortunately, always involves the very delimited…well, YOU.  These are the arrangements as they transpire.

Language can (and does), we surmised, go anywhere.  I try to record, invent, notate, mark, initiate.  It all seems unnameable.  Or of far too many names, references, usages, subtexts and connotations, inferences and denotations, already implemented in order to represent anything undone, reconstructed, deconstructed, novel or ‘new.’  “There’s nothing new under the sun” was already a cliché at the beginning / in the earliest phases.

Fires and voids all imagined early.  [Apeiron.  Chora/Khora.  Clinamen.  Flux.  Infinity.  ABSENCE.  The ‘Other.’].  I begin.  Again.  GWFH and Freud refer to this as “repetition.”  A hopeless hope of emergence.  As different or unique as it may seem, ever a plenitude of the pre-existing.  The already-there.

Been there, done that, Beckett exhausts from his grave alongside.  “He was found lying on the ground…a voice comes to one in the dark” Imagine.  Imagine.  Everything is already there.  The table set and set again, arranged.  Already there when you wake to it.  World.

It hasn’t…apparently…been given up.  Perhaps it is inexhaustible.  Limited though we be, we seem to be teeming with it/them… efforts at the unsayable.  Unnameable.  How it is.  What is the what.  Lost in the labyrinth of the occurrence, experience, now with shoddy, partial, biased and over-specified or eccentrically particular maps, guides, or rulebooks.  Ourselves.

 

Untitled – Fiction for Becoming

sleefa2016
image by Summer Lee – http://www.summerleeart.com/

Untitled Fiction : Years of Birth, Becomings

Jesse’s working up something, so is Jon.  I’ve begun working again.  Beckett is still dead.  Or dead, still – either way he has not concluded.

There was plenty of talk – banter, chatter, fulminations, really – to the contrary, to the effect that the ‘working up’ had ceased, had dwindled, long since dissipated or been simply forgotten…not so.  Now I’ve heard from Jon and Jesse, piecemeal though it be, and my own ‘working-on’ (or UNWORKING, as MB always referred to it) is near to its inception.

Something is going to emerge.  Jon repeats and repeats that “Someone is going to come” and Jesse appears to have passed beyond the silence once begun, through all his notes of suicide, toward fire and conflagration and some bewildered youthfulness.  Nohow On become a MUST.  And all of it inconclusive, i.e. not concluded.

I work in, on, up, and ever forward, toward – ‘toward the what?’  Jon keeps asking while Jesse scrawls on napkins – figures like cartoons, clowns and foxes, masters, slaves, and mysteries – our locations go unmarked, our whereabouts unknown.  This is How It Is, according to Beckett and MB.  FK in the burrow.  Plato in a cave.  JD taking apart each domicile, meticulously.

We are looking for a place to work at our unworking, the time and space to be for what is not.  Beckett named it The Unnameable.

I took to the books and letters, while apparently the others wrote, made messages and codes, secreted the symbols into texts and silences, plays and fictions full of pause.  GWFH, another spell of YHWH, foretold this long ago: “the ends are reached and reached beyond, folding under, folding through, reached again, again, and…”

For years now Jon is melancholy and therefore quite abbreviated, unable to go on, full of stutters, repetitions, and always the questions, questioning, questing, the undone.  Jesse through his trials and papered rooms, sometimes near and sometimes foreign, never-know, never-mind, never-where, scraping geography and clouds in search of where No Where and Now Here meet.  I’ve thus far been unable to locate him.  As for Ivan, Ivan and Enrique both stopped working after the library of loss – assembling detectives, interviewing the dumb and victimized, missals here and there, mostly filled of snow and jungle.

I think: crows spread across the overcast, charred ash sprinkling fields, nothing rooted, nothing grown.

The unworking.  Almost a throw of the dice.  Half of each sentence erased.  The subtle coterie of literate mathematicians.  Reports from elsewhere.  WG’s layered travelogue… in search of… The work of unworking goes on.

“Splitting on difference,” he said, the passage from mayhem to insight – WG described as “Vertigo,” the verge, the swerve, the swoon.  You reach an edge or limit, what cannot be undone, begin unworking.  Begin unworking there.

At the grave “I can’t go on.  I must go on.  I’ll go on,”  Beckett decries.  It’s not at understanding – “splitting on difference” – but in the going-on, turning over/under, inexhaustibly or ad infinitum – convergences coming undone.

From JD Jesse gets a Post Carte, leaves it somewhere in the margins, but we know.  We know we have heard, even if we can’t re-member.  All variations of death, Jon thinks, Jon writes, Jon says…assembling the book of questions…the interior distance of this fierce and beautiful world filled with women, fire, and dangerous things…keeping MB in infinite conversation.

Some things don’t make sense yet seem imperative.  As if there were a realm of the unsayable, a set of stanzas wedding language and death – signifying nothing – that is to say, a world of unspeakable silence that works like clamor.

Exhausting voice and nothing more.  The trouble with pleasure, with suffer, with become.  None of us trust ideas and yet we generate and respond.

He was found lying on the ground.  No one had missed him.  No one was looking for him… An old woman found him.” (Beckett).  We somehow set out to search.  “That seems to hang together.”  Jon, Jesse, WG, myself, scouring the globe for more – who, what…- “But finally I asked if I knew exactly what the man – what exactly was required of the man, what it was he could or could not say.  No, was the answer, after some little hesitation, no, I did not know…” and so we keep on.

A voice comes to one in the dark.  Imagine.” JD post carte.  Beckett’s own death, still.  GWFH, WG, FK and MB’s left messages, notes, recordings.  “Only a small part of what is said can be verified”…if any.  We are left, bereft, full of fragments, thoughts concluded, forgotten, ignored, but still unworking – in journeys, in dramas, in fire.  Hanging at the limits of ropes.  To strangle or drop, and what then?  What next?  Splitting on difference.  It comes apart, what holds together.  No one knows.  Nowhere, now here, very difficult to say.  Meticulous dismantling, decode – recode – Unicode – uncode.

…Jesse’s working up something, as is Jon.  I’ve begun working again.  Beckett is still dead.  Or dead, still – either way he has not concluded.  Piecemeal as it may be, we are all working on (or UNWORKING, as MB liked to refer to it)…and nearing some inception.

The “Tense of Incoherence” ( Paul Valery)

“I am suspicious of all words, for even the slightest reflection shows the absurdity of trusting them.”

– Paul Valery, Monsieur Teste

“You know, dear you, that my mind is of the obscurest sort…I am composed of an unfortunate mind which is never quite sure that it has understood what it has understood without realizing it.”

– Valery –

FOR NO REASON

Delight.  Hope.  Survival.  

Homer .  Beckett.  Kafka.  Hegel.  

Language.  

Wittgenstein.  Heidegger.  Merleau-Ponty.  

Fosse.  Derrida.  Foucault.  Sterne.  

Imagination.  Philosophy.  Fiction.

WHAT CAN BE THOUGHT? (Philosophy) “on the verge”

WHAT CAN BE WRITTEN? (Literature) “on the verge”

Maybe I’ll just read.  Perhaps suicide (stop).  Perhaps create.  Perhaps avoid.  Perhaps participate with others (friends, family, children, pets, nature).  Perhaps think and drink.

WHO CARES?  NO ONE.  NO SOME.  DO I?

Selected “foods for thought”:

The Event – Martin Heidegger.  Monsieur Teste – Paul Valery.  Replacement – Tor Ulven.  Inexhaustibility and Human Being – Stephen D. Ross.  The Meridian – Paul Celan.  Verge of Philosophy – John Sallis.  and so on.  Potentials.

Directions for staying alive (as human being).  Follow something: desire.  hope.  beauty.  sex.  belief.  pleasure.  pain.  Try something.

Read history and imagine imagining a world that sensible.

Read science and imagine imagining a world that ordered.  

Read literature and imagine imagining a world.  

Read philosophy and imagine imagining that many questions.  

Read religion and imagine imagining that many answers.

Stop.  Say your own.  (thoughts, imaginations, feelings, perceptions) to someone or to nothing (write them).

And so on.

For no reason.

But perhaps staying alive / living a little longer.

WHAT DO YOU WONDER?  DESIRE?  WISH?  PROPOSE?

And so on.

WHO CARES?             DO YOU?

And so on…

…for no reason.

Thus the life of “the writer,” “artist,” “human,” “scientist”… WHATEVER – WHOMEVER HUMAN (so-self-called) BEING.

In other words… when we encounter “literature” we (perhaps, perhaps probably) are engaging a fellow human being in the NOW – amidst an odd tactic of applying (through a strange and meddlesome nigh-universal ambiguous medium) the operation of EVERYTHING he/she knows or has experienced to the point-of-NOW.  And we (weird, individualized organisms) either find correlation and correspondence with (some or much or little) of their ‘whole’ knowledge & experience (and thus, perhaps, probably, are moved by or like them) or… find very little correspondence or similarity with our ‘own’ knowledge and experience and therefore consider them banal, useless, uninteresting, untrue, or off-putting.

WHO CARES?  DO YOU?

I do.  It keeps me alive, surviving.  I drink, I read, I think.  Attempt to forget obligations, relations, and responsibilities (I can’t).  That I’m a FATHER, that i exist in a socio-economic scenario that requires the bulk of my life be passed in “bullshit jobs” that somehow appease ‘Powers-That-Be’ and allow me a place on earth and a terrible fight to try and defend or spend ANY portion of existence doing-what-i-want, or what ‘fulfills’ or causes me happiness / gladness / joy in being alive…

When I’m able to “snare,” “steal,” “TIME” – I read and write, make love, or drink alcohol – because these things make me feel GOOD or WELL as the sort of being I am.

Why is it I feel compelled to sneak, steal, or justify what gives me joy in being? (whether plant, ant, mammal, or any other cellular construction)?

I wouldn’t ‘rather’ be famous, or a president, powerful, or a businessman, artist, or ‘professional,’ or anything.  I REALLY just want to be a human-in-society valuable-to-the-rest because I happen to be one who loves language, literature, pretending, fiction, inventing, thinking, imagining what might be – this-wise, that-wise, which-wise, whom-wise, where-wise, when-wise…

WHY IS THIS NOT VALUABLE?  ACCEPTABLE?  SUPPORTABLE?  along with each alternate things-one-might-want-to-be as valuable-to-the-cumulative…

Humans seem to be multiplicitous, variable, and plentiful.  Many wish/desire/like to be strong, rich, beautiful, productive, etc.  Why can not there also be room for those who desire neither usefulness, beauty, riches, or power… but CANS at the verges… of language, thought, imaginings?  And are these really so different from those pushing edges of other characteristics?

Suddenly this entry feels like a wallowing or a requesting of pity.

That is not the feeling.

“I am composed of an unfortunate mind which is never quite sure that it has understood what it has understood without realizing it.”

  • Paul Valery

Signifying Writing – Figure 2

Sign-language

Figure 2

A relief in the unreality.  A kind of re-sign-ation and release…capitulation…to the impossible.

“how we find our way in the unknown by drawing on invisible maps of the invisible and by following…”

(Gunnar Olsson, Abysmal)

Sign-language.  Gesturing.  Ambivalent approximations.

At times unbearable.  At times a satisfaction of “all we have” and the effort of maximizing it.  At times re-solve (for x?).  At times a re-linguishing abandonment:  despair.

I study her, hair splitting and spreading, trailing inky-green over the vein-passages, delicately swollen, along the backs of her hands, superfluous and jewelry-like wrist-bones, concatenation and symphony of muscled, cartilage-limned lineations from thigh to knee-bend to calf, turning into sun-drenched marble of ankle, tendon, toes…painted, dusted, perfection…

The beauty will not hold to term.  Will never be contained.  It was impossible before it began.  Eventuated, erupted, but was not “meant” or realized for any capture.  It’s irreducible and indescribable, and I always already knew that – thus a torment, self-torture, a suicide term-inating – necessary failures I will elect to die trying: inconceivable, yet experienced; an incalculable worthless worth because unshared and uncommon.  Just perception, experience, singular…impossible.  Not factual.  Incommunicable.  HER.

To simply see (receive, perceive, conceive) – non-transferable, i.e. ‘unreal,’ unrepeatable, or ‘not the same’ as that.  Untranslatable.

Yes, it starts to map.  A conjecture of imaginary spaces, places, locations.  Lines drawn wobbly and around, surround, what mystery?  To dialogue and dream – hypothesize, surmise, polygraphy.  I.e. to fail.

Ends in its begins, becoming something ‘else,’ as self might with each other – between showing new unknowns.

Not sure its believed in any more: “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

It goes on.

A trace, congesture, autography.

Experience.

Abysmal

A philosophical problem has the form: “I don’t know my way about.”

– Ludwig Wittgenstein –

“The silent spaces between words often speak louder than the words themselves”

-Gunnar Olsson – 

Signifying Writing, Figure 1

Opicinus De Canistris World Map
Figure 1

Opicinus De Canistris World Map

*

The map began as a scribble, a doodle.  Begins as a failure to write, to “compose.”

In lieu of a word there’s a wiggle of pen wandering aimless in search.  Cartography-graphology-psychology – a loitering for logos.

Begins this way – in hope of words, a sort of squiggle.  A body desiring a mind.  To show up, to take over, provoke or convince – to appear, make a meaning, disclose – to figure toward sign.  Some unconcealing.

The signal’s not there, so it moves: the hand, the instrument, the breath and the heart – are they tools?  And for what?  A cartographer’s dream.  Of no training, no knowledge, even reason is lacking.

A pen making marks on a page, mapping none.  Tracing nonsense.  It begins in this way, and it leads, so he hopes (it hopes, is hope, is desire).

The scrawl travels over the page – given borders and boundaries, arbitrary and set – 6”x9” and lined with a soft viscous grey.  He (it) slows down.  Just a hand and an arm and a shoulder – in motion – holding a technical device filled with fluid – black, yes, like bile, but less tacky, diluted – it flows, threading lines – it’s con-fusion – yet taking, biting, inscribed.  Something happens.  Drawings are locked to a medium stock.  Incomprehensibles stained on a page.

It crawls on.

*

This mapping begins in a loss.  He is lost.  It is lost.  Doesn’t “know.”  Just beginning, because – with desire.  It is driven, compelled, WRITER WANTS (for to write) with “nothing to write, and no means to write it” yet constrained to keep writing, to expunge merely SOMEthing, some THING.  Which is NO thing, no THING, but to mark.  It goes on.

Makes a map, a map-ping, tangled series of lines meaning nothing, no THING, but creating TO-WARD.  Ward off absence, off void, ward off death, this is to – .

It (he) is tired.  Is forlorn.  Is an absence and loss, a re-mission, re-cursion, re-morse.  And not even that clear.

Scribbles on.  NOT a map.  NOT directions.  For NO where to go – NOW here, now HERE, no-where.  Which begins all the longing, for “he’s” heard it said, found it written – in signs, in-scribed, sign-i-fied: but NOT HERE.  Not in him or this body.  NOT THIS.  No sense.  Non-sense.  “It’s” not “working.”

Trail dwindles along cross the page.  It’s a map.  Just of being.  NOW here.  Now.  HERE.  Looks like this – some electrocardiomusculoskeletalpsycognilinguadigital-gram.  From this angle, this tool, these techniques.  As a Ouija.  No meaning.  Saussurating.  Arbitrary.  Mediate.  Only markings.

It falters.

And so it begins – as a failure to write – as a scribble – an assay – a tribute to write – that cannot, that will not, that does not…quite occur.