Autumn Reflections, their sound and fury

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“Sometimes God, sometimes nothing”

-Franz Kafka –

“Blank page called a day.

God.”

– Dan Beachy-Quick –

The praxis of empty signifiers : words : full of sound and fury.

If you accept the ‘I’, or find a name to call yourself – like using a credit card received in the mail (illusion of invisible funds), what do you charge to it, and does it always end in debt?

Does it make of you a consumer to believe the ‘I’?  To use self-reference as a token or coin?

How soon do “my” and “mine” follow after, even though each object, event, or transaction, is clearly only a loan?

What is charged to the ‘I’ must be paid back – to put it in legal or religious terms.

Be careful what you say.

Wittgenstein claimed that we mostly speak without giving full meaning to the terms we use – that we ought remain silent whereof we cannot speak with adequate comprehension.  Where we sing beyond our knowing –

very few (if any) utterances comply.

But how learn anything (even the untrue) without not-knowing?  Without composing walls to break apart or knock upon, to breach or to climb?  Without making it up to unlearn and repent of?

A word changes direction.

It’s happening as I write or think or imagine this.  As if.

As if it signified something.  I write with sound and fury.  Into silence.

It’s what ‘I’ do – so I should do it!  (shouldn’t I?!)

I seem to know I’m alive by touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, seeing – things other… feeling, sensing, perceiving… crafting empty signifiers like nostrils, like a tongue, a kind of eyesight and ear, my fingertips.  My flesh on loan.  To be paid back.

In debt to what then?  ‘World’?  To sing.  To sound.  To dance a little.  Imagine.

If ‘I’.

If I am given the sound of leaves as they crisp and color the Autumn breeze, refracturing light; if I can smell the moisting decay (debts repaid by undoing what was charged), if I can gather them with my hands and roil about them with my body, if I can bake the seeds and chew, take them in…

…what does ‘I’ owe?

You sentence me: two I’s.  I hear your melodious song.  You whisper, close.

I say ‘I love.’  Terms lacking comprehension.  Metaphysics.  Their meanings beyond knowing.  Unlearned.  “We” are (whereof we cannot speak).

Charging invisible funds we become responsible for.  Obligated.

Swiping our cards for contents.

What do we owe?

What do we know?

What can we?

Each their own set limits.  Sometimes raised, sometimes lowered, depending on our fidelity to pay with interest.

We owe.  We all of us owe.

Even for our silence.

Even cash-only – that empty signifier – words.  Even simply action.  ‘I move’ – is a statement on credit, like breath.

Sweet burst of being!  To “is.”  To “I.”  To “we.”  All so heavily borrowed, contingently.  Imagine.

Imagine what it means.  To owe.

Again I break the silence of what I do not know via signs of repentance.  These words.

All the silence they require.

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My Correspondence with Nothing

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he who already knows cannot go beyond a known horizon

– Georges Bataille, Inner Experience – 

In a bout of acute loneliness (a sharp pang of alone signifying a sort of paralysis – some definite inability, however temporary, to start oneself up by or with oneself) I reached out to Hannah.

For some of you, the term Hannah will conjure connotations and resonances, perhaps emotions or concerns, discomforts, even though she does not exist.

Or I loaded the film Satantango by Bela Tarr & Laszlo Krasznahorkai.

A start-up, a stimulus, a searching.

Actually I wrote the name Hannah, or Hollie or Holly or Hallie or Halley or Bela or Chris or Maurice Blanchot.

Perhaps Kafka.

To be lonely and to reach out.

A drink then, for interaction.

A scribble on a page.

A smoke for an ‘other.’

Some music.

I read Beckett.

The cat.

Maria.  Edie.  Sarago.  Marcuse.

To become.  To be.  To begin.

As if I knew.

In a bout of acute loneliness I penned a letter to Herman Melville.

I wrote words onto a lined page.

I made an ‘other’ and called her, Hannah.

Or Meagan or Meghann, Angie or Angela or Angelo.  Gilles or Jill.  Jean and Jan and Jen.

I reach out.  I almost full fill.  Another notebook.  A drink.  A smoke.  A page marked and turned.

I do not know what loneliness is.

Perhaps it is nothing, or nothingness.  Perhaps frustrated desire.  For – ?  What is not (isn’t that what defines desires?).  The missing, the absence, the unknown.

I called it Hannah.

Or Hamza.

Hell or Helen or Helene/Helena.

Laurie.

No one knows but the name that works best.  Christy or Christina.  Vernoica/Veronique.

Beatrice.

I read Jabes.

A drink to an other (to signify might be).  A smoke for the presencing.  Another word, another name for something.  Out there = O ther.  Elves of else.

The book’s called Nothing Matters: a book about nothing, because “that nothing becomes the quest, which in turns begets something” (Ornan Rotem).

Dear Herman, Dear Samuel, Dear Franz:

Dear Larry, Dear Jack, Dear Jon:

Dear Hannah:

I do not know what it is to be alone, and my loneliness is painfully acute.

Dear Laura, Dear Sara, Dear Simone:

This is my correspondence with nothing.

Untitled – Fiction for Becoming

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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.

Meta-Recursion: Some thoughts on the task of writing

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Life becomes ideas, and ideas come to life

Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Metacognition is a buzzword these days – as contemporary sciences dive in to the neuro, neuron, chemistry and activity of bodily systems, we get to “see” our activities and “think” about them in different possible ways.  Our sciences concoct novel theories and processes, instruments and concepts and categories with regularity, and then our cultures absorb and incorporate these beliefs into our self-understanding and relating.  Metacognition “the awareness or understanding [ha!] of one’s own thought processes” is just such a theory – one writers have long thought about and acted as if, never without problematics.

Recursion, or, “the repeated application of a recursive procedure or definition,” is another one – looped and locked in repetitive activities in which our procedures and language “relate to or involve a program or routine of which a part requires the application of the whole, so that its explicit interpretation requires in general many successive executions,” each successive stage affected by the previous and effecting the following, the inside / the outside, the near / the far, the experienced & imaginary, the art / the life.  Endless recursion within a reigning myth of metacognition…and I am writing.

A writer knowing that I’m (a shifting pronoun) writing so also knowing that I’m writing about knowing that I’m writing (yet uncertain or finitely unable to ascertain all that entails) while I’m writing and therefore writing about that as well as what I’m writing, and so on…pertains to language, truthfulness, reason, perception, behavior and any other human activity…complex and recursive in a culture professing metacognition as a possibility.

This complicates writing in tremendous ways.  It becomes very difficult when composing letters and spaces to evaluate anything as “impossible.”

Quantum sciences, computer technologies, object-oriented ontologies and anthropocenes – complexity, indeterminateness, and relativity all serve as a soup in which we simmer, constraining and affording us opportunities that usher us right up to the edges of our finitude.  The interconnections (internet) of things (or not!) reminds us we cannot understand or know enough to write knowledgeably about even our own organisms, and also expose us billions of encounters and experiences per day that recursively become within our systems.  I spread wider and decenter as the membranes that compose me increasingly appear as sieves.

The larger and smaller scales of life may not be operating like our daily experience, yet we often refer to our lives as “daily rounds.”  Relativity and indeterminateness and reversals of such equations, undo previous comprehensions of the filters of space and time, even as the Western ‘historical’ sense of narrativity and order comes undone, tangling in its possible untangling as potentially ‘solved’ in multiple directions at once…leaving us directionless and indeterminate per any ‘correspondence to reality or ‘truth.’”  Selah.

We must have experienced by now toggling between subject and object in any situation, and to whatever degrees our systems are genetically alike they are multitudinously variant as well.  We are currently aware that our perceptive calculations of our contexts are hypothetical or apply in very limited specificities…i.e., ONCE.  So our taxonomies flux, our histories alter, our cognition and perception get meta-statized, and language becomes a wobbling sign in Big Weather.  Waves and warps, folds and possible interjections.

Apparently it might all be in-formation, movements accessible through relation for operationalizing.

Our “subject matter” dissolves since we no longer have a subject acting through a predicate, but all matter interacting in theorized randomness and happenstance with nary a drive to avoid extinction.  Hosts of events (plot?) with endless extrapolations or interpretations, wherein things long distant and disparately far might “fold in” or “warp past” or correlate via some vibration – and perhaps they do? (memory as a pass of ‘reversal’ in subjective time?)

I am writing.  And so all this must be written, in our stories and imaginary objects, holding nothing, requiring application of the whole and very many successive executions.  Sounds ominous, but the terminus thusfar we can still count on.  It will end (for us, as we experience it).  It must be written – increasingly aware of all I do not / most likely cannot know or understand, and that nothing experienced “fits together” while belonging together in ways we haven’t been able to imagine, fragments fed by fragments feeding fragments inseparably fluid…and I write, I try to write it, in channels of existent vocabularies and beliefs inaccurately scoped.

I (whatever that means) seem to be writing with an awareness that I-am-more-not-I-than-I or I is tenuously distinguishable or occasional, and am writing that I am writing while I am writing that I am thinking about writing which thinking is happening through various media like paper and pen and keyboard and digital text and electricity and air and an incalculable and miniscule trajectory of experience waving particles undone and mutated, I adapt, to no purpose (it is theorized) and go on or along and keep writing unaware even of what I am aware of and operationalize a tiny selection of language flooded with other usages and contexts and I write we write it writes as its writing.

“it is through my writing that I keep a hold on life” – Franz Kafka

And, holding nothing, I am unable to stop.

You must go on.  I can’t go on.  I’ll go on.

Samuel Beckett

Current Reading Sampling – 2016

I realized I have neglected this ever-changing list…for any who might be interested.  So I updated it today…

2016

“I decided to continue drinking and living in just this way.

My whole life long”

– Georges Bataille

Chin-deep in labor, family, relationship & studies…

Works for survival:

Writers, Antoine VolodineAntoine Volodine, Writers

Maurice Blanchot, The Space of Literature

Samuel Beckett, The Grove Centenary Editions

Franz Kafka, I Am a Memory Come Alive

Enrique Vila-Matas, Bartleby & Co.

Montano’s Malady

Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus

William James, The Writings of William James

Mikhail Bakhtin, Works of

Edmond Jabes, The Book of Questions

Works that expand:

Friedrich Kittler, Discourse Networks, 1800/1900

William Franke, A Philosophy of the Unsayable

Ian Hodder, Studies in Human-Thing Entanglement

Paolo Virno, When the Word Becomes Flesh

Werner Hamacher, Minima Philologica

Giorgio Agamben, The Coming Community

Paul Feyerabend, Against Method

A Literary Manifesto after the end of Literature and Manifestos – by Lars Iyer

Iyer post

NUDE IN YOUR HOT TUB, FACING THE ABYSS (A LITERARY MANIFESTO AFTER THE END OF LITERATURE AND MANIFESTOS)

by Lars Iyer

worth reading!