How in the world

The world is a weighted haunting –

– some complex surround –

to be dreamt and/or measured, and felt

with-in time

I amended the ‘haunting’ to be –

not the thick and illegible “world,”

but the compulsion of ‘figuring-out’ –

for with-out

the ‘figuring out,’

an ‘haunting’ is ghost –

and only just happens:

a nexting,

a breathing,


a missing,

a moving,

a touching,

a feel:

in convulsion.


Within which is conceived a convergence –


(some humanish word for ‘what’s happened’).

This ‘we’ –

what is it?

what part does it play

in the muddle?

And ‘what happens’

what means?:


(for us)

some occurring.


So diverge,

and tri-verge,

multiply in the mess –

the ‘world,’

as you feel it

and think it

and be –


how it wholly

might be

with itself.

Potent Selections from Vacation Reading

“I wondered what indeed it meant about me that I was so set against the notion of convention that I should attack it.  So, I replaced the dream with the novel, stripping the stories of my dreams of any real meaning, but causing the form of them to mean everything.”

“…the gap between the subject of enunciation and the subject of enunciating not only failed to appear to me as a place of entry, but also failed to register as something I might elide.  For me, there was no gap, as there is no gap for anyone.”

P Everett 1

“…generally, people are only inclined to speak of the past with those they believe will somehow not only share some commonality, but who will also be disposed to exhibiting sympathy.”

“Is a photograph always present tense?  I described them so…better, let the question be, is what is in the photograph always in the present, without a before, without an after?  Of course, it is.  And isn’t that actually you in the picture?”


“On Ludwig Boltzman’s tombstone is carved: S=k. LogW.  S is the entropy of a system, k represents Boltzman’s Constant, and W is a measure of the chaos of a system, essentially the extent to which energy is dispersed in the world.  This equation meant little to me as I read of it the first time, but as I considered it I grew excited.  The space between S and W is the space between the living thing in front of me and stuff hidden inside beyond my observation and comprehension.  It raises the question:  How many ways can the parts of a thing be rearranged before I can see a difference?  How many ways can the atoms and molecules of my hand move and recombine before I realize that something is wrong?  Thinking about it scared me.  Certainly, I understood that natural events symbolize collapse into chaos and that events are motivated by dissolution, but the idea of such subversive and invisible change moved me.  I likened it to observing the minds of others.”

P Everett 2


“Ezra Pound said, ‘Every word must be charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.’  Let it be the case then.  But words need no help from anyone.  Bet thew ords kneeknow hellip freeum heinywon.  Context, story, time, place – don’t these work like Bekins men, packing the words like so many trunks?  But finally, words are not cases to be packed at all, but solid bricks (and, of course, like a brick, even a word’s atoms are not motionless).”

“We do not give the creature reality enough credit, choosing to see it sitting out there as either a construct of ours or an infinitely regressing cause for the trickery of our senses.  But I claim here that the most important thing I have learned is that reality has a soul, reality is conscious of itself and of us, and further is not impressed by us or our attempts to see it.  In fact, we see it all the time and don’t know it, perhaps can’t.  It is like love in that way.”

-all quotes by Percival Everett

from his novel, Glyph

Glyph - Everett

Inscribing Beauty : A Portrait of My Wife

On Beauty: A Portrait of My Wife

If I don’t write it, what reality does it possess?  What substance or content are a memory or vision?  Sound?  Fleeting concatenations – experiences.  Which is why I ask.  Like Dante or Cervantes, Homer or Herodotus, does not here a duty lie?

If no one inscribes remarkable things – they will not be remarked, thus no further remarkable.  But is writing a re-mark?  Are we indeed marked by perceptions – jumbled, edited and collated into what we call experience – do they leave some discernible trace like magnets in the guts of a computing machine – that might be recalled, rebooted, reformatted and marked again?  Or is that creation?  New traces born of the old?  What similarity – what identity – obtains?

If the scribe exists to codify – to translate vanishing occurrences into a relatively more stable domain – how should he select?  What criteria?  Whose testimony?  Should he, as artists of old, gather the evidence and forge, in his matter of medium, some combinatory new myth?  Take account of as many angles of appearance or observation as he is able, to contain and collage them into space like Cubists?

We call it “re-presentation” but we are crafting something new, something else.  The eye is not a camera.  Seeing, hearing, what we taste and feel are highly selective pro-activities – never catching a solid snippet or observing still life.  We develop according to what we expect.  Intuitive anticipation.

The façade of a building – you’ve already supplied it with volume.  Unseen.  The photo of your child – gains dimension and sound, perhaps even smell and sense.  Context invested.  Invented.  We cannot stop the alchemy from going on.  Nor would we really want to.  And yet – what might we preserve?


This began as a portrait of my wife.  An impossible thing.  It will end still farther from its goal.  I meant to remark what has marked me profoundly, filled me of scars and traces, redirected my nerves and my blood, and I am left with the unexpressed, and these scribbled words of a man.

“What does it mean, to know it and not be able to say it?”

-Ludwig Wittgenstein-

An Equation

I’m running through files trying to organize things and adjust to a new computer.  Once in a while I stumble on something I hardly remember making but still feel a deep accord with.  This was one of those things.  I think it stands for.  Still.  What.

(i only wish it were still freezing)

Here goes:

Moment: Airy

(being an experiment, in theory

a result)


It is hard.

It is hard and it is cold.

Hard as in difficult.

Each thing.

And cold because of the weather.  Well below the freezing point.  But his gloves staid on, his lips held a cigarette, and he boxed.

He could box that paper.  That paper-thin page.  Already beaten to a pulp.


Him with a theory.

The theory a sort of equation.

The equation as follows:


ALL (whatever a person is, has, does) + ALL (a person’s skill, effort, strength, talent, knowledge and ability)

= Appearance of Art (momentarily)

Notation:  A + A = AA

An utter mystery to him.

So he sat in the freezing cold, a pen in his hand, the ink sludging slow, paper on a desk, digging/ exposing / exploring himself, believing / composing / revising language,

oh, and the catalyst necessary to the actual experimentation of this theory – (he writes) – MAKING

One had always to be making (working, acting, writing, performing) with ALL (of him or herself) and ALL (of one’s capacities, faculties and tools) to carry out this experiment, i.e. to test the hypothesis.

Catalyst: (he notes) making (out of/into/with/toward)

Source and goal (purpose, intent) unnecessary, indifferent

Any action requires an energy source.  In this case: living organism possessing capacities, perhaps even proficiencies, and coffee, and cigarettes.

No specified laboratory or station or constituents (conditions) to each his own [marginalia]


Quite a simple test really.

Requiring no great funding, no special services or permissions, few qualifications, variant supplies.

Simply vast amounts of time and consistent (persistent) and enormous amounts of effort. (As he saw it).


Reviewing centuries of other experimentations and practitioners of this simple eternal test led him to observe : “results in momentary airy results”

(often discovered in different places at different times dependent on observer – even in same test results – thus airy, ephemeral moments)


Feeling he had yet to produce an AA.  A momentary Appearance of Art, he was compelled to introduce a compendium of criteria – identifiable attributes – whereby to justly analyze resultant artifacts and actions.

Again the qualities boiled down quite simply:  put the equation into reverse for the observer or verifying assistant:

an Appearance of Art results through the remaking process or catalyzation of the observer,

requiring as a result, ALL of the observer’s person and ALL of the observer’s capacities,

faculties, abilities.

Notation: criteria for AA to be AA:

AA = (must equal) A + A

He practiced this experiment from both sides of the equation – attempting to verify Appearances of Art by engaging / observing / remaking results that demanded enormous effort, large amounts of time and all of his experience and capacities, and as the performer of the experiment – devoting vast amounts of time, energy and effort of his total self to the making of Appearances of Art.


It wasn’t going well.

It is hard (extremely difficult)

And it happens to be very cold (causation: weather in Winter)


He’d read of other conditions explicated by practitioners before him: contingencies such as warmth, geographical position, silence, wealth, solitude, suffering (the Ss came up quite often); specific environments, times or places, assistant substances or particular tools or resources, even difficulty itself had been recorded – but there seemed to be no rhyme or reason, certainly no agreement, in fact, very often direct and incommensurable contradictions between one catalystic experimentor of A + A = AA and the next, which led to his marginal note (copied above): “to each its own


He carried on, in spite of the grave difficulties, confusions and multivalent referents of the equation’s elements.  Once in awhile he believed he had discerned a momentary result – an appearance of art in his own private performances of the experiment; unfortunately he could not obtain verification of his tests from contemporary scholars/students/or adepts of the ancient and cryptically-clear equation.

He had no trouble himself verifying most attested AAs, given sufficient time and effort, but, as he progressed in his work, identification became more efficient yet verification demanded more and more of him, devouring his time, energy and effort, interfering with and greatly complicating his own experiments and test cases from the equation’s other end.

He began to understand why past personages were led to choose to practice and perform the experiment from one side or the other.


It is hard.

It is cold.

And there is only so much time and effort.

There is only so much living organism to be had.

Limitations began to seem insurmountable.

But by now he had come too far.

There was only to go on.


It is hard, he wrote.

It is hard and it is cold, he recorded.

Hard as in difficult.

Each thing.

And cold because of the weather.

But my gloves stay on, he wrote, and my lips still hold a cigarette, right to the end.

His gloved hand fighting the pages.

There is only so much life.




N Filbert 2012