Swelling my banks,
(or perhaps it’s entire…
depending on who
&/or what you believe,
with their reason…)
Swollen, in flow,
a thundering racket,
flotsam and jetsam
I wail at the bends.
A “bender” they call it.
I’m here, all the while
Drenched (or “besotted”) –
I am home
and I’m rushing
to-ward and away,
instinct with desire,
for which fire
is no match,
I’m a patient
and ill to the bones…
you will see.
But I gurgle
as I pass..
filled with belches
like a river
[too apparent] –
where the poem
The bestial want
is it ever more?
at what is not
What can be taken?
In the seeking,
or the glance –
Such beastly want,
forth or out
I reach –
a solid pane.
I am limited
it would seem
I see clearly
but it cannot be
‘I’ is alone
comes from ‘you.’
So ‘I’ scopes –
a feral yearn –
tapping at windows
Hold lightly, it said,
there are so many voices,
lest you repeat,
[the surfaces, and distance, beneaths]
windiness and water;
the moon riding along,
each night so differently
my hands open,
palms and whatever fingerprintings,
the bruising, barely,
again and again,
How tides change,
things we’ve come to think of –
each you, each I,
each every –
through the years.
In other words:
over and over
again, anew –
how ‘new’ requires reference
as wheat falls into ground
and suns set down, again,
as moons rise – (which, neither) – and
never the same.
and so on
within the like,
the long, the loving.
You come again.
I try to grip lightly –
the future never knows –
I’d like to leave it,
to gather you,
you. You. You.
“Hold lightly”, you (she) says,
“lest you repeat
and grow tired…”
My palms are open (to touch, to pass by)
I am trying to read,
To leave be.
The month of March, in Kansas, can be almost anything, like most of the other months of the year, almost. Tonight it is moisty, breezy, there is wetness hovering like a redolent air, nearly a fog. I am killing myself. You are feeding me. I sharpen your knives in the kitchen. From the top of my throat toward deep in my belly is an acidic ruin caused by far too many liters of hard alcohol in far too much volume, too often, for too many hours of too many days over too many years to not be transforming my internal landscape into a ravaged terrain of destruction. So though I’m unable to breathe, speak, lie down, or work without unignorable hurt, I am still useful. I am sharpening your knives in your modest kitchen. I am reading and writing sentences. I am trying to keep myself from you. You are preparing a meal for us, and I find it so difficult to stay away from you – to not breathe at your ear, kiss or nibble your neck, grasp at your bottom, finger your elbows, hover, caress, overwhelm.
Boundaries are reduced in mist and wind. In motion it can be hard to tell where the lines that mark objects begin or end. In cloaks of obscurity finding shapes or sounds, edges or entries, can be, well, con-fusing (over-mixed, blended, woven)… as perhaps any “thing” we try to think apart ‘in fact’ always is… “inscrutable,” “indivisible,” “unclear.”
If you extricate the ginger from the garlic from the cabbage from the chicken from the oil, the rice, the salt, the pepper, the lime and ancho, the butter, the liquids and oxygens, thicknesses and scents… where is the meal? If you separate “me” out from “world,” relations, surround (like a theory, a concept, a logic…) how might I then live, or “be” what you presume me to be? I will not, cannot, am not (removed from my surround) and so it goes… limbs and flesh and organs… dissect… to cells and fluids, molecules and motions, viscosity and energy… to atoms… to subatomic ‘particles’ and/or ‘waves’ – and at each dismantle you will have lost the entity you proposed or pursued.
Division does not equal.
You’ve quoted out of context – neither copied, reproduced, nor plagiarized. Simply failed. Missed. Lost.
The burning rot, corrosive erosion of my body by the maladies of my preferences, pleasures, and habits…
…erasure of letters, terms, phrases, meanings…
…excision and surgery, atopic autopsying of…
…are things already dead, deceased once de-cised, as ‘identifiable portions or pieces, ‘things'”?
These written marks with definable shapes and spaces… yet if disjoined… no sense can be had…
What might “it,” “I,” be… apart-from?
I lay on a ground I cannot stand up without, cannot jump, move, fly or float away without…
I address you – impossibly – unless we’re inseparable… otherwise address and interaction cannot…
The gesture recognizes the necessary collusion as a dream of a fictive repartee, a figurative gap which – if there really were a break or breach – would have no effect or recognition – no reach, no contact…
Relation is repetition of conjoinment, actions without function if connectedness is not always already…
…as if drawing attention toward redundancy.
And so we kiss, we eat, we call out, we listen, as repercussions of contact… reassurances of inseparability. You reach for your phone, I fall to sleep, unable to be undone or we would not be able to know
after Helene Cixous’ First Days of the Year (all quotations from)
“…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
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-
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…
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
It is called.
Loss, we name it.
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
And never remade.
(this is the last thing I find I’ve had time to attempt in writing for many weeks…)
after Bataille, Of Montreal
It began. It begins.
What opens what humans call ‘the heart.’
Who is the author?
In the loss. Lessness.
What is…always expressed / exposed by what
CAN be taken…
What is stripped back, laid bare, stolen,
Then you know.
Both ‘you’ and a very strange sort of ‘knowing.’
that place, space, moment, experience:
A mad undoing.
A ‘one’ coupled by LOVE-HATE (possible ferocities)
– angry peace –
– gentle tearing –
Avarice. Grace. Hunger. Gifts.
We get born.
We most certainly die.
(even if we never learn what ‘being born’ or ‘to die’ might be / mean)
Damage: how we…die with/it
: how we…end in it
We most certainly die.
This we know [somehow] without experiencing it.
Or even being able…
(Regardless – truly regard-less)
of anything IN-between
I AM ALL WAYS DYING MY DEATH
(what might ‘living one’s life’ seem?)
I happen to be singing imagined limits
(All I do not know)
Questions and conundrums
Ends and means:
-easily a kind of glory…
BIRTH (whatever could be meant by that) = DEATH. DECAY.
(It began. It begins).
-What opens, happens, what humans call ‘the heart.’
We most certainly die.
- Hello cancer
- Hello age
- Hello war and disease
- Welcome other
- Fact, fiction
- Truth, theory
- “Hello, human!”
(The wonder : : : : something is born)
in order to…
Irascible, inevitable, indivisible, ineradicable ends.
If ‘winning’ could ever look like that, this…
once its begun, it began, it begins…
…endings, ends, the end.
– always already there –
always already here
“between appear and disappear”