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Great grandeur of light
Your laughter tinkling its tent
A poet has died
Like a raven
We watch him pass
Rivers and trees
There’s probably more
Are like that
– suspended –
You’ve heard her
Read the dictionary…
Only I drink it in
– sufficiently –
of any other
I put clothes on
have hairs trimmed
and once again
guess at meanings
In other words
insofar as an organism
hopes to live
Which I continue
because I think
And no one knows
What “love” is
“Yet” such an
(some day our greed
will pull through) –
you hear it:
“I love you”:
As long as
we win something
we’re almost happy
that is the hum of the liveliness
the phrasing which your voice emits
the charging of rememory
the shock that members monsters
Thrum spark! –
the difference between hearing
and listening-for, anticipation.
Or expectation? and its careful ache
awaiting every painful jolt
The fear involved –
an awful angst of joy –
timbre re-minding the body,
bodies, of things that surge
Like language –
what’s drawn out
into inestimable more
So like-wise, the idiot
breath and ready veins
fill up with begging
bursted already in the mouths and hands
and far beyond.
Reach in, reach out
one motion as touch
This is the path I take every day. I get lost. And name it “home.”
I am not a good father.
I am not a good son.
Nor…a good lover.
I do not know what it means to be a human.
I do not know if what I do is what is called ‘thinking.’
I assume (PRE-sume) I’m a-live.
This is what I do. Again and again and again… (ad infinitum)…
I try, errr, perhaps… I am.
I was working.
The littlest pieces –
– form clouds.
Droplets, ions, atoms.
What is called “molecules”?
lost to view,
in dense fog.
toward some clearing.
at large scales.
“For Nathan…with love”
“Nathan” signifies me,
Imagination and dream…
a fog and a swarm of birds,
into the unknown
a thing humans are prone to
do by “nature”
– ? –
who or what evaluates “nature”?
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.
I do not doubt that we are all capable of learning to freeze. Or starve to death, for that matter. Death will not be a stranger for any, for long.
There are reasons we are constituted in uncertainty.
We are able to learn.
It’s why I told her how much I trusted her. To change. And therefore never knew anything, asking so many questions, again and then again, about plans. Who knew when? or then? or now? I said. Things fluctuate as they die.
Or I never knew. Having so little to do with facts or truth, beliefs or trust. IS is always something else. Or here is always different. NOW has never been, in other words. Even if the words are the same.
And. So. On.
There is music. And recognition – recognizability – (memory?) – a passion for pattern, a shine to similar, a longing for location, locatability. For what it’s worth – a pronounced inaccuracy and pro-found nostalgia. As the ‘similar’ is founded on what’s been experienced before (pro-found), and at least less than (or more?) than present. Pre-sent? NOW was given / sent before? I doubt that… but feel wary that that’s all we’ll ever know, never quite catching up to being.
In another sense: the inherent lag of perception. How old (again, pre-supposedly) are the stars we ‘see’? Or the squirrel on yonder branch; your eyes across the table; our held hands… by the time they register?
What happens, “now”? And why are we occupied with what we call “next” when we can’t even exist at once’s occurring? Seeking a head start? A virtual or imagined pre-sent?
Yes I heard what you said…after you’d said it.
There’s our “now.”
The cut from stepping on glass… and then the pain… later.
The bite of food, licks of flesh, kisses… and then the tasting.
The breeze and then the leaf, light and then its outline. Mostly shadow.
“Hello,” I reply in turn, but your head already bowed and path resumed, on the far sidewalk.
I fall behind.
Suppose this is why, in conversation, ever losing our way in delay, we ask “where were we?” rather than “where are we?” What is it we wish to know? Where do we hope to be with one another?
As I was saying – with requisite gap between whatever may have been transpiring in my ‘mind’ (or whereverywhere thinking occurs) and the sludgy musculature, instruments, and carefully crafted formulation of alphabetic symbols to display attempts of communication or composures…
…now I’ve forgotten…
because I haven’t posted anything in quite awhile, and because I have been writing, but because nothing has seemed publicly interesting or worthy. And yet, some representative scrap-examples of the past couple months….
It happens to be quiet here, sunny and cool after a damp, cloudy day, nearing dusk, studying suicide(s) and languaging. Thinking of my children and loves, family, my own strange trajectory, feeling flabby and less than optimally healthy, but not quite hopeless or dead. The world has a certain, conspicuous fullness, after all.
We experience time without believing in it. And it’s complicated to know what we believe. I do not understand facts (so-called). Events. Places. Persons. Everything seems more motile than we think. And finite, and brief, ephemeral. Liquid, as it were.
I never encounter the same child, parent, lover, or friend. Not “my” yard, home, car, path. Even the rocks and books are changed, even the words and numbers. We are never still.
Given Two Hours: A Potential Entry
or, My failures are easy to find.
or, I was never good at math (that includes geometry).
Kafka said: “Life is merely terrible…one or two hours for writing is not enough… ten hours would be perfect, but since perfection cannot be achieved one must at least come as close to it as possible, and not give a thought to sparing oneself…”
So, 10 minutes then, maybe half an hour, before inevitable intrusions or interruption: children calling “Dad!,” “I love you!,” “I need…,” or the coffee or vodka run out, or bladder, or laundry needs switching or a stranger waves or a parent calls or…
Also the bills need paid.
And now I’m tired.
Given two hours, and only 32 books to read today, and a fresh, blank, lined notebook… perhaps I should write in pencil today – what did I have in me so burning to get at, out, smoldering and smoking in there as if about to blow… and a limited window… and an urge, a compulsion really [“what kid!?!…yeah, that’s fine, go ahead” What? the phone rang? Why say that to me? The oven ding’d? What!? So what!? What? Why?]…where was I?
Oh yes, Beckett: having nothing to write and desperately compelled to… in pencil? No, too easy, too impermanent, erasable – which is why I can’t use these electric jobbies tapping at vanishing light – if a keystroke makes it disappear why choose a key at all? No necessary difference, hardly any time or effort involved in devolution – what ‘correction’? What where to correct? Pen will serve fine, pen and paper, various inky colors, the muscles of my hand forcing lines into letters to words to phrases, perhaps meanings (from somewhere into otherwheres – ‘meanings’): the ache, the minutes, the struggle, the thoughts… writing. “Ten hours would be perfect…” given that “there is nothing to express, nothing with which to express, nothing from which to express, together with the obligation to express…”
Well maybe not so many nothings, there is language after all (the little I know, and that always changing, unsteady, ambiguously loaded with history, culture, and a billion other author-ities… and billions yet to come upon any reading or hearing)…so maybe so many nothings after all…certainly the “from which” and the “is.”
Nevertheless, given two hours… (“ten would be perfect…”) maybe something will come of all the nothing confused in the effort and exercise, the obligation and chaos and chance of tangling with language indelibly, in pen, on paper, of matter. Something to live with, on, against, work at, anyway.
The surprised way she says “I love you!” for instance. Variable emphases, nearly uptoned into question, almost astonishingly emitted, as if amazed at admitting some sound-noun, naming an unknown representation – what evokes or revokes as experienced. “Wah!? I love you?!” “Wha-?! I love you??” “Wait!? I love you?!” etc… varietous befuddlement presenting…nothing?! Who knows. But she says it, and with all the madness of disbelief and unbelieving wonder. For what is there to believe? Does anyone know?
Given two hours, perhaps will get somewhere. I learned about it from language, and anything I’ve heard about it has come round that way as well. Needless to say. Yet each occasion, each her or him and subsequent emittance or pronouncement, promise or claim of expression, is never the same, nor often even that similar… “love” seems to have no stable referent, and yet apparently it is rife in the world, like violence or lying, or hate.
I’m trying to ‘think about it”… with the assistance of shaping something of material trace and difficult erasure.
“I love you!?!”
Intuitively (or habitually?) I perceive and interpret her intoned curiosity as all about me – solipsistically (intuitively, perceptually, and learned) – her astonishment must be that (of all humans) she discovers herself obscurely (the nature of the ‘love’-beast) loving “ME” (i.e. ‘you’ in the phrase) – me, the hardly lovable mishmash mess with large laundry lists of problems and unlikelihoods, aged and unattractive, mired in single-parenting, alcohol, odd literary obsessions and wildly improbable dreams and plans, thoughts and tastes… her surprise must be ALL ABOUT ME – what a wonder that such as she should find herself mystery-feeling toward this one!
But I was flummoxed as well… often when I can’t help saying the phrase of cliche’d madness, I too feel startled by the sound and urge of it: “I love you!?!” And again I devour it all as having to do with ME. (I never question HER lovability – youthful, beautiful, intelligent, copiously interesting and talented, sexy, etc.) – it seems a wonder that “I” – in my accruing age, multiple divorces, quatro children, ailing vitality, addictions, moderate learning, boring introverted and nearly solitary routines – might still find myself convinced there was no other term for this cynically skeptical ominous and overwhelming desire, this severe joy and delightful anguish I was experiencing toward this quite obviously deserving human specimen. The alarm must be that “I” might be capable whatsoever of such an unlikely happening – wherewithal in my condition, situation, state-of-being (if such it could be called). In whatever case, EGO is a whale, our largest mammal by far, even when proclaiming its undoing, inadequacy, or failure.
But she says it again, and again, and yet again, and continually wonder-full-y. As do I find myself unable to cease exclaiming the phrase – at times in return or reply, and often uncalled-for, as if there where simply nothing else for it. “It” – that untangleable knot of what we (similarly indecipherable to “love”) entitle “experience.” And again. And again. As if repeating it coincides to making it ‘the case’ – some truth, a factual reality. And we are concomitantly evolving a stress on the syllables “love” and “you.” The phrase almost trinitarian or as necessarily pointed as ancient rules for a triangle. I.e. without which (any point): NOT. That started me thinking about the other nodes and angles beyond “I,” tectonically realizing how “I” was gobbling up both “love” and “you” as if they were all synonyms of a one-lined bar (“I”) rather than thoroughly separate shifters, depending on the context of saying.
Wait – could I really be a you and would love find its way to exist in both directions of the shape? Why hadn’t I cared more about equations and Euclid as a youth – those so-called “abstract truths” that worked anytime anywhere and perhaps for any entities or numerals – “universals” as it were – independent of fallacious and fallible worlds (‘realities’)? Perhaps I should be working on a PC – a light hand of erasure and displacement, easy correction, replaceability.
What if every I is also You, and You can be I sometimes and Love either way is what swervishly links and actively ties them into phrases, shapings, and being? What if “I” is not my only or even predominant name? What if I am equally you…or many times over a You – and only rarely and sparingly and minimally an “I”? And what if Love is what invents and brings either pronoun to the clearing – crafts them perceptible – sets either up and out as ex-isting? Ex-ist – to be ‘out of’ either ‘I’ or ‘You’ or both interchangeably in the contextual relation of the ‘world’? Egad! Suddenly, math. The n or x factors – the ‘unknown-anys’ – the placeholders/integers – at any time filling an equational place worked out toward some solutions or remainders or unsolvables? And where does infinity fit? Sets? Differentials and non-linears? I was never good at math… Were you? Was I/you? Who loves?
Is it then x + y = n? Where each is a variable struggling through maddening effort toward balance, equaling? I/you + You/I = love? Interchangeable probabilities if the integers work – remainders, powers, deficits, and all? I’ll never understand, am incapable of working it out, and doubt computable laws anyway… and yet… I sense that we are variables and that love makes some surprising solutions to complex problems, no matter how simply or radically signified or symbolized.
In any case “I”‘m a “shifter” just like “You” and “love” seems to be a contextual identifier, a strange conundrum of situation that (at least momentarily) selects values for each unknown of the equation. A clearing, a possibility, probability, hypothesis. The fields where beings may appear, are called forth, identified, or occasionally ‘fit.’ What solves for Be. Here. or Now. I/You + Love. You/I.
Given two hours, and pen, and paper, something might come to matter, to be, to strive for x or render a variable triangle.
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
Someday maybe, someone will say of me that I “tore up language,” made it useless.
Maybe, someday, someone will “feel” that. That I destroyed something precious. Something necessary. Like oxygen, or water: something we could not live without. And I ruined it. Like meaning.
That would be something. Something I could do, with nothing.
Simple undoing. To sequester and burn. Try or experiment. Atomic bombing atoms. Untangle into knots – vacuum emptiness, so to (un)speak. Rather ask than say. Rather ponder or wonder than postulate or state. To query, not question. Change, not challenge.
Disorder and dismember as an alternative to reordering and remembering. Dissolute versus dissolve. “Me.”
How significant that would be! How real and present I might become! How impossible to ignore! Then ‘I’ might come, be-come, cum-cum… be undone, finally.
De-ranger opposing A-rRanger. The chaos, disturbance, tremor and volatility… the tension pulling on the only bottom we can conceive… the bottomless. Topless. Beautiful that way. Exposed. Denuded. Open. Available. A fresh take. Lake. Like. Lack. Unknowable. Perhaps deep or infinite. Perhaps uncontained.
Let’s say “language.” Let’s say molecules, atoms, cells. Let’s say “space” or “time.” Let’s say “let us say.” (i.e. let’s assume something).
Like hallucinogenetic drugs without purpose. Instrumentalization. Meaning. Like feeling too cold or too warm. Like grief or ecstasy – any of these experiences we don’t understand.
Disjunctive dysfunction. The uncanny. Morphology. K would call it (maybe) “infinite possibilities of infinities without numeration – perhaps most of which are empty” – and how would we know (or be able to know) what that means? Like this here = that.
Suppose you could “see” it (imagine – image-in) – I use language. I’d use language. I would. To “see” it. To image-in, to imagine the impossible…compossible.
To love. To be. To live. To try.
Apparently (according to K) that doesn’t “do” anything – doesn’t instrumentalize or operationalize the unknown potential, even though I compare it with sound or dance or computers or nuclear war – as physical.
Whatever. (Exactly!). The vague potential of supposed infinite possibilities we cannot possibly comprehend, uncover, dis-cover, realize (as far as we know, at our scale of experiencing) – but how is it not part of these possibilities? Actualized, instrumented (pen / paper / sign), operated-in or upon or with or for…
Here is your possible result: an 100th Monkey.
Water moved all over me – a bath, a shower, the rain… I broke my skin stumbling on a curb, and bled… a knife, a table… Ha! I have a body. Yes, there it is. Maybe I’ll make love – what will be discovered then? Yes, “we.” I have a porous body.
Another reason writing is an instrumentalized “reason.” Eat this. Peace among worlds. Going on a manhunt for a woman. A particular ‘one.’ Watch me (if you want).
I can pull at the hair on my face. I just gathered my child in an embrace (a ‘hug’ we called it). Ha! I have a body, it is porous. Operationalized by “desire” (we call it).
Part II: Language (we call it).
Floor (feet feel). Hair (hands hold, harry, hank). Skin (sentences slit, suckle, sense, susurrate, sing). Grass (gander, gaze, grab, grackle). Oh the things you can do! Meaningless, morbid possibilities.
To prove – ? What? – “I” hear? “I” touch? “I” see? Taste? Feel? Encounter? Interrupt? Intrude? Act with and upon? To what purpose?
Proof of possibility? Infinite (unknown) potentials? What do “I,” am “I,” wanting?
“Desire” I wrote (instrumentalized) earlier. Ha. A word. An action. [I have a porous body]. “I” (what I call) “love.”
In other words, this was the day K hobbled away. You wouldn’t understand. [meanings].
I’ve written other words, even what might be called “assemblages” (markings in accord with other ‘possibilities’…infinitely (?) variable).
In other words… the spread of the tree. This one sends its branches this way into the world… (porous)… this one yearns vertically… these at certain angles… sentences… reactions…
I am thankful for Kansas… for sex… for her… for elsewhere…
For Pakistan. Where she first appeared… from California… I “love.”
It’s, she’s, notable. Noteworthy. I mark them.
The refrain: I love. I have loved. I will. [“desire”]
“I” say “yes”
Yes, M. Yes D. Yes A, T, H, H, J, M, T, J, M, J, S, R, R, R… yes almost anyone almost anywhere… yes.
Let us try this out: language. Touch. “Yesterday.”
And something becomes. The unknown (unknkowable?) – K’s infinities paralleled and interwoven. What is liminal.
The liquid between every book on my shelves, every line, the air and its waves, the light and hard matter. [porous].
G, D, K, M, Lispector… what do we see? Le spectre. The specter. What we see. What can (not) be seen.
The visible and the touchable – “the Prose of this World.”
Trees sprout branches slantwise.
And there… the name “Steiner.” A Viking. A Spartan. A Cherokee. And there is “rain” (we call it). And I: love. And that can be its own end. The German. The Thai. The Nubian. Each native as The World Goes On in The Physics of Sorrow… selected, selected, selected…