for LMK: Living Mitigates Knowing: the Sirens’ Song

Birdcall.

Morning.

Activity-signal.

 

Somewhere day arrives.

 

We are in bed.

Day neither comes nor goes.

Neither night.

 

We inhabit a single chair.

A reciprocal rebellion.

Atemporal, atopos.

 

The other.

The relation.

The kiss

 

that undoes the you, the me,

joining any separation

as touch

 

along with bodies of skin,

skinned together,

indeterminable

 

without one, another

within, without each –

a combinatory beast

 

where components are absent,

extended, present-ly,

be-coming

 

birdcalls and signals

dependent on immanent surrounds;

nothing undone,

 

anything in their crafty work

and wrestling,

Eriegnis, evental –

 

a pleasure and desire

formulating forms

without priors –

 

echoed and originary;

unpredictable, unknown;

tandem happenings

 

we sometimes describe

 

as love.

Guilty: or, How Things End Beginning

(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.

Damage.

What opens what humans call ‘the heart.’

.

Who is the author?

Where?

.

In the loss.  Lessness.

What is…always expressed / exposed by what

CAN be taken…

What is stripped back, laid bare, stolen,

raped…

.

Then you know.

Both ‘you’ and a very strange sort of ‘knowing.’

.

THAT POINT:

[the werewolf]

that place, space, moment, experience:

HATE.

LOVE.

(=)

(equals)

.

The expansion.

Additive.

Infinite.

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…

.

Death.

Always next.

Always next.

Always next.

(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

NOTHING.

Ends and means:

DEATH.

-easily a kind of glory…

…inevitable

…insatiable

DECAY.

.

Guilty.

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
  • ‘Time’
  • Fact, fiction
  • Truth, theory
  • “Hello, human!”

DEATH.

(Most certain)

(The wonder : : : : something is born)

always

                                                      all ways

                                                                 in order to…

…DIE.

Irascible, inevitable, indivisible, ineradicable ends.

Cheers Death

‘you’ (nothing)

always win.

If ‘winning’ could ever look like that, this…

…end(s).

once its begun, it began, it begins…

…endings, ends, the end.

– always already there –

always                                                 already                                                here

“between appear and disappear”

 

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,

relation;

a missing,

a moving,

a touching,

a feel:

in convulsion.

 

Within which is conceived a convergence –

event

(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?:

That-which-is

(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.

A Letter in Employ

I am performing a task for my employer.  I am writing a professional letter.  I am letting you know that I labor.  I am here to be useful, and used.  I submit.  My actions indicate that I accept structure and system as representative of survival.  I will do what you ask.  I recognize organization as power.  In fact, any kind of organizing indicates a position of imaginative power and control.  To differentiate, to specify, to label, name, assign – all are a fiat of power and authority or authorship – a claiming of superiority over things named, situated, recognized.  Supposedly if I comply dutifully – bow and behave in ways that signify structure as something larger (or more important) than me – I will have internet access, some food, air-conditioning, coverings, a car, and someplace to live (in certain mountainous areas, none of these are beneficial).  “Teamwork” is misnomer.

My philosophy is simple:

  • The mind or brain is an intermittent trickle of the rivers of the body which are hardly discernible in the waves of the world.
  • “I” am No one, Nowhere, which is to say Everyone, right Here. A poet wrote of presenting his face as a smashed window baring open sky – I thought that was me – No one Nowhere = Everyone right Here (whenever/wherever that happens to be).
  • Experience is what happens. What happens is what is.  If criticized as “for us” (whichever ‘experiencer’) I ask – what else could it be?
  • Knowing limits. If “for-this” is all my experience can be, then those are my limits.  Once I sense my limits I can attempt to challenge, question, and extend them, for alternate experiencing.
  • Ideas/Thoughts/Concepts/Theories [abstractions/imaginings] (like structure, perception, systems, organization, self, number, truth, etc.) are compelling because the limits of their effects are unknown to us. Ideas (ideologies) allow us to ‘experience’ power and control and compliance of the world around us (apparently), even though the dripping-trickle-stream-river-ocean of our limited participation in world flows always and is unalterably changing and miniscule.  Bodies die.  Each every/no-one where/when-ever.
  • The propensity or lust for belief – in ‘observation,’ ‘experiment,’ ‘objectivity,’ ‘analysis,’ ‘deduction,’ ‘ideas,’ numbers or language or effects of imagined power and control (technicity) – are wishes against the body, against dying, against limitation, against what happens, anyway.
  • Thoughts and effects do not make experience longer.
  • Experience is living, is limited.
  • Living is the extremely limited experience of dying.

Admitting or confessing that I exist to meet needs, that this is my employment, may be a Credo of Little Import.  A submission of insignificance in accepting others’ systems, structures, and arbitrary claims to power.  Compliance.  Resignation.  Complaisance.  Dependence. [Co-dependence – opting out of experience/living exits the submission-religion].

My voice dribbles, a hardly perceptible microorganism in the ocean of world.  My experience a parenthetical waving particle.  My living its effective dying.

In a beginning that never began, the ending already comes.

World is an intermittent trickle of the rivers of living, barely and scarcely discerned.

We are Here Now, how would we like our fleet experiencing of dying to be?

Cabin Reflections

IMG_2623[1]

“Penelope remembers having read that of all the liquids and fluids produced by the human body – sweat, semen, vaginal fluid, saliva – tears are the only one without any trace of DNA… Impossible to identify someone from their tears, we’re all identical when we weep despite the many different reasons we have for weeping, something like that.  Unlike unhappiness, tears don’t set us apart, they make us the same.”

Rodrigo Fresan, “The Invented Part”

Last week I spent with my four offspring at a cabin on the Pikes Peak Massif in Colorado.  Mostly I register grief and loss in my experience of living… but interestingly enough, the first entry of my vacation journal begins with the simple sentence “I’m happy.”  Unqualified, that’s it – myself + my offspring + a rich world reeking of “no service” and untellable beauty… “I’m happy.”  Here are some notes I made throughout the week:

Simple things innerheard during cabin stay:

The stars: “We can’t tell the difference: between light or dark, death or what remains.”

The streams: “Where have we come from, where are we going? / Where we have come from, where we are going.”

Growing things (grass, moss, wildflowers, mushrooms, wild berries, etc…): “Not yet, not yet.  Who knows?”

The rocks, the boulders: “Once upon a time.  Now.”

IMG_2613[1]

The mountain(s): “Maybe.  May Be.”

The cabin:  “Us.  Here.  We.  With.  Hold.”

Phrases of my children:

  • “It’s good to live this way once in awhile.”
  • “Why do we leave here, ever?  I never want to.  What is have to?”
  • “Dad, everything here is your ‘favorite‘.

And me:

  • “Nothing is like this.  Nothing… Belonging, I belong.  Time changes, it’s different here.  As if there isn’t.  THIS PLACE IS ‘BEAUTY’ TO ME.  THIS PLACE IS WORTH MY LIFE.”
  • on climbing: “I’m a dad: we ALL make it, or none of us really do.”
  • on love: “If I say ‘I love you’ – please don’t hear it as worship, as inordinate.  In love we see the ‘too much‘ of the other – that which is always beyond our own reach, the ‘too much’ in each of us we struggle with, and seem to be unable to assimilate or observe in mirrors of our own.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons the conundrum we call ‘love’ exists?

Addresses to my children and loved ones:

  • To T: “Always beware of logic – our fabricated things.  What we may wish toward but doesn’t make matter.”
  • To A: “Recall.  There are differences.  Beware.  There are openings for more life.”
  • To I: “You have it.  You carry your own water.  Your own dreams.  Your own beginnings.”
  • To O: “Heroes also may shrink you, diminish, contain.  You are deeply your own.”
  • To H: “Never mind.  I am not the one who can conquer it in you.  I believe someone will.”
  • To ?: “I love you.  Like literature: the possible of life.  Impossible.”

IMG_2605[1]

Thank you mountains, rocks, growing things, streams….

3 Short Poems

for the weekend…

ARE YOU

I don’t think I have a question;

yet I seem to be

an asking

.

This one?  This one?

Is it here?

Are you?

.

The breeze is not silent

as many things

that are not

.

Still I do not understand –

Are you here?

Am I?

.

It goes unanswered

along with the riddle

I am

.

Are we here?

Are you?

 

READY FOR SADNESS

I’m often ready to be sad.

Why is this?

What holes are excavated by living?

What sifts through?  Falls out?  Runs away?

.

It goes nowhere

Or anywhere,

Everywhere.

Still it goes

.

where I am not

welcoming

through all these openings

a peeking-back

 

[addendum]

Instead I seal them shut

I try to stuff them

full of rags

that reek of sin and toxic

.

What can I do –

will I –

in this cell

that seems my own?

 

AGING

What does one do?

Reducing teeth

or sight

or hearing

.

How does one choose

what’s worth

repair

when all is failing,

.

ailing,

come undone?

he asks his father –

buys a car

.

replacing failure:

another thing

that’s bound

to fail.

Credo

I’m afraid to write.  It’s so dangerous.  Anyone who’s tried, knows.  The danger of stirring up hidden things – and the world is not on the surface, it’s hidden in its roots submerged in the depths of the sea.  In order to write I must place myself in the void.  In this void is where I exist intuitively.  But it’s a terribly dangerous void: it’s where I wring out blood.  I’m a writer who fears the snares of words: the words I say hide others – which?  maybe I’ll say them.  Writing is a stone cast down a deep well.

Do I write or not?…A light and gentle meditation on the nothing…

Does “writing” exist in and of itself?  No. It is merely the reflection of a thing that questions.  I work with the unexpected.  I write the way I do without knowing how and why – it’s the fate of my voice.  The timbre of my voice is me.  Writing is a query.  It’s this: ?

I write for nothing and for no one…I don’t make literature: I simply live in the passing of time.  The act of writing is the inevitable result of my being alive…

I feel as though I’m still not writing…My problem is the fear of going mad.  I have to control myself…And so I’ll leave a page blank or the rest of the book – I’ll come back when I can.

Clarice Lispector, Breath of Life 

Working Around the Void

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve whittled away at my brain toward a poem…  I’m not sure that’s what this is, but it’s fresh effort:

Working Around the Void

How can we have

such clear impressions

of what is not?

 

Absence

Silence

Nothing

 

maybe God,

Santa Claus,

or meaning.

 

Things

lacking evidence,

experience

 

I believe I dream

and vice-versa,

as a doubt-drenched thinker

 

As long as we’re using language

for these –

what is our perception of love?

 

Imagination?

Is it?

Time?

 

Between appear and disappear.

Articulate desire.

 

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

I see nothing

“The sky would have to be inside me for my words to have the brilliance of stars”

– Edmond Jabes, “A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Book”

Dasein means: being held out into the nothing”

– Peter Sloterdijk, “The Art of Philosophy”

“Even when nothing / replaced the gifts, it was a kind of seeing”

– Jack Gilbert, “Collected Poems”

I was driving in the dust of this planet while wondering how I knew the sky was not inside me.

After all, there are theories.

But my words do not have “the brilliance of stars.”

Hugo Mercier & Dan Sperber concocted The Enigma of Reason… and I want to say …of Reasons.

For after all.

After all (i.e. “in the beginning”), where we set out from seems to be an enigma of reasons.  The proffering of theories (the art? of fabricating reasons?).  The urgency to describe or define, explicate or explain, ‘make sense’ of things like her glance, or my illness; the weather, or wear (time), something felt or imagined, desired.  Each engendering theories.

We call that engendering the imagination.  Using language and sensing, others and other, an-experience-in-the-world to … give reasons.  And why?

There are theories.

No bottom.

Haven’t we begun everywhere?  With urges and instincts, desire and relation, observation and interpretation, and so on… and yet it’s only ever ‘mine’ or ‘ours,’ – a giving of reasons and investigation that is human – no, not quite.  Not even that.

We incorporate ‘earth’ in it.  And many things nobody owns or created.  Language and sense, and earthy-othery tools: microscopes, telescopes, instruments, numerals, metals and plastics and paper.  Electricities.  Motion.

Anything to wrap ourselves in and around… and give reasons.

That experiencing: when one aches for a knot or a kernel, a key or a gem.

Mine might be the Texts for Nothing.  A nothing I never can reach (and I knew it).  Don’t we all begin once we discover we can’t?  After it’s all already begun?  In the midst of?

Why why?

Mystic-scientists propose an only-what.  Eschew reasons.  The lock of the rational derive.  Sense or no, this is what we observe in conditions.  Phenomenology.  The human (“observer”) limited experiencing.  Only that.  Being-there.

But the tekne collaborates and alters.  There never is only.

Reportage.  Disinterested.  Impersonal.  Facts and accuracies.

A reason:

I pursue nothing because I know I can’t find it.  Will not find it until I am not.

Even then?

So I err at desire.

Like a theory.

A digression.  Transgression.  Omission-emission.

A longing for order?  For sense transcribed into reason?  For nothing to give rise to all and these everythings to foment continuing?

But we know don’t we?  Deeper down, without bottom?  Don’t we know we’re a tiniest book?  Carried in the arm of a world-without-end?  Of further reaches?

No, we don’t.

We don’t know.  We make ‘knowing’ or ‘knowledge’ – a description – a typification (a logic, a rationality, i.e. a reason, a theory).  Floating in infinite perhaps.

They say we share common elements we’ve devised observationally.  So the sky might be inside of me.  But words aren’t stars, are they?  Theories.  Experience.  Ours.

We’ve come to experience not-knowing as a kind of ‘humility’, ‘valor’, and ‘honesty.’  But why?  We don’t know.  If that’s so, we can’t know we don’t know.  And life is a loop of inquiry, perception… that leads to the giving of reasons and the making of sense.  Beginning ourselves from began.

Things ‘ring true,’ resonate, and we follow… on… seeking reasons, making sense (where there is none?).

Posit ‘God.’  Posit ‘Method.’ And we’re caught in the crevice of crafting for reasons.

“Even when nothing / replaced the gifts, it was a kind of seeing.”