Alias V. Harlequin, remembers (via language)
I always wondered at my naming – “Alias V.” Not knowing where I come from, and finding all locatable Harlequins tricky and at play.
“Alias Verbum” – who would name an infant that? Another name, a word. Also known as, logos. Usually I identify as iota subscript, after Robert Frost.
No one knows my origin, but he’s very hard to find, everywhere, continually on his odyssey.
i‘m reading a book entitled “How Words Make Things Happen.” What have we made? Ideas, spells; subjects, objects, and actions. Incantations all. Beginnings, I suppose, but not the first.
As I understand it, aging along, someone had to be there for me to come about, and coming-about would be my story. Who or what might tell it? Acted, sung, or read? Becoming other after other after other. Known again as… by any other name. The player. The trickster. The Joke.
In the beginning was… and I began, an alias of something… and everything its word.
Reduce (‘to lead back, to bring back’)
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
Now, and so on: an addendum
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…
Exscribing: a Process
How stories are written.
They are experienced. They are felt, intimated, intuited and interpreted.
Sometimes spoken through or about.
They become body.
They are lived – if only imaginatively – they are invented (always).
If inescapable or unavoidable, the only way to “pass” them – find them, become in relation to them (i.e. ‘go on’) – is to expel, express them… put them outside the body, psyche, person: MAKE them, forge them, create with them…
“ex” (out-of) “term” (language) “in” (-scribe or –voke) “ate” (devourable form) them.
Stories are composed, inscribed, evoked, in order to ex-term-in-ate them. To live on – through and past – to survive what marks/marked the person who must process and be rid of them in order to… go on experiencing (live).
Search those tales that traverse your body – its space, and over time.
Watch what arises again and again – a trope, a chorus, a theme, a complaint.
Though memory (creative narrative), perhaps it holds a not-forgotten, an almost-permanence. That which seems to stay with you, in you, may be of you – there’s story there. Don’t worry truth. Truth never worries. And no stories are about it. And constructs of “facts” – or, agreement of observations and perceptions – hardly tells as well. Stories – good, real stories – lie in differences.
Perhaps difference is kind of true.
Practice synesthesia with what you uncover / discover: hear what you see; taste the sounds; feel what you smell; look deeply at all you touch; be something like a being – an organism whose senses are always combined in the perceiving and experiencing. That you are is a thing unto itself, and can not be exhausted as long as.
And so to write, to exscribe. In the beginning was… the true fact that you are, however doubting and unknowable. This too is experiencing. To be experiencing is to live. Prepositions and propositions notwithstanding.
And so it is said, a kind of exscription, a thinking-out-with. As breath surges sound or even whispers. To follow – not following – the forms of the objects (obstacles) – lungs and throat and palate, tongue and teeth and lips, not to mention faces and the movements of limbs and digits. The lineation of terms and letters, vocables and consonants – exscription-with, even air, atmosphere. And should the context change (and it is changing as you say, think, exscribe) – you write, you sound, you scribble, going-on-with…
Thus it is written.
And so it becomes.
Stories are an history of mortality. Where it begins in first awareness that it ends. And so memories, so comparisons – lessness and mostness and the little by little of forgetting. How it’s made through its undoing, to the last. We story only as we die.
What is it that was said? You say?
Dusk becomes, and a sort of lost.
The first way in, being out.
The forth is all. Experiencing.
Letting it air out. This seems important though many might advise that writing is a matter of devotion, dedication, discipline. Maybe it is? What have I written in way of stories? Much time is involved in the shaping of rivers’ courseways… and chance… and the continuous involvement of the with-out.
Re-membering that the activity and activist (one doing the activity – actor/actress?) are entirely muddled in the ‘between’ that equals: “Here.” Forging or forcing ex-scription tends to falsify the act and turn it towards an in-scription of something – report or epitaph, confession, statement, fable, style, form. But storying and writing, like living and all activity, are between formless and formed – taking form, forming. We are not producing or conveying information, we are in formation through the activity of writing. To assume a stance, a stasis, a point-of-view or position or stake… authorial authority or control – is to leave the messiness of “here” and arbitrate a “there.” No longer the presence-between sayer-and-saying, thinker-and-language, writing-and-written, imagining-and-inventing, feeler-and-feeling, etc… but reduced to a repetition of forms, ideas, concepts – borrowed, received, believed, or accepted (“in-formed”). Composed verses composing; produced versus producing; almost a copyist versus a compositor (with com-posing and com-positing referring to making-with, viewing-with, creating-with complex multiplicities).
Con-, com-, con-. With, with with- (these are the fields of ‘between’ where we are). Ever, always, only – between – experiencing through exscribing – this stays on, vibrating in the lettering, arcs and tones of the writing…as activity going-on. Experiencing. Energy. The forthness of creativity is its unknowable, indecipherable, inextricable withness. Perhaps.
Authorial authority or control a sort of repetition of law, convention, acceded power, regime(n). An attempt to step aside from the stream of experiencing and treat the activity of writing (or exscribing) not as an activity of being – alongside thinking, loving, believing, feeling, working, etc., – but something mechanical, technical, somehow outside the confluence of being, the flow of experiencing. Feigning objectivity, knowledge, pre-cluded rather than preludic (decided-before versus approaching the play or dance or swim of activity in complexity). Told versus happening. Production versus process. Untrue, or less or more than actual. Mortality – dead letter – versus verbal occurring…as-is.
To return to ending – the beginning of story – our limits, death, and finitude – that which forces us to forge – to attempt memories, notate change as loss or gain, seek patterns, learn, sing, exscribe, act… imagine… dream… craft and create – the knowing, the reality, that experiencing is not endless. Attend: it ends.
And so we story.
Exscribing…experiencing…what there is, while there is, along many modes of action. What is perceived as happening and runnels through the body, swirling currents of memory, the staining of refrains… and the activity of exscribing it – of moving it out-with-in-to relation of world as compositing – not copying, stating, reporting – but ever keeping in mind that the activity of writing is also a live, indeterminate, and infinitely complex way of being-with-world… we are hardly machines translating experience, or computers spitting out data… everything we do so long as we’re living, is living – alive and uncertain, conformation-with everything that surrounds and drowns us. Participation. Being.
Exscribing as a process of being alive.
Stitching together the dismembered, again.
It is “us”? “That”? A substance? A trajectory?
A subject? A story? (Fable)?
What might re-member, and re-member what?
Sensations? Who? Events? When? Experiences? How?
Is re-membering an aspect of Why?
Where are the members to be re-stored, re-gathered, re-composed, or freshly constituted?
That pre-(before)-fix (secured, pinned, stayed) “re-“. To do over, again, re-peat. Peat is a furry humus, a difficult detangling. Nigh impossible to dismember without caveat or faith. Some belief in categories or divisions, de-cisions, parts and wholes, composites and particles, atoms, scales, cells, waves or functions… no longer “peat.” How would one forge that again?
Moist and messy tangle, eons into bog…
Thought “it” – “I”.
Peat. Re. Member(s).
Desire. (Mood? Emotion? “Drive”?).
Prompted to thicken. The caked, flaky, dry – toward some humid, muddy moor. A memory.
To re-member one must pre-fix. In order to carve members to append and rivet. Desiccate to gather. Continuous forgetting forging together. Organic? Decomposition’s ritard?
Where does one go for the matter of “parts”? Ingredients for concoction, for the rotten mixing and blend. A meaning dependent on decay.
What is it we spoil in re-membering?
Experiencing. Out of – perceiving – in to. Wherefrom, wherefore, this ‘out of’? And the in-to flows – ? The membering limn. The meeting-joints. The fields of grave. Are there objects? Is it obstacle? In-to-eruption? Happen-stance?
Vivisection for autopsy – our arbitrary blade. Figures cut. Marking the joins, indivisibly. Perception. To sieve-for. For what? For whom? In the mire.
Try to re-member without division.
Immersively, immanently, experiencing… without within, within without.
A Far Story – Samuel Beckett
I wait for me afar for my story to begin, to end, and again this voice cannot be mine. That’s where I’d go, if I could go, that’s who I’d be, if I could be.
– Samuel Beckett
Nos. 3 & 4, Texts for Nothing by Samuel Beckett
it doesn’t get better than this…unless it’s more of beckett
“Cat litter,” the last thing said, and something about that abandoned bicycle, a child’s bike, deep red, repainted, left askew on their lawn for days.
Those were the last things. The last things she said. And so he’d begun to move about much more carefully. Timidly some might say, an amalgam of caution and care. Ever tender, aware that things break, or tear, spill, or fall apart. End.
But then Laramie, his sister, mother, the kids – some entities seem to persist, so few and so stubborn, inexplicably, threatening almost, as if an accumulating disaster, an heavier withdrawal. He doesn’t know what to make of it.
Abandonment crushes all scales and statistics – but pebbles and dust, foundations and roots still remain. Persistent. Resilient. Irrational.
Like a sloth he repaired to his desk, as delicate and slow. He took up a pen with his head in his hand. He was lonely, alone but for quiet, sweet silence, and branches and birdsong and wind, autos and dogs. Not quite quiet. Not quite alone. But abandoned, far as he could surmise.
He wrote. Rather drew. Looping lines that were shaky on paper. Tried to make his operation more smooth. It failed. He shakes now, does Alias, from drinking and smoking, aging and grief. From perspective. His perspective.
A rattling undone, an erosion. He sighs.
A bike, and “cat litter,” then gone. Others had left for much more and much less. Litanies of reasons of wrongs are so easy with humans involved, never mind the ‘weight of the good.’ Can’t compete. Won’t compute. There are mistakes, and effort involved – both are failures, no matter the theories or talk, no matter their universality. He was wrong and a failure, which equals abandon no matter the words they produced.
Alas, Alias. A depression. An outlook that colors the field, but it’s charcoal. No matter the ‘whom’ it will bleed, run them dry, and disfigure. No one’s withstood it for long, for all of his kindness and passion (devised to distract from the swallowing dark, or the primer – his base coat is death). He’s alone.
Not a Laramie, mother, or kin. Without doubt there’s no lover, no friend. Just a man and his books and incessant grey thoughts, and a pen.
He begins, looping lines…forming “Cat litter,” the last thing she said…
Harlequin piecing it together
The Harlequin can’t remember. Harlequin patchworks a quilt.
- RR 1 Box ?? Clearwater, Kansas
- ???? Independence – Wichita, Kansas
- Jerusalem, ISRAEL (dorms)
- ??? Ash – Hays, Kansas
- 2505 Cardinal Drive – Wichita, Kansas
- Penndel (Langhorne?), Pennsylvania (apartment complex)
- 5711(?) N. Athenian – Wichita, Kansas
- Glen Elder, Kansas
- Heidelberg, GDR
- Somewhere near Orme & Edgemoor – Wichita, Kansas
- Portland, Oregon
- Sellwood, Oregon (duplex)
- 11?? Willow Drive – Wichita, Kansas
- 508 N. Belmont – Wichita, Kansas (son & daughter born)
- ???? (house) – Grand Rapids, Michigan
- ???? Cornell – Grand Rapids, Michigan
- L—– Switzerland
- Alt—- UK
- 1151(?) Hermitage – Grand Rapids, Michigan (son born)
- 350(?) S. Clifton – Wichita, Kansas (son born)
- New Hope, Pennsylvania
- 3028 E 2nd N – Wichita, Kansas
In no particular order. Revisits. Can’t remember much. Side streets, neighborhoods – nothing is familiar. More apt to recall where friends or lovers lived than “self.” Makes a list:
-Baxtrom – Welch – Kremenak – Kruse – Evans – Lathrop – Keil – Allen – Erickson – Welch – Rose – Martha – Neel/Franklin – Krieger – Fall – Bond – Franz – Jones – Hartig – Russell – Griffin – O’Callahan – Farha – Goldbarth – Coleman – Harder – Reffner – calls them “foundational relations” – friends and lovers slewn together.
May as well include family – origins – surnames:
Alberts * Fishers * Kresins : Filberts * Foos’s * Deutsches
And those with whom he converged DNA: Wells / Grovers ^ Linds / Zogelmans
Or those with whom he co-habited: Lathrop – Beckman – Linnebur
Considers the places stitched in/with:
CO, CA, NY, MA, MS, VA, FL, KY (Berry), AR, OR, TN, NC, SC, AL, OK, TX, NM, UT, AZ, ID, NE, WY, MT, WA, DC, WV, ME, CT, NH, DE, PA, MI, IL, MN, NJ, NH (Hall), VT (Buechner), NV, MO, GA, KS : Switzerland, GDR, Hungary, Holland, Syria, Egypt, Italy, Mexico, UK, France, Canada, Czechoslovakia (no more), Austria, Lebanon
the co-created organisms: Tristan, Aidan, Ida, Oliver
and domesticated mammals: Cracker, Andromeda, Nicodemus, Gizmo, Zorro, Tippy, Freddy, Indigo, Scarlet, Max, Zazie – probably more…
self-selected (!?) identities:
Dostoevsky, Giacometti, Kafka, Lispector, Cixous, Blanchot, Nietzsche, Jabes, Beckett, Wm. James, CS Peirce, Lorca, Wittgenstein, Rilke, Pessoa, Schiele, DF Wallace, Kozelek, Musil, Fernandez…and those lying in wait: This Will Destroy You, Vila-Matas, Marcus…Harlequin has inscribed in his flesh.
Might be useful to make a story.
The way things are – with everything falling apart, coming undone, wearing down or out, dwindling in function – calls for such measures – i.e. fitted to new purposes, given new life, repurposed, renamed, remixed, restored.
Making lists against memory. Visiting / revisit. Trying.
It’s coming apart.
He’s worked long in this manner.
Something breaks or dies, goes defunct…fix it with change.
Washing machine, body parts, relationships, parents. Tools or appliances, activities and paths… rather than forcing some obedience to its past or presence – alter the context (as large as it needs to be – micro to macro) round about it, until its usefulness is assuaged or established, regained or reconstructed. Until it makes sense – AS-IS-NOW.
“Presently” includes all of above. His body – losing ‘shape,’ gaining aches, kinks, and torsions; doorways and windows, paint and light fixtures; machines and vehicles grinding down – leaking, cracking, and broken; dwindling desires of his partner; increased independence and mystery of his offspring…nothing quite capable of ‘control.’ Employer threats of performance and reviews; family tensions of politicized faiths; stamina shot as both parent and friend; patient lover and male…
…all it requires a new mythology – some new scaffolding – structure and content and aim.
What story is. What languaging is for. Imagine – abstraction and dream. What neuroses. Subject and author and plot. Continuous revision – the edit and pulp and rewind. We cut and paste and press ‘new.’ File, document, folder, image: LIFE.
There is story and language and code. Writing and saying and message. Harlequin’s not the first to say “I think by writing” and perhaps he will not be the last. Some perspective invented, some objective fabrication, some construction of a feeling of reflection, recount. Grappling after what is getting lost. A dream that a ruling, an external, can be seen or encountered, manipulated and tested. If an accounting exists, there is material (reality) AGENCY to work WITH, THROUGH and ON.
Harlequin forms words.
Yet there are none that he ‘makes’ – just borrows, revises. Uses, shapes, and arranges. Gives place. Inscribes in some ancient tradition – it’s “writing” – using marking or code in conventions. Absorbing idiosyncracies into generalities. Depending on a community that shares such signs – can lend, agree, and interpret. It’s fragile. Insecure and uncertain. There’s no meaning. Like the earth – writing just IS. To be taken and changed, charged and made and appropriated. Dis-card-ed.
What was a ‘card’ but token carrying message or code? In-formation – letters arranged. Who knew – and why – and how? Doesn’t matter. Undone. Broken and over and through. Electronic currency now – if this you can even decipher (decode).
Letters, stories, and language. Harlequin marks on a page – sets of signals. The cells, the emotions, the organs – signals and signs. Tired and old and afraid – always dying. Since day one, always dying – fearfully. How It Is. He remembers and prays (in a way) – a communication with the dead – mediated – to the Beckett, the Kafka, the Dostoevsky. David Foster Wallace, Hegel and Marx. Maybe Nietzsche, Deleuze or Blanchot. And the ladies: Lispector, Cixous and Dickinson. Doesn’t matter. For Harlequin, all a part of the same realization – it comes, it ages, it goes, and it’s gone. Human living. Human life. Just what is: How It Is.
Labor, relation, and trial. What is being? Labor, relation, and trial.
He succumbs. Is succumbing. Is tearing apart.
A story makes of it what it will.
You can have your knowledge – facts or theories, experiences and concepts – but the stories reason and resemble them. Lend them ambiguity and occasional senses. Possibilities.
Perchance they go together like this. Or like that. Or another way. Stories. Sanity. Something.
Something becoming – a linked set of symbols in an ecological order. Stories try experience on for fittings. Until it fits. Until it tatters, or is otherwise overused or outgrown.
Becomings and undoings. Compositions and deletes. All the edits (on the fly). Survival.
And bowls of cereal are not allowed.
Old Ruled Writing Pad
today, searching for paper to make notes on for work…I grabbed a used “ruled writing tablet” of mine, last written in in 2014…and read…
“I am an educated writer who loves a lot of things. I love language, I love learning, I love relationships – to partners, children, nature, arts, literature, and ideas – to “world.” I love to study.
By “love” I mean that I choose and enjoy expending my available energy on these things.
I like very much to reflect and consider, experiment with and actualize what seems meaningful for living as a human individual.
That is what I know of myself, besides the facts which are unruly, shifting and so very difficult to capture or recount with accuracy. All the terms (‘born,’ ‘lived,’ ‘married,’ ‘completed,’ ‘received,’ ‘produced,’ ’employment,’ ‘accomplishments,’ ‘age,’) and their explications are far to vague to be useful here.”