Within / Without

Image result for person walking past yard b&w


“I have only to go on, as if there were something to be done, something begun, somewhere to go.  It all boils down to a question of words, I must not forget this…”

– Samuel Beckett, The Unnameable

Waiting for the passerby to pass.  Contingency.  To not open the door until the potential for harm is past.  No apparent harm: adult man, skin color variance, divergent ethnicity, strolling outside the iron black gate surrounding my home, gesturing toward and addressing my small pet mammal (a dog) – ostensibly safely contained and separate – from the strange-other, (“stranger”) traveling past my abode on a designated path “outside,” a public sidewalk… yet no harm is ever apparent, or we’d be almost certain to avoid it.

From behind the closed door, thus abandoning the small animal, the “pet” that I care for (“care”? – to keep alive with food and water, activity and touch – for what reasons I have never understood, it seems something we do, or something done to us) in any case (who “us”?) to me (“me”?), in any case, in every case, (what is “case”? – case is what occurs), in any case the sensation that harm is imminent, is possible, that any/every-thing (or case) harbors potential threat – intrusion, oppression, obligation, response-ability – that ANY passer(s)-by may enforce (force what in?), force “presence” (presence: the pressure of an other)…occurring-with.

Mammal, woman, weather, man.  Peril of change, of inevitable occurring, alteration, the inception of a “case.”  Event.  Permutation.  Disaster.  Perhaps.

Wait for “it” to pass (ambiguous constancy of language, of pronouns, of perhaps).  To be.

No apparent harm, harm always arriving where not apparent, otherwise averted.

Therefore damage expected everywhere, until proven otherwise or bypassed, for when has it ever been the “case” that harm, hurt, or affliction were not lurking unaware?

Always caught “off-guard” when injured.  As in “accident,” or un-fore-seen.  Must not not-fore-see.  Avoid wreckage.

He passes by.  Or she, or it, or they (ambiguous language and malleable, eminently referable, transferable, vague for application).  No harm incurred (as far as is known).  As who knows?  Who might know?  Or what?

World transforms.  Passers-by.  Incidents.  We have a “case” (who – “we”?).  “I” step back, step in, amidst  walls, barriers, rooms.  “I” retreat.  Evading catastrophe.  Probable hardship.  Imaginable uncertainty.  Such is the “case,” my “cave,” a cave uncertain, unreliable, self-designated, no one knows.  This (what “this”?) is vague – hurt has always materialized unexpectedly.  Danger is disaster, or if not, no harm no foul, never wounded by suspecting, only oblivious or uninformed.  Must anticipate harm.  Less proven guiltless.  Never guiltless.  Never harm without an-other, without outside, without obscurity.  What is “with-out”?

When ever not with-out?  With-out always.  With.  No in without with-out.  Danger of disaster.  Any definability requiring with-out.  No in without out.  Being with out.

Waiting for passersby to pass.  Bye.

When have I been harmed when I expected?  Perhaps in love, perhaps adventure.  Any venture with out.  Into the without. Within without.  Knowing I was risking with the out.  “Self-harm.”  It would appear without’s within as well.  Never not another.  Abysmal and ubiquitous.  Possibly impossible: to be without with-out.  No reference or referral without being-with “out.”

No within then.  Only out could be.  In with in?  Self-same.  Tautology.  A=A.  How A without out?  Without not-A?  Without absence, other, space, not-line, shapelessness, void?  A=A because A is distinguishable from.  Distinct.  From – ?  Without.

Why “without”?  Why not only “with” – necessarily out or other?  Variant.  Different.  Without “out” no “with.”

Squirrel, leaves, air, skin.  Cells, organs, activities and processes.  Even what’s “in” is “out” for “with.”  “In” “with” “out.”  A=A.  So say.  Think.  “I.”  Passing by.  Table, paper, pen, without prompting “in.”  In without as well.  No “in.”  A=A.  IN WITH OUT.

Out the “within.”  Without in/out.  Writing.  Saying.  Bleeding.  Breathing.

Only think with out.  All out, away, a way.

Wait for a way to away.  Within/Without.  A/A.  No equals.  Never equal.

Pet mammal dog, own voice, man, woman, child, sensation, language, molecule, atmosphere, ground: without with-in.

WITH, then.  Simply with.  No out, no in.  All danger and disaster, potential and unsuspected harm.  Can not.  Unprotected.  Only WITH.  No out, no in.

Waiting for the passers-by.  Passing.  Bye.



Unspoken Fragments

Through someone else’s blog award list I recently discovered The Dream Journal Today – a remarkable blog straightforwardly recounting dreams.  It has stimulated me to pay more attention to what my brain is doing in its “off-hours.”  The post regarding my longing for knowledge of my father is such a result, as is the following post, gathered through the past night.  I have the hunch my psychophysiology works over emotion when I’m out…something my waking mind deters.  Whatever the case, I have found the ritual to be as intriguing as working with photo-prompts to dislodge other-conscious concerns, and recommend it to writers everywhere as a kind of exercise in translation.

Thrown on my back as from a jungle gym – panicked in the way of breath-smashed bodies.  Helpless then, disempowered.

Lying next to you in our warm nest of bed, nose and right eye microscopically near the flesh of your chest – the sharp distinction of its tattoo’s inky night and the blemishless cream covering your major pectorals.

I see it falling, the exploding crush of a thick plate of glass the size of a small wall and maybe four inches thick – variegated and stained – slicing and dicing my face with the stories you don’t share.

The night is full of phrases.  Intimacies shredded by the unspoken, the secrets.  A literal compaction of my face in bloodied fragments – the world a shattered windshield.

Sleeping fitfully you deliver direct language through the dark.  “This is wrong and this is wrong and this is wrong…with you.”  I don’t remember details, only that I’m broken like a vase of porcelain on the floor of an empty manor.

The decompression and drainage, the fracturing damage of all you hold apart.  Discommunication.  What is withheld.  The feeling of what happens when I supply the captions to your silence.


“What is fiction after all, if not a kind of purposeful dreaming?”

-Jonathan Franzen-

Character Sketches, cont’d…”The Jealous Husband”

A Series of Stories of Love, by a Husband


Searching for subjects, I began writing the stories of my wife and each of her lovers, as I imagine them, having all dissipated before I was truly “on the scene.”  Still they are here.  Current as histories are.  Not mine (of course), or only when I want it to be.


The stories go like this:  with exotic names and muscular bodies; wealth and infectious intellects; and of course style…whatever things I lack I desire…they all possess in spades.  Like spontaneity.  Torture and foreknowledge = learning from the past.  I’m no gardener.

By which I mean to say I lack certain skills possessed by each lover, each “other” – from youth to culture and their quality of independence coupled to vocation (so I tell it).  Spontaneity (I feel like I’ve written that before, being a creature of habit and repetition, of comfort, of fear).


The stories play out like this in my head and I’m hoping to inscribe them here – thus trapping them outside, cutting off munitions and supply – exorcising them like literature, something benign and contained.  Easily misplaced, forgotten or overlooked.  A measure of control and indifference – not the “these are flesh of her flesh, she has ridden their bones” instead a collection by Grimm or some sacred treasury – a set of frights and fairy tales to engage as horrid dreams and improbable possibilities.  Child’s play.


Which bothers me.  For if I’ve learned anything from writing, it’s the profligacy of error.  The obsessive-compulsive drive to adjust, rearrange, endlessly edit and correct.  And never end.  Stuck in a locking swirl, just so, very like unto a toilet – to revise and submit, revise and submit, then regret.  The opening of doors.  An idea expressed becomes thing, and a thing is let loose in the world (the real one).


The stories are like this – embodiments of emotions and fears in an effort to be real, meaning actual, which is usually banal, like she says, but not enshrined.  Words work as predictive preservers.  Untamed and so tangled.  I’m unable to let them go.  Thus they spawn compendiums – thousands upon thousands of hallucinatory nights (in shining armors) – perpetrating my bride, but not against her will, which sets in motion.  Multiplying false realities, now true  (being actual).  Histories – open to view, corroborations or denials, like the facts.


So I keep on writing these stories, like this, with the yearn to expunge, to transform doubt into trust by its emptying.  But keep finding it full, to the brim, and still filling.  In the absence of reliable witnesses, (they all being human and involved in the tales – inherently duplicitous), like words.  Serving double purposes, like bridges made for both coming and going, and never knowing which.


Life is like this, which is why I write these stories, in this way, feebly uncertain and wildly provoked.  If it didn’t go down like I say, how was it really, then?  Oh I see!  So the stories keep changing, suited to their purposes!  Revision, submit; revision, submit; then regrets.


If more persons knew, would the truths wriggle out like perspectives?  My idea in writing these tales – make something concrete to chisel and sculpt.  Together, perhaps.  As a team, like this, retelling the stories according to need – like lying – so we’ll never be sure.  And then I’m also causing effects.  This is what happens in writing these stories, the truth, with all of its possible endings.


I digress.  The stories are like that – my wife and her loves – digressions, diversions and facts.  I’ll get to their bottoms and be done with them all!  (I hope, if they don’t get to her bottom first!).  My stories of anger and loving, my stories of panic and lack.