Alias (inside) – a writing diary

This is long, and really, perhaps, does not belong here.  Reading through notebooks to find references to Alias and Laramie in order to continue the trail or trace of them… I happened upon a set of pages that seemed like something under or inside the emergence of Alias and thought it might be interesting to some.  Or, just something to not lose to memory, but archive in this auspicious and fragile space.


Do I think this is my last probable chance (at 45)?

If so

              (it’s undecided, presently)

then this would = my final



What would I tell you – you few that have made the time worth being?

T, A, I, O, S, K, H, J, perhaps J.  Arvo Part, certainly Blanchot, Pessoa, Bronk, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Jabes, Cixous, Rilke, William James, Schiele, maybe MK.  Assuredly TWDY, Bach…well, too many to mention.

            Whom else?  Whom else, really?  Dad?  Mom?

In any case – the children, H – H because truly the past two years demonstrated an adult, freely-selected relationship in a way surpassing but only referenced by S, V, PJ, perhaps, no, perhaps J – what H has explored with me re: the world and life really I’d only imagined before.

Therefore – indecision (as ever).

IF the “best” experiences rise up out from the worst (often), out of ‘end(s)’ – beginnings surprise, then how can I know (as I age) if a better-yet does not exist?

It becomes a decision of ‘enough’ or not.

A personal decision.

If I can only imagine repetition with variation, and I’m already tired and starting to ‘ail’ – then the logical decision is to stop.  To peace.  To quiet.

As re: T, A, I, O (my children) – in EVERY case what lies ahead is far beyond repetition with variation – much unknown, much novel, much uncharted territory to experience.

As regards H, and adult self-selected relations of emotion/passion/intimacy – probably (seems to me) little could surpass…only possibly in elements, but – enough?

That is the question – always

Keep living?


If “stop,” no more.  Yes it will effect, hurt, harm, perhaps enable – the others (T, A, I, O, M, D, J, H, etc.) but I won’t be aware of that anymore.  It’s just DONE.  OVER.  SIMPLY.

If “keep going” – then demonstrating a care/concern/attention for the others’ lives – T, A, I, O, etc…) that THEIR lives are worth staying alive to see, and that – who knows?! – maybe my own life still offers more truly worth experiencing.

Perpetual conundrum, weighing lives – my own little one versus a host (however small) of others – it would seem theirs count for more than mine (alone).

Hard to say.

I guess we’ll all find out tomorrow what “I” decide.  Not ambitious to keep working just to feed and pay bills.  I have little confidence I’m capable of making something world-enhancing.  But as a parent, a friend, etc., it doesn’t feel fair to make the decision without considering their preferences as well.

I like to think I don’t like to be selfish.

I would live in the country.  Woods, preferably, mountains not too far away.  And rain, plenty and regular rain.

There would be hours in the day.  Hours for loving, hours for reading, for working, for learning, for play.  Enough hours.  Hours to think about the hours, the learning, the loving, the play, and hours to think the hours writing.

I’m aging.  Hair, beard, muscles, flesh all going long.  Mind.  Long(ing).  Time, not so.  Seems shortening, shortened, fore-shortened…by the hour.  I wish for hours.  For time.  For children, partner, places, books.  For human.

She would be there.  Close, somewhere, sometimes.  We would wander, would work, would learn, play.  Would be there, away.

The children would come.  Would visit, report, eat, learn, work, play.  Sometimes we would laugh.  Sometimes perhaps weep or cry.  Contact.

Wood would be sawed.  Water drawn.  Yes it hurts now – knees, shoulders, joints, bones.  Slowed.  Steady, almost.  Still dark but peppered, frosted with gray.  I’m aging.  Tired.  Memory almost all made up already.  Thought always seems new, possible.  Touch.  Strength.  Sound.

Hours.  Gone ever so soon.  Thought, then paper, then feeling begins (or the other ways around?), then gone.

The pen.  The paper.  Lust.  Flesh.  Language.  Learning.  Where is the time?  Too much required for each daily need.

A joker, a harlequin.  Another, another.  Another other in the midst of me.  Mottled mangle, Alias.  Running out of time.  Running down the times, the memory, the full flesh of desires, its theory and knowledge, its aspects and affects.  So very many aspects.  Hand gains speed, cursive loops thin to lines.  Skimped satisfaction.

I like it to take time – loving, learning, working, play.  But the hours grow thin.  Shortcuts, swerves, abbreviations, tastes.  Hints now.  Breezes.  Nostalgia.

Growing monument – what cannot be said – will not – the ineffable – unsayable.  Ungrasped.

How though, to here?  Piecemeal person.  Farm labor, religion, sport, education, family.  Plains, harvest, accidents.  Mountains, Mexico, Europe, lists.  Music, poetry, philosophy – earliest companions – a few pets, kaleidoscope of selves, the river, the sky.

Deaths.  But no death here (yet).  Just on, scrappy, incisive, insecure, haphazard.  Books.  Remiss without mention of books and relentless ache for books and ‘broads.’  Women and words, the headstone says.  Women, words, wisdom(?).  Nature.

To explore.  Internal, external, outward, inward bound.  Sciences and arts.  Creativity and logic.  Psychology, anthropology, complexity and chaos, nihilism.  Literature and lust.  Words and women.  Matter and mind.

I’d have quiet mostly.  No mouths to feed, no herds or pets or things to tend.  Nothing to care for.  Hours.  Hours to tend.  With mind intact, a library, papers and pens.  And lonely land, mostly cloudy, cool, drizzly, wet.  And legs to stand on, arms to haul.  Eyes to see, please keep these eyes a-seeing – yes they’ve heaps of assistance – but please not a final fail.  Not the inner darkness, nor colorless clouds.  Hearing first, before vision.  If the vision is gone – ?

Breath.  Biosemiosis.  The sign and signal of being – a body for meaning.  Complex.  Confused.  Barely contained.  Unspecified.  Though wobbling to, fro, sound, precept, percept, interpret, sense.  Hope.  Hope of vision, of sex, of knowledge, health – something, something – beyond, more, still…

Alias sighs.  Perhaps beautiful still, but soiled and tired.  Undone.  Who is this one?  Which one?  How.  Who this be?  Alias i. e. Harlequin.  Unnameable, the attempt to name, creating traces of not-these.

“man is but a patched fool”

-Shakespeare, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act IV, scene i

ReMarking SelfAwareness



If I possessed the capability of remarking, I would.  Indeed, in that term resides my life’s work.  I am a Remarker.  I attend, scrutinize, mull and vacuum the world around me for occurrences, things, and events that are “remarkable,” and then I make every attempt to re-mark them.  Sometimes I succeed, and my re-marks trigger stimuli for re-marking in others; often I fail – both in the assessment of what (in fact – in a special – species/al – sense) is remarkable, and, in my ability to effectively mark something in relationship to itself.

Inspiration Chains, or, Free Association

Prompts, shared.  Whether images or music, language or film, it is delightful to hearken others’ cherished influences, themselves becoming common grounds, points of congruence for these virtual-seeming communities of blogosphere.  Recursive and reciprocal correspondences, often represented via comments, but probably present in many less conspicuous ways, are, in my opinion, the likely meaning-manufacture points of this medium.  Circlesunderstreetlights has passed on some lovely and instigative musical prompts over the past days, each of which I’d love to interact with via language, but haven’t found the coveted chain of moments that might allow for it. However today’s prompt from her:

tripped off a chain of evocative discoveries and resonances for me… including, but not limited to:

which led to a combo with one of my favoritest crooners:

leading onwards to more of Patrick Watson:

may these bring some moments of holiday PEACE and reflection

and perhaps even inspiration and production!


Writing the Prompts

All that Remains (inspired by Josh Kramer, for Simon H. Lilly)

In the silence that becomes now, it was undeniably clear – there had been things we considered precious.  Recalling faces, moments, landscapes.  Evenings.  Not like nights or day, but poignant equilibria.  These felt like memories, or nostalgia, even tinged with griefs or longings, but mother said the past lacks such power – that we were feeling presently.  Simon says.  Says “grasping after full resonances” by losing them, turning them to language, participant only always in passing.  Says “left side.”  “Right side.”  “Simon says.”  I, at least remember.  Forgetting, and then the buckled alarm.  The tacking it on at the end.  Too lately.  But not quite.  So that all that remained was the grasping.

please feel free to create responses with this music – visual or verbal or otherwise

Pomegranates…in 78 words

The Temptress in 78 words

Her words taste pomegranate – the tart – bitter, erotic, and sweet.  I tickle them over my teeth with my tongue, trying to untie them.  I like the way the air glides over them, whispering cool and moist into my ears.  I swallow.  She speaks without using her mouth.  I listen hard.  So this is what it tastes like?  Is difficult to digest, it vaguely turns the stomach, and I want more.  Addicted as I am to the showers of seeds.

N Filbert 2012

79 Word Stories

So a new formal challenge emerges.  Tipped off by Duotrope, I stumbled on this interesting competition sponsored by the Aspen Writers Foundatino and Esquire magazine: A short short story of exactly 79 words, judged 25% plot, 25% characterization, 25% theme and 25% originality.  Why not, right?  I mean many of us compose 100-word stories (rarely EXACTLY 100, but) for Madison Woods “Friday Fictioneers” photo-prompts…so why not give 79 a shot, eh?  So as a little side project over the next month or so I’ll be delivering various aborted attempts…I’d love feedback, but they’ll probably keep appearing anyway!  Thanks all.

1. A 79-word story in 78 words

             I slipped there, on my way out.  I cried.

Someone held me, shaping me thus.  That’s what I heard, but never quite believed.  So they told me other things, and showed me pictures.  It began to sound like music, that I’d made.  I played.  And continued to study.  Soon it was all words and experience and me stumbling away.  Or sailing back, on rough waters with a rowdy entourage, and fear.  And love.  In either direction, I’m here.

N Filbert 2012

What once was here

What once was here.

Talk about “prompting” photos!  If there aren’t thousands of stories in photos like these…the eye, the mood and the technique combine to provide worlds to discover and invent.  Thankful for this work.


The Essence of Place

“To record the essence of a place, so that it can be inhabited by something outside itself, is to start a story.  This means searching for a language, one that we know intuitively but cannot spell out.”

-Lukas Felzmann, Landfall

“The time has come to talk of whatever we want”

-Arkadii Dragomoshchenko, Xenia

“the work drives beyond promise, craving and time”

-Louis Zukofsky, Prepositions

            Sometimes there were birds there.  They passed through in groups, in swoops.

I’ve seen people there too, but not swooping or grouping.  It just isn’t that kind of place.


It felt large and open yet cloistered, contained.  There were large trees all around and throughout.  Somehow it seemed level.

I don’t recall there being water, but I believe it staid nearby.  As if it were ready for when it was needed.

I’ve no memory of critters or pets, cycles or frogs.  Only birds that might swarm like the leaves filling trees as they swayed.

Oh my, but the blur!  The soft focus in apprehending!  It rocks and it waves, it flows through you while sitting, I say!

I wonder the eyelids of storms.  I leap lying down.  I silently sing out the shrieking of birds.  I love in this place.  As wild or as calm as is needed, a respondent surround.

When I’m here I try to tell you, by searching for words or the making of pictures.  That don’t capture.

Have you wandered here before?  To the essence of a place?

Please do tell me or show me what’s yours…


N Filbert 2012

Writing Prompt

I have been attempting to take part in Madison Woods organized Friday Fictioneers which has been very enjoyable and a fantastic exercise – particularly to see the many figments of minds operating on a singular prompt – how various persons / how various world!  I came across this sentence standing on its own in the midst of a story by Lynne Tillman recently and it just will not leave my head.  I thought “a picture is worth a thousand words!?” – how about “these words are worth a billion pictures!?”  I’m sharing them here hoping they might also inspire in many of you reams of stories…And I’d love to receive links to the works that you create with/in/from them – any length, any time.  Here’s the sentence:

“In an embrace, something may be confirmed, avoided, or resolved.”

-Lynne Tillman from her story “Phantoms” in This is Not It