Welcoming Others : Inside

“we fill pre-existing forms and when we fill them we change them and are changed”

-Frank Bidart-

Refractions on Fiction

Reflecting on fiction as representation, as presentation, as inquiry, investigation.

About how little I care – re: ideas – the freedom of impersonal investment – when a piece is duly fictional.

After the days spent composing Signs of Love I’ve only thought of how I haven’t thought of it since it was posted.  Johnson’s theory of perception, the professor’s thoughts and ideas, Monte or Margaret, Frank or Lars – how they none of them reflect on me.  How I didn’t have to worry how they came across or sounded, what positions or actions they became – what they represented – it wasn’t me!  Who does battle with a shadow?

So often, the stringy stream of conception-reflection-creation-manifestation seems to pull heavy parts of the self along with it.  Dark or slimy residue.  As if a reader who took issue, questioned or challenged a something that I wrote or language I expressed as fiction were in fact addressing some aspect of ME – rather than an open work of invented text.  Suppose, for instance, my wife reads a piece and follows it up with “so you’re saying that life is more difficult because of me?!” or a random visitor commented “how could you think or say this?!”  When in fact, of course, I didn’t – Lorraine did, or the professor or husband, writer or sand crab or whomever the character that acted or expressed it did.  Ask them then?  Another way of saying – “ask yourself.”   That’s what I as a writer continually have to do.  Language comes out, forms an idea, or a behavior is described and I have to wonder at it – is that indeed what the voicing thinks or wants or does?

Like a painter with their lines and colors, textures and strokes: what belongs once something has been marked there?

The freedoms of fiction spread as I recognized the therapy-like patience and reflection I provide to characters and voices – to language – in texts (fiction or non-fiction).  I do not feel threatened by them, do not take them personally, neither when I read nor write them.  They are other – other matter, other contexts, other contents, other kind from me.  I am busy handling matter…piecing it together, painting over, scraping away, diluting, splattering, letting it run…open to what “feels” or “sounds” right given the matter at hand – content, tools and resources.  Strenuously engaged, passionately even (at times), and also separate, observant, addressed as much by the work as it forms as addressing it onto the page.

Which got me to thinking – how much kinder might I be, even towards my “self” were I to engage what creates me as “other”?  We’re an oddly organized confabulation of matter and energy, after all, multiple diverse systems coordinate and constitutive, creative and adaptive toward a sort of dynamic organismic “whole.”  My brain no more a “me” than my penis or big toe.  How often with sharp pain in my knee or some zany daydream, a nail needing trimmed or hair left in a brush, do I question, challenge or take issue with a personal self for such systemic occurrence?  I participate with, or have (am characterized by) knees and eyes and organs, but they do not equal me.

What if some kind of “I” (collective of natural dynamic and organic systems) listened to, read, inquired and engaged the contents, emotions, concepts, actions and instincts that occurred within as fictions engaged – as benign or indeterminate others – akin to characters or words in a story or play – organized matter with energy – rather than some sort of judgmental scrutiny so often readily applied to “Me”?

The “I,” the “me,” the “self,” the “brain,” the “calf,” the organs, veins, chemicals, liquids, cords and tendons, bones and tissues, the individual cells of me – all inter-relational organisms in themselves involved in a system I experience as “me.”  With recognition, suspended disbelief, detachment, passion and care granted as I offer my own and others manifest creations in language or image, movement or sound?

Attend to your cells and systems as characters and languages today – manifestations of being – not entirely your”self” – welcome all the others inside as well.

Grammaring Perseverance

Grammaring Perseverance

“A grammar is an on-going system of relationships…a system which is always in the process of articulating itself – not simply changing, but actually making itself up as it goes along”

-Ron Loewinsohn-

            My hand trembles when I move to write.  Time changes.  What is called perseverance, equals age.

As beautiful to me now, she.  More.

I refuse her loss on any terms.  In any context.

I investigate the language of inquiry.  Always a difference of relation.

Never expect to be heard.  Nor heeded.

Language makes itself up…and it goes along…articulating itself…again.

With this hand, along the incalculable curve of her hip, my palm records cellularly, but never repeats.

Lef hand entangled, her thick head of hair, tomorrow otherwise, should it work its way out.  Or ever want to.

The side of my knee prepositions her thigh, slides into a phrase, shaping a passage, not as if the surface is ever the same, yet no doubt it belongs, only, to her.

My ankled feet, like bony whips, eager to explore, inadvertently pain – the slope of the pedal, bolt of the swivel and up the liquid skin and calf.

It will leave its bruise, its passioned impression.

Everything becomes an aching to know.  Everything is on-going process.

Systems of relations.

When perseverance oppresses.  Again, again, not emptying the land, but altering it.  To cause the seeking, redundancy, both the wanted and the wanting wear.  Tools whittling down, different structures, various nerves, must learn again, of course the surfaces having changed.

My thigh registers her buttocks, elbow in her neck held by shoulder.  For lips to memorize her ear, only that moment.  I rely on her contours similarity hour to hour, so that details are not lost, just renewed.

An eroding resource, yet we are layered, and wrinkled through the timing.  What preserves?  Naught but the process itself, for which our charts are made.  Remade.

The motion does not cease.

As the curves to the apple, subjective object of measurement.  Objecting a subject to a sensual scrutiny.  Not unlike remembering, or illusion.  Information, an obvious verb.  Whether coming undone or accruing.

That began in the perseverance of my quivering hand.  Once connected, steadied by context, the grid of associations and leaps.  The world is a boundary to trace, to follow along, diverting the dots and the dashes, the lines and the colors, reenacting the tracks.

A stumble is anything but halting, more like surge and accident and a reaching out to stay.  My fingers tend to fumble through the filaments – those once vocabulary now a tangling stitching of signs.

To be decoded, recoded, as it were, what hollow mouth or aural labyrinth does not effect?  We know of no recipients, no audience, only sometimes, luckily, co-conspirators, co-creators of a co-event, called (sometimes) knowing, (sometimes) conversation, (sometimes) simultaneity.

I’ll reach out, my hand tremored right down to its core, its code, its quarks or its atoms,

and find a steadying or pattern, metaphors of richer entanglements that may not be explained

my qualia, slight blue lines on pallid vacant surfaces, directing possibilities.

In-formation – that everything that is, in its multiplied becomings, as discrete as my flesh traversing yours.

A continuous severing enabling us knowing – our grammaring, our ongoing, its enclosure.

“At the ‘inmost heart of each thing’ is an ongoing process, an unfolding which is its identity”

-Ron Loewinsohn-




We, in our world, have a theory, a process really, that we call “communication.”  In various states of profundity it might also be referred to by “love.”

“Communication” is the process of signaling/decoding; saying/listening; writing/translating; touching/feeling by which we become aware of one another, about one another, of one another.

All things considered, “communication” is pretty important for us, though not necessarily to us.  While appearing more complex and refined than single cells or parts of cells vibrating under a microscope; more elaborate and extensive than a swarm of birds or school of fish, it hardly works as well.  As if certain sharp things and certain dull things cancel one another out.

Pitch, tone, palate and respiration.  Vocabulary, grammar, syntax.  Associations occurring in the brain, the glands, the organs, the body.  I’ve always thought of our existence as “fraught” and it never ceases to amaze me!

Amaze and astound, in no particular order.  As if “stound” were past-tense for “stand.”  Stopped-in-tracks-reeling-backwards.

There’s nothing to it really, we all do it, all of the time, innately, it would seem, given we could not survive without it.  And yet.  “Innate” wouldn’t be the right word.  Maybe “potential” as if capacities and possibilities surround every cell toward response.  And then.  What becomes.  Responsibility.  Of that interstellar stuff moving and extra-anatomical stuff too.  Kind of equals.

So we’re not necessarily “good” at it, and hardly possess a measure, everyone on equal footing at some point, depending on the context, depending on construction (of the possibles) and so forth.  It’s often accurately called “fuzzy” or “messy” – an entanglement of sorts in no sense negative.

I always liked William James – the jumble-up of him.  “Rich thicket of reality” he called it, a passage to get caught up in, sometimes snared, sometimes struggling, but ever in its midst, I suppose.

Lyn Hejinian once pronounced it “inexhaustible.”

I just wanted to mention…

“The argument would go something like this: reality exists; it is independent of what we think though it is the only thing we can think; we are a part of reality but at the same time consciousness of this fact makes us separate from it; we have a point of reentry (a ‘centrique happinesse’), which is language, but our reentry is hesitant, provisional, and awkward”

-Lyn Hejinian-