Marking My Way

What follows is exemplary of my tendency when I open a notebook and begin to write… digression… sigh…

“a man, however intelligent, is no better at maze-running than a rat, unless assisted by notes, whether these are remembered verbally or sketched out in a drawing”

– Michael Polanyi, The Study of Man –

artwork – Pamela Caughey

I am beginning this story with words, for I am writing, and writing has often occurred as the transformation of experience to perceivable mark for communicable purpose: programming code, impressions in sand, lines about the mouth and eye, numbers, letters, notations and visible strokes.

The mark I begin with is “I.”  To imaginative purpose.  Say we could coordinate belief around marks (which “we” already have, or “you” are unable to comprehend, co-perceive or mutually interpret anything of what “I” am scribbling).  Imagine with me that we can: foster markings and gestures, sounds and expressions, that stabilize over time toward agreement…

1, I; 2, we; 3, you; 4, with; 5, world; 6,… and so on… where marks come to re-present a sharing or relation toward – together we assemble at “tree(4)” or “word(4),” at “sign(4)” or “kingdom(7),” at “ours(4)” and “us(2)” and at “we(2)” or whatever(8).  All might be marked other ways, sounded or gestured – a squirrel’s flicking tail, a whale’s sonic wail, bird twitters, rock cracks and colors, cloud movements, sighs.  Images, letters, motions, or sounds.  Impressible, expressible movements.  Relations enacted, touches and probes, effects and affects across spaces and times, this is language in-scribed and con-scribed –communicability – glance of finger or toe or of eye, brush of hair or of death or of light… con-tact.  Tactility, touchability, WITH.

Imaginatively-agreed-illusory and often elusive – “Abstraction (11, or 10+1, or..)” – What-is-not becoming what-is.  “Creation(8 or eight or 11111111…).”  Coordinated occurrence of subjectless objects and objectified subjects and things among things among things “co-existing(10),” – or so “we” mark “it.”

I begin with a mark that is “i” or 1, or the slightest, least notable line.  “iota” in Greek, as Frost deftly inscribes – just a pass, accident, happenstance, hardly constructed and simple – a stick falls from a tree and leaves an “L” or a “Y” in the soil, but an “i”?

A mistake usually, a drip.

So “I” use it to refer to “just 1” = “what-is-not.”  No “one(1)” has yet known only one.  With “one(1)” there is nothing ‘to know’ – to attend to, perceive.  With 1 there is only the one – less than nothing.  1 counts the same in negation.  You have nothing or one, but once perceivable three – the 1, the 0, the difference.

We make marks.

The mark I began with is “I,” just the least, the inception, the start of a “we.”  A cry, a twitch, a tone or effect, a coloration, occurrence.  What’s the difference…

“I” could have made a sound.  Could have poked, puked, stomped, wriggled…simply gestured into wind…

ANYthing, EVERYthing can only happen as more-than-one.  More than meaningless mark (/) or vanishing point, it indicates RELATION.  If 1=nothing, we still get 1 + -1 = 0…all ways at least 3.  And if 1 is alone (“all-one”) there’d be no knowing, telling, perceiving, deciding without at least a “NONE(4, 0)” or “TWO(3, 2)” to proffer recognition – ALWAYS MORE THAN ONE for there “2B.”

I could not propose “I” without other or else (no-thing could be perceived without difference, and difference demands at least two + a relation, [even similarity – which always harbors difference] – therefore 3 at the least for a mark).  If “you” couldn’t tell a difference (perceive or experience something…how would you know some thing is?).  Identi(cal)ty would seem (necessarily) IM-perceptible.

1 NEVER EQUALS 1.  Such is my thesis.  If equality and sameness are possible no one could mark it, perceive it, proclaim it – 1=1 is not perceptible.  For 1(“I”) to be identifiable, not-1(not-I) is required, which demands a 3rd(third) that might distinguish or experience – whether relation-itself 1±1 or Otherness to “tell apart” or cleave.

Identification demands Other.  A mark, even the slenderest, simplest, accidental dash – to be perceptible, to matter – must be different from an other.  Therefore, always 2 have to be for a 1 to be, and for that to be perceptible a third(5, 3) must exist… 1≠1=3, and 1=1=3…

i.e. I begin with “I” to invoke/inscribe MANY.

I am beginning this story with words…

Advertisements

Hyphen & Hymen, Pt. 1

“All discourses…would then develop in the anonymity of a murmur…

What difference does it make who is speaking?”

Michel Foucault

“We talk only because of a persistent desire to understand what is it we are saying”

Arkadii Dragomoshchenko

“Again and again there is the attempt to define the world in language and to display it –

but that doesn’t work”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

According to a receipt yellowed in the pages of The Impossible book, 16 years ago I purchased the Story of Rats by Georges Bataille.

“What are you ‘getting at’?”

“What do you mean by ‘kernel’?”

Questions are asked.  I ask them myself.

Today I got bored of it.

Uncertain I ‘get at’ anything.  Doubtful even that ‘I’.  Yet “feel” pursuit of some ‘kernel.’  In other words, because, simply, ‘other words’ (fore-words, afterwords) sometimes eventuate communication…

as if experience were an undifferentiable ocean of moving waves – incalculably deep waters ever in motion – unstoppable, interminable, immersive, and overwhelming – and something splashes, a cup dips, a boat prow plows its way, an arm drops, or rock, or bird flashes down talons – and a surface becomes, is broken…

“A word”

…ruin.  Ruined.  Inalterably (no, that’s not accurate – rather incessantly alterable, altering, altar-ing, alterity – othered and changed) altered, altared – SACRIFICED to perception, experience – peering-in-out-of, or peering/prying-out-of-in, out-of-pry-into

“and vice-versa”

Rue-in, is what ‘I’ seem to do.  Bring sorrow, lack, and loss with each perception, each calling, each again/comparison/re-cognition…Ruin, rue-in.  Touching, seeing, tasting, smelling, hearing – continual selection and ignor-ance (DE-selection, de-lectory, de-clamation, di-visory…) rues-in, sorrows-in, i-dentifies creating lack, erasure, damage.

“What happens – ?”

The temptation together [to gather]…to peer and pry into, in, with…to test and to try…to extract and bring, to-gather… to form-u-late.  AFTER experience, to create other…posit(-ion) a “You,” “out,” exo-, ex-tend, ex-plain, ex-haust, ex-hilerate and ex-aspirate…to KILL, CRUSH, SLICE, DIFFERENTIATE…’I’ hiding somewhere in All and Every.

An ‘I’ in All is AIL.  Rue-in.

“Wouldn’t it be better if we didn’t get sick?  But we do.” – Jan Zwicky

“Don’t be so hard on yourself…we all…”

Separate, tear, disjoint, di-chotomize, di-vulge, de-story, de-struct [de-con-struct i-we-form de-form]

“Hey!  Enough!”

As I was saying, try-pry-di-ing to say…

“Who?  When?  Where?  How?”

Tri-, di-, all in-volves, in-volutes, con-volutes a cutting, a ripping, a be-lying of de-struction – as it crafts an alternate structure (con-struction)…

“the ‘kernel”

Oui.  We.  Yes.  The sense that  Is the sense of being-thrown, dropped, something making a splash, separating the waters… a kerneling, an ob-ject (re-ject, ab-ject) dis-turbance that sub-jects turbulence…

Thrown.  Splash.  Change.  Alteration.  Altaration.  Altarity.  Othering.  For-IN (foreign)… kernel.

“What are you ‘getting at’?”

“So that’s what you mean by ‘kernel’?  Dis-turbance… Turbulence… something must be… in order to…”

“What thing?  Why?”

“In the beginning was the Word… was God… and God moved…and divided the waters…” (John 1:1, Genesis 1:1, 6, KJV) a Bar, a “firmament,” a permanent Between “called Heaven.”  And so separating, separation be-gins…from the first very first motion, movement, change… ex-pulsion, ex-crement, ex-ultation, ex-is-stance.  Out.  OUT.  OUT-of… posit-ion.

“You’ve lost me…”

“Oui – what are you ‘getting at’?”

Ex-perience.  Prying, peering.  Trying.  Be-ing separates?  Dis-joins?  Dis-tracts?  ‘I’ am a rupture.  Dis-rupts: not two, not one.  I stray, strive, volition, volute…de-story, de-volve.  What am ‘I’ but a weapon-blade?  Rue-in.  And thus I speak, say with pointed pen…poke and pry and terrorize – ex-perience.

“Glorious or gory-ous – visions are di-visions”

So it seems…

“So it is…”

Is, was, will be spoken into/out-of our stance (existance)…falsified di-visions…

“I cannot get beyond language by means of language”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

 

Inexpressibles

The Three Oddest Words

When I pronounce the word Future,
the first syllable already belongs to the past.

When I pronounce the word Silence,
I destroy it.

When I pronounce the word Nothing,
I make something no non-being can hold.

 

By Wislawa Szymborska
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

Copyright © Wislawa Szymborska, S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

thank you Unwanted Advice

Unstillable

scribbling

“Pangs of faint light and stirrings still.  Unformable graspings of the mind.  Unstillable”

– Samuel Beckett –

Let’s loiter about here a little, as if language were lakelike, locatable, alive enough to lollygag loose within.  Perhaps not.  Perhaps it is nearly always just-becoming.  Perhaps nearly all, nearly always, is thus: just-becoming – liminal lineaments languishing-then-livened, languishing-then-livened, “again” we might say, designating (de-term-ining) a balance to enlivened.  How so?  Why so?  By what author(ity)?

Unstillable.

“In the madhouse of skull and nowhere else” (– Samuel Beckett).  Is that so?

“Skin has no choice but to converse with the world…thin, ignorant borderland of skin…myself all trespass, misunderstanding, translating, translating…” (-Laurie Sheck).  Is that so?

If words were invented with sense.  To “make sense” between one and an ‘other.’ 

What if words ARE THAT?  Connective contours between.

I am inebriated, my willingness loosened to expression, though it might ruin me (like language) and I stare (Dostoevsky – ‘Myshkin’) “intently” into Mikhail Bakhtin’s face, his specific eye-gaze, and say:

“Is it the case that words are ‘meant,’ are ‘formed,’ are breathed, are…constructed, are…utilized, to be tissue woven between ‘me’…and ‘you’?”

Do we… speak, say, expire back and forth… to become?  To string and weave lines, flows, strands, threads, that might forge or invent co-respondence, texture, significations combining you and myself into WE?

But Bakhtin is dead, and cannot answer.  Mikhail Bakhtin does not have the capacity to co-respond.

…like Beckett, Blanchot, Plato, Montaigne, Pessoa, Pascal, Wallace or Euclid, Bulgakov, Heraclitus, or Celan (as with any and all dead!) he emits traces (tracings) with which I can consider, decipher, and interrogate in and within my ‘selves’ but not between

What might this ‘mean’ – between anyone?  Nothing.

It can not, has no opportunity to, delineate or circumscribe, draft, figure or shape any relation.

Sign emitted, call evoked, death, and then text as silent partner.  Prognostic retrograde delineation.

Bankrupt, impassible, impossible, communique.

The decoding of words as communication, connection?  An imaginary.  A handling of terms.  Inventing, devising, originary.  With whom?  Where?  How?   Hint and vestige, remnant and sketch, scheme and fabrication, inkling and outline.

Unstillable. Unformable graspings of the mind.  Is that so?

If we’re limning the liminal now, let’s loosen the letters and slacken the sieves.  Lasso and lounge, scatter and scrape, together (to gather) – a scintillate sense – sporadic sparks, succulent scenarios – exist for enlivening language, whatever limited lust lies therein – if language is locatable and not merely modal mechanics?  A modicum of music then, some scrap of sonority, some lingual litmus ‘making sense.’  Whatever.  Possibility, potential, particible particulars…

“THE TEST IS COMPANY”

“If there may not be no more questions let there at least be no more answers”

– Samuel Beckett, Company

“We must not die: kindred spirits will be found”

– Viktor Shklovsky –

 

Cloud Fragments #2

oceanwaves.gif

What the whispers, wreathing wraithwords, wisp-whooshing ways, weave-unweaving willful wreckage.  Watery-unwound wrapping-about while unwrapping wishful rending renderings.  Wronged construals in warped wrestlings – reachings, wrenchings – resiliently resisting.  Wranglage, wronguage, writ.

Remains for re(sign)ation.  Re-as(sign)ment.  Relinquishing rest or rectitude.  Repentant writing.  Riddled and recoiling, recombinantly removeable recklessness.  A raucous rancor irregular, irrational, and ever ill-advised in its deviant devising.

Devastating detour: devouring the decrepit, dissimulate, divisable devisor of description.  Descry the dilettante, the decayed decoding at diminish.

Wrest a return: remandering mayhem, maladaptive remainder.  Roping radicals round reason – irrational redescription in rascally remorse.  Mismade and mismanaged.  Wranglage, wronguage, writ.

-toward the New Year

Haunted Man: I am: the possession

“quiet field without possession”

Laurie Sheck, Captivity

wavewords

I am an ocean of signs.  Of a womby surround – undulate, viscous, discombobulate, obscure.  Tremulous quarks of murky markings and inference, connotative particles, confused, ill-defined, and indifferent.  Instigative convolutions, a potentia of concatenation and combine, cations and anions, dispersive attract.

Filled with words.  Prescriptive, disruptive, chaotic, coherent.  A turbulence transposing subjects, predicatively morphing, an aqueous slurrage of verb, vim and weave.  Compositive, foreign, constitutive terms.  Not-I.  Of Other.  As shapes and colors, sounds, concepts, any all perceived – no idgit of me, all permeable outside – Otherness, environ, cocoon – borrowed, received (or rejected?), an elusive collude.

Signifiers swarm me.  Inherited meanings, genetic loom of semiotic loops and swirls.  Who begins?  No ex nihilo.  All arrange, revise, adapt.  We’re composed.  I of an ocean of signs.  Language and impulses, instincts and codes.  Ellipses and notions imposed.  Undifferentiate, senseless, stirred by experience – a cacophonous chorus of bones to my suture.

Oral, aural, textured and gestured, I swim and I sink, flux in the float.  Fragments and fractures, compounds and bonds, links and erasures.  Malformations.  Dis-ease.  Some viral, some blocked, unusable and ill-conceived, undone, or aborted.  Indisposition. Swim on, slurry substance, amalgam of shreds, resist and desist, copy and swallow.  I choke.  I chortle.  What makes “mine”?  Just a word, (yet another), from whence and from where we don’t know, but not “us” (neither that, nor this keystroke, this breathy design, dasein, without ownmost).  Even a name is built upon countless.  Other.

Epi-, meta-, arche-, unknown and unknowing, interpreted through mediated mattery fracas, encompassing commotion, tempestuous din, innately ordained.  But not-I, freak iota, insignificant smallest, author of none.  No one.  No thing.  No not-I.

Quavery, wavering, components of signs, my birth-sea and umwelt, disjoiner and fabricate mush.

This become, in this swelter, this wrap and unravel.  Efface and inveigle a ubiquitous unique.  I am drowning, a seaway of signs.

Mappa Mundi

mappemundi

The key question is not what a given sentence means but what it does, especially how it does whatever it does…to know is by definition to say that something is something else and be believed when one says it – Gunnar Olsson, Abysmal

Whatever we might say, we see in all that we say. – Sophocles

Only apparently is it a ‘presentation.’ – Martin Heidegger

It follows that in the world of humans any mark is better than no mark, for without categorization there is nothing at all, not even nothing at all. – Olsson, Abysmal

How small life is here / and how big nothingness.  – Robert Walser, Oppressive Light

Addenda of sorts

Gunnar Olsson

“…in the universe of the sign there are no clear-cut identities, only delayed differences.  Never a dead end, always an already-but-not-yet; never a genuine original, always an imperfect copy.  Language is a simulacrum of simulacra, the privileged hiding-place of the psychoanalyst’s repressed supplement.

“Pushed to its own limits, the difference between identity and difference is that in the world of the former everything sticks to itself, while in the heaven of the latter everything escapes from itself.  Comparison rests on a foundation of difference, for once a sign is interpreted it no longer is what it used to be.  And exactly therein lies the crux of the matter, for it is well established that the structure of language itself makes perfect translation impossible.  It follows that reality is never what it is said to be, for reality and language are never one and the same, a painful lesson

“The conclusion is straightforward: although word and object are always related, they are never identical.” – Gunnar Olsson, Abysmal

Signifying Writing – Figure 2

Sign-language

Figure 2

A relief in the unreality.  A kind of re-sign-ation and release…capitulation…to the impossible.

“how we find our way in the unknown by drawing on invisible maps of the invisible and by following…”

(Gunnar Olsson, Abysmal)

Sign-language.  Gesturing.  Ambivalent approximations.

At times unbearable.  At times a satisfaction of “all we have” and the effort of maximizing it.  At times re-solve (for x?).  At times a re-linguishing abandonment:  despair.

I study her, hair splitting and spreading, trailing inky-green over the vein-passages, delicately swollen, along the backs of her hands, superfluous and jewelry-like wrist-bones, concatenation and symphony of muscled, cartilage-limned lineations from thigh to knee-bend to calf, turning into sun-drenched marble of ankle, tendon, toes…painted, dusted, perfection…

The beauty will not hold to term.  Will never be contained.  It was impossible before it began.  Eventuated, erupted, but was not “meant” or realized for any capture.  It’s irreducible and indescribable, and I always already knew that – thus a torment, self-torture, a suicide term-inating – necessary failures I will elect to die trying: inconceivable, yet experienced; an incalculable worthless worth because unshared and uncommon.  Just perception, experience, singular…impossible.  Not factual.  Incommunicable.  HER.

To simply see (receive, perceive, conceive) – non-transferable, i.e. ‘unreal,’ unrepeatable, or ‘not the same’ as that.  Untranslatable.

Yes, it starts to map.  A conjecture of imaginary spaces, places, locations.  Lines drawn wobbly and around, surround, what mystery?  To dialogue and dream – hypothesize, surmise, polygraphy.  I.e. to fail.

Ends in its begins, becoming something ‘else,’ as self might with each other – between showing new unknowns.

Not sure its believed in any more: “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

It goes on.

A trace, congesture, autography.

Experience.

Signifying Writing, Figure 1

Opicinus De Canistris World Map
Figure 1

Opicinus De Canistris World Map

*

The map began as a scribble, a doodle.  Begins as a failure to write, to “compose.”

In lieu of a word there’s a wiggle of pen wandering aimless in search.  Cartography-graphology-psychology – a loitering for logos.

Begins this way – in hope of words, a sort of squiggle.  A body desiring a mind.  To show up, to take over, provoke or convince – to appear, make a meaning, disclose – to figure toward sign.  Some unconcealing.

The signal’s not there, so it moves: the hand, the instrument, the breath and the heart – are they tools?  And for what?  A cartographer’s dream.  Of no training, no knowledge, even reason is lacking.

A pen making marks on a page, mapping none.  Tracing nonsense.  It begins in this way, and it leads, so he hopes (it hopes, is hope, is desire).

The scrawl travels over the page – given borders and boundaries, arbitrary and set – 6”x9” and lined with a soft viscous grey.  He (it) slows down.  Just a hand and an arm and a shoulder – in motion – holding a technical device filled with fluid – black, yes, like bile, but less tacky, diluted – it flows, threading lines – it’s con-fusion – yet taking, biting, inscribed.  Something happens.  Drawings are locked to a medium stock.  Incomprehensibles stained on a page.

It crawls on.

*

This mapping begins in a loss.  He is lost.  It is lost.  Doesn’t “know.”  Just beginning, because – with desire.  It is driven, compelled, WRITER WANTS (for to write) with “nothing to write, and no means to write it” yet constrained to keep writing, to expunge merely SOMEthing, some THING.  Which is NO thing, no THING, but to mark.  It goes on.

Makes a map, a map-ping, tangled series of lines meaning nothing, no THING, but creating TO-WARD.  Ward off absence, off void, ward off death, this is to – .

It (he) is tired.  Is forlorn.  Is an absence and loss, a re-mission, re-cursion, re-morse.  And not even that clear.

Scribbles on.  NOT a map.  NOT directions.  For NO where to go – NOW here, now HERE, no-where.  Which begins all the longing, for “he’s” heard it said, found it written – in signs, in-scribed, sign-i-fied: but NOT HERE.  Not in him or this body.  NOT THIS.  No sense.  Non-sense.  “It’s” not “working.”

Trail dwindles along cross the page.  It’s a map.  Just of being.  NOW here.  Now.  HERE.  Looks like this – some electrocardiomusculoskeletalpsycognilinguadigital-gram.  From this angle, this tool, these techniques.  As a Ouija.  No meaning.  Saussurating.  Arbitrary.  Mediate.  Only markings.

It falters.

And so it begins – as a failure to write – as a scribble – an assay – a tribute to write – that cannot, that will not, that does not…quite occur.