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This is the path I take every day. I get lost. And name it “home.”
I am not a good father.
I am not a good son.
Nor…a good lover.
I do not know what it means to be a human.
I do not know if what I do is what is called ‘thinking.’
I assume (PRE-sume) I’m a-live.
This is what I do. Again and again and again… (ad infinitum)…
I try, errr, perhaps… I am.
I was working.
“the turned-to-water book…
with all that has room in it,
– Paul Celan –
Decide to write the book-that-turns-to-water, as speech-that-turns-to-air. All that rippling silence, even without language.
Someone asking: what is gesture? movement? expression-in-its-being?
Signification the silent razor.
Someone mentions music, which it claims “represents nothing at all,” (Michel Seuphor) and I doubt that: is there not expression? confession? some sonorous and vibratory friction or exhalation? A “constant inscription of birth in innumerable ways…language is metaphor and metonymy, one cannot avoid it.” (Helene Cixous)
[“where trace becomes existence” (Seuphor)]
I am tracing letters without a model, refusing to hub any wheel…
Out of its mouth: communication sounds. The body moved likewise. Undulant, suggesting. only sounds, no discernible words.
Signification, perception, emotion, feeling, sensation… and then translations: prefrontal cortex: “meaning”?
A blockage. Refusal.
Andre Malraux: “You are human when you can say no.” Remembers Bartleby.
What is called ‘agency’? Only negation?
This is how the story goes?
Prefers not to.
“Pleasures,” “pains.” Pain wakes. Pleasure lull(abie)s?
And when is the “system of nonknowledge” (and unknowing) not “unfinished” (Bataille) posthumous. Post-humorous. Generations.
What was it? Ah, yes, the Book-that-turns-to-water. Speech-to-air bubbles, balloons. Hot air, as they say. They? We.
(someone wrote, silently saying).
“all that has room in it”
Of truth and genesis – constant inscriptions of birth. Unthinking the point and the line.
“Not to worry about the rest of us. Love you.” (someone said).
This is the shaping of chaos, this hell of stories.
Unbearable lightness of being, this breath or stream of life.
Mismaking is an art (or so we hope, we think, desire, demand).
Men and apparitions.
[everything I letter down is plagiarism]
These – the margins of philosophy, a way of life.
Saying I no more. Interior distance.
This is the writing of disaster: the book-that-turns-to-water.
Speaking turned to air.
Philosophy, the posthumous. Dust.
Text (from textare: to weave).
My notes in the fog.
The trouble with pleasure.
Myopia. My opium.
Dear Michael, Dear Jonathan, Dear Scott, Dear Laurie, Dear Lydia, Dear Sam; Dear Meghann, Dear Summer, Dear Tyler and Karl; Dear Edie, Dear Sara, Dear Mari; Dear Albert, Dear Paul, Dear Denise; Dear Tristan, Dear Aidan, Dear William; Dear Andy, Dear Pippin, Dear James; Dear Timothy, Dear Jada, Dear all of you who save my life from time to time, by being:
Perhaps I should not own a phone. It’s Short Message Service, in my employ, allows a nearly ubiquitous, immediate reach of the text, from my thumbs.
Thank you for telling me about the exhibition, I have the retrospective tome near me even now, attempting to go in and near the two-dimensional images on paper. It is not the same as being present to the sculptures and paintings, their ambience. But now I know I could not move around them, nor touch them, I’d have only to use my eyes and very little of my body.
This obsession with connection. Once I would have had to go to work unlinked to any of you for hours at a time. Once my going home would mean your absence unless we arranged for sharing space and time. Now I reach, I report, I ask and beg, and enter your lives like someone shoving a newspaper, pamphlet or flyer into your hands at will – without contact – propaganda blaring from speakerless speakers.
Your mails and email show deference and thought. I am happy to have your works near at hand to consult and resort to time and again. I see the care in the hand-writing, the pacing of thoughts, the reasoning reflection, the sense of your audience. They lie about me on the floor, I can feel them, turn them, taste them if I wish.
Your phone makes a hum or a buzz. An ejaculatory missive from Filbert again. He’s lonely, he’s excited, he’s drunk. He wants to share. He needs to share. He needs communique. He wants connection. He is not thinking of us, he suffers the duress of himself. He spouts, he shouts, he slurs. He insists he needs solitude and rest, needs quiet, less public. At any hour, at all hours, these textual packets flow.
Perhaps I should not own a phone.
Where do the gaps that make the heart grow fonder bloom? What is banal and what evental?
Thank you for your poem. I will read it again and again. Thank you for that clip of music, I repeat it throughout the days, when the mood demands an answer. Thank you for your books, your artifacts, your gardens, your hands. Thank you for your eye-contact (those of you I’ve sat or walked, camped or climbed with). Thank you for the melodies of your particular voices. Thank you for your hugs, your nourishing, your care. Your listening.
I do remember the ground there, how it fell away desperately or rose violently into sky. What the birds did. Where the fire flowed. Yes, the leaves. Yes, the sleeping bags. Here’s to the unknown trails, the stumbling, to whatever’s discovered.
I am sorry I flood your phones with less than thoughtful driveling – explosions of fear, anxiety, want. Am I alone? Am I alone? Do I matter? Does anyone want my voice? Am I also missed? But also love. Yes, sometimes I merely wish to tell you the difference you make to being alive, that I feel you out there, somewhere…
Perhaps I should not own a phone.
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.
+ Samuel Beckett +
When else is there? Or where? Only now, on… no how, on, on only now.
What I mean is that we will strive. We strive. From “strife” – disturbance, struggle, war… the turbulent activity that alive involves. Motion. Something we don’t know how to stop, without action. Activities of ‘the last.’ Unable to experience their ceasure, their ends. What ends?
The unknown? Surely not the motility of the parts in wholes unceasing. An idea of action? Its ‘language’? Such saying for to be said, missaid, always. Another ‘end’ without knowledge, perhaps.
Perhaps misaware of limits? A particular sort of activity’s borders? Perhaps solely misaware. Distracted by activities we might call abilities simply because ‘we seem able to’ – to what? Disturb, turbulate, live. How else aware, even unawares?
We go on (“to strive” “to make strife”), even, sometimes, without ‘effort,’ insofar, just continue, with no how, but on. Merely on. Even imagining we’re “not” sometimes – its own ongoing. Now, oh on, anyway, even without how, like repetition or citation, trundling referencing.
I mean to say – we strive (and make strife) – often in lieu of intention, even with apposite purposes – breathe again, anti-again, attempt to negate or destroy (even ourselves) going on no how, now oh on, almost without prejudice, only preference or opinion, some direction made by lack, discomfort, disturbance, desire, indifference, doubt. Now oh on…
As if a play of breath. A texture of emissions, an inseparability of matter and space commingled duration, a wish for absence to enable our moves and again to sense we are here, now… oh on… no how, only, on, again, ever different(ly, also). That kind of same, as in memory, forgotten or impossible become.
Missaid, misaware, avoid negation, probably not (!) un- or ends would have already come.
From other ideas for language: from sight, from feels, from motion. From other (s) – language or motion… from strife and disturbance, from obstacle… anything to notice, perceive, accidentally endure, to become. Now, oh on. Anything – even a wishing for no (thing) is something – perhaps without how, but still on. It’s a song, or could be, hardly motion sans sound, even whispers – how else could silence arise? Even rising – difference – a change in the scene or a sense – never stoppage: now, oh, on.
To get back to the strife or the striving – the friction that comes from duress or caress – just the difference – a surface, an alter, a scrum or a veil – misaware of the motion, the context, the seamless mobility clipped for the eye or the hand, the scent or the senses or thought. As a dream – and perhaps! – misaware and missaid, misperceived. We go on, now – oh on, nohow on, only on…
Akin to ‘the next thing’? If even the ‘last’? What becomes like an ‘on’ if undoing (unbecoming, unmaking, erosive, erasing, destruct)? What gets lost, what survives, of what IS? No how can be told, but goes on. Loss is but change and perturbance, disturbance (again, but now ON) – now, oh, on… anyhow, always now, ever on…
The end an invention of language perhaps – to imagine – a “not” to the on…
“If there is progress then there is a novel.”
William Carlos Williams
You wait for it to come, grow, become. You may be waiting forever. Like love.
Perhaps it will visit, pass by. You’ll notice, probably feel hopeful, or inspired. Forlorn.
You’ll keep trying, as in waiting. Wanting and waiting are such wrestlers.
From time to time you’ll dream. Fantasies and nightmares.
But language will twist your words.
“Today I wrote nothing.”
The month of March, in Kansas, can be almost anything, like most of the other months of the year, almost. Tonight it is moisty, breezy, there is wetness hovering like a redolent air, nearly a fog. I am killing myself. You are feeding me. I sharpen your knives in the kitchen. From the top of my throat toward deep in my belly is an acidic ruin caused by far too many liters of hard alcohol in far too much volume, too often, for too many hours of too many days over too many years to not be transforming my internal landscape into a ravaged terrain of destruction. So though I’m unable to breathe, speak, lie down, or work without unignorable hurt, I am still useful. I am sharpening your knives in your modest kitchen. I am reading and writing sentences. I am trying to keep myself from you. You are preparing a meal for us, and I find it so difficult to stay away from you – to not breathe at your ear, kiss or nibble your neck, grasp at your bottom, finger your elbows, hover, caress, overwhelm.
Boundaries are reduced in mist and wind. In motion it can be hard to tell where the lines that mark objects begin or end. In cloaks of obscurity finding shapes or sounds, edges or entries, can be, well, con-fusing (over-mixed, blended, woven)… as perhaps any “thing” we try to think apart ‘in fact’ always is… “inscrutable,” “indivisible,” “unclear.”
If you extricate the ginger from the garlic from the cabbage from the chicken from the oil, the rice, the salt, the pepper, the lime and ancho, the butter, the liquids and oxygens, thicknesses and scents… where is the meal? If you separate “me” out from “world,” relations, surround (like a theory, a concept, a logic…) how might I then live, or “be” what you presume me to be? I will not, cannot, am not (removed from my surround) and so it goes… limbs and flesh and organs… dissect… to cells and fluids, molecules and motions, viscosity and energy… to atoms… to subatomic ‘particles’ and/or ‘waves’ – and at each dismantle you will have lost the entity you proposed or pursued.
Division does not equal.
You’ve quoted out of context – neither copied, reproduced, nor plagiarized. Simply failed. Missed. Lost.
The burning rot, corrosive erosion of my body by the maladies of my preferences, pleasures, and habits…
…erasure of letters, terms, phrases, meanings…
…excision and surgery, atopic autopsying of…
…are things already dead, deceased once de-cised, as ‘identifiable portions or pieces, ‘things'”?
These written marks with definable shapes and spaces… yet if disjoined… no sense can be had…
What might “it,” “I,” be… apart-from?
I lay on a ground I cannot stand up without, cannot jump, move, fly or float away without…
I address you – impossibly – unless we’re inseparable… otherwise address and interaction cannot…
The gesture recognizes the necessary collusion as a dream of a fictive repartee, a figurative gap which – if there really were a break or breach – would have no effect or recognition – no reach, no contact…
Relation is repetition of conjoinment, actions without function if connectedness is not always already…
…as if drawing attention toward redundancy.
And so we kiss, we eat, we call out, we listen, as repercussions of contact… reassurances of inseparability. You reach for your phone, I fall to sleep, unable to be undone or we would not be able to know
…and so we think. I do not say we must think, for I do not think that is so – it is simply a kind of capacity we have, apparently related to external pressures and a possible pleasure, or unknown effects involving desire – a torsion, disturbance, a stirring unsettling perhaps necessary to our living continuance, like pain, like lust.
An activity we call by many names and nuances – reflection, perception, analysis, intuition, sensation, theorizing, dream… but all uncanny practices of turbulence as if trying out invisible options on our world, imagining alternatives, inventing holding frames for experiencing that must constantly and continuously alter and adapt and reorient as living never stills. Like language, like longing, like living. Such things show no signs of resolving, their solutions are their ongoing instrumentalization, their habitude.
- Writing, kissing, and walking are synonyms.
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.