Last Days of the Year (12.31.2017)

after Helene Cixous’ First Days of the Year (all quotations from)

 

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“…writing doesn’t know the story…”

– Helene Cixous –

Writing had dissipated, eroded and erasured, “the stream, the slender silent stream with its singing arms,” dried, swallowed, scabbed to dusty ground, hardened wounds, simple soundless scarring – unmarked, unmapped, uninterpreted or deciphered.

“Writing, that link, that growth, that orientation” and mysterious connection in the veins – beneath earth, across times, that leaky, throbbing, flowing, trickling tickle in the fingers of the throat – evaporated to ether.

Space is full of voids again, the entire body is corpse.  It was air that was missing – oxygen and hydrogen – a liquid, invisible, fluid force and blazing trail – its quiet tireless effort coursing, a desert without shore.

“’It has been many years now,’… thought the author”…many years of dwindling, echoing thoughts…many years without solution or solvent, no bed, no pull, no sea or slope – an eviscerated wandering lacking movement, without promise or retreat, direction or return, rather something absent, lost, unknown.

Bedrest – a way to heal by falling fallow, running out, caesura and inaction.  Some old trace viewed from scale, an only remnant held by wind – a sentenced shrub, a stop of phrase.  Riverbedrest and desertduned unwinding – depiction’s dearth, branches clotstopping gravity’s swill or swirl, deadwooded filaments tumbling anywhere the green had been, the iron bled from vein.

“I am going to write,” he had thought at first… but I weigh 47 years and “writing is eternal [knowing] neither weight nor time,” it will not lift and carry me, breezing past as it always has every present unto present – ageless phantom, foreign phrase I am unable to pronounce.

Vanishing link between the bodies, submerged and buried and unspoken – “writing doesn’t know the story” – dumb and blind as memory’s ‘I.’  The lost and forgotten, what will not come to be.  “To me, this is a blow, a threat.”

“…the book we do not write.  There is a book.  That we do not write…” … wordless and disobeyed, unwritten extinction, disordered and undone.  Passage and passing of this now here.  This book that’s not here.  Irrelevant utopia.  A desiccated thread, a wilderness with imperceptible end, some perhaps forlorn and far-off song, long since warbled into stillness.  I “do not have what it takes to make a book,” long-lost imagining and fabricated dreams, suffered weeping for what-is-not, what-never-was, the known and haunting will-not-be, pains of life assigned to us.

Sightless, flightless bird without brain enough or claw for scribbles, vision canceled by the crossings-out and scratchings, greedy skimming scamper seeking recognizable seeds, some words less foreign or forgotten, that might crack in the craw and cackle a sigh, a chortle, some wheezy whisper… anything other than absence, the starving shame, the empty marrow, acrid arteries, and granulating groin.  Wretched rictus claw, blindly scraping at a pen, a page, a flesh-as-grass, a drop of dew, some ancient call –

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL

…and thank you

A Conversation of Humanity

A man stumbles into a bar… (perhaps you’ve heard this one before)… truly more of a sauntering in seeming need of assistance… must be no stranger here, his drinks await him wherever he finds or chooses or results in sitting: a something-with-vodka, large glass of water, and occasionally a cup filled with coffee.

“You’re the one that always has books,” some say, “you some kind of writer or something?”

“I don’t know what I’m doing,” he mumbles.  “I’m always tired, I feel ugly and old, I don’t like my body but don’t desire doing anything about it, perhaps I should, I’m sure to lose it someday…” (he isn’t talking to anyone).  “Thank you, always, you’re ever so kind,” he says.

He says “My children seem to remember me,” shifting in his chair as if to leave, or relocate tables, “my children they seem to remember, and they hurt me, they have hurt me, my body hurts, mostly in sport, and what they do and don’t remember.”  He opens a book, looks as if he’s reading, another round of drinks appears.

He writes and marks in many colors.  He is dirty.  He wears overalls and moccasins.  He never seems cold.  It is cold.

“I decided to shower today,” he mutters.  “Some ladies still talk to me,” something-and-vodka drips through his beard, “some will even hug or hold me yet, even this way” (patting his belly, grimacing) “I guess I didn’t like my smell or simply thought it might change me, it’s awful hard to be alone with my body.”  He moves, his drinks are waiting at another table, both fresh fills and half-drunks, and a sandwich of some kind.  The cook passes and pats him on the shoulder, smiles, asks of how he’s doing.  They hug.  The man praises him and his eyes are moist.  The man isn’t anyone in particular.  He isn’t anyone.

“What you doing with all those books?” she asks, he thinks.  Pretends that someone’s interested.  “Not the young ones much anymore,” he says, “they are needing something else, they can tell I’m aged and tired, carrying the trouble of experiences, but a few, a few older ones will let me hug them, touch, perhaps a kiss, perhaps an accidental overnight, that strange collapse.”

“I have them to read,” he replies, “there’s always more to read,” he whimpers, “so much, so many, to read,” he sighs and smiles like a boy receiving toys, “if only people, my children, if, if they felt read this way by me, some women, some wonderful women, if I could delve, could attend, if others felt read this way, these books, I love them, I love and need them, their words, I love and need and want them…if others felt that way, I’d like to feel that way – loved, wanted, needed… sometimes my children…”

“Another?” she says so warmly with her tight and fast-moving body, lithe and breasted, friendly with its clothes.  She has a fresh vodka-with-something, he says “no I shouldn’t, but sure, I guess, you’re so kind to me, why  not?  I will, yes” (wanting, loving, needing.. books scattered over the tabletop, all closed).  He drinks.

“My children, my friends – so smart, so beautiful, with verve… so helpful… I did shower today,” he thinks, “maybe I’ll be useful to one or some of them, but probably not, what could they need or want of me,” he drinks.  “Not the young ones, though, not anymore,” he thinks, “what could I offer – these worn experiences, these words and doubts, these lacks of memories, confusions, waking dreams, these wonders.”

“You’ll need to go soon,” she chides, “you can’t be staying here.”  “But he’s the writer,” a boisterous drinker shouts, “he oughta tell a story, oughta earn his keep!”  Drunk old friendly at two in the morning (bar time – it’s actually 1:35).

“Tell us something,” they gather, they prompt.  “Say some of those words,” they prod.

So he opens his notebook and begins to write…

 

 

“…the contradiction which awaits the writer is great.  There is no mission, he cannot undertake it and nobody has sent him on it, that is to say he will have to become nobody to accept it; a contradiction which he cannot survive.  That is why no writer can hope to preserve his life’s freedom for the benefit of the work… everything takes place between the artist and himself; no one else can do anything about it; it is a mystery like love that no extraneous authority may judge or understand.”

– Maurice Blanchot-

Little Offerings

This Autumn has found very little time for sustained reading and writing, resulting therefore in meager offerings here.  But I am finding jottings, thoughts, and notations in scattered journals that have somehow happened anyway.  Please accept these little offerings as efforts to remain in dialogue…

Journal Entry

Why do we (at least some percentage of us) take such pleasure (or at least seem to relish) in dark and heavy sorrow, like longing?  Grief, hopelessness – is it finitude and mortality that cause us to feel so at home in it?  Our drowning womb, begun from a watery coffin?

The sweet, rebellious, anarchy of loving, passion, writing, painting, music…sex – whatever it is we do that works our death deeper in us, through ecstatic bursts that we respond to like life.

We all ways dying…from that first launch…that initial spark of convergence – our long elimination.

Praise for the Name what Remains

By the light of the last thing decaying,

Erosion, they call it,

a painful dwindling away

.

Inception that won’t return

Sand, soil, snow, wind,

some sort of passage

.

One-Way.  Only.

Irreversible.

It is called.

.

Loss, we name it.

Lossness, lessness:

Simply change.

.

If time is an arrow

even in some infinite

loop and swerving traffic

.

I’m not.  Nor are we.

The finite and fragile

Affected in the midst

.

Continuously undone.

And never remade.

Silence Reasons Almost Audibly

Macedonio Fernandez shrewdly intimated that among the difficulties of communicable perfection (language or literary wholeness, completeness) were the problems writers have, in that, among other things:

“2) They don’t know how to render the ‘unsayable’ with ‘ineffable’ style” (Museum of Eterna’s Novel, p. 11)

As if imagination must copulate with impossibility; creativity found within the non-existent; wayfinding nothing.  Perhaps.

“I” (a good example of the above) often worship the symbol: “I’d” like to place it everywhere, upon everything, anything imaginable OR conceivable – even the unknown – as well as any compendium of ‘facts’ or apparently common-sensical / self-evident elements of being-living.  As if… to draw attention or recognition (‘to render’) human limitation, finitude, fragility – PART-‘I’-CIPATION – in world (+ whatever falls beyond such an impression).  A kind of belief as a participating occurrence that whatever might be indicated by such terms as “truth,” “love,” or “existence,” (or “you” or “I”) are best translated by = ?

This nettling evocation is (perhaps) a personal ‘creed’ in a singular (obviously impregnated) mark: ?

Something I might ‘live’ and ‘die’ for.

Am I trying to communicate?  What am ‘I’ doing in relation to language, to shared understandings, to concepts, and so-called knowledge or knowing?  Am ‘I’(s) capable of relating to anything (or nothing) beyond these indications?  Unmediated ways and forms of experiencing given to ‘me’?

Experience (seeing-peering WITH outside-of) is one set of possible parameters in living-being (limitations, capacities, informed possibilities, finitudes & fragilities – necessitudes of part-‘I’-cipation).

What might we ‘name’ alternate – those in excess of experience; those far diminished via enforced-informed; ‘other’ impossibilities of ex-perience?  (Bataille’s ‘Inner Experience’ – inperience?: without outer? might be an exploration) ‘mysticism’?  spirituality?  mystery?  simply Impossibles?  Unsayables?  Unknowables?  ANYthing beyond-limit, we might ‘say.’

Excess.  Perpetual.  Eternal.  Infinite.  Incomprehensible.  Indeterminate.  All ex-perceptions that would demand or require ‘ineffable’ style to be en-gaged.  Out beyond (or in-beyond) outsides or othering that might be accounted for, perceived, en-countered, or ex-perienced: impossibles that must most likely (it would seem given our minimal, limited, finite, participatory living-being IN AS PART OF ‘world’ or whatever our most expansive imagining) occur.  Perhaps even non-ex-is-tences, nothing and never.

These might be the description of fields or planes where I in-tend and pre-fer to operate or inquire (under the sign of ?) and therefore, lacking or failing in ‘ineffable style’ whereby to render ‘unsayables’ – simply can not.

Thus please forgive my erratic forays into production here – communication, conversation, even imaging-in (imagining) – ‘I’ simply can not.  I am mostly unable to ineffably style unsayables.

I beg your forgiveness and again fall silent.

“But could I forget my ignorance for a moment?  Forget that I am lost in the corridor of a cave?”

– Georges Bataille –

Rough Draft: “Compatible Solitudes”

Let’s do it this way:

in silence

near, breathfeeling

as if we knew

.

everything

there is to know

without

accumulating

the decay

shared knowing

becomes

.

Let’s be together –

in quiet

this time

without

plugging our ears

with talk

.

the more we know

the less,

and more

we wish we didn’t

.

as if intimacy

were a relation

we have with mirrors

loving everything close

the ways we love ourselves –

not much.

Meaning

…still seems

to occupy us

as an open question

 

who (yet) knows

what language means?

 

I love/d you.

What more is wanted

ever?

 

With all of its not

mattering, like changing

seasons, world

 

going on.  A hawk

(or owl) shrieks

‘beauty’

 

We ask again

at the canyon,

the peak, the abyss,

 

And I say simply

‘You are beautiful,

Thank you…

 

therefore I love you.’

 

Nothing meaning

but some report,

some expression –

 

Elementary assignment:

This is why I’m alive.

Possessives and plurals,

the mysteries remain.

http://www.schirn-peace.org/en/post/marcus-steinweg-notizen-zur-liebe/

3 Short Poems

for the weekend…

ARE YOU

I don’t think I have a question;

yet I seem to be

an asking

.

This one?  This one?

Is it here?

Are you?

.

The breeze is not silent

as many things

that are not

.

Still I do not understand –

Are you here?

Am I?

.

It goes unanswered

along with the riddle

I am

.

Are we here?

Are you?

 

READY FOR SADNESS

I’m often ready to be sad.

Why is this?

What holes are excavated by living?

What sifts through?  Falls out?  Runs away?

.

It goes nowhere

Or anywhere,

Everywhere.

Still it goes

.

where I am not

welcoming

through all these openings

a peeking-back

 

[addendum]

Instead I seal them shut

I try to stuff them

full of rags

that reek of sin and toxic

.

What can I do –

will I –

in this cell

that seems my own?

 

AGING

What does one do?

Reducing teeth

or sight

or hearing

.

How does one choose

what’s worth

repair

when all is failing,

.

ailing,

come undone?

he asks his father –

buys a car

.

replacing failure:

another thing

that’s bound

to fail.

Credo

I’m afraid to write.  It’s so dangerous.  Anyone who’s tried, knows.  The danger of stirring up hidden things – and the world is not on the surface, it’s hidden in its roots submerged in the depths of the sea.  In order to write I must place myself in the void.  In this void is where I exist intuitively.  But it’s a terribly dangerous void: it’s where I wring out blood.  I’m a writer who fears the snares of words: the words I say hide others – which?  maybe I’ll say them.  Writing is a stone cast down a deep well.

Do I write or not?…A light and gentle meditation on the nothing…

Does “writing” exist in and of itself?  No. It is merely the reflection of a thing that questions.  I work with the unexpected.  I write the way I do without knowing how and why – it’s the fate of my voice.  The timbre of my voice is me.  Writing is a query.  It’s this: ?

I write for nothing and for no one…I don’t make literature: I simply live in the passing of time.  The act of writing is the inevitable result of my being alive…

I feel as though I’m still not writing…My problem is the fear of going mad.  I have to control myself…And so I’ll leave a page blank or the rest of the book – I’ll come back when I can.

Clarice Lispector, Breath of Life 

Any Story

AnyStory

Don’t start reading.  The writing always stops when there’s something to read.

There’s always something to read.

Somethings you really, really want to read.

Avoiding frustration.

Urges.

You want, gutturally – in the stomach of your heart – she’s ill, she’s suffering, the phone, to text, just text, “still love you”, like that, she must need care, she must (perhaps not, perhaps she’s been more than cared for, is ecstatically happy, relieved, content, unbothered – it was she who chose to leave, who left, after all).

Divert.

Text someone else, another, one who maybe wants you to love her, who misses.  Avoid frustration.

No.  Write it.  Write about the urges, the diversion, the avoidance.  Read a little first, get a taste, a feel for what letters, what language, might do…

Avoid frustration.

Write.

Take a drink (an attempt to frustrate frustration, avoiding satisfactions, short-circuiting risks with another), no texting, follow your fears, note your diversions, attend your avoidance, but act elsewhere.  Write.

Fear.

Could start anywhere, and none a satisfaction, only inscriptions or actions of frustration – to read, to write, to love the one who doesn’t want it, who’s trying to get away (has gotten away, but also wants to leave it behind), to contact one who might or who does want to hear from you (but you don’t, don’t know, just want love, some response) – want to write…

…for ANYone, any SOMEone, perhaps yourself, perhaps all the opportunities lying about you wanting to be read – no, you want to read them…

Avoid frustration, settle for imagined response, even address, to be called – the words in the books rarely fail in calling you, addressing you, which for you feels like response, like being wanted, almost needed, like a text from ANYone, any SOMEone, who invites your love.

Take a drink, frustrate frustration, move into fear, toward satisfaction (or one of its bastard offspring).

Just write.

Don’t check that phone.  Don’t even touch it.  Leave it in another room.  Turn it off, power it down.

See the words come easy when you simply write them out instead of fracturing them, spreading them thin through a network, splaying them across pages and phones and emails and…

Write.

I read.

I drink.

It floods.

Another day.

Any story.

The Last Wolf: or, “I showed you the darkness in the beginning”

I remember that I am falling

That I am the reason

And that my words are the garment of what I shall never be

Like the tucked sleeve of a one-armed boy

– W.S. Merwin, “When You Go Away”

Time keeps accumulating on my inability to write, to find time to write, to process living with language.  Simply to keep this space alive, I am posting a journal-like entry so as not to give up.

Recent weeks have been dominated by readings of Doug Rice, Laurie Sheck, Jon Fosse, Georges Bataille, Larry Levis, Maurice Blanchot, Samuel Beckett, Franco Berardi, Robert Bringhurst, Jeremy Fernando, Elfriede Jelinek and others…

What a traversal, passage, the past couple of months have been…

…like following the draw of the moon through dire straits

in dark, tumultuous seas…

…a feeling that everything is at its limit (Bataille, l’extreme) – EXPERIENCE.

  • pressured work projects, needs, deadlines, demands
  • endless and constant family logistics, accidents, needs
  • relentless parenting, relating, service to others
  • throngs of people and groups
  • lack of friends, lovers, supportive presences
  • fear, health, danger, exhaustion
  • failure
  • loss of partner
  • inexistence of calm or solitude
  • imposed travels
  • absence of sleep and rest
  • indulgence in desire and harm
  • minimal process
  • poor eating or nourishment
  • tension, strain
  • depression
  • lack (wellness) & excess (pressure)

…a teetering balance…

Mind you, this is how it feels in me, not how it is.

I miss everything that is/was good

…fail better…

There is a certain uncertain sorrow to things

(presence of melancholia, moon-draw)

Georges Bataille’s certainties:

  • WE ARE NOT EVERYTHING
  • WE WILL DIE

THE UNKNOWN                   THE UNSOLVABLE                       THE POSSIBLE

darkness                                              levity

Lynda Barry & the “Underground Skateboard” – how we draw from others work what we need to survive

Lemony Snicket & the autographing instruction that I should “read something else”

FAMILY

immersion (doom, closure)                                 held in levity

conscious moderation

– 1st Tarot reading –

(processual journey mythical)

Jacob recommends Homer – The Odyssey

doubling                                letting go – holding together                    The Devil/The Chariot

dark surfaces / surfaces of darkness (The Fool)

The Moon (dark journey) crossed by the Queen of Swords (wounding love)

THE UNKNOWN                       THE UNSOLVABLE                       THE POSSIBLE 

-Summer

Temperance

The King of Wands – leaders, pole vaulters, utilizing tension toward propulsion

leap over?  through?  on?

The Fool

Pas sage – not wisdom                                                      FRAUGHT JOURNEY

– Odyssey –

BATAILLE: “nothing is final…”

– “what is not there, which, once it is seen, often in literature, tells us what is” (Fosse)

Inner Experience

“the suffering of the disintoxicated” (Bataille)

The Human:

  • challenging everything (of putting everything into question) – Bataille
  • always a breakdown of systems that will not be restored – Sheck

“Experience reveals nothing and cannot found belief nor set out from it” – Bataille

“The hand moves forward, the tragedy begins” – Bataille

“no one grieves with you for what you are unable to say”

“life itself…always swerves away from my mouth”

– Elfriede Jelinek –

“how I’m owned by that which will not answer” – Sheck

“What you are will be spelled by whatever

lies trapped in your hand” – Robert Bringhurst

– emptiness is also empty –

“what is the part of us… feels…unnamed…

…i must live at some distance from convinced” – Sheck

 

“When I say you to what isn’t there – I mean me” (Larry Levis)

“you won’t find me in me” (Jelinek)

Experience eludes understanding ( Bataille)

– nor can I compute the possible (Sheck)

This too

is just one

more opinion

to move through

(Bringhurst)

FIRST AND FOREMOST YOU WRITE (Fosse)

“From an abandoned myth

(I write to you)” (D. Rice)

wanting them to mean nothing –

– and suggest everything (L Levis)

 

INTENTION:

  • hold open the imagination of possibility
  • “do not go gentle into that good night”
  • Moderation.  Extreme limit.
  • Contra-digitalia.  First and foremost write.
  • Be-Read