General Energy

I sought in vain this morning for the place in Bataille’s books that, some years ago now, inspired in me an unforgettable “epiphany.” It has to do, at bottom, with the question of energy and exuberance, and with the rhythms and workings (accumulations, savings, exhaustions, expenditures) of energy in our being.

Bataille’s argument is relatively simple: society, the world of work, poses us human beings like an object among others, like a tool that is destined to have function or a goal. In Bataille’s opinion, and out of all the horrors that society imposes on our being, this is the worst, paradoxically because it forces us to constantly to think of our being as “our being,” with all the nametags and fabricated identity-crises that follow from this lie: an actual subjugation to our alienation and separateness from others and from the universe, as isolated beings with “our own past” we must preserve and “our own future” for which we have to constantly take precautions. This separate being is defined by its servility to the “use” to which rational, goal-oriented, accumulation-oriented society puts it (and not only in the sphere of employment) and by the inevitable anguish associated with dying, which we all know is inevitable and imminent.

What does this have, then, to do with energy and exuberance? Precisely what everyone already knows: this regulation of our energy cycles–down to the hours of sleep we have to get, the three-square meals we have to get, the hours of exercise per week, the hours of down time, relaxation, and entertainment scheduled in, and so on–all this regulation, the imperative to be “regular,” is geared toward the end of functioning like a “well-oiled machine,” i.e., to run the maintenance routines so that the past-present-future continuum of our separate isolated being isn’t jeopardized, so that our role-oriented and aim-oriented lives experience as few hiccups as possible and do not clash too often with all the other isolated beings’ road-schedules, work-schedules, marriage-schedules, retirement-schedules, and so on.

The threat that hangs over all this is, no surprise, the threat of death, the threat of poverty, of a loss of standing, a loss of sustenance and socio-economic and physical integrity as an isolated, self-same, and in this set-up necessarily self-proud, self-displaying, self-defending being. If we were not caught in the grip of all this servile “regularity,” society would not recognize us, and neither would anyone else, precisely because there would be no one, no me-separate being to recognize. We would not “be” in the sense that we are regulated to experience being; we would not-be; we would “effectively” be dead, and in relation to society and history, useless (the accursed share). At this level, the anticipation, that with the argument of a “necessary future for ourselves” shackles us interminably to anguish and all the measures meant to stave it off, dissolves and disappears.

Which implies acceding to anxiety to the point that it breaks into laughter, ecstasy, tears–and dying (ellipsis to Paul’s, “I die daily”). This is what Bataille calls the “sovereign moment,” a moment insubordinate to language, social worth, stable meaning, and integrity whatever its form, and in no way servile to the activity- and maintenance-oriented regulations of self-isolating society–since here there is no longer some “one” to persevere. This loss or dissolution, this halt of knowledge and function, means for Bataille a return to “intimacy”: the distinctions that once separated me from my fellow human beings and from the entire universe no longer hold, and I communicate or rather “am” communication (elsewhere, loyalty). Such is sovereignty: NOTHING: the exuberance of a useless expenditure that is not regulated and, more importantly, not owned or used up by anyone. That is the passage I wanted to find, where he said that: theoretically, it is the difference between a particular economy, where energy is the possession of set beings that they expend for the sake of self-preservation, and general economy, where energy is continuous, without ownership, and squandered exorbitantly without any thought of saving it for any future.

Bataille’s contention is not that we jump by a leap of faith or force of will outside of our isolated being (as you could guess, any attempt contradicts the sovereignty of the moment; it accesses us like a strike, like tears), but rather that, in this “return to intimacy” (dissolution, dispossession, destruction and fiery consumption of ourselves, of everything that once tied anguished being to death, since here death is nothing (and the contiguity here with sovereignty is not accidental)), there is an unleashing of energy that is unimaginable to a knowledgeable subject of action in the world, since it is the very subversion and ‘transformation into light dust’ of the latter and all its regulations (just see how far you can push the resources that aren’t yours and are beholden to no one: what can a body?). It is the unleashing of an energy that is general and uncontainable precisely because the only thing that ever contained it was the container that we “falsely,” however normally and conventionally, held ourselves to be (and let’s not kid ourselves, this illusion is inescapable: we cannot not “traverse the fantasy”).

In the continuity of being, where our discontinuity with being reaches its zero limit and the “intimate dark” dawns; in this world where there is nothing to anticipate because death is nothing and you are nothing, “Exuberance is beauty” (William Blake) and, “What is intimate, in the strong sense, is what has the passion of an absence of individuality, the imperceptible sonority of a river, the empty limpidity of the sky…” (Bataille). I remain quite curious to see what we will do with this freedom, when it reaches us.

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At the End of a Still Day

At the End of a Still Day in the Hut
Martin Heidegger
September 12th, 1931

Rare days, that want to become a blessing for us.

And how often do we fail to hear their step, quieter than a deer on the moss of the forest floor.

Mostly we catch only what is useful and its varieties, for we are not ready or willing to see the simple.

Though all things bear their secret, the inner greatness of man is the deepest; because it is given to him to become struck by suffering, in order to transform it into the power of his soul.

Humans wander paths full of striving that lead out from each other. But each of us finds, if only we hold true to ourselves, our way back into that ambit of the heart that ought to remain our innermost protection.

That man is permitted to win the sure ripeness and beauty of his essence makes him potent to transform the other invisibly into the truth of their own essence. Where such a transformation happens, there awakens that genuine solitude from out of which man truly encounters the other, so that henceforth his heart acts in the clear present of the other.

Only what we receive as a blessing—and not as an benefit obtained falsely—overcomes what is small, partial, and greedy in our aspirations.

Rare days of blessing—their image is similar to that of many others, but their hidden power is that rareness that we safeguard only when we are strong enough for thankfulness and big enough to revere the truly great.

(trans. Timothy Lavenz, 2015)

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ARROW SHAVINGS

ARROW SHAVINGS

1.

I rest my hand on your head, bowed in prayer in stress, weeping, out here in never-after-never land, where listening alone kept life alive, welcoming in you my death, how I feel.

How could I have gone further with this enchantment? My connection to peers meant everything to me, who I held. But I was the least assured of them; I sat at the table, amazed by the lure of presence; I used my voice then, but couldn’t believe it; I gave myself to the common experiment, but nothing was proved; I had no place, will have no place; and no group of medics or magic men will ever to resuscitate me. I say I, but am phantom. The future is for me because I’m absent from it. Because an experience “chose” me, writing the play I’m lost in (no one choose anything).

Thus I “am”: sky surface, leaves dancing, cars on the curb, the train panting. I am your anxiety. I am change.

To which no one answers. To which I respond. Interminably.

2.

I was going to write you your favorite poem, one you’d like and cherish, one to make you laugh-crysmile.

Miles away eyes tick faster: trickle-down Heaven jimmied together with Hell plaster, no-going non-conceptual pitter blather. Ironic stylings of the beloved doom. Oven of ash bridegroom. Air, breathing in the room.

My project? Housing an unsustainable architecture of sonic waves and orchids gasping (this the last day of humanity, tomorrow the middle of litter): take my hand.

3.

What did I see, you would say. Depraved appetites, overwrought lassitude, I’m falling in love with infinity’s abandoning me, where I began and ended, the very first text that completed me, even back then, the final puzzle piece in-slotted for here. Picture a solid drab color it took you a lifetime to make out. I made it out with my life, too: cardboard.

4.

But then what is my condition of possibility, that smile, the notion of my grip? What is it that prevents me from remembering?

God is sadness.

Is… which is my answer, my chasm, my supplement, my cancer. You saw it come back to me to me riveted to my place. You saw my heart–in the space you made for it. Saw me laughing, under the canopy of unquotable grace. And were better for it: time displaced.

Here you have my hand. Take it.

5.

That was why the voice cried long and after. That is why your princess sun-bathing. That’s why Medusa-fantasy. That’s why matter.

My experiment? No, my marathon rattle, my eye-standing, my make-up. I took it to that edge so I could cradle face it and see you.

That grave was the starlight of my saving, that smile the motion of my grip: ourselves, on the outback of naming, in step with all there was to say and be.

I’m talking about my infancy, my lightwave contingency, my resourceless health spree. I’m talking about the insistence of love.

6.

Small… like the back I rubbed. Or like the breast I touched. Or the hand I clutched. Like transparent body, offering, like praise.

I didn’t want it to end, but couldn’t stalk. I didn’t want to get stuck in your throat to cough trust. I just wanted to be your outlier–your same.

An image: arrow shavings.

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Ravensbrück

After returning from a daylong trip to a concentration camp is perhaps the only time I can allow myself to say with all the critical gusto I can muster, and to every one of my friends: there is nothing to celebrate in today’s crisis regime. Let me confess my disappointment, my frustration, that I feel almost constantly and that I have never known how to clearly express, that I come across again and again in habits of disrespect and laughter, my disgust with the “celebration-culture” that we live in. It stretches much further than celebrations properly defined, and goes deep into the daily relaxation techniques and modes of small-talking, all the magazine ads and cheap games of backslapping and opinion sharing, the art of congratulating-ourselves-for-nothing that reigns as the norm, the lowering of standards for the sake of not upsetting people, our fear to say the truth as if that had anything to do with love…

Because do we not feel the dead under our feet? Have we forgotten what has happened, are we blind to what is still happening? Are we so content to live with pizzas and video games and bad language and laziness? What are we thinking about, really, when we are celebrating how happy we are, how friendly we are, how good things taste? And who doesn’t feel the anxiety in all these boozed-up rooms, all these dumb-houses of fandom and small-talk, all the worry and strife and anxiety? You see what I’m driving at: who doesn’t know that we are living in a crisis regime, in a kind of concentration camp of fake happiness?

I used to think it was my anxiety, but the anxiety one feels in oneself is something one can work with, something that, if responded to, pushes us through into what we thought was impossible. Whereas the anxiety in celebration culture is often just the unspoken opinion that no one really knows why we are celebrating, why we are gathered this way, why our eyes are glued to the sports match, why we are satisfied with such tiny ways of living. That is surely also our anxiety, a social anxiety that we feel as our own, but we pretend as if it isn’t ours, we pretend as if it isn’t there, as if we didn’t know that its program keeps running even when the most triumphant moments of group-joy seem to break through. What is this if not a will to group-blindness?

I have fought tooth and nail against these anxieties, trying to figure out what is going on ‘underneath the scene’ for so long, and today’s visit solidified my horror. I try not to speak this way, because it is seems so irrational and exaggerated to compare our current time, despite how evil it is, to this radically evil time. But I know, I can’t help but saying it, I feel I know: today it is just the same. “Strange times, that weep with laughter, not with weeping,” wrote Shakespeare. Strange times, when people sit glued to the programming, laughing, when there is nothing there to be laughed at, and the only proper response is to weep.

In Ravensbrück, the SS-Commander’s house sat on top of a hill, such that if he only walked out onto his front porch, he could overlook the massive expanse of the camp, where hundreds of thousands of prisoners toiled away, performed ridiculous, dehumanizing rituals, were ordered around in languages they didn’t understand, starved and died. I always imagine the children of these men riding their first toy bicycle on that porch and down the front walk way. What does the father say when the son first wonders what all those people down there are doing, why they’re all wearing the same stripped clothes and have no hair and look so thin and dirty? And I am horrified by the evasions, the jokes, the non-answers that the father might say to him. And I am even more horrified by the glee he has, how he celebrates, when he thinks about how he works, what he is accomplishing, the society he is running, the community he is “building.” Why did the Germans go along with such a murderous plan? How could they live under this crisis regime? How did they still smile? What did they say when they saw trains full of Jews or Foreigners being shipped to these obscure barracks, out of which the smoke of burning corpses was fuming?

There is nothing to celebrate in a crisis society. I believe today that time is waiting for us to figure this out, to put down the distractions, to give up the cheap smiles, and to think, to weep, to feel the dead underneath our feet, the oppressed dead who are united with the living oppressed, those who are being trampled underneath and are thus already dead. More and more, that is us, that is everyone: trampling each other over with celebrations, wasting time in happiness, failing to acknowledge our anxieties out of fear, and using the excuse of friendship and love to cover over the worst lapses in attention and failures to imagine the world in a different way and thus to act in the world in a different way.

That different way, in response to our dissatisfaction with the accepted way, does not have a mold or a pattern. There is no role and there is no knowledge possible beforehand about what it will be. Furthermore, it can never stay the same way; anxiety always reaches another impossibility, another wall, another petty game to deactivate. It goes as deep as the very last thought of one’s life. It is a constant self-disagreement and a constant skepticism with regard to the happiness of the collective or the soundness of the “whole” or “pair” we supposedly make. It is honest speech–and first of all honest speech with oneself, about what one would really like to be doing, where one would really like to be and with whom. It is an awareness that our answers to these questions are always deceptive and that, for the most part and usually despite all our attention, “inner deception” reigns, inside and out. “Strange times, that weep with laughter, not with weeping.”

Because if we go on just laughing, nothing really gets easier. What seems to lighten the mood kills the true one. Better to do the difficult thing first: to disappoint everyone, slowly to shock, by refusing to go along with the game as usual. I’m begging you, with all the tears shed in Ravensbrück, yesterday and today, refuse, refuse to play the game as usual, disappoint people, don’t say what you should say, don’t try to make people comfortable, don’t prioritize happiness, don’t be chummy, don’t be afraid of dark walls–because behind them lies something impossible, when we have the courage to go there: an ever different way of being that can never once repeat itself, that will never see anyone in the mirror again, but only the angst associated with breaking through it–only a name to cross out, a trajectory to halt, an easiness, a happiness, a going-along-with it to refuse–that is for nothing, prepares us for nothing, comes to nothing, and therefore, perhaps, is actually something other: the desperate self-explosion of hopeless poetry.

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The Stranger Day Letter

The Stranger Day Letter
1.28.15

If today were Stranger Day, I would thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for being strangers. I would even dare to say that you all are “my” strangers, who I am proud to know and love–if the very notion of stranger, the reality of your strangeness to me, didn’t undermine beforehand the possibility of my knowing you, and of your belonging to me. Unless to be my stranger was to be my friend…

So, today–let’s call it Happy Stranger Day!–I thank you, stranger, for being (a) stranger, for being stranger than I or you could have thought strange. I thank you for being my friend.

And you, of course, better than anyone, know how strange this is, how strange I am to you. You have no idea what I am saying or what I am doing! And I have no clue about you. Could it get any better than this?

Well, it isn’t entirely true. You know a few things about me, probably more than I know. And if you know at least one thing, it’s that I spend a lot of time writing. Strange. Couldn’t you say the same thing? What we do on these computers all day is nothing if not strange and “spooky”: reading and writing, communicating and connecting televersally, telekinetically, telepoetically, quasi-mechanically, in digicoded aching feeling, at the border of the virtual and the real–with heart, which is ever more possible–with pictures, text, music, event, updates, groups, you name it! Which is also strange, given how far away we are. Stranger still, because how close! (Like right there, but right away away: but wasn’t it always…?)

But I have some confessions to make: I wanted to create Stranger Day because of a few strangers in my life who “really are” strangers. Who I had in mind were those of you who I have never met, as we still insist on saying, “in person.” I was thinking of Jacob, Aishwarya, Alex, just those freshest in my memory (there’s so many others, and others yet to come, perhaps they’re already waiting to speak up). But as I thought about them today–a lucky one if there ever was one–, “stranger” quickly became stranger, by coming closer. “Stranger” started to encompass, first, all of you who I’ve met so infrequently, and in such relatively “non-intimate” spaces that I would be hard pressed to say we’d “shared real space together” in the normal sense (which again is only the most classical sense of togetherness, and that more than ever needs to be challenged and displaced, today); those with whom my entire relationship–and however slight it is, it is precious–grew up in a virtual, i.e., written, space (a category I would call, for the sake of saving time and to acknowledge a real virtual ally and friend, Jordan). But once I made this step, it was as if everyone slipped away.

Because what about a colleague from Iowa, who I’ve only met in person a handful of times, years ago now it seems, but who regularly saves me from despair and self-loathing through “like-support” and chat (call him Tyler, but I barely know his name)? And then what about all of you who I’ve loved so deeply, who I’ve spent countless hours with and with whom I’ve tried to share everything? You who are with me in my dreams, but haven’t written me in a while or, lets be honest, don’t have time to read everything or write back? All of a sudden it was a landscape of ghosts, of irrecoverable memories. A bookshelf, a wall of letters for the future. A sum of strangers, goners, absentees and abandoners, all of you up to the end unreachable, and thus mourned interminably, from the beginning.

I sat there, alone, heart beating, fingers near spasm, with all of you with me, and yet without all of you forever. Strange, too, as there was so much to read.

What does it mean, today, to meet in person? Aren’t we “in fact” doing it right here? What does it mean, today, to stay in touch? To be in each other’s lives, to be a part of our thinking processes and our hopes? Nothing is more uncertain than the old concepts of proximity and distance, “in the flesh” and “at a distance,” the priority given to nearness and “being in the same physical space.” Of course, it will remain fashionable–and perhaps for good reason, but for what good reason, exactly?–to insist on the importance of meeting “in person,” body-to-body, “in real life,” and so on. But for today, on Stranger Day, humor me a bit and imagine it otherwise. Humor me and think upon the proximity of the absent and the absence of those most nearest. Think of the dead inside you, whose eyes never waver as yours do.

This landscape of ghosts is not as strange as you might think–even if “in reality” it is much stranger.

Because me and my strangers have a different story: ours is a story of writing and reading. Which is to say, of loss and precious traces. Of unknowable periodicity. Ours is a story of “will probably never meet.” Ours is a story of “could not ever meet.” Ours is a story without a shred of contact continuing–save these. To use a tough phrase I’d like to salvage for a different usage, “we are dead to each other.” Strange! As if in this world of reading and writing, it had to be that way, was always that way, will always be that way. As if it were that way for all.

Well, I’ve run over this story before with you, in public(?) and in private(?), repeating myself so many times over that you decided long ago I was obsessed with transience or death or disappearing or what have you. True, and it’s proof that you read me. But isn’t it also proof that I read you? Isn’t it also proof that we were implicated in each other’s speech from the first? That even “in person,” touching body to body, speaking voice to voice, this was a community of vanishers? Of those who belonged to each other without belonging, without lasting together? Without sharing anything, perhaps, but the illegibility of some traces we could never once and for all assign to anyone? The expressions of exposed faces, heads turning? Without sighting anything other but the other’s strangeness, one’s own?

Which is how Stranger Day became everyone’s. I ask again: what does it mean to keep in touch? You’ll think me unique if I say: you have to write me, I have to write you, we have to write each other. But isn’t just me. It’s father and son, sister and daughter. Writing slips into a call, the call slips into a meeting, the meeting slips into an embrace, the embrace slips into life “together,” and that life slips into, was from the get-go… love: dying (with) each other.

Strange, because that’s writing! That’s writing right now too, and I’m suggesting, today, that that’s all we ever do. Writing is a reach outward that never comes true, that never gets back to you. Or if ever it does, you’re not you, but stranger. Writing reaches out to strangers as absolutely strange as you. You, absolutely strange to yourself. Writing: a mourning brawl among ghost-friends. “Life”…

Or perhaps death. And perhaps enemies. You know by now how important it is to keep our distances. Perhaps you’re getting that feeling even now (he’s sickening, he’s killing us, he’s lost tone balance). But my strangers and I knew this from the get-go, without knowing it, and only reading. This respect let us approach each other from the distance of writing (the distance of life and time, no?), which is no doubt the most respectful distance possible, the one from which we all away from each other constantly stood. If, on Stranger Day, I ask you to write me back, or to write a stranger, to spill your guts, I don’t imply that it’s time to do it today. What can I say? It takes a lot of strangeness, and a lot of strangers, to write this way. Which is to say, it takes time, and trust. Stranger Day is a day to honor the time needed and taken, but it isn’t nearly long enough to take it. Perhaps it’s not even long enough to trust. Perhaps it will take years for you to say anything.

But don’t worry, I don’t blame you, I forgive everything, and as you forgave me, for I too am still waiting for something to–be it meaningless babble, signs of the unconditional, manifestations of a promise to write further, to pass on stranger, to survive in each other. And in saying this, I wait for you. Wait, at the end, to wait for you.

So. Stranger/friend, met/never-met, touched/never-touched, touched-deeper-than-touching-without-touching: here we are, or rather there you are, over there away from me, like a stranger, respectfully spooky. It’s better that way, because it’s the only one. We write to where we can’t go, from where we’ve never been, to who we can’t know. That’s the danger of it, the risk. And that’s the love.

With thanks for all of it and for you,
On this holiday of my own light fabrication,
Strangerly yours,
Tim

P.S. Go stranger.

You have the right to the pursuit of happiness. Good luck with that, 2009

Image: John Lurie, “You have the right to the pursuit of happiness. Good luck with that.” Accessed 1.26.15 at: http://johnlurieart.com/

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Disquietude

What, dost thou weep? Come nearer. Then I love thee
Because thou art a woman, and disclaim’st
Flinty mankind, whose eyes do never give
But thorough lust and laughter. Pity’s sleeping.
Strange times, that weep with laughing, not with weeping!
               –William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens

And if levity (“lust and laughter”) were the cause of–our excuse for–our irresponsibility? If the injunction to have fun and “meet” was side-tracking everyone from what they ought to be doing?… All the goofy videos that go viral, the flashy apps that sap our attention on commutes, the ecstatic moments of drunken connection, the knowledge that comes from constant study… What if this veil of conviviality had, since time immemorial, prevented our perception of all the deeper pains? From the old aristocrat to the modern consumerist, all would be united on this front: the possibility of “happiness,” of the orgiastic enjoyment of things, will have blocked out the possibility of responsibility–of disquietude. Those obsessed with such pursuits, with status, sex, money, fame, or comfort–who follow, in a slave-like way, Oscar Wilde’s maxim, “Pleasure is the object, duty and the goal of all rational creatures,” even though Wilde eventually rejected his pleasure-seeking aims and wrote a most ponderous meditation on suffering, in a quasi-Christian conversion that couldn’t be further from the current forms of complacent Catholicism and Christian Hedonism–sit back, attend parties and church services and political meetings as if that guaranteed moral righteousness, love and reproduce as if the family were the ultimate form of community, act  out in the world as if the point here was to make a name for oneself… “Strange times, that weep with laughing, not with weeping!”

I can’t imagine sounding this refrain often enough: “Strange times, that weep with laughing, not with weeping!” Who could still feel innocent in this world? Who could go to sleep with a good conscience? Who could face the everyday without ever-deepening guilt? Who could be dull enough to believe in the goodness of their own position? Those who smile and are proud to be on earth and to be human… Those who fancy themselves just, to be doing the right thing, to be helping the world… Well, I do not cast doubt on it, I do not judge or reckon; I can only judge myself, and I extend myself no benefit. I’ve tried to track it farther, to cut myself less and less slack, but ultimately one only feels more wretched, more selfish, more indefensibly calm and cool in a world of ruins and injustice–more guilty, more indebted. For the best of us have all done much less than the very worst, much less than we know we could have done. This is the only way to respond to a world running dry with laughter: to aggravate our own guilt and hyperbolize the call; to expose ourselves without shelter to a disquietude without respite or relief.

Many exalt failure and obscurity, but do so only to hide away; whereas they ought to say: we have failed ourselves, obscured our own true challenge. We have centered our acts too often on economic exchanges, we have looked for compensation, we have sought approval by others instead of cultivating our disapproval with ourselves. The secret of responsibility lies in this disapproval, in a responsibility that deepens the more you try to respond to it. And such a secret is only possible where one takes oneself to be nothing, where one has given oneself death, the impossible: to know oneself nobody. Degree zero of desire’s exhaustion: to have pity for desire itself, for one’s desires and for all desires, for the confusion and myopia it causes, for all the “laughter and lust” of the self-conception, this inescapable and inexpiable selfishness that haunts even the most selfless act. But it is better–though it counts for nothing–to be haunted by one’s own limitless wrongness and unforgivability for being, than it is to feel “at home” in oneself, comfortable in one’s life choices and the things one has made. You can find your oceanic feeling, your euphoria, your union with nature or with consciousness. Your art, your music, your lifestyle will bring you pleasure, it won’t be surprising. But isn’t that the big farce? That the point is to be satisfied, relaxed, and to find peace? To survive and grow for oneself? “Strange times, that weep with laughing, not with weeping!” Strange times, that fancy it good to be at ease!

“In being as such, there cannot be meaning. Mortality renders meaningless the care that the me takes of its destiny. To posit oneself as ‘me’ persevering in its being, when death awaits, resembles an evasion within a world without exit. Nothing is more comical than the care that a being takes of its being when destruction is certain” (Levinas), but “…I am not going to admit to a fault, I am going to avow a shame without apparent fault, the shame of being ashamed of shame, ad infinitum, the potential fault that consists in being ashamed of a fault about which I’ll never know if it was one” (Derrida): ashamed of these traces you associate with me; ashamed of being unable to erase myself; ashamed of not laughing; ashamed for weeping, for apologizing, for the potentially limitless fault of being; ashamed that we were never quite anxious, never quite responsible, enough; ashamed for having kept to ourselves what should have burst: our life, our experience, our self.

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MECHANICS

Words toppled on top of words–to assert what? Everything forgotten? Everything started anew? Origin reiterated? I, upholding my faith in you?–

But happiness leaves no record in the observable universe. Of love there are only traces and welcome tears. A few dice thrown into a pit of unhappiness–the too-much-being of man, of too much hatred. Too much sorrow and misquotation. Too many failed escapes. And not enough confessions. Not enough desperate elation.

What keeps pushing, would keep pushing if I pushed? If I was patient here at the extremest urgency?

A tongue, abandoned in a sand castle, drying up. “I can’t account for the oceans,” said the young one to his mother. “Me too,” she silenced.

I went to close the door, I shuttered, I was late. No one arrived. “I am”: vanishing mediator. How long and about whom, to harp on? When does the day come when he comes soon?

It could be a moment of prayer, an act of faith in a desert not lacking entirely in happiness, in fact hardly lacking in it at all. Writing: a memory for what was possible for it, how many connections it could make appear in a movement. The trace was doubtless doubtless but not there, the experience of one certain doubt. These words, this discourse, do not explain a consciousness but that flitter away. Each line is its own infinitely repeatable singular place, a space other than one and so for the other.

No null occupancy in the staying, but at the same time nothing belongs, we do not fill the place up with anyone. We pass through and pass away, without passing on or getting to. And yet at no point do we turn in circles. Each point is a pivot all its own, nothing comes before it or after it; and yet it is too unstable, too wavering, too spectral not to question its “there.” What is the there of this being-there that is only a passage-point, infinitely divisible, detachable, repeatable, programmable, reproducible, while also singular at each occurrence, at each return, a micrologic of divine machinery-itinerary?

Deep in oblivion, we are operated upon by machines we belong to, but none of them belong to us; we match this with our own oblivious prayer, which we send out to the void no less mechanically.

Nothing adds up, nothing can be remembered– how many times can that be repeated?What does it mean to be said each time? Something so different no one could repeat it.

“I will try to see to it…” Imagine this word arriving unfinished to the head, silently it would seem, but making its appearance known, to haunt us with all that we ought to see to, but can’t hardly, not knowing how to see. “To see to it”: to ensure it has been done, to make sure it is taken care of, to notify the proper people, to make things clear, visible, apparent, present, known to all those involved, to oversee the progress of its accomplishment and the process of its carrying-out. Who could even begin with that here?

Question of the line, of the election of its trajectory, of any appropriation of its establishing force whatsoever. (Then again, how would one not rest there?)

Everything over-reactive, everything attractive, grabbing, everything fantastic… disintegrates in the mirror shattering, itself a fable. We believe mistakenly that the blood on the shards is our blood. We believe rightly that we are among the ones cut.

Cut off from… “seeing to it,” cut off from getting there, from organizing things correctly, to giving things the right titles or names, to making anything our own and proper. We ought to recognize “in this desert” that it all begins here where no assurance in the plan fore-thought can be attained–where night endlessly redoubles on night, without light or darkness. It could be an adventure, it could be a non-stop; or it could be full stop every way.

A string of eloquent equations, or an infinity of infinite letters?

Infant country, endless age?

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