BOTTOMED OUT

BOTTOMED OUT

Solutions are engendered at precisely the same time that the problem determines itself… But the problem in itself is the reality of the genetic element, the complex theme which does not allow itself to be reduced to any propositional thesis. Deleuze

Am I but an effect of the mirror’s duplicity, the illuminated immensity, and of this too easy relation with myself? —Bataille

I look at a picture of myself from the past. It makes no sense. I read an old sentence, but detect only lame traces; traces of the most benign existence, the most futile expression. I find a spirit’s plea.

I look at my hands, my toes, my knees. I speak. I think of myself. But I’m missing. Someone is missing.

I look into the mirror, desperate to find him. I peer into that black void, hoping for someone to be there behind my pupil. But I find no one whatsoever. Have you looked yet? What have you seen?

I supply that dreary representation that is “me,” but I experience him as myself. That was the problem, at odds with all I’d “know.”

I deny everything I’ve ever known as my will, or the goodness of the world. I embrace the one positivity of existence: its insufferability. I am, but only as I am bestowed: from afar, insecure.

***

A photograph requires a narrative if it’s going to make any sense at all. It’s quite a stench, when you think about it, to subsume discrete singularities (moments, events, etc.) under one prospect, under some individual, under one person or one completeness. I’m thinking that any of my self-narratives are totally false: I’ve got no perspective. I’m thinking that the idea of the “speaker” gets added in after what’s spoken has been spoken. Do we ever know what we’re talking about, or for what reason?

It’s as if the developed image itself were but a blank screen on which one writes a life, unencumbered by the past the picture “represents.” As if the picture— the past— really had no rules. As if it wasn’t yet, as if the past wasn’t yet. As if the camera saw only a ghost when it snapped, like a sentence serving false witness to some insufferable event.

As if all the strangers and acquaintances (children, parents, friends, spouses, neighbors) had to help spin your narrative. As if the real story would only show itself when the different narratives disagreed. As if the real story were nothing more than a conglomeration of distortions. We’re left with no hope of accuracy.

Especially where you got things wrong about yourself: that’s where the truth of it would be.

How are we to know the nature of this apparition which we have always been and will always be, when we are always hiding behind that farce, “me”? How are we to catch a glimpse of who’s behind it all? How are we to comprehend how exotic this one body we experience is? How are we to penetrate the present surface of all events, that which singularly calls us to taut attention?

I have no access to your speech or your picture. I can only offer you a snapshot of myself. As if any snapshot itself was a plea. An extension, a weight, a prosthesis, perhaps. As if it were me in my absence.

***

Formula: take a picture of summer, at dusk, when the sky is carnation pink, before the thunderclouds roll in; take a picture of the lightning when it strikes nearest you; take a picture in the night after the clouds leave. Look for constellations, stars, people.

Formula: forget the person you see in the picture-mirror. Suspend all presuppositions.

Formula: forget any disjunct between reader and scripter, between the sufferings of human existence and its being-framed in pictures— at least for now. Maybe when it’s over I’ll have convinced you.

***

Not that we needed this series, these pictures. No, there is no purpose for them.

I dreampt of empty beings for you my brethren, who approach my English with nothing but sideways looks. I sought deception, sure, but only to deny the world’s— the extent to which their careless words bled into yours, the way they shelled you up and impaired you, as they so often impaired me.

Not to deny the world, but to imagine it anew outside its deceptions. My poetry could not contain it, and I hated it for its pompous depression; but no less could my life contain it, and I wallowed in a hypocrite’s hypostasis, broken by my inability to intervene anywhere. I realized it was always a matter of “who’s ear?” Surrendering to that question was as close as I could get to you, masquerading as myself in your veil.

And so to impart and to impair are necessarily joined in this communication. We were hesitant in the face of its transformation, frightened by death, finitude, finishing. I wrote to bring you back from the dead by inducing it (I couldn’t). I figured that we were dead trees, blooming with thought in our instant, despite the season, released to an odd sequence of being-without-end. I knew it absurd from the get-go.

The agency of this elevation instantiates itself, and begs only that everyone enter into it. Reach, reach, reach, it said.

***

This is the only life I can offer you, the only friendship I can adequate to my need to share.

I’ve tried to theorize what I felt, looking at myself in the mirror, but can’t; the modes fall through, I forget every page. I’ve tried to meditate on the “purposeless purpose” of the insufferable events to which these sentences bear witness. (The experience of their invalidity overwhelms.) But to indulge our first impulse (to drop it, to erase everything) is to lose sight of the real impetus behind being-with-other-beings, which is to be patient. And so the self-narrative continues…

The dread of my free days ending pervaded by everything I cried and coughed up. My death was the one “reality” I had to face up to on my own, though it was found nowhere. Writing it out was the only solution to the loneliness it bred. It was my first impulse and always failed me. But the only way to show the fallacy of time, to expose the farce of my self’s dying, was to require an ever increasing amount of interventions (time, sentences). The spilling out of time after time was how I chose to dispel of it, to go to the infinite lengths it took to pour it out. The greatest inspirations could not but help come out of it, even as they got lost along their way. Being-lost was all there was for us, at the limit of space itself.

Paradox of our temporal part: it’s sequenced and situated at the center of a moment that’s every-moment-at-once, took me forever to count them all out, stricken to live independently each of my seconds. Our sadnesses bled together where we were glad for them; but these moments always seemed belated: I could never say completely what I felt. But although everything we said was deadly inaccurate, we were accompanied by this excited feeling: that our statements made us true in their process.

And so I said that my love for you balances my wish to grant you death: they are two sides of your own desire to be yourself.  A reflection of this desire to love and to die that you seem to harbor within yourself, an affect that comes to you from the “outside,” effect of just-being-there. Writing (experience) calls us to the “practice of the outside” (Spicer). Being calls itself outside its proper (Derrida). But it expresses this pull-out only as it happens. Better than affirmation and rejection, better than worrying pettily over words and their uses.

Letters, while incorporeal, are the link between the incorporeality of our thought (always self-evacuating) and the corporeality of our existence (always self-surpassing)— a link between lightness and heaviness, the light and the dark. The extent to which we can cognize spirituality is the extent to which language has been pushed to its limit: where an experience is allowed to fill up every letter. The extent to which the incorporeality of letters is incorporated into the corporeality of existence is the only measure of “transfiguration.”

Letters, like the beings staged in them, aren’t there. They point elsewhere, and we with them. Therein lies their — our — efficiency. It makes for the feeling of the timelessness of what’s written.

Image of a becoming of nothing and for nothing (Nietzsche), never submitting itself to the stasis of any one being or any one expression (not even the auto-mancy) of writing. Task for ghosts: a hesitating self-presentation that’s yours by failing.

The writing-out of being, the being of writing-out: becoming nothing, erasing oneself, carried over. I divest myself of responsibility only insofar as I delude myself into thinking it is “my being” or “my language” to have or to abandon. I am abandoned to them— to it, to each— at the very limit where their referents fail.

You will, for pleasure’s sake, let the imagination wander and gloss over the truth of the matter: that, by love, being reaches toward completion, but it can never be completed (Nancy). That’s all we can do here. Love entrusts being to its depletion. It completes being by shattering it. I wondered, confounded by my own emotional experience, why we were so uncomfortable with this, and what to do with it.

Our “truth” is everywhere and abundant; but its assurances are always artificial (they’re false so far as I’ve led you to them). All this purposefully eludes “my intentions” — as does the meaning of any of these expressions — which leads them right to you, where you find out: where “your intention” meets “our intention” (spirituality).

Reflection of the beautiful someone standing beside us, offering us their hand. A modicum by which the Soul of the Human-beyond-Human descends into all of us, by which the God-beyond-God ascends to his proper thrown-throne in/as the dis-placed and growing-painfully Flesh-Mentality. No dualities, just creativity, constrained and liberated by the word that comes up to them: each moment, uncalculated, unlearned.

So surrender yourself to the vastness of my absurd testimonial, which I offer you as the best version of myself.

***

Emblems and amthems of myself I kept repeating:
     not-being, unable to overcome itself
and its lack with Being.

     Its farce, however, I’m competing

With my dream (my courage careening), which
        despite the severance I continued teaching,
   deepened, brought out by meaning it
        face-to-face with your coming completion.

You’ll see I’ve offered you
     nothing but the feeling
         of history and its textual sequence
             feeling its way to your completion.

That too was the end of it: these were the ends of “me.”

My person, my three-of-me: a false dichotomy
     between my nihilist, my theologian, and my reaching
          needing-me, which you read
             by reading reaching-me.

(So many empty developments course through, so many empty repetitions, all for me to participate in this dislocation proper to Being. All for the sake of peace-keeping.)

I cry out:   This is all I could see of me!
             this text at an infinite remove from being-me,
        such that I pour over it endlessly, trying to see you,
             that you might be
                  embodied?— how impossibly
             I come upon this sharing out of phonemes
                  that lead directly to your place!

I commit myself to direct address, not imagining you
     out there separated, but committing myself finally to the indirect
     communication, which gets the best of us
     intuitively, appealing solely to this vulnerability that is
     weakening: the page itself
     and its community,
     absorbing us with its strength.

***

How difficult it is to break off from them, into the no-one, “where we reside.” (How quiet it gets when reading!) How difficult to lease the grip on “what’s going on?,” to release our speech to strangers. How difficult to let the band of communal forces exscribe me on its peripheries, on these marginal “centers” of force without center. How difficult to ride the endless pulse of effects anonymity has prerecorded! How difficult to forsake one’s family, one’s friends, even one’s respectability, for the sake of an unknown and aimless enmity, who thrives in the woes of the double, the dummy— interiorized companionship and its campaign. How difficult it is to ignore the enigmatic “relationship” we pertain to this dummy, being nothing but it ourselves (chances of a potential null).

This sentensual vocabulary guides me to a dependency on an object I cannot describe to you, for I’ve never fully encountered it. It’s God, it’s you, it’s whatever is in me outside of me, somehow close by and infinitely removed. I do not yet know the full nature of its demand, nor the reason for its spew. But this does not prevent the object from encroaching, for “it” was the object of dependence, not “me.” To not know its full nature is to let its full nature overflow (there is no knowing it). The “thing-in-itself” always changing, substance never static, so too change the sentences– and you. In their gaps and imperfections is their potential, begging for moonlight or day. Its object is sequestered to them– stunned.

***

Where nothing is excluded, there is God and his overflowing himself. Community. Sharing.

It was the paratactic that encroached: identities, like the cogency of the sentences in a paragraph, forged in their disjunct. Seduction encroached (the next word I spoke to express my mind, my body, my voice): “me” in the thrust/ flux /trust of its intimate— “inner”— dissimulation, forged: “my insides” both a counterfeit and a moving-forward. What it had to say disappeared, letting itself linger on the brink of comprehension, of non-exclusion.

A play between the most “impersonal” intensity and the most “personal” of sendees— you. A voice to watch, a foreign to flurry… a blessing without causes, whose effects we could only ironically say “came with it.” All along: effects, outside of the presupposed being-of-affection. The fabulousness of friction and its fictions— generating its unheard-of, unforeseeable impulses, which nevertheless precede us. —”Us”? —Yes, the two of us and all the others; no one is excluded.

“Us”: nothing less than the openly exposed (w)hole of all who are and aren’t (those of us who aren’t yet or those who aren’t anymore). It is paratactic temporality that shuffles us between these two poles (self and self-other-edge) when reading. We detect, no matter what, hypotaxis; it’s inseparable from our experience of temporality, even though temporality is organized paratactically. Parataxis “represents” that instability between discrete units (beings or times, i.e. events of being-conscious); hypotaxis “represents” the stability we confer on this between, the link we forge within our “us” and our “me,” which is unavoidable insofar as we have recourse to linearity (sin, the historical-natural-cultural progression of knowledge, temporal experience). Each modality— 1) the discreteness of any unit from another, the paratactic arrangement of things, the numerically infinite; and 2) the betweenness between the discrete unites, the knowledge or hypotaxis we confer through reflection, memory, language, the dynamic infinite— each confer the reason for one another. This is the individuation-differentiation process of the “me” and the “us” that, in the relation between these two, are con-fused, for the sake of their opening up to one another; and are thereby “fused” in an immanently spiritual or creative way. We’re left with the present experience of their being-left, their tracing, their coming-to-ruin.

It is that old shift between fragmentation (unified lack) and totality (lack of unity). The excess that accompanies any conceived unity of “me” is the double-you, which overrides all my hypotactic knowledge about myself and my environs. This double-you is the innermost para that accompanies you in any of your hypostases: it’s the other in you, right beside you, inside or outside you, largely hidden, drawing your life out of you like a parasite, usurping all your plans. It’s you or it that’s the dummy (you can’t determine it). It is the accidental lover that ushers us to our predestiny. It is not that the double-you becomes single in the process of destinization; rather, any singular destination or feeling of destiny is ambiguous, doubled by its withdrawn consequences and potentials. To arrive is to anticipate departure. It is not that two would ever become one in a process of hypostatization or hominization, for this could only come at the cost of the other, the para-, the along-side. No, one is always two, always double. Place is always para-, and its incalculability is insurmountable.

Devotion fails because it overflows itself, because it is charged beyond its capacity to experience itself by the love that constitutes its two-way relationship. The kernel of pious devotion, whatever its religious garb, is this self-double in us— which is simultaneously a remembrance (renunciation) and an anticipation (hope), which are neither confused nor easily discernable from one another. Devotion is the ambiguity of the self-surpass, located as it is in the place of the double, the place of the other. In the failure of devotion (it requires hypostases) lies the fire-engine of creative force, the making of the world. It is the iconoclast’s pure icon: a home that is always ab(h)ominable.

—What gets read along the way: the divergence from any totality, even from the totalizing love of that totalizing abomination— “me”— “God.”

A null operation that excludes nothing, not even the absolute other, inside or without.

***

To come upon the inconceivability of a coherent landscape is to come upon the “natural,” i.e. that which escapes the cultural. Thus the “natural quality” of art. But where nature is ignorant of suffering, art must have traversed it, and this is what releases it to its cultural-historical purpose.

Committing the forbidden is in fact the forbidden committing us to itself. It is nature “inlistening” us to the true potentials of the historical-cultural. It is the indissociation of concepts from one another, the revealing difficulty of the self’s inner-outer.

The forbidden is the gift (consciousness of self). Forbidden is the gift of temporal experience, knowledge of history or hypotactics (human strategies, sins). But even time swoops us up in its passage, transports us across the forbidden like the stranger we are to it. For if anything is least forbidden, most sanctioned, it is being; for being is safe, secure in its laws, comfortable in its place. To go beyond this being of security and comfort is not a going-beyond we ourselves accomplish: it’s forbidden; and yet we do go beyond, right where the “me” is usurped by “us,” yet incorporating the knowledge of the “me” who usurps “us.” That is where a forbidden knowledge takes us up, takes language up, and transforms everything.

—The forbidden carries us to the non-site that is my thinking of you. The forbidden is a parasite on us.

We have entered the most contentious: the internal combustion of metalanguage. Our sights are set only on the liberation of its more intense impulses. Our lust for metalanguage— a language that would surpass being and reach the forbidden expression— is always barred. But in the body’s free flight, it’s irrevocably manifest. In this way, it’s “us” who usurps. It is that passage-between them and us which soaks and secretes all that is mentioned and left unmentioned. The potential of the world lies between, not restricted by time but staged “in it.”

At the heart of the question of the forbidden is the question of what it would be for being to be “staged in time.” What is it to be in a finite linearity? (Animosity?) Is “right now” that non-site where I think of you and you touch me in my thinking? —Historical lineation itself as an opening, a delineation, a space. Perhaps there is no time. Nothing is forbidden. It has all been transfigured, or released. Being cannot fathom it. Whatever knowledge of temporality is released carries an excess relevance that outlasts time. A sequence coming to terms with a disbelief in the magnitude of bodies, like a rendering of their disquietude…

Now is a token of time’s confidence: the being there only in the doubleness and ambiguity of a local “ending” (a ruse of sequentialism). If there is anything that would be forbidden, it would be “ending.” Pleasure: the rim of what ascents to, or absents, itself— without ending. Capitalism: an odd and endless self-expiration. We’re barred our finitude, infinitely delighted by its rolling expiration date.

—Are these aphorisms pure pretensions, pure pretendings that I present? I could never tell: determining anything erupted from the patient reengagement of the forbidden: a heroic letting-be of the landscape overtaking me, of the forbidden encroaching on all that is sanctioned, such that what is sanctioned (natural) turns out to be the real forbidden, and yet ubiquitous and omnipresent.

The quasi-will of the let-hero: to enter the presupposed totality (of the world, of being, of language, of anything) in order to unwind it as its deepening, by letting it be what it has always been.

The differences between sentences mimic the disparity between moments of being (identities)— the difference between any set unit and itself— a difference required for “cohesion.” I seek to reconcile a discourse that yearns for ration (and thusly is imbued with exclusions, as when we repudiate the idea of the “me”) and the figure of extension, which has no base on which to exclude anything (and thus has always already included or incorporated every particular sense of “me,” every mistake, every dream).

A false sensation accompanies our disappearing; it’s due to a phantasmatic reversal in the first place.

((Every caesura is double-jointed. I’m as stupid as the grass grows green.))

That nothing was ever forbidden except accessing the forbidden, which ought instead only access us. Our mistake was that we thought we could reach our enjoyment on our own, instead of letting the forbidden encroach and expose us.

The false within the natural is my only re-course: “art”: the labor lining this body’s outlines in the outlied quality of expressive languages (differences, loving). “I” am forbidden to it.

—Obsession of the signifier: I disappear into what gets written and I miss it. I always fail to uncover what I really meant to say of this distance between “me” and “us,” which we really share— unbelievably.

***

To share with you what my anonymity has shown me: this is the impossible limit I reach with the foray of force that imbues it. I expose to you myelse. I said this without my body being consumed by anything (though my presumption to self-propriety unleashed the common drama of level-headedness). That is to say: I miss the love she sends every time she says something. I miss the impetus when distracted. I miss the grace that her precarious position (surely a reflection of mine) lends my “existence.” She is my lovely paratactic, harboring each one of my secrets.

But I abandon her, I take my chances: I put my faith in the courage of what gets transmitted outside the inscriptive-significative “sense” of what “I’ve written.” No need to straddle the line between the self-reflective and the self-dismissive, between reflexivity and transitivity. Even when she’s long gone: no need to think that she’s gone missing.

How can I help but love the human?— to pave the way for the inhuman— which she harbors immediately, pregnant— with my scribbling and unsought impetus (your gaze, my beloved, my infidel).

I opened a road that exposes the faux-pas of sequentialism, that unleashes the madness of the para-tact, the passionate. But she had already given birth to everything. I wanted us to return to the local, where nothing ever ended. An encounter that was an impasse: my being at the whim of what comes next: the landscape, a child’s first face, unknown to those out there in its quasi-causal cleft.

I preach only of the anonymity of these landscapes: the unknown breath, the unowned bless. And this, friends, is what delivers us from the need for all deliverance, for forbidden is what we are: anonymous.

***

We also understand that to be “too high to comprehend” is a blessing.

Wonderful introduction into becoming: letting go of what becomes of it, sticking to a path, listening, somehow before and after we forget it. Time overflowing the cup history handed it by landing back in it.

To be the conscientious instantiation of interludes between the show-off. Ego: phantom of the prison, of unity, of agreement. Ego: veritable, the at-stake. A causality that is always misplaced and misconstrued; of which we know only false and infallible tricks, facts, glitches. But an interlude breaks into the sequence: the perceived “thought” of growth, which was our displacement experienced paratactically like a fullness.

The time by which I time myself: a mishmash of sterile abuses and worn out allusions.

Fidelity of the illumination to the illusion’s weight is a foregone conclusion.

Displacement chases my fingertips
Everywhere in town and out.
I cannot transmit what it’s saying.
As if of me, it was all affect, all drown.
A tragedy now that I have tried
To objectify my concupiscence:
“To take the chance of a tone.”

I cannot be the authenticator of my speech: I can only feel the effects of its precarious speed, its taking a stab at authenticity.

Nouvelle école: unsteadiness: a release to the non-excluding gesture.

Nothing save the movements of unanticipated affinities and fluxes, where just one of the endless expositions was enough to carry us beyond intrigue.

Sight investing itself with objects never finishing.

To have forgotten who one thought one was: that is the beauty of thought. Editing oneself out by never excluding.

Living: experience at the limit of tomorrow as today. (I am but the after-effect it’s dying.)

To present the full extent of a struggle is to present oneself to the harshest justice— and the harshest of (self-)judgments necessarily held true.

What’s said deep within us… is everyone’s.

***

Forgetting oneself then— forsaking it— was the crux to securing a functional presence.

Dealing with all those emotions I long assumed were of “my interior,” I was delivered into an even more absurd bond: responsibility to voice (in) the exterior: to call into question the distinctions you entertained as “inner/outer.” I meant to dissimulate these boundaries: to do so, I manifested kaput. Day by day, I capitulated ever louder, seeking proper capitalization: I crafted commodities no soul could devour, for in this flux I force up new antagonisms, new anonymities: depths within yourself you couldn’t ignore. My language was never structured to easily say its truth to you; this was related to the faithful stupidity it had led me to, to the way its truth had no rubric, hardly clarity; to the way in which it wavers, tempting non-sense in order to make it.

Though you usually turned your eyes away, I stayed here, as if to ask, “Are you okay?” And I wasn’t afraid when you said, “I ain’t.” That’s the response my text tried to embody: utter weariness of the social stage.

If you’re weary of enjoyment, succumb to it. The only way to flee its anxious clamor is to flee into it with your own productions in tandem: to give up your censor, to surrender to the shared dictum the social unwittingly sends you.

You returned to the herd, for they were all along “the subject.” For them, “truth” was always deferred, always more “togethered” for the sake of an instantaneous vision, shared across all epochs (profanely) and yet never entering them (remaining “timeless”).

It— they, their vision— welled up inside you, outside you, everywhere.

***

Who is it that encroaches on this corruption by describing an inner world more nightmarish than any it could find in reality, yet who through this nightmare found true peace?

My torment: every sentence begs to be read but knows it can’t be. I abandon it to its most pressing obscurity, content to condemn it to rot if it means its death-knell will one day be heard aright by someone, anyone. I am that function abandoned of all glory, the total failure of “my.” But I chase the obscurity such that I might thrive outside of it, with an industry far grander than that of recognition, eloquence, publication, networking, flirting, fellowships, appointments, readings, degrees, etc.

Never fancy yourself a poet or an author or a painter or a researcher or a philosopher— not unless you’re willing to surrender the endeavor you’ve just named! I indict myself! But I’ve done what I should never do: fueled a blind frustration with the social by succumbing to a partial critique of it. I regret its banality deeply. But it’s rooted in an apathy I began with, only able to fight it by steeping it. Someone’s got to hate it, or the trend will never change. Perhaps it will always be us precious few,  alone, leading ourselves through endless labyrinths and deserts, to nowhere safe, to nowhere “in particular.”

Do I have to say it? Follow no one but yourself and your passion; but find it where it is outside of what it was, outside of who you were. Passion’s passive conduit is effaced in its passion, with the creativity of the patient and impassioned. The whole of the collective is subject to you. We’ve no choice but to trace the stout lines of its disappearance.

What has this sleeping mass said, and why am I so driven to translate it, to say it for you— and for who? There is no audience I have not choked blue. My most pressing speech is always one sentence away, always coming to me the day after (chasing “us”). I’ll never live to see the day I write it articulately; I’ll be dead precisely then, nothing more than a dissimulation caught up in an archive of heedlessness and method. I regret the tired place I’m taking, the slow pace at which the darkness falls. What’s been passed down to us by the Gautama Buddha, Dōgen Zenji, Huang Po, Padmasambhava, Ramana Maharshi? Lack-luster keys, quasi-causal non-doctrines that drive the night of self-effacement deeper. The ambiguity of such a sentence is insurmountable, for it leads you home to yourself.

I write so that we might escape this American-financial abyss of competitive entities chasing distractions who’re squandered of their real potentials (their duties and their bliss). There is no quick fix. But maybe we can quicken it, if we read and write one another cautious letters.

So wake up! You’re always outside yourself. Even better: right beside it. In amazement or in horror. Consciousness of what happens to you comes after the repercussions have surpassed you. You’ll never catch up and there’s no need: it’s always already “finished”— destroyed— suspended there by the fact that it’s always experienced like this: about-to-come

Deep inside each, an outside: an outloud, a forthright, a love.

***

I’m investigating supplication, the “dependence” in “interdependence,” to examine it as an experience of reconnection. It’s led me to the feeling that from sentence-to-sentence we are not the same one. We depend on what comes next, whether the other person’s introjections, an unforeseen event, or an unexpected thought in our head. Sure, we can hide away by the extraneous concerns we bring to the experience. But if we shuffle these away when listening…

Though self-reliance is the surest way to a fruitful life, death convinces us that the fruits of self-reliance are not  to “return to oneself.” To reap self-benefit from self-reliance is a typical misapplication of “good works.” And yet the fruit of reliance is resilience— the “reason” we think the self, or prayer, at all.

—The shadowy line on which we stand: there is no self constituted as totality either physically or mentally, with immanent or transcendent qualities; and yet it is through oneself that one comes to the meaning of being, by accepting and attending to it, i.e. by relying on it and its others.

The source of my self-reliance in listening: it was in walking towards I-know-not-where, it was in listening to I-know-not-who, it was in responding I-know-not-how, it was in supplicating for I-know-not-why…

I am repeating a warning, a warming: LOVE YOURSELF— for there is no one else, you other.

***

How amazing is this efflugence in which we find ourselves! Spinoza called it infinite substance, comprised of infinite attributes and affections (“God”). This splendor cannot be communicated, for it is dependent on no finite thing.

It relies on the excess of the finite within every finite thing: the infinite. Its articulation is ever reformulated in the finite passage of time; but every intuition of the infinite within us carries a similar mark, releases us to the feel of a similar tone. The releasing of the more from out of the excess is the only limit on the infinite, to which we must open; this mechanism is the heart of not-self-devotion. This leads to the duration of splendor we experience as life. There is no work to do for this infinite substance— Life— that we are, the durationless open circuit we are. To really remember is to love without seeing the face, to bury oneself in the chest of the endeavor at hand.

Let us float, supplicate, and drift away together, never to return! We come to the end of nothing, we let our spine chill, we let ourselves meet, we let desires mix, we exchange breathes, we let this amazing excess well up inside of us everywhere in the heights of supplication and grace! Let us never forget that from there we came and to its heights we go, hand in hand, running with death forever!

***

Walls absorb sounds by rebounding them. Silence is the moment the rebounding slouches below our perception— or it’s when our perception slouches.

Capture without coercion is the most endearing form of rejection and thereby the most hazardous: a formula for the joyful mysteries, the sorrowful divine.

The addressee of a letter can always tell when something has happened to its sender by the changes in tone mid-letter, which are embedded in the linear movement of the text. The mind reverberates to great effect when it collapses, because this collapse is always reflected.

The energy of catastrophe is grace distilled. But the concept of the letter is unfathomable.

Earthly reality is a catastrophe, and we give thanks for all of that.

***

Van Gogh, giving a lecture– or am I watching a picture show, recording a dream? I’m in the room we’re in. It looks like a movie theater: all dark, only a glow is seen. There is a candle on the table where Van Gogh is sitting, and although I can’t see the table, its glow is enough to see what we need. He begins. I am ravaged by his speech, but can only make out what he is saying with great difficulty. However, I am more mesmerized by the graceful movements of his malformed hand. While motioning periodically, it mostly waves— a tip of light like a conductors wand, pointing up and wafting the candle’s flame, such that each time it came as close as possible to flickering out. The whole scene gleamed with a subdued gold; I stared in his direction and did not move. Soon enough each fingernail was drafting light as he spoke— then I saw an eye in it— a black pupil, yes, but rimmed by a tumultuous iris, blue as the sea. And then I saw, at the edge of one fingernail, where the white of his eye should have been, his music, color of the sky at noon — or the sea, toiling and raging. I saw his face in his eye: I could hear what he spoke. How deeply was I moved by this Dracula! Listen to him:

Ask “What is happening?”
Revealing everything
Efflugent determinations
Nothing Coming After
Coinciding with the Social Ambience
Rising in me Abandoned
Art: unwound skyward rising
Time-focus radiating out “as if is”
Burying photographic memories
(Remembering saying this)
Turquoise and limited focus
Radiating Notions of — ?

How did I know it was Van Gogh? I couldn’t hear anything. He led us down a wooded path to a hut where we all gathered. There was one couch in the hut and all of us sat there. I was situated awkwardly between him and the Buddha. Or was it that vampire in the middle that I also was? On the way to the hut, it’s true, Van Gogh was Tim. But now there’s nothing like him. I’ve gotten lost, the road’s turned. Now I’ve caught up, made it back to the hut– just in time to see someone picking berries. But what hut? The news room?

***

I’ve got to take it back, I’m an ego-maniac: I’m broken, always saying the same things: capturing, rejecting myself. Deteriorating conditions have overwhelmed me (I have a broken backbone, my legs are violently kicking)— I have only your restoration in mind; it is critical that you embark…

Groaning
Foreshadows
Of organic-magnitude
Encroach and
Boggle the Mind—

Source of Action
     Begs for findings—

The future surges
A futile banquet of courage

—(Wall I have not broken through,
My courage broken)—

No such thing as a happy scene, motherfuckers!

Oil boiling on the Coast!
Fury firing in thy Loans!
Guilty Moisture Gathering on Stock Quotas
And in the Aftermath: Solar Explosions
Returning us to what we’re worth.

Who is supposed?
        Who is suspended?
        What is “decode”?

—EROSION
    OF NUANCE
    BLOWS—

EFFICACY = BONES
                            PRESSURED IN
                            CLOISTERED CODES
                            ABANDONING LEVERAGE

                            THE FABRICATION OF LESSONS

…I’m not worth the profession I’m lofting.
There’s no profession—

yet…
I’m = Stranded…

***

I’m = Madness
Of the torque Stain I’ve hollowed
Out beneath the Center of Evil
To encroach on the God-follower
Who echoes the Endeavor
With the morbid sound he sings.

Death follows, and Thinking follows after,
The rending of the Mind’s Bodies’ Magic
Who comes over horizons by quickening
And lengthening Myths
Of the Mission, of the Rational, etc.—
Succeeding by Collapsing
Into the smallest of localities:
Vocabularies, one’s own.

And following then that path as I = man;
Whatever. It is nothing to be sad over
And I lavish in its Turquoise
Word I’ll not escape
Divulged of what I am
As what’s at stake—
    no artistic creation—
But the whole of my life
    the whole neurotic situation
Each second
    numbing
The Brain—

I’m healed
By the repetition
Of grace
Felt after.

***

Be-
Rated time, Man-handled
I’ll, atrophied by
Amicable jail sentences
Turn north

Find
An escape of course: harmony
Without assimil
Without mental.

Touch screams
From the opposite side
Of the horizon like a sentinel

Focusing (developing)
the term
crushed in paper (enveloped)

(vel, tarn, brush)

I left not without guilt
receding into sworn oaths
epic-long, catacombed, relativized,
carefully done up, scrutinized and awaiting
Method (archive, home), pure
of Confession

(said regrets settling)

Forfeiture—
   Rhymes—
      Alone—

Is how I struggled
to say anything,
   abandoned
     as I am
       to this work.

***

Writing these codes gets the best of me, while accumulating what’s best of me, who is gazing between lines and losing my place. The struggle of momentum is the struggle of knowing: without its cloud (“of unknowing”), there would be no going forward; but without its hesitant pacing (hampered by assuredness) there would be no gait at all, our legs would fall out from under us. This is the wall we walk through or it is our walking through it. There is a quiet exactitude which leaves no mark (save for these marks) on the visual world, but even these echo with an insurmountable incongruity, written from where being felt an insecurity with every step.

I’m commissioned to be extinguished, but my cognizance fights it every step of its way. I am alone and losing my pace. “Constituted divided,” is what they say of me: the mystery of seconds passing, my voice fated to repeat the same; though never am I left unchanged by it, for one escapes the name. But it is of an earthly claim that I am sent: to repeat a torment that all our speech gropes at, especially when it tries to establish a transitory happiness. That is what I hoped all this would be for me— for us— but I never ended up landing squarely in any of the stanzas. I was left stranded, searching for the forte of my name and this dream. I rode the inspirited trails of what seemed to be— language. Trying my mightiest, I could never walk out on my belief in its meaning-effects.

Sentience embedded in listless strings of sentences, forged on the edge of sentience: we do not know what it means. We come the closest to its impulse when we dream our own dreams, butt-up against our night-time reading (we are stranded on the edge of being). The commonality of the scene displays itself in the strips of an undrafted flag, sounding its anthem from under now-unsheltered memories, the ones you remember when you recount something from your youth. You take a moment to return, to imbue the current with a kind of reverence.

Crutched up against your obstacles, you flower up an undefined stem, mustering up your unique sense of towering gladness, like the taut announcement of midday petals that swallows every hour of the moon.

Words can never reach the sentience I’ve sent for them, the mission I have meant. The stark (forcible) sang to fortify, even when consumed (obstructed) by interpretation. Stirring to meet you on your territory, however, I found the way to your heart: repeat this plea, regardless of the words’ ineptitude— for I sounded a struggle no more important than that of the human next to me, and truly, I tried to speak of theirs first (which I entered by speaking my terror).

***

The gaze is an object (“of mine”) that I have fantasized. It is a function of my disappearance: from the constitutive impossible of my being-here there comes this fantastic scope. It is nothing but the syncope of my “internal” discourse when discovering itself.

Something that appears cannot only appear once, for all that appears appears-together; and yet no two moments (how could we subdivide them?) of vision see the same thing. The seduction of all vision: when seeing, we see nothing (no object or visual spectrum). When we see, we see only our seeing. We see what’s left of our keep, which decays and sustains simultaneously, in parallel directions. We see that there is that which sees and is seen— where “he or she who would see” is presupposed to be. That which is seen is not lessened by negating the “he or she who would see” anymore than it is strengthened by affirming “his or her” neutralization. Gaze is pure demand, and the motif of responsibility leads to inexhaustible exploration. The blink— how rarely we’re aware of it!— represents nothing other than the impropriety between gaze and its subject— the blanking out, the rest, the open-closing it requires— which makes-discrete each gaze. In the non-relation between discrete sights lies the potential of all illumination, for there we find the foundationless.

To see clearly is an impromptu or provisional relation where there cannot be one, utilized for the sake of convenience, convention, and connection. The gaze(r) is not a continuous reality; and each clarity is distinct. We never “have” sight, or the “sameness” it presupposes, outside the clearness of the moment (which would not reduce any of its obscurity or opaqueness). Just this leap unleashes gaze and (its?) desire to come upon an unprecedented sight (desire/ discourse/ consciousness). We are prepared for it, tarrying with it every second, or it springs upon us like some wild animal (though we’d been nursing it all along).

That which constitutes us in our love for the other, our being-located at the other’s place (that site from where we are and yet can have no relation), is virtually unbearable. This very unbearability introduces time and the procession of phrases— a way to soften the blow of the unbearable by renouncing the “ends” that once sheltered us from it. To recount this unbearability is to attest to the undesirability of easy enjoyment and to endorse an enjoyment we no longer master, induce, prescribe, or found by ourselves. Mastering death in this way is a most sublime non-mastery— for there is no one left there to master it, save for its gaze back from its tomb— of which we get a taste when reading the strange.

***

What animates
   is causal, interpreted,
      guided by
         an immobilizing refusal
           to settle on any one cause.

To see in all relevance only amusement,
   to see there is no choosing
      when it comes
         to alchemical movements.

I refine in time despite its mistaken trajectory
   and I find, as if hidden in some obscure directory,
      an endless list of resources
          I outreach:

Bliss— a congress of hatred and obscenities
   toying with an unconstituted abyss
      which it constitutes
         in the vaporous air
          of sight.

***

Gaze never stifled by its accusations,
but heightened
doubly with the judgments it stared and sent.

An “outer bit” of God’s Goodness then
careening through the pipelines of literature
where swill and time accumulated.

The becoming-singular of a flesh,
disheveled but heard from fore-breath,
kneaded by patience, rest, and puke

And the rest of it red bile steeped
on the page heaving an arid signal in disguises
of checkpoints, maids, and live markers.

A hurdle to turn. A marker to sore.
One of those three doors Merton discovered in the Himalayas,
though I lack all courage

And am constrained by chants and cravings
(das Mein), which is conjured up
so we’ll say something of it, to chart it, to discuss.

And what of this “bit,” disguised in the hubbub?
A distraction occasioned (sauntered)
engendering a limb

For God’s swinging punch? delivered reluctantly,
terribly abruptly, tearing at my guts
and waking me up to ‘the’ sense of
His touch, culled and cut?

For inside me I am not just.
It is not my touch that I know.
I’m corrupted by decisions
I make though not my own.

I thought that none of it was my own
but in the delicious after-touch of what I cried into
I saw as and through-into
No one other than myself.

We shared
in a moment
delirious of love.

***

Instinct, like misunderstanding, Berryman said. Perhaps freedom ought to be constrained—that the gaze, leaving everywhere a paper trail, ought to be guided only by the exchange of voices, rather than its own boisterous dictates, which left only abasement where it thought it obtained. This miserable soul, looking for humans, finds continuous skin, sanctioned into reality by the tense of the name we give it. It wonders what gaze could even follow it— misunderstandings, instincts, maimed. It wonders what was meant by the darkness in the day.

Light, but not easily, came. (It was night that gave it its name. )

Every surface is a bloody circumference that engages us beyond our choosing it; and when exposed to the double bond of oxygen, in the triad height of ozone, everything is predictably brightened.

I will haunt you, my darling, forever, for I am smooth, interminable; my borders are established in caresses, whose duration are few. I wring the night on these steps for you, who asks of yourself “who?”

Stare up, stirrup— what difference? I am ignited by the pace of their play, staging it in my theatre, where nothing worked correctly; where it was the trail we strayed from that steadied us in its race ahead of us, who were always reluctant to catch up. Because we knew that phantom Death would come quick enough: conversation, love-making, breaths. There was no need to wait for the supposed “end” it flaunted. There was no pausing it. And yet pause comprised the entirety of its “work” in that step-beyond: it cut like a cone across every circumference. Pause accompanied every sentence, until pause itself erupted; the sentence, made and unmade in the same second. Giving us good reason to pause on its precipice.

Hidden in this clause, a promise: exceed the human, exceed the normative. Thank a stranger when they ask of themselves aloud what you realized (just then) you ought to be asking of yourself. And pause. Content was not constrained by what it sought, but liberated into the realm it thought, which it could only cough up, shared out partes extra partes, stuck to the palate of existence like the shadow of a sun-dial clock.

Aleatory, the sonic cavern caved in by launching out. Its stone backbone, like gazing through moonlight on hallucinogens, caught wind by letting the wind pass through. The spine is located outside the backbone, vulnerable once again in the strung obelisk of its environ. You cannot catch it, limb.

—Limb! as if it were a limb that could listen… or climb…

Cultivate an urgency, glazed in dust. Kindle a star-page, couched with emergent properties. Rip for me a sequence of visions, nuance glisten. Cut into the diamond IF, mold an indwelling. Model everything on “next sentence,” model everything on “dirt.” Will it to stand firm where none can stand up. Strike to shine right where time waxes and wanes, and follow, PURSUE YOURSELF– for the night of noon is young.

Impropriety renders the proper’s unforeseeable aspects. It rapes hearts and leaves scar marks. It’s only a wound when its opened (to be shown). Without that, how would we know who we’re in?

A return of the “unnoticeable,” driven beyond its “horizon.”

A hand over hand game to see who goes first, because no one could win, and because it was absurd.

There. We have gone already. We are late, or worse: early.

***

The deliberation between which is better for you, heaven or hell. Sets nothing free.

Like an eyeglass, I’m purposed to cleanse what can see and sees me, but which I cannot keep. Worse: if I did, I’d cease to be (of use).

Knowledge: the Language of a Glass Word, which uses transparency like a vine uses green to climb up walls without surmounting them. Like a sky favorably inclined to outstretch.

A fidelity to Eli is what they all felt, I’m sure; but Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim, “God,” Allah— which one? The distinctions seem so ruthless, though there is no way to keep them each from shining, no way to keep them from eliding one another. And yet it seems clear that Eunice, Betty, Diane, Ruth— they were really at the root of it. For Jesus there was Mary, mother and muse. A kind of Marriage pact so scandalous it was sublimated as Christian Truth: love each other, because no matter how much you touch them you can’t touch. There is no retaining the beloved. As if no man could access her (God, his death desired): the anxiety of being nothing, yet being loved, called, and needed by some beautiful other we failingly name “woman.” It was men who bit in, or at least thought he could, or did; she herself was the apple, giving way to delusions of an idolatrous patriarchy (no surprise we sublimated it). But we are still writhing in her night; she is still waiting for her respect (her proper aspect). The mystery of an immaculate birth: Joseph had respect for her. Is the mystery of “encounter” between the sexes the reason why the Logos was written… why Christianity is marked everywhere by self-effacement, self-ruination, and yet hope and rebirth? “She”— extreme ambiguity for me, tormenter and liberator— harbors a (potentially supra-)human future in her stomach: every time. I feel the butterflies in my stomach. She vomits, unable to vomit up what can only be born: the creation of a new world, forgotten of everything.

The seed is in the stomach of all of us, if only we could stomach it.

Take up the light yoke, Christ has said. No one has the faith of my mother (not even I can emulate it).

It’s as if all spirituality (loss) was for the sake of literature (description of differences) and our escaping it (description of the indescribable, nowhere inscribed). As if it were for literacy’s sake: a capacity to read the world as never equal to itself, comprised solely of equals.

To be preceded by blasts, strung from book to book.

The emptiness
of a covenant.

***

Entering the unknowable
requires
we spell it out.

Sometimes requires shouts
from throats
and from without.

I am showered by it,
hovering,
worn.

I am powered by it,
discovering,
torn.

It is a comma, it’s a plea
that like timeless places
are mourned and shout out.

My grief
is exhausting me
with the pen, my noose,

—from which I am but so many steps removed—

and I am in it
the grief
circumnavigating its confused revale
soaking up attitudes
like a tree that hugs wind
simply brushed.

O record,
overwhich you hover and hear,
come over

Dance
in the Communion of Angels,
singing songs of the bedeviled time

and shower this place with a baptism
known only
by the strangeness of water

and carry
only strangeness
to its brim.

***

We fight the quiet of night with all we have, but we’ve nothing but more night to draw from it. Solitude: the one shared condition, likening us to the solitude of God (death). Dejection: a big part of it. Abjectivity: the result, as far as the world was concerned.

I wanted to reach her, for her to reach me, to share something of the difference in me that couldn’t be found in the representations of the real. I wanted that which could fill up my longing for the world, but I only ripped a hole deeper through it. I’ll never see the fruits of my love. I am postponed along with it, even as it prolongs, like night, my torment.

So it is that I am stuck between my own expressions. I always say the inverse of what I mean. I am stuck in my relationship to myself between the masculine-feminine and friendship. I want (almost) to abandon earth, or to abandon earthlings for the sake of its more elevated creations. I wanted a relationship to work, but they always fell through. Their contents were always ambiguous, and they were not always a comfort the way I thought they’d be. Afraid to come out of the self-created tube we’d conceived, I felt every one of their reluctances as my own. I had thought they could shelter me from the night, but nothing could save me, nothing could slow its empty pace. (Who is that companion that I write to, who knows there is no earthly companion, that we’re in departure before we ever begin? Who is she when I’ve reached for her, if not more than more than me?)

I know my wish to abandon earth comes from a friendship-heart after all.

My plea for anonymity falls forever on deaf ears (I hear myself least). Who could hear it? How could it communicate without surrendering its message? There’s no “one-to-one” (discourse of nobodies, discourse laughing). What awaits us on our most anxious and god-forsaken horizons is not induced because of anything we might know as “writing”; but in its movement it finds its vow, slowly sounding it out.

—Maybe we could share in the night?

I am just now sensing (articulating) that the experience of night is an acceleration of the senses: our very restlessness inhabited, our refusal to indulge any easy relaxation. We receive its disillumination (delight) ever faster. That one night the night might end? No, so that it comes to devour our projects even faster, empowering us without end. The night can only finish us— finite us (there where we know that that is not us). It can only find us right there where we have always been, squared up to the face of our effacement, the face proper.

I could ask why it is me who struggles through each breath; but each breath is the end of its entity. Breath as an active self-border: respiration enacted causa sui in the ambiguity between inspiration and expiration, their duration, their borders, etc. Being between thinking and death, surpassing both where both are heeded. (You, perhaps my one companion, could understand my torn-in-two, my “one” that is a “double-you,” where you long ago ripped me into these syntactic pieces, these discrete interventions, which make no sense and can’t believe anything.)

I could only match up to the weight of your putting-me-to-task when I let this fracturing gain an infinite heft for itself. For I was your historian when I wept. I waited for you to join, that the tears might be left to be.

—But always: night, refusing that we refuse its invitation, never loosening its grip. In night is the grief of speaking beings inevitably quieted in the isolations of sleep, where their identities are lost to the multiplicity of the incomplete real, but where the purity of this incomplete encroaches upon all things.

I wanted to feel the Bible convert to poetry undercover. But I could not look past the night in the books.

Whatever “this” is: the passion of a “new lease on life” that comes in the throes of mourning, without any accompanying comfort. Forcing itself to the surface to be recognized where recognition has always fallen short. To hell with the friend who can’t hear it, I’ll not cease speaking to them. This night dooms me to the nothingness they fight off (who could engage it?). And to hell with me who ever judges. This noise I make is nothing more than the invalidity and worthlessness of it all I am (if I’m something), siphoned (apparently) into quotes— as if there were no longer any art save the skill of shouting-out, like a primordial injunction to howl for connection where none can be. A clod of spit, then, and what a tangled and cloudy mess it is!

—Sent to you from the night, where I find some places, a leverage, for us both.

***

Haven’t you realized it yet? I’m guided by a presence more than present, an absence less than absent— a being that is more than what it’s becoming; a becoming that is less than what it is. A dream from which spews forth a lucid, writing consciousness; a wakefulness that harbors an unconscious premonition. A memory which forgets everything; a remembrance with no people, place, or event. An empty scene, full of faces, hands and fingers. A séance, though no one has died and there is no “beyond” realm. An afterlife lived in life; a birth unoccuring. More than something, less than nothing, I am your friend. I intuit ever more periods— closures of epoch, of country, of lip. I intuit no such thing as “end.” There is no before to what I send. After me is conjured everything: I am Shakespeare’s Macbeth. I’m a Ulysses who has not come home yet. I am dread itself. Yet I am obscurity instead. I am stand-alone, I am acid, latent, nowhere encapsulated.

But for whom have I come to die? Certainly not for myself.

I’m terrified at the prospect I write: that you are the only one who’ll listen, but that even listening you’ll be left with no way to follow through And so I match terrorism with terrorism and do not hide from its masquerade of utility. I spread ink everywhere, there’s no way to contain it.

This book is not a book I could name; it’s a landing.

***

                  …Of the Soul

I need something more
To save
Than myself.

I need to save
More
Than myself.

I need a share
I need you
I need help…

I need thinking
I need fearless fear
I need… not… death.

Breath, lung, I pray
To God tonight
For their sake and not mine
Who is but tortured by them
—Go on, for me.

Survive— them.

***

Boredom (loneliness) is the soul of all endeavors. It’s why we blindly flock together, wondering with bewilderment when one goes off on his own (or when we ourselves go off on our own).

It’s because we fear being alone that we put on our masks and come to conclusions. It is by the worst confusion that we come to play any of these games at power, which are always filled with faux-smiles. We can only erase the calendar. There is only chagrin to spew up, “Gods” to kill. That’s the good news. We have yet to feel the full effect of coming to consciousness in solitude (anarchy).

Why is it that I despise “them” at times? I despise myself and my inability to assuredly turn from them. But there is no reason to any of that. It is a barbaric, superstitious tendency to despise or drive divisions. To come through it is to realize the ruthless effect of “coming to consciousness,” a community of the infinitely removed, where expansion and the intermingling of fires are the only rule.

“I” (myself, the despised) flee the scene without conclusion. I am a mumbling child who, for the first time, stares into his sandbox and asks himself, “What of it?” He continues, “I’ve only got these same old pieces, this same old dust to maneuver.” He sulks by his revelation. His hopes are distressed by this one prospect: nothing new comes, but it is necessary that I keep building and tearing down. He himself is diminished by this second prospect: there is no halting the coming-to-effect of consciousness (building-tearing). From within that distress, his diminishment, he emerged, returning to the sandbox, as if he himself were all sand.

As if every “animate” or “inanimate” thing sensed and sensed itself— and sensed itself sensing itself.

“Me.” Sand. Sensing itself.

…nothing at all…

Yes, despair was a part of his disposition. But what it had in it was everyone’s, everything’s.

There was but one loneliness shared by everyone. He knew not what it meant, and it tortured him.

***

      Despair

Wish that I were a brick
So I could drown and sink quicker
Though, alive or dead, it makes no difference
When it comes to that pin-prick, the world.

Wish that I were a light fixture
In an attic never entered
So I could collect dust as time passed
And shatter into pieces when the people entered.

Wish that I were laughter
In the throes of a murderous passion
Such that when they came to capture me
I but laughed and murdered them.

Wish that I were an aster:
Then I’d grow and never speak;
I’d wither and never weep
As I made the earth my casket.

Wish that I were a phantom
Haunting every room I greet
To fright with my gasp of teeth
In the throat of passersby who keep    to themselves
The deceit I force them plea.

Wish that I were nothing more
Than the collapsed air of conversation
That comes upon the family
Sharing a room with their dead relative,
Regretting they never spoke…

***

There is an unbearable distance he feels between himself and himself.

Sand pouring from one palm to the other: first it is cupped, weightless; then the hand turns (out of anxiousness or excitement, we cannot tell); gravity pulls the sand out of the one hand and down to the earth; the second hand catches it (whether surprised or expectant, we cannot tell); every particle meets abrasively and sharp, but is immediately returned to weightlessness.

…the hand turns… the sand falls… the hand catches… the sand is caught…

Each grain of sand: a singular experience for each hand. Is there any way for consciousness to gather all these discrete experiences together, to unify them? —One could try.

Pouring a substance from one vessel to another: living dying. No need to neatly gather them together, for that unity would abolish the pour— or there would be no differentiation between the sand below and the sand being poured.

The sand being poured: the pourer.

Him, between himself and her.

It’s never a matter of “meeting half way.” That would be like sand being stopped mid-pour.

***

When I tried to meet myself, I lost him. What I cherished was abandoned.

Existence itself: “going through withdrawals.”

That I could be bourn of existence like a raindrop when it falls passively from a cloud!

The weight that compassion places on our shoulder is exorbitant: we must love ourselves in the process of withdrawing from ourselves.

The unbearable: no way to share all the deaths the “I” has experienced.

The unbearable: no way to share the urgency of “my” compassion for “myself” (all others).

But compassion expresses itself everywhere, I cannot gather it, father it, or reign in its effects. It runs ten-thousand steps ahead of me. I am predetermined from its vantage. I drift along without “my own truths” being accessible to me. I find them out after the trial (there’s no “after” to it).

Any truth is garbage; but so is everything that’s useful for us. It can’t stay the way it was, or it’d be useless. Food filters into waste, a baby’s soft skull transforms into the hardness of a fleshless skeleton. Each slice along the way like a stepping stone: always landed on, always jumped from.

The entropic movement of atoms has clout. But our endogenous vision changes everything.

Perhaps it is this entropic movement of atoms that is “sin.” Perhaps to reign sin in is to see it for what it really is. To confess them for what they are, and thereby to be released from them. —The confession does not unroll linearly. We’re always catching up to the effects of some past transfiguration of “atoms”— an immemorial justification of chaos that preceded chaos. A transfiguration of entropy’s “evil” that precedes everything, like a tragic accident producing a providential account.

Consciousness as accident as singular event-effect, always unique in its origination-dissolution: a transfigured evil, whose true goodness always “comes after.” In consciousness’s consciousness of itself as an effect of atoms, “good” and “evil” themselves are transfigured, reversed. What brought you here? Consciousness of sin (anything). Awareness of the pitfalls of craving-grasping (anything). Without that, returning to the sandbox can have no purpose (nor would these poorly arranged words).

My surprise at having-said convinces me of its effectiveness beyond my capacity to bear it. It also convinces me that the sin of acting without full knowledge has, after all, been transfigured. I discover that, yes, I am alone after all; but also that this very feeling is what is “sin.” It’s a condition, it’s inescapable, it’s everyone’s. It’s an urgency, it’s a responsibility, yes; but it’s also something to be thankful for: it’s transfigured. It’s what we feel for a dying friend, lover, or parent. We, the living, cannot help but lift each other out of it.

***

Effacement can only be inaugurated, for to be effaced is to be transfigured. Insofar as our consciousness of ourselves lags behind our own effacement, we are always already transfigured; and insofar as our consciousness of ourselves lags behind our transfiguration, we are always already effaced. We are un-augured from our source; yet there we are, tautology notwithstanding: “us,” of indefinite border.

Origin: a retroactive projection onto the present situation that justifies “permanence” in the face of an impermanent experience: the inclusion of that which escapes the included. This is the excessive event of consciousness “realizing” its own effect on itself. In the excessiveness of what rises from out of the effaced-transfigured, an origin is imagined where there was never one and could never be one: that’s what we call the self, or “us.” The origin is always learning how to love (itself). That’s what’s pouring, occurring.

Origin: the Openness of the Transfigured, a Gesture of Inclusion-Without-Borders.

I weep when I discover my goal: the futility of returning to the sandbox, of pouring-into. I weep when I discover that all our paths have been predestined, that all struggle is triumph, every triumph struggle.

The goal of my compassion: to draw out warmth, to draw out hearts from their enclosure, to encompass everyone I’ve missed.

The goal of compassion: to remind us that there is no one there to be compassionate or to receive compassion, and that this is the logic of compassion at its core.

Compassion, like loneliness: it’s all no one’s, it’s all everyone’s, it’s all yours.

***

       Origin’s Leverage

It’s always like moving through a whirlwind.
I wanted vivid consciousness of that,
But I was always trapped
In another whirlwind undecided
Coming over the horizon
Of sense and skin,
Or coming, of course, from the “past.”

But my origin is hidden everywhere.
I’ve yet to come up to it.
It’s everyone— hidden on the grip
Of the door in this room.
Desire is everywhere, but hidden
Like a smudge on a window
After a cold hand has long left it.

Nothing graspable, like time or lunch
Coming over the horizon of sight and touch,
Feeling us everywhere
From the gut to the throat to the nudge.
I start all over, everywhere, in every sentence
Because of my love for you, stranger.

Or is it
The origin’s
Youth?

It’s already
Dead
For you?

No matter,
The sun shines, the sky is blue
   —the I’ll is You—
And it cannot deceive us in this flux.

Without trying to disentangle its mess,
It thanks us, for thanking its openness.

Truly, we are nothing
But blessed—but I feel
No better
About us.

***

Severe impotence of what has been said and where one has gone, the resolutions one has made. Severe impotence of what has been done. The cruel passage of time: we are waiting, no one is coming.

I am a stealthy passenger on no one’s drive. I meld into the elements. There is no “being me.” There is no seeing or hearing what God has said. There is just the terror of some post-catastrophe.

“Perhaps I am a character in a play after all,” he wonders.

I have had a “first intuition.” It accompanies me everywhere, it’s the emptiness of all phenomena. And yet the intuition, in all its darkness, is a function of this emptiness speaking. It shrieks for us to stare into it— with our own shriek, so we’ll stare into ourselves.

 

First intuition: we burst from the other’s silence into the loneliness we share with them.

First intuition: every scene is a coffin, from which its beloved object calls us.

First imperative: respond.

No bleeding wounds, just ears thinking, listening for the ever-deepening (ever-darkening?) plea.

…Housed in a decanter, I’m poured, I pray for something, for love, for drunkenness, for anything. I pray to be drunk on nothingness. There’s nothing to find in my house. I’m not coming home. I hear the devastation, I hear the abandonment…

…Falling from my house, I’m close to his breath: I mimic his pursed lips, he whispers the secret of the night into my pounded throat… it’s his… it’s hers… it’s whose… I’m burning, there are no words…

…I’m hoarse, who listens in…

…miles away from “what I’ve said”…

…who I am…

…following the dictates of an anxious city…

…to a soft insurrection…

I’m frightened by this prospect: to listen to the silence that births the door to nowhere.

I’m frightened by this prospect: to listen to the call of the future.

But I’m not frightened anymore. Not sure why. It’s the same insane voice I’m hearing, probably.

I haven’t yet been relieved of anxieties, but it seems I could be.

An accursed body. Waiting. Listening. Waiting.

No one comes. Whatever.

Someone comes. Whatever.

I’m okay with that…

I come after… myself.

***

       Listening’s Endings

I’m spewing un-safeties from the back of my head,
Beckoning you to them, without a double cover to bend to
And in the torpid night, again, I wonder:
What is it that the Grand Father has said to us?
That His Son would come again? My ass.
But to think that I could have said that gives me over
To the utmost dread, and I have nothing but patience
To wait with, by the side of it, wondering why
No one listens to what the Grand Father has had to said.

Even though I wonder why anyone would listen
To what the Grand Father has had to said.
As if, listening, His Son would come again.

Well, I am tired of waiting. There is
A spider in my hand. I’m worth
Nothing.    But then again, you know, I’ve
Breath, inside me

(and if it weren’t for this writing, I would’ve been dead)

(and long ago I said: don’t wait up for me.)

(Sleep, sleep, I said.)

Well, that won’t get us far. No one will read this
Until the sun explodes. Which won’t be too late.
This is for the alien— freedom that is only
Freedom when it depends, only
Freedom when it bends to welcome the dispersed
Beckoning (again), to them, I ask
What am I worth… What are you…   ?

Anyways, to hell with them.

I’ve got another letter to write.
I’ve got another letter, as yet unwritten, to send.

***

        Beginning Alight

Of the twelve that were heard of me,
There were twelve of me left unread.
That’s your twelfth eyesight
At the stanza’s line, Threaded.
Each one (each time) carried the absurd
Incorporeal event (all wound)
Counter-actualized by the cross-bound X
For fool and thief alike—
Who’re all also wound up in you.

That betrayal has no stake on the blameless is untrue.
Wound in Judas-heart, too, was fully expressed.
It, too: fully wound up in you.
(Forgive them, Augur, for they know not who…)

I am calmer, now that I have drifted to the edge
Of sensibility (re-ligere), having reached the end of my mode
Such that now I can turn counter-wise for it.

Basking in the drift, then: Dawn, my perfect friend
Who I await like lightening and storm (thinking),
Though I cannot comprehend why she comes to my tomb
To alight on me, this minute body, full of holes.

Dawn, to alight on this body, full-bore
   —well, it’s taken decades, hasn’t it?—
And everything I’ve said
Represents a ressentiment over the “It-has-been”
And the chronology that enchains us
To an unforesought destiny.

History, Dawn-unraveled, daily: the real McCoy.

History, a decoy, always three days too late
For having never come yet,
Though the discourse is changing…

I’ll expose myself: it wasn’t “Me” they worshipped,
It was that they identified with those twelve,
Who hid inside me, arresting and writing my identity,
With love, all-too-human, I’m sure.

For I’ve seen now what’s become of it.

But there’s hope there, too (I don’t know of it).

When they hurried to be saved,
They hurried into the shade of those fisherman made penniless
By having them become their world and aim,
For I could only dunk them in their own hair.

And that      gave me a reason      to live.

***

In spite of myself, there is nothing to survey. I’m frightened when my presence is requested. How will I know “it’s me”? But insofar as we find me where I’d never thought I’d be— in them— I’m eased.

“Erased.”

It’s a “surrendipitous” sliding. It’s the theoretical outline of myself effaced by she who receives it. It’s the empty ravine that his ears are. It’s a snake, coiled under his gut. There is no “what?” to it; only listening to voices that bring us to the ends of what we are.

She annihilates me with that voice, leaving me with a nothing less than her nothing. Nothing rivals the emptiness I’m floundering in.

There is no rest to our coming to consciousness, but hardly is there motion either. No resistence, but no induction either. A statue transfigured, however still— the inertia of blasting into space.

The quietude of “no voices” ruins my cheerful demeanor. To write it out is only to stave back my tears, when I only wanted them to come screaming out (that’s why I came into public? — to cry or to write?).

That’s why I answered the call from the haunting reach to me from the outside, that unexpected request for my presence— to speak with them or to weep? I never arrive.

To stave off weeping by speaking them. To stave off the immediacy of death. That’s why we flock together and scream “at the top of our lungs” to one another: for our cry of loneliness to be heard.

The living ones are the dead ones that live in each other’s voices and climb into the Living Voice— which is the Dead One, heard by us transcendent, the Living Share.

There is no anticipating it, only following its spontaneous dictates. The gap between ourselves is the overwhelming solitude that plunges you, the modal point, into the sociality of “work.” It’s the gap itself that we share, primarily. There is no avoiding it. Somehow, the capriciousness of self-pity intersects with the necessities of the cosmos, sociality, and language, no matter how the conscious work is avoided. A logic of chances. There is no deceiving oneself. We preempt our tragedy, having already gotten over it.

Authorship is rubbish. But what kind of courage is required of its nameless plea? I stand before it, feeling— one word-impulse at a time— like a total coward, anxious in my abeyance.

I am as free as a stone— how vexing!

Impossible prolongation-procession of time, of which my feeling of it has nothing to do. Total blindness as to the crux of the “mission.” Total surrender to the cry of sociality, which is the cry of loneliness, the cry of Ground Zero, which is always the other weeping in me, which is my being “everywhere” at the “everyonce” of time.

Of the “everyone in mine”: that is my joy-demise, played out between my waiting for them to return and my release to them as they venture away. I’m not even in the middle— I’m at both extremes at once. And, I’m a liar, but there’s no deceiving you. A liar for being so rended, so exposed, uncertain.

I’ll never know the extent to which I was “honest about it.” That’s up to yours.

***

      Lost—

Here,

Drowning in the undiscoverable Boon
With “nothing to show for it.”

I placate stares, begging them on.
I give hoops and motions to jump through.
I bestow confusion at the moment of achievement.
I give undesirability at the moment of revelation.
I make you wonder “Who’s there?”
I am a heart palpitation, given to nothing.

I drown in an aqueous body that hides under my skin.
I’ve squandered every opportunity to lead.
I’ve failed even worse following.
I’ve no confidence to offer you,
No self but the “One” you call me to.
I have no face that is not someone else’s.
I indicate my own outdated precedence,
Like a President crumpled over his roulette table.

I’ve got no head that is not headless.
I am effacement incarnated.

Drowning
      in undiscoverable
         Death…

—exhausted…

***

My neck is never loose enough, my head never quite able to detach. I want to rip it off so I could taste in the chance of God’s coming back to earth. I want to weigh the exasperation of thought, unable to call anyone towards it. I cannot chase what is in any self, nor can there be a touch outside it (it’s outside itself). And so there she is at all my endings, she who I can never adequately reach.

I take a deep breath, nevertheless.

I am worthless, unless… I give myself to someone else’s place… There is no escaping my opposite-self. There are no leads to follow, but each leads to the next, which is a kind of return where no return is acceptable.

I take a deep breath, nevertheless.

***

The mind is in sign-slant to its mode. I have no time for God. But the body is only so much.

With all this tending to do, I’m surprised I still have muscles. I am a stolen material, no vessel. The costume I embarrass with my pains and hiccups is the document I toss out from this incorrigible gorge. It’s not anymore my own body than it is yours. She doesn’t want to own anything.

There is a bend in time and I’ve been led to it, step-by-step-by-accident. I rise with it, hollowing out my body, blowing the whole load of my groan. I don’t ask that it land anywhere. Just that it signals its muse. Just so it lingers on the forceps of a room, wielded by the groom of the night.

Coughing up love in the fight, we had to reckon ourselves with the wretches we ourselves were.

For we are them; and yet we are no more.

There was no staving off the inevitable nomenclature, adventure, arrest. There was no sidestepping the synchronic confluence of effects. Dipodic messengers streamed from the sights between blinds, never exceeded by fidgeting postures but never diminished by them, always stuck on the pause of momentum, the skip-step expansion of a knowledge at fricture with itself, never acceding to its self-same. When we acceded to it, we did so because of the welcome explosion of an exofuture that accompanied it, time-after-time, the skin of the present-without-past touched in every glance.

***

dancing wailing
’til the day I die
like a fly
stuck comfortably
to the fly-paper.

only barely trying
to escape.

measurement of the wind
makes no sound
perceptible
where there are wings.

nothing to be stuck to, in fact,
going out on a limb
to ascend
without asking
for forgiveness.

just giving in
to the amplified pressure,
the ambiguous wing.

as if behind my honeycomb sight
there were an angel
dying
to take flight
and mimic its limits
without succumbing
to the needling stuck
of what’s written out
of what’s flapped out
on that limit.

as if behind the monochrome plight
there were a promise
to surpass it
to be kept.

as if behind the pantomime tip
there were another
with another wing
with another wind
to kiss.

there is nothing
but the muffled sound of relief
as I loosen my grip
and take off
impossibly
from the ground
from the mouth
of this.

***

Sheer absence of time: the single most difficult feeling-confusion to “express” because it can’t be communicated, renders all concepts mute, destroys all history and destiny, and worse yet seems to be in conflict with all the bodily attributes of near-far, growth-decay, change-pain, etc.

Sheer spatialization and dislocation of all parts, to jumble them beyond linearity.

Sheer magnitude of the symbolic unwritten.

Sheer aptitude of patience and the archive. Nothing “in it” to be celebrated.

Refusal to accumulate sense affirmed everywhere, yet never proving its refusal, for there is no proving or disproving sense or nonsense; there is only the ambiguity between the two in their play at “realization.” Something totally irrelevant goes on in the duets, something that meant everything.

The unheard-of comes into focus, like a spacecraft zooming to us from the furthest place on the horizon. But the spaceman, inside the space craft, doesn’t even know what his suit looks like.

No time passes. There’s no need to “remember.” There is no “they have left.” We show ourselves outside ourselves, surrendered to the lapse in consciousness that has already passed over us.

We’re in them with them. We’re with them without words.

We’re pieces, pieced together “over time”: an all-at-once patchwork we uncover in our jaunt “through time.” We could not do it “all-at-once.” The Heart-Place: dispersal, delineation. It (its very dispersal) is a gift for a helpless “us” that rides inside us. It (its very dispersal) leads us slowly to our profundities, like a baby carefully led to solid food. The lineation “teaches nothing,” but it’s how we come experience that which we are destined to be taught. It essentially is: compassion.

We are empty emptities: the experience of the absence of time collapsed into discrete perspirations (moments).

Sheer ruination of personhood: project of the damned.

***

I’m thinking about everything, trying to decompose walls. I’m trying to break them all down. I come right up to my own inertia. I come up to what the past inevitably lacks: more chances. But there are always those, we’re guaranteed it.

She’s been in the bathroom vomiting up our child this whole time. Her head is banged up against the toilet seat, motionless. She’s making a record of things left undone, she’s chasing down the mystery of molecular chaos. She’s asking that being-at-a-distance be physically and psychically realized: the clip of an infinite arealization. She’s chasing after her dreams.

To value judge anything as “moribund” is fallacious. I’ve reverted to my old ways, electrifying my screams.

Sheer love of the surface (anything): a brokered nothing, “split between brows.” A connection to the future-past— coming next, always left behind— erasing, without escaping, “shells.”

Scrubbing the mess from the bathroom floor and the ruin of the toilet bowl while she rests in a room miles away from me, contemplating whether or not she’ll ever speak to me again. Her intentions are an arrow that bisects my own, like a new language interfering with mine every time I spoke, like the ruin of all my knowledge at the very moment her movement has given me to knowledge. Writing: all I’m left with after she quits speaking to me. Knowledge: the play of the surface effects that she gives me to, the empty form of our future together in this instant, which is writing’s exuberant covet. The whole tyranny animated by the sweetest voices, the whole glory of it mined in the speech of the oppressed. Shedding layer after layer after layer, finding absolutely care; crying it out…

I’ve come here to steal your heart and hers, but only ended up breaking mine: it opened ever wider as a receptical. No one came in, not even a corrupt answer to my question, “Why is distance so tender, so inevitable? Why am I rended all at once to see?”

An accumulation of so many accidents has grabbed me, pulled me in, and I am caught up in them, stranded in their blank stares, their strange and menacing aura.

Tracing the whole line of “what good is it?” A whole lineage of “nothing coming up.”

“No one’s coming back for you.”

No answers.

***

Palm of camouflage and dust,
I dance between the lines of a dream
I can’t see through or predict.
I’ve got ten hands and two legs
And wake (yet again) into another dream
On the way to the drinking hole mirage.

Water cooler discussions about celebrities, politics, recipes—
It gets no better than this. The draught has come.
I await the flood, but no water accumulates.
I feel like I’m late for something
Out here in my lonesome raft.
The turkey vultures just laugh at me,
And I veto every line in the poem.

The poem; where I’m submerged
Without air or a wet suit
And nothing to filter the water
Except for my teeth and my conscience
Treading water though limbless and flailing.
I’m caught in the eddies, encircling the reef,
Expectant on the tide’s incoming.

Waking, I await lands and seas yet,
Crawling at the coral caught at my knees, yes,
Kicking furiously as if to set myself free.
The undertow strengthens
Though the surface stays still
And I am thrust between its pull and my will
And I feel like a carcass already in my toes
So that I never quite drown…
      but I never quite know…

***

What a terrible game
    no one listens in.

I miss everyone— again.
    There is no reconciliation that’s not gone
         with the wind.
    I miss everything, everything.

Cave into me, love, come back…

Contains the echo of a mirror
    that shines back only silence
    when we speak into it:
    a microphone, amplifying weaknesses,
    functionally tired
    in the vanity of the triple night.

***

The river is a lizard with scattered scales, some white, some forest black.
By sunset, I’ve had a heart attack.
The foam goes on floating, the lizard tongues.
I, who wanted to fly away, was stuck there, still alive, ignorant of my departure, abandoned to my partner in crime this brain…

Why do I yearn to speed up the river?
Who is it I reach for, going to see?

The weakness of my God’s voice grills me.
My retort? Spit and wet dreams.
But I can’t spit in the water when it’s what’s speeding me,
Spilling me out beyond what my solute shores knew of the boundless…

The god of the grass I stand on
Reminds me how numb I am,
How the fly loves being swallowed
Loves most to be coddled in that moist breath pit of a stomach
Where gizzard and gunk bump up
With that soul
Who floats
And decomposes in the wetlands.

I am the disaster at the delta, the repugnant front end.
I can barely remember my language.
I’m prepared for everything, then.

But I’ve been spit out before, (remember the wink and smile of Antigone’s mother, whose hung carcass was enough of a sight for old Oedipus to carve his eyes out at the trunk), it’s easy enough,
You don’t have to remember.

The river, the lizard’s gulp and giggle, happens even in deserts.
He shivers when he passes through his patience
His animal quivers.
He looks beyond that, and his Eros, to manage his return to the citadel
Where his court is warranted though undemanded.
He’ll find happiness, mud. I’m sure of it.

With a wink, the water nudges me, accrues into a song
   moving tongues
   capturing nothing
   but the flint of what’s visible
   at the sunset.

The river goes no faster
   ’til it rains. I barely
   perceive myself,
   falling…

I’m gasping again of the offering,
   accosted
   by the soul
   who regenerates
   no matter what.

I’m off in the offering,
   still scared to row up.

***

I know the isolation required of me. Am I ready for it? How impersonal can it get? What identity is crafted between then? I feel the decrepitude of the abandoned giving me over to actions I alone was too weak to make. I feel everyone with me, now that I have no direction for myself. How to be professional then? How to be myself?

Don’t write. Stare into the city as you would into nature. Reflect it when it looks back; you’re the reflecting surface every surface reflects. Look! Wooded areas filled with potential, at the brink of the end of their season.

Our forests are thick with headlines and erasers. The headlights sicken us, even if we don’t think so; but there’s no “turning back for good.” The only room left for grace is the intervention, the miracle, the potential, long inscribed, of an amendment to sense. A miracle (work of death?) that might deliver us from this grief of the unequal, which somehow places one above the other (but we’re all ceasing). I think there’s a prodigious supply of hope where there is none. Charity is the passing of moments glorious and gangrene. Clarity is our addressing this, all of this. The wound itself is the blessing. Thinking of all the executed, all the murdered, all the suicides, all the starvations, all the cancers, viruses, and dehabilitation, such an idea is tormenting. But they are all in relation to others, and they all indicate a lack of something: a lack of connection (we’re begging for it). A catastrophe can only unveil its importance once surpassed (communication is achieved where its become impossible). And it is hard not to think that this something that lets them surpass it is love. How clearly love survives death— and is it!

I felt it everywhere, the “where” uplifting us from the immediately-ashes. We are ushered beyond every representation until representation itself becomes a vacuum, collapsing in on itself, until it explodes with the force of a black hole creating a universe, it collapsing into the multi-, the nothing.

Sirens from the fire truck and ambulance go screaming up Burlington St., past the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Someone’s wound must be on the other side of it. There’s no place too inhospitable for love’s changing us— if we can speak like this. In the transformative ruin or illumination where we are broken or divided-up-amongst, we are so to be lifted up, to be lifted up out of ourselves.

***

Advances in communication technologies widen the scope of our question: is communication possible? The larynx has a limited reach when it shouts… but the reach of this communication is even smaller (the distances we’re trying to cover are vast and unaccounted for). It requires a proximity only the experience of night offers: infinite responsibility without substantive subject.

A new illumination enters: end of the monopoly of language-as-reference over communicative possibilities. It will be written, not proclaimed; but wherever it’s written (out here in the book), it’s inactive, in requirement of you and your revelation: “to him is revealed the truth of the work as if it must also be his own” (Adorno). And so my goal is more complicated than I can ever imagine. The scope of its distance is hidden.

The illumination of death: bottomless vanity of communication, conscious of what resists it, the living. Where an expression refers, expressing internal experience is impossible. (And yet I’m referring to you…) It’s given a chance insofar as it burns the given to the ground. This, too, is the coming-to-nothing of any personhood.

Forces to the fore the necessity of being translated, as opposed to just being related. Where there is just reference or representation, there cannot even be relation: it presumes too much.

A depth impact, a blessing. Forgetting everything that the play had to do with (save, maybe, the watched man and the god Zeus). “Patience is the lesson of suffering,” says Oedipus.

Experience of the disparate, unusual, innerving thought.

Happiness ruins desire because happiness is a relaxation of experience, whereas desire is what brings it to its ambiguity and lack of foundation— inexperience of the experiencer, undesirability of the desirable, undecidability of made decisions. Even a “reversal of course” presumes too much self-knowledge. But “reversal of course” or “counter-actualizing act” is knowable with self-awareness— not known as a representation to the self, or as presentation of the self, but as the transpresentation of awareness to itself. In other words, if its formulated, it’s a lame formula; nothing more, nothing less, it’s never happy with itself (it needs more and less all at once).

There is nothing that is not other (there), not somehow multiplied or doubled (there), each moment— each being, each moment of being— like a zygote’s first cleavage.

Awareness is never fully aware of its scope, whereupon it touches the Share. Therein lies its expansive potential, right now before us. It is thwarted by its representation, where difficulty is relaxed. It goes on beyond the awareness of the self of presentation, but where we yet intuit the simultaneity of disparate times (moments of being-self) in their division (discrete moments of awareness).

The “duraction” of anything (even a lifetime) carries with it the representation of beginning, middle, and end. We derive a great goal out of that; it’s a great joy when imaging we have a grasp on it. But what remains of us after we fall into oblivion is what the social would like to remember of us, where they’re forced to remember us outside of time by questioning the social. Where that is something, well, then that’s something. That’s the beauty of wisdom at the moment of dying: nothing has changed, as it always has.

To be aware of the nullity of constructions carries us beyond their logics, deeper into the picture, where we let nothing change, and are thereby changed forever.

***

I’m looking for a place write, but nowhere is dirty enough. I visit the library, pause on Iowa Ave on my way back. I sit down: dirty enough. I wake up to accursed and selfish dreams. I can never make out the female object. My father, while not always in them, is always in them somehow. I’m caught soaking up the prowess of an inner brothel, a moment in the cemetery. Nothing’s worthwhile. I’m floundering in the despicable remains of my limpid insight-frame.

I’m raving, in need of God, desiring extinguishment. My thoughts are failing me. A motorcycle idles and speeds away with an astounding speed and I can smell the cocks perfuming the ether with their oily particles. Strangers walk by wandering in the streets (I’m seated there). I’m poisoned in my search for persons. I find only the excesses of the earth’s unachievable suffering. I’m at the end of debate. I’m at the end of my patience. More humans walking by… I yearn to destroy them, but I can’t find them…

What rip-cord pulls me up to this ascension? I watch as a tanned broad struts by me in pink shorts. I can see the cup of her ass hanging out and I stare as she walks by, her flip-flops scuffing the pavement on which I’m writing. My delusion is my prohibition: everything’s warranted. The war is always fought on foreign land. Either way, I succumb of it. Whoever’s in control of my actions is a perverted devil; I stab willingly at my spine with the doctrine-knife of love, which is usurped in the roving glances of a groping critique. If only I had the courage of a rapist— then I would know God had come among us. I say this to prove to you how unwarranted that would be, how mindless; but also how desperate and violent is our need to connect, it will drive us to infinitely confused lengths. If only I were more sensitive (I’m unwilling to cohabitate with myself), I could explain how detrimental is wedlock, how passionate is the accident, how unassailable is the god’s madness. How irrevocable is the dirtiness of consciousness.

Another motorcycle zooms past with a man in fear of mourning himself. He leaves this to the unwilling others, who remain peripheral. This in the incommunicable passing of sun overhead, the blind ignorance of a universe regurgitating its fears in the throats of us human phantoms. The dread was never complete. On the edge of the mundane, I found its guilty screaming voice, caught off guard by the self that looks out from the self-extinguished. I thought it was a friend who walked by and read my postures, but it was a stranger. So I looked aside, wondering if I’d have the courage to turn aside from him if he were known to me. We would try to know one another anyways, that bastard passing me slowly.

Everyone: chasing a precise oblivion (deliverance), driving miles at a time for a chance at relating to one another; but despite all this every relation falling through. They fought their decay with the stasis of some substantive experience they’d dreamed up for themselves. (I think of her again, my future wife, my ex-girlfriend, my friend’s woman— I sacrifice them all and covet their young children with my stupid gaze when they walk by (there’s motorcycles everywhere)).

Forget it, you rapist-priest: you feed on the obscenity of the other’s desire out of fear of your own, you passionate bug.

I’m a function of every sidewalk’s eventual cave-in. I’m inanimate yet full of sin, guilty for what everyone’s done, with no path to redemption. But in the ultra-one of the future, I find my counter-passion (no need to be saved). I let myself be overrun in the tragedy and die laughing: I’m a citation of the whole past, condensed into a mute anthem of rejects and disabled hopes. My only relief is an intoxication that stifles me, an illumination that draws out a culminating cessation (the expiration of my ruthlessness).

“I”— what an offering— have you detected who I am yet? I’m the cleavage’s leverage, like gravity swinging interstellar bodies do-si-do around one another. I’m the supernity of a charged attraction, the repulse of the uncanny that disgusts and jumpstarts a heart. I’m the subtlety of ashes overcooked.

I want the pale spread thigh and the pinch of fat. I want to lick and chase the tendon that leads from her thick legs to her quaint open-faced vagina, I want to lose my head under that white dress and choke… the black hair… cough into it and vomit next to her as she runs in fear from this trash heap we’ve been fornicating in, I’m left trembling… This is the reality of human knowledge: it presents itself as a thing to be completed by incompleting everything, by cursing its love object after seducing it. The concept is the concept’s rejection, but immediately, so that it’s captured in the withdrawal of representation, so that it must be engaged by an ulterior motivation, outside its plain vulgarity.

God blesses the foresight of crime by splaying open its consequences for everyone, by letting its conditions of possibility soak into the cranium, by giving us the chance to reflect on how we’re complicit in the hatred that bred it. Every plan of attack is devoured by this potential, the chance of crime, which dominates all of our pleas in its incautious suspension of the relations of ownership. We’re privy to the sovereignty of this suspension in the moment of the “non pas” of the catastrophe.

Bizarre malediction: to plan to get up and move elsewhere. The thrust contra-death is an absurdity embodied by every capricious impulse.

The dust of Dianus is white. I can’t feel my heart. I’m like a white lie that could never featherine.

Jesus on the Cross: the perversion of every messenger, the rendering-criminal of every pulpit.

I lick my fingers and rub the head of my penis, ejaculate once hard, once again while flaccid (my imagination so powerful, my control so weak)… I’m at the pinnacle of self-loathing as I wash the foamy seepage from my junk, alone again, with no one to talk to, with nowhere to call home.

I abandon myself to the dream of waking up, castrated like a Lingayat praying, carrying loss wherever I go.

***

I smell her ravine again; it’s like this when she carries the Christ-child pregnant or when she’s just a gaping hole. Every label is duplicitous. Everything’s labial.

An old man reads me disgusting, as if it were not his dirty diapers I was airing. He’s nothing but nervous, stuck in his tracks by her scent. He tries to soak up her wetness with a moist towelette but finds and old used dollar bills instead— sticks his dick in her slit first and then all the coins he’s got into her cavity right after. Filled with copper and silver, she’s in a trance— But she’s moaning with delight, or is she groaning with displeasure. I’m in the room watching him and look sideways, he’s God, he’s got a ravenous look in his mouth seething with her juices. He showers the coins in his own mouth now and chews them. But neither of them know I’ve coated the coins with the Christ-child’s Mercury, which He handed me from out of the stuffed womb, through the dumb frontispiece that is God’s forehead, reaching his hands out through the blank of their serrated erotica. Despite the old man’s knowledge of his plan for her.

His project, like mine, is futile once glazed in the Christ-child’s Mercy, immediately abandoned.

Nothing is as sad as the gun-ho, half-autistic man. Nothing is as sad as what he’s done to her with his demands. There’s evidence of tariffs and exorcisms, the moldy sinews of consumption and its cultures. (Was Novalis the first to die from that which denied him his supernatural love for Sophia, as if the end of all beauty were to be inscribed in the charms of some incalculable cipher?)

The old man inside is suspicious of the old man outside when he talks to the girl on the street. (Everyone’s afraid of honest speech and writing). But she’s fine with it, if she can listen to it and catch a glimpse of his tragic meaning. He just needed directions. He needed to know which way to go down the street, having exhausted all his self-imagined options.

…the old man outside gone, the man inside nowhere to be found… but I see her…

***

I spell it out from the gut of my next of kin: my whole body isn’t anything, it’s a chance occurrence, it’s exactly what I wanted when I finally fell off the wagon, when I finally bought the farm.

It’s laughable how bored I’ve become with tragic natures, the follies of lust (self). The laughability of sexual appeal— its seduction, nevertheless. When I address it with my attention, it dissolves; feeling both poles within myself, drawn to my exposure by the extremes of curiosity, divine with my admiration for what’s foreign in me, I’m enamored by everything. Why look any further than the oxygen ribbed in my nostrils?

Every dirtiness loses its appeal eventually. When I was so intoxicated by my desire to cease existing, when I could not keep it from my mind, dirtiness encroached on everything. I came to see that for what it’s worth: a refraction of the cleanly, the required side of any holiness. Fluids shed through desire or destruction, the decay of a body with chronic disease, these aren’t dirty. They’re baptisms, in the particular sense that they end the reign of oppositions, of concepts being “in opposition.” We’re caught up in the obscenity of duality, but more than that, we’re confused by the odd face it takes on when coming unhinged.

The strangeness of my determination is that, if we fully believe anything, its filthy. The pretense to the truth of the matter is simply disgusting. And yet we are discussing it. The dirtiness of existence has a hold on us. There’s no escaping it (remember the last time you swung low into a depressive doubt with regards to everything, flabbergasted by the unconcern with which the world conducts itself; think of the unconcern for everything their unconcern bred in you, how their hopelessness seemed to emanate from the walls and into your heart). There’s a “good reason” for all of this abjectness, but it’s not because God’s trying to come into the world; it’s because God won’t. (I myself, as she reminds me, am just a “person.”) But the extent to which God peers out from us is the extent to which the question of disgust at being finds articulation without finding any coherent answer. Or, it’s that every answer is contingent, the dark light of a moment already expired: we can’t trust it.

What’s done submits itself to endless corruption, but it’s a mistake to think anything is ever corrupted. This simply misses the scope of the divine (or the scope of consequences, if you prefer). Rule of contingency, rule of the divine, rule of harsh consequences: chance loosed and restrained, loosed and restrained. When an act collapses on itself in the ambiguity of its consequences or its rule, it’s seen to be inconsequential, and this is the source of our anguish over reflection, will-power, humanness, etc. But the inconsequential— at best the inadequate— harmonizes the dirty and the divine: they’re fulminations of each other. To indulge the dirty, or to suffer it: the ambiguity of grace itself. Were exposed there on a path that’s pure connection, pure reach, without receiver, without lesson.

When I’m trying to write, the flies buzz around the insect bites and other open wounds on my legs, tickling me and biting me at the ankles. They stick their feeders onto the cut and eat something from the red muck there. What it’s worth to them disturbs and irritates me (it can’t be worth anything), but I persevere. (I’m picturing them birthed from a pocket of maggots in my dead carcass, freed to the unappeasing air that’s humid and incubates everything in an uncanny expansion of modes and their appearances…)

My God! How I wanted you to come so close to me… I’m licking at your wounds.. don’t shoe me away… I’m a whore myself … I bite… but I’m also in pain…

Odd comfortability— a feeling in my gut of supreme connection, divine reach. A feeling of being totally exhausted in my genitals, I’m elevated, so high, you’ll never see me. The world asks something of us, and we can hardly believe it. The unbearable futility of mystical experience to change anything, the spiritual agency of opportunities missed. A fly lands on my knuckle and I don’t even feel him. He lands on my cup and I drink the residue from his feelers.

I’m captivated by the solidity of buildings when birds fly over them. People walk past. I laugh at the absurdity of confession if it presumes its narrative; I tremble when, no matter what, it’s constrained by it, by this dirty linearity of mishaps and resolutions. Eating anything out is dirty, were in need of it, we love its close up and its surrender, its odd taste and intuition. We don’t remember the scent but in that we breath it in again. I’m captivated by these building’s odd solidity and it’s still hours from the sunset.

I’m treading elevation all the way up, catch me!, catch me!, I’m weeping over the point for you in my gut and want you nearer, I want to eat you, to speak you— what on earth could be the difference anymore, you glorious slut?

When she’s asleep, the window’s open, and there’s nothing but bugs that swarm her, grinning with absurd demands. They care little if I’ve just taken her to bed; but her indifference trumps them and their enemy invasion by ten-thousand (it’s the root of war).

‘m making huge demands for the sake of “my well-being” and feel immediately the embarrassment this breeds, and in the next second I’m laughing at the absurdity of being embarrassed. It’s not as if a cloud regretted when it rained. The presumption to be the agent of what just went on is an absurdity— you’re just a connecting peace, caught in between the whole course of everyone of them. The judgments they would thrust on you is but a judgment of themselves.

But now: the terror of infinite responsibility: I’ve intervened into the course of things.

I’m not sure how to end it, disgusted by all I’ve said. I’m trying to transform it all.

This intuition of cessation is impossible, but it’s unstoppable… I’m fed into it, full…

***

I’m in a basement, told to clean it. Its residents have been evicted, for whatever reason. I feel a pain in my colon upon entering. There’s 8 inches of water to wade through, I’m sloshing. In the corner, a whole closet of children’s shoes and apparel is falling out of its drawers, spreading, soaking, sinking. At the other end, there’s dead tabby cats and a dead golden retriever (the tag on his collar reads “Lucky”). There’s an old freezer with pounds of rotting deer meat, the smell of festering death is in my nostrils. Scooping the muck out, vacuuming the water, extra duties accumulate as I vomit next to them. I’ll have to take all this garbage to the landfill.

But, I say it again, there’s no clear explanation of a mood change, no reason for our stubborn stances. I’m intoxicated by the chance to bear them all. I’m begging for someone to turn on the music (but I can tell it’s already on quietly in the back room). My plea is so useless. I want to return to the discussion. There’s no good that can come from imposing rules on ourselves. If love isn’t spontaneous and contentious, it’s worth nothing. I continue with a discourse started long ago, overjoyed at the prospect of knowing nothing of the future.

Before I know it, I’ve spent all my money (my “political capital”). A distressing thought comes over me: I’m a function of its demands! Alone, writing, intoxicated, reading. There’s no end to this political capital “me” (and so I ask you to join in the writing or thinking-out of its god-forsaken catastrophe, to join in this friendship of the infinitely free). It’s a basement full of dirt, bottomed out, to be.

***

If only I weren’t so far ahead of myself, I’d see me.

But in my incapability to see me, you see me for who I am. “I love…”

Exuberance of the sun: nothing’s left. I see my cautious disposition in the reflection in the mirror. Who is he? The exuberance of the sun (it hasn’t left me yet).

Life is unending! (A dead immortality…)

The concept laughs at me. (The only concept worth its weight is consciousness and its laugh at me: chance occurrence of moods and blasphemies.)

Oh the madness of talking to oneself: I’ll see my friend within the hour. I prophesy non-significance as the criterion of prophesy. I’m emblematic in the shine of the sun (coming through the window-pain without any inhibition). I want you to see how mad with love “I am”: I forget every lover. ((Is that writing literature?))

I’m dirtier now, more intoxicated, and I thrash at the lip, I yearn for discomfort. The epidermis of nothing’s something, like the wind of Eros breathing an unconquerable absence into the heart of destined lovers. —but I remember her…

The ultimate disaster: God has come among us! He sits sulking in the corner like a dead freezer. The telephone prevents him from contacting his other. But I follow his whims: every sign (everything) is a hidden message, for someone or other. The dead cannot help but communicate to us something.

I say aloud “le coupable” and the sun shines brightly at me with irrelevance. What history of suffering, undisclosed! There’s nothing left but tomorrow. —And the laughable sorrow that accompanies the day.

((What if all this was a recourse of prayer?))

My one impetus: to go beyond the embattled soul. I’m like a sun-worshiper in his stead.

As if there were such a thing as “waiting for the impetus of a sentence.”

…waiting for the significance of a sentence…

…waiting for the significance of tears…

…the sun’s about to set…

…ambiguity of night… ambiguity of “edit”…

…beauty…  of the deadened…  love…  it’s everything…

***

And so I wrote of torment without torment.

Formula: looking towards the sun, let your eyelids close just slightly, and see all the patterns that the eyelashes disclose. It’s like a peacock being lacerated in your retina. Everywhere there’s slices of sun and kaleidoscope, plethora and plume. There’s no stasis (the head moves)— incessantly. Now, you’ve remembered life’s first intuition, you’re focusing on the origination-dissolution that is the breath of each instant. Even when the sun is behind the clouds, there’s something. And then the sun comes out again, a man steals a kiss from his lover (I see them from far away), and I drop my pen before I’ve even begun. But I remember what I’m sentenced to…

…inscrutability of the night…  sobriety…

This is a free day, always. The first day, if you’ll allow it. It’s beauty is glazed on the chrome of your eyelids. It shines through when we close them. It shines even brighter, heating the skin (God’s going home).

What is the demand of what’s offered to us? What do we let each other “in on“?

I’m worthless, faced with death. (This archive refracts my irrelevance).

I’m “common,” I’m “as,” I’m “to”…

… to you

((Funny old twenties… what to do?))

God is with you when you’re after you, and there’s nothing but self-questioning…

***

This is the insanity of motion, motive: it’s imperceptible…

I had wanted to tell you of the folks in Jesus’ time: they were as relaxed as we.

((I’d forget everything if I hadn’t written it down; I’ve forgotten it anyways, and yet they’re staring…))

I had wanted to tell you how uncomfortable I felt in relaxing situations.

My one comfort: in attesting to it, it altered.

Barthes accuses Bataille of heroism, and I want to weep. It’s like accusing Thomas Merton of marketing.

What would I have done without writing, I had meant to ask. It’s a question of connection.

Work (sacrifice)— of all things— was the answer to this anxious uncomfortability. I dissolve into a white page because I have no choice. So much time has passed since I was writing this (I died to find happiness!).

And still there’s not, there’s never enough. Everything has yet to be said. I exercise such an inimitable jurisdiction. Not even I can keep up with its fiasco.

I’m waiting in the red room with a belly of blood. I’m at the farthest point of indifference because I’m barred it. Married to it, I’m the potent agency of the debacle. The lament on my lips is no medicine. I’m an incurable “Why God have you …”

A fly is badgering my lips, but I’m unfazed. He’s tried to call me out by crawling into my mouth (he’d be finishing a long process if tonight he had a dream that he devoured me and metamorphosed into a human tongue). He wants me to know… how lucky I am… to be alive…

I’m ushered to the executioner’s table, infinitely thankful.

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2 Responses to BOTTOMED OUT

  1. Pingback: ME, EASED, ERASED | fragilekeys

  2. Pingback: 0. FOR NOW | fragilekeys

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