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you know when you can’t find that quote you’re looking for so you have to make up your own: on NOTHING

In some cultures–not ours, not yet–nothing and space are so closely related, rather than as a negative instance, rather than as void or absence, nothing comes as welcome relief (from the relentless compulsion to something), where it is like a window on the inside, or a door, opening onto nothing, welcoming you in, to rest there, or bidding you to go on, for nothing.

— see also here

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are there any answers?

Dear Visitor,

Let us engage with the questions:

  1. anthropogenic climate change–is the question of the present, not the future.
  2. ownership of elements: air earth water warmth–China has awoken to Capital, whatever the corporate brandname on it: another question of the present.
  3. health: obesity is a mental illness; mental health is a cultural illness. A question of the present.
  4. the future will be? A question of human cultural regeneration–perhaps the only question of the future?

In our small way we are addressing ourselves to these questions with a view to an answer that is local and directed towards the future.

The means to cultural regeneration are within reach of a modernity that believes in itself–has not lost that belief. This we have found in Benesse Foundation’s Public Capitalist undertakings in Naoshima and Teshima, the ‘art islands’ of the Seto Inland Sea in Japan.

We would like you, dear visitor, to share with Benesse this vision for an answer that is local and directed towards the future:

 

I am writing to you from Waiheke Island.

Waiheke has a similar status in the Hauraki Gulf to Naoshima in the Seto Inland Sea. It is a popular tourist destination: however it attracts visitors more for reasons of its natural beauty than for cultural tourism.

Waiheke is 35 minutes by ferry from the centre of New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland. It currently boasts a resident population of @9,000.

A large proportion of this population is artistically active–this is owing to heritage settlement: it was originally a cheap place to buy and rent, with advantages of a healthy natural lifestyle.

In terms of built infrastructure it is poorly served, with one exception: the Stony Batter site, https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/auckland/places/waiheke-island/stony-batter-historic-reserve/

Built to defend New Zealand in the event of the war in the Pacific extending into the Hauraki Gulf, Stony Batter is largely built underground, with approximately 7km of tunnels.

It has recently been proposed that Stony Batter be developed as a Heritage Site. Submissions are being solicited by Auckland City Council to this end. However, it is our opinion that Stony Batter, on Waiheke Island would be a missed opportunity of giant proportions if it is only developed with a view to low level heritage tourism–which tends to be internal and nationally based.

Stony Batter, Waiheke, commends itself as a site for Global Cultural Tourism.

The as-built aspects of it, the island location, underground and above, the natural surrounding context, are ripe for such development.

Ando, we think, would be impressed with this structure: although built for utilitarian purposes, its aesthetic qualities are evident.

The underground would suit gallery development, with installations taking advantage of the light and sound qualities of the tunnels. The textural and architectural uniqueness of the site would attract and inspire international and local artists to exhibit and install here.

The exterior would suit installations to make the most of the dramatic scenic beauty of Hauraki Gulf and islands.

We humbly bring this to Benesse’s attention on the basis of our recent visits to Naoshima and the sites of cultural tourism–and cultural pilgrimage–located there. Stony Batter Waiheke Island could be such a place with the vision and thinking and good-being/good-doing that is characteristic of Benesse’s Public Capitalist approach. It could be a Southern counterpart to Naoshima and Teshima.

We would add that Benesse’s sensitivity, shown in the development of globally recognised sites for cultural tourism in Naoshima and Teshima, is to the forefront of our considerations in making this recommendation. Waiheke has a long colonial and precolonial history, as well as the heritage to which Stony Batter is a material attestation: the respect we know to inform Benesse’s approach is essential to this project.

We suggest that Benesse follow up with a submission to highlight the advantages of Stony Batter as a site for global cultural tourism (with a smaller heritage element incorporated into the plan). Submissions are currently open until 27 September 2018. Please make your submission here: https://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/have-your-say/all-consultations/2018/applications/fort-stony-batter-heritage-park-limited/

Please be aware that we present this proposition in good faith and feel free to cite our support for this submission.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Simon Taylor

 

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06.08.2018 Shinjuku, Roppongi

The galleries and the art—you might as well say all other ends—are as nothing to the city. Benesse’s ethically informed and ecological business, putting the engine of capitalism to scaling up a public and cultural interest, are nothing beside the electricity bill of a single district, beside just the electricity bill of Shinjuku.

We went to Mori Art Museum today—again the policing of photography, so few snaps, an exhibition tracing genealogies of architecture in a Japanese cultural context—and the idea of scale was given graphic representation, of human scale: the measurement of a standing body, the reach of an arm, the height of a seat under a seated body, the headheight of one sitting on the floor, the length of a footstep and a stride. But there is also a scale to human dreams; there is a scale to a life: and to the dreams of one living. The question What is to be done? is abstract, purely speculative, beside the question What do you want to do? What do you want to do? expresses a human scale. However What are they doing? What are they doing behind their counters? What are they doing walking in the streets? What are they doing working? What are they doing paying for the service provided? What are they doing looking at the local colour? What are they doing using the subway? What are they doing at the nuclear plant? These are questions that scale up rapidly to encompass other ends: What? What, the energy you draw from the thermonuclear reaction is just for the trains? It is just for the lights? It is just so at night you can carry on selling yakotori at night? (The energy for the hibachi barbecues comes from charcoal … but the charcoal is shipped into the centre of Shinjuku … and so is the meat, as are the vegetables, the drinks. The glasses are from factories. The beer is from an industrial brewery. Consider the size of Asahi: Asahi also supplies streetvending machines; it manufactures peppermints … at least its brand is on peppermints.)

What is every good effort at improving human life compared to the dreams of one living now? Who is not Japanese, serving in Memory Lane, at a yakotori counter barely over a metre wide. But who is Chinese, as are the two women working with her. They are studying at university. What you asked was—put in mind of the women running the ramen place in Kyoto—Is this business yours? The answer given: We are not Japanese. We are Chinese. I am a student. What are you studying? Business studies.

Where do you come from? New Zealand. I would like to go there. To New Zealand? Yes. It is big. It is bigger here! No—more… space. Yes.

To try and get closer to the question: Will you find a Japanese man? No. Japanese man drinks too much. In New Zealand… No. New Zealand men don’t drink at all! Laughter.

Another of the young women was also studying business. In Japan for 4 years, she dreamed of going to New Zealand. This was her dream. She was shy, shy about not having very much English.

Stepping out into the street, after the most expensive meal we’ve had here, we were immediately among the throngs of tourists, all attracted to these few lanes and alleys—Memory Lane!—by a recommendations of others. Look at them, with their cellphones, getting as close as they could to the natives in the area, in their tiny bars, doing their native things in their native tongues, drinking and eating and talking—pressed tightly together in their native humanity. But we are not Japanese.

And then the play of lights above, in the streets, the signage, the displays just for the sake of display: the scale of the city.

The press of people is Japanese. Genealogies of architecture in Japan, from Japan, and the Japanese influence on the contemporary world—of architecture and architectural thinking—did not include the press of bodies, the scale of one compressed on the subway. I felt the bones of the short woman in front of me, in the squeeze.

We were trying not to panic. It was the Oedo line, Roppongi to Shinjuku, the return trip from Mori Art Museum, just after 6pm. The first train that pulled up, although we were only three or four people back in the queue, we did not board. The way to board, when the press is so great, is backwards, pushing back first into the others in the doorway cavity. Then, use the door jambs and overhead lintel for leverage to pull in your legs and arms. If the doors can’t close, they will reopen, so you can push harder back, and pull in the remaining foot or hand. You are holding your bag close against you.

The second train came and J. was determined. The price of success was to be squashed tight in the door area—those standing in the aisle protected their space; those seated were safe. We were squashed so tightly I could not raise my arms. And with a righteous indignation that is embarrassing, when the press increased, with one large guy determined to get on, we yelled Hey! This did attract attention. But the large guy, using the lintel to pull his body in through the door, did get on—the skin of his face would have been pressed against the glass windows of the door, like we had seen with the earlier train: vacuum-sealed skin, faces, arms, bodies.

The fear was that at the ensuing stations—we had seven to cover—more people would be waiting, more would squeeze on: and what if the train broke down? Or what if there was some kind of scare and the crowd got spooked? What if we lost our footing and fell?

At the next station, a few got off, and more got on, but we had made our way, like those puzzles where you slide letters around a square with only one space free, to the corner, to the door opposite the one where we boarded. We had breathing space. I could grab the hanging strap and handle. Another gaijin next to me: he was using his back as a baffle and concentrating on his phonescreen.

What we decided we had meant by Hey! was Hey! That’s enough! That’s not how we do things! … And it was really unnecessary. These people, determined to board, to the discomfort of others, would know there would be another train along in minutes. Another question—because once on, J. said let’s get off, at the next station; we didn’t: If we had not got on the train, had known what we were in for, how long would have had to wait before the commuting press subsided? Or would we have walked? Right across Tokyo.

The Golden Gai, like Memory Lane—tourist gaijin prowling, cellphones at eyeheight.

But the snaps you want—the world is not designed for you either.

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03.08.2018 Universal City, Studio & so on, to infinity and beyond

Hakutsuru since 1743—choice. Although, writing with Gekkeikan glass this balmy evening.

…speaking of culture: 2 gratifying aspects of culture and cultural acceptance we observe are 1) the presence of ashtrays; although it is not a nation of smokers as it might once have been, like some charming anachronism ashtrays have accompanied our dining experiences, if not the actual effluvia; although tonight we sat opposite two middle-youthed men in shirtsleeves, both trying valiantly to master the art of electrocigarette action (the younger man, trying to outdo the elder, tried to smoke harder and drink louder, while his cigarette insert kept falling out of the electro-gizmo, and he acted like he didn’t care, sweeping it off the floor with a nonchalance so contrived and demonstrative as to be theatrical); and other times young women smoking, the smoke effectively sucked out of the room, leaving the tang of chemicals behind, like a sour smell-rind; 2) despite the years of isolation being long gone by about 2 centuries and those of American occupation barely within living memory, despite the porky presence of gaijin reeking of the dairy (to mix scentences), particularly in a place like the Dot of Doutonbori, it is surprising the predominance of Japanese language outside the most tempting of eating-places, drinking-places, on menus and in descriptions of what lies inside the mostly inward-facing joints, bars, holes in the wall, restaurants, rooms for public life. This is accommodation without concession.

…yes, speaking of culture, today we went to Hogsmeade, Harry Potter Land, Hogwarts—at Universal Studio! …

We expected crowds—there were; we expected tantrum-inducing waiting-times—there were; but we also expected—the Japanese panache at carrying fakery to next level; we expected the generosity in adopting the misshapen popular artifices of cultures other than that of Japan; despite the Americolonial years, we expected the joy at inventions—that the Japanese seem to have invented anyway, like theme-parks, living hoardings, robots-are-as-good-as-life, loud in your face snakeoil salesmanship … and we expected it all to be beautifully performed, dressed, choreographed scenically. After all, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey has won best ride in the world for @5 consecutive years. I think.

The trip came on on leaving our train at Universal City. Like the Tomoyuki Hoshino novel I’m reading, things got weird pretty quickly; and like with any trip left little time to wonder at psychological harm, ensuing identity disorders, or moral malaise (anyway, we’d been to an owl forest in stifling heat, in a suburb of Kyoto).

The check-in lady’s voice came at us with machine-gun machine-reproduced—for no conceivable reason, since she was just behind glass—ear-slicing consonantal bruitage. And we asked about express tickets. Would’ve added hundreds onto the bill, as well as kept us there until 1900 hours plus.

We braved the cheaper entry. Found Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, the snow glistening, and J. asked how they keep it from melting … Magic.

Rode Harry Potter and the Forbidden & so on. Ate churros. Checked out the Butter Beer.

Rolled out of the Wizarding World into Muggles of Amity Village, and onto the schlocky Jaws ride. What was our open secret? Singles! Japanese prefer to ride in groups, friend groups, family groups … so we are told. Still, with the Potter ride, the ten mins turned into about an hour, but beat the two hour standard wait time—unless you have express and can arrive at the designated 1900 hours. We rode singly. That’s how we rolled.

Next, Jurassic Park’s The Ride, in water, with splashdown.

On to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – The Ride 4K3D. This was great—cartoon characters leaping into your field of vision, with 3D goggles, addressing each of you, each of me, individually, right up on your bonnet, and grill. When the electric baddy plugged his thing into the front of our car the Chinese lady two down screamed like she’d been personally electrocuted. Electrocution—it’s personal.

But the prize—apart from the overall artdirection of the Wizarding World—went to Evangelion XR 4D. This was a VR—full head-set (staff intensive, the team fitting me up, as I sat beside, as a single, an odaku guy, asked where I was from. New Zealand. Ah, sheep! Yes, I said, with fingers in beard, like me! Most disconcerting—when she’d fitted the headset and launched me into VR I heard You’re a sheep! You’re a sheep! A sheep!) hyper experience. Mosquitoe giant guys demolished the city and, cleverly, with a pilot and orientating details in field of vision, we hurtled through the apocalypse, bodies thrown one way, then another, because on an actual rollercoaster, while heads and sensory apparati were, through the headset, tuned into the virtual environments. And what works here is scale. This world was huge and in 360 degrees. … Mission accomplished, we slowed, me and the odaku guy, whom I’d neither heard nor seen a baby whisker of, into a massive hangar space, and outside the VR I heard clapping, the clapping the staff were routinely doing for new recruits, getting seated in their pods.

Tonight we found a skinny building to eat in, sat upstairs, two cynical electrosmokers doing their best to look cool.

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31.07.2018 Byōdōin Uji to Kyoto Gion

Sayonara Hanayashini Ukibuneen … The cormorant fishing which happens every night did not over our stay and it was all right. The lady who had befriended J. on the return from Kurama Kibune insisted—to searching in her purse for a 10 yen coin—that we must, so we did, visit the Jodo style temple depicted on the coin: Byōdōin.

Jodo offers a vision of Pure Land Paradise. In my notes for Ayarashiyama “nothing for effect” (or should that be affect—since the intention is also absence of affectation?). I was there thinking of the ropes around the giant cedar trees. A thick gold rope, hung with prayer paper, might ring the bough beside a nylon rope meant for purely practical purposes. That is the gold rope has its purpose, its intended effect, as does the cheap nylon one. One is practical and one is … not for effect, not to give the aesthetic effect of a special marking out; the tree marks itself out, the rope is not a mark. The aesthetic value is not being signified. It is symbolic, the thick gold rope, with tasseled ends. But it does not symbolise aesthetically, or represent through a special aesthetic attention which cannot be mixed with more practical more mundane intentions. It is just a thick gold rope. So Jodo does not represent a paradisal scene, a heavenly vision imported brought down to earth, represented by the artists, the craftsmen, the gardeners, builders, painters, in a temple or in a floating island in a still and artificial lake. No special mark in addition to the precise and careful and attentive construction of the Jodo temple or island need be made. Nothing is for effect. And the plastic pipe feeding the lake is visible, doesn’t detract. There is no incongruity in mixing the practical with the visionary. The high aesthetic doesn’t suffer for having a low element. There is no difference in levels. Paradise is not artificial is Pound’s refrain throughout the Cantos. But the separation is not necessary: spiritual paradise need not be specially cordoned off from practical requirements and utility, even to those practical requirements and that utility of the artificial—to the visibility of the support, of the hose which keeps the flowers and moss happy.

We walked again the path beside the river and the workers were filling in the sides of the path, done centrally with large pavers. They were using cement and a brown and caramel gravel mixture, which was watered and then wiped back with a handsponge, to show off the colourful stones in the cement. The work was slow. And there were two security guards to a group of maybe half a dozen. It was like a community service crew. Yet they were so careful with the sponge work and the washing down, and the work was slow. That you might think this could not be a work scheme—where was the efficiency!? Where the productivity?! Why the care and artistry?!

Byōdōin temple floats above a lake. It is easily superhuman, for its symmetries, for its beauty. The fact of its reconstruction during the Meiji Restoration matters not—as it would, say to know Chartres was put back together during the mid-19th century. It is also superhuman for having spaces of which no human body could avail itself, could not float in at the second floor, or second floor and a half. Nobody could enjoy the balconies there, or be accommodated in the rooms that have no walls. It is perfectly useless, most of the temple, which makes it very moving.

Within the temple complex the Byōdōin Museum houses the “only existing group of Buddhist statues from the 11th century”, a collection of 52 bodhisattva floating on clouds, dancing, playing musical instruments, all of wood, each exquisitely carved and extraordinarily well preserved. The museum is by Akira Kuryu, I had to look, because it continues themes that are in the temple building itself, a weightless quality—like Ando’s concrete. A sign reads at the entrance: no sketching or photos.

There are also snaps of Koshoji, on the opposite side of the river, here above, before leaving for Resol Hotel in Kyoto, near the Gion. The Gion itself a strange contraction of Caesar’s palaces to the standard-sized allocations of land for building in Japanese cities, several metres across the front, rising in chrome and marble and glass, to 4 or so storeys. The vibe approaching something strangely unpleasant, awry, like a smell hanging over of emotional extortion. But we ate supremely well at a Ramen bar.

[for some reason the first of this day’s snaps have shuffled down and settled at the bottom]

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30.07.2018 Kibune – Kurama / Kurama – Kibune

Japanese breakfast, followed by walk to Reihan line; to Chushojima; to disembark and board further Reihan line—a privately owned line—destination Demachiyanaga; whereto board Eisen (yes) line to Kibune or Kurama; to walk either from Kibune—whereat the Hiribun water noodles, grabbed in chopsticks from a water-race—to Kurama—whereat the Onsen, and the temple; or from Kurama—hot bath first, plus or minus religious experience—to Kibune—noodles, grabbed from swiftly flowing water in bamboo gutter, for lunchv? … decisions decisions … in the event, arriving at Chushojima, we stood in a boarding queue, and a youngish man approached after some hesitation to express his recommendation. He had obviously been working on such for some time; we had been waiting for the train for some time: and there was an air of restlessness on the platform.

I recommend, he said, after saying, that there had been a bad accident and the train was no longer coming or was coming but not any time soon: I recommend that you take a taxi to Kyoto station, then go by bus to Demachiyanaga to meet the Eisen railway, the only line heading up to—up into the hills of Kyoto, westward?—Kurama, Kibune.

We descended under the platform to consider, and arose at the platform for the line which had brought us thither, the Uji one of Keihan line. We thought it might be better … when an official interrupted us with news: bad accident yes, you can take the Keihan line to Ryojiza, change there for the subway, to Odegawa, from Odegawa to the Demachiyanaga station is close, a ten minute walk… This news was interrupted by him saying Sorry I have to drive this train. We followed him onboard, watching his hands on the controls, as pictured above. He is wearing gloves.

Disembarking at Ryogiza to walk to the subway we, he leant out the driver’s window and handed us a piece of paper with directions, including the information that Demachinyanaga was “clouse” to Odegawa. How he had written the note while I had been photographing his gloved hands on the controls is a mystery. With profuse apologies he waved at us and drove the train away to Uji.

We followed the directions on the note and within two and half hours were bumping along on the mountain railway called Eisen, along with families, and a group of four young women in kimonos. Christal Whelan points out that it has once more become fashionable for young women to choose to express themselves, to distinguish themselves from the postwar generations preceding them, by wearing this traditional dress—on outings into traditional outing spots—and even to use the old and disused feminine forms of Japanese dispensed with in the Meiji language reforms of the 19th century.

As it was near lunchtime on our approach to the pair, Kibune, Kurama, we decided to lunch first on fast-flowing noodles and walk to Kurama, perhaps to bathe there. The Eisen train, the Eisenbahn, continued on from Kibune to Kurama. And it is worthwhile to state at this point that the purpose of this expedition had largely been the walk between the two points along the Eisen line.

Others left the station to wait at the busstop. We headed out, like the four young women in kimonos, on foot, sandals, shoes, and so on. As we walked uphill we came upon the river restaurants of which we guessed the Hiribun was one, with seating in the river itself, some allowing the dangling of tired feet in the soothing and cool mountain water. These eating places had lanterns under bamboo awnings and low tables on the river platforms, done out in red. We had passed several before I asked after the location of Hiribun. Not far, 400 metres further on. On we trudged. Hiribun? Further on, up, pointing… Here, it was Hiribun, with nothing to distinguish it from the many eating places on the river we had so far encountered.

We were directed to a side office, which looked like a small store annex to the restaurant proper. Water noodles? Yes. Have you a reservation? No. You will have to wait 3 hours. But it has taken us three hours to get here. Perhaps we can walk over to Kurama and back and by that time we can eat noodles from the fast-flowing stream, which were seeming anyway less and less appetising, grabbing with chopsticks… at slippery noodles of time…

Leaving Hiribun disappointed, we asked at the places we had passed: 6,500 yen set menu for eats on the river was the cheapest. The water-noodle option had been around 400 …

Back down: a curry family restaurant option? More expensive kaiseki?

We went past a place with a vegetarian à la carte meal which looked appealing, perhaps we could share, continued. Before we reached the point of no return, we did. Turned back uphill, and went into a citadel of peace and tranquility in the utmost.

It is worthwhile at this point to say that the road uphill as down was clogged with temple pilgrims, superannuated hikers, tourists, and mainly internal tourists, and cars, cars too wide for the roads, cars too shiny and new for the hills, cars going up meeting vans and cars coming down, cars and vans having to fold in their side mirrors to pass one another, vans and cars reluctant to pass one another, cars and vans stuck until one or another should ease its way forward, winkle its way out of the jam, and buses, tour buses stuck between cars and vans and trucks, buses too big for the hilly mountain roads, buses unwilling to keep on going with the pedestrians on the road, pedestrians going up and pedestrians going downhill, walkers and hikers hungry for water-borne noodles, and hikers and walkers without bookings heading back down disappointed. Or coming to the shrines and temples with degrees of religious excitement… There was a mêlée outside.

And inside—peace. And food set at a reasonable price, being around 1,000 yen for one. We ate soba noodles and two fish (nami) and rice and two fish (nami) cooked by pouring over tea from a copper teapot.

We left Kibune for Kurama. Both cypress and cedars in the woods, and black bears, snakes and deer; we smelt musk a couple of times, but saw no beast. Kurama-dera, the temple complex is called; from Kibune up up up … then descent after, as it were, spiritual exercise. The waters purified, the innocence was refound, hope and belief in the world was reborn: it would be nice to be a bear, J. said. To come back as one? No. It would be a nice life.

We did not stop to bathe. By the time we reached Keihan line accident cleared, it seemed, and we saved 2 hours.

At night it was back to sushi train. [The night before we dined with the Japanese cast from Cheers: the jocose ones, with little English, discussing whether onsen was hotpool or spa, for ever, discussing and laughing over the dance the New Zealanders do before playing sports, trading profound insights over different aspects of our presence in their midst—then charging us a lot for having brought us less than we had ordered of teppanyaki; but very friendly with it, let it be said and known. Very warm. Only a little dear.]

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28.07.2018 to Uji, Japan

Overlooking the Ujigawa, the river in Uji, split by an artificial island, and fed from the nearby dam, with rapids below the island and above, we are finally in our room, and not only that but fresh out of the hotpools, the public baths as they have to be called—since to qualify as onsen the waters must arise naturally from the ground and possess minerals, a mineral quality; so that some onsen are coloured and some so hot when they bubble into the baths or pools there are attendants present to make sure bathers do not broil and cook.

From Waiheke to Uji:35 minutes by ferry; 25 minutes by Über; a checkin time two hours ahead of boarding time, which allows for seats together to be confirmed; 11.15 hours’ flight—with a supper, followed by 71 minutes of Dog Island; 5 hours sleep, on a partially full 777, since it had been cancelled because of the typhoon rolling in on Tokyo, was subsequently reinstated—adding to the likelihood of sleep being had, since more space to stretch out—however I could not get my body to fit the available empty space, the ma was all wrong, no matter how I curled and contorted to fill it—then breakfast, a gesture at Japanese style, with the rice handily deposited in a pleated cupcake paper; monorail from Haneda to Shinagawa 15 minutes; some circulation of bodies searching for the right line, the JR Nara line, to Uji—say 10 minutes—then, departing at 29 minutes past the hour, the local train, stopping at all the stations on the way, to Uji, 25 minutes later; walking, asking for directions, along the Ujigawa to our ryokan 20 minutes.

Time, Deleuze writes in his book on Kant, is not determined by movement, or change, and time itself does not move and change. Neither is time eternal. “It is the form of everything that changes and moves, but it is an immutable Form which does not change”—the unchanging, unmoving Form of what is impermanent, an impermanence that in the form of time is not eternal. In it, all things are impermanent. All things pass. That time passes without passing away is, Deleuze writes, a profound mystery.

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I think this will be the last one of this series, it is #31

XXXI.

getoveryourself or you should know when to stop are not the same pieces of advice

but you are not listening to me you are looking at the image of an idiot on the screen

an idiot boy Bolaño says—right in my ear—the image of an idiot boy—and i am overcome by a feeling of wonder at how great it would be it is to be a female art

a female artist a woman first, second—they are not the same pieces of advice—you could—one justifies another—produce the most overtly sexual and sexualised imagery

you would not be guilty of sexuality—and I am fore-betrayed by knowledge, memory, belief one does not justify another duplicitous amongst the victims blending in, before a page of prose looking for even yet the flight of a bird & birdsong, time blurred like the wingbeat of a sacred kingfisher [writes Adam Roberts] and

 

my stomach drops

into shallow pans

tripe-white

of my open hands (even yet Fergus Barrowman, replied, some of the lines are simply bad)

facing a page of prose: sometimes life is shit: one justifies another and I accuse the extinguished theatre I mean professor removed from positon by concerted and personal vendetta—what one feels now the other will. INTIMIDATION seemed right closest to our theme but you should know when to stop

the recoil is lost it is political and so it is born: and once it was a child and knew getoveryourself for not having to be a female artist, of a woman first second—at the same—the integrity of the personal gesture of sexuality now the integrity of the gesture was lost

it would not be reproduced, it would not pay to reproduce and once it was a child, and at the same time it is the memory of things, not as they were, thought to be heading in a certain direction, ends unknown, all of a sudden going in a wholly unexpected direction the integrity of the gesture was lost, and the reduction to ends and desires the image of that idiot boy on a screen I see my memory at two removes extinguished theatre I mean professor and yours but you are not looking

and in no wise would it be true to say these two manners of appearing followed one upon the other but that in somewise I know not were they concurrent also Adam in The Thing Itself the thing itself might as well figure thought in the image of the hypocrite not the idiot

we are so many people in the manner of a lost world given the word or gesture of the appearance of victims and I amongst gathered together who don’t who can’t and who cannot recognise a crime who gather together in their want and in their lack of recognition and who do not ask who answers for it, for once it was a child and knew, but that in the want and lack of their recognition its answer goes unquestioned its question goes unasked

which is their question and i amongst and it is like the memory of smoke in a dream that on waking is the image of a face in sand that on looking you look does not ask anymore

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XXX

XXX.

Do not speak this blessing

itwillenslaveyou

we did not know he penetrated her apart from her expression

blank possibly drugged mystical

and should peace peace is a sheet

a cool white sheet a clean and ironed one

expressionless

soothing easy eyes

good tears dripping in excess is it from their folds

secreting oracles

 

a dribble is a gathering together of images in a droplet

it strings secreting strings threads pearls in its secretion

as involuntary as a symptom

notatallunwilling

the will which hidden will seep out

in the night

in the night emissions

of satellites

 

and should peace peace be upon them

which is a sheet and flicks at their genitals

with the folded rectitude of paper

wet from the pen dripping ink

and albumen every edge it over

tang of egg or orange is it

inkwet in the sicklehairs

 

say it with sex say say it with art of lying

forgive the intrusion the cage was empty

and in my hand a group of opioids

a birdwing flaps drug it and in my hand

on my hand featherlight another

heart beat another open void

it overflows and in my prescription

does it in my script these lines

 

arenotcrossedout

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nearly 30 and over half a year later now #29

XXIX.

bloodspots on the strawberry hem

laughter in the trees

like with like again

I am surrounded in my disbelief

 

by wonderful and inexplicable reasons

a needle is suspended in the air

threads the sky its origins

the fictions of a scientific feeling

 

other than that

the world parts its lips

through the water

trail your fingertips

 

David the sky today

deep azure

and I can find only

my own

original mind

 

Leonora Fini’s voyageurs one sitting one lying in rest leg bent en repos I misread as voyeurs resting or put to rest the painter covers their eyes with a folded cloth they are expressionless androgynous are they at least one is not entitled to say but that the cloths over each are their eyes shut one is not entitled to say lave the brows of each rest

you have earned it voyeurs because you have not come far you have in fact not come from any origin except a certain style, a certain foldedness—as much as the folds bear a kind of sightless witness to in the cloths covering the brow of each voyageur

traveller

blindfolded to vision because not sleeping either sleepless and not entitled to dream what work they have then done the seated one behind the one lying one leg bent behind the other and what might possibly arouse them from well-earned repose to return to it to the fabrication the fictitious fabric sussurating gown of a mistress or a master did I mention their youth medieval or preraphaelite attire at whose behest they what laboured voyaged viewed or gazed on who leaves them who replaces her gown and he his robe, whispering softly through barely parted lips it sweeps the floor behind, in the hallways, in the archways, aisle and cloister, leaving them sanctified by what they have seen, what work it was

now rest

to look what is inexplicable and wonderful to have traversed all feeling, to have found there all good reason and to have there been granted your repose …

 

by what right

state the question

tonight alas the tongue of truth alights upon no tooth”

to have it extracted by a screwdriver

blood spotting the mask and lips

 

by what right spit it out

the paper besmirched and soiled

the bill

 

by what right to say

or cross it out

 

by what in this climate

in this socio-economic says Bolaño

better to live

undercover

poet

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