rejected and unfinished precursory notes, made
- 10/05/2013, 13:18:21
- 10/05/2013, 13:39:55
- 16/09/2013 18:00:08
- 15/09/2013, 01:46:22
follow so what may come may come:
An airport lounge.
You see an unattended bag.
A woman is watching.
We alert the authorities.
They arrive swiftly and without fuss they remove the woman.
Open on an island –
surrounded on all sides by a curtain.
It is small enough to walk around easily.
The curtain makes a similar sound to the sea –
but much more
or you will slip on dialogue.
I was standing at the bar. Frank said, Drink?
Sometimes it is dangerous to believe in the glass you are holding, the ice in the glass, the clinking of the chains binding you to the bar.
Frank said, He even looked me in the eye when he said it – there are three men coming. One of them will have a handkerchief tied over his mouth. One of them will be taller than the others. But it is the other, the short one, dressed head to foot in black, his face invisible inside his hood, his silence and the blackness in which he comes impenetrable – it is he who will know you.
I had a question but before it left my lips I felt a draught at my back and a shiver ran down my spine.
I have left my home and everything I felt comfortable with to join you. You see me dressed this way but tomorrow I could very well be wearing a suit and tie. I could be waiting in a queue at the
I suppose it is about time I used this blog – with some small misgiving about even this being a concession – for keeping some kind of a record. Like the Leonard Cohen song goes. As it says, a condition of keeping a record can be that there's nothing worth keeping a record of: a life in a desert; a life on an island. What is the difference?
Recently I wrote an abstract for a formal paper to be presented at a local conference. The theme of the conference, therefore the given, was the Pacific's connectivity by sea, its fluidity of connection, a fluidity of connection among islands. I proposed something critical. I proposed to write about the provenance of a thinking that foregrounds fluid connectivity before one, one perhaps more classical, that seeks to ground and situate, to place – one that is displaced by the gerund 'placing'. Placing refers to a process by which place becomes. This place. That place. And is so designated. Placing leads to naming but recalls to it the process of arrival. Landing.
The project was, needless to say, misunderstood and the abstract more or less rejected. More or less because once I was made aware of the misunderstanding I could not proceed. It amounted to a different point of departure in order to get to the idea of fluidity, foregrounding connectivity, than I had in mind. It placed this idea on the ground of a privileged knowledge – that is, on the ground of the knowledge of the sea as it is understood by the natives of the Pacific as delivering us in our encounters to landings which are hardly fluid but never definitive and always potentially multiple: places which do not place and do not belong to a logic of placing. A sort of cartographic opportunism.
Fine. But not what I was thinking about doing. And... in actual fact, if I had addressed it on its own terms, this native understanding of how to island-hop, it would hardly have been, formally, academically, any more acceptable. But I don't care.
I have a lifetime's experience of acting against my own best interests.