from the notebooks for the RJF project/theory of half-mime – towards a methodology

We have a room
An empty room, square
But not out of necessity.

There are figures in the room.
They possess the range of movements
That the limitations
Of being figures
In an empty room

Except that everything
Is here in the room as well
(Unless the space has no good will),

Everything that extends action or
Constrains movement, everything
That requires some kind of action
In order for it to be accomplished.

All things are here in the empty
Space of the room, however,
Only in part.

The part of all the things
That the figures can know and imagine
Which is in the room
Is that part which is not here.

But then let us be more specific,
The everything called upon
By the figures to exist
Exists only insofar as it requires
A kind of action and a sort of movement,
Physical and mental.

There is the memory of it,
For example,
But not the pencil itself,

The imagined fear
But not the fear itself
And not the object,
Whether enemy or monster,
Giving rise to it.

The type of everything we have here
Is constituted by memory and imagination

To be more precise,
It is physically constituted and posited mentally
By the particular gestures (as in mime), by the
Memories and imaginations of the figures.
So that therefore it can only ever
Have a part existence.

The figures act and move in acknowledgement
Of the particularity, partiality – for being part-
Objective, part-objects – of the things they call on,
Of this everything that they,
And only they, and each of them,
Singly, can invoke.

They are attentive to the fact
That they are figures in an empty room,
Square but not out of
Necessity, empty also
But not out of necessity.

Half-mime, because part-object,
Incomplete action, because pseudo-cause:
These are the modes, and contents,
Of their engagement
With the actual, of acting
In cognizance of the part played by the
Real, which is all – everything – there is;

And these are not rules:
The discipline in question
Is freedom.

All that can be said
In the words they say
Can be said to exist
In the same way,
In part,

According to the discipline
Of freedom, which leaves inside the room
Room within it, a gap, through which things,
All things, whether words or things,
Are able to enter
But never completely enter.

This opening for words,
Which leave behind them
The irretraceable path of lightning,
Is as wide as the sky and stretches from horizon
To horizon, encompassing what is out of reach
As much as what lies within our grasp

But inevitably has more in it,
More of what is out of reach – for being high up,
For being remembered, for existing only
In our imaginations.

The words, the lines spoken
Are creatures like anemones,
Their tendrils reaching out
To trap what they cannot in fact
Hold, to say what they cannot
In fact mean.

How then will these figures
Relate to one another
If not also by
What they imagine
About one another
Or remember?

The gestures of relationship may come,
Of touch, hurt, ownership, to one figure
Or another but not
The means whereby they relate.

None of these figures will be
Anything to any of the others,
Only what they
Do and say.

Even to themselves
They will exist in
What they imagine
And remember.

At first, 1) You can’t do
Anything; 2) You can’t do
Anything, see anything
But you can’t close your ears
3) To this irritating voice.

You can neither stop your heart
Beating, nor cease to breathe.

And yet what happens
Will happen,
Half by accident,
Half by instinct,
By half-mime,
By gestures made
Towards and away
From what is there,
And so, partial.

A list,
An open list
Constraining what happens to what
Happens next, limited by the event,
Liberated by the acknowledged past
That is only partly here.

Now, make up this list, this series,
Of what is created and what is
Remembered, the two:
Let’s call this a score.

To disprove a thing, a word, is more interesting
Than proving something: a shoe, for example.

We can all see it’s a shoe,
Now prove it


Have your personal list
(You pivot, you turn on it,
As on a dime)

But should it have made
An ethical sense

That will

From the fact
It was never