May 2018

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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A passage from Secret Passages in a Hillside Town by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen introducing some of the key concepts of the cinematic life

“A person’s life doesn’t consist of just one story but of many, some of them consecutive and others overlapping. While one story is a comedy, another may be a melodrama, or a thriller. It’s important to recognize every incipient story’s genre and let the deep cinematic life develop the right state of mind to supersede the slow continuum.

“The holy cinematic trinity is beauty, hope and pain. A beautiful story has a beautiful beginning and a beautiful ending. The illusion of happiness makes the beginning beautiful, but the ending draws its beauty from pain.

“In order to live with cinematic depth, you must surrender completely to the story that has become true at a given moment, even if it demands morally dubious behaviour or, as some would call it, sinfulness. Morality is one of the lower orders of aesthetics, and is ultimately subordinate to beauty. Morality changes–today’s sin is tomorrow’s beautiful dream–but the aesthetic is eternal. Even cruelty, betrayal and ruthlessness can, in some situations, be aesthetically justified and even unavoidable choices, and categorically avoiding them can lead to slow continuum attachment and the death of life feeling.”

Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen’s Secret Passages in a Hillside Town, a book unlike any I have read, including even Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen’s The Rabbit Back Literature Society (the former translated by Lola Rogers, and the passage cited from p. 211 (Pushkin Press: 2017)

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contd. (you can always catch up by going to a kind of record at the top of the lefthand margin) number twenty-eight of the series

XVIII.

it is ultimately sensuous

your scarf

my beard

pornography

 

to be human

faces the challenge

of

my poetry

 

and what it means

your laughter is

I behind I

deeply

 

is how you mean

how you mean

to proceed

originally

 

weave the future

and a future in recoil

a kind of record

of sexuality

 

from here the

horizon begins the

looping of a spine

kind of human calligraphy

(&&&[Deleuze])=-1...
...
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another of a kind follows

XXVII.

is it hope brings you here today to my office to my study to my surgery to my room

i can feel you pressing your breast on the curtain your breath your blood on the curtain

who is your people is your apology for what are they what is it I’m sorry I’m so sorry what for

first they first first they searched the body you left second they turned the studio upside down

like a vase the flowers were dust they inspected the dust on their fingertips third they moved through the rooms

systematically unearthing what hope for them new notes in named envelopes a vial of morphine like old days

a glass of teeth a drawer of repeat prescriptions and boxes and boxes of drugs what have i left out

what left you you who like Bolaño cough when i cup your balls people you loved

let them go

cough the sisters you had the brothers and the missing twins like a movie the old man takes off

his underwear hanging on to a leather strap that dangles like the old man from the ceiling of the bus

point to point

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watch a kind of record every week by clicking on this name in lefthand margin or watch this week’s episode No. 26 below continuing

XVI.

Two of these things I cannot live without

live without anticipation

live without the expected or the unexpected

live without a long time left

live without love

live without my heart is broken

live without my home

live without lost time

live without the wit of the old queers

live without wine or Russian vodka

live without affordable tobacco

live without health

live without answer

and without echo

 

I left the streets I walked in the light of emotional lamplight I burrowed into the city it was Christchurch built on alluvial planes riddled with aquifers one day to erupt hiccup flat by bodies in a terrible clarity long coats all the contours pushed into a tiny spectrum corners in the smallest circuit so you turn how can you not know where you are by the river by the square by the curve of air by the mist and smoke in your mouth by the hunger and the thirst

 

I don’t know your name

are you next

can you live without your

insides

 

her red hair freckles long black coat pockets safety-pinned a fingerless glove she reached me out of her heart a long splinter of glass ice her lucid eyes handed me it saying you’ll be wanting this this bottle of gin you are a miracle

 

are you living here now

Sydney is it

every one with a view

of the ocean

 

speaking from notes

without saying a word

are you next reader

without

 

knowing how she could know all dimensions anticipations collapsed hiccup flat a door miracle flung open ahead it was Sydney and the dress rehearsal had gone long into the night I carried my daughter trains buses stopped for the night hills of the city curved in the fired air she slept home a far line distant in the hills along the curved night in the fired air a white door I didn’t know it was a taxi until her I poked my head in in my arms and he said where have you been

 

I’ve been waiting for you

live without reason

in your finitude

you’re here now

...
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analysis of the neoliberal subject under corpocracy & fine writing, J. D. Daniels: a writer’s role is “to escape and tell the tale.”

“Okay, now I angry dog. Where a snake looks? Look my eyes. His will in him eyes. Okay, I punch your face. Punching your face! No, no, okay, better, good. Vai! Loose hip. Don’t previewing, take what he offering you. Okay. Slip and turn, hooks in. Espalha frango, break him down. Surf. How you don’t surf?”

— J.D. Daniels in The Correspondences, Jonathan Cape, London, 2017, p. 14

I was busy throwing a flat-blade screwdriver at the wall to see how many times its sharp end would stick, keeping score in two columns on a yellow legal pad, when Edgar walked past and saw me in the window and stepped in, dragging a small white dog on a leash.

“You can’t bring that animal in here. It smells like a skunk shitting bleach.”

A siren whined down the street. Edgar’s forlorn little dog began to grunt and snuffle. It was trying to howl, but you can’t eat scraps under the table for seven years, or forty-nine dog years, and then one day up and decide to let out a howl. All it could manage was a kind of chewy sneeze.

I’d been expecting Edgar: he had e-mailed me a poem he’d written, all eight-six pages of it. No matter what lazy fun you might be having on a Saturday night–maybe you are performing your assigned exercises, muttering, “I accept myself, I accept myself,” gritting your teeth until you worry they will crack; or maybe you are watching a television show in which a researcher injects himself with gonadotropic hormones, followed by an interview with a med-school dropout who claims to have transplanted a monkey’s head onto another monkey’s body–while you fritter away your precious life in trifles, you can rest easy, knowing that Edgar manfully craps out sodden lumps of poetry, shaking his bathroom with the thunder of his spirit.

— Ibid., pp. 86-87

“The Group Relations Conference,” says the Web site of the A. K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems, “is an intensive participatory process that provides participants the opportunity to study their own behavior as it happens in real time without the distractions of everyday social niceties and workplace pressures and protocols.”

And they have to say something corporate-klutzy-jargony like that, don’t they, because if they were to come right out and say, “You are cordially invited to have your individual ego reduced to molten slag in the hell-furnace of our collective unconscious,” no one would sign up.

What does such a conference reveal, if not the something else that is not the people at the meeting: the something that is not “me,” but conspires to act through “me,” then disowns me and claims, in a bizarre act of half-justice, that I am to be held responsible for both its actions and my own own.

–The good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.

–Really? Whose unconscious is it, anyway?

–Maybe the answer to that question is more complex than it appears.

Thirty-six psychiatrists, chaplains, social workers, counselors, nurses, and others in the caring professions had been sent by their respective employers to investigate authority and institutional life by improvising an institution and analyzing it, if they could–or, as things turned out, by failing to improvise such an institution, and by failing to analyze that failure.

Thirty-six white-collar professionals, and one writer, devoted to following his frequent errors wherever they might lead him.

Many people hate writers. As the judge snarled at Brodsky, “Who has recognized you as a poet? Who has enrolled you in the ranks of poets?” It’s true that something has gone wrong in a family or a group that gives birth to a writer, a person whose role is to escape and tell the tale. But the hatred at the conference had a particular flavor.

Our regression was swift. It is incorrect to use the word “I” when describing mass-hysterical events. My feelings were not special or unique. They were not even mine.

“I don’t have an image for this conference,” Tommy said.

“What does that mean?” said Vicki.

“I don’t know your names. Tell me your names,” said Tommy.

“I know your name,” said Eric. “I know everyone’s name.”

“We told each other our names yesterday,” Vicki said.

“Maybe the name is not the name,” said our consultant.

We went around the small group and said our names again. Tommy, Samantha, Vicki, Jennifer, Martin, Eric, Renata, Frederico, and Tina.

“My name is Ronald,” I said.

“Hello, Ronald,” said Tommy. “I am Tommy. Pleased to meet you.”

“His name is not Ronald,” Vicki said.

“That’s enough about the names for now,” I said. “Five minutes before this meeting, I threw up my breakfast into the sink in my room. Isn’t anyone else here as nervous as I am?”

“Why did you choose to throw up alone in your room?” said our consultant. “Don’t you feel you can throw up here in our group?”

“I threw up scrambled eggs and two cups of coffee mixed with the juices of my stomach. Not metaphorical undigested emotions. Yellow-and-brown vomit.”

“Thanks for the image,” said Vicki.

“I know I talk a lot,” said Tommy. “I take up too much space in our small group. I wish someone would tell me to shut up.”

“Okay. Shut up,” said Samantha.

“Shut up,” said Tina.

“Shut up, Tommy,” said Eric.

“Please shut up,” said Vicki.

“How can you speak to me like this?” Tommy said.

Back to the large group.

“The group appears to be attempting to ignore and deny its aggression,” said the conference director.

“I’m aware of the group’s aggressive feelings,” I said. “For example, I would like to kill you.”

— Ibid., pp. 110-117

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