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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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field recordings 29.05.2017 – 15.06.2017 including Minus Theatre Workshops for Visit Me Genius

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No. XXIII

XXIII.

the extreme poverty of Moerewa

a poverty that not poverty

contrasts with a smell

not te ika the eel tuna not that

neither a full range of offals

and associated products

including foetal blood not the smell of

the freezing works

 

the fronted up houses the shops boarded

nor the café boarded where stones on every table

fresh smoked eel we said taking pride of place

taking pride in place the whenua

whenua

 

a poverty at the roots of the hills

haunting porcelain animals

on windowsills

 

in the lightning trees

at the tips of each darkness

nodding recognition

 

my grandfather built my grandmother

nana

a similar house

rich for being stucco

in another works’ town

Konini

Konini Street from folded blueprints

he proudly kept

 

rich for having a porch

deep enough sunlight

never penetrated no

 

not that smell of rosewater oil of Ulan

that overtakes me now of ripening fruit

in the laundry loo and pile of mags

I’d sometimes find a porn one

overripe in the pale green tongue and groove

 

the meatworks where he

call him boompa not poppa

rode to every morning

on the fixed gear black bike

for sixty years

 

and sweet smell fruit rotting in the grass

the Bay so fertile call it the fruitbowl of a nation

so fertile it rotted

what nation

 

he dreamed of travelling to the Rhine one day

and on the aeroplane sedated and confused

the drugs for Parkinson’s Lorelei

he left his seat in his socks

and shoes behind padding down the aisle

to the door and with intent and pride intact

he turned the handle opening the hatch

to walk outside

 

no what smell but health and hygiene

a compression of hedges

Kerikeri

with no outside.

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I was wrong now XXII

XXII.

what did you say to her

I was wrong

 

enormous ladies of the morning

reverse the trend of fat young men

 

the ad reads sex for life appears often often appears on a facing page appears to mean sex for life for not against a struggle struggle not effaced sex for life for a life appears not occluded appears to appeal to sex unexpected to mean what do you mean what do you mean to say men an appeal for men an appeal for one for one meaning a sentence sentence of life life sentence an appeal against

for a life

for a sex a sex for a life entirely unexpected for

not against what part do you see for this health this health this health I will not practice inclusivity I will not participate in my own capture

struggle for life affirm without occlusion

 

disjointed disparate in flight effaced

events repeat and

writes Piglia for Renzi

Ricardo Piglia for Emilio Renzi

expand

off into the distance ever ever ever

 

trail your fingers ever in the blue reflected sky

the Bacon dust

 

Blaze on your fingers bring your father

what did you say

he saw you brought

I see my brother

he saw you brought to him

something

off into the distance and now coming forward

says you brought to him

his own

my own

something

dust from the studio

his own

my own

 

swelling anticipation rising from a deep mind place

a space of air

unburied

and a turn a split

I was wrong

I said what we were all expecting

didn’t happen

something

entirely unexpected took

its place

 

sex for life

the old man hits the dog

 

the dog escapes

what does the dust say

when the dog escapes

explain

the existence of ideology

the German ewig ewig ewig doubt

 

he hits the dog

hits him and it’s a bitch is it

hits her

hits her and hits her and hits her

 

the risk in explaining her captivity

the risk in explaining something

intimate the more disgusting the less

fat young men

doubt

 

and when the dog escapes she runs away

off into the distance ever

 

and the old man searches for it desolate

desolately unexpected

for her I said

 

will not participate in my own

will not participate

he searches for it

 

he searches for her

desolately

 

throughout the city

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#XVII for akindofrecord …

XVII.

What about the days we choose to live

Lima’s words

The idea of destiny is a phrase that says

they are coming to get us

it is completed by another

go out to meet them

in Gamboa shadows lighting fires in caves

or is it Bolaño again

lost images

poems and

a lump smells

recoil we do know at least a part of us does

questionable girls

because a girl rolls over

because of a mistranslation the part with no

regret the role of the girl is

in question and

old gods do die and new gods do

appear

appear

Jesus in a hotel room Tosches’s Jesus girls

pay to take him in mouth a part of him

Nick’s word irrumates

a part of us remembers paradise

 

but I told him the date and then said

that I had been running across the street

to help her

when I was hit by the car

Straub is it so strange in both Peter S. and Bolaño

there are casement windows

 

a lump smells

a life swerves

a green stares up

at

lunch

her legs

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please let me know if you are reading this kind of record by using the contact link on the left

XIV.

define muscle

shoulder whole wheel

week

axle-tree

 

in all things he will excel me

Knausgaard

Karl Ove to his son

as a son from the point of view

of love my son asks me

to reattach the sterile patch

quickly his wounded arm

 

he will be leaving is it for us

is it for us to carry on

quickly to carry on

 

define muscle turning on the axle-tree

I can think of no better thing to say and

have no greater wish to wish him

I will tell him I wish that in all things

he will excel me Karl Ove said so

 

quickly I reattach the sterile plaster

to his open sore

 

 

it is inexcusable to use the phrase mortal weight

in an invented scenario I don’t believe abstraction

gains any height from it I don’t wish to pontificate

and inexcusable to lift the straw man of the left

on the railroad of disappointment China Miéville

imagines is a railway to invent imagine

a wanker in a hotel room or suicide I am her

do I clean do I wash am I soiled it is

from the wound of my mouth justified

wound we share we who have opened

each other’s legs

 

sickles

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3 quotes from Santiago Gamboa, sentiments for the season: illustrated with photographs by Sebastião Salgado

… beyond the borders of our beautiful countries there is a terrifying outside world filled with life, a black sun that stretches over a number of continents, only revealing its beauty after the first impact. What you see on the surface is horrible and cruel, but slowly the the beauty emerges; in our world, the surface is lovely and everything is bright and shiny, but with time what we see is the horror.

– Santiago Gamboa, Necropolis, trans. Howard Curtis, 2012, p. 446

… nothing of what we were then can be understood by anyone today, nobody believes in what we believed in; the things that were important to us provoke laughter or curiosity…

– ibid., p. 444

… the best way to live life to the full is to take it to the limits, putting your face in its deepest depths, its edges, its caverns and ruined palaces, only that way will we keep our bodies hot and our heads boiling with dreams …

– ibid., p. 447

CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
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for a kind of record, parts IV & V

IV.

I am very happy

you could hear the risk in his voice

he rubs his penis across her waist

the danger

 

what did you say to me

did you say

too much

too much of looking over the precipice

too much of walking around and around

in these dark rooms where I live out empty days

Cavafy

 

and the stripper

with her hair glossy running

down around her breast

curling into the hollow

of his loin

in a bituminous river

 

approach

retreat

take hold of yourself

and girded against the unexpected

smell

get a good grip

 

the small of her back

wipe your finger

pull the latch

open the window

a light breeze

with the tang

of revelation

 

V.

but I was just angry

every night

No not every night

every night and always

every night

 

what happened last week

anyway

every night

I can smell dogshit

 

my body boils

is the pit

in miniature

a model of hell

no light escapes

and the light in the cave is not reassuring

although it dances has the highpitch whine

of a blade of a wire a single strand spitting

in a vacuum

no relief just the superimposition of totem

animals one over another over another over

another incessant pull gravity and

the vanity of man

 

who should commit suicide tomorrow or tonight

who should give himself up to the pull of the Platonic

the shadow does not me

shadow does not

not me

 

what expression escapes

mortal danger

or should I say personal

but vanity should emote

 

I should kill myself tomorrow or tonight

I should take my life

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celebrating Santiago Gamboa, as well as stating the obvious & wondering once again at the sentimental Left, melting even before it gets to the battlefield–were we fantasizing? grinning stupidly, terrifyingly

…the reasons someone who’s about to shoot another man thinks he has may vary, but the deed is the same, someone will press the trigger, and when the lead breaks the skin and drills into the cranium and damages a lobe and perforates it and opens a path in the brain, a life with a history and past will be cut short and a body transformed into a bloodstained mass that will fall to the ground, and that fact, which is horrible in itself and can’t in any way be explained or justified, makes all the reasons equivalent; in the middle of the twentieth century it was ideologies, then it was land or the control of resources, reserves of hydrocarbons. …

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam, on Saturday.

Do you know the contemporary name for perversity? It’s democracy. If a chimpanzee with a drum becomes popular and amusing, he could be elected president.

– Santiago Gamboa, Night Prayers, trans. Howard Curtis, Europa Editions, 2016, p. 222

…the world wasn’t made for harmony and kindness, but quite the contrary, for confrontation. The world is a boxing ring, a battlefield. And you don’t go to battlefields with smiles and soft words, no, sir, you go armed to the teeth.

– ibid., p. 232

We played with madness (were we fantasizing?) until the afternoon gave my mouth the terrifying smile of the idiot.

– ibid., p. 290

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on a kind of record, II

II.

she said

I’m going to talk to you quite openly

and she

apologised for her vulgarity

 

is there a way onward

Juana

by Gamboa

the western cordillero

 

a patch of vomit

made up of the lights

of Bogotá

 

cupped in the hands

of a thousand digits

 

figures of bone

walk the western

horizon

 

still recognisable

moving without acknowledgement

you are watching

 

relations of yours

I ask

 

you trap me in fucking

you trap me

we shut up

we know

 

the identity

we need to show

indifference to

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