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from David Berman to Wallfacers

In a very abstract frame today, I tried continuing with my writing and realised I would rather be talking to you. Whoever you are … wherever you are …

I have a lot of tabs (1, 2, 3 …) open I’ve been meaning to close once I wrote something about David Berman, David Cloud Berman I read in one of them. It was to be an RIP piece. Beside me I have the notes from when I heard he had suicided. They go like this:

this is coming

I’ll explain how

we’re all going to get through it

and “rebuild” society

Video after the jump

The last is from one of the links.

Then there is the line with the typo: The meaning of the world lies outside thw world. It’s from a Silver Jews album, the song ‘People.’

“Video after the jump” links to Berman’s blog, mentholmountains: arc of a boulder, which doesn’t link anywhere, but has links to writers, Thomas Bernhard, for example, and Robert Walser, and pictures and videos. It is not too dissimilar from squarewhiteworld.

An arrow directs on the kokuyo paper from the line “Video after the jump” to a reference to Cixin Liu’s Three-Body Problem. It reads:

Become a Wallfacer.

Humanity faces extermination, the extermination of a species of bug, coming from the stars, from the planet Trisolaris. It will take four light years to arrive. Meanwhile every human effort is directed towards defending itself, not the earth, but doing whatever it takes to defend itself.

400 years would seem to be sufficient time to prepare, however, the Trisolarans have sent an expeditionary force ahead to spy on human efforts and to limit them to what can be achieved from a current understanding of the fundamental laws of physics. The technology of Trisolaris far exceeds this limit, since the expeditionary force itself comprises AI supercomputers shrunk down to the size of subatomic particles, protons, quantumcomputers called Sophons. (The word for proton 质子 (zhì zǐ) is the same as the word for Sophon .) The lockdown on scientific research imposed by the Sophons is something that I was writing about in view of the comparable lockdown or limitation on paradigm shift, on fundamental advance, in the sciences–and more generally, in political economy–that is self-imposed in neoliberal institutional systems of governance where the pursuit of science is becoming the performance of science through representative means. (This source, considering the science of Three-Body misses the potential for critical diagnosis Liu’s fiction contains: note it contains info you might want to avoid if you intend to read the novels: it has the strangely phenomenological name, Exposing the structure of how we got our answers: Poetry in Physics.) (The diagnostic criticism implicit in Liu of the Sophonic lockdown as science fiction is explained by Philip Mirowski as the neoliberal fact of Open Science, ironically, at 56’57” in Hell is Truth Seen Too Late.) (I recommend reading Three-Body for its clinical diagnostic potential–and equally I recommend watching Mirowski, even if just for the part about Open Science.)

The Wallfacer project is undertaken by a humanity under threat of annihilation because of the lockdown on science imposed by the Sophons–which is described as being their ability to falsify experimental results from research in fundamental physics (note the Popperian line on falsification). The Trisolarans have a vulnerability: they communicate with each other through thought-reading, thought-hearing, thought-speaking. But they can’t read the thoughts of humans. Neither Sophons nor Trisolarans can see what is going on inside human minds. The notion of lying, of misrepresenting one’s true thoughts, of misrepresentation through speech and language is alien to these aliens–as is the notion therefore of representation. The Wallfacer project is to take advantage of this vulnerability. Wallfacers are selected to help save humanity through indirection and misdirection–through not representing their intentions. Besides the mental freedom to dream up plans and projects the use of which they need neither justify nor defend–in fact the Wallfacer project depends on their doing neither–they have all the world’s resources at their disposal to carry out their plans and projects.

They would be artists, poets, revolutionaries, for not having to answer to anyone for their freedoms, but for the fact that they are so and unquestioningly so resourced. Perhaps this is the link I wanted to make to David Berman: Become a Wallfacer.

The diagnostic import of the Wallfacer project can be seen when placed in relation to the lockdown on science. If, as I tend to think, neoliberal systems of institutional governance entail of the sciences a comparable lockdown–and we can see evidence of this in the shutting down of labs in the ‘hard’ sciences (those without direct application in technology and commercialisable IP) and see it also in the decrease in institutional support for intellectual labour, whether in fundamental theory in the sciences or in philosophy–then the Wallfacer project serves as critique of the view that it is to science, to scientists and to scientific research we must turn to find solutions to the problems facing life, to overcome the threat from earth.

Earth has this vulnerability: it doesn’t know we make it in our own image.

To overcome the threat from the earth, first undo the image we have made of it. The meaning of the world lies outside the world

[R.I.P. David C. Berman, 4 January 1967 – 7 August 2019]

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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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& no. XXIV

XXIV.

on a rough crossing of Lake Baikal

I am inside a water droplet

on the glass of my actual ferry

following in its saltwater course its

odd

distorted horizon

 

on a rough crossing of Lake Baikal

I can’t wait to tell you simpler things

how the wind is gone round to the East

bringing cooler air and

a drop of four degrees

 

on a rough crossing leave by the fast clock

return by the slow

 

crossing suicide notes

why not death threats

 

Piglia writes on Pavese

that the purpose of the diary

is to make suicide

possible

 

that smell of morals and lyrics

when poetry if it exists at all

it is at the oral limit

 

we count the stones on the beach

what nation what beautiful was

every stone

one by one

we count the elements

 

the void

space

time

lekton which is for Emmanuel Levinas

poetry and

on its horizon

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a kind of record is twenty-one

XXI.

nothing white flower in autumn half a year amounts to nothing

nothing bursts half a year on the cactus flower what are these nothing

nothing good riddance that cactus why do you ask nothing

nothing if you ask me what are these dreams amount to nothing

nothing good riddance white flower in autumn half of a year split

nothing year nothing half half nothing

 

amounts that dream dreams an amount

amount of water of blue nothing inverted imagine can you

a mountain inverted an amount dreams a mountain is dreaming

ferries on Lake Baikal dreams of capture of caught and trapped

blue nothing

 

a Chinese tree in watered ink white flower a dry river wells of violence

a shadow is it but clean on horizon cut by one hair brush a single filament

of disaster of violence accepted

horizon above below horizon is the page fluid all its ends and sides cannot

prevent and stop ink from running off is page all of time

autumn

 

nothing

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Nick Tosches’s Jesus’ story, Under Tiberius, 2015, is the greatest story ever told ever–fulminative culmination, exundant

Old gods do die, and new gods do appear.

Under Tiberius, Nick Tosches, 2015, p. 34

I delivered my words with poetic grace and force, a single line in the dactylic hexameter of Homer, ending with an ancipital foot … It was … the rhythm and not the meaning of these simple words that struck with might …he who controls rhythm, controls.

— Ibid., p. 66

Asmodeus is called by the Book “the worst of demons,” …Except for the Satan, to whom allusion is made here and there in the Book, there is little concern in the Book for demons. And I wonder, if Asmodeus is said to be the worst of them, and he could neither seduce nor rape the woman Sarah, what menial piddlers these imagined demons must be.

— Ibid., p. 134

There is only one business. Call it what you would. Deceit. Greed. Filth. It is all the same. He who does business is he who lies. He who does business is he who steals. All business is shit, and he who does business is he who wallows in shit: eating it, regurgitating it, and, all the while, squealing deceit.

— Ibid., p. 236-7

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

— Ibid., 253

Know thyself …

And then expel thy self … Real thy self. Let loose the shame of thy self.

The words of Jesus. The words of no other.

— Ibid., p. 257

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another week past see how much has happened to a kind of record

XV.

sometimes I feel I can take more away than they can

but it isn’t true Is it

the story ends the song goes on the dirty pacing on goes

the end the start the knot the kick at you they

are not your clothes

 

arms cross over

uncross cross over

uncross on goes

man in his quintessence

 

I feel I can take you wait

than they you wait father is gone

mother gone

in her

they have cut me in half

 

arms cross over

uncross you wait on goes a woman

a woman stops in half

like this there is no more

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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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to be added this week to a kind of record each week added to: part VI

VI.

I am as I age wrestling with the idea of affirmation

a long death scene follows which I do not make up

when I return turn when I return the idea of a room

come on now they have his hands come on now rubber

fingers in mouth in arsehole inside a rummage sale of

public private interests like you when I return the idea

it’s not the first time you are dying and you have never

been disabled in my sight you have been old before you

before you have been a woman and you and have been

the child of a woman come on now like you I return turn

to at no instant where hesitation has a chance of being

being thrown by the who said the dark lady who said I

I have heard borne witness to grown men screaming

when

undergoing this procedure I climb in and out of bed

like you new angel angel new I cannot turn my eyes

away each thing returns at every instant I like you

heap up before myself

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Pompallier House, Russell: from the Lives of the Saints series

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and I was thinking of Tàpies but these are my grandmother’s stockings and knitted spats with leather underbindings and they are lying on the floor not depending from the wall. Whose braces?

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