Saturday, February 28, 2009

At times even monsters must have their fun

Starcherone Books Presents: Naked Kitchen Yoga
Friday, March 6, 2009 @ 7:00 PM
Rust Belt Books

STARCHERONE BOOKS is celebrating NATIONAL SMALL PRESS MONTH with NAKED KITCHEN YOGA on FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2009, 7 pm, at RUST BELT BOOKS, 202 Allen St., Buffalo, NY. So far, these 17 writers and small press fans have tentatively agreed to partake: Mike Basinski, Robin Brox, Lisa Forrest, Kristi Gansworth, Gregory Gerke, Mark Gunther, Paul Hogan, Aaron Lowinger, Douglas Manson, Liz Mariani, Steve McCaffery, Ted Pelton, Chuck Richardson, Gary Earl Ross, Forrest Roth, Mike Sikkema, Ed Taylor.

You too are invited to be a part of this fundraising event. Participants are invited to share with us a 5 minute or less work written by themselves or others that has been published by a small press book, magazine, journal, chapbook, or other construction strongly or loosely affiliated with small presses. One lucky attendee will also win a complete set of the 18 (maybe 19) Starcherone Books published to date!

Starcherone Books is itself a nonprofit small press publisher of innovative fiction and hybrid prose stuff. This event will not only be a fun occasion to see old and new friends and together celebrate non-mainstream contemporary literature and its offshoots, it will also (hopefully) help us pay some bills. We are asking a $5 donation, which will entitle the contributor to ONE FREE DRINK (beer, wine, or nonalcoholic). Further refreshments will be available all evening.

Venue Information
Rust Belt Books
202 Allen St.


A hodge-podge of this week’s thoughts and communiqués:

It is conscious relations

A friend writes: “I don't know how you can watch that stuff—MSNBC, CNN, etc etc. Since we've been without cable, I watch less and less TV, to the point that if I turn it on, as I did last night to eat my dinner, I last minutes at most…as to hope, I don't really see it…I see much more of the opposite, despair, hopelessness, being a form of emptiness…If I'm to live, I should do something and, I think, I'll choose to be a counterweight to that.”

Ah, to choose. A romantic notion. But I think the choice is given if you're here. In other words, if you haven't killed yourself you're choosing to be here. And since you're choosing to be here, what the fuck are you doing about it? For a thinking person, things get messy quick. And when things get messy it's hard to be smart. I think the most ethical and courageous thing a writer of any stripe can do today is admit s/he doesn't know anything outside his or her mind [this would not be ethical behavior for people who have different functions like actors, politicians, business people]. We only have clues…

I feel the whirling dervish in the tight mess of my perceptions. All living things are emergencies striving for delightfully complex, becalmed horrors that increasingly terrorize themselves over time, thanks to the way the dervish fevers a virus in one's memory banks, forcing dubious re-categorizations and classifications, etc., due to the modification of habituated's all fucking babble, and if we're loving it we're monstrous...maybe.

At times even monsters must have their fun. Life seems, among other things, a perpetual pursuit of and large people feel Life is something to get through properly so they can have a good afterlife. Life seams an undesirable temporary stitch to these self-perceiving, perhaps self-deluded, possibly infinite beings who believe that they, in and of themselves, are at the very least in conscious relations with God almighty.

Or, if one's an atheist, replace God almighty with "human mind" or some form of secular humanism.

I prefer It when referring to It. One doesn't have conscious relations with It. It is conscious relations, however, among other things, some of which are beyond our imagination…

The problem with APES

I hear what you're saying re: the economy. The way things are going finding a teaching job might be tough. Although English departments may fare better due to their budgets being much lower than the nuclear rocket departments. Literature is cheap, relatively speaking [a thousand dollar bailout could save the world!].

My theory is this: Obama knows damned well that the whole thing is fucked. He also knows damned well he can't say it and retain power until it's obvious to everyone. He also knows he has to be able to position himself outside the blame once everyone knows how thoroughly fucked the American Political-Economic System [APES] is [and he has to do this while appearing to work very hard to save it and being thwarted and frustrated by his eco-political-economic enemies who run the mainstream media (eg: GE, et al) ]. He's doing this by giving the political economic elite a lot of rope by which they're hanging themselves. He's keeping the military commissions act intact for the day when the new reality strikes home to a critical mass of the population and he has to put his enemies in a box. Extraordinary times calling for extraordinary measures. If he's successful beyond this wildest of wild dreams, by 2016 there will be no more Republican Party, Wall Street will be history, the Federal Reserve will be history, the big three automakers will be history, the m.i.c. will be broken beyond repair, the empire will be completely humpty dumptied, and his successor will be tasked with the gradual, peaceful dissolution of the federal level of government and begin the formation of something modeled on the EU. Large political-economomic entities will disappear because there's no longer a place for them, no longer enough stuff to sustain them, and the UN will be re-invigorated in an attempt to fill the power vacuum. Paradoxically, as the nation-state folds local eco-political-economies will form and a global framework of interaction among these communities will emerge. Nation states exist in the muddied unworkable phantasy between local and global. Nations are undesirable, parasitic middle men filling the dangerous voids of inaesthetic scales. Somehow, full scale nuclear war will be avoided, but I think a smaller scale exchange will occur resulting in people waking up all the more to the bullshit that is technology/growth. Anything that links progress to increased production/consumption will fail.

And, of course, that was all a bunch of bullshit. I don’t know anything. I only have clues which are dealt with by my imagination imagining what it sees…

The most profound problem the APES has, is that it seems to reward bad thought/behavior and punish adequate thought/decent behavior.

Nothing to do but dharma bum.

Going Rambo

I think when I finish Germ, which I hope is soon, I'm going to go on a radical physical regimen to totally reclaim my body. And if I can try to stop needing all my meds and drop health insurance for the extra money so I have it for absolutely necessary stuff like my animals’ health care, I will. I love them. I'd be lost without them.

It's beginning to be now or never. Can I will myself into adaptation or perish? We'll know the answer to that by 2012. I'll be a free man or a dead one.

It doesn't actually matter...what seems to matter most is a life worth the expense of living, which means a mind that's alive and bearing its own fruit. And that requires an indeterminate yet substantial amount of energy and matter…

Stupid consequences

When I repeatedly watched those towers come down something inside shifted. I could no longer hang out with my old friends and drink beer and watch football or go to a bar and jam with them or anything. The stuff that came out of their mouths about things seemed unbearably stupid. That stupidity was/is having actual consequences. They became little Eichmanns in my eyes. How awful, to discover the people you love are little Eichmanns.

So rather than kill them, I withdrew. I killed them mentally. The writing had a mission and within a month I was off my meds and back to work at the newspaper trying to kill Stupidity.

And I haven't been able to tolerate wrong thinking ever since.

There are all kinds of right ways of thinking and even more gray areas. But there are also wrong ways of thinking, ways of thinking that denigrate one's experience of living and pollute the experiences of others.

People who think wrongly can never be all they can be. They grow frustrated because of it and drown their sorrows in commodified fetishes, saying stupid things, and growing fat.

I see myself in the mirror and call him “you.” I’m fucked up. Call it a consequence of being stupid. You raised me that way.

When confronted with mud, wrestle in it

Back in my Navy daze I was privileged to attend a couple private affairs beyond the military...the most memorable being a pig roast in Monck's Corner, S.C. Rodney D---- and Timmy P----, shipmates and buddies of mine, the two who jammed bluegrass together at 200 feet, were hired to play and I went along. It was in this guy's back yard in the middle of nowhere at the edge of a swamp in October. The weather was perfect. I swear to god every person who came to this thing came with an instrument in hand, including homemade ones. I was [and still am] a fat stupid yankee, but I could sing and I loved the music and learned words quickly and the more stoned I got the better I got at making them up. I was fed lots of ribs and once I couldn't get up to get my re-fills this old farmer would laugh and hand me another one. I remember when it came time to piss and puke I was assisted to the bushes. I haven't remembered that in a long time, but that's why deep down I could never hate the South. The vast majority of rednecks [for my positive meaning of this term, see Joe Bageant’s Dear Hunting With Jesus] were no different from you or me at rest. It's when riled, like a beehive, that they'll sting ya. And yes, sometimes they—we—have to be riled in order to act. But there is an ideal way of instigating action, and bluegrass and partying together is, in my view, the very first step in many positive behaviors. I've digressed. Obviously. Just thrilled about the choice of music [at the wedding]. Ole!

Now the only thing that worries me about this whole wedding is what I'll be wearing. I'm a real baby about wearing anything uncomfortable. I'll look nice if I must but will not wear a stiff buttoned collar with my Adam's apple garroted by some obscene necktie, symbolic of something far more heinous than a noose. In my dreams I would wear a light, loose fitting ensemble like Jesus. Perfect for "toasting," as the pope might say.

I know how you feel about -------, that it seems done. But trust me. It's not done with you. You're tired. You're begging it to stop squirming so you can tie off the knot...deep down we all want to be useful and productive, that's why the suggestion we're otherwise rankles us so [by "us" I mean artists in general]. But no, the fact is we strangle our productions, not to death but "out of consciousness" [our consciousness]. Once the work is limp in our hands we pass it on to its audience, which may or may not revive it. Of course, once others revive it you may wish to re-intervene and alter the evolved alterations emergent from its having passed through the other side. And every book is different, but if allowed to adequately develop, most seem to follow this basic or general framework. After putting together maybe a dozen or so booklength manuscripts over the years, this is what I've observed was common to them all...the way they ultimately achieve their final thought-feeling. And this seems to echo everything I've heard from other weirdo bookmakers.

I always say when confronted with mud, wrestle in it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A tweaking of what ails…from LSD to SSE

Since I’ve been sick with the flu and unable to think coherently for the last few days, and having obligated myself [to myself, none other] regarding this discipline of updating this blog every week, I’m taking a middle route this time around, simply sharing some of the more notable items I’ve discovered while browsing these so-called internets these last couple weeks.

Hope they tweak you like they tweak me…


Skinny Dipping in Reality: A coot’s account of the great hippie LSD enlightenment search party, by Joe Bageant

No words can describe an LSD trip, but let me say that at the end of this one, I sat down and cried. For happiness. My deepest hope and suspicion, the one to which I dared not cling, had been confirmed. Life could indeed be significant, piercing and meaningful…Five years later I was still taking it at least once a week, and to this day I consider LSD the promethean spark of whatever awakening I have managed to accomplish in the life…Nevertheless, once you've seen the face of eternity, you are left with the question of what to do about it. How to respond. "How will I live my life, in light of what I have seen?" I'm still wrestling with that question -- but then that's what I had wanted, wasn't it? That Great Question which would lead to the Great Answer? LSD doesn't give answers, just questions. But used with directed and sincere effort -- to the degree that is even possible -- it can make you ask the Great Questions, the only important ones. Such as "What are you going to do to eliminate human suffering? What are you going to do, Joe Bageant, now that you have seen the faces in the Great Wheel that turns both ways simultaneously? What will be your direct action?" If you really give a shit about the world, LSD will "serious your ass up real fast," as we used to say…But the good news, as I see it, is that we are inherently capable of becoming stronger and more deeply resonant with the world in a way that swamps personal misery into insignificance. Denial ceases to be the first reaction to uncomfortable truths. There are billion dollar industries in this country based upon denial and our refusal to acknowledge mortal entropy. Even death is supposed to be more or less negotiable through fitness, medical science -- and we are lied to that we are as young as well feel and act. There is no inherent virtue in being either young or old. We are young when we are young and old when we are old, and any attending virtue comes with whether or not we actualize truth…Enter Buddhism.

2009 Will Be A Year of Panic by Bruce Sterling

Standards of scientific proof and evidence no longer compel political and social allegiance. This is not a return to the bedrock of faith — it's an algorithm for ontological anarchy. By attacking empiricism, the world is discarding all of the good reasons to believe that anything is real.

When Technology Fails: How to Survive the Long Emergency by Brian Godspeed

From the time when I was a kid in the 1960s and the Earth's population was 3 billion, it took only 40 more years for the planet to double again to reach a population of roughly 6 billion in the year 2000. It has been scientifically estimated that the global footprint of mankind exceeded the Earth's biocapacity in the mid-1980s, and that since that time we have been operating in an "overshoot" mode, meaning that we are consuming the planet's resources faster than they are regenerating.

American Gorbachev, by The Editors, N + 1 Magazine

Don't you see? Gorbachev tried to end the war—and did, only things got out of hand—and we want a President with the courage to abandon the false ideological struggle between capitalism and everything else. Let the members of our old bloc go their own way—let them be Bolivarians if they want. We won't intervene. We also believe in glasnost: at home, we need a new intellectual openness to wriggle free of the intolerant "old thinking." Abroad, we need to stop staring into people's eyes to see their souls, and start reminding them of American sanity and civility. And we want electoral reform while we're at it—proportional representation, instant run-off voting, public financing of campaigns, all that stuff—because the way the nomenklatura currently acquire their posts has them flattering ideologues and servicing lobbyists. And we want perestroika, because without some economic restructuring we're sunk. You can't hold down wages while increasing consumer spending forever. You can't run an economy on petroleum, debt, and accounting tricks!

We want our new President to be an American Gorbachev—to preserve the country by changing it—if only it's not too late for him to avoid Gorbachev's fate.

Beyond A Theory of Everything, by Sir Martin Rees

In terms of scale, the most complex entities we know of — ourselves  — are midway between atoms and stars. It would take about as many human bodies to make up a star as there are atoms in each of us. Living things are very large compared to atoms: They must be big enough to have layer upon layer of intricate structure. But they cannot be too large, otherwise they would be crushed by gravity.

We Who Are Left Behind: Poetry as Testimony in Derrida and Celan, by Matthew Landis

The singular position of the survivor: he who is left behind to carry the other as a wholly departed and singular other, a wholly departed and singular world. The survivor not only dwells within the breach, but carries the weight of the breach, “the tear/ compacted of silence.” In that moment, this tear, this glottal stop (the cleaving, in both senses, of the glottal folds) the survivor carries on with the other, with the other’s world, a conducting path gives testimony in its absence and writing “breaks into song”, the specter of a singular, departed voice etched onto the tableau through the pen, its medium.

Mishmash and Rehash , by Mark Amerika

Given the instability of the entire global economy, one cannot help but wonder where we will find our Moshe the Mashup Artist to part the (deep in the) red seas so that we can get back into the black. The self-proclaimed anarchist Bob Black (as his name just so happens to be) has always been a proponent of "ludic activism" where "the theory of comedic revolution is much more than a blueprint for crass struggle: like a red light in a window, it illuminates humanity's inevitable destiny, the declasse society."

Satellite Crash Poses New Political Risk, Reuters

Klinkrad said the fact one collision had occurred increased the likelihood of more collisions, particularly as even more space debris had been created…In the very long term, that raises the risk of something called Kessler's Syndrome, he said, in which one collision and the ensuing space debris cause another crash and more debris, expanding almost exponentially.

A few brief, perhaps ludicrous questions: What if this so-called Kessler’s Syndrome occurred, knocking down all the satellites? Would it mean war? And if so, how would it be waged? On horseback? Without technology, what would happen?

A Hormone to Remember, by Joe Kloc

Given only a small dose of oxytocin, individuals in a recent study found that their memory significantly improved. Not for historical dates, strings of digits, or bars of music, but for something much more significant: each other.

"We consider faces the most basic class of social stimulus," says Ulrike Rimmele, who led the study at the University of Zurich. Oxytocin's ability to exclusively enhance the recollection of faces points to an important distinction between different types of memory. Social memory — which we use to remember people — is distinct from other types of memory required to store dates, numbers, and objects.

The Credit Crunch According to Soros, by Chrystia Freeland

This is as close to mainstream intellectual acceptance as Soros has come in his two decades of writing and more than five decades since he gave up on academia. It feels like a breakthrough. When I asked him if he would still describe himself as a failed philosopher, he said no: “I think that I am actually succeeding as a philosopher.” For him, that is “obviously” the most important human accomplishment.

“I think it has to do with the human condition,” he said. “The fact that we are mortal and we would like to be immortal. The closest thing you can come to that is by creating something that lives beyond you. Wealth could be one of those things, but evidence shows that it doesn’t survive too many generations. However, if you can have an artistic or philosophical or scientific creation that withstands the test of time, then you have come as close to it as possible.”

If a delusional tree falls in the imaginary woods, but no sane person is really there to bear witness to it, does its delusion matter beyond what it imagined before it fell? If one displays hubris in a world that makes pride a virtue, and no humble person is present to perceive any difference, does hubris have any actual effect? In other words, does it actually make any difference who or what Soros thinks he is? As my dad used to say, “we’ll see.” Will it be tragedy or history? He’s already old and rich, no Lear [as yet, does he have daughters?], and the future lurking on the horizon might make history a moot point. But we’ll see…

East Europe is about to blow, by Mike Whitney

The "liquidationists" would like to see governments cut off the flow of funds to ailing financial institutions and let them fail by themselves. It's Darwinian madness, like waiting out a heart attack on the kitchen floor instead of rushing to the hospital for emergency care. The global economy is decelerating at the fastest pace on record. 40 percent of global wealth has been wiped out. The banking system is insolvent, unemployment is soaring, tax revenues are falling, the markets are in shock, housing is crashing, deficits are soaring, and consumer confidence is at its lowest point in history. This is no time to cling to half-baked ideology. The global economy is undergoing a massive system-wide contraction which could spin out of control and plunge us into another world war. Political leaders need to grasp the urgency of the moment and keep the vehicle from careening into the ditch.

Why everyone is an artist: Denis Dutton says evolutionary psychology explains the ubiquity of art across cultures and eons, A review by Carlin Romano

'What an artist dies with me!" whined the nasty Roman emperor Nero as he prepared to commit suicide. Posterity has generally mocked the thought, judging the occasional singer-actor more of an artless thug.

Advice to Obama, by Brian Czech

We would advise President-Elect Obama to become the first president to tell it like it is about the relationship between economic growth and environmental protection. Taking office in the midst of climate change, Peak Oil, and financial meltdown, he can easily override the decades of that destructive rhetoric, “There is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment!” He can resonate with the public’s dormant common sense that, in fact, there happens to be a fundamental conflict between economic growth and: 1) environmental protection, 2) economic sustainability, 3) national security, and, 4) international stability

Steady State Economics Basics, Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

Economic growth is simply an increase in the production and consumption of goods and services. Economic growth has provided many benefits over time, but now it is causing more problems - dire problems - than it solves. Slowly but surely, economic growth has become a primary threat to the environment, national security, international stability, and future generations. Yet it remains the highest priority in the domestic policy arena of the United States and most other nations. Citizens, especially students, are continually told that there is no limit to growth, in defiance of ecological principles and basic physics. To refute the misleading rhetoric that there is no conflict between economic growth and environmental protection - as well as economic sustainability - CASSE provides information on the downsides of growth with an emphasis on ecological concepts.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Inventing new ways of being, or not…

“Why don’t you do something more useful and productive?”

He’d worked on Skylab back in the day, was old enough to be my father, was related, and felt he had a right to condescend, regardless of the fact he was in my home, eating my food, drinking my coffee, etc. He’s a professor of mathematics and was criticizing my compulsion for writing. To do him justice would require a novel, which may happen, but for now let’s just say…

Back in the mid-1960s when he was pursuing his doctorate at Harvard, he was visiting our house for a cookout. It was late summer, early autumn, I’m not sure. There was a chill in the air, I do remember that. Everyone was in sweaters and sweatshirts. As we chatted, my relative, our hero, picked up a jart and wandered over to the side of our above ground aluminum sided swimming pool that was only three feet deep. No one paid much attention as our hero began anointing the pool with the jart, flicking its tip toward the water surface the way the pope might his wand toward some mass of people he’s blessing. It was my father, hip to my relative’s oddities, who looked up to see where he was and spotted him by the pool. Before my father could shout his name, our hero flicked the jart into the pool at a precise trajectory, breaking the surface of the water and responding to the sudden drag according to his calculations [which he proudly announced to our shock and awe a few moments later], trajecting downward and through the lining at the bottom of the pool. Good God. The water was 62 degrees. I know that because Dad repeated it repeatedly for years. We have pictures of the picnic and my dad in his plaid swim trunks going into the pool to administer an emergency patch so the pool wouldn’t flood out onto the picnic, while our hero looked sheepishly on wearing a windbreaker and black turtleneck, feebly attempting to explain the value of what he’d just accomplished to my furious Pop and mystified relatives.

There are other stories, but this jackass professor relative of mine has been something of a laughingstock in the family my whole life, since he’s old enough, as I said, to be my father. And I would also like to say he is fictional. I have no such relative. But if I did this would be true. He would also have Asperger Syndrome, be beautiful, making us a bunch of cruel-farted arses.

I imagine people like him or her wanting to know why people like me don’t do something more useful and productive. Meanwhile I imagine how much less damage they might have done had they been less useful and productive to the system they still automatically cling to, having successfully re-populated their rungs via breeding.

But the fact is, or seems to be, despite my digressions to the contrary, it doesn’t really matter, or didn’t really matter, no, still doesn’t, regardless of what’s actually going on around them. Their lives seam, untouched as yet by anything outside their minds. Their anxiety is interior, located in the threats they’re perceiving to their perceptions of comfortable, convenient ways of living that justify their non-negotiable thoughts their bedrock feelings justify, or at least still try to validate with varying degrees of success, tragedy and/or whatnot.

I don’t know. As I said, I’m just imagining these people, trying to find a way to love them if a failure at trying to come to some under-standing or over-standing or with-standing with or of them refuses to take shape in terms I know, or perhaps, in forms I don’t, yet still in shapes I can deal or play with, using or manipulating, maybe even profiting from…I don’t know and have serious doubts about my general ignorance. I’m simply trying to relate myself to the things I’m imagining. All I know in this regard is what I think I feel about what seems to be missing. Context is actually trans-text to a lesser degree. Context is whatever’s missing from the trans-text in the present tense, which is to say my tense…my angle and aspect. I am the eye of the storm, being everything It seems not. So what I don’t know now seems related to what I know elsewhere then. Or not, perhaps.

Thus mystified, I perused this interesting piece—On Bolano–in the latest issue of N + 1 magazine that asks why we should read Bolano at all “if these empty Chinese boxes constitute the only goods…?” By “empty Chinese boxes” the author is, in my opinion, referring to the authors/poets absented from Bolano’s texts whose characters go on mythical quests for…the writer’s physicality seams the missing elemental essence of their lives…which they’re perceiving, for better and worse, as their minds, distinct from the matter and energy comprising their cognition or awareness.

And again, I hear that question, the one the writer of that article has presumably asked herself outside the article in thought-feelings relative to it: “Why don’t you do something more useful and productive than read and comment on Roberto Bolano?” What use is it reading him? What do I gain from his skewerings of the jart trajectors, the abundantly literate do-nothings, eviscerating them, exposing their profound emptiness, shattering the delusional productions of their lives?

The writer/reader senses her reading/writing, seaming somehow that proverbial thing Itself. I read, lying [writing] somewhere in the seam between a world in which literature is everything, and another world in which it doesn’t have any meaning at all. She writes that in Bolano’s literary world, the characters “can’t conceive any redemption…except through the production of masterpieces. Masterpieces, however, are always unlikely, and redemption impossible” [in the literary and non-literary worlds alike]. So says the author of this interesting N + 1 ditty, in my opinion.

Thinking about these things, my mind wandered to Marquez, and I pulled 100 Years of Solitude down from the bookshelf. Upon the inside flap, I had written:

“Memory is how one imagines their histories…space-time is a byproduct of human cognition…Solitude is to Life what Death is to at-one-ment. Life is individuation, a movement out of Eden, away from magical wilder-ness toward disenchanted civilization. In this moment and each moment after that the increasing equilibrium of entropy overtakes the disequilibrium of chaos that maintains a being’s autonomy. The feedback loops [sacred hoops] break down. Solitude is the sensual, organic aspect of this search for a return to one’s imagined or hoped-for at-one-ment with ex-is-tence…the re-membering of hoops and re-establishment of feedback-ignited sacred loops. The recycling of names corresponds to the recycling of characters as part of the life cycle. The being is not the individual, but the family, the race’s bloodline, and by extension the species’ genome…the trajectory of seminal traces…all jizz-like sparks coming to an apocalyptic and natural end, apocalyptic in the sense these sparks are cognitive.”

It seems I was quite enthusiastic about Marquez [and still am].

So let’s try a re-cap: Some folks expect literature to be useful and productive in ways it can’t be, and the ways it can be useful aren’t very productive or useful [to them] and vice versa…at least from where these folks seem to be sitting. Therefore literature exists on the seam between literary and non-literary worlds in which it is simultaneously meaningful and meaningless, being between existence and non-existence. Literature is apocalyptic in the sense of the cognitive sparks it gives off, its brief revelations of something beyond the friction, beyond that which we’re rubbing up against.

Now how the hell does that invent a new way of being?

By emptying the struggle to escape our dark confines of its promethean-messianic aspect, exposing the taboo—the blasphemy—of such behavior via silence…a void echoing the heresies of our heroes.

The whole of literature seams a vestige of what can’t be spoken of…“a game that at a certain point,” writes Italo Calvino in The Uses of Literature, “is invested with an unexpected meaning, a meaning that is not patent on the linguistic plane on which we were working but has slipped in from another level, activating something that on that second level is of great concern to the author or his society.”

Calvino said the way we learn to accept our not so noble motives and learn to live through the ensuing crises is a way we can start inventing “new ways of being.” Bolano’s staring into the abyss of human knowledge seems a sublime negative capability in that it can handle the emptiness without taking unwise or wasteful action against it. In fact, he bathes in it. And rather than inviting the reader to join him, he’s actually joining the reader, taking a bath in the tub of literature. By staining various exteriors, shape is given to what seems to be lingering inside and outside [figure/ground] this imagined baby. Literature in Bolano’s hands seams a way of taking a cosmic bath. He seems to be turning the old Army saying “Do something, even if it’s wrong!” when you’re in combat into “Do no-thing, even if it’s wrong” as a means of ending that conflict. The friction we now make seems better.

A literature or fiction that does less, does more, perhaps.

So next time I’m asked why I don’t do anything more useful and productive, I might say because doing no-thing seams better…and that seam might seem to reveal a new way of being this.

Now why don’t you go calculate that apocalypse in your laboratory for awhile?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Woe of Endless Desire: A Message to President Barack Obama

“But I preferred to abide by my simple feeling and its voice that said, Molloy, your region is vast, you have never left it and you never shall.”

Samuel Beckett, Molloy

The greatest dangers we human beings now face seem to lie in our desire for accurate classifications. We think we need to know what we refer to as facts because we sense ourselves coping with the assumed necessities of moving mountains, juggling conflicting co-incidents, trying to harmonize with the inexorability of recurring evolutions on all scales—all in the effort to make sense of everything so we can control our fate and choose our destiny, knowing all the while that all we can ever do is dream up inadequate ideologies, selfish solutions and vainglorious hopes of practically extending ourselves for as long as humanly possible.

That’s dominion. God damns It. It damns God. God dams It. It dams god. god das it. it das god.

Gradually disappearing, It gives then takes away. Appearing again, it is.

Before the beginning there is something. It is moving relative to no-thing, presumably. So the beginning isn’t really a beginning. There is no-thing already there, an emptied imagination imagining Its emptiness as other. As in the others Cain is forced to wander among. No-thing is all ways some thing. Nothing.

Then when this nothing-something’s membrane rubs up against the membrane of something-nothing else before the non-existent beginning, that friction seaming free of its initial cause tries to exactly analogize this incidental emergency of co-incidences it’s referring to as a bolt of lightning, or clap of thunder, or some such observed phenomena in nature that’s seeming to resonate with our categorizing perceptions. But it’s all in our mind.

God is born. Nature lives. God is killed. Nature dies. God is born. Nature lives. God is killed; etc.

That seems It outside the mind, the other we seam, strangely attracted, to.

Terrorized by this molestive, apparently metaphysical cyclical force, chemical entities change into biological entities that grow evermore complex entities that evolve sentient biological entities [among other things], some of which become egos—who perceive themselves terrified vagabonds and slaves as well as rightful masters of the universe—who seek refuge from death and suffering and failure by bonding together, growing stronger in numbers and exacting concessions from those they perceive as others coincidental to the initial conditions before their beginning so they can imagine themselves playing in ever-expanding fields.

We are the champions of the world. That’s zionism.

That virus becomes this germ, this germ becomes that cell, that cell becomes this organ, this organ becomes that body, from that body this mind emerges, from this mind emerges that terror which leads to our huddling together by the fire in the cave, which gets too crowded and so we spill out to conquer our terror, cities form from our desires, which bound from messiah seeking socializations to feudal arrangements to anarchic democracies seemingly all at once or at least as part of the same thing, coincidentally recurring in the imagined elsewheres we’re perceiving ourselves rubbing up against, others rubbing up against others which leads to war and chaos and interdestruction and new messiah clans and neo-feudal tribes and emergent democratic anarchies…all emerging from the desire to protect our precious bodily fluids.

It seems that inside the mind, that being this seaming eye It perceives my odd emergency from.

And then there is that clap of thunder again…that re-minder. God is killed and Nature dies. Nations disappear and, terrified, vagabonds and slaves, debtors and lenders all seek refuge from death and suffering and defeat by bonding together.

God is born. Nature lives. God is killed. Nature dies. God is born. Nature lives. God is killed; etc.


That seams life to death. Then death seams that to life.

What is That? Yes and No, perhaps. Then probably not.

Yet I desire to perceive my feelings simply. Whatever I survey has Its limits and all I can do is surround and inform them. They can’t be saved, but who or what can?

It’s in the stable covered in crusty, flaking shit. You can hear It sigh when you piss on it, and feel yourself in love for the first and perhaps last time considering the poison you’re playing with, that onanistic desire for dereliction rising up from the steaming puddle at your feet, annihilating everything but your imagined legacy, that shit we cultivate and trade among ourselves when you’re gone, obeying the necessities of your nausea, of your distressed bowels squirting your feces all over the map that the lovers of politics lick up like I scream, fire in our noisy faces burning It in a bottomless hell where Obama may or may not forgive those who were just following orders, preferring to audaciously chase his dreams instead…forgetting to re-instate habeas corpus.

Perhaps, then maybe not. Probably. Or no. Then yes. Sleepwalking all the way until our precious bodily fluids become something else, and or etc.,

I guess. You guess. We all guess for this time…