Saturday, January 12, 2013

mixed up

good writers solid writers always surrounded by many talented writers where will we occur where will we find equally talented readers don’t tell me they’re hiding us inside the machine I could make it a private setting an environment of no appreciable talent solid writers sleeping thru the best and worst electrical storm events

people crowd themselves into rooms, crowd themselves into cities, hide their possessions, are actually ashamed of their own favorite possessions.  they intuit that sooner or later they will be buried alive.  their possessions will come tumbling down onto them in a terrible avalanche.  the old masters, if there are any, will be unable to save them.

I didn’t know what was meant by the words “high quality fiction”, but I didn’t know what was meant by the words “high quality non-fiction” either.  I acquire books and try to understand them but I never end up understanding them.  they just sit there, on the shelf, a testimony to my non-understanding.  they accuse me of stupidity, density, mediocrity, vanity.

there was next to no communication- telephonic, electronic, embodied, or otherwise.  I searched back thru my memory in an attempt to understand how this happened.  I never learned to read carefully, I never learned how to speak or think carefully.  when this started to become obvious- probably a lot sooner than I myself realized- well, by then it was too late.  I didn’t know how to turn back the clock.  my existence was in shambles. I was caught in a terrible avalanche.  the avalanche just underscores how desperate I had become.  there was no reference point anymore.  there was nothing to remember or point to.  a terrifying look on an individual face.  a terrifying absence of thoughts in an individual head.  a terrifying lack of emotions in an individual system.

the writers you have selected are all, every last one of them, requesting that you at least attempt to engage with the world.  the more you try to wall yourself away…the more desperate the situation becomes.  your life is finally crumbling in a very obvious way.  almost impossible now to pretend that it isn’t.

the books that make no difference.  the books that make absolutely no difference.  the books that you would take with you if you were assigned to the madhouse, if it was openly understood and acknowledged that your existence would have no more bearing on society, other than the expense of taking care of you- feeding, housing, clothing, and medicating you.  what books would be relevant then?  if you were absolutely alone?  not just alone in theory but truly and completely alone?  the holiday calendar becomes a terrible thing.  the open spaces, the wastelands, they too become terrible things.  the desperation of reading and books, the thousands, millions of things you don’t care about, the things which make no difference to anyone, the intelligence, so-called, that just ends up ruining everything.  the unnatural relationship you have developed with money and time.  words on a page, words spoken over a telephone, words spoken face to face, in conversation, words on a screen, with or without accompanying images.  words applying to things that happened and words applying to things that were merely imagined.  carrying words around in a backpack, carrying words around in a pocket, sending words out over the internet and hoping to receive them back over the internet.  essentially staking your life on words trafficked back and forth over the internet!  educated, uneducated, privileged, poverty-stricken, every opportunity imaginable…eventually wasted, totally wasted.  no text will help you, you are past the point of texts being able to help you…

sense of loss…sense of distance...sense that this will never happen again…

he was a good friend…he was dominated…he ventured out into nature…we caught him having conversations…he was a good friend…he was dominated…how many more texts will be required?  how many more human subjects will you refuse to appropriate?  some of these things are set out very plainly, simply, straightforwardly- may or may not need the handbook…may or may not need the medicine…talked so much about difference, disavowal, “lack of community”…this is what we are supposed to defer to…this is how we come to be dominated…if the text could be magically turned into a cookie or biscuit…and knowing you, you would carry that cookie or biscuit around in your backpack…until the day, the hour, the minute that you decided it was time for another cute little snack…trade in all your conditioning for another type or degree of conditioning…no shortage of mentors, no shortage of texts and their own constellation of ideological practices…when there is no reference point to begin with…thrashing wildly, desperately in the face of this or that promised stability, clarity, kindness, empowerment, no price is too high to pay for this, one professional is probably just as good as another…one system, if you analyze it closely, is probably just as good as another…he was a good friend…we came across his body when the flood waters receded…the pages were torn out, misappropriated, a total mis-allocation of funds…he deserved to be punished…he probably deserved to be punished…he held out hope for the others…he was in perpetual contact with others…the first thing he did upon waking was to initiate some kind of personal contact…he couldn’t tell them to go away…they were never even there in the first place…we needed texts to remind us…we needed the right texts to totally dominate our experience…to bend down in worshipful reverence…some people say he was a philosopher, others say a historian, and yet others maintain that he stood squarely outside both of these academic traditions…that he created his own academic tradition…that there would be no more academic traditions…only people doing everything in their power to dominate other people…systems of pedagogy which are eventually revealed as systems of absolute domination…nothing will slip past these censors…a way of managing time, a way of  tracking expenditures...this is how you will be judged…this is how you will be remembered…and if, as some journalists worry, capital punishment becomes gradually and secretly privatized…where will you come down on these issues?  these issues, these very issues, these issues and not other issues, this subset or cluster of issues, as set forth by the professionals- we want your response to these issues, these particular issues, the other issues aren’t relevant, doesn’t matter so much what the historians posit…psychology- is that a discipline?  philosophy- is that an actual discipline?  how many more conceptual models are required?  model after model after model after model, no shortage of models or site-specific vocabularies- yet they all seem to miss the critical issue!  the brilliance of the model, the inadequacy of its proper or relevant application…as opposed to: a simple model, a stupid model, which nonetheless allows us to see what is happening…the sophisticated model is so dazzling that it supersedes or distracts from that which it was designed to reveal…the model becomes the reality…the text at hand becomes more important than that which the text purports to investigate…this is what I mean by being dominated, begging to be constantly dominated, unable to live without domination, absolute servitude from the moment one wakes up to the moment one, in quotes, goes to sleep, because the domination continues uninterrupted even during excursions thru the royal, the unfettered, that most liberating of realms: the unconscious- even there you are following orders, hero-worship, guru-worship, every being, every creature, every breath, every fantasy is better, richer, and stronger than what you yourself have to offer, what you yourself have appropriated and rendered absolutely inconsequential…so that the world simply passes you by, you doing everything in your power to ensure that the world passes you by…hence the domination, hence the concepts, hence the invisibility of  domination and concepts, and the meaningless interplay that you create between domination of and by concepts vs. concepts of and around domination-  lines of poetry so-called, lines of liberation theology, discourse, the re-arrangement of thought, perception, response, intention, values, relationship entities so-called- why did you not live inside this relationship- why did you not live inside these relationships…maybe they weren’t real relationships…I don’t know, maybe they weren’t important relationships…maybe there was something terrifying and humiliating about facing up to the extent that you had asked to be dominated…you can’t invite too many  dominators into your home, it appears…there will always be room for another…and then another…and then another…until you finally learn how to properly dominate yourself, unassisted…maybe there will come a point when they will have finished their work…after all, don’t they have better things to do than dominate such a pushover-case as yours represents?  I don’t know, maybe they feed off that kind of thing…for every person, his perfect dominator, perfectly and individually tailored…set out those words for me to understand…set them out so I have an idea of how I should go about living…provide me with examples, please…provide me with endless examples…that way I’ll never have to decide anything for myself…in this world there is no end to the texts, to the lessons…you could spend your whole life reading…you could spend your whole chain of lives reading…you were birthed out of reading and eventually disintegrated into the same matrix of reading…there was never anything but reading and the wish to be dominated by reading…highly aware of your inability to understand what is actually happening…even in the deepest recesses of your being…maybe you don’t have a being…just a series of traces or imprints left from the dominators around you…they have shaped your life, do you see that?  they have built you or molded you into whatever arbitrary form they hap

I don’t know if there was intention.  there was almost certainly some form of intention. but it probably wasn’t what they imagined it was-  the intention, so-called, just served as a jumping off point,  jumping off or being born into the maelstrom of this so-called human condition- absolutely arbitrary forms, absolutely random, accidental, temporary, and contingent forms and combinations of forms-  what creates us in this mold?  what is required to break out of this mold, or is that a terrible thing to even suggest?  the poem repeats, over and over again:  “we were good, good and obedient…we didn’t look to right or left, we were good, good and obedient…we did everything we were told to do…we were good, good and obedient…we understood from the beginning that the experts and gurus were almost infallible…that our best chance would be to simply follow
1 non-existence nor existence then; there was neither   the    realm    of       space    nor the sky which is beyond.      What stirred?             Where?            In whose protection?             Was there water,   bottomlessly deep?  
2 There was neither death nor immortality then. There was no distinguishing sign of night nor of day. That one breathed, windless, by its own impulse. Other than that there was nothing beyond. 3 Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning; with no distinguishing sign, all this was water. The life force that was covered with emptiness, that one arose through the power of heat. 4 Desire came upon that one in the beginning ; that was the first seed of mind. Poets seeking in their heart with wisdom found the bond of existence in non-existence. 5 Their cord was extended across.          Was there below?          

           Was there above?         There were seed-placers;   
       there were powers.          There was impulse beneath;   there   was    giving-forth      above. 6         Who really knows?         Who will here proclaim it?    
       Whence was it produced?                             Whence is this creation?                            The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.                           Who then knows whence it has arisen? 7    Whence this creation has arisen – perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not – the one who looks down on it, in the highest heaven, only he knows – or perhaps he does not know (translated by wendy doniger) their example, to take their advice, to accept what they said as true, to accept their experiments as valid for our own lives as well…why is neitzche always howling about the need to create your own truth, to be so proud of your truth, to feel so superior to the herd because you were able to create your own pathetic little truth?  I didn’t want to be duped by mass society so I chose instead to be duped by artistic and intellectual elites…and it turned out to be just as demoralizing, if not more…just as estranging, if not more impossible for me to determine how or why these things kept on happening…apparently he ceased to concern himself with the real world and disappeared into the genre or realm of pure science fiction.  it was a good genre for him. given his interests and proclivities, which is as much a reference to his lack of interests and proclivities as anything else, the way he would go back on his promises, the way he never even made any promises, that’s how unreceptive, how unattuned, how insensitive…a very quiet decision is reached…to live alone inside a vast and anonymous world of science fiction…a world of what are referred to as “surfaces”…in the sense that I sometimes still venture outside because I still value intermittent contact with nature…science fiction provides me with optimism…surfaces, nature, and optimism…it all depends on how you read itit all depends on what you are looking for…every now and then I go to the library and check out a straightforward narrative, maybe a novel or memoir, in any case, a human being somewhere attempting to tell me, to describe for me, a certain straightforward narrative, a certain chain of events…the genres no longer hold water, they very obviously leak into each other…he spends his time with science fiction, spends the lion’s share of the working day tunneling deeper down into the realm of science fiction, doesn’t even want to share his interests, doesn’t even seem to have the same interests, science fiction, I keep on hearing that, aliens living out in the desert, a play of screens, play of surfaces, play of tele-audio-visual credit-based, fractal-based, catastrophic illusions, but the bookstores and wireless companies continue to promise us a little more time…the bookstores and wireless companies keep making the same mistakes over and over again…a gash appears in his side, in his foot, in his computer, his bookshelf…makes the so-called technology, the so-called dreams inside of the data-suit: 

job to talk job to go there job to be almost constantly listening but I don’t even know which or whose listening resonates well then go somewhere and learn first-hand what it means why can’t I stay here and learn well son you’ve tried that already did I not learn no you didn’t wanted you to learn but you didn’t well maybe the right opportunity never presented itself difficult to say heavy matters newborn fading in between on the margins job to talk job to linger job to translate difficult documents must have had special schooling to attempt something that esoteric no nothing special particularly nothing that any city life wouldn’t eventually teach you what’s a city doing here sir conglomeration of nothingness.

I don’t know I don’t know why they kept saying that semi-unbelievable semi-undesirable stuff to me, over and over, driving the old pipe organ back underwater, keep breathing it: oh karl, baby doll, don’t ever give up on your dreams!  one day, if you keep your filthy nose to the grindstone, you’ll be a master gardener/groundskeeper- there’s almost no question about it!  

they had strange ideas, my teachers- I may as well make it as clear as I can, right away, this very instant, don’t wanna be patient or civilized.  bell studies?  that’s a good one.  plant studies?  animal and mineral aptitudes?  they banished the use of capital letters except for “certain matters of emphasis.”  what’s wrong with good old fashioned italics?  I asked them- they informed me that I would “understand in due course.”  that’s a cop-out, I rebutted, and they had to admit I was right.  I don’t know why they kept revealing that semi-unbelievable yet highly desirable stuff.  I was a timid lad, for the most part, and my sex “ed” was very far from traditional.  I’ll get into that momentarily, by means of reliable and hopefully fairly straightforward narrative.  that’s what seems to make people happy.  I was a gardener/groundskeeper.  wanted to make people happy, wanted to make all the different individuals relaxed and in sync with their bodies!  can’t say that that was originally a part of the dream but o well- I was a nervous lad, and I generally preferred when things went “according to plan.”  like shooting pool or bowling- simple and relatively straightforward pastimes?  should I get into difficulties?  my advisor tells me that I probably shouldn’t, I respond “it’s inevitable”, round and round we go, he also informs me that I should go back to using capital letters in the traditional manner and being a fairly obedient lad, well, gosh, I probably will at some point.  I’ll present my papers to the board for review and certification, we’ll come to fresh understandings, dynamic, forward-thinking, etc, then align forces and quietly proceed out into the aforementioned open- I conceded this possibility way back in the very beginning, but I’m worried that I wasn’t a very captivating writer back then- hence, I’ll need to remind the public from time to time of certain pros/in/as/pers/forspects and underwater breathing techniques.  like the following five threads that I will gradually interweave into an important life lesson: (please like it!)  amy, nathalie, daria, gardening/groundskeeping, and suicide.  all of them difficult topics, all of them profoundly illuminating.  I was a simple lad then, but relatively observant.  

(a huge part of me resists carrying on with this narrative- there’s a huge part of me that is convinced that it just isn’t the right sort of narrative!  for a long time I tried coaxing my readers to disappear with me into the wilderness.  it was an admittedly strange and highly unproductive attempt- most readers were and are determined to keep the so-called “home fires” burning.)       

doug wanted to spend a little more time “out-of-doors”-  I’m really not sure how else people in the community would like me to phrase this. a little more time “close to nature.”  this might sound astonishing, but I wanted the exact same thing, yes I did, so we gradually struck up what might be termed a semi-traditional friendship.  doug and I were very different from each other.  we still are very different from each other.  chances are we will always be very different from each other.

doug is a hermit and I enjoy people’s company.

our lives were not old fashioned.  (indeed, they were completely old fashioned.)  we were in almost constant communication.  (the main content of all that communication is better left off to the side for the moment!)  I know this is supposed to be an intimate document; I know I’m supposed to be telling you all the most important and intimate things.  you picked this up and started reading for that express purpose.  we have drifted apart over the years.  maybe we were never very close to begin with.  my readers were fed up with some of my recent literary experiments.  they told me, in effect, precisely those things that I was least eager to hear.  I drove a cab late at night; it was the only way of making ends meet.  I was terrible at it.  I had and still have and most likely will have in the future a terrible and profoundly awkward “sense of direction.”  

doug was a different sort of person apparently and the advice was now more along the lines of “do something different as well.”  for example- was he observant?  was his home in the wilderness?  was he embedded in humanity?  was his occupation sufficient?  “heavy matters, heavy matters!” as the shepherd in the winter’s tale has it.  and as he goes on to say: “but look thee here, boy.  now bless thyself.  thou met’st with things dying, I with things newborn...”  most people understood this quickly and easily.  another word might be “intuitively.”  glancing out the bedroom window into the snow-filled back yard.  somebody once called it a “back field” but that’s going a little too far, I think!  to call it that, and then for me to bring it up again here, so many years after the fact-  for example- “he was a different sort of individual.”  why, there is an immediate conflict!  namely, he no longer even used the word: “individual.”  he detested that word, and convinced some of the people around him to detest it as well.  it was a solid decision indeed- “the culture was squarely behind him.”  (notice that I’m not necessarily saying which culture.)  they were weary of suggestion and asked once again for a more straightforward narrative.  for the first time in my life I felt that I might be able to accommodate them on this particular score!  the pool table, the bowling alley-  a simple, straightforward narrative- indeed, it had a nice ring to it.  “thou met’st with certain things dying, I with others newborn.”  bell studies?  tree studies?  literary/critical studies?  not exactly how it’s written down in the transcript, but close enough, close enough, close enough, close enough, close enough, close enough, close enough, close enough, close enough, close enough, close enough, close enoug, close enou, close eno, close en, close e, close, clos, clo, cl, c.