Friday, February 26, 2010

one notices the slivers of pale flesh in the ash. she is come undone. flakes scatter a breeze it will be impossible to close our eyes without the smell, of ash, of flesh. heat amplified against flame and a forgotten history, never recorded by victors or anyone else. we tie our ends with neon ribbon, pretend there is a common story that would make us feel better, that we could remember fondly, that we could displace into lines of feeling. Pale, gruesome, emotion. she led us to believe there was another way. instead, coming to this.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

from "Proportion Surviving"

by Renee Gladman

For years I had known that if there was a wall between where I was and where I needed to be, I did not want it there. Some people have personal goals that are demanding. Certain goals make it impossible to lounge around in bed.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

from "Translation"

by Renee Gladman

I love this town. It's still vibrant though I have not seen anyone in years. I am not in jail--they have just gone. I cannot remember where I was when I came back to find them gone--maybe at the river or drying my hair in the hot part of the forest. All I know is the sudden ghostliness of it. Imagine having loved something for so many years that you don't see it anymore. I mean, you feel it, but so synonymously with the flow of your blood or taking in air that the beauty seems to be about you. Life was that dynamic. We could not love ourselves more. Well, imagine coming home to a one-hundred-mile expanse of beauty that you always have thought of as yourself, and finding on that day that it exists without you. Furthermore, contemplate the disturbance of that compounded by the apparent exodus of those who, in your mind, were extensions of yourself.

Monday, February 22, 2010

"You may have noticed, however, that there is frequently an irritating, if not depressing, discrepancy between our ideas and good intentions and how we act when we are confronted with the nitty-gritty details of real life situations." --Pema Chodron

from Don't Let Me Be Lonely

by Claudia Rankine

Or I remember that the last two sentences I read in Fanny Howe's Tis of Thee before falling asleep the previous night were: "I learned to renounce a sense of independence by degrees and finally felt defeated by the times I lived in. Obedient to them."

Or, well, I tried to fit language into the shape of usefulness. The world moves through words as if the bodies the words reflect did not exist. The world, like a giant liver, receives everyone and everything, including these words: Is he dead? Is she dead? The words remain an inscription on the surface of my loneliness. This loneliness stems from a feeling of uselessness. The Coetzee's Costello says in her fictional lecture, "for instants at a time I know what it is like to be a corpse."

Friday, February 19, 2010

in one postcard, an image of a girl, layered, purple, half smiling. the landscape, distinct and European, old buildings, a cafe, sipping coffee facing the street watching each passerby stroll through life continuous and still. captured, the intent of sharing adventure, a scene of symbolic space: we are here, we have discovered architecture, we may decide to never return home. romantic notions of food, drink, visual collaboration of time split and standing.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

from Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart

by Mark Epstein

Most of us exist in a state similar to that of Freud's friends. Our minds are running on without us, keeping us at a distance from that which we love, or from love itself. We justifiably complain of feeling unreal because we are busy keeping ourselves at arm's length from the biggest reality of all--the transience of which we are a part. Rather than permitting a flow, we impose an interruption that interferes with satisfaction or fulfillment. As my rabbi discovered, successfully permitting an intimate connection requires the ability to embrace impermanence. The flower that blooms for only a single night is indeed a sight to behold. (72)

Monday, February 15, 2010

from Retallack's Experimental Feminine

Which is to say, experiment and tradition should, in an ideal world, form the dialogic energy that creates vital cultures. In fact nothing of interest happens without this synergy which is not to say that it’s business as usual. Our Western cultural image resembles a brain with a severed corpus callosum—each side functionally innocent of the other. Did an evil surgery occur while we were all asleep in one fairy tale or another? One side happily thinks everything is simple; the other side unhappily thinks everything is complex. In this chronic bifurcation, a potentially collaborative “we” is missing the fact that complex dynamics aren’t monsters lurking in forests, threatening the simple pleasures of blue skies. They are the forest. They are the blue skies. They are our entire natural-cultural environment. They may indeed consume us, but this is only a grim certainty if we don’t embrace them with respect and understanding. Since Mandelbrot presented us with computer models of the fractal geometry of nature, we have recognized the beauty in forms of chaos, which is inherently fractal. It was apparent before in turbulent romantic landscapes, but not yet identified as global dynamic principle. Perhaps our dysfunction, at this point has less to do with a paucity of intellectual and aesthetic evidence than the lingering wound of Occam's razor regularly sharpened by market logics. Chaos theorists may tell us that things are not as simple as we’d like them to be, but can we afford to believe that?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Berlinale to screen restored 'Metropolis' at Brandenburg Gate

released or in process can you put the pieces or maintain a puzzle assortment of wandering each color like Picasso in shapes across the image reflected against my memory having heard you sleep like red or orange in displaced lines curving and undecided can you reflect this intended or forgotten sometimes there are dots or stripes a geometry of body breast simultaneous association can you place or replace with each new thought (specifically) (constructed) for this or every purpose rearrange the letters the lines with a color one color for each notion though sometimes notions are confused having listened to misplaced memories ((re)constructed) a process of coping antipathy surviving a modern visual aesthetic with too many possible immediate layered inflection or innuendo how many ways can you see this me the clarification of disorder explosion of detail communication of the impossibly simple.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

yellow wall swirl the bird she says listen to nothing no song no idea in order to in the face of without regard a constant effort. a constant turning fear that most desired fragmented whole of sounding cacophonous as if without sound. silver shards remind me to sit alone against the wall, yellow, burning winter shimmer quick turns fear into grey, along the edges, a refrain. moving parts slow quell repeat a soft hum replaces chatter endless reason, the edge of nothing. the blind can only hear everything. close your eyes, listen every silence.

from Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart

by Mark Epstein

As a student of human neurosis, Freud was familiar with the mind's tendency to interfere with its own satisfaction. In his own way he understood something of what the Buddha explained to Angulimala. In his descriptions of the obsessional character, for example, he gave great credence to the power of the mind to interrupt the flow of gratifying experience. He called this a psychological defense and gave it the name isolating. Speaking primarily in sexual terms, Freud described how the thinking mind interferes with experience and removes the possibility of successful contact. Erotic experience depends on the ego's striving to become one with that which it desires, Freud recognized, but this is also a potent source of anxiety. We fear that which we most desire, the falling away of self that accompanies a powerful connection. In a moment of successful contact...there is a brief but exuberant unity, a touching or a connection in which we forget ourselves and are enriched. Our selves are reconfigured in this process. But Freud was witness to how people restrict this capacity by holding themselves back. It is as if we have a "taboo on touching," he said. (57-58)

Once Freud figured out that the purpose of so much of our thinking is to isolate us from the flow of gratifying experience, he began to see this dynamic in many of his friends and patients. Much of the liberating promise of early psychoanalysis stemmed from its attempts to cure this isolating tendency of the human mind. But scattered within Freud's writings we find references to his frustrations in actually effecting the kinds of changes he was reaching for. He thought deeply about the reasons for the self-imposed isolation of the thinking mind but had difficulty translating his insights into a method of change. While his insights were revelatory, he did not have the method of the Buddha within his grasp. (61)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

from Butler's Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence

Perhaps, then, it should come as no surprise that I propose to start, and to end, with the question of the human (as if there were any other way for us to start or end!). We start here not because there is a human condition that is universally shared--this is surely not yet the case. The question that preoccupies me in the light of recent global violence is, Who counts as human? Whose lives count as lives? And, finally, What makes for a grievable life? Despite our differences in location and history, my guess is that it is possible to appeal to a "we," for all of us have some notion of what it is to have lost somebody. Loss has made a tenuous "we" of us all. And if we have lost, then it follows that we have had, that we have desired and loved, that we have struggled to find the conditions for our desire. We have all lost in recent decades from AIDS, but there are other losses that afflict us, from illness and from global conflict; and there is the fact as well that women and minorities, including sexual minorities, are, as a community, subjected to violence, exposed to its possibility, if not its realization. This means that each of us is constituted politically in part by virtue of the social vulnerability of our bodies--as a site of desire and physical vulnerability, as a site of a publicity at once assertive and exposed. Loss and vulnerability seem to follow from our being socially constituted bodies, attached to others, at risk of losing those attachments, exposed to others, at risk of violence by virtue of that exposure. (20)

on process

copied from Kristine's Flickerfit post: New

From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, on process philosophy page:

The philosophy of mind is another strongpoint of process philosophizing. It feels distinctly uncomfortable to conceptualize people (persons) as things (substances) -- oneself above all -- because we resist flat-out identification with our bodies. However, there is no problem with experiential access to the processes and patterns of process that characterize us personally -- our doings and undergoings, either individually or patterned into talents, skills, capabilities, traits, dispositions, habits, inclinations, and tendencies to action and inaction are, after all, what characteristically define a person as the individual he or she is. Once we conceptualize the core "self" of a person as a unified manifold of actual and potential process -- of action and capacities, tendencies, and dispositions to action (both physical and psychical) -- then we thereby secure a concept of personhood that renders the self or ego experientially accessible, seeing that experiencing itself simply consists of such processes. What makes my experience mine is not some peculiar qualitative character that it exhibits but simply its forming part of the overall ongoing process that defines and constitutes my life. The unity of person is a unity of experience -- the coalescence of all of one's diverse micro-experience as part of one unified macro-process. (It is the same sort of unity of process that links each minute's level into a single overall journey.) On this basis, the Humean complaint -- "One experiences feeling this and doing that, but one never experiences oneself" -- is much like the complaint of the person who says "I see him picking up that brick, and mixing that batch of mortar, and troweling that brick into place, but I never see him building a wall." Even as "building the wall" just exactly is the complex process that is composed of those various activities, so -- from the process point of view -- one's self just is the complex process composed of those various physical and psychic experiences and actions in their systemic interrelationship.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

in a moment of aimless falling powder burns
cold the insufferable closed system undoing
undying where do you think it is possible
that he has gone, an ounce measured once
ink splayed played, notes left on a grave
it is not in the timing everything in space
simultaneous suffering an explosion unexpected
funeral of detail and control, he will have been always
as winter, my ear to concrete opens quiet into detour
into grace, chatter clatter stilled breathing empty
tones of earth of hum, his voice an atmosphere attitude
having lived, having loved

--in memory of mike grzymkowski

Monday, February 08, 2010