guilty / incubation

A being can only be touched where it yields. – Georges Bataille

(Will you get naked with me Will you yield Will you shed your completeness in order to reveal your innocence Is there innocence or is that only for a cyborg What is a cyborg beside a lustful being that has turned beyond monster When do we yield to our inner monster and break free There are no question marks here for there is no here… we are just )

Bataille writes that the woman is complete with her clothes on, but reveals her incompleteness when she offers her nakedness, revealing her wound. His words are interesting, ones that cause me to hold my breath as if breathing prevents expansion of thought. I wrote in the margins of Guilty - ‘where is man’s wound- his point of entry for communication.’

The non-satisfaction implicit in the turmoil of history, the movement of knowledge that destroys every possibility of rest, the image of God that ends up only as torment, the desperately sick whore who lifts up her dress – so many means of “communication experienced as nakedness, ” without which everything is empty. – Bataille, “Guilty” p.27

We must communicate, or we risk a life on non-existence. Is this writing to you communication? Do we enter into this realm, reader/writer, with our wound showing? Bhanu Kapil address this very thing in her book, Incubation (or was it Bataille – this is the problem when you ping-pong read in one sitting) Does she not question the role of reader/writer – who has more influence over the other. Her words overlay in my mind the writings of Bataille. Both ‘mystics’, painting a world with words in which we can escape – no, not escape, but explore, perhaps become even closer to what is ‘truth’.

1.  “A monster hallucinates; a cyborg has a more sexual agenda. It is sexual to mate with surfaces. It is sexual to write in the cafe like an émigré.”

4. I am writing to you because it is private and separate, like thinking.

-Bhanu Kapil, Incubation: A Space For Monsters

Kapil’s use of cyborg, however, is never definitive (to this reader) if she is addressing the typical cyborg for her cyborg, Laloo, does not represent the machine. Laloo, however, may be monster. Is Bhanu the cyborg? (In my defense, Bhanu Kapil, a professor at Naropa, is an experimental writer who is a pleasure to read, but much like reading a surrealist – one never knows where one is, so to speak). 

Bataille intersperses sexuality within his ruminations on God. His line is very fine between the two ecstasies. Should this be termed ecstasy? Bataille sees a communion with both through the same process – to become naked, to sacrifice. I cannot explain it now, but hope to with more time. Ecstasy should not be confused with sexuality unless we goes as far as to infer that it is that state that is found when there is no division with the universe when experienced.

The point of ecstasy is bared if inside myself I shatter individuality that confines me to myself. – Bataille, p. 35

(I cannot define this being I cannot say whether this is monster or cyborg or a child of God writing because I finger the fracture when writing these lines Fractures within the confines of a universe never ending Nietzche found the answer in not knowing Bataille tells me to breathe and concentrate further on breathing to locate that place of ecstasy I think I understand the idea of the wound I think I desire the ability to communicate with the Other Who is the Other Is it You Is it the fracture Is it the silence that remains in that state when we fall from dreaming)

 

No greater desire exists than a wounded person’s need for another wound. – Bataille

(This rather disjoined blog post is the product of reading several chapters from “Guilty” and “Incubation” today, one after the other – back and forth. I intended to compose the email I shall send to BK in regards to a question she posits in her book – complete with an email address to respond. There is not enough time – besides, it makes this too long. I wish to thank MK’s blog for introducing me to Bataille. I just happened to find “Guilty” last weekend at the used book shop – highly recommended. Ironically, Bhanu Kapil blogged this week about reading a book about Bataille – I’d like to think this is a sign that I’m on the right path in this incomplete universe as we know it. ~ a)

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not cyborg not monster not… just

where are you in this abyss of daytime night walking that whispers with yesterdays memories a shard of light into our other selves the ones that do not die with the last season even if we felt a cold blanket of forgetting but we do not forget we just reremember our ending and continue forth wondering why a sidelong glance from a stranger is the lost yes of a lover or was it a glint of anger as if we have stolen something that they have left forgotten upon the desk where things like keys coins receipts and business cards go awash upon each other until a collage of lifes art is canvassed in a way that no one dares move anything for it may upset the balance of our remembering so we make more space upon its surface for it is all surface in this place this plane of our existence yet when we close our eyes when we reach out against the tide to hold onto a dream that woke us awash in tears for we do not wish to be pulled away again there lies the gate that she held open for you when you first promised to never forget her gift a breath that blew the dandelion seeds into a swirling world of greens yellows and blues it is called world and we walk among it as we await her call back to the ocean that shall draw us back we can never remember our beginning but we continue to long for yesterday because in it lies a promise some of us hold too tightly to this not realizing that we are awake walking we are asleep breathing and even if we create a memory from the bits of fabric buttons and thread left upon our desk it is simply a patchwork of what we have done living but it is not until our eyes open beneath the vast blue of her womb that we shall see that yesterday was a mirage and today will be not a memory but photograph that shall never fade

Forgive the jumble above as it is simply a response to finishing Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean At The End Of The Lane. I oft do not read much popular fiction, but this one had me intrigued, so I saw it on the cart and snatched it home for my one day off this week. In 90s heat with index gone redline, I read it outside, for it is that kind of book. A book that you would squirrel away under a shade tree near an ancient creek and read until your mouth had turned to cotton from the heat of the day – your child self never imagining to take a mason jar of water, only a handful of sweets to while away the reading hours. This is a book that can transport the child outside of the adult body. As the book reminds us, we are all still children living in adult skin. Some of us never survive our memories, and others of us can never quite forget the canvas of yesterday that goes repainted while the premise remains the same. Pain may ebb at the edges of our childhood visions waking us from our adult sleep, but for many of us we recreate a new waking in order to live.

typing these words i realize i have told you nothing – perhaps that is the best way to approach a book about remembering for we each weave our own story so that the quilt that covers us in sleep buries us deep with a promise of good dreams even if we get chased by a night scare or two hopefully your escape key is still there the one you learned about in order to vanish back to here for me it was an ornate iron bench as black as night but it stood stately no matter the scene and if i could manage to wiggle my child body under its body and wish myself awake my eyes would open to find the bed beneath me and the desk of yellow oak my grandfather made just to my right it was the room of reality but while laying there my child mind wondered which reality was really real

I have read some wonderful blog posts lately about memory. Not rambling, non-coherent ones such as this, but a discourse of intelligent dialogue that made me start wondering about memory. I posited to one blogger (shall try to track back to them tomorrow after my day is done) that it would be interesting if we lost our memory at age 40 – 50 as a right of passage. We would remember enough for normal living, and if need be, our job skills would come back almost immediately, but everything else would be new. It would perhaps save many who are haunted by yesterday’s pain or what might have been while plaguing many more with sorrow for a photograph of yesterday would just be that, even if their face was within it. Would we live life differently if we knew we started over midway through breathing…

when the day fades

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may we enter into the color she promised behind her moon

we hunger for substance, we feed on garbage

“This perversion of the truth, familiar to the artist though it was, always unnerved him afresh and proved too much for him. What was a consequence of the premature ending of his fast was here presented as the cause of it! To fight against this lack of understanding, against a whole world of nonunderstanding, was impossible.” ~ Franz Kafka, A Hunger Artist

Kafka was a tortured soul. One could question, was this nature or nurture derived? As a boy, taught early to denounce his religious heritage and to be raised by a father who couldn’t be pleased, the latter seems a good answer.

I read a bit of Kafka years ago; I’m not even certain if it was for class or my interest. I read quickly, without absorption, and was happy to be away from his world when there were no more words upon the page. These days, I’ve become intrigued by Kafka, but knew not where to start. Friday night, while picking up books around libraryland, I spied R. Crumb’s Kafka. Two days later,  I’ve added, A Hunger Artist, Amerika, & Letters To My Father, to my GoodReads list.

I shall not expound on theories when I’ve not read the work, but A Hunger Artist is rather intriguing from the POV that Kafka held great disdain for his person. According to David Zane Mairowitz’s commentary in R.Crumb’s Kafka, Kafka felt great inadequacy physically. He had an almost unnatural disdain; an alienation from his own self which he tried to make as small as possible as a part of nature.

Granted, this is conjecture  since I’ve not done my homework beyond reading Mairowitz’s words. It doesn’t seem a farfetched analogy considering Kafka wrote a work in which a man awakes as a giant bug in Metamorphosis.  How a man, who finds himself on display, in a cage, fasting for 40 days, shall be a true testament to the inner psyche of an artist who, too, felt a need to become small. That said, am I being too literal, and the hunger was for something beyond the garbage we often call substance.

Sorry, the witching hour has gonged long ago, and I fear I’m talking in circles. Perhaps the brain just needs to sleep; perhaps I need to disassociate with what I’ve read this weekend between Kafka, McCarthy & a fun bit about Marx via Rius (more about this later).

It is intriguing, though, don’t you think, when you stumble upon what you thought you knew only to trip into a completely different well… ~

beauty fades: words live forever

beauty walks swiftly into a room, sits down to decorate the landscape of perfectly pitched lithographs and one ornate mirror. despite the invention of electricity, the fall of the sun into the pinking horizon also destroys the thin line of solitude that keeps natural from nature. harsh light of reality paints black outlines and hardens a tired look into blue smudged shadows. when beauty glances up, it is her startled reflection that echoes down a hall of a dozen refracted dreams. no longer does she feel her youth, it is her mother that smiles back at her in paling light. ~ 

a bit of stream before I walk away from this screen tonight. too many hours reading twitter feeds and political commentary for my own good. work tomorrow shall be good unless some one mentions Clint Eastwood…. anyhoo,

I thought about beauty today, hence the above stream. It’s interesting, I’ve no patience for the demands of beauty in our society. It severely limits a woman and her ability to be perceived as human, she must first be objectified – categorized – what ‘class’ shall she fall into based on everything besides her IQ. The physical has always unnerved me. Yet, today I realized, there is one place I do feel beautiful….when I’m at the bookshop seeking a new treasure. Seriously, today I noticed how I smile upon a discovery (used bookshop) without self-consciousness. My posture is straight, not hunched, or trying to be small so that others may pass. When I finally pay for my purchase, I happily converse and look the clerk in the eye. Why? Books are the object; the beauty; and I am just the lowly receptacle who is fortunate enough to take a glimpse beyond their covers.

a smokey note before sleep ~

A mistake has been made in my choosing to type these words. Eyes half closed; a white-cold air stream seeping through a cracked slider to keep things crisp. A small heater fan combats the elements; I remain elevated on a pillowed island, smack in the middle of self-made, interior habitat.

Midnight. My luck ran out hours ago after I left the used bookstore; after a dogging day at literary headquarters. An after work quest to uncover a pipe-dream in disguise; thick covered, embossed with words of another’s dreams.

I almost found what I sought in rows of stacks. A wonderful blogger spoke of a book that had me terribly intrigued. I didn’t find it, but the search found me a couple of unusual keepers: A Sleep And A Forgetting</em>; and, Summer in Baden-Baden</em>. The coup… a writer of amazing poetic, artistic talents, directed me to Witold Gombrowicz’s, Cosmos, which I unearthed for less than a Lincoln.

Three books; three translated works for less than twenty bills. Fortunate, to be free to drop money on such an indulgence. Life is lived rather simply. Rarely purchases are made for anything except for organic groceries; coffee beans (a local coffee roaster) and petrol. Albeit, the occasional book is my sanity savor for keeping time in ways that propel me backward.

Forward, a direction of pinking horizons and glass ceilings. We’ve all got our leveled mirror that rises inches.. feet.. yards above our head. VIDA will easily explore the female’s writers ceiling if you’ve any question of inequality in 2012. I’d be happy to discuss the personal noggin-knocker…but I wont go there, not tonight (twilight, morning…how to define this passage).

Shirley Horn is singing a smokey note. The song takes me back to working late Sunday nights, spinning music at the local B&N, where dreams floated shoulder height; there was more mystery back then.

We be livin’ right? We the living. A somber thing to remember when the graves of friends are settled with snow. They’d do anything to be living backward or forward; just living, listening to one more chord reverb. Winter bites hard; its teeth sinking fast into frozen memories.

What is the point then, to this post; these somber directives. Simply nothing; it was stated in the beginning, this was a mistake. Directionless, yet contemplative; doldrums of a weekend working, know I ticked time, but question if I went clockwise.

Dostoyevsky wrote:

‘And who knows…perhaps the only purpose which mankind aspires to in this world is the perpetual process of achievement, in other words – not any specific goal, but life itself.’

Life, unwrap it slowly. ~

a day in the life ~

a reader and her books…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only time I was productive today was when I took the pup on a morning walk/jog to grandmother’s place. (Must have done too much; I felt poorly after)

Sadly, Grandmother’s house is not a quaint cottage in the woods, but an upscale nursing facility in the burbs that smells of cinnamon candles. Nona was out of sorts today emotionally. She did, however, introduce me as her granddaughter with my proper name. The old gals about the place are quite lovely. One even gave me high compliment regarding my age and looks,; sigh, next month is another year…

The rest of the day was spent tooling around the internet. I’ll share a couple of finds for fun…

The New Yorker’s FB feature on Portlandia. Portlandia can only be called a ‘hipster’ program aired on some indie channel that deals with the ‘day in the life’ of two peeps residing in ultrahip Portland, OR. I’ve no cable, ergo, was oblivious to this obnoxious creation. I do believe I would become a train wreck if I ever viewed it.

Amos Lee shared a link to a Transatlantic Session promoting another artist. TS5 on YouTube pulled up a bevy of fabulous live sessions…I thought this rendition of Lee’s ‘Jesus’ was phenom.

Oh, yes, the pictures…

Three new books have been added to a bedroom bookcase. I’ve high hopes of reading them sometime. How terrible I am; I love books, but I become too distracted to read for any length of time.

Perhaps that is why I write poetry ~

It’s only fiction, right?

An amusing article tonight compliments of the Guardian. The crux of it…writer, Samantha Ellis, believes she sent her life amiss because she tried to emulate too many of the ‘wrong’ heroines. Ellis’s examples: Scarlett O’Hara, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, et al..

I’d not only say heroines, but the wrong type of book can do irreparable damage as well. The consumption of Harlequin romance at youth could damage cognitive wiring regarding a healthy relationship.

Did I just admit to reading Harlequins on global media? My head hangs low. Yes, it is true. I shall break this story before I run for public office, or try for literary publication. As a girl of 12 or 13, I was so bored one summer without a decent library, I took up reading all of my mother’s old 1970s paperback romances. I believe I averaged a book a day. This paperback crack was consumed in mass quantities by a pre-teen wishing to meet her Heathcliff.

It wasn’t until my early twenties that I discovered what Ellis did… these books, as well as certain heroines, can be dangerous. I had found the dark Plath, the stubborn O’Hara, the outspoken Jo, so endearing that I tried to live as they did, especially when it came to love.

I remember at age 18 or 19 swearing off ever reading another romance. I had come to the conclusion that books were not to be trusted. Men don’t really go chasing after the difficult girl, they just call her best friend. An older guy, say by five or more years, is just that, older. If your female and speak your mind, your audience may come to respect you…ten years later.

I should have known better, right, it’s fiction!

I’ve thought a lot about the craft of fiction and how it is perceived since I posted, Tequila Sun. It was a 55 word prose/poetry piece of pure fiction, but more than one read it as truth. It made me wonder, how many read my poetry and see it as ‘my life’? To clarify, yes, some is confessional, but a lot of it is the muse at work. A poem of suicidal tendencies doesn’t mean the blog will be shroud in black the next day.

As for the ‘flash fiction’, it would’ve been quite amazing if someone had left me a message in a bottle ten years ago on my running path. Even more amazing that this stranger was the ‘one’. Pure poetry, indeed… or at least, romantic fiction.

We used to sing a song when I was young, “Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys”. I think perhaps we should add one for the girls, “Mama, don’t let you babies grow up reading romance”. Either could prove hazardous to one’s life.

stray bits & the stray

Hmmm…she really is branching out with her MoPo shitck, you may be questioning….ha! Actually, these here are pictures I took of a good friend’s reading list she has kept since the first of the year. If you are a reader and love books that are off the beaten path, click on either page to enlarge to find your next treasure courtesy of Heather.

Heather is a speed reader and brilliant (my words, not hers.) Truth, I feel rather dumb when I hang with her, but I leave completely inspired to READ! (Now, who works in a library?) Anyhoo, if you’ve any questions, ask away and I shall ask the authority and get back to you. My short list for her list includes one Europa Editions, From the Land of the Moon (highly recommended AND it is just my style, short! ( l love little books.) The other is Apollo’s Angels, a non-fiction piece about the ballet.

See, I really do offer library services via the web….

…and for those who wanted a bit of silly poetry… I wrote this one about my dog the other night, cheers ~

Her nose, wet
wedged between
knees; warm breath
wheezes, can she be
allergic to me
as I am her -
her charcoal fur
feathers down
my bare leg;
a paw curiously
curls a broken
way; she stirs,
yips, an abandoned
cry; she still strays
in her dreams…
what did she leave
behind?

How to be a rock star..

..when you’re an French Professor in the 60s..

Read this letter to your students:
Dear Wallace Fowlie,
Just wanted to thank you for doing Rimbaud translation. I needed
it because I don’t read French that easily…I am a rock singer and your book travels around with me.

~ Jim Morrison.

I had forgotten about this until I revisited the Fowlie translation this last weekend. Hunting the stacks in the 840 range, the revised edition with Seth Whidden caught my eye. I’ve long desired to learn French, as well as read Rimbaud, ergo, an ideal book. I lucked out on Sunday when I visited a local used shop and found the original translation from 1966 in not too bad of shape considering it is paperback. Now, I’ve got Morrison on the mind, so, I may have to reread, Rebel as Poet.

Oh, sweet youth…some days I miss poetic, rebel yells…

Books of note, in pictures..

taught me how to play with my words..

helped me when I couldn't help myself..

 

 

moved me to respect the land and her people..

inspired me to explore..

 

 

encouraged me to be independent..

 

 

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  • Do you copy?

    Words are my own unless otherwise noted. Creativity is something to be shared, but that decision should always be left to the creator.
  • fly with me

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