Wednesday, October 5, 2011

from "In the House of the Hangman"

image borrowed from bing


Famished I think, famished for what? [It's rare to watch a film that produces a portrait so faithful of how it is to watch it.] It is oddly beautiful at moments. A massive honeycomb grid, a Bucky Ball writ cosmic, almost touching the earth before collapsing in on itself with a soft implosion of creeping fire and rust and. But the rest of the time, it feigns beauty by simply making the eyes suffer. But not the cognitive faculties: it leaves them dull and barely frayed. For to wound those would be sublime, which this is not. There is no point in an ideology critique in the face of such a film, because it doesn't have an ideology. It has a howling wind, dreamt up in the belly of a CGI rendering program, that lifts and carries things, that makes other things pass in front of or behind them. [The absence of desire is aided and abetted by the absence of any real absence, other than things like modulated dialogue. Not a thing lacks. And where it might, fluttering papers, glints from a missing sun.] I ate some pig ear from Hunan Taste, it was pretty great, screw your Yeungling, everyone is moving to Spain, Indie Lit Summit in DC, keynote speech by Andy Hunter of Electronic Literature, this is making me feel great about Baltimore, thinking about POD for Narrow House as long as the matte covers look/feel good, Jamie bought me coffee (*wink), veggie chili coming out of your mustache. Three existing industrial robots have been augmented with ’sweat glands’. I put lemon in my eyes?? What did I know of worms and skincare? As far as the ruling class is concerned, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fatally undermine social programs, particularly Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which the financial elite regards as an intolerable burden. Turning to humans however – with the exception of the elderly or the constipated or those sad lost souls upon whom muesli merchants prey vampire fashion – the food industry has not explicitly dedicated itself to maximising either taste or nutritional value but parameters relating to the faecal product. It’s as if my head were an old band-aid can full of dried grasshoppers then shaken or like there are these alligators made of cardboard who chomp their jaws repeatedly in a way that’s percussive, sort of electric, shuddery; it’s a little like the scratching a dj does a whispery sound like shook shookshook, nor the most distant memory that hammers around the cage and makes the goldfinch tell its troubles so wet and drenched on the moss of the piece of the old cobalt blue rag spoils the tale and drinks a shot of light to everyone’s everyone. No wonder Schopenhauer became a Buddhist. Today’s session features Hegel, dialectics, art, objects, La Monte Young and a stepdown transformer.Chapter 19. o meager times, so fat in everything imaginable! imagine the New World that rises to our windows from the sea on Mondays and on Saturdays — and on every other day of the week also. Imagine it in all its prismatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls —our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosening on the air great novels of adventure! Imagine the monster project of the moment: Tomorrow we the people of the United States are going to … to kill every man, woman, and child in the area west of the Carpathian Mountains (also east [and south]) sparing none. Imagine the sensation it will cause. First we shall kill them and then they, us. But we are careful to spare the … the Russians. For the Russians we shall build a bridge from edge to edge of the Atlantic — having at first been at pains to slaughter all Canadians and Mexicans on this side. Then, oh then, the great feature will take place. Never mind; the great event may not exist, so there is no need to speak further of it. Kill! kill! … friends or enemies, it makes no difference, kill them all. The bridge is to be blown up when all Russia is upon it. And Why? Because we love them—all. That is the secret: a new sort of murder. We shall make leberwurst of them. Bratwurst. But why, since we are ourselves doomed to suffer the same annihilation? If I could say what is on my mind in Sanscrit or even Latin I would do so. But I cannot. I speak for the integrity of the soul and the greatness of life’s inanity; the formality of its boredom, the orthodoxy of its stupidity. Kill! kill! let there be fresh meat. I want to tell you that I’ve been thinking a lot about my vagus nerve lately. I consider it the source of my male hysteria (I don’t have to tell a classicist that vagus does root in wandering/straying, so that it does (more or less) parallel the wandering womb of hysteria). My hysteria consists in acid reflux, atrial fibrillation, panic attacks (all of which I’m medicated for, only the afib is still a real problem) ... all of which seem to be associated with the damned vagus. So you can imagine how charmed I was to come upon the vagus in “The Dream of the Queen of the Persians”, and its inclusion in the“operative retention centers” ... I think one of the best lines I've read lately anywhere is your “I had seen the great tragedies and had naturally puked with pity and fear” from the same poem. At least it sure as hell hits *me*, and I assume that while I haven’t seen *all* the great tragedies, the ones in my lifetime certainly count as great (perhaps the human component of global warming will come to count as the greatest tragedy in human history ... it'll make Oedipus fucking his mom etc seem like nothing). So the bardo of this life is like coexisting with seven billion people, all having slightly different nightmares. We affect one another across these nightmares. These nightmares are happening in a shared space. Limitless limited bodies. Statues made of noise. * Buffering….buffering… l invented that sand. They say it’s coming true, can it? When no one is there a tree falls on the small one. One plus one tree equals history, to some extent, as does “a chattering bird skull extended on a metal rotating pole,” “rabbit skulls on the end of two servos that twist and turn and then unexpectedly bash together, as if they were fighting in the afterlife,” a “metallic ant sitting in an outdoor walkway, head twisting and listening for its next prey,” all of this amidst “some of the most beautiful backgrounds you can imagine,” with the monastery perched on a cliffside over a nearby river.

John Bloomberg-Rissman

Posted over on Poems and Poetics

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