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Sunday, March 25, 2018

                                       EYELIGHT

                                THE INFINITE PROJECT


                                                     DRAFT C
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

e y e


              eye is seeing and being
eye is blue brown or grey
eye is black or other
eye is
eye is eye
eye is lustrous or strange of colour
eye is light on eyelight scrawled
eye is hope
eye is desire and sigh
eye is see
eye is of the ineluctable
eye is trust and fear
eye is water and dust
eye is love
eye is blankness and delight
eye is people is peopled
eye is pop
eye is delight of bird
eye is horror of wound
eye is I saw gull with one leg severed
eye is sad and later and after forgets
eye is seeing and hoping
eye is deceiving
eye is sweet descent and great descant
eye is concise as lines
eye is eternal thought
eye is rock and ash and blood
eye is pity or is harsh of heart
eye is son and song
eye is child and sweet
eye is thought
eye is
eye is death and the way
eye is love and luminous
eye is fire and hand and hard
eye is
eye
eye is begin and end and egg
eye is lie there is no end or begin
eye is pluck
eye is dark and stern with storms
eye is terrible and drinks death
eye is mercy
eye is offend or smile or wise
eye is sea blue wise
eye is omega and noun and nous
eye is lumen
eye is
eye
eye is reflect and ripple and still
eye is quill
eye is word
eye is thought and spiritual space
eye is sea
eye is nothing and all
eye is one
eye is love or gone or rills
eye is hills where speech is death
eye is great and complex bread
eye is mathematics
eye is translucency
eye is complexity deferred
eye is joy for she was my mother
eye is suffer the gull or the woman
eye is child
eye is the man
eye is all language
eye is speech and silence
eye is i
eye is thin blue ink
eye is death and exult
eye is dream of waves
eye is motion
eye is
eye
eye is how would I hold you
eye is perplexity and anger and peace
eye is forest
eye is forgive
eye is eternal unterminate torment
eye is could be
eye is possibility
eye is e ...y...e
eye is si
eye is an ancient irradiate star
eye is a black factory
eye is blue
eye is ship
eye is
eye
eye is eternal colour
eye is woman and man
eye is language
eye is all
eye is
eye


















________________________________
I WANT TO EMPHASISE THAT WHAT I AM DOING HERE AND ON THE INFINITE
PROJECT WHILE IT IS ONE WORK IT IS NOT POETRY OR ART ALTHOUGH IT
INVOLVES BOTH THESE THINGS...

IT IS POTENTIALLY A MULTIMEDIA WORK THAT HAS NO BELIEF IN ANYTHING
EXCEPT THE NORMAL CONSTANT HOPE ALL HUMANS HAVE

IT IS A WORK THAT GESTURES TOWARD THE POTENTIAL OF ALL PEOPLE
BEING PARTICIPANT IN WHAT WE MIGHT CALL ART OR CREATIVE ACTIVITY OF
ALL KINDS BUT IT LOOKS NOT TO "EXCELLENCE" NECESSARILY BUT TOWARDS
PARTICIPATION AND COOPERATION RATHER THAN COMPETION AND "GENIUS"
I AT FIRST ADMIT I CONCEIVED A "GREAT" WORK BUT NOW I SEE IT SIMPLY AS
A PHEMOMENA .... IN SOME PUBLICATIONS FROM EYELIGHT THERE ARE SPACES
LEFT AND INVITATIONS FOR ANYONE TO PARTICIPATE ANYTHING

IN SUCH A THING EVERYONE WOULD BE ACCEPTED AND THE ONLY LIMITATIONS
WOULD BE SPACE OTHERWISE SELECTION WOULD BE EVERYONE OR FAILING
THAT A RANDOM SELECTION. DE FACTO THOUGH, EVERYONE IS EQUAL. AS MY
SON SAID TO ME ONE DAY QUITE PASSIONATELY AND I LEARNT FROM IT:

EVERY HUMAN BEING, EVERY SOUL, MATTERS: IF THERE IS NO SOUL OR MEANING
IN THE UNIVERSE IT IS A SAD PLACE AND IN FACT THIS IS AN IMPOSSIBLITY.

GOD SIMULTANSESOULSY EXISTS AND DOES NOT EXIST

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE SCIENCE HAS NEVER AND WILL NEVER EXPLAIN
ANYTHING EXCEPT IN THE SENSE THAT IT DESCRIBES

THE DEEP AND IMPORTANT SPRITUAL METAPHYSICAL QUESTIONS ARE BEYOND
HUMAN CONCEIVING WE CAN NEVER KNOW WHAT CONSCIOUSNESS IS

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW WHY THERE IS SOMETHING RATHER THAN NOTHING

THAT WE DONT AND WILL NEVER KNOW THE QUIDITAS OF THESE THINGS DOES
NOT MATTER. WE CONTINUE AND WE MAKE. WE ACT AS IF WE ARE REAL

WE ACT AS IF WE HAD A "FUTURE" WE KEEP GOING WE KEEP GOING UNTIL
WE CANT KEEP GOING ANY MORE WHY ARE WE HERE? NO ONE KNOWS IT IS
GOOD THAT WE DONT KNOW SOMETHINGS WE SHOULD LEAVE SOME THINGS
ALONE LEAVE THE WILDERNESS LEAVE THE UNKNOWN UNKNOWN AND THUS
BEAUTY BECAUSE IT IS MYSTERY

HOWEVER YOU WHO CARRY ON AFTER THE LITERAL AND THEORETICAL DEATH
OF THE AUTHOR WILL HAVE YOUR IDEAS ALL IDEAS ARE VALID NOTHING
CAN BE CONSIDERED BAD BUT AS WE ARE SOCIAL BEINGS WE NEED TO MAKE
ETHICAL SELECTIONS CONSIDERING OUR MORE OR LESS LIMITED STATE OF
BEING

WE NEED, SOMEHOW, TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER
WE NEED TO TRY AND INVOLVE EVERYONE
MONEY AND FAME ARE NOT THE ISSUES THE ISSUES ARE HUMAN HAPPINESS

IN SO FAR AS THAT IS POSSIBLE IN THIS PURSUIT WE MAY LOOK EVERYWHERE

EVERYONE CAN CONTRIBUTE NOTHING IS BETTER OR WORSE THAT ANY OTHER
THING THERE ARE TO BE NO HEIRACHIES LET US LIVE AS LONG AS WE CAN

AND AS WELL AS WE CAN LET US THINK OF THE CHILDREN AND THE

CREATURES OF THE EARTH LET US TRY TO LOVE

AND YOU YOURSELF MUST BECOME THE MAKER: NO ONE IS BETTER, ALL SHOULD BE GIVEN A CHANCE TO CREATE, TO MAKE: ALL NEED TO BE VALUED: THERE SHOULD BE 'NO DARK SARCASM IN THE CLASSROOM', NO BULLYING. WE NEED TO CARE, WE HAVE IT SEEMS ONLY THIS EARTH. IT MAY BE THE ONLY EARTH OR WORLD. PROBABILITIES DO NOT ASSIST US IN EVALUATING THAT THERE ARE OTHER BEINGS IN THIS UNIVERSE OUTSIDE THE EARTH. INDEED THERE ARE THOSE WHO BELIEVE THERE ARE SUCH BEINGS AND THEY NEED TO BE RESPECTED. EACH HAS HIS OR HER BELIEF OR WAY. WE ARE NOT ANGELS. WE EACH HAVE OUR LUSTS AND WANTS OUR FEARS OUR PETTY HUNGERS. WE, AND I, THIRST FOR THINGS, AND I CAN AND HAVE BEEN AS FOOLISH AND SELFISH AS ANYONE. BUT ULTIMATELY THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME. IN A COMPLEX SENSE IT IS A WORK OF ART OR AT LEAST IT IS A WORK OR PROCESS OF SOME KIND. THERE IS NO MESSAGE. THE MESSAGE IS THAT YOU CAN DO THINGS. EVERYONE CAN ENACT AND BE. LET EVERYONE. LET US NOT BULLYONE ANOTHER. LET US DO TO OTHERS AS WE WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO US. LET US FORGIVE THEM FOR AS CHRIST SAID 'THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO'. BUT IF WE EVOKE CHRIST LET US THINK OF NIETZSCHE AND MARX AND ALL THE OTHER THINKERS AND DOERS. LET US REMEMBER ROSA PARKS. LET US RECALL THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD AND THE WRETCHED OF THE EARTH. LET US REMEMBER THE OLD THE LONELY THE SICK AND THOSE IN PAIN. LET US LEARN TO FACE DEATH WITH COURAGE AND TO HELP OTHERS. LET US LEARN TO BE. BUT LET US NOT FORGET THE REALITIES OF THIS STRANGE WORLD AND WHILE WE ACT LET US DREAM AND LET US CREATE AS WELL AS WE CAN CREATE. LET US BE STILL.



















































The book in process - damaged by aqua of the aquaface, but transformed thus and transforming.

Who can know?






Some drawings by my father, an architect who also painted. R A K Mason can be seen - drawn by my father in about 1930 or so. Some sketches by him also of English scenes. "That's the wise thrush: he sings each song twice over/ Unless you think he never could recapture / That first, fine, careless rapture." This was the famous Browning poem he liked to quote as well as some other poems. Browning was one of the really great poets for sure...

As my father knew Mason he one day bought a book home of his work and I read them over and over: they excited me enormously. I was a teenager when poetry and art seemed even more intense.
Words had then an almost overwhelming effect upon me. I am still fascinated by words. Of all the kinds of books I read, one category re dictionaries. I am constantly referring to my Oxford Encyclopaedic Dictionary that I asked my mother to buy me for my birthday in about 1991 when I came here (Panmure) to live....

_______________________________________________



Every day my son Victor would make us up coffee in a thermos and we would go for a
walk. So we walked up Mt Wellington or Maungarei or down to the Panmure Basin (Waipuna), or the Tamaki Estuary, or the Yacht Club (where the old Bridge used to be and not far from the locus of Mokoia Pah. I was 58 when we started. We still walk although now we do more work on our house here in Panmure (painting, repairing etc) or we take 2 of my grandsons to the library (mostly).

But during our many walks I took hundreds, probably thousands of photographs of the area of different things from the 'urban' to trees, flowers, graffiti, people and much else.

We would stop at one of our walk stops for lunch and coffee and play over a game of chess from
a book of master games. Or we would go through a game I had played at my club (mostly then the
ACC). Or a recent World Championship game.

One day we went to Rangitoto and another time got lost! in a reserve in Pakuranga. We also got caught in a terrible down pour once and I took photographs of that. But it was good to get home...
_______________________________________________________________________ ________



I like Tama Iti or what I know about him. I did meet him briefly when I had a book
stall he was buying sunglasses I think from a stall holder beside me (at the Saturday K
Road Markets.)






  M...O...K...O




...outcast, and shows it. For me tattooing is very profound. The meeting of body and, well, the spirit—it’s a real kind of art, it’s on the skin. It’s both
material and not material and it’s also a sign of the outcast. So that’s what I’m saying about looking for the myth with people like that—tattoo artists, sailors, pirates.
EGF: They represent the outcasts?
KA: Not just outcasts—outcasts could be bums—but people who are beginning to take their own sign-making into their own hands. They’re conscious of their own sign-making, signifying values really.


In England, for instance, they don’t have an empire anymore though they refuse to recognize that fact. What they have is Milton and Shakespeare. Their attitude toward Milton and Shakespeare is something absolutely incredible. A person’s speech denotes his class. Those who can speak Milton and Shakespeare are in the top class. It goes much deeper than this, obviously. The literary world should be a populist world, it should be the world in which any class can discuss itself. But in England, the literary world is so tightly bound to the Oxford-Cambridge system. Nobody but nobody gets into that world who hasn’t come from Oxbridge. It assures that its representation of itself always comes from its upper class. And those classes which are not Oxbridge have no representation of themselves except in fashion and rock and roll. So you really have two Englands: one represented by fashion and rock and roll, and one is the literary representation.
EGF: That’s very true for England, but not so much for the U.S.
KA: No, but I still think there’s an element of it here.
EGF: Fostered by the academy?
KA: Yes.
EGF: So when you get a book that’s experimental or postmodernist …
KA: I think that sometimes the word “experimental” has been used to hide the political radicalness of some writers. Oh, they’re “experimental,” that means they’re not really important.
EGF: They’re marginal?
KA: What this society does is marginalize artists. ” Oh, artists, they have nothing to do with politics.” So the experimental—it’s a way of saying things. I hate this way of saying things. I want to say “fuck, shit, prick.” That’s my way of talking, that’s my way of saying “I hate you.” But what they’re doing is marginalizing the experimental and that’s why I hate the word “experimental.” It’s another form of sticking people into the corner.

o, the tattooist is an image of the tattooist

books, but my mind is fucked up
so how do you deal with that isolation and loneliness? 

the tattoo is very much a sign of a certain class and certain people, a part of society that sees itself as outcast, and shows it. For me tattooing is very profound. The meeting of body and, well, the spirit—it’s a real kind of art, it’s on the skin. It’s both material and not material and it’s also a sign of the outcast. So that’s what I’m saying about looking for the myth with people like that—tattoo artists, sailors, pirates.
EGF: They represent the outcasts?
KA: Not just outcasts—outcasts could be bums—but people who are beginning to take their own sign-making into their own hands. They’re conscious of their own sign-making, signifying values really.
EGF: The wordplay in the book is quite wonderful, the relation between “tattoo” and “taboo,” for instance. That’s one of the things I was going to ask you about, tattooing. Is the tattooist an image of the writer?
KA: No, the tattooist is an image of the tattooist. I’m much more simple. The tattooist is the tattooist. The tattooist is my tattooist. I’m heavily tattooed.
EGF: But you were just talking about the tattooist as a sign-maker.
KA: Oh, the writer could do the same thing. I’m fascinated with the relationship between language and body. That’s something not many people have started working with, I’m interested in the material aspect of the tattoo. I admire Pierre Guyotat because he’s very much concerned with the body as text. This business of “When I write I masturbate.” Erotic texts at their best—I don’t mean pornographic, which is something else—are very close to the body; they’re following desire. That’s not always true of the writer, whereas it’s always true that the tattooist has to follow the body. That’s the medium of the tattoo. If you’re looking for values, it’s where the ground would be for real value. Whereas the ground for the values we have now, such as religion, there’s no reality to it, especially the evangelical movements, other than politics. It’s now something very sick. I have that feeling about the whole spectrum of what’s going on in America, from malls to religion, it’s very sick. It’s not real.
EGF: Why did you leave the United States’
KA: Not enough money.
EGF: You do better in London?
KA: It’s better for a writer over there, for me. There I’m an accepted writer. Here it was very difficult; I was sort of an adjunct


KATHY ACKER
A Conversation with Kathy Acker
By Ellen G. Friedman
Gramercy Park Hotel, New York City
1 February 1988
ELLEN G. FRIEDMAN: I’d like to begin with your novel Don Quixote. The epigraph to Part II of Don Quixote reads, “Being dead, Don Quixote could no longer speak. Being born into and part of a male world, she had no speech of her own. All she could do was read male texts which weren’t hers.” In your parodies and plagiaristic writing, are you that Don Quixote reading male texts?
KATHY ACKER: There’s a certain amount of ironic distance between me and Don Quixote, a distance that varies, but at that point in the text, I’d say, yeah, I am.
EGF: In “reading” Don Quixote, you’re a woman readingDon Quixote. Is it a way of appropriating the language for women?
KA: Not really. I had the actual copy of Don Quixote, and as a kind of joke, simply made the change from male to female to see what would happen. I don’t think there was much more behind it than this direct and simple move. Whenever I use “I,” I am and I am not that “I.” It’s a little bit like the theater: I’m an actress and that’s the role I’m taking on.
EGF: There’s a great deal of overt feminism in your work. You do appropriate a lot of male texts and that’s an issue in your work. I’d like you to comment on that aspect of your work.
KA: When I did Don Quixote, what I really wanted to do was a Sherrie Levine painting. I’m fascinated by Sherrie’s work.
EGF: What fascinated you about Sherrie’s work?
KA: What I was interested in was what happens when you just copy something, without any reason—not that there’s no theoretical justification for what Sherrie does—but it was the simple fact of copying that fascinated me. I wanted to see whether I could do something similar with prose. I came to plagiarism from another point of view, from exploring schizophrenia and identity, and I wanted to see what pure plagiarism would look like, mainly because I didn’t understand my fascination with it. I picked Don Quixote as a subject really by chance. I think it was a bit incidental, perhaps consciously incidental, that it was a male text. When I grew up I went to an all-girls’ school. By the time I first heard of feminism, I was in college. I never really thought about feminism until I got older and realized that the society was deeply sexist. I don’t consciously write as a feminist, although there are a few places in Don Quixote where I was dealing with Andrea Dworkin. There is an attack on Andrea Dworkin in Don Quixote, not her personally (in fact I saw her on a TV show and quite admired how she stood up for feminism), but on her dualistic argument that men are responsible for all the evil in the world. Her views go beyond sexism. She blames the act of penetration in sexual intercourse. I find that not only mad but dangerous. With all the problems in the world, such a view doesn’t do feminism any good. But as a rule I haven’t thought, “I am a woman, a feminist, and I’m going to appropriate a male text.” What happens is that I frame my work way after I write it. The epigraph you quoted at the beginning comes out of my asking, “Why did I write all of these texts?” In fact, I wrote the second part of Don Quixote first by rewriting texts, out of a Sherrie Levine-type impulse. Then I wrote the first and third parts later. The Lulu segment had been commissioned by Pete Brooks as a play. And I think I did the Leopardi part early on as well. Then I actually had an abortion. While I was waiting to have the abortion, I was reading Don Quixote. Because I couldn’t think, I just started copying Don Quixote. Then I had all these pieces and I thought about how they fit together. I realized thatDon Quixote, more than any of my other books, is about appropriating male texts and that the middle part of Don Quixote is very much about trying to find your voice as a woman. So whatever feminism is there is almost an afterthought, which does not invalidate the feminism in any way. I don’t say, “I’m a feminist,” therefore I’m going to do such and such. A complaint people have had about my work is that I’m not working from a moralistic or ideological tradition. I take materials and only at the end do I find out what’s going on in my writing. For instance, while writing it, I never considered that Blood and Guts in High School is especially anti-male, but people have been very upset about it on that ground. When I wrote it I think it was in my mind to do a traditional narrative. I thought it was kind of sweet at the time, but of course it’s not.
EGF: Sweet is not an adjective I would use to describe it.
KA: It’s about kids and kids are sweet. I was really in kid time when I wrote that. So that’s a very roundabout way of answering your question.
EGF: What about the schizophrenia and plagiarism. You said that was your original way into plagiarism.
KA: When I first started writing, I was influenced by poetry, mainly the Black Mountain school of poetry, so there’s a bit of poetry in that book. I was searching for my own medium. The middle section of the book interested me more than the other sections because I was working in a sex show, and this middle section was based on sex shows, diaries of sex shows. I was very influenced by Burroughs, so I was really writing out of a kind of “third mind,” through Burroughs and the sex show diaries. It was during the hippie days when sex was fun, when everybody slept with everyone else. I had another point of view, having seen it from the 42nd Street angle. I became politicized.
EGF: You say Burroughs was an influence on you.
KA: Oh, he was my first major influence.
EGF: Can you say what in Burroughs you admire or took?
KA: I came out of a poetry world. My education was Black Mountain school—Charles Olson, Jerry Rothenberg, and David Antin were my teachers. But I didn’t want to write poetry. I wanted to write prose and there weren’t many prose writers around who were using the ways of working of poets I was influenced by. Their concerns certainly weren’t narrative in any way. Any prose writer, even if he doesn’t use narrative the way narrative is traditionally used, is concerned with narrative. I mean the reader has to go from A to Z and it’s going to take a long time and that’s narrative. There’s no way to get around it; that’s the form.
EGF: So Burroughs seemed a natural?
KA: There were Burroughs and Kerouac really. I love to read Kerouac, but Burroughs is the more intellectual. He was considering how language is used and abused within a political context. That’s what interested me. The stuff about his relation to women and all that was really secondary for me to the main work, books like The Third Mind. I was also looking for a way to integrate both sides of my life. I was connected to the St. Mark’s poetry people at the time. On the one hand, there were the poetry people, who were basically upper-middle-class, and on the other, there was the 42nd Street crowd. I wanted to join the two parts of my life, though they seemed very un-joinable. As if I were split. Of course, the links were political.
EGF: There were political links between the two?
KA: A political context was the only way to talk about the link between them. Politics was the cause of the divergence. It was a question of class and also of sexism. The poetry world at that time denied any of this. Sexism wasn’t an issue, class, forget it. Money—we’re all starving hippies—ha, ha. That I worked in a sex show for money was not acceptable at all, despite the free love rhetoric. Warhol was interested in this convergence as well. I knew Warhol people who worked on 42nd Street, and his was the only group that did any crossover. He was interested in sex hype, transsexuals, strippers, and so forth.
EGF: What attracted you to 42nd Street? Was it the political aspect you’ve been talking about?
KA: Oh, no. I just needed money. I had gotten out of university and I had nowhere to go.
EGF: Where did you study?
KA: At Brandeis, at UCSD, and a little bit at CCNY and NYU.
EGF: We were talking about your early work.
KA: The first work I really showed anyone is The Childlike Life of the Black Tarantula by the Black Tarantula.
EGF: What about the schizophrenia?
KA: The thing about schizophrenia: I used a lot of autobiographical material in Black Tarantula. I put autobiographical material next to material that couldn’t be autobiographical. The major theme was identity, the theme I used from Tarantula through Toulouse The Adult Life of Toulouse Lautrec by Henri Toulouse Lautrec, the end of the trilogy. After that, I lost interest in the problem of identity. The problem had for me in a sense been solved by that trilogy. After that I became interested in plagiarism, working with other texts.
EGF: What comprises the trilogy?
KA: The Childlike Life of the Black Tarantula by the Black Tarantula, I Dreamt I Was a Nymphomaniac, andToulouse Lautrec.
EGF: And this trilogy was about identity? In Tarantulathere’s a constant metamorphosing “I.” It’s a very unstable “I.
KA: Well, it’s a very simple experiment in Tarantula. When one first encounters the “I” in Tarantula, it’s the autobiographical “I.” Then the “I” takes on other, non-autobiographical qualities and gradually the invisible parentheses around the “I” dissolve and the experiment in identity proceeds from that. In Nymphomaniac, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t even thinking about how language works. So I began to explore language, how language works within the parameters of a particular problem. I began to work with memory and with repetition. How does the reader remember, or what does the reader remember when you repeat something over and over again? How do language and memory work even in the most well constructed, logical texts?

EGF: Do you know that Books in Print lists your books twice? It lists Black

Tarantula by an author called Black Tarantula and then has a listing for Black Tarantula by Kathy Acker. The same with Toulouse.
KA: In those days, we did a lot with performance. We performed for each other. This was in the same vein. I putBlack Tarantula in the phone book. Much of women’s art had to do with performance and identity. At art parties at the time, there was a lot of cross dressing, playing with gender and with identity.
EGF: Let’s get back to Don Quixote. You know, of course, that Borges also has his Don Quixote story. Were you playing with both Cervantes and Borges?
KA: Not really. I reread Borges’s story somewhat toward the end of writing my Don Quixote.
EGF: Here’s a quote from Don Quixote having to do with semiotics: “What it really did was give me a language with which I could speak about my work. Before that I had no way of discussing what I did, of course I did it, and my friends who were doing similar work—we had no way of talking to each other” (54). Was there an element of truth in that statement?
KA: I felt very isolated as part of the art world; I could never talk about my work until the punk movement came along and then I don’t know for what reason or what magic thing happened, but suddenly everyone started working together along the same lines. But we had no way of explaining what we were doing to each other. We were fascinated with Pasolini’s and Bataille’s work, but there was no way of saying why or how. So Sylvdre Lotringer came to New York. His main teachers were Felix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze and somewhat Foucault. That’s why I didn’t want to use the word “semiotics” because it’s slightly inaccurate. He was looking in New York for the equivalent of that scene, which wasn’t quite Derrida’s scene. What he picked on was the art world, especially our group, which was a kind of punk offshoot.
EGF: Who was in your group?
KA: Well, there were my friends Betsy Sussler who now does Bomb, Michael McClark, Robin Winters, Seth Tillett. People who started the Mud Club. Bands were forming, such as X, Mars, and the Erasers. Bands with ties to Richard Held, Lydia Lunch. Very much the Contortions. It was that amalgam of people he found. Sylvere started hanging out at our parties. I knew nothing about Foucault and Baudrillard. He’s the one that introduced me to them, introduced everyone to them. But it wasn’t from an academic point of view, and it certainly wasn’t from a Lacanian point of view or even from Derrida. It was much more political. When he did the Italian version ofSemiotext(e), there were very close ties with the Autonomia, and it was very political. When I went over to France, friends of mine were working on the Change. There were connections with Bifo and Radio Alice. For the first time we had a way of talking about what we were doing. It was mainly, for me, about decentralization, and inDon Quixote I worked with theories of decentralization.
EGF: Empire of the Senseless seems to indicate a new direction for you. For instance, the plagiarism is not so apparent.
KA: Empire is a new direction, but I did use a number of other texts to write it, though the plagiarism is much more covered, hidden. Almost all the book is taken from other texts,
EGF: What other texts?
KA: I’ve used tons of other texts—sometimes it’s just a phrase. You know I’ve gotten very good at it. There’s a lot of Genet for instance. The beginning is based onNeuromancer, a book by William Gibson. But from page to page, I’ve adapted a lot of other texts. I couldn’t even say exactly. The first part is based on the oedipal complex and of course, there’s a lot of Freud in it. At first, I was going to name everyone after Freud’s patients, but I didn’t do that for all the characters. The first chapter is, on the whole, de Sade because I thought if anyone has to find the oedipal society, it’s de Sade. He was quite a brilliant man in that as he personified evil, he was at the same time reflecting what was going on in society. The first chapter of Part 11 is about the Haitian revolution and about voodoo, and then there’s A Thousand and One Nights and there’s some Genet. The reason for these particular texts is that I try to find writers who describe the particular place I want to get to. The third part of Empire isHuckleberry Finn. That’s one of the primary American texts about freedom and about how you live free in a society that isn’t.
EGF: What is the new direction you’ve taken with Empire?
KA: The search for a myth to live by. The purpose is constructive rather than deconstructive as in Don Quixote. What I particularly like about Empire of the Senseless is the characters are alive. For instance, in Blood and Guts, Janey Smith was a more cardboard figure. But I could sit down and have a meal with Abhor. However, it was the structure that really interested me, the three part structure. The first part is an elegy for the world of patriarchy. I wanted to take the patriarchy and kill the father on every level. And I did that partially by finding out what was taboo and rendering it in words. The second part of the book concerns what society would look like if it weren’t defined by oedipal considerations and the taboos were no longer taboo. I went through every taboo, or tried to, to see what society would be like without these taboos. Unfortunately, the CIA intervenes; I couldn’t get there. I wanted to get there but I couldn’t. The last section, “Pirate Night,” is about wanting to get to a society that is taboo, but realizing that it’s impossible. The CIA is symbolic.
EGF: The CIA is symbolic of what?
KA: That you can’t isolate yourself from the world. Two examples: Say, the hippie movement in which the goal was that you make things better by isolating yourself from society and going your own way. The same sort of thing with the separatist feminists. You form your own group. In the end you pull things that way a little, but it can’t work successfully. Neither one is in any way a viable model of true separation. It’s impossible. In the same way you try to imagine or construct a society that wasn’t constructed according to the myth of the central phallus. It’s just not possible when you live in this world. That’s what I wanted to do in the second section of Empire, but the CIA kept coming in. That’s what I mean by the CIA being symbolic. It could have been anybody. So I ended up with “Pirate Night,” You can’t get to a place, to a society, that isn’t constructed according to the phallus. You’re stuck with a lot of loneliness, so how do you deal with that isolation and loneliness? The third part concerns that issue. Also I’m looking for a myth. I’m looking for it where no one else is looking. That’s why I’m so interested in Pasolini.
EGF: The myth never surfaces?
KA: The myth to me is pirates.
EGF: Pirates is the myth?
KA: Yes. It’s like the tattoo. The most positive thing in the book is the tattoo. It concerns taking over, doing your own sign-making. In England (I don’t know if it’s so much true here), the tattoo is very much a sign of a certain class and certain people, a part of society that sees itself as outcast, and shows it. For me tattooing is very profound. The meeting of body and, well, the spirit—it’s areal kind of art, it’s on the skin. It’s both material and not material and it’s also a sign of the outcast. So that’s what I’m saying about looking for the myth with people like that—tattoo artists, sailors, pirates.
EGF: They represent the outcasts?
KA: Not just outcasts—outcasts could be bums—but people who are beginning to take their own sign-making into their own hands. They’re conscious of their own sign-making, signifying values really.
EGF: The wordplay in the book is quite wonderful, the relation between “tattoo” and “taboo,” for instance. That’s one of the things I was going to ask you about, tattooing. Is the tattooist an image of the writer?
KA: No, the tattooist is an image of the tattooist. I’m much more simple. The tattooist is the tattooist. The tattooist is my tattooist. I’m heavily tattooed.
EGF: But you were just talking about the tattooist as a sign-maker.
KA: Oh, the writer could do the same thing. I’m fascinated with the relationship between language and body. That’s something not many people have started working with, I’m interested in the material aspect of the tattoo. I admire Pierre Guyotat because he’s very much concerned with the body as text. This business of “When I write I masturbate.” Erotic texts at their best—I don’t mean pornographic, which is something else—are very close to the body; they’re following desire. That’s not always true of the writer, whereas it’s always true that the tattooist has to follow the body. That’s the medium of the tattoo. If you’re looking for values, it’s where the ground would be for real value. Whereas the ground for the values we have now, such as religion, there’s no reality to it, especially the evangelical movements, other than politics. It’s now something very sick. I have that feeling about the whole spectrum of what’s going on in America, from malls to religion, it’s very sick. It’s not real.
EGF: Why did you leave the United States’
KA: Not enough money.
EGF: You do better in London?
KA: It’s better for a writer over there, for me. There I’m an accepted writer. Here it was very difficult; I was sort of an adjunct to the art world. I really wanted to get out of New York. I’m forty now. I was thirty-seven when I got out of New York. I was feeling that my life was never going to change. To survive in New York is to be a little like those hamsters on a wheel, the wheel turns faster and faster. I felt that either I had to get very famous, just as a calling card for survival—I had to write movie scripts, I had to do whatever writers do here, write for popular magazines—or else become like a lot of poets I know who are very bitter about their poverty. And I don’t want either alternative. What I like is the middle ground. And I didn’t see it possible to maintain that middle ground.
EGF: And it is possible in London?
KA: Yes, very much. It’s a very literary society and you don’t want for money, so you can work.
EGF: Do you have a community of writers whose style of writing is closer to yours than here in America?
KA: No, I’m probably closer to people here. I have very good friends in London, but the people I’m closest to are people here.
EGF: Are there any contemporary writers whose work you’re following?
KA: Oh, I have friends who are wonderful writers, Lynne Tillman and Catherine Texier—very much I’m following their careers. I was just sent a novel by Sara Schulman called After Dolores, which is just lovely. But what would be the feminist writers in England don’t interest me that much.
EGF: Too ideological?
KA: No, it’s not too ideological; I don’t mind that. It’s just social realists. It’s too much, “I used to be in a bad nuclear marriage and now I’m a happy lesbian.” It’s diary stuff and the diary doesn’t go anywhere, and there’s not enough work with language.
EGF: I understand.
KA: I’m more interested in the European novel now. Pierre Guyotat. Duras’s work interests me. Some of Violet Leduc, early Monique Wittig. Some of de Beauvoir’s writing, Nathalie Sarraute. There is Elsa Morante’s writing. Luisa Valenzuela, I like her work. Laure, an amazing woman, a French woman from the upper classes who lived with Georges Bataille. Wonderful writer.
EGF: In Pasolini there are letters from Emily to Charlotte. Why the Bronte’s?
KA: Because they were Catholic.
EGF: Because they were Catholic?
KA: Well, anything Catholic was the point. You see, I was setting up the text so that all the connections were based on nominalism. So about Pasolini’s childhood, the son/sun pun became important, anything that had to do with the son, the son is Catholic, Pasolini was Catholic.
EGF: That’s fascinating. Can you talk a little more about that?
KA: The book’s structured that way. I think it’s probably unreadable, but it fascinated me to write it.
EGF: No, not at all. It’s one of my favorites.
KA: The idea fascinated me. I’ll never do it again. It’s as far into structure as I’ll ever go. I wanted to fashion a book out of different ways of ordering that weren’t causal. Again, I was fighting against oedipal structuring. The first part of the book is about the death and the second about the life of Pasolini. So there were two sections to death and life: In “Death” I was fascinated by his murder and also by the media around his murder. In the media, the idea advanced was “porn maker, homosexual” murdered in gory, homosexual murder. Everything was covered over at the trial. I was fascinated with why the media sensationalized it, what they were getting out of it. I always wanted to write a crummy crime book. It started out that way. I was going to write an Agatha Christie version of Pasolini’s murder.
EGF: An Agatha Christie version?
KA: It just started out that way.
EGF: It’s far from Agatha Christie, though.
KA: The first books I ever read came from my mother’s collection. My mother had porn books and Agatha Christie, so when I was six years old, I’d hide the porn books between the covers of Agatha Christie. They are my favorite models, the books I read as a kid. That’s why I originally became a writer—to write Agatha Christie-type books, but my mind is fucked up. I was going to write the Agatha Christie version of Pasolini’s death. But it didn’t turn out as planned. I picked three ways of solving the murder, I wanted a non-political way of solving it. So I picked three categories: sex, language, and violence. They had to be three appropriate categories. The way of solving it was by way of nominalism. Once I had the categories, anything went. Once I had the category sex, anything went that was about sex. Language was any language experiment, so I played with language school theory. In the end I wasn’t so much interested in solving his death as I was interested in his life. As I got into solving his murder, I didn’t learn how he died, so much was covered over. What I did learn was how multileveled he was. He was a man whose life was his work. He would always make the material of the body his subject. He never allowed people to ignore the body. He didn’t exploit the body as many thought. As I became more and more involved in his work, the “My Life” section of my novel became more important. The influence of Pasolini’s theories on my work is particularly important. He refused to separate genres-film, poetry, criticism. He refused to separate body and mind. When he was an old man he demanded that a series of pornographic pictures be taken of him.
EGF: Who’s your ideal reader? Do you like academic readers?
KA: I don’t imagine an ideal reader. I write for myself and maybe my friends. Although as I give readings more and more, I try and see whether the audience is bored. So in that way I’m aware of an audience. There has to be that element of entertainment, really, or there’s limited accessibility. So I do care about my readers in that way. Academics-I feel a confusion about academia.
EGF: You’ve come out of the academy?
KA: I absolutely hate it. I’ve seen too many English departments destroy people’s delight in reading. Once something becomes academic it’s taken on this level—take the case of semiotics and postmodernism. When I was first introduced to the work of Foucault and Deleuze, it was very political; it was about what was happening to the economy and about changing the political system. By the time it was taken up by the American academy, the politics had gone to hell. It became an exercise for some professors to make their careers. You know, it’s just more of the same: the culture is there to uphold the post capitalist society, and the idea that art has nothing to do with politics is a wonderful construction in order to mask the deep political significance that art has—to uphold the empire in terms of its representation as well as its actual structure.
EGF: What do you mean “in terms of its representation”?
KA: In England, for instance, they don’t have an empire anymore though they refuse to recognize that fact. What they have is Milton and Shakespeare. Their attitude toward Milton and Shakespeare is something absolutely incredible. A person’s speech denotes his class. Those who can speak Milton and Shakespeare are in the top class. It goes much deeper than this, obviously. The literary world should be a populist world, it should be the world in which any class can discuss itself. But in England, the literary world is so tightly bound to the Oxford-Cambridge system. Nobody but nobody gets into that world who hasn’t come from Oxbridge. It assures that its representation of itself always comes from its upper class. And those classes which are not Oxbridge have no representation of themselves except in fashion and rock and roll. So you really have two Englands: one represented by fashion and rock and roll, and one is the literary representation.
EGF: That’s very true for England, but not so much for the U.S.
KA: No, but I still think there’s an element of it here.
EGF: Fostered by the academy?
KA: Yes.
EGF: So when you get a book that’s experimental or postmodernist …
KA: I think that sometimes the word “experimental” has been used to hide the political radicalness of some writers. Oh, they’re “experimental,” that means they’re not really important.
EGF: They’re marginal?
KA: What this society does is marginalize artists. ” Oh, artists, they have nothing to do with politics.” So the experimental—it’s a way of saying things. I hate this way of saying things. I want to say “fuck, shit, prick.” That’s my way of talking, that’s my way of saying “I hate you.” But what they’re doing is marginalizing the experimental and that’s why I hate the word “experimental.” It’s another form of sticking people into the corner.
EGF: You grew up in New York?
KA: Yes.
EGF: Manhattan?
KA: Yes, 57th Street and First Avenue.
EGF: Ever married?
KA: Married twice. The second marriage ended ten years ago.
EGF: What hasn’t been noticed about your work?
KA: Well, I’ll use the word “experimentalism,” my work with language and postmodernism—that’s been noticed about my work—it’s been noticed quite a bit now. Feminists hate me. Well, that’s not true anymore, Ten years ago, I was damned by them. But even in England, they are finding something to like in my work.
EGF: Here in America you’ve certainly been praised by feminists.
KA: In England the complaint is that I’m a “bad” writer. The sex is OK, but they mind my coming out against the literary culture.
EGF: Are you a bad writer purposefully?
KA: Yes, sure—”piss, fuck, shit” scrawled over a page—sure, of course. This appalls the literary establishment. When I appeared on a radio program, the announcer said, “We now have Kathy Acker, the author of Blood and Guts. She’s the most evil person in the world.”
EGF: That really happened?
KA: Sure, that happened, though it’s hard to believe. Another time, I was interviewed on radio by an upper-middle-class woman who said, “Why do you talk about poverty all the time?” and I said, ”I’ve been very poor.” The disparity between the classes is really pronounced in England, so they parade me as a freak, that’s the role I play for them. Here, it’s not as true.
EGF: What are you working on now?
KA: The book I’m working on now, a third of which is finished, is a life of Rimbaud. I chose Rimbaud because I wanted to remember who influenced me, to explore the history of the imagination, and of dreaming and of art, how art can matter politically in the society. For me, one lineage that I’ve come out of is that of Rimbaud. So to investigate Rimbaud is to go back to the beginning for me. He saw myth as a way out of the mess I was talking about to you before.



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this was the beginning of when i was what was beginning who or what and how these quests and
these questions bash themselves to death in the usual round of events as the tall poplars continue
to be what they are and we look about in some kind of hope or expectancy as if things were about
to comment on their own inadmissibility and all those things heretofore considered thus to be had
conveniently vanished last Thursday and we were now thinking of you and your place in the the-the
-the scheming scheme of things whose undulations on great wings continue unabated and implac
ably on as indeed does the great massive movement of things whose irrelevant seeming motion is
motion is motion forever continuous as the stars that shine down on our ice creams who scream
as Spring becomes a rocker shaft so many revolutions away in time's time:or perhaps like Danton's
talk head as in
Impressions of Africa

.....it was about now that we, with a great effort of will, stopped

....everywhere the cries of terror or joy: after all, what had we to say?


...some things are beautifully irrelevant


__________________________________________________________________________
                        




---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have often peered haggardly                             into the mystery

                                       what are these things that so are                    

we have  been  brought                                       to this making place

                      it is as if is the music and the great beginnings

   (into and                                             we are all in this      

if only the blue eyes   and        those other eyes    

                                    and  all could see                         

    and the iron in the earth                      and  the  strange  trees    

we are met by prowling lusts and marauders;                                     

                  anciently we were quietly         making or modern     


                  you can do it                     you can do it        

mourning those         we couldn't know                                    

        wit birds                                  trying to be scattered                

a voice on the radio the bland voice at the lecture or graduation

the  assumed  priorities  our  whatness  is  ignored     

             or is it blood red can be all skies     

                                       and we are          and the shoots    

 reach out forever   silently              clutching     searching                


    inside the joke                  ours   is   we  have  met                     

     gently they clutch       out to                     such kingdom place      

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------







siftings on siftings the corruscations soon the accountant will come

     with Waller laid                        busily in the dust       

             with      his    cost    analysis    as things were important:       

       the glass    and its possibility tells us all:    the peasant pauses   

   things ache:    we look out to  the deep distance to see

       incredible delicate music inside the squiggling signs......              

he -- whoever was our mentor -- will tell us                           

a new fairy story of the ice world 'a drop or crash of water'

then the others shall come we always sleep we are alone but our joy

spreads   'the difference is spreading'        if only I was that voltage 

       ripping through all things                                  

in the room we sit silently and later we talk of light and apple prices

and the important daily things the rain crashes down salt: the wars
continue as prescribed: our predictions are jotted down            

we wait, perhaps for movement or moments when that 

              'something'   comes to us in our   sad tents   

                        the crystal               the  silent flower              

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┼╠╞§╞⌐╚╡┼█┐{≥█²Ä█╞▓b§█▒Ä█¿•1≥âφ╦#↑♂≈K╞F○╙%>┴■█+Y84‼6╒├}█ïÆ3▓╗▓╞█

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       this was the beginning of when i was what was beginning  who or what and how  these quests and
       these questions bash themselves to death in the usual round of events as the tall poplars continue
       to be what they are and we look about in some kind of hope or expectancy as if things were  about                  
       to comment on their own inadmissibility and all those  things heretofore  considered thus to be had 
        conveniently vanished last Thursday and we were now thinking of you and your place in   the-the
       -the scheming scheme of things whose undulations on  great wings continue unabated and  implac 
       ably on as indeed does the great massive movement of things whose irrelevant seeming  motion  is
       motion is motion forever continuous  as the stars that shine down on our  ice  creams  who  scream  
        as Spring  becomes a rocker shaft so many revolutions away in time's time:or perhaps like Danton's 
        talking head as in 

         Impressions of Africa


       .....it was about now that we, with a great effort of will, stopped

      ....everywhere the cries of terror or joy: after all, what had we to say?

    
                                   ...some things are beautifully irrelevant  

      
_______________________________________

Room 37 Some examples of who or what i ....

    


















 


Who?


Do I inhabit that genetic engine of the other dream in the hidden house - or do I
--------------------------------------

this was the beginning of when i was what was beginning who or what and how these quests and
these questions bash themselves to death in the usual round of events as the tall poplars continue
to be what they are and we look about in some kind of hope or expectancy as if things were about
to comment on their own inadmissibility and all those things heretofore considered thus to be had
conveniently vanished last Thursday and we were now thinking of ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
          ...some things are beautifully irrelevant

---------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------
Room ..... ??

He

He died out or was he where he was he when - exterminated into the
music that questionmarked the edges, whose triumph was to be

precedent


to a glowing failure as of, say. a mad re run of The Charge of The
Light Brigade or some such other Tennysonian echoes still leaving the
forests of god—faced television sets wrench—wracked and abandoned

with

their smashed screens and dead-faced fuckedness that brings in the
iron turbans of sperm and delicately treasured regrettedness. This
kind of thing whose over-adjectived conceitedness would be enough

to

make yu’ sell up for a Kroner if you knew which country had Kroners,
or Deutschmarks.

And it tallys, doesn’t it, how Richard Prebble’s
related to Goebbels – its the sort of negative positivity that leads
to the viper pits of toothless guesture. But you play the game, silly
old you, knowing that Xmas can always be interchanged with

Easter and Labour Day with Anzac

etc etc etc etc etc etc so perhaps you become
Obsessed with Louise Bourgeois or information theory or taking up
swimming inside a question mark water tank,

or masturbate with your
infuriating silly grin onto a blank photograph.

Something like that.

You might well object as well I you might at all this negative
postivity leaking out of my right ear that is really made of teflon
how God, for example, is trapped inside a theorem by Godel with the
umlaut or Gauss or Whitehead-its better perhaps to take in a hooker
and fuck the bitch against a wall and listen to her simulated
screams of animal ecstasy.

Or am I wrong as usual?

I want to fail over and over again, but only in the normative sense of that wiley word. Perhaps I should mention Marlowe or something about another harbour bridge at this point. Perhaps nothing should have said at all - after all there’s not much to say really except maybe I’ll go I cant go.

You

live in a sunken steamboat and only occasionally is your hand espied,
waving whitely above the whitecaps – so presumably the roar of 5000
rugby maniacs is really justified, and their joy is yours, even if you
cant see the game: or do you dream only of the empty book, complete with uncompleteness, ready to clasp you in its leaves of what they said, so you limp to the dairy, only to buy a useless piece of soap because you felt for it, and it you, both of you stuck inbeing and the impossible quagmire of clarification because x=y or it did last week


questionmarked the edges
???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
??
???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

------------------------------------

thi





















s was the beginning of when i was what was beginning who or what and how these quests and  
These questions bash themselves to death in the usual round of events as the tall poplars continue
to be what they are and we look about in some kind of hope or expectancy as if things were about
to comment on their own inadmissibility and all those things heretofore considered thus to be had
conveniently vanished last Thursday and we were now thinking of you and your place in the the-the
-the scheming scheme of things whose undulations on great wings continue unabated and implac
ably on as indeed does the great massive movement of things whose irrelevant seeming motion is
motion is motion forever continuous as the stars that shine down on our ice creams who scream
as Spring becomes a rocker shaft so many revolutions away in time's time:or perhaps like Danton's
talkhead as in
Impressions of Africa


.....it was about now that we, with a great effort of will, stopped

....everywhere the cries of terror or joy: after all, what had we to say?


...some things are beautifully irrelevant


_________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

I have often peered haggardly into the mystery

what are these things that so are

we have been brought to this making place

it is as if is the music and the great beginnings
we are all in this

if only the blue eyes and those other eyes and all could see

and the iron in the earth and the strange trees

we are met by prowling lusts and marauders; anciently we were quietly making
mourning those we couldn't know trying to be scattered

a voice on the radio the bland voice at the lecture or graduation

the assumed priorities our whatness is ignored or is it blood red can be all skies
and we are
inside the joke ours is we have met such kingdom place

siftings on siftings the coruscations soon the accountant will come with his cost analysis
he will tell us a new fairy story of the ice world 'a drop or crash of water'

then the others shall come we always sleep we are alone but our joy
spreads 'the difference is spreading' if only I was that voltage ripping through all things
in the room we sit silently and later we talk of light and apple prices

and the important daily things the rain crashes down salt

------------ --------------------------------------------------------------------

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this was the beginning of when i was what was beginning who or what and how these quests and
thes

.....it was about now that we, with a great effort of will, stopped

....everywhere the cries of terror or joy: after all, what had we to say?


       ...some things are beautifully irrelevant





  genetic engine of the other dream in the hidden house - or do I
________________________________________________________________ ________  

                  Giggle.


    I have carefully extracted “giggle”,
    and placed it on this page.
    Its Origins, its resonations —
    rise from it. It waits.
    You cannot imagine with what
    intense tension, with what
    age-old sharpness my heart
    waited - my hand trembling -
    to recommence.
    Or how my lungs — soldier like - kept
    stiffly to attention, as I teased, eased, tickled, and slid —
    gently, gently, as an ancient lover’s whisper
    —Or the first touch. The —
     —Such immensity of blank, encyclopaedic meaning,
    unfolding, or just being — like those electron shells
       

    with their secret numbers,
    Clinging to the thinking night of time.
    and those numerals: so knowing,
    so smirking in their numberness —
    the wrench-squig of their symbolic:
    we go deeper, penetrating the reds,
    the greater resonations, the oak wood,
    the teak dark depths.
    So many petals.
    You cannot conceive the intense concentration as my head
    transformed to a vast glass sphere:
    with a precise, and tireless, and all-watching eye:
    - and intented thru, like all the winter's winds had seized themselves into the glass.
    fingers like leafic fingers – And the silence: you -
    you would never know that silence:
    You struggle toward the word, but it dashes thru time;
    spinning, and blurring; - and, I cant. I try though:
    I shove my hand into the Nothing Flower.

    It’s sort of like the difference between eating glass powder,
    or touching a red rose to a nipple: it erecting, it massing:
    And you recall, the surprise in dead eyes.
    The word waits in the unseen dark.
    But the music begins, colours brighten, and it all wakes up, the whirling;
    the cacophony - it was never dead — and the merry-go-round
    zips up the centuries:
    “giggle” is placed,
    wet, limp: lifted gently by a scalpel: extracted as a stamp
    is lifted from damp paper.

    I place Its Honour at the top
    of this page: reverentially.

    If we had not forgotten its ancient speech
    or lost its transmit frequency —
    I would have listened to it with one of my
    antennae that sprout on my bulging,
    and vitreous head.
    I gently slide, or transfer,
    the delicate, foetal ‘giggle’ onto the page.
    It dries and recovers.
    After breakfast, a hot bath, coffee, and bacon and eggs;
    "giggle" feels cleaner, repleter, contenter.
    I touch giggle on its ‘gs’ and smile, and think of its long evolve —
    the four billion years —
    the stories it could tell:
    the gulfs we have crossed,
    And that strange sense you get
    when you open a door in a stone wall,
    and see the same, but totally unrecognisable face,
    staring at you: trying to signal something.



eternal sections golden dark eye light black light light black eternal red sections eternal eyelight thinking into black light white light light eternal eternal quia sections who know dark light white eternal dark eye golden black light sections sections eye light light red green black light sections sections eye light light red green scream section perpendicular dark redicular dark bipedal forked light red who golden sections green light green gold black quia sections old dark old gold black black black white ablaze sections quiver final black lip dark eternal lip light black green perpendicular sections white aristotelian greenluck eye bread black mount sea black eye mount red mane all eye bespeak beating sections quia unconnected blackfinal eternal white white eternal perpendicular who sections ablaze old green gold quiver eye red black arsitotelian greenluck black mount sea mane bread black quiver bespoke sections lip quia eternal light dark upon old dark old white gold mount black beating quiver redicular ablaze black eye lip quiver quia combine sections dark green golden eye light black dip aristotelian dwarf dark star black light light black eternal beating red red lip red final quiver quia who queer old eye gold green lips implication bespeak thou think-tank destination folder quia shades purgatorio greenluck section horizontal psychic cutperfection section ablaze lip aquiver dark eyes blacklight light green aristotelian dantesque dance into gold caste lip light light black green red eye beard black bread white ablaze eternal destination folder forked dark bipedal green eye blood think-tank old unconnected dantesque sea mane lip luck green light eternal lightwhite eye dark forked green section aristotelian quiver red eye black ablaze quia unconnected dark star silence lips implication bespeak think-tank quia bipedal shades ablaze nothing greenluck gold lip light unconnected eternal quia x sections impossible think-tank golden dark eye light black light green enacted quia sections thinking into
______________________________________________________________________________


Ellen Portch's exhibition. Her first since Wall.

____________________________________________________________________________




Ellen Portch's 'themes' from large to small seem to resonate and repeat. Here the circles are as well as a pattern, an 'image' of the end of a jet engine. On the globes are superimposed maps or shapes that twin as seeming cataclysms or our earth (or some strange star in a surreal space) and in fact are areas that Brett Cross and Ellen Porch have lived in such as the (very large and now and in the past the important "wetland area" of the Whangaparoa Harbour north of Auckland

 


Here the Hauraki Gulf or Whangaparoa is superimposed de facto on weapons of death (Ellen told me she had live near an air force base in England as a child). But we could also simultaneously see this in our own way as surreality. But with all art the conceptual interacts with the aesthetic. Can there be equally valid multiple interpretations? I think in some cases, or maybe all. We get something if we recall Susan Sontag's essay Against Interpretation. I have seen a critical discussion of Cesar Vallejo's work which takes this direction. And indeed we have to be wary of interpreters. But as Ellen pointed some of the rationale of the work out to me I went for it.








Added to that though were for me the fascinating geometrical lineations. Drawing with precision (something in fact that Picasso and and Salvador Dali could do): but if we move to conceptual art (and all art is conceptual in some way, all art has some idea behind it, some deep rationale, even if, say, with Jackson Pollock, the "rationale" comes from a deep passion or even a torment to create within him). And I feel all artists live with this passion to create, these dream like (or here these strange seeming "future worlds" superimposed on maps of ideas).

But behind those maps lie perhaps the writing of Nga Uruora - the Groves of Life by Geoff Parks, a kind of modern masterpiece of NZ history describing the almost fatal and certainly tragic destruction of the wetlands by 19th Century colonists and those hungry for land and trees for spars and later the destruction of the Kauri forests, and indeed of much of NZ's ecology and much of the Maori way of life.

Art operates in many ways. Added to the 'message' of Portch's art is a deeply strange vision. Again this strangeness reflects the strangeness, and perhaps the fatal effects of human alienation in the 21st Century. Portch is an artist of great ability and ingenious ideas. There is perhaps a celebration and a mourning of human "progress". Machines are beautiful but can bring death (or hope). So science and technology and a hyper strangeness of ontology and phenomena, merge together in this
fascinating artist's oeuvre. 

I arrive, as always, alone to the exhibition:





It is opposite the Auckland University at the Sargeson Centre near the old Students' Club here.




Others arrive with loved ones or children:
Hamish with his beautiful young wife and child.



Scott Hamilton with his mother (left) and his beautiful wife Cerian and his also beautiful child.



______________________________________________________________________________

Hamish Dewe, Scott Hamilton, and Jack Ross.


Some more views of patrons and artworks:






     










---------------------------------------------------------------------------

More art:

 
















Hamish Dewe, Dr Scott Hamilton and the ubiquitous Dr Jack Ross




The bone, the 'planets' or the planet all reappear in different places of combinations. There is a regular circulating thematic throughout these works that are thematically and philosophically linked.














  
This is great art by surely one of it's most incredible practitioners. I will add that there are indeed
some extraordinarily imaginative and talented artists in New Zealand so I am not claiming 'the greatest' or 'best' but for me and Scott Hamilton (who has acquired quite a few of her works and was 'on to her art' well before I was, I was a little dubious (although I remember seeing her large ambiguous 'political' images of say Bush that could be another figure). And this disturbing effect was unforgettable. The drafting skills (as good as the precision of Dali (surrealism is indeed an aspect of Portch's art); and others such as Picasso and way back to Da Vinci are combined with a complex echo of themes and resonances. Why is Brett Cross staring at the back of what is, in part a jet engine? And the child, almost in the attitude of Wyeth's  Christina in Christina's World, what is she leaning or struggling toward? Is it the dual possibility of destruction and a potential hope in technology? That which can cut can cure? 'These hands that can murder or create' as Eliot writes....? These speculations are defeated.  But certainly the shapes of areas that were once were our wetlands such as the areas talked about in Nga Uruora by Geoff Parks (a brilliant writer, and in a sense, an artist, as well as an anthropologist or environmentalist). These shapes are superimposed onto what appear to be strange space ships, perhaps from a J G Ballard story or some other: or they are at least shapes whose ends echo the engines of military aircraft. But these themes are grouped or could be into a kind of thematic music. These 'footsteps'. Perhaps with Wagnerian leitmotifs:  but these are my struggle to make sense. These echo in our minds. They are images in dramatic yet thematic play whose meaning always just evades. But we feel we know, or know something. 

  A rhythm is set up, a strange music, a stab into the dark and a gesture towards the light...but in the end it is beyond speech.
_________________________________________________________________
============================================== Now, the exhibition over, I play with art or what I think is art....
===================================================











I am left with the blackness only; the nothingness.....











                                   There is no speech for this....


_________________________________________________________________
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Anonymous said...




tertius asks did the fischer king of chess from the tribe of israel have reason in his damnation of jews causing ww2 after all israel was reborn from the ashes of the holocaust
3:05 PM



Anonymous said...
tertius sees in the absolute blackness poem from 1991 an emotional rawness of separation and traditional structure before the ivory tower of auck uni and american deconstruction usurped the eliz chain of being its good to see the old stuff
3:28 PM



Anonymous said...
tertius recalls the haze around the albion then the shakespeare then the cafes etc of the 1990s the academia of the english dept and its adjutants the characters and the hope and the inspiration. Veux ami pay for that can of beer frank. Poetry readings even in morningside and in panmure,markets in k rd the madness the sound the mob
3:40 PM



Anonymous said...
tertius asks again was the chain of order in operation or the dissemblence in deconstruction as the poetic mob shifted around the city and its alcoves. Was the uni an ally or adversary to creativity the poetic mob on the move blitzkrieg different locales never stand still the ivory tower always following the mob in all its guise and dissemblence and rhetoric. Did the urban poetic movement in auck in the 1990s implode due to internal politics or were more sinister external pressures being exerted. Lord Taylor, Tertius finds it difficult to recall the tower ever supporting an expansion in auck urban poetry during the 1990s or is tertius still blinded by linda earls beauty.The movement carries on and thrives in future seeds however your critique from that period would be an insight indeed
4:25 PM 



Anonymous said...
tertius needs to clarify the request.The institution of the Arts then literature and its various branches in music theatre journalism etc the urban performance poetry seemed marginalised during that period by the tower or is any institution only guilty of hierarchy. Or is perfomance poetry subversive by its very nature by dealing in words and democratic in its regard to poets.
4:46 PM 



Anonymous said...
The reason behind tertius. During the day was the structure of the tower its regulations and requirements. The demands of academia in compliance and completion. At night in the smoky pubs of the city a slice of the mob performed their poetic voice breathing the individual their voice the word and the audience. Here a composite was born from the two worlds both part of each others realm however different they appeared to be. In this quest of parsival in the world of eliots wasteland and his chessmaster the late fischer king, the word when delivered organised and then performed to others then reposted amongst the group of performers and scheduled for another venue with the adverts for the guest performer and order of performance and promotion and acclaimed supporters this is the natural progression of structural expansion.In this quest here we see in both king and fool ambition.And marriage between tower and mob.Pro n Pimp
5:31 PM



Richard Taylor said...
tertius asks did the fischer king of chess from the tribe of israel have reason in his damnation of jews causing ww2 after all israel was reborn from the ashes of the holocaust


The short answer is no -
he was great chess player and paradox like Pound - many similarities between them.

Fischer was Jewish himself many
Jewish people (Sofia Polgar for example - a very strong chess player) even loved him - it is very complex. It is acknowledged by Kasparov (who was also Jewish and was always reviled by Fischer) that Fischer had "sadness" inside him - but he urges people to look at his incredible genius and individuality and innovations - despite the "sadness" in him he had lot of greatness also - his beliefs were based on a book he read which is complete nonsense - like the Protocols Zion - something similar to that - politically he was not very astute (nor was Pound) shall we say -but I liked the way he stood up to the US and his individuality -he was also quite brave and - surprisingly a strong ethical sense -

but in other ways Fischer never grew up. He is another of the eccentric - there are so many of them! geniuses in art, literature, chess music etc etc

A tragedy of being, of what we are.
But his contribution to Chess was enormous - many fascinating and beautiful games ; works of art and great intellect.

Israel I don't see as some kind of Phoenix - I see Israel as part of the Imperialist power structure. I don't support Zionism - iam not interested in religion per se..but this House began with a reference to some Jewish Rabbis (the start was by chance -but it lead me on a path that showed the holocaust for what it was and so on (and dealt with - to some extent -the problem of power and knowledge etc)...Zukofsky (NY poet author of "A") was Jewish (he remained loyal friend of the anti semitic Pound) and so on ..all very complex...tertius

My 'cyber friend' Alan Sondheim would take issue with me on Zionism!

I appreciate your input - I'll "answer" the other things another time - I am listening to "Sound Lounge" on the Concert Programme some amazing stuff on there...cheers, Richard
11:17 PM
Richard Taylor said...
"tertius sees in the absolute blackness poem from 1991 an emotional rawness of separation and traditional structure"

Yes - partly - but it is not "officially" part of EYELIGHT - I kind of just "parked" it on MySpace...originally the structure was even more "traditional" - although strictly no one these day writes in say iambics etc - and it may (almost certainly does somewhat) reflect an "emotional rawness" and "of separation" is apt... - I am not sure but I think it came from a dream.
Then, at that time in 1991, "absolute blackness" was something negative (yet perhaps also it had a positive engergising effect on my writing) - now the "blackness" or silence I find to be rich - even giving me "solace" and indeed it was in 1992 that I got more into shall we say the "Ivory tower" - I was at Auckland University from 1989 until 1994. I studied U.S lit under Horrocks, Leggott, Curnow and Murray Edmond. I also met Alan Loney that year. We were "introduced" to language poetry (also Stein who is very important to me) and then via that concepts such as deconstrcution and later i did continental philosophy (as it was called) - but philosophy has never been a forte of mine.

Amusing comparison to the "chain of being" ! Of course I also had studied Drama of the age of Shakespeare and the Restoration and so on...



I found it the other day (looking for one other of my old poems)

"before the ivory tower of auck uni and american deconstruction usurped the eliz chain of being"

!!

"its good to see the old stuff"

That's good! Thanks.

On My Space all the things - except for one (the one also on this post) is or are "old stuff"...EYELIGHT recirculates to a large extent with some new improvisations added in.

BTW I am pretty sure (I may be wrong), from what you are saying in these comments, that I know who you are - but I wont say your name for now!
10:12 PM
Richard Taylor said...
"tertius asks again was the chain of order in operation or the dissemblence in deconstruction as the poetic mob shifted around the city and its alcoves."

This is well put - but my answer is I don't know! Deconstruction is one of those ideas - words - I have difficulty with...but I acknowledge the contribution of Derrida et al - very valuable.

"Was the uni an ally or adversary to creativity the poetic mob on the move blitzkrieg different locales never stand still the ivory tower always following the mob in all its guise and dissemblence and rhetoric."

University is place that one goes to - one can use it as one likes (for good or not) - for me it was greatly enhancing and exciting to do a BA in English literature...

But I had spent years outside "the ivory tower" - as a father, a worker, a tech, a chess player (amateur) etc

"Did the urban poetic movement in auck in the 1990s implode due to internal politics or were more sinister external pressures being exerted."

I don't know - I just write. Readings continue in a number of places. The scene is good as far as I know.


I
stopped public readings for personal reasons - drink (too much!) was problem for me.

"Lord Taylor, Tertius finds it difficult to recall the tower ever supporting an expansion in auck urban poetry during the 1990s or is tertius still blinded by linda earle's beauty."

Linda Earle is an interesting person and poet. Sure - some at university are "aloof" but that is life - but people at Universities can in some cases simply be too busy - there is indeed some "ivory towerism" but we cant be too anxious about this...NZ Lit is pretty healthy. Many approaches - many poets and writers of all kinds of styles as it should be. I am just on this jag as this is all I do now... (as such). I have no proclivity toward any particular "way" of writing or creating - there are many many ways of biting the turnip.

"The movement carries on and thrives in future seeds however your critique from that period would be an insight indeed"

It was exciting for me. Universities can - should - enhance. I believe very much in Universities and education - but education is ongoing -not confined to universities.

I am indebted to all the courses I did - and the lecturers - e.g Don Smith, Sebastian Black, Mac Jackson, Albert Wendt, Wright, Brian Boyd, Terry Sturm, Neil, Wystan Curnow, Roger Horrocks, Michelle Leggott, and Murray Edmond. There are also many others and some great tutors I had.
------------------------------------------ ------------------
-------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------- -----



In the Beginning there was only Te Kore
The Great Void and Emptiness of Space
{These my black spaces bespeak all potentialities of blackness or nothingness or the seeming emptiness as I have outlined


{Thus I published blankness or "blackspace" which I intended to be read as say John Cage's silence was 'composed' or was to be listened to; or it was or is the initiality of All: it was that fertile possibility of Begin: the fecundating silence: the rich silence wherein the tick of a clock is the heart of all mystery, wherein it is the ongoingness of the hope, the regularity; how that black space can be dark and even of "despair" yet alive in it's seeming nothing to be generative of all things as two zero sets can be shown to create a singular; and the 'religious' works of Rothko; and the black square of Malevich, the intense works of Colin Macahon; his I AM a gate behind which the scream of the mystery, the Logos; Ad Reinhard's works; Kline; Pollocks nets of nerves and his 'raging angry energy; Ralph Hotere's Black Windows; Binney's great book on Te Kooti the great Maori general; the immensity; Sio Siasaua's works...


{But can we ever speak of emptiness? Can we ever know....


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
In the Beginning there was only Te Kore
The Great Void and Emptiness of Space


In the beginning,
there was only Te Kore,
the great void
and emptiness of space.


Ranginui and Papatuanuku


The creation myth starts with the sequential recital of the various names for the first state of existence. In the beginning, there was only Te Kore, the great void and emptiness of space. The different qualities of Te Kore were described by a series of adjectives. Thus, Te Kore became Te Kore te whiwhia (the void in which nothing could be obtained), Te Kore te rawea (the void in which nothing could be felt), Te Kore i ai (the void with nothing in union) and Te Kore te wiwhia (the space without boundaries). The number of descriptive names for Te Kore varied from tribe to tribe. Whatever the number and gradations of Te Kore, they signified the aeons of time during which the primeval matter of the Universe came together and generated earth and sky.


Te Po, the second state of existence, also had qualifying adjectives and gradations. Beginning with Te Po, the recital proceeded to Te Po Nui (the great night) and Te Po roa (the long night), Te Po te kitea (the night in which nothing could be seen), Te Po uriuri (the dark night), Te Po kerekere (the intense night ) and Te Po tangotango (the intensely dark night), to the tenth, the hundredth and the thousandth night. As in Te Kore, these periods of Te Po correspond to aeons of time when the earth came into being. Te Kore and Te Po also symbolize the emptiness and the darkness of the mind. Because there was no light, there was no knowledge. The reason for this state of affairs was the self-generation during Te Kore of the primeval pair Ranginui and Papatuanuku. They were the first cause preventing light from entering the world because of their close marital embrace. The procreative powers of Rangi and Papa brought into being their sons Tanemahuta, Tangaroa Tawhirimatea, Tumatauenga, Haumiatiketike, and Rongomatane. The sons, living in a world of darkness between the bodies of Ranginui and Papatuanuku, plotted against their parents to let light into the world. They concluded that their plight of living in a world of darkness and ignorance could be alleviated only by separating their parents, so that Ranginui would become the sky father above them and Papatuanuku would remain with them as their earth mother.



The task of separating earth and sky was accomplished by Tanemahuta, who prised them apart with his shoulders to the ground and his legs thrusting upwards. Thereafter, one of his names became Tane-te-toko-o-terangi, Tane the prop of the heavens. The verity of his name is evident in the great forests of Tane, where the mighty trunks of the totara and kauri trees can be seen soaring upwards to the green canopy overhead and the sky above it .


From “Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou” by Dr Ranganui Walker.



People were conceived to be
not above nature:
but an integral part of it.


The task of separating earth and sky was accomplished by Tanemahuta, who prised them apart with his shoulders to the ground and his legs thrusting upwards. Thereafter, one of his names became Tane-te-toko-o-terangi, Tane the prop of the heavens. The verity of his name is evident in the great forests of Tane, where the mighty trunks of the totara and kauri trees can be seen soaring upwards to the green canopy overhead and the sky above it .

________________________________________________________________________________

The verity of his name is evident in the great forests of Tane, where the mighty trunks of the totara and kauri trees can be seen soaring upwards to the green canopy overhead and the sky above it .

_______________________________________________________________________________
HIS MAD POSSIBL                                                 E
IN
US ALL
HE, THE THINKER,
DOWN DIGGING
TO TUBERS WHOSE
GOLDEN BOULDERS
SUCH GIFTS,SUCH
TALLITH TRUTH,
SUCH :
LIFE AND THE
SEEDING WORDS
THEIR GEMMATION AS
NO OTHER,
AND THIS, BUILT BY
OTHER HANDS,
- - - - - - - - - - - -
GREEN AS LIGHT ,
- - - - - - - - - -
NEW-SHIVERING -
AND THE LAMB’S BLEAT BEATING INTO THE WHO AND WHERE
AND WHAT WE ARE — YESTERDAY IS TODAYED
AGAIN AGAIN
AND AGAIN
- - - - - - - - - -
NEVER
UNREMEMBER

TURN THE HUMAN SCROLL,
TURN THE SCROLL - TURN:
BE IT
TWO HUNDRED YEARS

^&(*&^*&*&^*&^*&*&^*@@@@@@@#$#@$#@*&^%*&^%*&^#$%^(%%^#$@!%&*^&*76876


________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________


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$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

GREEN AS LIGHT - THIS MAD POSSIBLE IN US ALL - GREEN
AS POSSIBLE MAD IN US ALL
BE IT LIGHT OR LIGHT THIS
MAD GREEN LIGHT IN US - POSSIBLE
GOLDEN GREEN GOLDEN GOLD
PERHAPS IN LONDON THE LIGHT
AND NY AND THE GREEN AND
THERE HE WAS MY OPPA I NEVER MET
THIS MAD POSSIBLE THIS GREEN
THIS BOULDER OF LIGHT


&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
_______________________________________________________________________________

```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

she

she is beautiful
as a flame
leaping
out some unfound
and carnal blue -

and the flame flower,
being free, flows
like a silk wind, and:

she is everywhere everything

                                             ``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````












________________________________________________________________________________
You. Yes, you - to you I speak. You
Will never have the knowing. No, no,
Never shalt thou know: for in your
gloomed  Skull a pantomime is played -
Outside where beats down heat

There is no watering place, no holing up -
No where can be found the leastest trickle
In the rocks of gods
In the garden of rocks
In the harsh unshadowed land
Where I have forgotten
How this strange conjunction
Of striding morning shadows,
Inverting rising in meeting,
Was revealed to me - in a handful of-
A man with a blazing brow
Showed me fear in transformal
Primal dust, until, after the rain of red rocks,
I writhed in Wagnerian,
That Hitler (and I) so loved. (But we both
loved/feared grails and waters.)
We reappeared at the ending time,
And all applauded -
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                The the dew sparkling hyacinths
                                       Had you shine with smile

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
And another god impelled this All-
And vast the silence, the heart:
````````````````````````````````````
The sacred sacred heart
- We were unsighted by this fire.
`````````````````````````````````````````
Vast sea, empty sea -
In your green visions we untounged
-Searched we our hearts,
```````````````````````````````````````````````
Nothing knowing of the core, the centre,
The nexus of stasis,
The thunder of the drumming of unsound.
````````````````````````````````````````````````````
Das Meer is unt Leer,
Unt Lear was crazed with blinded knowing -
`````````````````````````````````````````````````
(This much we know, as we are darked.)
````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

TERTIUS SAYS



...yes the dems will contain and the reps will expand they are two sides to the same coin. Composition is as important to text as it is to music compare Bach to say Stravinsky what do you think?
The Fischer king lands in the marketplace of ben jonson and approaches the stallholder a mighty elephant with immense size and power who proceeds to crush all other stalls across the domains. All other beasts are dispersed but for a few ants who continue to multiply as they follow the surge of the elephant as he travels so far from the initial stall as his supplies stretch and break there is disorder and decay no executive or legislative council then the fischer king surfaces here to ease the night of dark that follows day .The mighty elephant rules domain new all crushed but for a few he weakens far from home and is eaten heartily as the ants dine spurn and ingest his marrow bone.
The gloomed pantomime in dark is the pants and mime the walker the talker the tower and the mob light the heath for king and fool
Rejoice regard the bard emerge radiant light. Give means to the muse and the magic sight. The lady lands there and conjures the bright. It is where they recieve the right and its might.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Report from Iso-Man

Again the Woody-Wood-Pecker
Early morning laughter
Is a good enough description.
This heart pain is not a medicine.
Waking that day you, you expected joy,
Because everything, like headlines,
Was day after day - and you couldn’t.
You had hoped for ebullience
To blaze out of crannies, but instead,
Or because of, there was only a clever clue:
John the over and under man who could have been
At Pompei - of course because you thought of it
And were trying to impress them -
But the women just turned away.
And oil was oozing like erotic black stuff:
The next day, which blurred into mirrors,
There was a terrifying rumour of a man
Who reacted. All this reminds me of-
That day she and I (young) (silly) (hot)
and (rashly) - wrote A loves B on the sand,
When she was certain: but I have tried
To control that part of my Universe.
But the waves? It has all ways puzzled me,
That that thing we did, which was a spell,
Was erased into our lives - but the next day:
We made it! There were millions and gifts and guests;
And I caught out a lot: laughing, but, they, took:
Absolutely no notice. So I went right to the top!

You were so proud! You looked at me!
Yes, and then I returned to the then-now
And those bloody Woody-Wood-Pecker birds
With their early morning madness. They clacked.
They awoke and it seemed all surreal and giggly
About a meaning they kept from me. . . So I,
Asked for assistance, but there was no one,
So it became something rushing off just
As I was looking carefully into and prying
And wincing at the blurr: which was the rev,
The rev, the revelation which soap-Slipped
Whaaeee! out of my hands, fuck it, so I returned;
But they saw and - simultaneously - turned their
Backs so that a certain percent say of the subset
Of x million of the subset z, quite at once
Slit their throats. Death was falling all over
Itself all over the bloody place.
Then I remembered - the baby waving bye bye,
And the little hand, but I was not repeat not
Fooled. I grew up to be a rugged All Black
Or something, but I never forgot the Fifth Curve.
So. I had exhausted my options.
I took some annual leave from the human vacuum
And began to recreate The Hand: the gigantic Hand
Old-growing in centurious seconds: became.
But then it wrink-wrenches clamps shakes
And began to dissolve.
Or it gets weaker weaker weaker, slowly:

They all watch, they are tranced -
This is a show! The brave fingers
Like a fly-spray dying spider. . . at last! at last!
Give up, and the dolly: the dolly drops!
Squeaking with freedom! The Head.
The Head is feebly. The Head turns. The Head.

But twenty stories down, and squashed across
A car, the dead dolly is dead, so dead -
It declined to comment: kept dignity;
Refused to be drawn. So...

So we filed it under Section Z2347.
_______________________________________________________________________________
.

maybe a shadow sleeps in your hand, but it is not known to the divergent multitude, who are cross with destiny. Our quarrel is not so direct, or our bubbles so gloating in their rise.


Once I stood on hills, high in corn, whirled about in black by yellow crows, and did different. Things. The sob suppressed shall burst in thunder yet. Soap. This anger transforms, and many new eyes appear, as daisies, or freesias. You planted light, and reap now torment, now torrents, now rocks.

No way is safe except all ways: and we are forbidden. Things nowadays tend toward minima, and you, you sit alone: tape or pen in hand, and a book, and strange internal forms do crowd about: those those these these; less-comforting- than-the-flesh: and listening to songs or modes that ring, recalling the dying generation’s that all, all neglect all: and the dark and clapping coat-a-stick, & such arms in arms, and the joyful bitter hope of gold, beat into music: free in the holy fire outside desire or any gyre, keeping awake….these strange sounds that ring from those who live and have learnt to sing…

You, of course, are dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead to the world: skewered, sliced, sacrificed, shorn. Spat out by those you had trusted most. And so should you be!



For how is it you think you are important: with so many syndromes, diseases, shootings, atrocious accidents, massacres: in fact, the summated enbloodment? Eh?! Hmm!?!

Words are thus evolved: or invented ‘in sudden throat’, for evil or ‘good’ occasion. (Evil vile and virid (yet red yellow bright) amphispbaena sleep about as if in the dreams of La Tentation de St. Antoine …)
all this said, and, if acknowledged – let us note – those of us who are alive – how the sky is so blue, and the shrieking has subsided.

so. I shall hazard forth – e’en as the great and holy machinery of this creaking orb doth shudder with Begin –
and slobbered forebodings of fear and joy       and of
the more and more and more to come…


.........................................................................................................................................................................
_______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________


.................................................................................................................................................................................

here the eye began. anciently. it's beginning was here. ages passed. there was matter. something was amiss with the matter's matter. the snake got involved. a spreading sneer, and a sad erotic leaf mass. and a sedan....

####################################################################


 as in............... his book Theoretical Objects (by Nick Piombino)


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>&gt
;>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>as a kind of theoretical 'argument' but modulates into what Scott Hamilton has termed "poessays" - or that is one "take" on them - they are all stimulating and interesting, as are
))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))0



Alan's. Not all are "beautiful - the purpose is stimulation, or stir...


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------
disgust, dread, fascination, density, decay, difficulty or clarity, greater or lesser degrees of what Bernstein calls "absorption" (in A Poetics ); revulsion, convulsion, desire, enactment, process, disturbance and so on...Seen also is the range and restlessness of Alan's very wide reading -
he is reading or would read almost anything...


((((((())))))))()()()()()()()()()()
()()()(
)()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()(
............................................


And


.................................................................................




.............
Like a fat poet retching, or casting himself.......
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>as in Bernstein's


concept - here phil
osophy or
its mode of discourse - inter

changes with poetry and its mode of "phi



losophic" inquiry - research or investigation. Ala


n's inquiry in

..................................
revulsion, convulsion, desire, enactment, process, disturbance and so on


volves

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,<,,,<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<,,,,,<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< ...............................his
great variety of modes of writing - that i

s - his structures....
####################################################################



This
STRATEGY o f                    

constant shifting and non-normative writing  

challenges the hierarchical 'tyranny' of received or  

#########################transparent Narrational writing  

where################                                                                                      


,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, (
s p e r m a t i c s i l e n c e....here the eye began. anciently. it's beginning was here. ages passed. there was matter. something was amiss with the matter's matter. the snake got involved. a spreading sneer, and a sad erotic leaf mass. and a sedan....
####################################################################
o
rn. Spat out by those you had trusted most. And so should you be!

For how is it you think you are so important: with so many syndromes, diseases, shootings, atro


here the eye began. anciently. it's beginning was here. ages passed. there was matter. something was amiss with the matter's matter. the snake got involved. a spreading sneer, and a sad erotic leaf mass. and a sedan....


###########################################################

as in............... his book Theoretical Objects 

(by Nick Piombino) a spreading sneer,
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>as a kind of theoretical 'argument' but modulate into what Scott Hamilton has termed "poessays" - or that is one "take" on them - they are all beautiful and interesting, as are
)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))0

Alan's. Not all are "beautiful - the purpose is stimulation,

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------
disgust, dread, fascination, density, decay, difficulty or clarity, greater or lesser degrees of what Bernstein calls "absorption" (in A Poetics ); revulsion, convulsion, desire, enactment, process, disturbance and so on...Seen also is the range and restlessness of Alan's very wide reading - he is reading or would read almost anything...


((((((())))))))()()()()()()()()()()
()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()(
............................................

And

.................................................................................




.............
Like a fat poet retching, or casting himself.......



>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>&>as in Bernstein's


concept - here phil
osophy or
its mode of discourse - inter

changes with poetry and its mode of "phi



losophic" inquiry - research or investigation. Ala


###########################################################


This
STRATEGY of

constant shifting and non-normative writing

challenges the hierarchical 'tyranny' of received or


#########################transparent  Narational writing
 where################



,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, (
s p e r m a t i c s i l e n c e....here the eye began. anciently. it's beginning was here. ages passed. there was matter. something was amiss with the matter's matter. the snake got involved. a spreading sneer, and a sad erotic leaf mass. and a sedan....


####################################################################



beginning was here.




###################################################################
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------
disgust, dread, fascination, density, decay, difficulty or clarity, greater or lesser degrees of what Bernstein calls "absorption" (in A Poetics ); revulsion, convulsion, desire, enactment, process, disturbance and so on...Seen also is the range and restlessness of Alan's very wide reading - he is reading or would read almost anything...

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||purpose is stimula


((((((())))))))()()()()()()()()()()
()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()(
............................................

And

.................................................................................
he is reading or would read almost anything...

....................................anciently...................................................

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eye began. anciently. it's beginning was here. ages passed. there was matter. something was amiss with the matter's matter. the snake got involved. a spreading sneer, and a sad erotic leaf mass. and a sedan....

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 eye began.

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]]]















[[[























































*
***

[~? [~? [~~~?? [[[ ~~~~ :|??? ! ..... 


***



*

































?
















*








































































































HE LEANED CLOSER --- PERHAPS THERE WAS NOT

MUCH HOPE LEFT IN HIM

I YEARNED TO TELL HIM OF THE

PRESUMED COMING OF THNGS


BUT THE CRAGS APPEARED AND INDEED

THEY BECOME DOMINANT

LIKE A PERFECTLY CLEAN SHEEP SKULL BONE

FOUND ON A BEACH IN A ROCK POOL


TO BE MOMENT OF MORE OF OF SOMETHING

PERHAPS A DARK VOICE BREAKING

THE NIGHT

(((((((((( .............................. ^^??????


In my last discussion of “what I am doing” here in and on EYELIGHT I referred to Pound’s ‘influence’ and his talk of “All things [being] a flowing.” via “sage Heraclitus.

Here are some notes I made:
 Pound struggled toward this aspect [flow?],and we see process and constant development in
many poets and writers (many artists of whatever
“discipline” in fact) –



h
ere I will digress [for me digression or divagation and difficulty are or can be method] – I am not concerned about any potential reader [hence I reject “popularity” or transparency 


[the  Strunk and White effect] with a vengeance as the reader must become the writer – and I reject also “pathetic beauty” or “hope and consolation”

[one thinks of Ashbery’s line
all that useless love…”]

[philosophers such as Heidegger were here one thinks of Hitler and his glorious parades and massive tirades into evil resonances of The Ring of Alberich (made by the Rhine Maidens (this [their song] heard partly in The Waste Land by Eliot) or that of Tolkien’s and so on – whence one thinks of Wagner’s wondrous and often too long and tedious (yet sometimes
wonderful tonkile tonkle) and erotic Gotterdammerang – but one also sadly contemplates in a new and horrible agony of being of the terrible destruction and the loss [one thinks or gedandke’s here of Anne Frank] – hence deconstruction – but as Mao said:


“There can be no construction without de[con?] destruction” (and flow) – { per se } – but we now return to the notes:

the constant obsession of many writers in the (first part of?) the 20th Century [BTW many of these ideas I am now mixing with my recent reading of various philosophers whose ideas I only had dim concepts of at the 


(postulated?) inception of EYELIGHT

[really quite accidental but which must have had some paradoxical inceptional modal ‘origin’ - but this  [notion – [passing thought??]  is open to infinite questions into echoes unto dearth] – before I continu
e ....
......
I will use term I have discovered (this as I say an learning process for me and hopefully for others – there are huge areas or blocks of Nothing in me I cannot disbelieve –and much of this new theory [not new in time of course new to me] is beyond me as well as you my lovely reader ] but here is the term – [see the ‘origin’ hyper link above] – but to return –


{Richard STOP being so stupid just write it down people don’t want all this interrupting and crap {your not Einstein or Joyce or anyone you slop!} {I know! I know…sorry…} So you should be you stupid bastard –get on with it!??} -
 u know Richard that was great that Moral tale of Laforgue “Hamlet” best thing I’ve read by him so far –cant get much in Frenh or English by him… { died at                     


  He washed......... his hand.............. s..................in eyeballs


Read Laforgue (who influenced Eliot of course) from some book at Uni but didn’t think much about it for some time until I found the Jay Smith translation at the Hard to Find in  Onehunga…where that Yank was talking about reading – or he had read “The Rise and Fall…} {Richard – SHUT UP!!!...{Sorry…o.k. 


{Should I play The Modern to 1. e4 from now on [Sicilian becoming too well known] ??




{ I WILL definitely try 3 Nxf7 against the Petrov’s though!!) {Topalov-Kramnik – only a draw but still…}


{Shut up I said!!!}


-many writers) such as Zukofsky his ‘A’ and especially ’80 Flowers’ where the growing of the flowers itself (I feel) is itself an enactmentenacted or
danced out over a period of 20 years of the writer’s life and thus becomes acted into the

totality of the poem itself;


   Olson’s ‘Maximus’ and for me Gertrude Stein is
                                          essential
................................................here.
 everybody in their entering the modern composition and they do enter it, if they do not enter it they are not so to speak in it they are out of it and so they do enter it; but in as you may say the non-competitive efforts where if you are not in it nothing is lost except nothing at all except what is not had, there are naturally all the refusals, and the things refused are only important if unexpectedly somebody happens to need them. In the case of the arts it is very definite. Those who are creating the modern composition authentically are naturally only of importance when they are dead because by that time the modern composition having become past is classified and the description of it is classical. That is the reason why the creator of the new composition in the arts is an outlaw until he is a classic, there is hardly a moment in between and it is really too bad very much too bad naturally for the creator but also very much too bad for the enjoyer, they all really would enjoy the created so much better just after it has been made than when it is already a classic, but it is perfectly simple that there is no reason why the contemporary should see, because it would not make any difference as they lead their lives in the new composition anyway, and as every one is naturally indolent why naturally they don't see. For this reason as in quoting…
The inception of EYELIGHT had it’s beginning in The Infinite Po-em and it’s fascination and use of collage and the interaction of texts and various forms or paroles of the resultant polyvocal and polymodal writing. The I.P. owes in turn


to an essay (“Writing and Method”) by


                           Charles Bernstein



This essay, which I read in 1992 while doing a (stage 3 B.A.) course on modern and postmodern US poetry, I discussed in the literary magazine Brief [Number 24, July 2002].
Why US poetry, and what was I doing? This is or could be long divergence (later I roamed into English, French (and other European) writers (mostly in translation): and much else: and of course I was always reading N.Z. writing.
in fact I read into anything so there is not now any preference for U.S. over Chinese or whatever) – but the starting point was a Journal we (stage three English students) kept. This was open to anything we could contribute about writers or writing on the course. I’ll get back to that Journal as there are things in it of quite some interest…
Part of my purpose or dreams in the ‘early days’ of the I.P. was somehow to ‘save’ all traces of all human consciousness as far as possible in and through all time. (When I started on The I.P. I had not read about


                         Boltanksi
etc – I ‘found’ him more or less by accident at the Auckland Library)…’


Here is the relevant passage in Bernstein's essay - many of the ideas in the essay I studied very carefully and gave a lot of notes to, in my Journal, in 1992
ere quite new to me and I wasn't completely aware that some of these ideas derive from
various Postmodern writers (and others mentioned by Bernstein - poets


-for example at one stage he quotes Keats on "negative capability" and so on). 


The essay I quote was a starting point, not a prescription, for what I began to do, or enact...

One vision of a “constructive” writing practice I have, and it can be approached in both poetry and philosophy, is of a multi-discourse text, a work that would involve many different types and styles and modes of language in the same “hyperspace”. Such a textual practice would have a dialogic or polylogic rather than monologic method. The loss of dialogue in philosophy has been a central problem since Plato; Cavell, applying this to his own work, and that of Thoreau, talks about the dialogue of a “text answerable to itself”. Certainly Philosophical Investigations is the primary instance of such a text in this century, and also a primary instance of taking this practice as method. I can easily imagine more extreme forms of this: where contrasting moods and styles of argument, shifting styles and perspectives, would surface the individual modes and their meaning in individual ways, and perhaps further Heidegger’s call for an investigation into “pure thinking” (Thinking is also construction.) Indeed, I can imagine a writing that would provide a philosophic insight but would keep essentially a fabric of dance – logopoeia – where truth would not be to the validity of argument but to the ontological truthfulness of its meaning.

@?@?@!?%???***?????????????????????%%%%%%%%????????????\\\\\////?????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!*************************************???//
Charles Bernstein from
....................................."Writing and Method"
..................................................in In The American Tree.
Bernstein also talks - to summarise briefly - of the way that the difference between philosophy and poetry (or philosophical writing and poetic textuation - is there a difference?) is as much in the style or the "form" of that writing - so that the work of Sartre's Being and Nothingness


"...is a more poetic work than the Age of Reason in the sense that I find it more a structured investigation of perception of perception and experience – “being” whose call is to “memory and synaesthesia”, while the novels often seem to exemplify various “problems” using a rationalistic approach to argument and validity."


Here are two paragraphs leading to this - with my comments:
Poetry, like philosophy, may be involved with the investigation of phenomena (events, objects, selves) and human knowledge of them; not just in giving examples, but in developing methodological approaches. This implies not that the two traditions are indistinct but that aspects of each tradition, especially in respect to the basicness of method, may have more in common with aspects of the other tradition than with aspects of its own tradition; that the distinction ............between these two practices may be a less a matter of intrinsic usefulness than of professionalization and segmentation of audience and so of the address of texts.
Bernstein had earlier in the essay rejected the distinction of philosophy (and I’ll comment here that I believe that science has been and still very much is a kind of philosophy in action, and that philosophy is a sort of mental “science” so its possible that the distinctions between all disciplines are more of convenience than reality ...but I’ll leave those questions aside for now) and poetry. That is that philosophy was logical and explicatory and poetry was not while it contained “argument’: the differences are in fact in the way that they presented; the style, the genre, and so on. But let me stick to Bernstein on Sartre:
Jean Paul Sartre, in his “Interview at 70” (In Life/Situations) argues that while literature should be ambiguous, “in philosophy, every sentence should have only one meaning”[this one might thie rigorous discipline such as, say, physics (my comment)]; he even reproaches himself for the “too literary language of Being and Nothingness “whose language should have been strictl technical. It is the accumulation of technical phrases which creates the total meaning, a meaning which”, at this overall level, “has more than one level”. Literature, on the other hand, is a matter of style, style that requires greater effort in writing and pervasive revision. ylistic work does not consist of sculpting a sentence, but of permanently keeping in mind the totality of the scene, the chapter,...the entire book” as each sentence is being composed. So a superimposition of many meanings in each sentence – Sartre’s remarks are interesting in this context because he so clearly exemplifies the poetry / philosophy split, being equally known for his fiction annon-fiction. Yet for me,Being and Nothingness is a more poetic work than The Age of Reason in the sense that I find it more a structured investigation of perception and experience – “beg” whose call is to “memory an the novels often seem to exemplify various “problems” using a rationalistic approach to argument and validity.
This contradiction.......................... was one of the fundamental "eclairrisement's".................... that energised my initiating my (my?) The Infinite Poem.
Interestingly, about 2 years after reading this, when I studied stage three philosophy we did "Continental Philosophy" (we covered Heidegger, Sarte, Camus, Foucault and a few others) we some readings of Being and Nothingness and The Myth of Sisyphus but took as as 'better' texts La Nauseé and L'Etranger (two favourite books of mine) and it seemed to me, reading these, that Bernstein was right (or onto something interesting) - but I have only read patches of the longer philosophic works of Sartre and Camus.


So I began my adventure - my "break" from various conventions,
...my affair...... with ostranie [something like 'making strange' or 'strangeness'] and so on.
Another impact on me has clearly been art - my father an was an artist (he practised as a professional Engineer-Architect) and transmitted his love of art to myself and also my older sister Gillian - who pursued art through her life (this I was not always strongly aware of really until relatively recently) in between being a mother, working as teacher, skating (she took part in championships and did much coaching.) My brother and other sister took other paths - he in Chemistry and she in English Literature and teaching.
I kept a interest in all aspects of art (however defined) and at one stage took a good look at conceptual art - it was thus that I "discovered "


quite by chance (at the Auckland Library) - with him there was in me the near-hopeless "lunge" to preserve 'everything' - every human - in fact potentially all sentient - thought or conscious experience.


Consciousness being the deepest,

most profound project - the greatest and 


most beautiful mystery.






e
Boltanksi speaks:


every artist belongs to a mythical country
and miserable. This is precisely the reason why Boltanski's works are not made of bronze or of marble, but rather of cheap materials such as tinplate; materials that fall into decay by themselves. The artist also uses simple and easily recognizable materials such as coats or photos. To him, everybody is a fragile and unique character whose memories have to be preserved, just like the example of his grandmother: no trace of her existence has left, at the exception of this samovar displayed in the Moscow exhibition or the memory of those who knew her. It is all about "small" individual memory, that is opposed to the "large" collective memory, that of the history books that he also tells throughout his installations. Each of his exhibitions creates a new path made of old pieces combined with new works, which setting is renewed every time.
Boltanski tells thai at the beginning of every work of art, there is a historical or psychoanalytic event, referring to events that have to be told in order to be better understood.
"I was born at the end of World War II: my “hidden” father during the war, the discovery of the Holocaust, my anxiety about my father's desperation, these are all elements that moulded me ... 'Odessa's Ghosts' allows me to celebrate my personal stories — we have to entertain the dead.
every artist belongs to a mythical country


every artist belongs to mythical country


every artist belongs mythical country


every artist belongs mythical


every artist mythical


every artist


every


artist


evy art


ev ar


e r


e


























..................................there are huge areas or blocks of Nothing in me


























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The endless book...








Here is a picture of Bach's score the start of the Credo) for his B Minor Mass:




New color facsimile of the autograph score based on newly commissioned photographs. The "Great Catholic Mass" —as it was referred to in the will of CPE Bach—is both one of the crowning achievements of Johann Sebastian Bach and at the same time one of his most enigmatic works.

.............
the Mass conspicuously lacks a title page














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This (the written score by Bach's own hand - or facsimile of) - doesn't mean much to me - I can in fact read music - but I have no capacity to recall sounds - so while I can locate the position of notes on a piano for example I can never remember what it actually sounds like: I have no real music ability. [This doesn't matter BTW - many people play musical instruments who cannot "visualise" sounds etc although I suppose most musicians can to some degree, and people who are really great in this area are very rare..but I am saying this for the man of you who are as baffled as I am by such score - not totally though - and what fascinates me is the look of it - and this is important - just as often I use parts of phrases for the texture of the impossible meaning resonance, rather than any possible completeness - I love to "partially" comprehend things such as this score -also I selected a facsimile rather than a neat modern score - this is the score as done by Bach's living hand - it attempts perfection - but is of the failed flesh...]

I used to "improvise" on my piano - but it was a mechanical process (it was a hobby for a time - almost an obsession - ) ... To play Beethoven I used to got all the way through the treble then the base then combine them and play it (e.g. 'The Waldstein' I could play quite well, but there were parts I could never "master") - eventually I would recall the music somewhat, but my musical "recall" is very hazy...so it seems incredible tome that Bach etc could write music as that above and know how it all sounded... I don't really believe that any one is capable of it - but apparently he must have been.




But whatever - the B Minor Mass is said by many to be the greatest piece of music ever composed - and said to be perhaps one of the most extraordinary, towering conceptions ever realized by a conscious being. And I love Bach's work - but there is no way I can confirm this - or say it necessarily of the B Minor Mass in particular - or indeed of any other art work.


                  How can we know ? 


How can we know that this work is so great - and how do we judge it - and by what criteria? To many it is a terrible cacophony - of no interest - after all it doesn't really have a "tune" like some of the marvelous songs and so on - it isn't very happy or tuneful music, it repeats and drones on and on and on... for my mother (who loved 'classical' music except Bach (I know he was in fact baroque) ) Bach was "too dreary". My uncle liked jazz - but only happy, not complex, jazz - and certainly not Bach. Others keen on music I have heard say that Bach is too intellectual. Others call it "opera" and if they hear it will quickly switch it off... I myself cannot logically prove the "greatness of" or privilege Bach's music above any other music on this earth or within this or other universes.
But what about for me? What is great for me about Bach is the sense of the eternal present I seem to feel while listening to(for me) his best works) - as Glenn Gould pointed - out he wasn't interested in "getting through to the end, in getting to any conclusion, really..." (his sons were - they were "progressive" while Bach
Was quite conservative and kept to a form that twas in fact already largely outmoded in his own life time. But his "melody" seems to dwell in a perpetual present.) While listening to Bach I am sometimes almost convinced there must be some God or a higher power - whatever. Einstein's ambition to get inside the thoughts of God... Bach's end is his beginning and his end: his endless end.

But my point - apart from this endless process in Bach - is a discussion I once heard about the entire work on the radio. The mass is not in fact a singe work per se - it was a work (according to my commentator) that was patched together from otter older scores, It is thus a composite. The musicologist then explained how the entire work was, in all kinds of ways, arranged in the form of a complex mathematical and musical symmetry. The music could theoretically be printed or presented as one vast shape - virtually a great gestalt, a kind of Fast Fourier Transform of itself to summate the multiplex complex wave or wave mass it is - shone onto a vast canvass in colour that could be "number crunched" and subtly analysed - it has been and a huge symmetry of fearful power emerges - a massive, glorious, huge winged Eagle with coruscating colours and coded in are to be found the letters of Bach's name as the notes chosen (a practice John Cage copied and continued).


How can we know ? <<
I have done this in EYELIGHT - I am recycling texts or poems or fragments of poems constantly as well as bringing innovations, repetitions, and work form other sources than my own etc into the long "work" or process that is EYELIGHT. Am I vying with Bach? Of course not - I am applying the method - as I am interested very much in the methods of Bach and also many contemporary composers (who worked in very different ways to Bach - such as Varese, Xenakis, Cage, Ives, and Stockhausen etc. I see EYELIGT not as great (this term seems absurd to me) or unitary as Bach's work is - but I do see it as long and analogous to a composition in music although as I say in that area I am more or less tone deaf...


But questions remain. How do we define great art (let alone 'the greatest') -in fact how do we define and or privilege art, poetry etc?




For me there are no answers - the Mass is something incomprehensible (and undoubtedly magnificent -but for me not his best or even particularly good); but it is still the marvelous work of a human mind or brain. Incredible, as we say "incredible".
But so is everything else. Everything...... in the Universe ( .... or the infinite Multiverse.............?)......................................... is both immensely mysterious.....................................,puzzling........................fascinating..................................,and, ......................even in............................................. its defined.................................................'ugliness';beautiful;...................................................
       even terrifyingly so.


llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll


Tyger , tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or
eye


Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
And in Blake's great poem the last stanza replaces "could" with "dare" - which has been introduced earlier in the poem:


What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain,
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
Below* is the entire poem, showing the consummate interweave of ideas - and of words such as 'could' to 'dare' and the powerfully punctuating questions - the sense of immensity and beauty -




"A terrible beauty is born" ........!!???!........ as Yeats says...
and this perverse beauty can indeed seem the obverse of our conventional view of "beauty" -
it........... can at times seem terrible, dark, horrifying;.... or trite, tedious.

Eliot.................... refers to the "horror, the boredom, and the glory".


                                              I don't know.


Take something ......... from this vast work or 'apparition' though - ........... what I have 'stolen' is the idea of recycling my own poems, or fragments of them into the main "body"of the work. From my original works................. back into
.............................EYELIGHT.


But EYELIGHT is not the greatest work!! This term, in fact, 'grates' on me! EYELIGHT is not great or a perfect anything - it is a process a happening, deepened and enriched by the palimpsestic depth of all earlier processes and workings of my mind in the earlier"works" or writings or whatever


has preceded or is a part of what I am presently doing; it could be seen as an endless beginning and ending as is (or seems to be) Bach's music
when I appreciate Bach most. It is a procedure, an eternal beginning and an eternal end with no predicted end or
beginning or obsess with such beginning or possible traumatic or tragi-pathetic end (as we seem to see Tchaikovsky's suicide predicted or adumbrated in "The Pathetique". ) Like life - which it is a part of
-
how can something in the world escape the world? - EYELIGHT proceeds with (albeit something if a sense of the eternal present) in relatively predictable ways. Sure I get inspired by Bach etc, but I am not now concerned with a single, finished, or 'perfect' product.

I cannot or don't wish to call EYELIGHT a 'poem' or 'work of art'; but it can be said to emulate a huge musical or artistic 'composition', where themes and ideas or motifs repeat, as say do the 'leitmotifs' of Wagner's "Ring Cycle". EYELIGHT is thus a text. In it, images, indeed potentially everything and anything, can participate in its progress, its on going...
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
But I want to describe how I "moved away" from the single, 'perfect' poem,
towards a (for me) new method of proceeding: a 'work', an action enacted,
that I myself cannot define. [It is 'structured' more than anything I have yet done, but while it is still my most 'structured'. 'constituted','planned' enactment - yet it it i..........................s yet of a form and nature happenstantial, and sometimes an "intuitive", or even random, work.


hing I cannot define.
...but I will try. In about 1990 I was at the Auckland University library. I was fascinated to see on display in a glass case, several versions of a poem called 'Narita' by Allen Curnow. Now I took a note of the "crossings out", the changes, the many versions, and the final 'perfect', finished poem. Here is the first stanza:

   Turning the eyes from side to side, inquiring
   brightly, the head of the door
   issues from the door for arrivals.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Things such as this intrigue me - the poem and its process - I was then rather new to modernist/postmodernist poetry (Curnow has been described as both) and I hadn't read or written any poetry (or even much literature of any kind) for many years prior to about 1986. The poem fascinated and puzzled me. What was this strange writhing and inquiring worm? What was it all about? ( I have trouble with metaphor, abstraction, or symbolism - I tend to see almost everything literally, or in fact simply as combinations of words - and I think this has always been the case for me to some extent .) I later asked a friend what 'Narita' was and was quite surprised to discover it was not in fact a nematode, but an airport near Tokyo!
~But the real importance for me of this encounter, as in once seeing a facsimile of a n original typescript of a book by Virginia Woolf and what most excited me were the crossings out, the errors, the starts and stops, the shapes of the words themselves, the strange or unique script, the marks, the blotches, the variously faded or clear typing, - the unfinished and the manifold look of the uncompleted work - that is of all the drafts displayed, and the strangenesses, the resonances and disturbances thus set up in me...
?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


... and every version seemed to me, peering over and into the austere glass and bossy case, of an equal, or similar merit, or wondrousness. Further: it was the totality as I felt this experience of reading and interpreting, and not understanding, was, for me. Later I realised that there was again here an example of constant process as 'poem' - and my encounter with it was part of an ongoing experience of a work - a work that ( if not for Curnow ) had it's importance for me in its endlessess and its non beginning. Later in lectures on Sartre (particularly his La Nausee) this issue or concept of there not being any place a "story" starts was presented as being problematic for the main protagonist.
In fact one project I did in philosophy was to write three stories -to somehow confirm (or not) that certain separate events had happened in my life - in life of course we have to - at least in our minds - separate things out.


The stories I recalled most vividly were ones that involved near death, or were of a romantic nature, or were distressing, erotic, or joyful - the "ordinary" totality of existence of course is mostly forgotten by the mind and we see things in separate "blocks" but we are amid an ongoing roar of process..a constant molecular and existential boil of Being and causation and the burning torment of matter and the agonised and joyful convulsions life lived in (albeit quantum mechanical and multi vectorial) space time...
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
........................the squirting joy of the act
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A similar thing occurred for me when I once came across a book on how to write poetry by Michael Harlow and Bill Manhire - these included some excellent creative writing exercises. Indeed I have probably used some of the ideas in that book in EYELIGHT and in some of my previous writings. But again my main interest was in Harlow's demonstration of the evolution of poem he had written. Again with many versions, "crossings out", changes, circlings, mysterious marks, squiggles, corrections - indeed, many 'Visions and revisions'.... all in Harlow's demonstration of the evolution of his poem.


But for me his poem began with the beginning of the Universe or the Multiverse - if it (they) has / have a beginning...




Here is (or are) an (some), image(s) of the poem [ in process or development] as it were] and the (some of) accompanying text:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Process: The Work is the Totality of The Work




















































The "process" continued (or continues) until Harlow (and he goes through all this with the potential writer who is learning or interested in this procedure) (perhaps of many but typical of writers and their methods) has or had or may have had could have or did have the"perfect poem"; that he then sent off ) (perhaps) to a publisher (or he may have kept it in drawer or his back trouser pocket for some time: until showing, indeed revealing, it here in this "how to" book) and it was now ready to be published - and was [or is or would have been or could be etc] thus final (complete -& total) - now the draft could have been thrown away - but it is this very draft or these tentative coils and loops of beginnings and hesitant incipiencies, the torture of making, the disgust and hatred of doubt and delay, the scribbles, the deletions, the intrusions of infinite phenomena and intellectual or sentential debris we cannot know, - the total making - all of every thing that goes "into" the poem or text that interests,nay fascinates, me...













































So I "get angry"with it all!!
The finished poem as poem is good - really good. Harlow is a major poet in NZ - one of my favourite - but I am not interested just now in the poem's meaning (meaning is problematic in any case) interested here in the look of the totality of his work as worked through and I then transform it - as things constantly do in life - in fact I went "berserk" with it almost in trance or a fever, a kind of "creative rage" perhaps: creating a new "poem" or text as in the following image-poem-text-enactment: an implication of an infinite and progressive or degressive process ... I got very angry with it:













W


hen he arrives
on his lips a small tattoo
The plumes of his pocket
almost a wonder
has signed
something else - buff -coloured signs are taken for wonders....
the leopards are strewn about the desert in a lazy terror

that only White can convey




















Fock!



















































































ETRE



































W H O ?



















































  They explode from the night into morning's dark  indifference and the endless and near illegible  unintelligibility of truth...





















































































































































































































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Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet
?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
William Blake 1794





The crosses, the rows and rows,


the ordered dead: the endlessly dead;


the white,



the crosses,



the dead,



the dazzling,





the white rows.”












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This heart pain is not a medicine.











There is you know sometimes a solid darkness so near impenetrable we have to eat our way through. It is essential for morale. Certain soldiers dream of eyes to stab, or, at the last, of avoiding. But we are enjoined from the dark and neo-natural engines of our past, and – well – quite frankly – we have to eat the wall. Those black and bassile waves come at us. Heads and horribles all gorgon with eyes come at us. We hate, yet need, this darkness. Perhaps it’s a Northern thing. Or it’s (just?) us? We, or some of us. Sometimes. And some times – like ants on the flax-flower whose weird white and purple spikes break to the sky so bitter and remote, yet, oh how so blue and gold-filled, like, well, like a set of magic teeth. And things. Things we’d never suspected, horrid and gentle things. These emerge, and come at us. And do we eat through? Eh? Do we? Is this thus our victory? Toward what? By whom? Is The Great One watching?


These questions curl inside a dead leaf mass of erotic sadness until the light is everywhere in the dawn. And we, we are held high. So high, eyes cannot see: yet we are naked pink and vast.


















This Heart Pain Is Not A Medicine
















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4 comments:

Richard said...

Yes. Yes, RT.

Richard said...

Fair enough. Still work to do. RT

richard lopez said...

i'm very happy to see more work from you. i love your photos. you post books here. lovely lovely very good stuff. thank you.

Richard said...

Thanks Richard. I appreciate it. I am trying to do a multiplex project. A potential publisher is in the wings but he is experiencing some problems. But I am soldiering on. Hope you are well. I haven't looked at your Blog lately although I always find it interesting. I was fascinated by that house built by the gun maker with all the rooms and other things. I would like to also Blog in that more discursive laid back and journal way as it is good. But I would do it more on the other Blog I have as it is easier on the eyes, literally. Here I get contrast etc.

All the best!

RT