Wednesday, 30 August 2000

From "Political Theology"

By Carl Schmitt.

Of all juristic concepts the concept of sovereignty is the one most governed by actual interests. According to convention, the history of this concept begins with Bodin. But one cannot say that it has developed logically since the sixteenth century. The phases of its conceptual development are characterized by various political power struggles, not by a dialectical heightening inherent in the characteristics of the concept.

From "The Murderer"

By Luke Kennard.

The murderer likes to play badminton.
When he loses, I say, 'That's what you get for being a murderer.'
When he wins, I say,

'I guess you got yourself in pretty good shape
Murdering all those people.'
[...]

When I dance with the murderer I let him lead
Because he is the more proficient dancer –
'Just be careful not to murder me!' I tease.

Tuesday, 29 August 2000

From "The Laughter of Narcissism: Loving Hot White Andy and the Troubling Chain of Equivalence"

By Jennifer Cooke.

[...] The poem simulates something of the embarrassment intimacy can cause, especially publicly expressed intimacy: the spunky, combative and virtuosic syntax follows on directly from the personal window into pain, like a man who has to jump out of bed immediately after sex and start doing things [...]

Friday, 25 August 2000

From "Se Celle"

By Villon trans. Calais.

She sure had me wrapped around her little finger
and could always make me believe something else
was happening. Expecting cake you got slag;
you wanted a Stetson, she'd hand you a hard hat
and a good thing; for sterling, she offered tin cansl
she'd deal you a full house, but she always called low ball.
The witch could always convince you
her shit was brilliant.

That heaven was an electric kitchen,
that cotton was cowhide,
that morning was really evening,
that left-over cabbage was truffles,
that a Burgie (of all shit) was a Heineken,
that a pig was a gaselle,
San Quentin a salon
or the landlord just a panhandler (her shit was brilliant).

From " D i n i n g o n C a r t i l eg e "

By Stephen Rodefer.

IT WAS IN THE WOMB, if I remember correctly, that I first entertained the idea of suicide.

Wednesday, 23 August 2000

From "Negative Dialectics"

By Theodor W. Adorno.

The need to lend a voice to suffering is a condition of all truth.

From "If I Controlled the Internet"

By Rives.

If I ran the Internet, you could e-mail dead people.

Sunday, 20 August 2000

From "The Sacred Wood"

By T. S. Eliot.

Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.

Saturday, 12 August 2000

From "Buffy the Vampire Disciplinarian: Institutional Excess and the New Economy of Power"

By Martin Buinicki and Anthony Enns.

This relationship between vampires and discipline is particularly appropriate given that, according to Foucault, the exercise of disciplinary power is directly linked to the notion of the soul. Foucault argues that the soul is produced in the act of punishment, and thus the history of the creation of the modern institutional apparatus is also a “history of the modern soul”: “[The soul] is not born in sin and subject to punishment, but is born rather out of methods of punishment, supervision and constraint” (29). In other words, the notion of a soul is inherently connected with forces of control, and rather than simply “slaying” the soulless, as her title suggests, Buffy’s exercise of disciplinary power actually rehearses the process by which souls are produced and sustained. This connection between discipline and the soul is most explicit in the character of Angel. In an inversion of the traditional Faust myth, Angel is punished for his evil deeds by being given back a soul, which causes him to experience torment and guilt. His punishment and his soul are thus inseparable, and for as long as he retains his soul, he continues to be punished.

From "Buffy the Vampire Disciplinarian: Institutional Excess and the New Economy of Power"

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BtVS), the hit television series featuring a teen-age girl with super-human powers who fights vampires and other forces of evil, has inspired increasing critical attention over the last few years. This attention is largely focused on three propositions: Buffy represents a liberatory feminist figure (Wilcox; Harts); the show’s vampires and demons represent the failure of reason, science, and technology to solve contemporary social problems (Owen); and the show offers a moderately Marxist critique of culture (McMillan and Owen). Implicit in each of these propositions is the notion that, in her struggle against vampires and demons, Buffy subverts concrete and often callous political, social, economic, and educational institutions, such as the high school, the mystical Watcher’s Council, and the military-industrial complex called The Initiative. This apparently subversive project seems to have been extended in the spin-off series Angel and the title character’s struggle with the law firm Wolfram and Hart. However, more recent critics, such as Kent Ono, have begun to perform resistant readings which suggest the show is not as subversive as it appears. While Ono focuses on the show’s representations of race, this essay argues that the show’s representations of institutional power are also less transgressive than they seem. Rather than simply exposing the evils of institutions, a project which might seem in line with Foucault’s study of punitive systems in Discipline and Punish, both BtVS and Angel actually offer an alternative system of power and control which is, as Foucault describes the modern penal system, “more regular, more effective, more constant and more detailed in its effects” (80). Therefore, these apparent subversions of institutional power merely signal a resistance to the excessive use of power, to outdated institutional models rather than to institutional power in general. In other words, while these programs may be read as supporting Marxist or feminist subversions of institutional constructions, they ultimately reaffirm the role of institutions in maintaining social order.

From "Buffy the Vampire Disciplinarian: Institutional Excess and the New Economy of Power"

By Martin Buinicki and Anthony Enns.

Rather than simply relying on formal analysis, then, an argument for the show’s actual potential for effecting positive political change can only rely upon a study of its reception among fans and audiences.

From "'Mind and Heart with Spirit Joined': The Buffyverse as an Information System"

By Aimee Fifarek.

Much of the show revolves around the battle for dominance between the supernatural and normal memes. Unlike the X-Files (in which the two memes have their personifications in Mulder and Scully), the battle is not over which one is true [...] but rather which one will increase its survival value by spreading.

From "'Love’s Bitch but Man Enough to Admit It': Spike’s Hybridized Gender"

By Arwen Spicer.

[...] when Spike is feminized by others, such as Angelus and Drusilla, he loses power. When he codes himself as feminine in his battles with Slayers, he typically gains power. The message, as one would expect from Buffy, is that self-authorization is vital to personal empowerment. To be constrained to enact any given set of gender constructs is to be reduced to a readily manipulable stereotype. To reject or claim such constructs according to one’s own proclivities, however, is to establish an identity that cannot be categorized, and therefore readily controlled, by external ideological forces. Like every enduring character on Buffy, Spike slips through the fingers of definition [...] This ability to claim the prerogatives of both masculine and feminine conventions allows him to adapt and persist in the Buffyverse, where the characters’ performance of their individual gender identities is constantly challenging the validity of reductive gender roles.

From "Epistemology of the Console"

By Lynne Joyrich.

Consider, for instance, the use of queer men and lesbians on shows as different as Mad About You, My So-Called Life, Murder One, Party Girl, The Real World, Dawson’s Creek, All My Children, Party of Five, Spin City, and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Spin City’s Carter Heywood, a black gay man, was hired by the mayor to inform him on “minority issues,” but because of his own sensible perspective among a senseless crowd he’s inevitably ignored. Schoolteacher Michael Delany, All My Children’s only character in possession of a Ph.D, acts as the wise confidant for everyone else in the town of Pine Valley, but his own life is never narratively elaborated – not because it’s marked as exotically unknowable but precisely because it’s presented as already known. It’s as if we simply understand the smooth progression of his relationship with his lover, as opposed to the events in the lives of heterosexual characters that are deemed so surprising that they require detailed explication (again suggesting the complications provoked by any performance of desire).

In this way, these “knowing” gay characters of the 1990s are comparable to many African-American characters of the 1980s and still today; though they may have power within their narrative worlds, they lack power over them, the ability to command narrative attention. Indeed, one of Ellen’s producers observes that homosexuals “have become the new stock character, like the African-American pal at the workplace” [...]

From “Rape Education Videos: Presenting Mean Women Instead of Dangerous Men”

By Martha McCaughey and Neal King.

We do not use Mean Women to “show” that aggressive self-defense is the way to challenge rape culture. Just as “dangerous men” videos do not necessarily suggest that sexual objectification is the only cause of rape, our Mean Women presentations do not suggest that women’s aggression is the only solution. We have stated already that “dangerous men” images shape men’s consciousness in ways that have little relation to women’s real reactions or wishes. In the same way, “mean women” images might shape men’s consciousness independent of women’s real reactions [...] men may respect women because they believe that they won’t get away with it or that women would actually become very angry.

From "Shamanspace"

By Steve Aylett.

[...] "Fetters are not toys," said Quinas [...]

Friday, 11 August 2000

From "Knowledge and Class"

By Stephen A. Resnick & Richard D. Wolff.

Marxian theory, while definitely antiessentialist, does deploy a particular manner of constructing its knowledge of the social totality. It is motivated by, focused upon, and aims at an ever-deeper knowledge of a selected subset among the many aspects of the social totality. These are economic aspects and, in particular, the class processes and their interrelations within the social totality. The particular, unique concepts of class and of overdetermination in Marxian theory operate as the entry points, guiding threads, and objects of the knowledge produced in and by Marxian theory. The knowledge aims to specify both how the class relations it designates as its objects are overdetermined by the nonclass aspects of the social totality and how those class relations participate in the overdetermination of those nonclass aspects. This knowledge aims, by means of exactly this specification, to determine the contradictions in those class relations and the dynamic motion that those contradictions produce.

Thursday, 10 August 2000

From "On the Concept of History"

By Walter Benjamin.

The story is told of an automaton constructed in such a way that it could play a winning game of chess, answering each move of an opponent with a countermove. A puppet in Turkish attire and with a hookah in its mouth sat before a chessboard placed on a large table. A system of mirrors created the illusion that this table was transparent from all sides. Actually, a little hunchback who was an expert chess player sat inside and guided the puppet’s hand by means of strings. One can imagine a philosophical counterpart to this device. The puppet called ‘historical materialism’ is to win all the time. It can easily be a match for anyone if it enlists the services of theology, which today, as we know, is wizened and has to keep out of sight.

From "Iseult"

By Alison Croggon.

I am a queen at a high window
a black sail stands
at exactly the same distance
as always
which means the opposite
of whatever I take it to mean [...]

From "For Freud"

By Mary Jo Bang.

A milder feeling hovers over me. I’m dead,
Leibchen. What does it matter, that
The Great Wall of China has become an example

Of middle-period capitalism in action?
Think Carthage. Think of the strange
New Mexico spaceship
Some people say they’ve seen.

Saucer disk. Anna, kiss me. She won’t
Stop mourning. There is seldom but sometimes
That sort of love. Where the one in the chair
At the end, puts on your greatcoat and cries.

From "Proposal for a Monument to the Third International"

By Sean O'Brien.

[...] When Eiffel took a potion he made this [...]

From "The Dark Sciences"

By Peter Middleton.

I hardly recognise this idea any more

From "Evasions and Invasions"

By Peter Middleton.

stop diving in front of me our path is the path

From "My Ruined Lyrics"

By Jill Jones.

Hang on, even a cicada has got its dream rhythm

From "Hearing"

By Leslie Scalapino and Lyn Hejinian.

A dag dozes by a wayside with a rag over his eyes, veiling the yellow spot. Two girls on
bikes pass (like messages) through the leaves. One says “the brain is bristling on the
shack” and the other says “the chain is strumming into the caution.” Though they are
real too the dozing dag dreams them, as from another galaxy (given to trusting). Their
chatter stirs the nester shadows, and the dag means not to see but to listen, but the dag is
startled and hallucinates a slur. The dag extends his creviced tongue, he can’t link what
he hears to its creaky source, he drops his blind. Everywhere he looks there are signs of
change, and with them signs of aspersion, he sees blighted chrysalides in spring and the
stupefying sun in winter clinging to the water. Dazed the dag wanders off—and that’s
the last of the dag. The girls bike as if watching their ride together. —LH

Bubals bleed on the plain flashing with lightning. The bubaline holds, however far away
Bucarramanga is. Yet buboes blackening and bursting on immigrants who’re on the way
are the traces really flood-marks of the plague, a buckjumper fleeing riderless white or
pink flowers open speechless and Chaka whirls as a dervish at two hundred miles an
hour. Silent without yipping. Even stopping to sleep in flight. The rider of the
buckjumper runs far behind amid the straggling bubals, those leaving drops of crimson
blood on the roiling flashing pan. The sun clinging to water cannot open. Its action, the
sun’s of clinging to the water, reminds the rider of efforts to speak. As the rider querist is
happy but shy. The whole plain opens anyway, without the sun. Erupting in bird song,
while the million birds brush their wings beside the weakened roiling sun that’s stuck on
the flood’s edge, they close the road to all immigrants, who are penned behind floodgates
now the buboes open on the pink skin of these people, who’re the poor. The president
only kisses the green skin of corpses still live props for photos, in the sound of
decomposition. So long as they’re not the quick—where’d the quick and the dead come
from. People say it walking here. By quiet yellow spot of the bleeding sun. Their mortar
is speech. But there’s no separation. They’re not stopped at posts only fired on. Katrina
shows the other path. Neither quietism nor respelling, and quickening without
borders.—LS

From "Punk Faun: A Baroque Pastel"

By Redell Olsen.

all is turned death metal

From "Flet"

By Chris Paul.

will not, will do the dance of the peeler, DNA exists away from the biology of meaning, her cursed hand, her triple XXX womb

From "Weighty Objects"

By Joel Whitebook.

Dialectic for Adorno refers to the fact that "objects do not go into their concepts without leaving a remainder" [...] The movement of the dialectic is animated by the perpetual pursuit of the "remainder," that is, the excess that is left over after the necessary failure of each attempt to grasp the nonidentical conceptually. This continuous movement drives negative dialectics to take up the deficiencies, as well as the truth content, of each one-sided moment and thus constantly to move from one position to its antithesis, attempting to extract the truth content of each. Unlike Hegelian dialectic, however, negative dialectic is interminable and does not end with an ultimate reconciliation, or Aufhebung [...]

From "The Uncanny"

By Sigmund Freud.

There is one more point of general application which I should like to add, though, strictly speaking, it has been included in what has already been said about animism and modes of working of the mental apparatus that have been surmounted; for I think it deserves special emphasis. This is that an uncanny effect is often and easily produced when the distinction between imagination and reality is effaced, as when something that we have hitherto regarded as imaginary appears before us in reality, or when a symbol takes over the full functions of the thing it symbolizes, and so on. It is this factor which contributes not a little to the uncanny effect attaching to magical practices. The infantile element in this, which also dominates the minds of neurotics, is the over-accentuation of psychical reality in comparison with material reality — a feature closely allied to the belief in the omnipotence of thoughts. In the middle of the isolation of war-time a number of the English Strand Magazine fell into my hands; and, among other somewhat redundant matter, I read a story about a young married couple who move into a furnished house in which there is a curiously shaped table with carvings of crocodiles on it. Towards evening an intolerable and very specific smell begins to pervade the house; they stumble over something in the dark; they seem to see a vague form gliding over the stairs — in short, we are given to understand that the presence of the table causes ghostly crocodiles to haunt the place, or that the wooden monsters come to life in the dark, or something of that sort. It was a naïve enough story, but the uncanny feeling it produced was quite remarkable.

To conclude this collection of examples, which is certainly not complete, I will relate an instance taken from psycho-analytic experience; if it does not rest upon mere coincidence, it furnishes a beautiful confirmation of our theory of the uncanny. It often happens that neurotic men declare that they feel there is something uncanny about the female genital organs. This unheimlich place, however, is the entrance to the former Heim [home] of all human beings, to the place where each one of us lived once upon a time and in the beginning. There is a joking saying that ‘Love is home-sickness’; and whenever a man dreams of a place or a country and says to himself, while he is still dreaming: ‘this place is familiar to me, I’ve been here before’, we may interpret the place as being his mother’s genitals or her body. In this case too, then, the unheimlich is what was once heimisch, familiar; the prefix ‘un’ [‘un-’] is the token of repression.

From "Weighty Objects"

By Joel Whitebook.

[...] in the wake of Kuhn, Feyerabend, and Foucault, a broad genealogical turn has taken place in which the philosophy of science is often replaced by the anthropology, sociology, economics or politics, including the gender politics, of science. As the theoretical heirs of Marxism -- a fact which is generally denied -- these strategies aim to reduce theories to the various pretheoretical interests that produced them. Hawever, like psychoanalytic reductionism, it is structurally impossible for this sort of interest-positivism to elucidate the validity of its own claims.

From "Weighty Objects"

By Joel Whitebook.

[...] regarding psychoanalysis itself, without a concept of the analyst's sublimation [...] one cannot explain how, given its origins in unconscious instinctual life, his or her analyzing activity surpasses the products of the analyst's drives and unconscious to any significant degree. If it did not, the activity of analyzing would, in principle, be indistinguishable from -- and therefore be swallowed up by -- its object domain. We would be confronted with a form of biological monism or monistic materialism in which the ego of the analyst was simply one natural object among many [...]

From "Weighty Objects"

By Joel Whitebook.

He [Adorno] never rested content with given conceptual synthesis but always found the negative within it, so that the dialectical movement would recommence immediately. This was dialectics without end. Adorno often had more solutions available to him than he was willing to make use of, but his commitment to the untruth of the whole and the priority of the negative compelled him to end his arguments with aporias rather than with less conflicted conclusions.

From "Crumbs!"

By Frances Kruk.

From "Crumbs!"

By Frances Kruk.

From "The Society of the Spectacle"

By Guy Debord, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith.

Each individual commodity fights for itself, cannot acknowledge the others and aspires to impose its presence everywhere as though it were alone. The spectacle is the epic poem of this strife -- a strife that no fall of Ilium can bring to an end. Of arms and the man the spectacle does not sing, but rather of passions and the commodity. Within this blind struggle each commodity, following where passion leads, unconsciously actualizes something of a higher order than itself: the commodity's becoming wordly coincides with the world being transformed into commodities. So it is that, thanks to the cunning of the commodity, whereas all particular commodities wear themselves out in the fight, the commodity as abstract form continues on its way to absolute self-realization.
“Recuperation of the avant-garde” is an event which perhaps occurs in the way in which the sentence “recycling bins though rifled denied arms” strikes the put-heart of a particular hearer, an ontological space with no time dimension at all, or perhaps in a conscious experience lasting less than two seconds in which certain scraps of internal monologue are heard which combine with the sentence’s penetrating conceptuality to neutralise it, or in a pattern of critical reception of the poem containing the sentence which lasts years though exists intensely for only a few months, in which whatever is aroused by the poem is diverted from potential socio-political engagements into superduperstructural toy cud conceptuality, or in the habitas of the poet, or in the proliferation of the rhetorics he participates in until they penetrate advertising copy, or in that plus the relative success of the ad campaign, or in the success of an ethical concept such that an unethical firm or sector accommodates it in its business plan, or [...] or more precisely, “recuperation of the avant garde” refers to an idea which has a certain amount of purchase on all the events just described. Ideas like this one, which which vibrate with truth and use intermittently across a variety of levels, resolutions, scales, conviction threshholds, audiences, thinkers, and speeds, are characteristic of any style of thought which does not draw tithe from positivism. These applicably-versatile ideas out-compete ideas whose truth only flourishes in structures that are not repeated across these various dimensions; so, the latter die off unless sustained exogenously.

From "Tracts and Commentaries"

By Sean Bonney.

[...] dizzy with the
spendour of actively being
a symbol of government mathematics
melted down to the base signal rate
& packed into poisoned land
till vocabulary re-enters the
stratosphere as simple thumbnail
equation: this building equals ‘you’,
any other calculation results in
immediate instersection of
your back-up image with re-hab
static & stars in all our eyes -
the burst cells accumulate as
dog-puke at clandestine borders
where negative alphabets conspire
with your spit is lovely and
rings through every occulted corridor,
the line-manager’s deranged eyeglass.

From "Tracts and Commentaries"

By Sean Bonney.

[...] dizzy with the
spendour of actively being
a symbol of government mathematics
melted down to the base signal rate
& packed into poisoned land
till vocabulary re-enters the
stratosphere as simple thumbnail
equation: this building equals ‘you’,
any other calculation results in
immediate instersection of
your back-up image with re-hab
static & stars in all our eyes -
the burst cells accumulate as
dog-puke at clandestine borders
where negative alphabets conspire
with your spit is lovely and
rings through every occulted corridor,
the line-manager’s deranged eyeglass.

From "Tracts and Commentaries"

By Sean Bonney.

[...] each packed number
a pit of in-numerable mysteries
marketed as just the tool you need
to make your skin pop with
the burden of being a blazing core
of happiness, dizzy with the
spendour of actively being
a symbol of government mathematics
melted down to the base signal rate
& packed into poisoned land
till vocabulary re-enters the
stratosphere as simple thumbnail
equation: this building equals ‘you’,
any other calc[...]

From "Tracts and Commentaries"

By Sean Bonney.

[...] marketed as just the tool you need
to make your skin pop with
the burden of being a blazing core
of happiness, dizzy with the
spendour of actively being
a symbol of government mathematics
melted down to the base signal rate
& packed into poisoned land
till vocabulary re-enters the
stratosphere as simple thumbnail
equation: this building equals ‘you’ [...]

From "Tracts and Commentaries"

By Sean Bonney.

[...] understand capitalist architecture
as the infinite made entirely
measureable, each packed number
a pit of in-numerable mysteries
marketed as just the tool you need
to make your skin pop with
the burden of being a blazing core
of happiness, dizzy with the
spendour of actively being
a symbol of government mathematics [...]

Tuesday, 8 August 2000

From "BURnER/,,%*hIGhGrEeN"

By Ulli Freer.

[...]uying muscles monitor light to wide
angles selling rough pasture for pigs fit
brought forward second floor garden
arable hood arcadia a blood wine & produce tabled
sweat ordinance map
public road brick building
wood fell by 4x4 gyrations
wind capped swirls guttural modulations
deer to fox rebounds body against concrete
questioned walkways art in residence
a five bar gate camouflages
to lift an opening memory from dung
suckled on splintered rood wounds
tithe lair and bush rack and stocks

preserving brushwood breath lark notes
river rede island wood burn the banks extinct
communard rendezvous cleugh head & sneap
handsung to blind spot
people on board believed to be inv[...]

Thursday, 3 August 2000

From "Futile Petition"

By Mallarmé trans. Peter Manson.

Name us... so that Love winged as a fan
can paint me there, the flute held in my fingers, lulling the sheep,
Princess, name us the shepherd of your smile.

From "The Baron in the Trees"

By Italo Calvino trans. Archibald Colquhoun.

And it was then that the bailiffs lost control of themselves and called: "Stop that! Silence! Enough of this row! Whoever sings we shoot!" And they began firing rounds in the air.

In reply came a rumble of gunfire that seemed to come from regiments lined in battle order on the hills. All the muskets of Ombrosa exploded, and from the top of a high fig tree Cosimo sounded the charge on a conch shell. All over the hillsides people moved. It was impossible to distinguish now between vintage and crowd: men, grapes, women, sprigs, clipper, festoons, scarasse, muskets, baskets, horses, barbed wire, fists, mule's kicks, shins, teats--all singing "Ca ira!"

Wednesday, 2 August 2000

From "Global Delay" (for Sean Bonney)

By Sophie Robinson.

'Dry as a' or 'bone me' are not phrases coined at sea, if you know what I mean. Oh and the Police all carry stunguns and the ladies feed mini-milks to dogs & satelite dishes are pointed towards Mecca.

From "Lovesic"

By Sophie Robinson.

Of she and - . The dodo of civilization, the Marianne of modern consequence, three of you in me, freedom birds lip “crazy”, [speech. open. pounds.] feel your new lunar pigeon pulse crookedly beat, you’re no skeleton-powered culture, no business modernist; one musty window, one don’t-leave December, down with the future, for Baedeker, for poetaster, ending bubble of ‘i’, in my world of you a death, spit up skyward for half an hour. Face it you’re a syndrome, and with that we divorce, mutated. Arrive in decay in astronomy in willowy collaged biography. Touch becomes unclear binary, becomes meteor found east of bones, genuinely greedy. “Oh NO, Never exaggerated, never my unfairly referenced hell, I of hospitals, I who sings daily with fools, NO never I.” Joy, furniture, my own bohemian grouse they are all disappearing – that is to say, this is me, this is me at my best, this is me in my best light, in my sporadic light, my one blonde flight, subdued wounded sickening, late elephante beauty lustre, your clumsy wingbeat too. Blood, cut-ins. A preadator with a sure, close art. Naturalized ungainly, got no bronchial starting energy, guess we’ve been disillusioned since 1980, comedy disambiguation misspoken in Paris, with 8 Leonard Cohen songs including the one that goes ‘you’re living for nothing now’, i.e. we’re both doomed. You’ve gotten a bit smug and wanky, kodachrome princess of the pavement, let’s go queer, knee-deep in Bardot mousse, looking at you, little slippery eel in a planetary blouse it’s like so mistreated, in your mid-sixties now and sleeping rough through fall of oral majesty.

From "International Trash Sonnet"

By Sophie Robinson.

The queen seemed more to penetrate today than haunt;
Cunnilingus is more normal, it's protected,
Or - I want to say - it is almost like singing - or - ?
What the procedure predicts, the procedure writes, &
When I spat you out, I thought only I would die.

Tuesday, 1 August 2000

From "What is called thinking"

By Martin Heidegger, trans. Wieck & Gray.

On the other hand, in our era man has always thought in some way : in fact, man has thought the profoundest thoughts, and entrusted them to memory. By thinking in that way he did and does remain related to what must be thought. And yet man is not capable of really thinking as long as that which must be thought about, withdraws.

If we, as we are here and now, will not be taken in by empty talk, we must retort that everything said so far is an unbroken chain of hollow assertions, and state besides that what has been presented here has nothing to do with scientific knowledge.

It will be well to maintain as long as possible such a defensive attitude toward what has been said : only in that attitude do we keep the distance needed for a quick running dash by which one or the other of us may succeed in making the leap into thinking. For it is true that what was said so far, and the entire discussion that is to follow, have nothing to do with scientific knowledge, especially not if the discussion itself is to be a thinking. This situation is grounded in the fact that science itself does not think, and cannot think, which is its good fortune, here meaning the assurance of its own appointed course. Science does not think. This is a shocking statement. Let the statement be shocking : even though we immediately add the supplementary statement that nonetheless science always and in its own fashion has to do with thinking. That fashion, however, is genuine and consequently fruitful only after the gulf has become visible that lies between thinking and the sciences, lies there un-bridgeably. There is no bridge here only the leap. Hence there is nothing but mischief in all the makeshift ties [...] by which men today would set up a comfortable commerce between thinking and the sciences. Hence we, those of us who come from the sciences, must endure what is shocking and strange about thinking assuming we are ready to learn thinking. To learn means to make everything we do answer to whatever essentials address themselves to us at the given moment. In order to be capable of doing so, we must get underway. It is important above all that on the way on which we set out when we learn to think, we do not deceive ourselves and rashly bypass the pressing questions : on the contrary, we must allow ourselves to become involved in questions that seek what no inventiveness can find. Especially we moderns can learn only if we always unlearn at the same time. Applied to the matter before us : we can learn thinking only if we radically unlearn what thinking has been traditionally. To do that, we must at the same time come to know it.

We said : man still does not think, and this because what must be thought about turns away from him; by no means only because man does not sufficiently reach out and turn to what is to be thought.

What must be thought about, turns away from man. It withdraws from him. But how can we have the least knowledge of something that withdraws from the beginning, how can we even give it a name? Whatever withdraws, refuses arrival. But withdrawing is not nothing. Withdrawal is an event. In fact, what withdraws may even concern and claim man more essentially than anything present that strikes and touches him. Being struck by actuality is what we like to regard as constitutive of the actuality of the actual. However, in being struck by what is actual, man may be debarred precisely from what concerns and touches him, touches him in the surely mysterious way of escaping him by its withdrawal. The event of withdrawal could be what is most present in all our present, and so infinitely exceed the actuality of everything actual.

What withdraws from us, draws us along by its very withdrawal, whether or not we become aware of it immediately, or at all. Once we are drawn into the withdrawal, we are drawing toward what draws, attracts us by its withdrawal. And once we, being so attracted, are drawing toward what draws us, our essential nature already bears the stamp of "drawing toward." As we are drawing toward what withdraws, we ourselves are pointers pointing toward it. We are who we are by pointing in that direction not like an incidental adjunct but as follows: this "drawing toward" is in itself an essential and therefore constant pointing toward what withdraws. To say "drawing toward" is to say "pointing toward what withdraws."

To the extent that man is drawing that way, he points toward what withdraws. As he is pointing that way, man is the pointer. Man here is not first of all man, and then also occasionally someone who points. No : drawn into what withdraws, drawing toward it and thus pointing into the withdrawal, man first is man. His essential nature lies in being such a pointer. Something which in itself, by its essential nature, is pointing, we call a sign. As he draws toward what withdraws, man is a sign. But since this sign points toward what draws away, it points, not so much at what draws away as into the withdrawal. The sign stays without interpretation.

From "St. Malo, Facsimile (an essay)"

By Kai Fierle-Hedrick.

[...] How, when a pink shell
attracts the eye, the camera — blinded by the zoom — swiveled

fretfully across the beach, could not frame it; but in skimming the sand
revealed how the eye might mimic the hand, might accumulate texture.
How sight might harvest space [what I mean by harvest is materialize], and materialize
via touch. See it pass through the image, surface? Consider y
this caption; x, 25 frames per second of the world beyond the word.
Killing time, a lens cap — tethered — swings to and fro, keeps time.

From "St. Malo, Facsimile (an essay)"

By Kai Fierle-Hedrick.

[what I mean by harvest is materialize],

From "1 - 8 0 0 - 7 6 6 - 5 8 5 9"

By Keston Sutherland.

First, a kind of tinkling, that I in my rather jaded way took to be a rondo for the left hand, the black keys reserved for the middle finger. I with my long disentranced and offhand ears figured this was probably allegro comodo: deftly, in the oiled wards.

From "Rondeau"

By Piers Hugill.

a worn sheep’s tooth tells all, licked
down to the root, a fatal abscess
finished it, just like the industry,
turned over to fallow.

From "Sestina"

By Piers Hugill.

they are quite faint two roads meeting

and asking what they are in relation
to a garden where a dog barks south
and therefore also west