One comes to crave meaning so much one learns a new way of craving. I can’t even say desire because the term is so wrapped up in Lacan and how speaking about Lacan reverses the work Lacan suggests one desire by, yet there exist entire publications designed to pull the curious and unrecruited in to act as confirming gaze for psychoanalytic milieus transferring young souls into the academic bank. This is not a cynical rant. I have no interest in mania, or passivity, or being being-seen. Sometimes I think television … and I suppose now all moving images on//with dual narrative screens are simply religious icons, the better to practice the fantasy of being seen and judged by embodying that gaze for a screening of a future perfect self.
So I’m sick for the second time in two weeks, only this time it’s been serious enough to miss work and fall way behind on my writing and reading schedule. It’s all been in my head until this week. Even when I caught that nasty stomach flu in mid-April, I was still able to fill in my remaining free time with make-up reading/writing time. But now. Fuck. I think I’m done writing for BTLG for now, sans the immaturity, it just isn’t worth it. Why would I work for a couple more concerned with forming an onanistic ouroboros, teasing one another with fading flickering images of one another’s future-perfect selves before simply stepping up and admitting “we will, or we won’t” pay me.
But yeah, last time I just cut into my sleeping hours, brought some of my writing material with me and worked through things on the 2 or the N Train, one sentence at a time, if necessary. Never thought I’d become so pragmatic, especially for something I’m doing pro bono. But so no, no more I say! I do not work without cash or networking. What am I, twenty? No way, yeesh, what’s wrong with me. All that happens there is I put way too much work into something I am internally conflicted about, so the work will just reflect this (to me, if no one else), and then it’s impossible to convince these kids to do something to improve motivation, because the former works are then their favorite post hoc reason not to pay or network me (even if it’s of a literary level of its own qua the rest of their project).
So. I was supposed to have a thesis finished for my Sadean experience in the contemporary//pop world thesis like a week ago, and I’m still only about halfway there. I need to reread Gass’ piece and finish my research. I should be able to have a topic by Saturday night, and a thesis by Sunday. That’s that. Fuck titles.
I’ve had so many writing projects since Xmas! It’s insane. I complete like half of what I begin. The ones still floating around are…hm, let’s see: there’s the one about what specifically bodies gain access to through argument, incorporating Deleuze’s BwO, micro-fascist (µF) forces, and how they interact within concrete experience, without succumbing to the frailties of nominalism. If this even makes sense. Nominalism is such a stranger boundary to set, since it can go both ways, excluding either universals, terms or predicates or abstract objects, but not necessarily all of the above. So I guess this is a good thing, though, right? Just pick some relatively inclusive metaphysical conditions, ones compatible with the sort of objectivity found in Logic of Sense, and build a fucking narrative. Probably out of that Out-With narrative essay that was much more of a maniacal narrative than an essay. Now it’s all coming back to me, ah, behold; New York, the shock and the glory…
Let’s see, what else. Ah, the Future Anterior piece. Right, that was never accepted by TNI; no response (and no surprise coming from that plutocratic syndicate, ivy league whutt). But so there must be something else I can use that concept for beyond analyzing a movie from like eight years ago. I mean, it’s, like, around you all of the time, man. Trauma. The pervading temptation to indulge the impending sense of inevitable squalor and psychological ruin. New York. Just last week I ditched work early to check up on another protest gathering at Union Square. I haven’t had a single thing to do with the movement since like January. I think. It’s been too long. But so many different groups have joined since then. Every Union I could think of, legalization organizations, anti-NRA groups, NRA groups, anti-censor groups, etc. Hell, I thought I saw a couple pushing for the 9/11 truth. I guess the hoi polloi of political praxis has thrown in for front-page exposure at this point. But hell, man. What started in Baltimore spread so quickly across the rest of the country. It doesn’t speak too well of me to consider how quickly I forgot about this serious movement as soon as my own health came under question. I mean, it wasn’t forgotten, but I just kind of assume it will be there when I get back into the city life, once I recover. So many things we take for granted, I remember thinking last week, so easily spun into revolution could we be, I remember secretly wishing. Would have blown to have caught that torque at full-illness’ pique.
But so writings. Body, sans bodies (speaking earnestly here, the sheer irony of writing this one in preterite fashion wrt my seven-month-long situ is laudible in its own right). Then there’s FiFA, which can be so easily related to anything in this NYC-situ. Take your pick, Chuck. Then, hm, ah, yes, I did kick a redux of She Returns into being the week before last, in the days before my last sick days. BTLG probably won’t put it up, and definitely won’t pay, so why bother with them. Re-edit the falling action post-bus-allegory, sans theory, mit prose, ja? Und dann, ich denke…naja, there’s nothing to fear from the Marquis de Sade. Indeed. Except this major sickness I’m pushing through, sans words to any living human. Maybe if I’m better by Saturday I’ll hit up the library. Narrow that topic down, and write a few practice ¶s.
Now, readings. If the state to which I’ve recently discovered I last left my writing projects in is best described with the adjective disorderly, then my readings are pushing the use-mention dilemma for Deleuze’s Chaosmos. Yeah, it’s a neologism. Well it used to be. Get over it.
Let’s just have a list of things I’ve been reading over the past year. At least the ones I’ve not yet finished. Gaddis’ Recognitions, Lacan’s Écrits (although it is true what they say: one does not simply read Lacan), Borges’ Ficciones, Tabucchi’s Time Ages in a Hurry (short, but deep, so deep I can’t bear to read it unless my mind’s in minesweeper-mode), Deleuze & Guattari’s Capitalism & Schizophrenia (both parts; AΘ and 1K Plateaus), Henri Bergson’s Time and Free Will and Matter and Memory (both of which, I’m sure, I will not finish until I finish D & G’s books, or, at most, roughly the same time). More recently, I’ve picked up growing interest in Wittenberg’s Time Travel and Deleuze’s The Logic of Sense, the former of which I’m halfway through, and the latter of which I could probably spend an entire graduate school term ensconcing myself with. I’ve noticed how uncomfortably comfortable I’ve become with ending sentences in prepositions. I’m going to blame this on the homesickness not sated by my four months home last year. I still feel like a damned nomad. Wouldn’t be a big deal if I had the means to cop total alienation. It’s been a long time alone in this body.
I have also noticed how much of this city and my vocabulary fade away when I’m in this boxed-up room, where there’s no sunlight, and no friendly voices, and little to no wifi. It feels like a time machine, in a bad way. A broken vanity mirror on the door. A Chinese charm at top trying its hardest to bless me with wealth and good health, already (it would add). Several lists of old-new vocab, writing prompts and self-written synopses, note cards espousing themselves (in their own words) individually; as ARGUMENTS, collectively; a GENE POOL. A self-portrait of oneself drawing a self-portrait of oneself with a short anaphora about being a white girl in white shirt in black skirt in black light, etc, that I obviously did not draw. Taped to the wall are a few light philosophical reflections on tragedy; deception, persuasion, the spectator and the New School for Social Research. Marcionism & my first abandoned novel. That novel is the biggest long-shot of all, save the secret metaphysics I wrote and burned in the months between 2010 and 2011. So long ago…I do so miss Sophia.
Beyond this schtuff, I s’pose I’ll just resubmit some of my film reviews and essays I’d prepped for the pro bono zine to the better ones who would but they could, like i said, sans plutocracy. Here’s hoping.
Finally. Maybe I should get sick more often. I needed this break to catch up with life. Nah.
Bring it on, assholes.
I’m settling in for a few weeks of the most mortifying work I can imagine, in any town. I don’t even want to say what it is. I think prostitution is the next step down.
the New York economy is onerous!
I read another blog’s latest post earlier today, and it reminded me of a distinct difference in social relations between asia and the states–respectability: in the east, I was basically a demigod wherever I went. Except for the few who’d already made names for themselves by establishing cultural capital (bands, art fests, interdisciplinary performance troupes, etc), most expats were predominantly reduced to nervous, flattering and attention-seeking behavior.
Oh, how sad I was back then.
I’ve entered this strange stasis, now, trapped between two mutually exclusive outlets: this awful job as my only means for survival, and my writing. The latter’s been difficult for the past day, seeing as this caribbean wake upstairs connotes 9 hours of bongo-bashing per night. jesus. my roommate’s ceiling is coming apart. whoever passed had better be up to some serious bliss.
I am writing three pieces, two of which are due next week:
the first is an essay on the notion of future anterior in psychoanalysis. the most compatible experiences to employ as examples are trauma and love. oh boy.
the second is my SF piece. I’m submitting an excerpt from the novel, but I need to expand it, sharpen the dialogue, insert some psychosomatic and etymological play, take advantage of the use-mention antinomy, et al.
They’re just for contests, but hell it would be really nice to receive a $4000 grant, work-space, free workshops and two public readings. Talk about a different world. There are a thousand ways I can rip myself apart about where I am, the life I presently endure, who I can and cannot talk to, my lack of progress in pretty much everything compared to upper-middle-class writers of ordinary craft and solid capital. whatever happened to the days of the bum genius? i am in serious need of a 21st century beat movement.
but the saddest thing I guess is how my friends have interpreted their recognition of my recent housing//financial//emotional woes as proof of character weakness, and transferred that recognition to something more specific and personal. my competence as a writer. because, you know, if i were smart …
I guess one learns who one’s true friends are through such ordeals. The sad thing is it was all of them.
I said tabula rasa, but I didn’t mean ex nihilo…I still have needs! Ugh.
I find myself fantasizing encounters with people I’ve hardly known, and maybe met once, as if my subconscious doesn’t even know what to do with my body anymore. In another time and place it would be funny, but I’m subletting my room to a couple, a happy, young couple in their late teens. I will be on the couch, working on the cold streets nine hours a day, five days a week.
Hopefully, something will change for the better, someday, somehow, eventually…