truths that’ve finished with me

(this is a code)

“Popular themes of the genre include murder, suicide, depression, abuse, mutilation, war, religion, barbarism, drug abuse, terminal illness, domestic violence, rape, homosexuality, incest, pedophilia, child sexual abuse, insanity, nightmares, disease, racism, homophobia, sexism, disability (both physical and mental), chauvinism, terrorism, genocide, political corruption, torture, and crime.”

ever wonder why the impulse to laugh wells up as one reads on to where such sentences might and inevitably may full bore take you …

there are many reasons why i’ve not added to this blog in months. the easy answer is that it’s a symptom of distraction by something, and the easier answer comes from impulsively projecting one’s own, but alas dear reader, i can now say these myriad reasons encapsulate a tripartite of competing drives.

one.

i’ve consented to shoulder some complicity by way of vocation; I now write for a publication in the financial district, where i spend as much time spreading the myth of innate hierarchy and naturalized capitalism as i do lining bankers’ pockets with rhetoric about why banks must be the foundation of economic trust. since suffering from amnesia in this case would be more farcical than not, the truth is that this first major distraction in my life is about bullshitting “definitively,” as my boss’ boss would say. but i can’t really write about it here, because i need to eat, and he’d probably replace me for holding the entrepreneurially uncouth beliefs i truly do about such perfidious phantasms as of late, late capitalism.

two.

the old drive: to write, and write well, i.e., in secret; alone (for me). for me, art making should not rely on an immediate social circle’s confidence, both because i don’t have the heart to fool my friends into becoming a means and not an End, and also because why the hell should I cash in my works’ potential for a short-term relationship with one person?

i do however enjoy casually eschewing truths that’ve finished with me into the farcical ears of ideologues, whose eyes exude eternal superiority joined by manic laughter and self-parodying impressions used to rebuild a sense of lacking autonomy. it should be noted that per the Greek etymology of autonomy, the word has nothing to do with independence; on the contrary, it has everything to do with dependence on a set of rules or laws that determine the entity’s position and function in a greater system of laws, circulation, mediation, et al. was it Nietzsche who said that people don’t want the truth because it destroys their illusions? in the abstract it’s quite banal, but face-to-face with those in the concrete, known psychologically, socially, known sexually … it’s anything else.

sometimes i wonder why i’ve chosen a life this intense; why i continue to choose to swim on the surface of words, metaphor, discourse and argument, instead of building a submarine (religious following) or warship (brand) to leverage legal or financial or psychical violence against those I could much easier deem an obstacle embodied than a person whose liberty i might oppress. only in allowing oneself to be vulnerable – by remaining honest and open enough to risk damage from others’ violence – can one know another as oneself. this is why in my travels i’ve never acquiesced to those who claim the masque artiste, and yet refuse to re-spect who they speak their title to, i.e., em-path(os)-ize. hypocrisy really gets on my nerves. let me explain.

three.

The worst, beyond the Derridian sense, although still very much an issue of grammar, is when an artist, formerly irresolute to practically self-eschewing and sociopathic portent(s), later starts to believe, whether from acquiring a degree, publication, illness, or simply the tested patience of any arbitrarily recognized life-event (à la Badiou), that they have already empathized enough, cared enoughdone enough to be bothered to care or feel or think for anything but their own good again.

it’s a weakness of the heart, and a weakness of the intellect; when the latter feeds off the former for security, and this is when a person slips into fascist thought-patterns.

speaking of grammar, let’s break the fourth wall and let the fury go for a minute. the very first post on this blog involved the retelling of a tale of abjection. Much the same as its recent reccurrence in my life, a sophistic stranger sorely lacking in self-referential awareness, in that they know neither what they were doing nor to whom they leveled it, leveraged sex and sexuality to obtain cultural capital. Ever the compulsive fucking saint, I tried to diminish the extent of their violence, both times picayune and both times psychical, by explaining the hypocrisy at hand.

This is probably out of my idiotic (literally) conflation of Kant’s bi-conditional dictum, “you can, because you must!” mistaking the possibility for greatness in a constellation of another’s young personal (con)fidence for the will to make that self something great. try to remember the last time you asked someone a question as ostensibly boring as, like, hey: why are you living that way and were really heard.

so, memento.

never underestimate youth’s fear of being wrong.

filter the snow.

filter the snow.

it was a snowy ebullience outside, and the city’s effeminate best would be shaking its hips a little slower that night, he imagined. he could see their minds in his mind: a little extra time would have to be added in tribute to the collective de-cadence as winter came to help us reflect, each raised waistline paused in contemplation, gathering silent prayers, crystallizing the zenith of a thousand relationships, as they all silently consented to fall again, together, in his icy hometown.

it was a laconic, reluctant ebullience, he thought as he tread heavily through those snowy sidewalks, and he could only give due justice to his steps’ heavy tread with penetrating, other-worldly, alice blue eyes. their gaze leaped between snowflakes falling to embrace each twig, landing in unified waves; a collective affirmation of what must go under again.

but Winter was late, and so with the heart of a lover returned from some distant land, the need to renew oneself threw itself back into reality, cutting into all of our lives. some of us were studying, some of us were fucking, and more were trying. but some of us were trying to carve something new out of the world, each to his or her own cathexis, grounded in a kind of presence free of seasons, seeking an archetype invulnerable to contingency itself.

proposition 1.1 of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus tells us that “the world is the totality of facts, not of things,” and so one might think every raised hip, each symbolizing a truth and not a fact, i.e., whether each hip is spoken for or not, would collectively constitute the world Winter wanted to come back to. and its return was not out of lust or wont of unrequited love; it needed to be visceral. it was supposed to touch and Move Us All, it was supposed to saturate our senses, send us rolling and vulnerable and scared, in secret anticipation of the awe which comes from a morning baptized in white. the word that comes to mind on such morns is the ancient Greek apeiron; the unlimited. we were supposed to feel freed by the infinite embrace of freshly fallen snow, by the power of what one does not know one does not know.

but as with any thing, the potential of life’s lived recognitions, in art, in love, in bringing the unknown into being, of the very possibility that a single magnificent day could exceed one’s capacity for absolute, total, social, sexual, financial, intellectual, spiritual satisfaction — that to even imagine fully sating the multiplicity of our pan-psychic desires, we require an imagination in view of utter absence, slumber, lack; non-being.

and so as winter consumed the city, killing foliage and filling fissures, he was supposed to be moved, he was supposed to be Touched and brought back into the social fold via a mass acquiescence to cyclical time. like the good folk of the city, he was supposed to be re-cycled.

but he was mourning that kind of time because he’d lost the sense of seasons as destination; as a place to go and stay a while. a place became a dimension, a story reduced to hypothesis, and all narration collapsed into another self-consciously Modern iteration of the fall. becoming this in-difference, he could not recycle his soul, because he was not moved by any one thing, because, when falling, no one stationary sentiment or mono-mythic recognition can claim him.

and so Winter did not embrace reality because that reality was a broken sequence of dead undulate foliage, repeating onward as intermittent substrates between which were the multiplicity of disparate ends each raised hip inevitably fell into, and the whole ordeal of the Winter’s Return took the form of a great carving up, a cuckold winter whose monochrome white arrival became an eviscerated sameness for us to defer, and to transgress and to enjoy.

in time, what the real said to winter was “filter the snow.”

some Recognitions to Workshop

A few words on recognition. The signifying chains said to constitute two discrete subjectivities in psychoanalysis are not distinct, because two subjects would otherwise never be capable of sharing a perception; of having mutual re-cognizance. May the reader not be misled by my choice of the word perception–this is not about what’s usually called the empirical world. What Locke called secondary qualities are here reformulated in the language of Lacanian psychoanalysis. Very little persists in the empirical world (what Locke would say primary qualities signify), perhaps because the question of Origin is senseless. But that’s another matter.

Too often one finds oneself mired in contrite repetition, recognizing the lack of repeating social recognition–that we can’t settle on the same thought, with the same feeling, viewpoint or perspective, one and an other. There’s the feeling of injustice in that–having already progressed through so many traumatic, vituperative, edifying, Truly Trying Times (as we all have), and having since then perhaps stood out in uniquity as one who’s become more perceptive, so much more cognizant than one once was, having become capable of tracing a multiplicity of narratives juxtaposed (or simply opposed) in one moving train that one can not only predict, but understand the temptation to bring every conversation back to oneself, one’s story; one’s “self”–that because of these accomplishments, one has earned the right to require others to reciprocate in diachronic recognition of novel objects, of alternate outcomes, of the perception of social injunction as artistic expression to help what is become more; that if I can focus enough to become what I am, you owe it to do the same, respectively.

But it’s a question of balance (or supplement), of balancing the humane with the human, (supplanting) others’ need for patience with one’s desire for another confrontation with boredom, (supplying) others’ presence to resolve an abductive economy of space.

or maybe henri bergson should be required reading in secondary schools. would this be anarchy? i put this to you.

05.07.2015

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 FiFAwhich 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.

-b

04.08.2015

More than a month has passed since my last entry here. This time, between then and now, as I hold it in my mind’s eye takes the form of a channel, or current, with more swirling eddies of retrospective questions than any yet in my time so far as a New Yorker. Questions of purpose, questions of knowledge: what kind of life have I been seeking? When have I felt things were going according to plan? When have I felt like there was a plan? It’s as if parts of me have been systematically cut from myself, and put up for board review to the crew of the ship of fools.

It’s so strange how much I’ve expected from people who are essentially strangers. Stranger still, I’ve thought over the past week, how directly I’ve transferred my own voice onto this “picayune” blog, how superlatively narcissistic these words have become. Most others who compose do so in a voice not so different than what one would find on any other social networking site, implicitly praising univocity. Of course, I have full non-consensual access to the voice of imagined dissent, too. The one which crosses oneself on the grounds of what one does not or should not possibly know, but I’ve always felt entitled to expressing my thoughts, and this tendency has only become more fastidious and inexorable as the weeks go on, because no one I live amidst is thinking about these things so directly: Time, Desire, Repression, Eros, Narrative, Psychoanalysis, Philosophy, Linguistics, Poetry. All whom I’ve personally met and carried on an extended correspondence with are more concerned with mainstream humanism, philanthropy, ideologically-ridden sentimental solace, efficiency, mental ticks, advertising, profit, drugs, modernist ethics, games of categorical denotation, decadence and unconscious hedonism.

But the strangest thing recently, since I returned to that unhappy vocation on the streets of Manhattan, is how quickly I’ve coated myself in psychosomatic, syntactic and rhetorical code. I’ve sunk into myself, embedded my own feelings in my appearance, hidden away from the daily world of capitalist-driven charity and its infinite greed. Why? I’ve not had a single real desire answered (let alone sated) in six months, and the city, in its sound and fury, has no translatable import to my real voice. What I mean is that I have not truly communicated one single word or gesture in this city yet this year.

Everything is mediated. There’s no “there” there, just a husk.

Consequently, anything resembling a real sense of identity has switched tracks from the physical, embodied space of skin, substance and dimensions to the vicissitudes of time itself; I am here, but I am not here. Most of what I think about and feel has as its object things which exist only partially, yes in memories, but also in their manifold interpretations, and the alternate relationships and manners and genders I’d persist in now as a result of them. This multiplicity of past timelines has a substantial philosophical effect; namely, an acute sense of enhanced authenticity; every quip, tick, retort, mood and voice has an entire narrative of its own, each again with another higher-order manifold in alternate origins. The greater the complexity, the more I seem like everyone else; the simpler, the more abstract, odd and exceptional I am. What this means is to be myself is to be a very strange man, indeed.

But it’s the future that completes this shift in personality to the temporal. A dandelion blown away into a gust of full wind no one else believes in, a cloud of infinite forms pausing for a moment to return my gaze.

A man named Arthur living in the upper east side, born and raised, spoke to me for twenty minutes about his temp job, how he’s losing the battle for his house against the forces of gentrification, how he’s facing early retirement, how he has survived cancer despite his family withering away. He is attractive, with gray hair peeking out of his face; vibrant, strong and experienced, yet tired, and afraid. He almost brought himself to tears. He kept repeating “it’s only getting worse, it’s only going to get worse,” looking over my shoulder all the while, addressing what I imagine is his last conversation with the present.

On the subways I read Derrida on my phone, and contemplate the ironic value of how perfectly my former college life’s socially available (and virile) narrative fits into his notion of différance; repetition within origination, the mechanism inside the singularity; the machine in the event. The train transports me between worlds, from my own homebody’d phenomenology of spirit and somber recognitions to the Sisyphean masques of the weekday; the tribal assemblies pre-sales-dissemination, the curious eyes I send away, the spiked coffee to tolerate quantitative individuation, all of it is a strange machine everyone turns into gears for, and I give thanks to myself for having even accidentally given myself a place abstracted enough from the artificial movements of others’ quotidian woes for me to at least have three hours’ physically manifested space which does not forbid melancholy, and tears are fought back on that 2 train to work, every other day, whether I know which thoughts are bringing them to bear or not.

And every night, one promises oneself that emails will be sent, signals made to other machines, other jobs, other feeds and zines and queens, and that someday, someone wrapped up in self-contemplation among the stars of all the myriad ways one’s future-perfect self could turn out will unravel, to Ravel, and appear, laying, pre-stretched and relaxed on this multiverse one was always already treading through.

03.01.2015

It’s easier to write journal entries in portions as prescribed by blog-writing form, as something I’m obliged to portion, slicing off just enough memory to synthesize some intimation of what will be slated for short-term repression, done to process the myriad observations, recognitions, and the spectrum of narratives formed with decreasing relevance to the actual lives I live amidst, when they’re under the header of a single date. My relationship with time is one of religious devotion to a set of goals, a part of each (the ideological excess of phantasy and self-projection) drives me to bring the parts of each which I do not phantasize about, which do not in fact drive my desire, into being. These undesired things are the necessities; food, money, and the psychological growth and persona-adaptation that comes from engaging a socius, a social body.

A day is an advertisement. Probably for tomorrow. But running on the promise of tomorrow is risky business because it is a teleological thing. And telos is a big tease.

(it never really comes because telos is merely the echo of your being’s possible future-perfect selves, each of which is advertising its respective future in disparate ways, waiting for your present self to stop repressing and step forward)

But about that – repression, or rather a human relationship to the binary of desire and satiation, repressing satiation // generating desire, or reneging desire // releasing subjectivity to a flow one becomes subsumed by.  These releases include acts like sex, self-deconstruction à la Sharing Feelings in a vacuum, insulating the capacity to think with micro-fascisms or mental ticks, etc, etc, and the less I enjoin myself to do the former, the more I find myself slipping into thought-habits circling round the latter. And that is both healthy and pernicious.

I mean to write soon, about a woman I have met, who appears to have mastered the art of instilling desire, and managing, guiding, keeping-dirigible the desiring object’s narratological reliance on the promise of eventual satiation. It’s like neo-teasing. And it is both unhealthy and liberating.

My current engagements keep me from becoming-monomaniacally reactive to said desire-generating femme’s refusal to sate, which is good. Clarity is very important at this juncture.

Soon I will be back on the streets, fighting authority and simulating utopos with the masses.

some deriding circles running-on around prose form and audience(s) i.e. two questions i’d like to see on the GRE

in order for short fiction to serve its function as not only a thoroughly concrete phenomenology of the real, but also an experimental journey into both signs present and as-of-yet unsignified, unentered or otherwise not-yet-triggered, and then also signs so far not even present in mainstream media, alternative indie or otherwise not yet within the scope of public discourse w/r/t mundane consciousness, the characters involved must embody already existent political standpoints, complete with old and new ideologies, each with their own individually signified utopias (i.e. the unspoken lack, the frame, the incompleteness in their theorems; the rub).

q1: T/F? Elucidate.

From here, with an a priori noncomplimentary ideological difference-in-corpus, the story, through narrative twists and vocalized synthesis (i.e. dialogue), must convey some interesting critique of what is, what’s said should be, and what-could-but-so-far-probably-isn’t-but-might-very-easily-be-via-a-modicum-of-thought, could strike the reader to interpret ways, going beyond what picayune options I may privately intend (à la mort d’auteur), but so interpret ways to bridge the growing mise en abyme all indie writers find themselves starting in contra the inevitable post-punk jump aboard the hashtag(ged) locomotive bound both for the liberal elitism found in the physical confines of manhattan and brooklyn and yes also in the virtually enclosed ivory tower of academia (now on Linkedin?!), and the neoconservative mainstream that kept them from pursuing the very same kind of sincerity-laden auteur-sentiments that got them in front of the proverbial-perfunctory typewriter in the first place. goddammit.

q2: is the last word rhetorical?

ship-of-fools