The mind dilates in language. The river has its own answers. When the rain comes knocking on the door, I have to let it in. Everything gets wet. We talk. I make coffee. My tongue pushes a river of boiling words. Eventually everything comes clear. Myriad sensations lift a heavy armchair into writing. The shine of the coffee pot is the essence of abstraction. The ceiling falls up into itself, the way a ceiling was meant to, and this is why I write. Because things are alive. And I love speculation. I love the reach of headlights on moonless nights on the prairie. I love to describe sensations. And when the rain gets up and leaves I feel somersaults in my molecules and an incurable haunting, an obsession to carry the preliminary of all meaning into the grasp of my pen and let it become a conversation between myself and the world.
There is a man in Cameroun who talks to birds. And the birds talk to the man. The man in Cameroun. Who has a thousand wrinkles and whose hand squirts a blue fluid when he sits down at a desk to write. His words all sound like birds. Their melodies manifest the palpable imagery of flight and reveries of blood and bone. The strange glimmer of an expensive pain is relieved by a mirror that destroys its reflections. The air is ripped by a kiss. The man is like a bowl of water. When the ground shakes the water trembles. The algebra of bubbles creates monstrosities of power. Ecstasies and shadows. Rattles and chants.
What happens if I let myself go completely in a language, caress, massage, excite its words with a million diversions, deviations, detours, what sort of geography would emerge? What fresh new territory? The question implies that there is a part of me which is capable of restraint, of detaching myself from linguistic participation and remaining a pure animal consciousness free of abstractions framed in words. It equally implies a desire for intoxication, of losing myself, of finding adventure and the delirium of Arthur Rimbaud’s drunken boat, just by relaxing my inhibitions toward language. A desire for the wine of reverie can spill into vineyards and opium fields in this strange linguistic phenomenon known as poetry.
For example, this sentence which I write is the meaning of the letters which I trace, but the whole work which I wish to produce is the meaning of the sentence, which assembles itself in open chains of opalescent proprioception. There is partial control of the shoestrings but no control of the time. Time is measured in diamonds. It augments the density of apples, turning them to auburn in August, and forms the pornography of space.
The giant golden clock mounted high on the west wall of the Musée d’Orsay is an example of time as intuited becoming. That is to say, time is primarily understood as continuous present giving itself airs when, in fact, it has already been dissolved, diffused, pulverized, and turned into pancakes. One writes to contain the past in the present and impregnate the future with a sacrament and a beautiful noise.
An idea is called correct when it conforms to its object. An idea is called conspicuous when it rides on a bus.
I emphasize that these are words issuing from horses. They are true words.
There is power in communion. Silver spurs, black dirt. The heart of a savage religion. Vast correspondences. Nevertheless the references here cannot be dolloped out of any mystic or ineffable experience and left there to spoil. It is in the reality of everyday life that the Other appears to us, and its affections and utterances, its threads and shells and countenances and textures refer to a primary relation between our senses and its objectivity. Its potential for transcendent experience is determined by an internal flow of the universe, an internal hemorrhage, which is revealed to us in our efforts toward objectification. Or oblivion.
I like brackets and colons because I’m always confused and if I must form the basis of any theory concerning the Other on principles of absence and connection, sherbet and semicolons don’t quite cut it. Not all the time. Sometimes what is needed is a little anguish, a little malaise to make that recipe happen, make it tremble into theorem. What we must always ask ourselves is just this: what is called thinking? Is it humid and tangled? Is it a greenhouse of the mind? Is it an activity like boxing or golf? Is it like swimming? Is it a form of swimming? Is it a concentration?
I believe it is a form of concentration. Like swimming.
But what is concentration? Is it a breaststroke? Is it a representation of ourselves as swimmers when we are not actually swimming? What is a breaststroke? Is it hard? Does it hurt? Does it hurt if we attempt to do it on the floor?
It could be that the forming of thoughts and the forming of ideas are one and the same thing. Because pain always comes to us naked, and must be adorned in wax and understanding. Pleasure is oftentimes hidden in pain, and pain is always embedded in pleasure. This is food for thought. It could be that thoughts are a kind of representational idea, and that sometimes they do, indeed, resemble food. Olives, eggs, spaghetti. But at the same time it remains obscure how a slice of pizza might resemble a marker on our path of thought. This is especially true if I am pierced by a predicament called Being which must bicycle around the room like a cranberry.
Like Apollinaire eating a hot dog.
Like the weather riding a hill. Or a sudden hiss from a burning log.
I scrounge for thunder in the action of a few words. I notice that fingernails have little grooves. If they were a record, an old vinyl forty-five that I could play on a phonograph, what would they sound like? Would I hear an old Beatles song? “Under my Thumb” by the Rolling Stones?
Various mythologies are at play in the long gray winter day. Butchers, lumberjacks, electricians, men and women folding hospital laundry, towels and gowns and sheets and lab coats. The mythology of routine is chiseled into stone. Hints of another world are buried in this one. This world. This place. Where people carry burdens of feeling and abstraction and write them down as stories. As bubbles. As biographies. As windows with rain splattered against the glass. When the rain comes knocking at the door, I must let it in. I have no choice. It is necessary for the knower to become known. All there is of intention in my consciousness is directed toward the outside, toward the world. Because what is the difference? The difference is this: the outside and the inside are linked, are in some ways one and the same, and yet different from one another, in the same way that a cyst is like a blister, which, if treated properly with radiofrequency ablation or drainage, will disappear in time, whereas a blister may persist in another form, as a callous, an agglutinative morpheme, or an aromatic bobsled in a state of unconsciousness. Syntactic iconicity expresses an exquisite tendency for catalytic conversion and talcum powder. The ensuing process is wrinkly. In order that this theme should preside over a group of words it is necessary that it be present to itself, not as a thing but as the potential of a thing, a thing imagined, a thing that is wet and long and scattered, dispersed, as all things are dispersed, by breaking down a wall, by rupturing the ground and putting seeds in it, by thinking and forming ideas, the consciousness of consciousness which is one with the consciousness of which it is conscious.
And that’s why I write. To get it all out. Way out into the open. Perhaps into an abyss. Perhaps onto that soil upon which we have labored to divide into furrows and planted our seeds, our corn, our wheat, our lavender, our soybeans and sugar beets, that rich alluvial soil, if we are lucky, that endless walk under boiling clouds, that point in the distance, that pattern of tread, this earth, this ground, and upon which we live and die, if we are honest with ourselves.