Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Finding Empfindung

Ants in eccentric seaweed. Exultation in the waves. Thought furnished with burning winds. How many senses? Five? There must be more. Reconciliation in a car, old questions boiled into limestone. Knowledge is green. Sometimes beige. 
A dry highway undertakes our eyes. Dazzling bandage of swamp art. Mahogany is a hard noble fact. Old agitations entangled in the unidentifiable substance that is music. Buoyant memories provided with lakes. 
Others just sink.
Into oblivion. Or rise to the surface like methane and fill the night air with a beautiful blue glow that smells a little of something gone bad on the stove. 
What am I doing? Where am I going? What am I writing? What is it that wants to come out? What is it that wants expression? What is it that wants to come alive in the sad starry snow of darkness? 
And trudge forward like Frankenstein.
It is a subtle but not entirely clumsy refrigeration of time. The absence of Asia deepens Asia. This makes the nebulae of vague corresponding lights win catastrophes of space in our sleep. It is not surprising that poplar emboldens the honest. The veil undulates and thus helps the wind to realize oneself. And this is what nourishes the cure for percussion. It makes it thump with greater deliberation and less exposition, it crashes out of its own being and becomes the one activity in life that doesn’t require explanation. It is swimming. It is talking. It is the ceaseless employment of sticks on a taut surface of paper. 
Is everyone happy now?
Probably not. I don’t know. Who is to know? Do you know? 
Reanimating the dead is always a serious matter. But so is writing, which is driven by letters rather than body parts and lightning. But aren't they, when it comes down to it, the same? Writing, by its very existence, has an ideological aspect. In this respect, it is similar to money. Much of the inherent chaos and brutality of life has been rationalized by monetary exchange. The conversion of wealth into securities gives it a giddy insensitivity to the vagaries and sorrows of life. Meaning money isn’t wealth. Money is a medium of exchange. Securities are fungible, a cruel hoax. Real wealth is the loyalty of a friend, a good stand-up comic, and a shelter -  however crude  -  to protect you from assholes and blasts of lightning. King Lear learned this lesson the hard way. 
Real wealth is spirit. The strength to endure, and the means to do it. Art embodies what is wild and unmanageable. It reduces nominal wealth to the noxious and grotesque. 
The ludicrous is what saves us. The comedic spirit is our best guarantee against authoritative sclerosis.
Which suggests that writing may not be as serious as we think. 
Or I think. I can’t think for you. I have enough trouble as it is thinking for myself. But hey, I’m not the one who invented language. Especially this language, with its funny pronouns and prepositions. 
Where was I? Oh yeah, desire. When we can’t quite reach what we want, we use words. Isn’t that what they’re for? Turning water to wine? 
Nothing gets in the way of desire when it begins to objectify what it desires. Quite often we have it in hand already without realizing what we truly have. 
Remember that scene in 2001? That really excited ape guy tossing the bone into the sky, which then becomes a spaceship docking with a space station to the music of Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra? Who didn't enjoy a conflagration of ideas seeing that?
2001 turned out to be very different then the way we imagined it. Controlled demolition, ash billowing in the streets of lower Manhattan, people fleeing in panic, warrantless surveillance, ethnic profiling, indefinite military detention, torture, body scanners, the beginning of endless war.  
No, the Big Lebowski did not come to our rescue.
But what am I saying? I always get lost as soon as I start using the royal ‘we.’ 
Shall we turn to something more Gothic? Molecular squeaking on a library barge? Chains clanking, memories rubbing against the brainpan? 
Juicy evening desires ignite the nerves. Scarves hang from a kite of Meissen porcelain. Niccolo Paganini does more for my head than cocaine ever did. 
Beatitude is an elephant. But what’s a diving board? Can a diving board be a symbol of something? And what’s up with symbols, anyway? Are cymbals symbols? Are symbols an indication that everything has a transcendental aspect? Or are they just a convenient strategy for keeping the brain warm and occupied while empirical reality gambols about elsewhere? 
The bones of the paragraph rest on a bed of paper. Meaning overflows with perfumes and rubies. Time leans against space. Space relies on gravity. Gravity walks through Egypt in a trance of opulence. The heart forgets its store of pain. Nails of carpentry tinkle in their bags as the searching winds of a blue neuron groan through the wood of a trembling abstraction.
Anything that deviates from the ruling consciousness is going to seem bizarre because it’s trying to break free of a petrified reality. Or at least get out of doing the dishes. 
Or not. I mean, is doing the dishes so bad? It can be soothing. The sound of running water sounds like the word ‘essence.’ Doesn’t it? When you turn the faucet, do you hear essence? Someone else might say it sounds like dress, or stress, or evanescence. Dishes are their own truth content. Except for spoons. Spoons are magical. 
Existence precedes essence, or is it the other way around? I always forget which is which. The motivation behind most objects is clear. I know why certain blues aficionados might have reservations about George Thorogood, but I find street offices everywhere with splendid reflections and a morning wind dancing on a plumber’s nipple. The problem is precisely this: there is in everyday reality a sense that there is something else, power or divine undercurrent, that may or may not be related to a religious or mystical unknowable. What I do know is that we  can find the embrace of being in ourselves, and most objects would congratulate us, if they had arms, and were in a cartoon. 
My original solitude is beyond my reach. It exists on another plane. I may or may not find it in GeorgeThorogood, but I will most definitely get a sense of it in John Lee Hooker’s cover of “I Cover the Waterfront,” a popular song and jazz standard composed by Johnny Green. I might also mention the noumenon behind Kant’s Empfindung. Let’s look there next time and see if we might also hear Bo Diddley. 
It is in the past that I am what I am, but it is in the present that I am making progress toward the multitude that I might be, the warp and woof of weaving a moment together is rhythmically soothing, I must admit, but the pattern seems to be taking forever, and the cat wants to be fed, and I’m getting restless myself, maybe now isn’t the time to go kicking an Empfindung down the street. 
It is with more difficulty that the words are detached from the motherboard and tossed into whatever mutinous environment best suits them. 
Articulation stubbornly extends an arm towards the border, and convulses with fields of lavender.

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