Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Sense of Trap as a Narrowing Cone One's Got Stuck into and Any Movement Forward Simply Wedges Once More -- but Where or Quite When, Even with Whom, Since Now There Is No One Quite with You--Quite? Quiet?

Let me try this equation: I understand that in the scheme of late capitalism's inexorable grind to oblivion the decisions that Dixons and Geithners and every single smartest guy in the room makes for the 1% that own everything makes as much difference in the inexorable grind's end result as the decision I make in four hours on where I'm gonna eat lunch today. They, in the end, will be just as fucked as me, but I will be fucked first, just as Corporate planned. What? No?

Have some Elkin, from George Mills:

He didn't know what hit him. He didn't go to church. He didn't listen to evangelists on the radio. Nothing was healed in him. His back still hurt like hell from the time he had picked up a television funny. He didn't proselytize his neighbors. He talked as he always had. He behaved no differently. Not to his wife, not to the dispossessed whose furniture he helped Laglachio legally steal. Finally, he did not believe in God.

Holyfuck, if I was shown the last few posts three years from now when I read them I'd know I was reading Elkin when I wrote them, the rhythm and diction of what I write but mostly the frenzy he releases in my head when I'm happy, but this is busiest shittiest month of my working year, I'm reading four books simultaneously while thinking about what I'll read next, and these are the strangest days of my life, and what the fuck happened to my campaign to be quieter, calmer, more circumspect and peaceable?


Robert Creeley

Most explicit--
the sense of trap

as a narrowing
cone one's got

stuck into and
any movement

forward simply
wedges once more--

but where
or quite when,

even with whom,
since now there is no one

quite with you--Quite? Quiet?
English expression: Quait?

Language of singular
impedance? A dance? An

involuntary gesture to
others not there? What's

wrong here? How
reach out to the

other side all
others live on as

now you see the
two doctors, behind

you, in mind's eye,
probe into your anus,

or ass, or bottom,
behind you, the roto-

rooter-like device
sees all up, concludes

"like a worn-out inner tube,"
"old," prose prolapsed, person's

problems won't do, must
cut into, cut out . . .

The world is a round but
diminishing ball, a spherical

ice cube, a dusty
joke, a fading,

faint echo of its
former self but remembers,

sometimes, its past, sees
friends, places, reflections,

talks to itself in a fond,
judgemental murmur,

alone at last.
I stood so close

to you I could have
reached out and

touched you just
as you turned

over and began to
snore not unattractively,

no, never less than
attractively, my love,

my love--but in this
curiously glowing dark, this

finite emptiness, you, you, you
are crucial, hear the

whimpering back of
the talk, the approaching

fears when I may
cease to be me, all

lost or rather lumped
here in a retrograded,

dislocating, imploding
self, a uselessness

talks, even if finally to no one,
talks and talks.


  1. ...and what the fuck happened to my campaign to be quieter, calmer, more circumspect and peaceable?

    That campaign has ended, or is it ongoing?

  2. It sputters, but goes on. Been sputtering for thirty-five years, but goes on.

  3. problems won't do, must
    cut into, cut out . . ."

    Or cut up, perhaps? I wanted to answer your Elkin with a Gaddis (thank you so much for sending it to me, I love it! I know what you mean about happiness) but maybe Burroughs is more apt?

    "When you cut into the present the future leaks out."

  4. There is a paragraph, about two-third through *Magic Kingdom*, when the children are sunning themselves on an island, that is as beautiful and life-affirming as anything I've ever read. You'll know it when you get to it.

  5. Always recognize 0.7% of your typical new release links because I'm too busy BEING QUIETER, CALMER, CIRCUMSPECTER (a circular ghost!) and something else.

    Four novels at once is madness, you know.

  6. fish: both! I left a line out in this post, which is a shame since it's what it's about - I keep forgetting: Death to the Either/Or! And thanks for taking the man-crush challenge!

    Randal: it's worse - it's two novels, two books of theory. Just a manic phase.

  7. to be fair, they aren't really theory

  8. Magic Kingdom made me gasp in awe.

  9. Yah, *theory* was just lazy shorthand. They are much more interesting and fun than objectsubjectsubjectobject. But it's strange (in a pleasant way) to feel compelled to read them.

    *Magic Kingdom,* considering when Elkin wrote it, as his MS was destroying his body, is an astonishing feat of both literary imagination and life-affirming generosity. I love it more than any other novel I've ever read.

  10. I love you for loving it and for sending it too to me, BDR. So many gifts, rare and exquisite ones. Thank you, thank you. The thought that it'll be in my mailbox waiting for me on my beautiful country road when I get home is thrillingly wonderful. I can just reach in and take my pleasure. I must confess, I went on something of an Elkin binge at The Strand the other day. Fortunately, they ship at reasonable rates. Speaking of object/subject. I just met Levi Bryant at the Object-Oriented Ontology conference at The New school. And he's a hunk! And a love! And, can I please brag a little?--I made the acknowledgments (Jacob, too) in his new book The Democracy of Objects just posted on his Larval Subjects blog(now that's theory with a capital T). Something like being a stowaway on The Beagle. But, oh, ow, ouch, this poor city. I can't believe how many more stores, restaurants, businesses of all stripes have shuttered their doors, windows, everything since I left 9 months ago. This is such a bittersweet trip. Like the whole city's wedged in a cone...

  11. Thanks for the link to John Cale, been years since he cut an album. I filched it all.