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another hello

So I'm just going to remind you all that I am trying to do NaBloPoMo over at blog@eriktrips and to let you know that I restored the important parts of the three lost posts. Lost anyone's comments though. Cannot do anything about that.

Since I have pretty much made it into a poetry blog and since I am in the middle of experimenting with abstraction in poetry the things I have been posting run from text files to scanned-in drawings, and it is only the 10th. I have no idea what else I will post. Everyday I think of something slightly different and I have yet to hit upon the thing that feels the most like writing something without writing anything.

I suspect that this sort of writing, like appearance that is not the appearance of a particular thing or like any other event since these are events and not things, cannot be expressed within writing of any kind or make an appearance on the page because it is more akin to the act of putting a thing on a page but it is not "an act" either in that it is not something that can be recuperated with a simple noun like "act." Or "event." These are shorthand and point elsewhere than their usual referents. The writing I am thinking of is an infinite repetition of discrete occurrences that are neither particular nor generic but sort of both in a way.

But so it is leading me into abstraction because writing in this sense is at least not connected strongly with language although it may be indistinguishable with the unconscious of language or language's primary process or the event of speaking. It may seem that one could say that all of these practices—writing, speaking, appearing—occur as the result of some event that repeats itself except that it does not repeat itself but begins again over and over and over even if only very slightly different from the last event of appearance or writing or speaking.

At least, this is how I want it to be. I will freely admit to a prejudice against anything that tends toward monotheism, which lurks as a consequence of proposing a transcendent event that is separate from the particular. but I want these events to occur as neither particular events nor as a universal event but as singularities and of course this is Deleuze speaking more than anyone else but it is important to me to reemphasize that there is no such thing as repetition. The same, but just a little different. That's Gershom Scholem as quoted by Giorgio Agamben but first you heard Gertrude Stein.

I am beginning to feel as if I should be posting this over there. Perhaps I will. but I will leave off the part where I tell you about my day:



I have been keeping extremely odd hours lately. I go from 36-hour days in which I stay up for close to 24 hours and sleep for close to 12 to five-hour days punctuated by four-hour naps such that I go through several days in a short period. Maybe it all evens out. It is possible that staying up for 24 hours leaves me fatigued even after a 12-hour nap so that after a couple of cycles of that I tend to start living in mini-days for a couple of calendar days until I get rested up and stay awake for 24 hours again.

I like it. It's of the sort of ordered chaos in which I prefer to live in most ways. I have to have the security of being able to nap whenever I need to, but I also need the freedom to completely ignore cultural mandates as to when days begin and end. Why should I get up at the same time every day? My body clock always rebels against that, either keeping me up late into the night or getting me up very early in the morning or both. I prefer dawn and dusk to what lies between them which is typical of me: since in sunrise and sunset cycles a very predictable display of unpredictable transitoriness. No two sunsets are ever the same.

I would even go so far as to say that two people cannot watch the same sunset even if the degree of difference between them is miniscule. This is not to say that there is no such thing as an "objective" sun but it is highly sceptical of a claim to be able to know anything about something like that. The empirical as such can be predictable to an extent—but always only to an extent, even if it is a very large one—but it does not follow that objectivity is experienced in the empirical. The empirical is a particular kind of experience but it would take a book (at least) to explain what kind of experience it was. One could almost say that the subjective and objective meet in the empirical except that one cannot say that at all because once subjectivity and objectivity meet we lose the categorical "exactititude" we thought we had a handle on and can no longer speak of subjectivity and objectivity. Which is also kind of like saying that the empirical is haunted by an unspeakability that tends to break it up and make it entirely unknowable and yet overflowing with potential knowledge. Which is something like what is divine even in empirical experience but it is not a Being named "God."

And that only covers how we speak in Western culture, or in parts of Western culture, or within some values for "Western culture."

So I seem to be feeling abstract this morning. Apologies if it didn't seem to make sense. It is time now to have a bowl of cereal and consider what to do with the time I have before sunset and any time I might have leftover afterwards. Hope everyone is doing ok. I've been reading LJ from most recent to least recent and so I think I skip recurring chunks of ever-receding not-quite-recent-enough posts so if there was something you hoped I would read, leave a link. Seriously. I'll go read it if you ask me to.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
expanding_x_man
Nov. 10th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
Just speaking to your writing comments:

I will freely admit to a prejudice against anything that tends toward monotheism, which lurks as a consequence of proposing a transcendent event that is separate from the particular. but I want these events to occur as neither particular events nor as a universal event but as singularities and of course this is Deleuze speaking more than anyone else but it is important to me to reemphasize that there is no such thing as repetition. The same, but just a little different. That's Gershom Scholem as quoted by Giorgio Agamben but first you heard Gertrude Stein.

Interesting that you characterize this as "monotheism", and certainly that is actually one accurate way to characterize a movement away from transcendent narratives. As you know, from our meetings in person about writing, I've been doing this for years and have attempted (in poetry) to abract language to one degree or another from meaning, or to use it like color on a canvas instead of as strictly as a utilitarian denotation of actual things or events or narrative arc. Another way to characterize this movement away from transcendent events is an attempt to avoid "predatory intent". While that is a bit high-pitched, it is from Zukofsky I think and talks about that tendency to "want to tell a story" or worse, "convince" the writing audience of this or that. Well, I am softer now about these matters in my middle-age and feel that certainly, that does have its place in writing but in doing more abstract poems, it is certainly suspect and a tendency that is curbed. Buddhism would call your tendency away from "monotheism" to be "non-theistic" and it is very hard to get the western mind to do this. I think, particularly in language.

The writing I am thinking of is an infinite repetition of discrete occurrences that are neither particular nor generic but sort of both in a way.

I think Stein does this in her prose, but another place to look for inspiration is Ron Silliman. Some of his work is a series of discrete sentences that are not "related" in any logical way, and that certainly do not build into a narrative arc or climax of meaning. I think _Ketjak_ is an important early work that does this, and _Tjanting_. As I remember... He is very drawn into the ordinary and the discrete, which really does refer back (for me although not him) to Buddhist practice and the concept of the ordinary and of awareness of discrete particularities.

I have done a lot of work in this vein, although I am not at all like Silliman. But, I am considering more narrative arcs in poetry now simply to do something different. I know you've been working in this vein for awhile also.

Someday, we can compare notes again. I haven't written many poems this year, but three last week when I was writing my speech for HSU.

I gotta get all that older work published!
eriktrips
Nov. 10th, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
I've read some of Silliman's work, although long ago in the anthology In the American Tree. I should dig it out again. The funniest thing about that book is that I picked it back up after someone told me that I had signed up for a class with a wonderful poet when I registered for the Stein seminar--I had forgotten Lyn's name but when I looked at the anthology I had bookmarked one of her pieces in maybe 1989 or 1990.

Anyway, yeah I should check out more of Silliman's work. I have had a hard time taking him seriously since the Issue 1 "scandal" but I'm sure his work is still significant. Or, um, not significant, or not signifying anything in particular except the particulars. Maybe. But so I'll have to look him up again.

and I did notice I was quoting Buddhist writers here and there but I stopped citing my references. :)

I am actually working very concretely with writing in particular rather than language as an entity, and noticing things about writing with a text editor or a different piece of software and writing with pencil and paper—very different processes and they lend themselves to very different sorts of approaches to try to hint at whatever mechanism underlies their making sense when they make sense or not making sense when they do not.

I think the possibilities might be overwhelming so I should probably choose one or the other and go with it for awhile but I am not sure which I would prefer. The computer can produce brilliant colors now with our flat-panel LCD screens but writing with a pen or pencil on a surface is so much more physically mediated in the careful hand coordination it takes to draw letters or not-letters, as the case may be. But then typing is an almost repetitive motion and so it too involves working with not-repetition. And if the typing involves word processing then you get these very uniform letters that seem hardly to admit of difference but still they are not all exact repetitions of each other for various reasons.

Maybe after teaching we can go for a cup of coffee again. I'm spending a lot of free time alone but it seems necessary while I teach because that puts me in public to an uncomfortable degree. Even though my class is small, I've had some unique problems this semester and it's been a challenge to stay on top of things.

Pull that work together! Send it out! I have to pull my autobiography together. I have more than enough writing but it is scattered into literally thousands of text files and LJ entries. It's an editorial nightmare. I need to lock myself in my room for a month and just go through everything. Ha. Wouldn't that be nice? Well I think it would be sort of nice. With shower privileges of course.
expanding_x_man
Nov. 10th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
A quick note about Silliman, the essay of his to read is "The New Sentence".

I'll get to the rest of this later, I mean, making intelligent comments but this was the thing that jumped out at me to say.
expanding_x_man
Nov. 10th, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, quickly here (before I step out to walk my poor little dog who has been waiting patiently while I LJ) that is an interesting investigation regarding pen and paper (writing "by hand") and by word processor. I agree that the methods appear to affect the actual text. I found years ago that writing by hand is out for me (mostly) since I can't write fast enough and keep up with my own muse once it starts churning. But, I do keep notes by hand, and have on occasion broken down and done a work by writing instrument instead of keyboard. I know that computers eliminate the need to type over all text, you can just cut and paste your rewrites, but this is actually not always a good thing, although it may appear convenient. I do sometimes type a text over since this will inevitably bring in more inspiration and (usually) change the text more than simply correcting for obvious "mistakes" or inadequacies.

Yes, let's meet one day. If we start planning now, we can do it by next February! ; )

But, really it is possible. I am on a writing kick again (outside of blogs) and plan to hit the poetry and get it all in order to publish. It is so long overdue and thank you for the encouragement. So, we will have writing to talk about.

I will check out this "scandal" once I get the dog back. Weird looking - I just glanced but need to really figure out what that is about. Silliman does have a good blog though and I really should read it more often.
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