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Monday, 25 September 2006

Mm good!

I am amazed and pleased Google knows exactly what’s on my mind when I’m cleaning out my SPAM.

end of article

Friday, 22 September 2006


Tomorrow will mark the passing of the 2006 autumnal equinox and my own passage from social disconnection to emotional desolation, to a place of strength and longing. Upon learning that the astrological sign which claims me is Scorpio, a beautiful Jersey girl once hissed with her fingers in a cross, “Oooh Scorpio! Sex and death.” Everything becomes but will never be, especially in the season of dying and the dead, the epoch of retreat and recession, of imperceptible horizon.

I used to walk to school in the fog. Everything comes to you out of dreams, the voices and footfalls, the shoulders and faces. You hear them in places you cannot see, like the future. Obscured by uncertainty, they are the grey and the white. You approach and out of nothing appear each to the other, smiling and hands clasped. Had it been today your hug would rush you through years up to now, everything present, shrouded, audible.

A. invited me West for the beginning of next year. If I were somewhere, someone different, I would be able to join her. We grow into our different powers and our limitations. I demurred impossible circumstance, except in case. Understanding possibility and deferral, A. simply let me know that A (a different one) would be there, which started me thinking and remembering.

I remember being somewhere between D.C. and Maryland. I remember a cool summer evening. We piled into a van with bubble-eye rear windows and custom body paint, veined leathery squares with rounded corners like a styled and geometrized highway stripe. Riding around the streets of D.C. with no destination, we hooted like children. T. was “dad” because only he could drive the Dabela behemoth. (This is one of the reasons that when I come back he will be my father.) We all were grinning and me mostly because I was again in love with the now, because I’d made the journey to with A who is so beautiful that remembering her face makes me see rain.

The years flow by, even now. end of article

Wednesday, 20 September 2006


I thought about the convention I’d recently discovered: TK. I’ve used different means of noting in my unfinished manuscripts places that needed information I did not have readily available or which required a passage I was not prepared to write. It is the sous rature initials of someone, a figure more than person, I fell in love with at the age of thirteen.

Since then (most notably the summer of 2004 when I finished the second half of my dissertation at 1501 Oxford Road), the fact that my feelings did not center around an actual person as much as around the concept of “the loved one” became more than intuitional deduction. When Phil explained to me that the person around whom I’d (consciously) built my fantasy of connection and loss considered me (the flesh-and-bone me) obsessed, well, I understood that she understood nothing about writing and writing’s being.

Writing for a muse is not writing to a person or even about a person, even if the muse figure is connected to that person. The real-world relationships affected by the writing are themselves distortions of purer ideational moments, domains, sequences. The real-world writer, me, is not coincident with the speaker of the writing. Depending on how one views such things, that being (known by some as the speaker of the enunciation) is either a purer or reduced instance of the real-world person identified as a writing’s “author.” I am not the entity spoken in the writing; I am the most proximate instance of that purer ideational form. There is a split in the subject where writing is. Flesh-and-bone exist in the realm of degree one; the entity inhabiting the space of the writing itself exists in the realm of degree zero. There is nothing to precede it.

Writing does not originate in the specificity of first love, romantic disillusion, or emotional loss, except as these things are themselves ideas. First degree phenomena insinuate into the zero degree space of writing but without causality. Writing is prior to the facts of history, belief, and emotion. I write as the proximal effect (nearest descendant) of something that is not me.

You are not the reason this writing exists. end of article

Friday, 15 September 2006

What's that buzzing noise?

Overheard in a meeting somewhere:

“The department would save quite a bit of money if instead of making copies we all used Blackboard.

“Did he just say ‘black boy’? ”

“I don’t know about the rest of you but I use my black boy every day.”

end of article

Monday, 11 September 2006

How I Learned to Give Up and Start Worrying About My Flow

Consider an autopoietic system whose self-regulation is both the means of its functioning as well as its rhythmic breakdown. Malfunction as renewal.

I ad(a|o)pted a new flow so joyful that alternates promise bother at best and agony as norm.

As in all religious instants, the artification, through symbols, of machines that generate language in bursts materialized possibility. The memory of a genesis which eclipsed both my lawn and my pedagogy prepared me for the reality that machinic (and symbolizable) nature depends on segmenting the idealized passage of points along a circumference, that arcs must be quantized, breaks interrupting the flows.

I gave up getting it right.

How does a tool (any one) joint output? Segmentation and granularity (and the automaticity of the granulating mechanisms) are the fundamental characteristics of disjunctive synthesis.

Instead I got it to work. end of article

Sunday, 03 September 2006

Black Modernism isn't always only about “being black”

Last night, George, Barrett (Barry) Watten, Carla Harryman, and I drove to Columbus to see Bryan Barber’s Idlewild (2006). It may have been the first time I saw a movie about black people that was not about being black.

Even one pass beneath the surface of that statement reveals cultural assumptions about what “being black” means with the suggestion that art concerned with “being black” is not as valuable as art concerned about something else. In a racist culture, such critical sentiment may be interpreted as itself racist.

I think addressing blackness is important and many works of art that do treat of it and related subjects are excellent pieces of art. I won’t bother to name the several dozen that immediately leap to mind. They are part of the literary canon of both the United States and the world. However, works identified as those produced by African American artists are almost without exception about the fact of being black in a racist society.

It is true that racism and matters of race affect all people in the United States with particularly strong effect on members of oppressed racial groups. This is not to say that all members of racially oppressed groups experience matters of race as a given in their day-to-day lives. Not all people of black African ancestry think about the ill effects of living in a racist culture every one of their waking seconds. This also means that not everything such people experience is best understood through the lens of race relations. In other words, sometimes some Americans with black African ancestors aren’t thinking about how The Man is keeping them down and the actions and situations of these people aren’t necessarily best interpreted as an effect of The Man keeping them down.

But—as I have been made more aware in moving from Central California to, first, Virginia and, now, Ohio—there are people who have black African ancestors who are constantly aware of the ill effects of racism and whose experience is shaped by these effects (and the perception of these effects) in a way that is life-defining. For many of these people, understanding how matters of race affect them and the socius of which they are a part is a matter of being, of survival.

Considering these two very rough distinctions—blacks who always are engaged in a racial dialectic and blacks able to disengage from racial dialectics—it’s apparent they are expedient categories at best, ones that ignore the complex ways in which people (of color) perceive race and are affected by it. Even so, these categorical distinctions enable one to imagine for a moment that a work of art created by a racial minority may not be best apprehended as a work by a person beset on all sides by a racist culture, racist though that culture may be and that, ultimately, a work of art produced by a minority artist is not about race.

Idlewild visually and allusively presents the era of black Modernism in a way that is not about “being black”. end of article

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