Monday, March 19, 2007
Response to lines from Rob Halpern's *Theses on the Remembrance of Things to Come*
The ape’s eyes, for whom are they mourning
Profounder lacrimosity in becoming
“objective" they are not “Man,” or that “we” we lost
—Some animal sense nobility submerges
Its Shabbat of acephalics—for whose planning?
Crane for crane
Capital migrates again
"Me-grain" as sky-rise—we are still
Below it crudest as cancer. When
Will cranes ever learn
Not to come back from the dead
To build to their simulacral tendencies
Simulacrum of "being numerous"
Subtracted as such from these tears…
What's my rupture?
Where we’re not living *it*
Undead militia in civilian victory (totally uncivilized
Wars of consumption transact corn
That borders patrol a material world of mastery
Fucked literally until we figure it out fuck face
Sun shadows “us” like an artifact of faith.
Antinomous, anarchonistic, noontide abdomen.
The birds of Hitchcock’s *The Birds* are not merely allegorical of a Soviet-Communist threat, not just a repressed return within an Oedipal economy, not merely an instance of the late-Lacanian Real rupturing the Symbolic, not only an ecological trauma manifest as ubiquitous (irruptive) terror, a multiplicitous “sleeper cell” of judgment calls… but an “any-space-whatever” (Deleuze) or “no place” (read: Utopia) of EVERY/ANY social disaster (disaster *qua* Universal) rupturing a narrative-filmic fabric amidst a *socius*/Culture. In this sense: for actual birds displaced (and therefore apparently irrupting) from their habitats in “real” space-time—those birds radically foreclosed by actual climate shifts, and “man-made” devastations. Must we then occupy a similar pov of *any-space-whatever* as Hitchcock’s camera suspended above the matted scene of Bodega Bay’s besieged downtown; a viewer’s eyes and ears (extra-diegetically) withdrawn to this no place where a radical silence of withdrawal, a removal from sensible worlds, presents a threshold of perceptible disaster. These irruptions, as Jalal Toufic’s work demonstrates, constitute brief intervals of super-/sub- sensitivity. A matter of "thy gaze return[ing] to thee" in a 24th of a second—as Toufic writes towards an ontological grounding for Middle-Eastern cinema in his book, *Forthcoming* (Atelos, 2000): or, “so that now it all began / to look like this—”?
The mouth that would fill with blood alone should not be interpreted by “us”—“our” tools of understanding & analysis; *this*, "our" most exigent “legal” problem (beyond the Law of legal-EASE) before widespread human rights abuses by the United States and its international/corporate allies. What would be a spiritual technology opposed to the abuses of official legal cultures—that would seek to locate *differends* (Lyotard) ardently as such? So *this*/"our's" could be a time of presentation for those tortures—THIS, and THIS, and this blood filling the mouth not *here*:
The young Scythians had orders to beget children with those good warriors, the Amazons. One of them unexpectedly comes upon one of these combatants right when she is squatting to relieve her bowels. “She nothing loth, gave him what he wanted” and asked him to return on the following day: […] “Unable to express her meaning in words (as neither understood the other’s language), she phrased this to him by hand.” French *Aie*, Italian *Eh*, American *Whoops* are phrases. A wink, a shrugging of the shoulder, a tapping of the foot, a fleeting blush, or an attack of tachycardia can be phrases. –And the wagging of a dog’s tail, the perked ears of a cat? –And a tiny speck to the West rising upon the horizon of the sea? –A silence […] The expectant wait of the *Is it happening?* as silence. Feelings as a phrase for what cannot now be phrased. The immediate incommunicability of desire, or the immediate incommunicability of murder. […]
~ Jean-Francois Lyotard
Do certain usages of deixis constitute a sovereign grammatology insofar as they can present differends between existents? Do they produce a “state of exception” (Agamben) within language itself?
So “submerged below” becomes felt
In the sudden shifts of time-place within
The felt motions of letters composed—
Now that is all.
~ Gertrude Stein
“this being our one and only flight”—
and all our instants (like Eternity) are felt "in between" (before one’s *cogito*) returns to ”you”—that “I” that would be *I* whenever one may see (Stein)
“Flight”—and flights can be more felt, more profound in pressure, the pressures of life *qua* time as duration exerts a pressure external to us: Deleuze’s “Time is not internal to us, but we are internal to time”—as an intensification of time-sense, or “experience” as felt and perceptible—
“X” marks this percept.
This the inverse of Dickinson’s comment in her letters? That she could imagine no more terrifying thing than to be someone else than herself—to be substitutable for one’s own eternal return…
It strikes me here the significance of birds for Dickinson… that they are a figure of resurrection, an Orphic return of sensation, just as much as they are a typical high-school English trope of natural springtimes, and regenerations of the "soul"... But what would Dickinson have done—how would she have responded—had her birds not returned, which, in her theoagnonistic poetics signals her own returns from “blanks” of inward experience, visions, profound non-sense? Would these birds not be like her (Civil) war dead—for whom she channels a problem of sense and non-sense, actuality and the virtual? Your bobolinks (ED’s favorite bird!), Rob, are *actual* bobolinks not, tragically, returned from climatic death-trips. In their not returning--not succeeding as such as revanants--they inaugurate an occultation presentatory of actual perceptible damage/disasters…
The “time that remains” like desire, the mystical-material desire to “drown such an ass in so much fuck”—like a traversal of Eternity within “real time” of anticipated ends (the imagination of apocalypses)… But, yes!, *this* is the only time "we" have "left"—always, every where, every time, no time, no where, no place... Such is our (non-)site-specificity.
“Please, respond, now“
—an exigent voice calls out in Eternity; an irruptive address!
*This* left intentionally *un*blank
*Un*blink—this Eruv (a roof without a house?) rests in our standstills—like a strobe to border patrols—that slow & stagger Canaan in our eyes—or any interval for Paradisicals—Paradise still no where else but here—Sinai no where but in perceptibility and imperceptibility—*Caritas* of phenomena subtracted from our tears…
Badiou/Levinas meet for me here in their similar conceptions of Israel NOT as a state (however an Israeli state DOES of course exist nominally in "a time of the nations" (Levinas)), but as a mobile interval of social/ontolgical relation
far beyond any question of reducible name or identity subtractable from a desire to be put radically into relation with others—whether or whether not “under” the name of an Event (Badiou).
Uninterpretable, again!… One should rewrite Armand Schwerner’s *The Tablets* with this sense of non-interpretablility in mind—put directly towards a politics, social antagonism or contemporary disaster…
Bataille on torture: beyond language as communicating. Language (as communicable) may be the first thing lost when torturer and tortured become put into contact/relation, both becoming objects for the other, however grossly inequal this relation would be.
Sensibility—images, percepts, sensations; the ability to use language to communicate or create—is perhaps what is lost secondly in such a relation. –The power to imagine beyond a pure fantasy of power (the psychic situation of the torturer), and a pure lack of imagination for the tortured (whose body relinquishes the person’s powers of imagination in order to preserve vital bodily functions: at the limit of this insensibility the tortured falls unconscious, all world-forming capabilities failing—held in abeyance by bodily exigence…)
This recourse to immanence—as “flesh” must not be only a place—but rumored for transcendence
“this specialized form of writing won’t be necessary anymore”—
that is, it will be too late for a spiritual technology to be useful to us to preserve the unredeemability of all plans/planning—
Oppen’s own "salvages" comes to mind again…
see “unworking” (Blanchot); inoperativity (Nancy); Shabbat of the Open (Agamben)—
But the question remains for “us” what form of unmaking we will discover with others. This decision seeming consequential… a matter of generations.
This point of “standing still” comes close to what I understand by Grace: force as unforcing in an open relation where all is both lost and saved: salvageable only in the irredeemability of a total relating (and NOT Totality)… Stevens’ and Blanchot’s similar “letting be”
This eye of Event from which worlds are subtracted
A play (power play?) after Event/irruption of the Real—
This is how I used Lacan’s late-conception of Real immediately after 9/11: either there will be a "good" symptom or a "bad" one after the Event, since we should always have some symptom culturally/between individuals. Given History, however, I should have known there would be a worse symptom as a result… the stars aligned as such after years of conservative think-tanks, structural accumulation in the forms of media, government and traditionalist culture; the ossification of power-structures Big Oil/auto-industry.
One of the only people I know to have acted realistically (that is, with historical-political perspective during the Event) is Alan Gilbert, who claims in his book *Another Future* his first thought after the attack on the Towers was that the American auto-industry was most to blame. Should that industry not be on trial then--legally if not (also) ontologically? When will Big Oil remember to die? Historical mistakes are a fossil (fuel) to our social behaviors…
Except for the singularity of “variable men” (Philip K. Dick) in utopian science fiction. The Shabbat of forces as the protagonists descend the staircase, and soldiers lay down their arms in *Children of Men*. An allegory for irredeemability as it intersects singularity: that the world is perpetuated by genetic-cultural dice rolls; that all being is unprecedented except in Eternity. That is: INNOCENT
No One—as in an innumerability of ALL subtracted particularly from universal Event: Badiou’s Paul for Christ; Sinai; a proletarian; untouchables/shit-eaters/saints—the work of art as it must also be no place and for no ONE ultimately, however bound it is to a historical time and place—the circumstance of its making. It is perhaps only the particularity of this historicity that makes the "no place" of the art object in its *enigmaticalness* (Adorno) possible—potentialized...
Augustine’s *contradicto* comes to mind here: that only the just should have the right to wage war, the “pure of will”; yet as all war is unjust, and just people recognize the injustice of all war, no such persons should exist—they are aporetic, a pure fiction of the Law.
Our Scholastic inheritance?
Eruv of the scrapheap—all these shanty (Shante Shante) towns of overcoming in the best sense of “creative evolution” (Bergson)… The New is produced by problems, intuitions, Necessity being NOT the only “mother of invention” (too inflexible as a cliché of engenderment). If Necessity were the primary creator this world would be in revolution more or less constantly… so desperate are the circumstances of so many people in the world currently.
And yet in an actual world we are positively curious where they’ve gone—the birds: if they’re becoming/become extinct, removed and/or adapted… In a virtual world the disappearance of birds you cite/site is a call to an aesthetics of disaster(!)
“They’re nearly identical, but not the same as the real ones they undo”—
see Zukofsky, “A-16”: