His near stammering. With disconcerting promptness one word hid behind another. -- Maurice Blanchot, Le Dernier Homme Contact me: red3ad (at) yahoo (dot) com


"After the capricious fires, the abysmal dullness of youth," said Neville, "the light falls upon real objects now. Here are knives and forks. The world is displayed, and we too, so that we can talk."

—Virginia Woolf, The Waves


"It takes just one awful second, I often think, and an entire era passes."
-- W.G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn

Day to day, what these small spaces afford, or trace... A moment, a period of time, as if lacquered: this morning, rain, drop upon drop, layer upon layer... A spreading damp stain, a smear of ink and the last line lost.
Pages bound with a coil of wire, spine bent through the progress of days. A coil of wire, like a clockspring, stripped: a series of circles wound around an absence.
Wound (coil) and wound (scar) -- that smooth silvery line that remains. Once stark, raw red, then slowly erased by stages, skin knit back and grown taut from beneath. And then, in the thin hours of morning, light like a blade, a thing unwound, touched upon -- fingers grazing that ghost line, a gesture out of habit


There is a red flower in that vase. A single flower as we sat here, waiting, but now a many-sided flower, some petals cast off and curled on the table-top -- red, puce, purple and browned, stiff with silver silvery line along their twisting backs. At once a whole flower and a series of bright and dulled fragments to which every eye brings its own contribution.

[And of this, random page?]


silence in the broken spaces


"between the cup and the table"
What do I really require, then? Between dawn and morning, between the cup and the table, the saucer I use as an ashtray. A few cups of coffee, a couple of cigarettes. A few sentences. There’s a window and a few clouds float by in a pleasant blue sky; it could be autumn or spring. This is “my” space. I try not to be overwhelmed by it, the books, the questions... Everything tentative. But for a few small things. A cup, a saucer, a book. Maybe I don’t want to go there, yet. Is this a space for dreams or is this space the dream itself? I don’t know where to put the stresses in that sentence. I feel lost knowing that others have so much less. It takes so little for everything to fall apart. What do I want, then?-- A few right sentences. The dream, then, of a paragraph.


Faced with the prospect of a day or the memory of a night, the thin grey sheet, twilight of writing. You write to empty yourself, or hope the act of writing, will do.
The pen forms a stroke, a single letter-word, "I," first person singular. Or the downstroke of a T as in the word "The" or "This." A single line and the unconquerable absence. Thus,


A few lines copied out at the end of the book. Each day, against the winds and flux of mood, a few leaves gleaned, and blown away.

Written. Scraps. And left there,


His near stammering. With disconcerting promptness one word hid behind another.
-- Maurice Blanchot, Le Dernier Homme


“Do you recall objects which you lost the following day?
They beg you meekly one last time
(in vain)
to let them stay with you.
But the angel of loss has touched them with its careless wing;
they are no longer ours, we retain them by force.”
-- Rainer Maria Rilke [quoted by Dubravka Ugrešić, The Museum of Unconditional Surrender]


“21. ‘Nanizivat,’ yalyublyu nanizivat.’ says Kira as though apologizing for something, and smiles the pale smile of a convalescent.‘Threading, I like threading things.’”
--Dubravka Ugrešić, The Museum of Unconditional Surrender


to ravel:

1. To become entangled or confused. rare (exc. dial.)
2. Of a fabric: To fray out, to suffer disintegration. (Also in fig. context.)
3. Of a clue or thread: To unwind; to come off the clue, reel, etc. rare (now dial.)
4. To examine or inquire into a thing. Obs. (freq. in 17th c.).

II. trans.
5. a. To entangle, confuse, perplex.
6. a. To unwind or unweave; to unravel. Also with away. b. fig. To take to pieces; to disentangle.
7. a. to ravel out: To draw or pull out by unwinding or unweaving. b. To destroy, spoil, or waste, as by pulling a fabric into threads. ? Obs.


By thir own perplexities involv'd They ravel more.
--Milton, Samson

The roads raveled rapidly and in the worst instances became during a single season merely a pile of loose stones.
--Oglesby & Hewes, Highway Engin.
Each instance erased by the following. Every word, every letter, a separation --

to ravel.


everything that is precious, is fleeting


A limb fallen across the stream, creating a deepening, swelling pool. One leaf drifts down and catches on the edge; another follows and catches on the first -- and so on, until the edges of the leaves stitch themselves into a sheet. Occasional light glistens in the interstitial spaces as the slow ripple passes underneath.
The sound of dripping water from another room. A single breath could destroy it.


slipping, writing toward,
writing, something else


A space of slippage -- just escaping the fold as the wave or the leaf curls over, the leaf caught in a wave of wind, the page turned by the wave of a hand. Between here and now, a past future announced, posted, the 1-1-2-3-5-8 hour difference in time zones. This this, this post, occluding itself as typed, slipped in under the form of another's memory. The hand, the wind, the leaf caught again -- teeming, unstemmed, broken by its onward dissolution, collapsing, folded under. And the mechanism slips again,


"To be lost, to capsize. Desire of the fall, desire which is the push and the pull of the fall. And whoever falls is not one, but several. Multiple fall. Each one restrains himself, clinging to an other, an other who is himself and is the dissolution -- the dispersion -- of the self, and the restraint is sheer haste, panicky flight, death outside death."
-- Maurice Blanchot, The Writing of the Disaster.


Who am I then, in this yellowing, unburnished September? Leaves starting to turn, and in the neighbor's yard, an apple tree and a yellow orb hanging there, perfectly round like a planet. I pace back and forth in the alley as I smoke, and there, on a patch of gravel, see another apple, rotting. A brown ball, flattened on the bottom, but otherwise intact and almost perfectly brown. Last night's rain is beaded up on its skin, and this left-over rain reflects the world. And I, one of its subjects, step back toward my building, shifting my body and thus my view, so that the golden and brown apples form a vertical line. As above, so below. The smoke from the cigarette in my hand drifts upward. Dissipates. I inhale. Exhale.


"Who am I then, in golden September, when I divest myself of everything which people have made of me? Who, when the clouds are flying?
The mind which my flesh houses is an even greater deceiver than its sanctimonious host. To meet it is something I must fear above all. For nothing I think has anything to do with me. Every thought is nothing but the germination of alien seeds. I am not capable of thinking any of the things that have touched me, and I think things that have not touched me.
I think politically, socially and in a few other categories and here and there solitarily and pointlessly, but I always think in a game with predetermined rules and occasionally I may also think of changing the rules. Not the game. Never.
I, this bundle of reflexes and a well-educated will, I fed on the refuse of history, refuse of impulse and instinct, I with one foot in the wilderness and the other on the high road to everlasting civilization. I impenetrable, a mixture of all materials, matted, insoluble and yet incapable of being extinguished by a blow on the back of the head. Silenced I of silence....
Why have I spent a whole summer trying to destroy myself in intoxication or to intensify my feelings in intoxication?-- Only to avoid becoming aware that I am an abandoned instrument upon which someone, a long time ago, struck a few notes on which I helplessly produce variations, out of which I try furiously to make a piece of sound that bears my handwriting. My handwriting! Flashes of lightning have passed through trees and split them. Madness has come upon men and inwardly broken them in pieces. Swarms of locusts have descended upon the fields and left the trail of their devouring. Floods have devastated hills and torrents the mountainsides. Earthquakes have not ceased. These are handwritings, the only ones."
-- Ingeborg Bachmann, from "The Thirtieth Year."


'As a child, I was often and intensely bored. This evidently began very early, it has continued my whole life, in gusts (increasingly rare, it is true, thanks to work and to friends), and it has always been noticeable to others. A panic boredom, to the point of distress: like the kind I feel in panel discussions, lectures, parties among strangers, group amusements: wherever boredom can be seen. Might boredom be my form of hysteria?'

--from Roland Barthes, by Roland Barthes
'Someone will say: all you talk about are things like the weather, vaguely aesthetic or in any case purely subjective impressions.'

-- Roland Barthes, Incidents


what she does, when she writes, is to draw a line in water and sand, the tidal rift of the subjective

why the subjective vs. subjectivity; s/he-- even pronouns folding into themselves


why hesitation. Calling it, the work in progress, 'the hour of the trace.'


what s/he does, when she writes, is to draw a line in water and sand


or, something like a complete rupture with what has gone gone on before



Any knots, glitches, or aporias in this journal are not to be taken as indications of an underlying pattern -- though they may, someday perhaps, indicate a future schema...


...there. I blinked and I lost it.



Sick, lately. Oddly enough, finding myself waking in the middle of the night -- through force of coughing? Or an underlying sense of fragility, unsettledness. Waking at six proffers the option of starting the day early; one may just pass from one twilight to another, first pot of coffee or tea and the edges of a book or a page. 3am involves a choice -- the possibility of delaying the eventual return to sleep. A silent, hollow space carved out in the small hours. This reverie came up against a post of Steve's:

"Literature as experience

'How can you write about life if you haven't even lived it?' asks Joseph Ridgwell.

Rather, how can you begin to write if life hasn't failed?

Writing is not about life. Writing is about the experience of distance from life, the stuff of anecdotes. In that way, writing is life."


Three a.m., and the distance of things: the tick of the clock, the hum of the refrigerator, the whistle of the train as it reaches the outer limit of the city. It comes to one, it is at home in one, within and without. Opting for writing, simply to make the line move. The ink glistens for a second as it flows from the nib to the page. Like a comet's trail, or a shooting star.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?