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


writing's ghost 

To write without knowing. Owning nothing, no words, not even ideas. To sit down to write with intention, thinking "I'm going to write about _____" -- with conclusions firmly set in mind -- is a false utility. (There is the exception of the essay, in wch one sets out to make specific point. But what a beautifully strange & disquieting experience it is to set out to say one thing and come to an entirely different conclusion, a different writing, instead.) Here I am talking about literary writing, & language's inherent capacity to enstrange, to render one beyond oneself.

Writing's ghost -- you find yourself, always -- a reader.

nigredo et albedo 

Faith is constituted in the negative, through absence. A god who speaks is less compelling than the idea of a god who chooses to remain silent.
A matter of frame. It seems that when darkness dominates, I can light a single candle & speak to a greater ease of this [absence], versus the fullsomeness of summer, with its greenness & blazing light -- all evidence to my senses that there is something else, something other than me -- a god, then, that is perhaps too busy, too present to seem to listen. One can't see the branches for the tree, the veil of leaves.

We love god for his absence: a very Simone Weil-like sentiment.


silence 2 (spurious) 

A letter came from an old friend today. Strangely formal, somewhat distant in tone. Mildly unsettling. Inclination to read too deeply, overanalyze.

Post on Spurious today that mentioned this blog, L. noticing a rewriting of an earlier post... In response, I think perhaps my deepest fear is that behind it all, there is no project. The so-called "Book of Rust" crumbles apart in my hands.

And then the letter. And then a crow flew over; sunlight rendering its wings almost translucent. No ornithomancer, me.

the work; worklessness 

Looking around... seeing people's ambition often overshadowing the work. Patience and silence is what the work exacts; four words in a day might be enough.

I trust J. in that I know he thinks seriously about the world; what can and cannot be spoken. He will speak of art and beauty; "beautiful" is a word he uses fairly often, genuinely & without apology.

I admire this.
Beauty is something I'm deeply suspicious of. Not that I don't enjoy the prospect of being seduced by a work -- knowing too well, though, the easy charm of surfaces.

silence (1) 

"There should be a writing of non-writing. Someday it will come. A brief writing, without grammar, a writing of words alone. Words without supporting grammar. Lost. Written, there. And immediately left behind."
-- Marguerite Duras


the cadence of thought 

Michael Nyman has a new opera based on Kurt Schwitters.
I listened to his Facing Goya almost constantly during a rather productive period last autumn; the summer before I wrote a book with Meredith Monk in the background. There was a brutal winter made bearable by Robert Ashley; multiple takes of "India" from Coltrane's Complete Village Vanguard Recordings: time and work given tone by a specific soundtrack. "The Swing Years and Beyond" radio program that was a reason to not go out on a Saturday night; its host, this time last year, a suicide.
And today I have this accordion ditty from the movie Amelie running through my head: I finally succumbed and watched it last week, and found it to be just as charming as everyone promised it to be. I could not resist it, and I resent it, just a little, for that.


the world, the wordless 

An interesting interview with Lydia Davis here; the links to stories and her essay on the New Testament are worth following.
I like the idea of the discipline of writing one, two short "stories" a day; mostly because it is summer and no matter what I do, it just seems to be a sort of slogging through it. Things pile up and it seems nothing gets done. There's too much light; I wake into a day that has already arrived and pick at things before work; during the day, or afterward, more fragments, & nothing accrues. There will be time when fall comes to marshall my energies, I tell myself; I'm taking notes, making lists. But for now, try and enjoy the summer, I say; read with greater range and less concentration, perhaps actively not write. Am I repeating myself here? I seem to be doing so a lot these days. I found a scrap of paper on my desk the other day; I've had it for a year or more -- a phrase clipped from an art review:
consisted solely of four

Imagine finding it in a glassine envelope, tucked into a book. So that's a sort of short story for you, fragmentary, entire, fragmentire. With that I survey my world, four words:

the glass is half

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