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


"I am sitting on a bench in the park, next to myself, whatever that means."
--Robert Ashley, Private Parts


voice; constant shifting of voices... writing 'you' as a form of address -- to oneself, to the text, to the reader, or the language itself in its juddering, twisting trail; writing of 'one' -- as if to a particular or imagined 'one,' or the general, wch is no 'one' in particular -- it's a form of distancing. Or an effect of distance; merely the echo of a voice, its over- or undertones. There is some degree of ambiguity. To write to no 'one' out of doubt -- but perhaps a sense of respect? Respect for time, for effort. For trying to span that distance, or simply sharing space. There's a bench in the park. sheltered from the wind. Let's sit there awhile.


Fretting over a beginning, or a new beginning, one pasues to realize that the worry is not over a beginning, but rather that some process has already started, yet remains inexpressible, unidentified.

Once the draft has been consigned to the fire, the inevitable question -- novel, film, opera, or play -- hangs; a small weight at one's side, a stone in the pocket. Possibly, even, a poem. The leaves are turning, the light is golden, it tapers off, the night falls early. Slowly, you always said, slowly. But now you are wracked with a sort of spasm, the hand judders along the page, one opens one's mouth only to stammer. Crossing out. Crossing out again. Scraping of the pen on the leaf of the page, the scraping of the leaf on the pavement.

After each match has been consumed, you check the head against your fingertip and return it to the box. The box is labelled SWAN. The sticks rattle in the chamber, and you place it in your pocket, next to the stone, a set of keys, three coins and a paperclip. You wash your hands; four, almost five hours' worth of light yet. Llight. Llanguage. You close your mouth against your stammer and you step out into the day, the stars above drowned in light. Orion and the Pleiades have set.

The bells of the chapel ring out noon; this is not a metaphor, it occurs and you note it as you do the date, an arbitrary marker, an anchor. Note what you can verify in hope determining what falls between. You listen unti it stops and you continue to listen. And you walk. Steps. One following another.


In 1939, Giacometti chose, for a while, to make figures from memory rather than from life, but no matter how hard he tried, the figures kept turning out smaller than he wanted. The problem persisted two years later when he decided to visit his mother, who was then in Geneva, promising friends and also his brother Diego that he would return to Paris with works of a less absurd size.

But with one exception, the figures he made in Switzerland came out tiny, too. He would start over and over again on the same one. It was a sculpture of his friend Isabel standing one evening on the Boulevard Saint-Michel. The memory stuck in his head. ''It isn't the lack of a visa that's stopping me coming back,'' he wrote to her. ''I can come back when I like. It's my sculpture that's keeping me.''

It kept him in Geneva from 1941 through 1945. When he finally boarded the train back to France, he took with him three and a half years' worth of work in six matchboxes.

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