Tuesday, August 30, 2016

hippie dribble

three years ago i began compiling this mix of music & indulging in the sounds which encapsulated my last year of high school and four years of undergrad (1996-2000). i was roughly 16-20 years old and went through a series of very significant transitions... felt nearly unrecognizable to my earlier self (thanks drugs!)

much of this music i still currently enjoy, although i am no longer so obsessed with all-things-jam-band. nonetheless, listening calls forth very sweet memories.

this was fun to make.

Monday, August 29, 2016


really into paul klee right now

transparent perspectively

uncomposed objects in space

growth of the night plants

analysis of various perversities

the friendship

Sunday, August 28, 2016

there are those who die

by joyce carol oates
from women whose lives are food, men whose lives are money

there are those who die and are shoved
from us    there are those who die and are
given new names    there are those who die
and their dried nests burnt    there are those
who die but never leave the house    there are
those who die but curl beside us yawning and warm
there are those who spring into our fingertips
who live on a butterfly’s ingenious wings
whose shouts echo across the choppy river

there are those who die and are walking
with the sunlight across the room
there are those who die and are exiled
those who are held aloft in cages
those who scuttle with rats
those dragged from the harbor faceless
those whose unprotesting veins are opened

there are those who die but send messages
shredded and rainstained
held trembling in someone’s hand

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

new crush

from the post-colonial critic

chapter five: "questions of multiculturalism", a discussion between sneja gunew & gayatri spivak

(all quotes by gayatri spivak)

"a hundred years ago it was impossible for me to speak, for the precise reason that makes it only too possible for me to speak in certain circles now. i see in that a kind of reversal, which is again a little suspicious. . . the question of 'speaking as' involves a distancing from oneself. the moment i have to think of the ways in which i will speak as an indian, or as a feminist, the ways in which i will speak as a woman, what i am doing is trying to generalise myself, make myself a representative, trying to distance myself from some kind of inchoate speaking as such. there are many subject positions one must inhabit; one is not just one thing. that is when a political consciousness comes in. . . but when the cardcarrying listeners, the hegemonic people, the dominant people, talk about listening to someone 'speaking as' something or the other, i think there one encounters a problem. when they want to hear an indian speaking as an indian, a third world woman speaking as a third world woman, they cover over the fact of the ignorance that they are allowed to possess, into a kind of homogenization."

"subordinate people use this also; and we are not without a sense of irony: we use it. i talk a lot, right? and when i get very excited i interrupt people; and i am making a joke, but in fact it is never perceived as a joke unless i tell them. i will quite often say, 'you know, in my culture it shows interest and respect if someone interrupts': and immediately there are these very pious faces, and people allow me to interrupt. it is not as if we don't perceive the homogenization; we exploit it, why not?"

"when you are perceived as a token, you are also silenced in a certain way because, as you say, if you have been brought there it has been covered, they needn't worry about it anymore, you salve their conscience."

"i will have in an undergraduate class, let's say, a young, white male student, politically-correct, who will say: 'i am only a bourgeois white male, i can't speak.' in that situation - it's peculiar, because i am in the position of power and their teacher and, on the other hand, i am not a bourgeois white male - i say to them: 'why not develop a certain degree of rage against the history that has written such an abject script for you that you are silenced?' then you begin to investigate what it is that silences you, rather than take this very deterministic position - since my skin color is this, since my sex is this, i cannot speak. i call these things, as you know, somewhat derisively, chromatism: basing everything on skin color - 'i am white, i can't speak' - and genitalism: depending on what kind of genitals you have, you can or cannot speak in certain situations. from this position, then, i say you will of course not speak in the same way about the third world material, but if you make it your task not only to learn what is going on there through language, through specific programmes of study, but also at the same time through a historical critique of your position as the investigating person, then you will see that you have earned the right to criticize, and you will be heard. when you take the position of not doing your homework - 'i will not criticize because of my accident of birth, the historical accident' - that is a much more pernicious position. in one way you take a risk to criticize, of criticizing something which is other - something which you used to dominate. i say that you have to take a certain risk: to say 'i won't criticize' is salving your conscience, and allowing you not to do any homework. on the other hand, if you criticize having earned the right to do so, then you are indeed taking a risk and you will probably be made welcome, and can hope to be judged with respect."

Monday, August 22, 2016


in the final exit i burned through each room, touched floor and walls, wiped mirrors, swept and wept. it had been a full week of different kinds of tears, an empty house on fire.

wednesday i found the feather near the creek, walking from work. amidst moments of joy, listening to i turn my arm mixed and remixed. wanting immensely to appreciate nell for enthusiasm and encouragement with all things movable. at the new nameless home, she let me hug her, thought the feather might belong to some type of owl.
that evening, noah and i talked softly, metaphysics and delusions, dreams/ intuition/ psychic phenomena. i shared a strange experience, at twenty years old: a vivid dream -a large snake thrown at me which wrapped around my body three times, the head entering my mouth, biting the back of my throat and not letting go. earlier in the dream, a wedding hosted by an a middle-school-friend's family; one of her sisters getting married.
at the time (my late teens/early 20s) i had been intrigued by dream interpretation, had read that snake bites signified psychic perception and weddings predicted death. a few months later, my lack of surprise in the conversation with my mom was notable: the sister of my middle-school-friend had suddenly died.

this weekend, a return to philly. lack of memory, when was i here last? so many friends have moved away.

fancy house in west philly is a former funeral home, the now anarchistic collective of 15 or so years. the scraps of stories i picked up from traveling in and out over the years: tractor tattoo on the arm of a crush, the ghost that typed via voice recognition, jade's perfect bedroom, prints of portable fortitude in progress, chip's beautiful art in the stairwell, birthday parties on roofs. . .
thursday there were ten of us in the house's backyard, all listening closely and quietly to ramona's album release. not played live but on speakers, with their occasional soft interruption or insert: a wistful memory of their years in paris, a thank you to someone next to me for their violin loan on this track. intimate strangers, the trees sheltering us from the dripping rain. certain tracks were replayed upon request. my eyes half-closed through most.

with friday came the most beautiful farm / farmer. jeannine's famous stories, the house of worms, turtle aquaponics, the single eucalyptus, crushing mint in teeth, vibrant brilliance and hammock swinging. better told with a view.
out to the roller rink, out to the woods, out of range, reception.

at the camp on saturday, i am told the story of waffle and the wounded owl. he finds it while driving just days before. wraps in a towel, brings to wildlife rehab. waffle the boy scout, clown, flea market finder, dj and disco dancer.

some of us hike to the shallow silty creek, away from the mob at the lake's beach. daniel cannonballing off the log into maybe three feet of water at most. nearby limb of tree crashing down, butterflies darting up, religion and hitchhiking stories told, a cool escape.
wedding vows revolved around the vulnerable, articulating the flaws and failures, commitments to keep trying, save money for retirement, hop a train, become better negotiators.  those beyond -both fathers recently departed - honored by gusts of wind when summoned, a tilted canoe altar with flowers and photos next to the dinner tent. shiner wore a necklace made of living succulents, had the perfect net for a veil. i wore stripes, suspenders, lynne's black leather hat. held old friends close. we deliciously squished octopi for dinner, homemade tortillas. hard cider and wine, horchata and churros and dancefloor antics late into the evening.

power out. storm in spurts. hungooooover sunday
morning birthday songs for lynne, a flea market accordion. someone on a cabin porch, playing soft ukelele behind the rain. i eat a perfect peach.
we drive. the rain. treacherous and talk of concussions. jen has succumbed to two this year, her messy brain feels uncomfortably familiar. we lament but she has two small children. for her a stretch to walk shiner down the grassy aisle.

[] [] []
with rain came range and reception. then news.

[   ]
what do i write about him? these public testaments written on scrolled walls. rip. rip. rip.
weeks ago while packing, i picked through every physical photo i have collected, all stored in an old black typewriter case. i sorted and arranged, plotted an archive of sorts, to turn a box under a bed into pixels with links and mapped locations. a treasure chest.
everyone writes about his dancing, posting his favorite songs. that magical (everyone repeats it, again and again) friend of so many.

you loved the shit out of everybody, and we all knew it, felt it, loved you so big and bright right back. i smell. and hear. that heady oil, that fucking laugh.
certainly there is sorrow here, heavy. but what surprises me is that which rises up. you were a dream really, always so much more than your body. we shared this, both of us so sensitive, understanding... how many conversations did we have about ghosts? and never once about suicide.
*i will be on this side for you if you need it / can't wait to laugh with you on the other*

Friday, August 19, 2016


viewable, training me
the lines which are
or is it
everyone is tired tonight
shoot to kill
rinse and repeat
don't vouch, flinch
floods again and south
fires west and again
wild we have lightning
suffice to say
nothing suffices, save that
accidental unraveling, my bones
what trembles what
visage, this belief
                                                            the table flips

the mattress magnets
set for multiples
all black it burns

long months have lined themselves
                                                               this very reason
yet babies they                                              
all head first and screaming

behind windows or cars who is
sweating and torn the
fathers lighting and                           
mothers they can't
can't be seen at

Saturday, August 13, 2016

limit zone

quotes by giorgio agamben from homo sacer

"in the notion of bare life the interlacing of politics and life has become so tight that it cannot easily be analyzed. until we become aware of the political nature of bare life and its modern avatars (biological life, sexuality, etc), we will not succeed in clarifying the opacity at their center. conversely, once modern politics enters into an intimate symbiosis with bare life, it loses the intelligibility that still seems to us to characterize the juridico-political foundation of classical politics."

"karl lowith was the first to define the fundamental character of totalitarian states as a 'politicization of life' and, at the same time, to note the curious contiguity between democracy and totalitarianism: 'since the emancipation of the third estate, the formation of bourgeois democracy and its transformation into mass industrial democracy, the neutralization of politically relevant differences and postponement of a decision about them has developed to the point of turning into its opposite: a total politicization of everything, even of seemingly neutral domains of life.'"

"it is almost as if, starting from a certain point, every decisive political event were double-sided: the spaces, the liberties, and the rights won by individuals in their conflicts with central powers always simultaneously prepared a tacit but increasing inscription of individuals' lives within the state order, thus offering a new and more dreadful foundation for the very sovereign power from which they wanted to liberate themselves."

"if there is a line in every modern state marking the point at which the decision on life becomes a decision on death, and biopolitics can turn into thanatopolitics, this line no longer appears today as a stable border dividing two clearly distinct zones. this line is now in motion and gradually moving into areas other than that of political life, areas in which the sovereign is entering into an ever more intimate symbiosis not only with the jurist but also with the doctor, the scientist, the expert, and the priest."

"modern democracy does not abolish sacred life but rather shatters it and disseminates it into every individual body, making it into what is at stake in political conflict. . . if it is true that law needs a body in order to be in force, and if one can speak, in this sense, of 'law's desire to have a body,' democracy responds to this desire by compelling law to assume the care of this body. this ambiguous (or polar) character of democracy appears even more clearly in the habeas corpus if one considers the fact that the same legal procedure that was originally intended to assure the presence of the accused at the trial and, therefore, to keep the accused from avoiding judgment, turns - in its new and definitive form - into grounds for the sheriff to detain and exhibit the body of the accused."

"in the system of the nation-state, the so-called sacred and inalienable rights of man show themselves to lack every protection and reality at the moment in which they can no longer take the form of rights belonging to citizens of a state."

"one of the essential characteristics of modern biopolitics (which will continue to increase in our century) is its constant need to redefine the threshold in life that distinguishes and separates what is inside from what is outside. once it crosses over the walls of the oikos and penetrates more and more deeply into the city, the foundation of sovereignty - nonpolitical life - is immediately transformed into a line that must be constantly redrawn."

 "sade stages. . . the theatrum politicum as a theater of bare life, in which the very physiological life of bodies appears, through sexuality, as the pure political element. . . not only philosophy but also and above all politics is sifted through the boudoir. indeed, in dolmance's project, the boudoir fully takes the place of the cite, in a dimension in which the public and the private, political existence and bare life change places. . . sade's modernity does not consist in his having foreseen the unpolitical primacy of sexuality in our unpolitical age. on the contrary, sade is as contemporary as he is because of his incomparable presentation of the absolutely political (that is, 'biopolitical') meaning of sexuality and physiological life itself."

"it is as if every valorization and every 'politicization' of life (which, after all, is implicit in the sovereignty of the individual over his own existence) necessarily implies a new decision concerning the threshold beyond which life ceases to be politically relevant, becomes only 'sacred life,' and can as such be eliminated without punishment. every society sets this limit; every society - even the most modern - decides who its 'sacred men' will be."

"the paradox of nazi biopolitics and the necessity by which it was bound to submit life itself to an incessant political mobilization could not be expressed better than by this transformation of natural heredity into a political task. the totalitarianism of our century has its ground in this dynamic identity of life and politics, without which it remains incomprehensible. . .  when life and politics - originally divided, and linked together by means of the no-man's-land of the state of exception that is inhabited by bare life - begin to become one, all life becomes sacred and all politics becomes the exception."

"what is decisively more disquieting is the fact (which is unequivocally shown by the scientific literature put forward by the defense and confirmed by the expert witnesses appointed by the court) that experiments on prisoners and persons sentenced to death had been performed several times and on a larger scale in our century, in particular in the united states (the very country from which most of the nuremberg judges came). . . what the well-meaning emphasis on the free will of the individual refuses to recognize here is that the concept of 'voluntary consent' is simply meaningless for someone interned at dachau, even if he or she is promised an improvement in living conditions. from this point of view, the inhumanity of the experiments in the united states and in the camps is, therefore, substantially equivalent."

"the only possible answer is that in both contexts the particular status of the VPs [human guinea pigs] was decisive; they were persons sentenced to death or detained in a camp, the entry into which meant the definitive exclusion from the political community. precisely because they were lacking almost all the rights and expectations that we customarily attribute to human existence, and yet were still biologically alive, they came to be situated in a limit zone between life and death, inside and outside, in which they were no longer anything but bare life."

Thursday, August 11, 2016


by rae armatrout from just saying

are the campfires
of exiles.

language exists
to pull things

stop that!

are being monitored.

collusion is forbidden.

will be punished

with the profusion
of new jargons.

inverted in glass,
a white cup
invents the underworld.

fog thins
to chiffon,



in the universe next door,
i’m gone

and the shadows
of the leaves

of the elm i had pulled down

still make a fuss
over the earth.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

late night

by margaret atwood from true stories

late night and rain wakes me, a downpour,
wind thrashing in the leaves, huge
ears, huge feathers,
like some chased animal, a giant
dog or wild boar. thunder & shivering
windows; from the tin roof
the rush of water.

i lie askew under the net,
tangled in damp cloth, salt in my hair.
when this clears there will be fireflies
& stars, brighter than anywhere,
which i could contemplate at times
of panic. lightyears, think of it.

screw poetry, it's you i want,
your taste, rain
on you, mouth on your skin.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

collectivize your body

all quotes by griselidis real from the little black book of griselidis real: days and night of an anarchist whore (translated by ariana reines)

"the only love left to you is a silent hyena devouring your guts. yes, that's what writing is. to empty yourself down to the marrow, to live another life, to be caught in a text, dragged into it alive. to laugh, cry, burn on words, get flayed on them. scream for mercy and go back to get stabbed in the neck. doubt yourself at every word, at every sentence. to give throat to the silence. to know that nothing is ever finished, never established. that you must start over every time, risk your skin at its most intimate every day, lose everything, win everything back.

the book that's even more severe than a lover, you love it, you submit to it, you hate it. you strangle it in secret, adorn it and paint it in brilliant colors like some insane idol, day by day you poison yourself with it. and afterwards, when the torture is complete, when you think you're finally free, there's already another roaring in the wings. . .

to write is to kill, it's to roll naked in ash, it's to escape into suicide and madness. you spit in its face, second by second you tear from it its living secrets from rot and you die of it. i write to vomit myself as i was made, i write to perpetuate myself the way i was loved and wounded, caressed and resuscitated. no act is reasonable if it is not kindled, at the root of ourselves, by our hidden desires."

"i don't want to let myself get taken over, not by this usury of my organs, or by age, or exhaustion, or morale, i mean, not by any weaknesses, i want to resist, keep on resisting. so my youth means renewing myself every day, every day saying fuck you to everything that goes wrong. before i didn't need to bother, but now i'm extremely conscious that i have to say fuck you to everything."

"they were sublime letters. and they were totally sincere. and i think he still loves me this way. he wants to make me pay for everything he ever lacked, he wants me to pay for the lack of love from his mother, the bullshit cops in tunisia, he wants to make me pay for all the injustices he suffered in europe. but in the meantime i think he loves me truly. but it's a very dramatic love. it's a difficult love, because, no matter what you give it'll never be what he needs."

"jean said to me, all i ask is that someone have the kindness to do a tiny bit of cinema for me, nothing more."

"if you don't feel that you're bringing someone total happiness, it's better to stay away. because it would only be little pieces and disillusions. but in my opinion, there has to be an ideal in common, because if a man only asks maternal and sexual security of you, well that's nice, but it's not enough. so in my opinion you have to see much further than that. you'd have to marry a nut, a surrealist poet, you'd have to love someone who's beyond the norm. because love is not restrictive. if you get the impression that it's going to amputate you while restraining the other, it's not worth it."

"well yeah, but marie-france, who does the fancy neighborhood, she didn't get any work at all saturday night. she called me, it was two thirty in the morning. i had just gotten into bed to sleep, she said, i didn't get any work, not one single client! well, i did seventeen!. . . it practically breaks the skin by the end. no, but i realized something extraordinary. by the seventeenth, i had absolutely no strength left, and then i said to myself, well, fundamentally, where am i? am i still myself? or have i stopped existing? do i exist differently? and then i saw that something kind of marvelous had happened to me, you can collectivize your body. . . i mean, you stay yourself, but at the same time, you belong to others. i was myself all the bodies of the other people who'd come here. . . i became totally multiple. it's wonderful. you're like a piece of algae tangled up in other algae. it's an ocean. all the nuances are mixed together. it's absolute splendor. . .  it was exhausting, killing, but killing and marvelous. i mean, by the seventeenth you're completely drugged. you're in this state, a human being crushed under a steamroller. you're totally drained. how can i explain it? you're totally emptied of all aggression. . . i made another fantastic discovery, the sweeter you are, the more spineless you are, without nerves, without reactions, the better it goes. because fundamentally what they want isn't to hurt you, or to kill you, or bore you, what they want is for you to be nice, that's all. so since you're totally amorphous, practically emptied of your substance, emptied of your strength, of what gets on your nerves, well, you're so malleable, so sweet, so agreeable that that's how it goes the best. there weren't any snags. because when i get annoyed the men get annoyed too. we end up coming to insults and even to blows, and that's just the beginning. you see, the man tenses up, and after that it goes much worse. but when you're sweet, humane, superhumanly sweet, well, they're so sweet and happy, confident. that's it, total confidence, so it's very important to have discovered this."

"i think love is something invisible, untouchable, undefinable, it's spiritual magnetism, you know? it's like electricity. you don't see it coming or going, something surges through you and ignites you, leaves you breathless or completely spellbound, and then you can't really withhold or possess, it's really something extraordinary, it's completely mysterious."

Monday, August 8, 2016


quotes by octavio paz, from an erotic beyond: sade

“what distinguishes eroticism from sexuality is not its complexity but rather its distance. a person is reflected in sexuality, bathes in it, becomes one, and separates. but sexuality never watches the erotic game; it illuminates without seeing; it is a blind light. the couple is alone, in the midst of the nature it imitates. the erotic act is a ceremony that is performed behind the back of society and in front of a nature that never contemplates representation. eroticism is both a fusion with the animal world and a rupture, a separation from that world, an irremediable solitude. catacomb, hotel room, chateau, fort, cabin in the mountains or an embrace under the clouds, it is all the same: eroticism is a world closed to society as well as to nature. the erotic act erases the world: nothing more real surrounds us except our ghosts.”

“distance creates erotic imagination. eroticism is imaginary: it is a shot of imagination fired at the exterior world, and that shot is people themselves, arriving at their images, arriving at themselves. creation, invention: there is nothing more real than this body that i imagine; there is nothing less real than this body i touch that turns into a heap of salt or vanishes into a column of smoke. . . someone else’s body is an obstacle or a bridge; either way, one must cross it. desire, the erotic imagination, the erotic life, all cross through bodies and make them transparent. or they destroy them. beyond you, beyond me, through the body, in the body, beyond the body, we want to see something. that something is erotic fascination, that which takes me from myself and brings me to you: that which makes me go beyond you. we do not know precisely what it is, except that it is something more. more than history, more than sex, more than life, more than death.” 

“the first act of philosophy, the first step, is to reduce variety to uniformity: what distinguishes one being from another is his or her resistance to my desire. the first failure of philosophy: this resistance is not only physical but also psychological. moreover, it is not voluntary. no matter how complete our dominion over another is, there is always an impassable zone, an inaccessible particle. the others are unreachable, not because they are impenetrable, but because they are infinite. each person hides an infinity. no one can possess the totality of another for the same reason that no one can give of one’s self entirely. a total submission would be death, a negation both of possessing and giving. we ask for everything, and they give it to us: a death, nothing. while the other is alive, his or her body is itself a consciousness that reflects and negates me. erotic transparency is deceptive: we see ourselves in it, we never see the other. to conquer resistance is to eliminate transparency, to turn the other consciousness into an opaque body. it is not enough: i need it to live, i need it to enjoy and, above all, to suffer. an insurmountable contradiction: on the one hand, the erotic object cannot have its own existence or it will turn into an inaccessible consciousness; on the other, if i wipe out that consciousness, my own being will disappear."

Sunday, August 7, 2016


all quotes by gilles deleuze from masochism: coldness and cruelty

"as soon as we read masoch we become aware that his universe has nothing to do with that of sade. their techniques differ, and their problems, their concerns and their intentions are entirely dissimilar."

"georges bataille explains that the language of sade is paradoxical because it is essentially that of a victim."

"[sade] is interested in something quite different, namely to demonstrate that reasoning itself is a form of violence, and that he is on the side of violence, however calm and logical he may be. he is not even attempting to prove anything to anyone, but to perform a demonstration related essentially to the solitude and omnipotence of its author. the point of the exercise is to show that the demonstration is identical to violence. it follows that the reasoning does not have to be shared by the person to whom it is addressed any more than pleasure is meant to be shared by the object from which it is derived. the acts of violence inflicted on the victims are a mere reflection of a higher form a violence to which the demonstration testifies. whether he is among his accomplices or among his victims, each libertine, while engaged in reasoning, is caught in the hermetic circle of his own solitude and uniqueness."

"similarly the imperatives uttered by the libertines are like the statements of problems referring back to the more fundamental chain of sadistic theorems: 'i have demonstrated it theoretically,' says noirceuil, 'let us now put it to the test of practice.'"

"the sadist is in need of institutions, the masochist of contractual relations. . . possession is the sadist's particular form of madness just as the pact is the masochist's."

"sade is sponozistic and employs demonstrative reason, masoch is platonic and proceeds by dialectical imagination."

"[masoch] is prepared for anything, a true dialectician who knows the opportune moment and seizes it. plato showed that socrates appeared to be the lover but that fundamentally he was the loved one. . . dialectic does not simply mean the free interchange of discourse, but implies transpositions or displacements of this kind, resulting in a scene being enacted simultaneously on several levels with reversals and reduplications in the allocation or roles and discourse."

"pornological literature is aimed above all at confronting language with its own limits, with what is in a sense a 'nonlanguage' (violence that does not speak, eroticism that remains unspoken). however this task can only be accomplished by an internal splitting of language: the imperative and descriptive function must transcend itself toward a higher function, the personal element turning by reflection upon itself into the impersonal. . . in sade the imperative and descriptive function of language transcend itself toward a pure demonstrative, instituting function, and in masoch toward a dialectical, mythical, and persuasive function."

"the idea of that which is not, the idea of the No or of negation which is not given and cannot be given in experience must necessarily be the object of a demonstration."

"disavowal should perhaps be understood as the point of departure of an operation that consists neither in negating nor even destroying, but rather in radically contesting the validity of that which is: it suspends belief in and neutralizes the given in such a way that a new horizon opens up beyond the given and in place of it."

"[masoch] does not believe in negating or destroying the world nor in idealizing it: what he does is to disavow and thus to suspend it, in order to secure an ideal which is itself suspended in fantasy. . . we should note here that the art of suspense always places us on the side of the victim and forces us to identify with him, whereas the gathering momentum of repetition tends to force us onto the side of the torturer and make us identify with the sadistic hero."

"eroticism is able to act as a mirror to the world by reflecting its excesses, drawing out its violence and even conferring a 'spiritual' quality on these phemomena by the very fact that it puts them at the service of the senses."

"a genuine sadist could never tolerate a masochistic victim. . . neither would the masochist tolerate a truly sadistic torturer. he does of course require a special 'nature' in the torturer, but he needs to mold this nature, to educate and persuade it in accordance with his secret project."

"it would never occur to the sadist to find pleasure in other people's pain if he had not himself first undergone the masochistic experience of a link between pain and pleasure."

"we are inevitably led back to the problem of syndromes: some syndromes merely attach a common label to irreducibly different disturbances. biology warns us against over-hasty acceptance of the existence of an uninterrupted evolutionary chain. the fact that two organs are analogous need not mean that there is an evolutionary link between them."

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

field guide to oneness

by e.c. belli

It does not begin in an empty room, as one would
expect. The field you are standing in does not look
onto nothing. In fact, there is no field. Imagine
instead a crowded setting. The clinking and gloomy
chatter concerned with politics or matters
of worse importance,
everlasting. And then the dream of standing
in a field that looks onto nothing
itself everlasting. To know oneness, one must
first be surrounded. There are good places to go
like airports in bad weather and where they sell
puppies, silver jewelry. Also the Natural History museum
where you learn that amoebas look just like
constellations. Marriages are fine places too.
There is swarming there, and it often gets
very warm. That’s what I have found. To discover
true oneness, one must first know deep affection.
Mutual dedication. Additionally, the range of tragic
emotions oneness can offer
is best experienced without warning. The surprise
of the onset is key
to experiencing the full bludgeon to the heart
oneness can deliver. If you plan well and fall
into situations such as the death
of a loved one, or your mother
suddenly forsakes you, as they do, or if
by chance you are stumbling back into the world,
naked and born anew after a long
and tender relationship,
you are lucky. Oneness will come
easily. It is important to remember
however, that after oneness settles, it may be tough
To remove. Like blood and indelible markers, the sections
of the mind oneness perches itself onto can be hard
to reset. Similarly to radioactivity
its effects can be felt for years. Benefits
however include an ability to pick up your roots
from under your skirt and graft yourself
from one setting
to another while experiencing a minimal amount
of heartbreak. Benefits also include sitting
in an empty room feeling complete, or standing
in a field that looks onto
nothing, not wondering why things are as they are.
Close relatives to oneness include seclusion,
solitude, some others too. Watch for them
at night especially, at dusk often,
in couples and busy cities. Sometimes also on television.

Monday, August 1, 2016

the traveler

by louise gluck from the seven ages

at the top of the tree was what i wanted.
fortunately i had read books:
i knew i was being tested.

i knew nothing would work --
not to climb that high, not to force
the fruit down. one of three results must follow:
the fruit isn’t what you imagined,
or it is but fails to satiate.
or it is damaged in falling
and as a shattered thing torments you forever.

but i refused to be
bested by fruit. i stood under the tree,
waiting for my mind to save me.
i stood, long after the fruit rotted.

and after many years, a traveler passed by me
where i stood, and greeted me warmly,
as one would greet a brother. and i asked why,
why was i so familiar to him,
having never seen him?

and he said,”because i am like you,
therefore i recognize you. i treated all experience
as a spiritual or intellectual trial
in which to exhibit or prove my superiority
to my predecessors. i chose
to live in hypothesis; longing sustained me.

in fact, what i needed most was longing, which you seem
to have achieved in stasis,
but which i have found in change, in departure.”