Fragments & Buxus

W.H. Auden: “words have no words for words that are not true.” 
E. Jabes: “In the middle of words is the void through which they escape.”  

How painful my heart ticks itself through every desolate road I’ve crossed. Heart, you beat through my chest with the esteem of a locomotive.  

The word for “spirit” in Hebrew is the same as the word “wind.” Lovely. 

I always imagine myself in various places, in various periods of time, in various weather patterns, and just the other evening I imagined myself at night filling a water gun full of honey and aiming it towards the moon, already yellow on the horizon (“a yellow skull”). An overwrought imagination as if from the Middle Ages. A ghost that complains of being unburied. Mozart plucking prayers from the air, sculpting them into unquiet constructions. A reason to feel human: textures of twists, silent potency, balderdash—a midcentury shape of a large scale; “the secret of modern life fore-shadowed” (Gautier) or the opposite in essence: the way “Lady of Shalott” was “half-sick of shadows”—cataracts counter-acted, running down the cheeks of the once blind woman. Re-birth’d; no sound, no screaming. A new birth where I’m born into fabric on a Nympheus print or Melilla in indigo blue and silvery gold texture. Feeling out-of-place, abnormal “in a vintage sort of way” or like a tiger shark let loose in a swimming pool full of party-seals. What, say, is easier on the eyes than keeping them closed? 

I must be in the silent minority. No effete snobs or superlicious sophisticates here! I admit to viewing “House Wives of Orange County” for a brief (painful) spell—felt like watching a Kodak commercial—felt like soaking one’s hands in dirty dish water: all of these little men running around in gray golfing attire with perky, big-breasted (silicone?) wives doing the Electric Slide through their extravagant kitchens with overly-cozy connotations. Ah, a silent minority, like winter’s white-plaster mirror; “what artists call a French gray.” A French gray eats away the evening, like serving spareribs to a pack of wolves; monstrous like disappointed husbands and wives. 

There is no such as “nothingness” (outside of space/universe, granted, for the Universe, collectively, is a Something. Our minds, like the universe, expanding). Nothingness derives from man-made philosophies. Everything is a Something. Perhaps it is simply that doubt, fear, etc. gives a means for the “idea” of nothingness? like the atheist that feels that life has little meaning and zero value? or, the idea that we are merely existing only “in the now” “in the present” and that human beings are mere flesh and bones and that, ultimately, we are to simply perish as our Complete Finality? If be the case, however, then the purpose of life is essentially insignificant and we are simply ‘being’ as, well, Beings. There are quite a-many in various communities that would have believe that the earth and humanity are the result of time, chance and energy. This, of course, means that God does not exist as a personal, infinite being. This also means that nothing is significant or absolute. If this were true, there would be no meaning to life! There would instead be only accidental mechanical functions. We were not accidents of “physical laws” but instead we were created.


A poem: 

Squeeze the shadow—let it crouch near you.
We’re all just moving pictures passing along;
perhaps the way a child looks at a ferris wheel.
I'm a water-colored merry-go-round: my ribs,
the nexus of another breath. 


It’s safe to say that Sherlock Holmes was never trained to be an observant and thorough as he is—never trained to find needles in haystacks, for seemingly, Sherlock Holmes is the haystack! He simply picks ‘n’ chooses as they come, at ease; what better way to attack the developments than to observe the unordinary in the ordinary and vice-versa? 

Knut Hamsun: “. . . truth telling is unselfish inwardness.” All of these people tell you what people are ‘not’ rather than informing you what they ‘are’ or can ‘become.’ “So tall and quiet like a king.” 


Interesting ditty here:
“If the room is stuffy, and I therefore open a window to air it, and a burglar climbs in, it would be absurd to say, ‘Ah, now he can stay, she’s given him a right to the use of her house—for she is partially responsible for his presence there, having voluntarily done what enabled him to get in, in full knowledge that there are such things as burglars, and that burglars burgle.’ It would be still more absurd to say this if I had the bars installed outside my windows, precisely to prevent burglars from getting in, and a burglar got in only because the defect of the bars. It remains equally absurd if we imagine it is not a burglar who climbs in, but an innocent person who blunders or falls in. Again, suppose it were like this: people-seeds drift about in the air like pollen, and if you open your windows, one may drift in and take root in your carpets or upholstery. You don’t want children, so you fix up your windows with fine mesh screens, the very best you can buy. As can happen, however, and on very, very rare occasions does happen, one of the screens is defective; and a seed drifts in and takes root. Does the person-plant who now develops have a right to the use of your house? Surely not—despite the fact that you voluntarily opened your windows, you knowingly kept carpets and upholstered furniture, and you knew that screens were sometimes defective. Someone may argue that you are responsible for its rooting, that it does have a right to your house, because after all you could have lived out your life with bare floors and furniture, or with sealed windows and doors. But this won’t do—for by the same token anyone can avoid a pregnancy due to rape by having a hysterectomy, or anyway by never leaving home with a (reliable!) army.”

--from “Western philosophy: an anthology” by John Cottingham. 


Oh, darling, you're such a lamb.” “Hello, sweet duchess.” One often confuses the life of a man with his art. Everyone seems to look alike when you don’t know them. You can never tell what private tragedies people have experienced, but when people start throwing salt over their left shoulder, I have to start wondering.

No inanimate object can have a personality, so is said; but, we look at a house and say that it's cheerful, gloomy, melancholy, &c. but what we're really doing is simply describing our own reactions. The human mind has been compared to the atom bomb, whose two elements, when kept apart, are perfectly harmless. So it is with the human mind.

Interesting to note that Stamps use a blend of corn dextrin (gummy substance extracted from starch) and water. It is designed to last longer on commemorative stamps. On “regular stamps” however a blend of polyvinyl acetate emulsion and dextrin are used—also added: a bit of propylene glycol, used to reduce paper curl. Interestingly, polyvinyl acetate used for stamp adhesive is the basic ingredient for bubble gum. Brilliant.  

Reb Alsem: “We live out the dream of creation, which is God’s dream. In the evening our own dreams snuggle down into it like sparrows in their nest.”

Reb Hames: “Birds of night, my dreams, explore the immense dream of the sleeping universe.”

Reb Hames: “Words are inside breath, as the earth is inside time.” 

Is it true that every woman wants to be seen in that “certain light”? Why are “manly pursuits” misconceptioned as hunting, gambling and electronic-tinged? Does Kitty Bennet really swoon at the color red? What of Henry Miller’s “Rousseaustic withdrawel from the American Dream” which he referred to as “The Air-conditioned Nightmare”? Do newspapers really lie? Radios? Are the streets the only thing that “howls with truth”? Why did everyone go gaga over military men in Jane Austen’s books? What are you willing to admit? Can a mind ‘room’ anywhere in blue? Are you eating dinners based on the colors of famous sports teams? Would you write about Majorca if you lived close-by? Do you have a small chair-fetish? Are you a moment event beyond muted punch? Is minimalism a flat elevation of charity? Wipe your hands on your pants? Your minimal hands? Your pants, dirty in light? Does light . . . overwhelm itself? Does light . . . shed tears over photographic Dark Rooms? Does the hefty circle of a bird’s eye make you think of Quaker-calm? Does are you what of? 


Corita Kent: “Love the moment and the energy of the moment will spread beyond all boundaries.” 

The awkward silence irritated him (me?), but somehow glittered in his chest (mine?); a fever that expressed itself like wordlessness of paintings.  “Bone-tired.” The mirror looking back at me; what do I reflect? Perhaps it seems me jumping from place-to-place like an Egyptian jerboa? I have realized that it would see happiness in my external composition. Indeed. The basic difficulty with certain people is that they don’t know how to cultivate their happiness. Happiness is a habit. It’s freedom! And I feel more free than a feminist raving about short hair; how long hair symbolizes, according to some, “a delicate Alice-in-Wonderland thing that undercuts the image of a strong human being.” How silly. Peace of mind! I wear it well. If one pierces “Mystery” all that flies suddenly, momentarily, becomes airless craters. Mystery possesses the unique ability to heal its wounds. There are times at night I feel swept away from the world—from all of the anger and forced liberation and disease and war and revolutionary irrationalists. There are instances, however, during the day when I am a “passion flower”; a “scarlet runner”; bright “forsythia” and “yellow jasmine.” The world, crumbling, falling like dolmens, and it seems as though animals are, at times, daydreaming about a way to escape the man-made machinery; they look directly through us while the strokes of the clock writhes into the next “second.” 


“The evil that men does lives after them,
The good is oft interred in their bones.”

--Shakespeare, JULIUS CAESAR
ACT III, SCENE 2, LL. 80-81

Distance, the greatest place to center oneself? “The ladder urges us beyond ourselves. Hence its importance. But in a void, where do we place it?” Answer: Beyond ourselves. Perhaps it is true that we must “wait for words that wake our thoughts as they write us.” Doxa? Have you really wondered why Mickey Mouse has four fingers? For a very good reason, I should say! It is like “the creation of another imagination”—sound without borders.(Damasio: “The body-minded brain.”) . . .

An image biting to see the patterns; this is both organized words—they reflect between gardens as company. Center, frisked like a bomb. I is auditorium; the pandemonium at the podium in the great heart’s flurry. I, He, of hints? Is He this sea-invented pun? I created a slow-motion for my shadow to witness it lag behind in empathy. Gradually, light shattered it back up-to-speed. 


Yevgeny Yevtushenko (one of Russia’s most beloved poets) once said: “In Russia a poet is more than a poet.” Well, in America a poet is an Incomplete Completion. Poets with voices in the sky; a yielded wealth “could literally be walked on”—no poet is every truly “underground.” Poets only go “underground” when buried. A “grave” condition? What are these words on a journalistic-“blog” but a shipwrecked Sub-Zero? Underwater baptism of text; this page, this paragraph, like an ocean of bluestone; poems marbled to the ocean floor. Look for gold at the bottom; you will only discover . . . words . . . words in wont . . . or an opened book; unfinished yet “finished”; decrepit at first glance from the foamy surf, but onward it rises and rises for the jewel of reaching where Identity eludes us. A voice. You lose it to a whisper, like a ship sailing pas a well-lit lighthouse; a voice heard in a seagull’s throat. Listen. We are drained into the seas; dark are their maps. The seas inhale, laugh outloud at Man’s attempts to reach the bottom of the deepest summits. If I were poems, you would sink into every word like a speculation. Parallel’d hexagrams glisten with foreknowledge. I swell in the winds of your every breath.  


from “Lavish Absence”: “In ‘Mirror and Scarf,’ one of my favorite chapters in The Book of Yukel, the closeness of sound in the two title words, miroir and mouchoir, sparks a breathtaking meditation on the face as reflection rather than flesh. In English, it is less convincing that “Mardohai Simhon claimed the scarf he wore around his neck was a mirror” until, at Simhon’s death, a large scar is discovered under the scarf. Reflection always comes back to a wound. It both has its origin, in a wound and circles it’s like a scarf-mirror.”


Kathe Kollwitz self portrait (1898) reminds me of This.  


Reb Alphandery: “Our dreams extend us.”  Are we, therefore, extended by the remembrance of a dream? or, are we extended every time that we wake from sleep? I suppose Sleep, itself, is a kind of extension; a necessary extension, just as the electrolytes in our foods are necessary extensions for keeping our hearts beating.  

Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” is beyond brilliant, like the hyper-metamorphosis of a blister beetle. 

About the deerfly: “all species are annoying to man.”  

Film about Francesca Woodman Here.  

Looking at photos looking back at me thinking that photos think that I, too, am a photo. Photographs are wrinkles in time. When our eyes look upon them, we smooth out their wrinkles. Separating the infinite from. As with material objects, lusts, etc. being one’s “god,” I suppose Edmond Jabes’s “god” was The Book, or books in general perhaps. A shutter-cap widens the camera’s eye. Man created the camera’s eye. God created man’s eye.  

The other evening, while my stomach’s geography rumbled like a thousand bison over the land, with limited I strolled into a local dollar store to purchase a bottle of Acetaminophen. I looked around for a moment, noticing as always that another holiday had come early, forced onto civilization; commercialism’s angry beast snarling and drooling at the mouth. Easter quickly approaching—“I wonder if I could locate candy for fifty cents?”—A young blonde no more than twenty looked at me twice, greeted me, as she unraveled floral flowers from boxes. I walked down an aisle looking for the medicine section, as so, drifting past a man talking on a cell phone who I heard say as I walked by: “So the flu actually comes from a bug?” I proceeded to search out the proper aisle, hearing friction between a Guardian and a mentally-challenged child, confining myself to the poignant cries. A petite red-headed woman smiled at me, only glazing over my aura briefly, obviously too engrossed to shop or think of the lovely conversation she had perhaps recently had which scuttled her balloon, as if perhaps patching up a relationship before it hit rock-bottom; for, granted, who dare deserves to be sent to be without supper? Cryptic possibilities have always laminated my mental epilogue; my undissolvable interest in stretching the tendon of every moment, edifying my curiosities, steeped in near absolution. 


A poem I wrote recently: 

As spring peeks out its blossomed snout
   And winters goes dashing about,
The warmth above unfreezes the doves
   And the flowers erupt in a shout!

If I want a house warming gift, I’ll just let the windows up in the dog-days of summer. 

The best part of waking up . . . is breath in my lungs.   

Field Guides, Fred Tomaselli  
(photo collage, gouache, acrylic, and resin on wood)

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