“the pleasures of merely circulating”

Painting by Michael Olodort

Pierre Bayard: “Our relation to books is a shadowy space haunted by the ghosts of memory, and the real value of books lies in their ability to conjure these spectres.”

Yves Klein: “Nothing exists except in a book, which is the imagination.”

Ghosts, haunting other ghosts?

Speaking of books, texts, ghosts, dreams, I will share some links that I have uprooted from the nest-egg that are worth their weight in gold:

Time, Space and Ghosts of Form: Giorgio de Chiricos Hebdomeros by Ed Sugden

It starts:

What becomes of time and space when an adequate language to describe them does not exist?
Throughout the twentieth century, it has been precisely this question which experimental writers have wrestled with above any other (Alfred Jarry, ‘imagine the perplexity of a man outside of time and space’). Confronted with being on the cusp of history, one step beyond the cresting waves of time, works grappling with the ‘new’ have demonstrated and conceptualised this crisis of identity. Vast spatial blanks, like the terra incognita of maps, have undergirded works from Tristram Shandy to Moby-Dick to The Cantos to The Maximus Poems to House of Leaves. In isolating and describing the impact of the ‘new’ within these works and others like them, it is not sufficient to rely on the common tautological bind which equates and justifies their form precisely by their form, their experimentation by their experimentation (Ezra Pound, ‘to break the pentameter, that was the first heave’). There can only be so much system smashing before the smashed system becomes the system anyway (ad infinitum), and the printed page can only look different so many times. Language in this construction, dangerously, becomes a resource, there to be exploited until hollow, governed by facile laws of primacy and property, a territory to be taken over, regulated and controlled. Attempts to do away with this problem by making belatedness the key condition of art’s ultimate transcendence must be seen to have failed (albeit often gloriously) precisely because they necessarily reconstitute and reaffirm the conditions of their own antitheses, leaving us in a wilderness of broken, crumbling forms, mere rusting arrowheads pointing out from the loam.

I have really gotten into the Ghost Box label in recent days, which has been christened into my brain; in essence, Hauntology. Specifically, bands like The Caretaker, Wretched Excess, The Focus Group, Belbury Poly, etc. This particular link, Hauntologists mine the past for musics future is a beautiful write-up about the genre, and so is this link: Hauntology: A peculiar sonic fiction. From that post, here is a basic definition of this beautiful genre:

The discourse developed around Jacques Derrida’s concept of ‘Hauntology’ and its application to music in the minds of writers like Simon Reynolds, K-Punk and David Toop is one of the most discussed philosophical and aesthetic musical ideas of recent years. Derrida’s original use of the phrase can be linked to a sense of ‘threading the present through the past’, or a ghostly re-imagining of the past defining our existence. But in its musical sense, Hauntology has been used to describe a gathering of disparate artists dealing in “haunted” sonics; music resonating with the emotions and feelings of past analog, and digital ghosts. While there are many interpretations of the concept, we’ve taken it to cover artists who have tried to to re-engage with intangible musical feelings and experiences that have affected their formative years or that have become forever ingrained on their sonic psyche, without merely rehashing them as pastiche. Looking specifically at the British musical landscape of the early 21st century, it’s been said that after the ‘death of rave’ we’re experiencing a sort of creative comedown, where the dubbed ectoplasmic traces of the musical past are caught in an ever-decreasing feedback loop of nostalgia seeping through music and other artistic forms, resonating echoes of intangible elements from days gone by. Our selection veers from The Caretaker's apparitional sample morphology, through Ariel Pink’s exquisite MOR narco-pop, the Ghost Box label’s miniaturised vision of middle England, onto Burial’s mournful rave dreams, all leaving an abstract yet indelible mark on this very particular musical landscape we find ourselves in today.

My recent studies have sent me into those of the voices of post-mortem persons (not really), of foretokened similarities, the undergrowths of birds’ wings, the sounds upon a crap table, keys unlocking doors, door-knobs twisting by unfamiliar hands, or familiar hands in an unfamiliar way, or un-human hands (omnivorous?), a deeper shadow always seems to rest upon the kiosk when one begins delving into the beautifully-bizarre, and my round-the-clock alert (inside of my body, apparently) grabbed me (without a hunch!) and I’ve discovered something that may not be as fulfilling and surprising and interesting as what it may seem, but The Folk-lore and Folk-stories of Wales by Marie Trevelyan, is one that has me right where it wants me. The idea of a “corpse-candle” intrigues me greatly, but also one particular Welsh myth. A vampire myth, at that. One of a vampire chair. Yes, a vampire chair. The story goes something like this (and I’m quoting from another source):

The story says that this chair feeds on blood and whoever sits in it will stand up finding teeth marks on their body. (…) (There was) a chair in an old Glamorganshire house which would “bite” the hands of any clergyman who sat in it, drawing blood. More horrible was the vampire bed in a house in Cardiff. This apparently sucked the life out of a poor little baby. At the body of the dead child was a red mark and the doctor who examined it said: “It was just as though something had caught at the child’s throat and sucked the blood, as one would suck an egg.” The grieving father later slept in the bed and also felt his life ebbing away. He survived but found a similar red mark on his throat. Amazingly, the family did not throw away the bed, but kept it in a spare room! Trevelyan claimed to have seen it there. Old Welsh country furniture is making high prices on the antiques market right now. This well cared for old bed may even now be on display in some emporium, just waiting for an unwitting purchaser...

Moving along now.

            As I was eating in a restaurant on the 13th of June, which was considered my “pre-Birthday dinner,” a 40-something waitress who works at this particular restaurant that has become accustomed by my service over the years, and who also has shed about fifty pounds (in her words), and was on a television show about losing weight not too long ago (also in her words), and who has said to me in the past that she “likes my style,” and has once referred to me as Waldo (because of a particular red-and-whitish-grey sweater that I was wearing one winter, which reminded her of him, and also because I wear vintage, Moscot frames), came behind me and began rubbing my freshly-shaven head, which startled me briefly, but only briefly.
            “Did that freak you out a bit?” she said. “A little bit,” I said, in a concealingly-jokingly way, so of course I only partially meant it, but not to any serious extent, but merely the sudden feel of someone’s hand on a part of your body is always apt to make one's mind shatter into a nervous light of some sort (at least for me, although it sounds far more dramatic than it really is, but nonetheless), so it is what it is. She laughed and seemed apologetic, which made me feel strange, because I didn’t really mean that I was literally ‘freaked out’ by her rubs upon my head, considering, but I decided not to say anything else about it, other than the typical.
            I find it interesting how a random touch, from a random person (that really isn’t so random because you ‘know’ them in that here-I-am-again-it’s-nice-to-see-you-again kind of way) isn’t so bad at all, especially when it’s obviously out of friendliness, as well as out of possible attraction(?). I feel flattered that older women look at me the way that they sometimes do, and this is just speaking out of mere observation, and not out of some egomaniacal way (God forbid!).
            With that said, some peoples’ silences have their own scents. Their own sense. Their own senses. What is it that continuously moves us—that nobody truly minds when they are halfway to the point of realizing that they have found something new and interesting and challenging about themselves—to the extent that we’re beyond “feeling” like emotional messes, when, if only we could become like an octupus where three-fifths of its neurons are not to be found in the brain, but rather in its arms? This is the dawn of some unpopular coinage that may or may not become popular. If it doesn’t become popular, then all’s well. If it does become popular, then show me the money!



I wonder if the Headless Horseman was relying mostly on the eyes of his horse? or does the supernatural horror, the mere strength of it, guide him intuitively, like ghosts that are “in the know”? Imagine horror as going into different places, moving in even more unknown “unknown territories”—


Whoever you are: some evening take a step
Out of your house, which you know so well.
Enormous space is near; your house lies where it begins,
Whoever you are.
Your eyes find it hard to tear themselves
From the sloping threshold, but with your eyes
Slowly, slowly, lift one black tree
Up, so it stands against the sky: skinny, alone.
With that you have made the world. The world is immense
And like a word that is still growing in the silence.
In the same moment that your will grasps it,
Your eyes, feeling its subtlety, will leave it.



Overheard, March 8th, 2013: 

“Do you think I care if I get fired?! If someone hits me, I’m gonna knock ‘em out!” (the young blonde girl who was the listener, in this case, had a smile on her face while her co-worker yelled out the said quote, while random customers were obviously drawn to her loud speech. I spoke to this particular blonde girl in a time past, who I find to be very attractive, but not so personable. The first experience talking with her, I was put off by her nonchalant, uncaring, foul attitude. The second experience was far more pleasant. She must have had a better day. I learned that she has a daughter, to name a few things.) I walked on, while an old woman wearing maroon-colored lipstick who was pushing a shopping cart smiled widely at me as we passed one another.


“All fathers are interested in the children they have procreated (they have permitted to exist) in mere confusion or pleasure; it was natural that the magician should fear for the future of that son, created in thought, limb by limb and feature by feature, in a thousand and one secret nights”—“The text mocks the magician’s worries that his son will discover that he is a phantom, as opposed to ‘real’ people among whom the magician includes himself: “He feared his son might . . . discover in some way that his condition was there of a mere image. Not to be a man, (but rather) to be the projection of another man’s dream...”


A few days ago, I photographed a waitress bending over into an ice-box to extract scoops of icecream for an elderly man, of which I used the flash (partially to garner attention [which I usually shy away from], and partially because I have to use the flash in darker environments, because of certain mechanical woes with the particular camera that I was using). After the flash went off and a thunderous rumble went through my solar plexus, the waitress (still bent over) looks over at me and says (not necessarily saying it to me, but was looking at me when she said it), “Oh, no he didn’t,” as if saying it to the elderly man. The elderly man smiled and held out his bowl waiting for his scoops of icecream, never acknowledging me, nor acknowledging that he was captured on film.

Naomi Shihab Nye: “The train whistle still wails its ancient sound / but when it goes away, shrinking back / from the walls of the brain / it takes something different with it every time.”

Someone throw me an Eephus...

 Head: Inner and Outerscape (Profile), 1966 by Anton van Dalen

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