These are non-fiction writings, often written in moments which I'm trying to capture, dealing with emotions evoked by those moments, thinking about and working through various things. They are also generally intended to have some stylistic value, but as with most of the work available for viewing here they are first drafts (or rather writing not intended to be redrafted) so they may be awkward at times.
One gets the feeling they are in a world in decline - not in the fasicstic sense, the senes of a desire for a return to a golden age - but a world that has been endlessly hurtling towards this twilight since history began. Hurtling along the 401 to Toronto, staring at the same moon billions have stared at, I am overwhelmed with a sadness - a sadness at an end, a sadness brought on by yearning. Yearning for friends, yearning for a better world, yearning for history, to hell with the time-frozen edifices that dot the landscape like standing stones. All the wonders of our age have failed to usher in the good life. Health, wellbeing - physical, spiritual, social, intellectual - all these things we are excellent at propping up as they fall, but we cannot build them on strong foundations - so alienated are we by the great cybernetic spectacle of post-historical capitalism.
[The cat] is conscious. I can see soul in his eyes, the mischievous glint of che vuoi emanating from his gaze. He is staring at me, now squeezing his eyes shut in concentration. What is it like be him? I cannot doubt that he has as much an inner world as I do, the same fundamental spark of being that lies somewhere, so we are told, in the pineal gland of each living thing. Not a machine then, at least not one of clockwork - a machine that whirrs and hums somewhere inside a coat of winter sky, behind those yellow eyes. What power have we to name him, the animal without language. The animal whose silence is that silence of eternity, and now that God is dead, who gives us right to fix his name. Any word is a killing word, not just your name, little mouse.
How much does he know? I feel that he must even know more about me than I do about him, when he gives me that look. There is no hole on the back of his head, I run my fingers along it, hoping he will enjoy it. I cannot get a single glance in. Even when his mouth is open as wide as it may, his fanged jaws, their killing nature saying - "we take the place of the words on his tongue." - I cannot see what he might say with them. They do the work, if we will let them. Words and teeth.
Now his back is turned to me. He has curled himself away, sleeping - and is totally inscrutable. Where is the normal vulnerability that sleep brings, encased in this little beast of prey. Not here, that is all I can say.
Ivan and his friends smoke cigarettes in the attic. I should hate the smell but I don't. It reminds me of being at Nicky's as a kid, playing video games, inhaling the smoke from his parents cigarettes as we played halo together. I look out the window into the canopy of the tree outside. It looks flat, framed like a picture by the edges of the window. It is cooler than it has been in days, and the wind is softly blowing. It is the summer of 2020.
on urges to catalogue, and the speed of time
i want to have a library. digital, analogue, microfiche, ancient scrolls, punchcards - to store knowledge. Not data - but knowledge. I want it ready to hand, zuhanden - a totality that appeares without theorizing, always retreating into the darkness even as i browse it. i want things around, kept around, in case i need or want them, in case of forgetfulness or need to reference. as soon as i am finished with one work, i move to the next - adding nodes to the network of references and connections in my head, the smaller library which aspires to the larger one. how a larger library can be anything more or less than a fuzzy projection of the smaller library is perhaps opaque - but nevertheless, i want it.
alongside this urge, sometimes behind it, pushing, sometimes ahead, pulling, there is always the idea that I ought to complete the library - an impossible task, to be sure - but one which finds solace in the supposed theoretical possibility of the completeness of a definitive core or canon - what Ought to be read, what the library Ought to have on its shelves. so much to do in so little time. and this idea forgets, it forgets one very important thing - that inside each of the books is a library itself, and that once one has read the library, catalogued all the books, connected as many nodes as possible - then we will find ourselves where we started, and know the place for the first time - or arrive at something even less.
everything new works its way into everything old, so that, at the end, everything will be in one place, the place where it started. the circle closes, and every point on the circle becomes at once the beginning and the end, and it will have always been closed. so we should, instead of running along it at breakneck pace, stand at the point on the circle that we already occupy, and touch it, gently, like the tangents of translation.
postscript, authorial note: what emerges here is a sort of hegelian zen, which is a bit unexpected but I guess makes sense.