Friday, March 30, 2007

Part Eyth

My trusted friend, Jasper, has been receiving telepathic messages from spider aliens from another dimension. Even though he is a lawn gnome, I have promised to look out for him. The only thing I could think of was to smash his skull and wrap it in aluminium foil.

I do hope the voices stop talking to him now.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Distant Voices: Cécile Volanges

À la Marquise de Merteuil

Maman est incommodée, Madame;

elle ne sortira point, et il faut que je lui tienne compagnie: ainsi je n'aurai pas l'honneur de vous accompagner à l'Opéra. Je vous assure que je regrette bien plus de ne pas être avec vous que le Spectacle. Je vous prie d'en être persuadée. Je vous aime tant! Voudriez- vous bien dire à M. le Chevalier Danceny que je n'ai point le Recueil dont il m'a parlé, et que s'il peut me l'apporter demain, il me fera grand plaisir. S'il vient aujourd'hui, on lui dira que nous n'y sommes pas; mais c'est que Maman ne veut recevoir personne. J'espère qu'elle se portera mieux demain.

J'ai l'honneur d'être, etc.

De ..., ce 13 août 17**

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Distant Voices: Søren Kierkegaard

What is the Absurd? It is, as may quite easily be seen, that I, a rational being, must act in a case where my reason, my powers of reflection, tell me: you can just as well do the one thing as the other, that is to say where my reason and reflection say: you cannot act and yet here is where I have to act... The Absurd, or to act by virtue of the absurd, is to act upon faith ... I must act, but reflection has closed the road so I take one of the possibilities and say: This is what I do, I cannot do otherwise because I am brought to a standstill by my powers of reflection.

- Journal, 1849

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Part Fore

I don’t know why I should write this, but the thought occurred to me and I can at least give it a try. Try not to read it as an ode to past lovers, but more as a reflection on people that once held me in their arms and promised to protect me. How I reacted to their love is, of course, not always what they expected. I’m not trying to make a full list here, just who pops in my head.

I’ll start with you Annamati. You were my first great love. You gave me the fever from the moment I first saw you in your white gown. I took us more than a year to confess our love to each other, but the three years that followed were a riot. You shaped me into the man I am today, you made all the foundations, and I cannot thank you enough for that.

Morgana, I’m sorry I was so messed up when we were together. I never talked about the chaotic whirls in my mind, you had to try to analyse it through my poetry, and that must have sucked for you. Thanks for believing in me still, too bad we didn’t graduate together. I can’t help but wonder if we would still be friends if we had never been an item. I would have liked that.

And how can I describe what you mean to me, Sam? You have so many names and faces to me, and I absolutely unconditionally love everyone of them. You will always be my other half, no matter how much people hate us for that. No matter how destructive it may be.You’re the bride I will never have. You deserve every inch of happiness your man is giving you, and you’d better make the godfather of your firstborn.

Jazz, I remember referring to you as my kitten. You were my great escape. The big strong arms I needed to hide into at that time. I know you needed more from me, and I couldn’t help you. But if I say 174, you’ll know what to think of.

Mr. Alain Proviste, you’re one crazy cat. I wouldn’t dream of letting you know what I think.

You are going to loathe me soon, Mr. Hollingworth, but I hope you’ll still have some happy memories from our time together. We rode on camels in the Sahara together for crying out loud, so smile when you think of me! I know I do when I think of you.

Thunder, I think we already played our cards and that everything has been put on the table. What’s done is done and I propose we don’t waste any more energy on it. You’re a true lost soul, and that’s why we were drawn to each other, no matter the distance. I’ll visit you soon and we’ll raise our glasses to each other.

What happened between us, Doran, can be easily dismissed as a very brief intermezzo of no great significance. I dare not beg to differ. However, I feel inclined to include you in this, you made me dream again after a long time of banality. Thank you my friend, I’ll see you more often now, I’m sure of it.

Hey, I’m looking in your direction Mr. Neverland. You’ve swept me off my feet. No matter in which language we talk to each other, we understand each other clearly. I’ll see you tonight. And many more nights to come.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Part Toe

I'm on my way to Neverland. Don't worry, I'll bring cookies when I get back.

Second to the right, and then straight on till morning.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Distant Voices: C. Scott Ananian

I'm losing my identity.

I am a loner. That's who I am.
I can't...

I'm becoming half of a pair. That's not me. That's not who I am.
*You're* not who I am. I am I. A christian. Follower of Christ.
A hard worker. Productive. Bright. Maybe somewhat aloof.
A stalker of quiet night spots for contemplation. Contemplative, that's
me. In the corner booth, alone, scribbling madly. Woeful words, mostly.

And recently I've had nothing but trite happinesses to write about.
Not that I've had time to write.

You've filled my life. With you. Leaving none of me left.
You're taking over my soul. Corrupting me, you say. I agree,
sometimes. Eating away at my essence. Who I am. I am I. Not you.

I love you. I long for you. You complete some primal circuit in my soul.
A hand to hold, a partner in life. Instigation to my insanity.
The person who will drive me to meteor observation. I am unmotivated alone.
You provoke me. Excite me. Fill me. Listen to me. An ear to hear
what I am, to see who I am, to mirror me so I can see myself.

Someone to share life with. My enjoyments doubled in you. A companion
for Brecht. A meteor-watcher. A lightning-maker. A midnight snacker.

I walk down the street with you in my hands, your hand in mine, and I
feel complete. Happy. Everything is doubled.

But it's not right. Not quite right. A jarring note. I'm losing myself.
Losing my soul.

That twisted knot at the center of our unhappiness. Fundamentally unshared.
Driving us apart when we're closest together. I will not lose it. I cannot
lose it. It is who I am, what I dream for, for whom I strive.

I sing songs to my god, and am happy. You stand silent. Frowning. Upset.

I love you, but this cannot go on.

I am not brave enough to tell you that.

-- csa, 21-nov-1998. 1:20am
-- discoveries made while folding laundry --

Monday, March 05, 2007

Distant Voices: Christo Botev to Kiro Touleshbov

.... I'm writing to tell you, my friend, that I stayed here (Bucharest) with the intention of becoming a teacher at the Bulgarian school, but I was sorely disappointed. I have fallen on such hard times, that I can hardly describe my miserable state. I'm quite broke, the rags I had aren't fit to wear any more and I'm ashamed to show myself in the street. I live in a draughty mill on the outskirts of Bucharest, together with my fellow-countryman Vassil Levski. It is better not to ask what we eat, because we only once in two or three days get hold of some bread to still our hunger .... I'm thinking of giving a lecture at the "Brotherly Love" reading club one of these days, but I have no idea in what clothes I shall appear there! In spite of this critical situation I have not lost my courage and honour.... My friend Levski, with whom I share my lodging, has an incredible disposition. When things with us are at their lowest, he is as merry as when they are at their best. When it is perishing cold outside, and we have gone hungry for two or three days, he will be merry and sing. He sings while we are getting into bed in the evening and he sings the moment he opens his eyes in the morning. Whatever your despair might be, he will cheer you up and make you forget all your grief and suffering. It is a pleasure to live with such a character ....

Bucharest, the end of 1868

Distant Voices: Emanuel Hocquard


From no point of the canale is it possible to see
the burnt stump. Not because of the hedge-row.
Because a word is missing. Pond two communicates with pond three by a
drain of cemented tiles.
Pond three with the canale by the view from
the stone island.
But how make the burnt stump communicate
with the memory of the canale?
How line up in a logical sequence the
construction work of these past summers?
I have not yet told you about the hut, but I’m
correcting this omission.
I am going to tell you about the word hut.


Hut is a childhood word. To build a hut in the
woods, in the trees, etc.
Hut is also a Wittgenstein memory. He had
built himself a hut in Norway, to which he
withdrew at various times to think and write,
when not teaching logic in Cambridge.
Last summer, I built myself a hut in Bouliac, in
Alexandre’s old studio.
I often go there to think and to write.
When I run out of bread I walk to Fargues to
buy some, with Alexandre for company.
In front of the hut window, we have built a
feeder in the form of an antefix for the birds in


Chronicle of recent summer work.
1993. Exavation of pond two. The first frog and
extensive bookshelves.
1994. Voyage to Reykjavik (montage of film).
Excavation of pond three. The Chinese carp, the
weeping willow and the vehement frog.
1995. Configuration of the canale. The mole.
The book of the mole. The gray heron. The
book of the canale, outline.
1996. Construction of the hut and the primitive
totem for the tits and robins.
1997. The Voyage to Reykjavik (the book). The
four chickens. The consumption of the stump.
Construction of the antefix for the birds.


This chronicle contains all the words that
stake out the route from the hut to the burnt
stump except one.
The one that is missing. What properties do
the stump and the canale have in common?
Memories: of the chalk pond traced in the
grass and of the ancient cedar uprooted by the
Italy: canale is an Italian word designating a
long rectangular pond, and the burning of the
stump is a technique brought from Rome.
Two properties in common is not enough.
At least one more is missing.
The missing word.


The rule says to see is a verb of action.
I change the rule and say to see is a verb of state-
of-being (or change of state-of-being).
Which is obvious when one thinks about it.
I see a leaf. I pick up a leaf.
The two sentences are not equivalent.
I draw a leaf is something else again.
Giacometti sees a dog. The dog that he sees on
this particular day.
He says: “I am this dog.”
He makes a sculpture of this dog. Selfportrait.
I see Viviane.
Viviane is Viviane.
I write the sonnets of Viviane.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Part Won

One door in front of me. The door. I know already that in a few seconds I will open it, step inside the room and destroy everything that I will leave behind. Too many rooms behind me, always the same rooms. He knows, he is waiting. Just behind this door. It is in front of me, all I have to do is open it and step inside the room. Just a few seconds now and my old world is lost forever.

The Phantom Ape asks: ‘Will you take me with you?’

I glance back at the rooms I left behind, the people sitting in them. They all know, they know how I will destroy them. How I will open the door, step inside the room and condemn them to oblivion. They do not worry, they know no fear, they simply know. Only the Phantom Ape is afraid. Only the Phantom Ape is afraid. Only the Phantom Ape is afraid. He is shivering on my shoulder. He is clutching on. He is whimpering silently.

The Phantom Ape asks again: ‘Will you take me with you?’

All eyes are on me now. I am standing in front of the door. The only door that matters. I study its frame. I look at the lock that cannot stop me from entering. It has no defense against me. The Phantom Ape clutching on. Me standing in front of the door. Condemn them to oblivion. Open the door. He is waiting. A shriek. It has begun. I know that in a few second I will open the door.

I answer: ‘You will always be with me.’

Friday, March 02, 2007

Part Fore-Zewo

`Once upon a time there were three little sisters,' the Dormouse began in a great hurry; `and their names were Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie; and they lived at the bottom of a well--'

`What did they live on?' said Alice, who always took a great interest in questions of eating and drinking.

`They lived on treacle,' said the Dormouse, after thinking a minute or two.

`They couldn't have done that, you know,' Alice gently remarked; `they'd have been ill.'

`So they were,' said the Dormouse; `very ill.'

Alice tried to fancy to herself what such an extraordinary ways of living would be like, but it puzzled her too much, so she went on: `But why did they live at the bottom of a well?'

`Take some more tea,' the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.

`I've had nothing yet,' Alice replied in an offended tone, `so I can't take more.'

`You mean you can't take less,' said the Hatter: `it's very easy to take more than nothing.'

`Nobody asked your opinion,' said Alice.

`Who's making personal remarks now?' the Hatter asked triumphantly.

Alice did not quite know what to say to this: so she helped herself to some tea and bread-and-butter, and then turned to the Dormouse, and repeated her question. `Why did they live at the bottom of a well?'

The Dormouse again took a minute or two to think about it, and then said, `It was a treacle-well.'

`There's no such thing!' Alice was beginning very angrily, but the Hatter and the March Hare went `Sh! sh!' and the Dormouse sulkily remarked, `If you can't be civil, you'd better finish the story for yourself.'

`No, please go on!' Alice said very humbly; `I won't interrupt again. I dare say there may be one.'

`One, indeed!' said the Dormouse indignantly. However, he consented to go on. `And so these three little sisters--they were learning to draw, you know--'

`What did they draw?' said Alice, quite forgetting her promise.

`Treacle,' said the Dormouse, without considering at all this time.

`I want a clean cup,' interrupted the Hatter: `let's all move one place on.'

He moved on as he spoke, and the Dormouse followed him: the March Hare moved into the Dormouse's place, and Alice rather unwillingly took the place of the March Hare. The Hatter was the only one who got any advantage from the change: and Alice was a good deal worse off than before, as the March Hare had just upset the milk-jug into his plate.

Alice did not wish to offend the Dormouse again, so she began very cautiously: `But I don't understand. Where did they draw the treacle from?'

`You can draw water out of a water-well,' said the Hatter; `so I should think you could draw treacle out of a treacle-well--eh, stupid?'

`But they were in the well,' Alice said to the Dormouse, not choosing to notice this last remark.

`Of course they were', said the Dormouse; `--well in.'

This answer so confused poor Alice, that she let the Dormouse go on for some time without interrupting it.

`They were learning to draw,' the Dormouse went on, yawning and rubbing its eyes, for it was getting very sleepy; `and they drew all manner of things--everything that begins with an M--'

`Why with an M?' said Alice.

`Why not?' said the March Hare.

Alice was silent.

The Dormouse had closed its eyes by this time, and was going off into a doze; but, on being pinched by the Hatter, it woke up again with a little shriek, and went on: `--that begins with an M, such as mouse-traps, and the moon, and memory, and muchness-- you know you say things are "much of a muchness"--did you ever see such a thing as a drawing of a muchness?'

`Really, now you ask me,' said Alice, very much confused, `I don't think--'

`Then you shouldn't talk,' said the Hatter.

This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear: she got up in great disgust, and walked off; the Dormouse fell asleep instantly, and neither of the others took the least notice of her going, though she looked back once or twice, half hoping that they would call after her: the last time she saw them, they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot.

- Lewis Carol, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter VII 'A Mad Tea-Party'