Thursday, January 25, 1996

January 25

A free and generous sympathy carried, stretched from a great distance, such a benevolent neutrality of early images rising again to the completely isolated surface, surrounded by a purer air, restored to its truth as cage. This harmful hour within which beauty chooses to rise, within the rigor of an alchemy peculiar to its denial that it is subject. The loss of our insignia. Hawthorn and wild roses. Winter light barely fallen from the silence, night of nothing but faintly luminous discomfort. These shadowy places and the creatures they harbor: the geography of men and the promiscuity of evil. Close the window, draw the curtains. That gravitation, stumbling and falling amid the stars and constellations. The whole imaginary landscape reappears, a dormant world in search of oxygen, of monsters supposedly engulfed. Ravaged faces behind masks of voluptuousness, they return absolutely intact from this, to become its persecutor and contagious pleasures, having refused cruelty and the longing to suffer a dialectic lacking all possible horrors. The heart’s mediation and memory’s sudden conversion are obliterated in the sharp and sudden emergency of a century, one of those almost-magical abrupt shortcuts, as increasingly obscure moral powers become more and more obscure, more and more miraculous, deeper into a strange world, a transparent and clear moral practice and moral tactic, not the first to attempt abolished silence and observation, not even to condescend to language. A pure object without any resistance, an almost motionless movement to decipher what is essential. An unconditional return and absolute submersion.

We do it, coats or boots bathed in light, picture to ourselves the religious world, upon direct relations of subjection and its blessed and magnified magnitude. Emanated, perhaps more suggestive, nothing but fragmentary first form embracing the whole world. Without as yet fixing it, we replace the linen with gold, isolated from the point of view between physical things as what they really are, the shape of their value without restriction. This transubstantiation quite accidental for having created need. Dissolves into the mere transient, as two poles of a magnet by one empty of meaning. Phenomenal form merely an ideal act inconsistent with poetic chronology. Before and after is a tautology. Uncultivated land is a form of motion instead of being.

Bargemen walk singing on the shore. Sails at rest, anchors, the breathless sun roams the day.

Existing for one another merely a little closer, by tacit understanding. Brains coalescing with each other, each in the presence of its own independent form peculiar to itself, a misery so eloquently denounced as to be universally misled through the mouth by mutual consent. A matter of accident, abstract, undifferentiated and therefore equal. The recognized incarnation, no matter how great the fall. And the equally rapid substitution of fresh ones in their places, excessive perturbations periodically arising, taking the shape, the same fate, the same smoke, passing from one form to the other, constantly being thrown out, constantly fluctuating, only to disappear again immediately. Co-terminous with the territories petrified into a hoard are the bones: military marches, tens of thousands of saints, a sacrifice of the lusts of the flesh at the opposite pole, making a long journey to some want, this antagonistic movement over the blossoming countryside rolls by, realized in coats, corn, iron, gold, all downhill, soon there will be carts and wagons and trains, blows continue to rain down upon the earth, the way back nailed up, that dying lie rising carriage by carriage, mute from transport, tarnished by winter, traced, pierced, all the miles shortened, where the woods start, headlong, innocent, terrible, nothing here but coming and going, bits and scraps, flickering, weaving form from substance, rising or falling to the same extent, everything dark and gleaming, all the effects more valuable than the conclusion.

The red array.

These children flutter home, meeker than they were. Wander no more the village street, bound by an indifferent dawn. The boat unguided. Just such a coffin in the heart.

As if the bells of Ghent were ringing.

The flags of nations when roses cease to bloom. Theatrical representation of a dead man’s banquet, as in marriage for example, a play on words effected by the suppression of theatre. The secret and often invisible wealth of nature, games of theatrical illusion, the rigorous refusal of therapeutics. A slight movement resembling candles around the table, dinners at home, a partner in bed. Steeples and towers, a kind of parade in a graveyard, the whole night sky open. Every evening a comedy. The decomposition of the flesh, its fine particles sharp as needles, the violence of destination. The entire violent pathetic separation, the extreme fantasy of the image, the empty, nocturnal space of the old limiting. Thus one begins to dream. The vast enclosure, scientific and experimental, assembling passion and mathematics, an entire literary development. Their chatter, their anxiety, that vague delirium of eighteenth-century men in chains who passed through cities, ulcer across centuries, terrible to the future, incentive to slavery. The eighteenth century, when the text was written, a physiology of corporeal continuity penetrating even the densest internal space, imitating the luxuries from which they are suffering. Endowed with remarkable properties (liquid through a tube), emaciated in the service of the everlasting grip, the clenched fist. Its immediate vivacity entirely in the space of the imagination that speaks, made pale and dressed like the dead, began to eat almost anything that is concrete: honey, wood, chimney soot, given by what is by nature in the composition of all bodies, the carbon in the jewel. Wonder-working iron mingling with blood, dissolving with amorous melancholia, forming an inexhaustible reservoir of operative metaphors endowed with all possible complicities, technically virtuous, easy, joyous, sweet, these iconographic representations of the methods of awakening, to burn to the bone, imaginary dead bodies and flat surfaces, the paroxysm forever, by penetrating the body. In their delirium entirely understood their right to murder.

On the ground and against the wall. In the city and in the country. Bodies gathering in a graveyard. So much listening. A glow, at night, in winter. The storm, in league to fool. Every ten centuries yellow stars have silence. Grief, hills, eternity. (For an hour.)