Thursday, February 22, 1996

February 22

Dangerous to fragmentize history in an effort to rebuke the horror of deformity, the behavior of abject and depraved men, neurotic individuals within the large mass. Human beings and their science with its instruments of grief and anguish speak to us in a sea of cowardice, denying history. The railway and a line of fire against a waste of waters, seen through a window of pursuits and captures, the impatience of rough hands on a gothic virgin, occupied with the unutterable desire which drives us, swept away with the victory of the empirical. Paths of victory driven through the crack between flesh, and through eccentricities of an endless variety mitigated if only for a few minutes by scientific curiosity. Pleasure is the hangman. The soundless flight of upright bodies.

To the place of execution there came powdered faces and reddened lips which murmur their lost terrors. Witness to the reverence of infinite stupefaction. More land, then the sea. Punishment for having been punished.

Footsteps and voices, the usual phrases, their bits scattered. The trap door by night to the cemeteries. The scattering, wandering lights falling aside after having signalled. Hard accretions of all sorts standing in fire, howling. Threads broken and knots tied. The future lost in the events.

To prolong these states of detachment. That all may be lost forever. The old project once more. Industry, cunning and loneliness in foreign places and without possessions. Convictions, discrepancies and incoherences, those symptoms of personality, the usual sinks, tables, cages and glass tanks, the clanking of the anchor chain against a towering wall of concrete that blinds us. Silk streamers thrown into the eyes. Philosophy, always accumulating, stumbling up and on over the mouths of sunken tunnels not dark enough to enter.

Emotion is worn smooth, submerged. Identity all bone and dangerous. Amorphous and wandering. A dispersion into an incoherent flood of words, immigrants themselves, a rising and falling chorus of shadows and expanses emerging from the shadows, floating for a moment and then sinking in the direction of the darkness, to stretch the night and fill it, pilotless, tender, ravished in the shadows in a complicated embrace.

Then a combination of words which would startle, and the name of the artist in silence as she searched back and forth with her fingers for only a moment before the engineer assigned to these regions drives the needle into the flesh. The chemical and the personal, their bayonets red with blood.

Manifestations of obedience to a long withering.

A book of poems and a pair of boots together, sitting on the edge of a hard bench in a public room. The heavy dark furnishings clutch to themselves the familiar routine, the classic piece of bread. A great many foolish things. The number of sentences which now lie deep on every scene, lodged at the center, embedded in a substance of repeated moments. Remedial action for the future salvaged from the ruins of administration. Truth, this misadventure, as a miner of cemeteries. As pretext and accompaniment of voices, and shoes. A pair of white gloves lined up to buy tickets. Here the trains start as the earth is tossed aside onto a boulevard on which no one sets foot. Its unbroken surface no less bitter than the winter wind. No less forbidding than solitude. Solitude, anguish and an unbearable thirst. The antics of the individual at a distance, stained, corrupted, immobile. Tone and expression invoking only vile and famished faces flanked by rows of apartment buildings. Cold greetings exchanged despondently past an altar for each and every such offense. An artificial and entirely unconvincing deliverance from all the temptations and infamies practiced by man upon man. Its appeal constantly growing more fanatical, worshipped, a candle-flame in gold, blistered chimney-pots. A seduction more powerful than all the dread which has already been engulfed under an almost-undamaged catholicism all over again, the plaster figure surrounded by the barren space in the midst of all these cozy little bourgeois ruins.

No unburnt bones, no wisps of hair.

From a distance the stars were shining with a great rustling of decorum, whispering their suspicions towards the west in association with old bones and the fear of disappointment suddenly converted to objectivity, a propitiatory sign here in the old days, the epitome of countless pleasures, superstitions and indifferences, immensely flattering.

A line of poplars, while the horizon recedes, fold after fold, slowly to the end of the garden. Parched earth reveals our unsuspected organs, which endure the torments and diversions, to imagine a future in which that extremity in their bones could not be persuaded by the ruins of a substantial house.

Fruitless midnight hour, after which the sullen and quick flow of blood from the figure to the pedestal resumes her digging in a musty twilight, through a hole like the images of things more than a moment vanished. This globe, full of figures. Pillars, shadows, memorials to the fate of Europa crushed like glass splinters.

A sound like the knocking of railway cars in a siding.

To haunt the bridges, debating shadowy ideas traced through the lives of certain people in the crowd of casually-attired travellers, the relics of an army broken by silver. Some music, some wild carol descends, unbroken, monotonous, terribly as we become separate bodies in an intoxicated rage of loneliness, the consequence of violent acts, of the inevitability of hallucination fallen into bereavement. The shadow ignored for a single moment (self-discipline to the point of pain), her childhood in comparison, vanishing, twinkling, burnt on a bonfire in Berlin.

A scholar wholly absorbed by her experiences during this period, drawn irresistably to the sound of the chorus, a modern piece of some obscurity. Desire, the incompatible idea and pluckings of the fingers into darkness, looking for clues down in the tenacious mud. As if we walk in a garden. These enemies, these presences, all the accretions of mature knowledge, the hundred secret signs by which their language, like a city, closes over their bodies.

For a thousand practical reasons the charred bodies do not finish their sentences, cannot be separated. The highest and lowest in the cold earth forever. Therefore mingle funeral wreaths and the lavish gifts of consolation, that we are not responsible. The mystery of spirit that pours out into mirrors, claiming religious duties and a blameless life and freedom from intolerable knowledge. Our uniform psychic investment in the hands of abstract fathers. The whole structure designed for a burial, a reluctance to speak of what was being celebrated in the bedrooms of small shopkeepers: the radiant beauty of the successful and permanent state of war waged by capitalism, and that such things could have happened only by a slender thread of coincidence. An irregularity of the sort without a womb, the dead mistress, familiar with the language of intoxication, compulsion and pain, a sudden and shiny restoration rising to the surface, a solution which poses no analysis.

Houses and trees crumbling in mourning for the organic state. The penalty of an imperfect acquiesence and humility. Stray impulses in any writer.

To anticipate what was required, and come to the doorway on the last day, waiting to be taken away from the dream, gasping.

as if the train would cut me in two.