Monday, October 16, 2017

Jonathan Mulcahy-King Interviews Eileen R. Tabios





Eileen R. Tabios
Love in a Time of Belligerence,(X-Peri Series, Swan World, 2017




Jonathan Mulcahy-King 
Interviews Eileen R. Tabios


JMK: What was the first piece of experimental writing that influenced your current trajectory and how can it be seen in your work today? 

ERT: The first “experimental” poets to move me in a deep way were John Yau, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Arthur Sze. I met them—both humans and their poems—through my book BLACK LIGHTNING (1998) that interviewed leading Asian American poets. I had just began writing poems two years earlier, so they had a major impact. At about that time, I also discovered the work of Jose Garcia Villa and I admired his eager textual experiments. Their work helped me break linear narrative which is how I began writing poems. Their poetry taught me alternative paths to poem-creation which, for me, came to incorporate a trust in the reader’s ability to help create significance out of a poem (this trust in the reader versus the poet preaching meaning at the reader also fit the transcolonial tendencies I brought to English which had been used to help colonize my birth land, the Philippines). I tend to think that the poet begins the poem’s experience, but it’s the reader (or audience) who finishes it.

This trust in the reader is seen in my work through my belief that words come with meanings and significances far beyond the dictionary and (thus) which the poet cannot anticipate. Thus, if you put any combination of words (and perhaps letters, but haven’t gotten there yet) together at random, it’s possible for a poem to surface. I push this perspective most recently in my “Murder, Death, Resurrection Project” which includes what I call “The MDR Poetry Generator”. This Generator contains a database of 1,167 lines that can be combined randomly to make a large number of poems; the shortest would be a couplet and the longest would be a poem of 1,167 lines. More information about it is available HERE: https://eileenrtabios.com/projects/the-mdr-poetry-generator/ I’ll also be releasing what will be this five-year poetry performance project’s monograph in 2018.

JMK: If your collective work were a piece of music, what would it be?

ERT: I actually feel this question should not be answered by me but by readers who know my work.

Once, someone ascribed cello music to my poetry, something I did not and for which I had no authorial intention. But I don’t disagree with that assessment.

JMK: I can see that, for me, it would be something post-classical, Nils Frahm, Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds, a kind of refined classical piece interceded by electronic movements…

ERT: I’m heartened they are raised by my poetry … though not from any intentions on my part—which is an example of how poetry transcends autobiography.

JMK: How would you describe the current state of poetry? Could you name some writers/ publishers that excite you right now?

ERT: Judging from poetry I recommend on LinkedIn, my top favorite publishers seem to be Ugly Duckling Presse at the number one spot, and then (in no particular order) Ahsahta Press, Black Radish Books, BlazeVOX Books, Dos Madres Press, Dusie, Farrar Straus Giroux, Flood Editions, gradient books, Graywolf Press, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Les Figues Press, Litmus Press, Lunar Chandelier Press, Marsh Hawk Press, New Directions, Norton, Omnidawn, Otoliths Books, Shearsman Books, Singing Horse Press, Talisman, Wave Books, Wesleyan and Zephyr Press.

Obviously there are authors who would be among my favorites and who are not necessarily published by the above. I won’t name names but cite instead those who actively interrogate (experiment with) form. Perhaps that’s why, looking at the above list of publishers, I have a preference for mostly those who are invested in the experimental tendency as a way to widen poetry’s expanse (there are some exceptions as some published an author or two with experimental tendencies who caught my eye but don’t generally have that interest as publisher).

I’d describe the current state of poetry as blessedly active. It’s also specifically active in reflecting the effects of technology (the internet, social media, et al). I don’t find this to be negative but I do sense some imbalance. The issue with technology is how it maximizes speed for quick results—by itself that process is not good or bad. But there is a lot to be said for its opposite, which is scale. Many things require large scale in order to be created or be effective. Scale includes time and attention. And sometimes technologically-based efficiency works against that. Right now, the scale seems tipped against works that require the depth of scale.

JMK: Is your MDR project a reflection of this culture, a kind of satire, as the work produced therein boasts a similar depth of source material, using manual algorithms to generate large-scale poetry?

ERT: Hm—I’d never thought of it as satire, though that’s certainly a legitimate read of the project, as are your reasons for thinking so. And perhaps, unconsciously on my part, there is that aspect as I’m nodding more in agreement than not.

Yet my conscious intention was actually to pay homage to the brilliance of those who created the programs that generate poetry. But I should note—partly as I’m not as technologically brilliant as those programmers—that my MDR is inspired by them but is deliberately manually generated. When I created the lines for MDR’s database, I read through each of the root source: 27 prior poetry collections. I then created lines not simply by copy-n-pasting excerpts but by noting my personal/subjective/temporal reactions at the time of readings; with hindsight, I perhaps emulated “artificial intelligence” rather than a computer program.

(As an aside, I’d like to share a link to a relatively obscure essay I wrote about my loving engagement with one of the contemporary world’s most adept poet-practitioners of technology/computer programs, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen: Moria Poetry You can see that I rely on manual versus computer programming partly due to my beliefs in subjectivity.)

The MDR certainly poses several layers of implications about poetry and modern society—or I hope there are. But several of these significances are as up to the reader as they are to me.

JMK: How would you describe “Babaylan Poetics” to a new reader, and the personal and political motivations behind this form?

ERT: “Babaylan” refers to an indigenous Filipino leader who functions as a healer and  community leader, among other roles. I had referenced the term to relate to indigenous Filipino practices, specifically “kapwa,” a construct of Filipino psychology meaning togetherness. That is, that all beings are related. In an earlier poetics essay, I’d correlated these indigenous elements with my poetics as such:

There’s an image from pre-colonial Philippine times of a human standing with a hand lifted upwards; if you happened to be at a certain distance from the man and took a snapshot, it would look like the human was touching the sky. I’d described the significance of this image as the moment, the space, from which I attempt to create poems. In the indigenous myth, the human, by being rooted onto the planet but also touching the sky, is connected to everything in the universe and across all time, including that the human is rooted to the past and future—indeed, there is no unfolding of time. In that moment, all of existence—past, present and future—has coalesced into a singular moment, a single gem with an infinite expanse. In that moment, were I that human, I am connected to everything so that there is nothing or no one I do not know. I am everyone and everything, and everything and everyone is me. In that moment, to paraphrase something I once I heard from some Buddhist, German or French philosopher, or Star Trek character, ‘No one or nothing is alien to me.'”

Last night I did a reading of my poem “PilipinZ” from my new book Love In A Time of Belligerence and it ends with the lines:

“But I will never forget we walk on the same planet and breathe the same air. I will never forget the same sun shines on us. I created my own legacy: No one is a stranger to me.”

It may be an impossible goal, but in poetry that’s my goal: that no one or nothing is a stranger to me. I hope to practice a poetics of both knowledge and empathy.





Sunday, October 15, 2017

Volodymyr Bilyk, Scanography 9


Scanography 9, Volodymyr Bilyk



























Volodymyr Bilyk is a writer, translator, and visual poet from the Ukraine. His works include: visual poems in the series This is Visual Poetry (2013), CIMESA (2013), Casio's Pay-Off Peyote (2013), SCOBES (2013), THINGS (2014), Laugh Poems (2014), Vispo Ay Ai Ay (2014), “To When Tea Ties Hence to Wank It Too” / “Eminent Means of Basil Dado Hem-Welt” in The Chapbook 5 (2015), “Heartbeat, Footclick, Machine Gun Vocalizes” (2016), Understanding (of language) are not enough (2016).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Daniel Y. Harris & Jonathan Mulcahy-King, Excerpt 1.6 from Licentiam


γυνή, image by Olia Svetlanova  



Excerpt 1.6 from Licentiam


1.6

docility stitch unfurled spews  leydig cells to mount
vainglorious modem cellules cue the pulping mallet
failed RTCPeerConnection horns  somatic apologia
brace for  web-farm insertion well-greased fuck  toy
as scorp and stingray wrist or  carotid artery   daubs  
resurgent lick if heavenups knots to comb  hismatic
hair by deavatars in the ruck to foretell cum catalos,
stump to let out the nose as duct tape in a gloryhole
          sate a palfrey slow wax and sulphur melt  boils resin 


                       —Daniel Y. Harris & Jonathan Mulcahy-King





Sunday, October 8, 2017

Nathan Spoon, Excerpts from Doomsday Bunker


Rise of the Eschatons, image by Daniel Y. Harris  




Excerpts from Doomsday Bunker


Labyrinth + Nozzle

This is horrible
as a leather cupcake and
as delicious too.

It is roadkill and cloud erection
thrills of whales leaping
from miniature oceans

only to fall back into
paranoid computational
theories. Thank goodness

for red vines crawling a rock face
in a hopscotch neighborhood.
This feels like a comfortable

if out-of-use silo only
D. H. L. would pinch
the nipples of. Break off

another heel with
a buttered face and a hairdo
of live eels. Bulls are

appropriated for art daily
and the tornado that
sucked up a tidy lawn

has sprayed it against the walls
of the book somebody
will check out indefinitely

tomorrow. Another child
is weaponizing bones while reading
The Anathemata.  It’s true

coffee is a necessity
for millions who have trouble
sleeping with stranglers.


As Cinematic as Fingers

The ring goes boom!
The ring is panoramic.
The ring adds color

to watery horoscopes.
Pump a series of hairy fangs
into the spirit of the ring.

The ring! The ring! It is
a byte and a conglobulation
of bytes sliding up the banister.

The ring is made of wings
and flies around the banister
in a large trunk with

an escort. Kindness
is erasing generic notions
of equality while the ring

glints in real time
as if Bavarian gentians
are typically spun

from neon code. Love
is talking in a forest of toes. Love
is reducible to quantity.

Tomorrow shocks from the future
are collaged into excesses
of Northern Light activity.

The ring slides between
animal species. From crevasses
glands drip pheromones

leaving eyelashes in various states
of distortion. A vodka cream puff
sleeps inside the moon.


W of Bones

A priss knows hard work
is the celestial root.
In the photo of No Go

along gloppy edges people
are running in terror.
People are kissing in rain

in antique photographs
where conscious choice
writhes in lavender water.

It is time to detonate
the eyes of bees covered
in dust in Wittgensteinian

pudding rare as the grass straying
the shallows of rivers.
A data scoop through

the backdoor left firebrands
scattered across elastic meadows.
The academe, the academe

is waiting for new liver petals.
In breech a stain of pain
beeps major allegiance

walks backward through
compartmentalization. Hordes
of seasick wires are warming

the black Northern air. John F.
is the rivulet he was
before his birth. Try wrecking

a poet’s name by changing a letter.
The pants proper exercise
will inspire are fantastic foil!


Astrological Proclivities

Bells from hell are clanging
through water lilies
and numerous hours

are squishy now. Gemini + Virgo
= Virgo + Gemini. The best time
for easing into happiness

is now. All live in a good world
which will achieve totality
of saturation tomorrow at noon.

It is night across most of space.
Space is big. Spacious even.
All touch space. All are comprised

mostly of ghostly space. Space
is what makes a good world.
Space also makes hours squishy.

Space is easy. It’s the good world
and all else exuding complexity.
Thank goodness for complexity!

Space is an infant being
continuously birthed into
a casket covered with hashtags.

Because of this sentient beings
each have a star sign
although inanimate objects

do not. Period. Because of this
commas are mostly extraneous
and days of the week break

out their finest occultwear.
Rusty gills are exhuming magic
spires puncturing heaven.


To a Culture Vulture

Yesterday is the preferable day
for humanity. It is the day
life slides gracefully through

its own veins. Yesterday
is a basket fashioned from silk.
What matters more however

is what will happen tomorrow.
Today is the sigil of tomorrow.
Today is the sigil of weird

analytics which must be stopped
before they can curtain
windows. All who yearn

for weird analytics will be
tasked with creating interface
for animadversive investors

in the sigil of tomorrow. Silk
+ milk = milk × silk ÷ by tomorrow.
These are not equations.

These are facts and eventually
facts will erase tomorrow.
A doctor finds pleasure

in keeping tomorrow alive today.
A doctor is a demon of sorts.
When a hand lands it snorts

in a manner Paul V. once felt
shapeshifting up his elemental
spine. A doctor breaks the unity

of earth water fire and air. All
are prepared to gesticulate among
mounds of paint powder.


The Congratulators 

Owls are perched along
the bottoms of her eyelids.
Owls clear as dreams

are guiding her to the next reddit
selling fried baloney sandwiches.
A sea soused up the sun

and clacked around in armor
colored by newish fevers. Owls ensure
it’s time for an omnivorous snorkel

and a praise. Owls with oars
for feathers are resisting
metronomic currents in bio lines.

Thank goodness for owls!
When music blows out
of nuclear devices the talons

of owls will defend what is left
of nature leaving only the unnatural
world to burn. Owls will be

headquartered at hidden locations
beneath mountains. Although the air
wants punctuation thank goodness

for drinkable water! Thank goodness
for stubbornness and folly! One day
sock phobias will evaporate. For

now it’s time to drink as H. said at C.’s
demise. Someday drinking will save
the owls. Thank goodness

for voices of owls! Thank goodness
for rocking chairs and reddits
and the bottoms of her eyelids!




—Nathan Spoon



Saturday, October 7, 2017

Mark Young, Four Poems


The Dark Side of Reappropriation, image by Daniel Y. Harris 



A line from Vasco da Gama

According to the quantum
theorist, rising property prices
will shut down a nuclear-
powered aircraft carrier. War

becomes perpetual, aggressive
traits predict partner abuse.
Whole grains get accused of all
kinds of mayhem. But the jelli-

fication can be stopped. The pro-
cess works in reverse if you’re
not afraid of the darkness or
creation redemption methodology.


A line from Elizabeth Barrett Browning

A wild stormy sea wave
served with sashimi
& royalty-free images,
only at Shutterstock.

On the far side of the
mountains the winds are
rough. A dark blue sky.
Hokusai's jigsaw puzzle.


A line from Haile Selassie

Iceland's Culture Night finishes
with a majestic firework display.
Allowing children to partake in
it establishes intimate customer-

brand relationships. Strengthens
them through a multitude of
events—majestic longhorn
cattle flood Wyatt Earp Blvd;

Miike Snow with Zella Day are
at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo
Hall; explosions & chemical acci-
dents keep happening. So much

variety! So effective in developing a
sense of self. Empathy unfolds. Just
in time, as the Noosa Beach Classic
Car Show returns for its 28th year.


A line from Karri Kokko

Mikä minun on, nyt
ja aina—how much
longer will I be able
to co-habit with such

divine pulchritude?
Almost blond like a
chimera, & instantly
rescuing absurdity

from death, the female
is furtive & disciples
only enthuse her. The
lightstand nears you

& the tightness begins.
Eyesores. Best mind
out for them. Talking
‘bout miscegenation.

People try to pull us
down—what does not
change? A blind man
stands up & says thank

you for giving me the
chance to be a pan-
boiled wizard now
my quietness has a

mandrake in it. This
place rumored to
have been Suomi
just might have been.



—Mark Young


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Pedro R. Rivadeneira, Ending section of “Dr. Sarturnian’s Monologue” fourth and last section of “Song of Anonymous” a novel in progress


Dr. Sarturnian’s Writing Machine, image by Pedro R. Rivadeneira



Ending section of “Dr. Sarturnian’s Monologue”
fourth and last section of “Song of Anonymous”
a novel in progress by Pedro R. Rivadeneira



this I see   hear   when I’m writing   the words themselves   broken   their sounds   their images   fragments of materials adrift like flotsam   debris from a wreckage in the onrushing current of circumstances that is our existence   the writing itself   the drifting words    a kind of mapping of catastrophe   bumping into each other   searching each other’s jagged edges like chunks of ice   floating refuse drifting down river   towards the falls   like flotsam     jagged   white   grayish shapes   puzzle-like   slowly swirling round and round    caught in a whirlpool   like jetsam     near the river’s edge  where the bend begins   blindly searching each others’ edges   shapes   erratically bumping into each other   never quite   fitting in


     sign flotsam
discombobulation:

some jetsam to forget
   me knots as ever present in this content
                       
            *
  foiled me  messy
from ended:

a ripple of pink tinged with
white
through
dark
forest green rustling in
the night
                                     *

flot·sam

Pronunciation Key  (fltsm) n.

1.  a.  Wreckage or cargo that remains afloat after a ship has sunk.
                                                 b.  Floating refuse or debris.
   
    2. Discarded odds and ends.

3. Vagrant, usually destitute people.
                               
*
jet·sam  

Pronunciation Key  (jtsm) n.
   
   1. Cargo or equipment thrown overboard to lighten a ship in distress.
   
   2.  Discarded cargo or equipment found washed ashore. See Usage Note at flotsam.

3.  Discarded odds and ends
ssss-
ahh-
  eeii-
nnn
    n
n-


fff-
ullll-
                        ought
sss-
uh-
mmm

dih-
          ssss-
kuh-
mmm-
                      bob-
   yoo-
                             lay-
                   shh-
uh-
 n
      n
     n
   n
n        

sssss-
uh-         
m
    m
m

jeh-
          t

sss-
uh-
mmm

          t-
ooo

ffff-
          oh-
          rrrrr
g-
    eh-
   tih
*
a-
          k-
                   sss-
          ih-
               deh-
    nnn-
tuh-
           uhll

uh-
          th-
                   er
   r
r
 r
t- eh
                   rrr-
          ih-
t-
          oh-
                   rrreee

ssss-
                   t-
          rrrr-
                             ay

ssss-
            eh-
                     k-
      shh-
                     uhnnn-
           ssss

ffff-
          oh-
eee-
uhlll-
duh






wah-
washed           shh-    d
             a wreckage
    ah              shh-
after  oh-  r
       debris
            destitute   a  rrr- eh-   ku- found
                    to lighten           juh
oh-      found floating refuse
rrr        usually                               
     wah-
         remains     t
   rrr-   afloat
  odds   ee-
            washed ashore   mm-     ay- a wreckage mm-          ay-
nn- or
what remains         

after        odds       afloat      after
odds and ends     sss    
          overboard cargo  
a-      vagrant
 rr
    dih-   usually destitute
          sss-  
   k-   found floating
            ah-    r-
 d-    eh-     d

overboard               sh-                           washed ashore                                                                    odds afloat after
                  oh-       in distress                        a wreckage or what remains                     ah-      people     dss
        rrr                                                                      after discarded odds afloat after                                       debris
fff-     floating refuse   ou-            debris discarded vagrant usually        a-  cargo   fff-       ull-
   thrown    nn-    discarded    duh   destitute thrown overboard cargo                                            refuse           oh-vv-      usually    ay-   destitute   found floating refuse  and ends                 t people   ll-  and ends
people  gr- after ah-  sunk  nn-   to lighten a ship in distress after                               I-    usually    t-
    wreckage   t                         cargo and equipment washed ashore     eh-  destitute    nn   afloat
d-        eh-           ss-         found floating in distress overboard                  you- washed je-
     tih-        too-                vagrant, usually destitute people afloat                                oo-
              t             ss-         after a ship has sunk, floating refuse or        ah-   equipment    ll-
  uh- floating refuse or nn-         debris, discarded odds and ends                                      ee

                 k usually destitute d- refuse or eh- refuse or brr- found floating ee       
th- eh-  destitute    nn   afloat  d- wah-
washed           shh-    d
             a wreckage
    ah              shh-
after  oh-  r
       debris
            destitute   a  rrr- eh-   ku- found
                    to lighten           juh
oh-      found floating refuse
rrr        usually                               
     wah-

eh-   ss- in distress overboard                 
you- washed je-
     tih- in distress too-                vagrant, people afloat                                oo-
              t debris, discarded ss-   after a ship has sunk, ah-   equipment    ll-
  uh-           nn- odds and ends  ee
rr-        oh-            oo-       
nn      fff-     floating refuse   ou-   discarded vagrant
              a-  cargo   fff-       ull-
   thrown    nn-    discarded    duh   destitute   oh-
vv-      usually    ay-   destitute   found floating t people   ll-  and ends
people  gr- after ah-  sunk  nn-   to lighten  I-    usually    t-
    wreckage   t  cargo a  eh-  destitute    nn   afloat        
rrr-   afloat
  odds   ee-
            washed ashore   mm-     ay- a wreckage mm-          ay-
nn- or
what remains         

after        odds       afloat      after
odds and ends     sss    
          overboard cargo  
a-      vagrant
    fff-  
u-               rr
    dih-   usually destitute
          sss-  
   k-   found floating
            ah-    r-
 d-    eh-     d
          oh-
eee-
uhlll
duh                    d-       
eh-  in distress you- washed je-
     tih-        too-               
vagrant, usually destitute people afloat          oo-
              t after a ship ss- has sunk ah-   equipment    ll-
  uh-         nn-      debris, discarded   ee
odds and ends
                 k remains       t
   rrr-   afloat
  odds   ee- washed ashore   mm-     ay- a wreckage mm-          ay-
nn- or
what remains         

after        odds       afloat      after
odds and ends     sss    
          overboard cargo  
a-      vagrant
    fff-  
v-                rr
    dih-   usually destitute
          sss-         keh-   found floatin


          - outside the window I see dark, heavy clouds lying low in the sky, impenetrable, the trees tremble almost imperceptibly as a light breeze wanders through them carrying a fine drizzle in the late afternoon light, the garden is suddenly imbued with an unforeseen clarity, I can see the cracks, fissures and grooves in the trees’ moist black bark, the veins in the parched, translucent bright yellow of the few leaves that still linger on the branches, the varied lines and shapes crisscrossing each other in the etiolated, unkept grasses and weeds, a plastic bag, an empty bottle, garbage randomly scattered about the grounds, each thing seeming to have a light of its own, giving the entire area a serene sense of place in the present moment -
                                                         not knowing why    I raise myself up – the professor suddenly says in a quiet, gruff voice - my body   my mind    my thoughts and feelings    I who am a car . . . a car . . . a carcajando me like carne nigra gran ganando gangrenous carcass amid a mist mu . . . mue . . . muerto    mujer rota morta est amidst a buca rest with fallen teeth out off rotten gums and tongue’s unrest   deceased by disease    by disease deceased   so   I raise myself up off the bed and sitting on the edge gaze out the window at the trees outside    at the branches intertwined   crisscrossing each other    forming complex shapes and textures     this is what I see    see as an example of what to do    where to go    not only what to write    but    how to write     their lonely     lovely    brightly colored   autumnal leaves    seeming to have a light of their own     they have a light of their own      the luminous bushes and the colors of the fallen leaves    replicating themselves    spinning in my room   like the leaves outside turning in the wind   in my head    this of course is an allusion but we are tired     I can no longer go on like this    all thoughts    all words are excremental – he whispers gently with eyes closed sniffing the air - what we tried to get at with words    for years now    centuries    is it meaning in the commotion of its gleaming or yet another voice in a turbulent night of dreaming?    motions of something reading itself     reading itself was something in motion with a voice for propulsion    rather agitated    antiquated  yet still effective    looking for a purpose  ‘neath the sun’s glaring stare    bare of all intent      one notion will suffice to organize a life and project it into unusual but viable forms     so that they become a luminous backdrop to ever-repeated gestures     do you know any Ashbery? – he asks looking up at me - Ashbery and Stevens are my favorite poets      but then there’s Artaud    who destroys all that . . . but . . . as I may have already said   writing can be a demonic endeavor . . . writing is primarily a kind of activity   I mean to say   a kind of physical activity   which is to say   a kind of bodily function as is thinking an excretion if you will   all writing is excremental   the brain’s electricity bleeding into the surrounding atmosphere     only through this destructiveness can one speak freely  you see    it is only through this disintegration    this ongoing destruction   that one can think and speak freely   alienation becomes the singularity that allows for total freedom
                                                                            but no! – he suddenly blurts out – I must tell you!   show you something!    the machine I’ve been working on for years!   no one has seen it   what it can do!    with the exception of my sister of course    but   you’d be the first!    you must see it!    what it can do   my writing machine!   perhaps you can try it yourself! – he exclaims again this time giggling nervously – it has something in common with Raymond Roussel’s writing machine    but of course with today’s technology . . . – he trails off then continues energetically - actually   it differs greatly in that with my machine I can work directly with the brain’s waves    the machine opened up territories in me I didn’t know existed   the dreams I have are extraordinary   unprecedented    I see landscapes that can only belong to other worlds    I mean to say  those territories are in me   but the me no longer is    that is to say   I become an otherness it seems . . . come I will show you! – he suddenly gestures at me with his cigarette hand while at the same time jumping out of his chair with the spontaneous agility of a child and walks toward the studio door the threshold of which he crosses instantly with an effortless skip, he then turns his head toward me and gesturing again, disappears into the darkness of the hallway laughing. I remain still for a few seconds until I hear him shout - come on! - Slugishly, I begin to move toward the door which seems far away, impossible to reach, as if I were stuck in a kind of dreamlike Zeno’s paradox; the distance between myself and the door, though short
getting shorter, never seeming to end, I hear his voice as if from a long distance away even never seeming to end. Finally, as I’m approaching the professor’s studio door, a sinewy hand suddenly pops out of the darkness and gripping my forearm with surprising force drags me into the hallway. With lead feet and wobbly legs, I stumble along behind the professor who, cackling maniacally, pulls me along by the sleeve. I see a light pouring from an open door at the end of the hall - voilå! - the old man exclaims gesturing with widespread arms – this is our laboratory! our playground! – he squeals - this is where my sister and I conduct our experiments   with language and perception   with brain waves and sound    manipulating our brain waves with negative feedback – he says smiling at me with glee as he stands sideways in the doorway with one hand on his hip, the other, with cigarette between index and middle finger, palm facing upwards raised above his shoulder gesturing toward the interior of the room like a proud house wife. I enter into a windowless, rectangular room with a high ceiling filled with all kinds of electronic equipment, old and new. The room reminds me of an old analogue electronic music studio. The dust-covered walls are painted in a faded institutional gray-green color. Against the opposite wall, along the length of the room, are two long worktables, and on the wall above them are shelves stacked with books and papers. On the tables stand four large LCD computer monitors. Below the tables, resting on wooden pallets that sit on the dusty wooden floor, among stacks of books and papers, cables and power strips, sit four state of the art computer towers linked to each other, seemingly working in tandem. Against the rear wall stands a table with a large multichannel sound mixer and a tall equipment rack that includes a patch bay full of connecting cables. There are also several synthesizers; an old Arp 2600 and an even older Moog synthesizer complete with all its modules, patch cables arching and dangling from their dark surfaces. I also see old multichannel tape recorders, oscilloscopes and filters, and an old ring modulator and harmonizer stacked upon each other in the rear corners of the room along with the latest model digital signal processor and other equipment which reminds me somewhat of medical equipment one sees in hospitals. Among them, I recognize an electro-encephalogram machine that seems to be connected to the synthesizers via some kind of interface unit. In the middle of the room I see what appears to be a reclining dentist chair at the head of which rests a kind of helmet with a mass of thin, multicolored wires emanating from its surface. The wires cascade behind the chair toward the floor in a swooping curve and then, several meters later, ascend coming together into a large horizontal connector plugged into a console in the equipment rack in the back of the room. The rest of the room’s walls are covered with paintings of unfamiliar landscapes and objects, presumably the work of the professor’s sister. Charts of various sorts, as well as scraps of paper with notes and odd symbols scribbled on them in ink or pencil are tacked or stuck with scotch tape onto some of the paintings and whatever spaces are left available on the walls. The professor suddenly halts and speaks up with a wheezing voice - as stated in his “Journey to the Taraumara” according to Artaud    and also    certain phenomenologists     all of reality is a kind of language   all of reality speaks    all of reality is an intricate web of signs   signs and languages that speak about us and our predicament    signs which forever point to each other in an infinite web of relationships    all of reality     a veritable morass of languages criss crossing    interrupting and dialoguing with each other in an interminable tangle     an entanglemeant in fact – he states emphatically – a meaningful tangle of events    a polysemous tangle of meanings    all of life   the entire universe in fact    is a koan as Dogen Kigen   the thirteenth century Japanese Buddhist monk would have it    a web of languages most of which remain    and will remain     unintelligible to us – he says wheezing softly – we are lost in a maze    an interminable      eternal maze from which there is no escape except for those few whose actions are lacking in self interest – he says grimacing –
. . . my sister’s digital art work and her scanned paintings . . . I mean    thanks to an algorhythm I wrote which permits us to take the digital information from her works    her scanned paintings and her digital art works   by means of a kind of mapping   that is to say    we take the values from the digital and scanned works and map them unto the brain’s waveforms   I mean to say   the computer translates the information from the visual imagery into wave forms that by means of reverse feed-back are fed directly into my brain    but first of course – he grumbles - my mind must be made blank   the original brain waves must be   as it were    erased     in order to do this    one must use phase cancellation    this is produced by the sum of two waves of the same frequency and amplitude that are out of phase with each other   the end result is a wave that has less overall amplitude than both original waves     
                             in other words   modeled after an electroencephalogram of my brain    the computer generates a new set of brain waves just like mine in frequency and amplitude  the only difference is that they differ in phase    it then feeds them back into my brain thus adding them on to the ones my brain is already producing so creating the desired effect of phase cancellation – he grins briefly - in this manner   the brain is made considerably more quiet   more receptive than it usually is with its usual internal noises     monologues and other mechanisms by which the mind defends itself against reality    the eternal silence     once this is achieved     little by little   the computer begins to feed the brain the new values    the new information taken from my sister’s digital and scanned works    and this information begins to alter the comportment of the brain’s waves by changing the values of their parameters to match those of the art works   that is to say    their frequency and amplitude values as well as their density    the brain begins to function in frequency and amplitude ranges unknown   this of course will alter the brain’s chemistry and most certainly at the molecular level    its structure    producing highly unusual states of perception     of consciousness     quite literally    one comes into contact with landscapes   with views    sounds    textures and colors one has never encountered before

of course    this is quite a dangerous endeavor   all manner of things can go wrong    one could conceivably end up brain dead    or the brain begin to produce a jumble of waveforms    the brain would become infinitely more noisy than what it already is    one wouldn’t be able to function    one would go mad to be sure    or collapse in the throes of endless seizures    the brain being caught up in a chaotic   cascading feed-back loop – he says whispering cautiously - but perhaps the most dangerous thing would be to be hacked while in the midst of the computer induced hypnogogic trance necessary to undergo the feed-back process   hacked by some exterior   some unknown source    someone hacking into our computers could cause all manner of havoc    this person   this entity – he says suddenly coughing agitated – could change the information going from the computer into the brain   this person   this being   I mean to say    the hacker    could alter the values    the information taken from my sister’s works transferred into the computers and from the computers into the brain    this person    or whatever     could very well reconfigure one’s brain as he or she    or maybe it   sees fit     this person   this creature    could in fact edit the contents of one’s brain   of one’s mind and therefore one’s thoughts     one’s perceptions would be completely transfigured     such a person     such a being    such a creature     would have complete control over one’s mind     over one’s body     over one’s body and mind - he says fidgeting and looking around nervously - complete access to one’s thoughts and feelings      one’s dreams     such an entity  would have access to the deepest recesses of one’s mind knowing things about myself that not even I know    it would thus be able to manipulate me with impunity    without my knowing anything about it     while you normally think of yourself as being in charge of your thoughts and actions    your dreams and feelings   your desires   your physical motions    in reality there is someone     or some thing   who is controlling them     making all those decisions for you – he says – no longer belonging to yourself     you’d find    if you’re aware    that you are completely lost    in a veritable forest of dreams    a labyrinth of mirages from which you can’t awake      set adrift in an ever changing reality controlled and defined    in fact created     by that unknown other to which you now belong – he whispers slowly and softly - of course    one night   it did indeed happen    we were hacked by an unknown source     an unknown force highjacked our system and began changing things around . . . from the someone hacked into the something system jacked into it into me and started changing things around and round    slowly swirling perpetual system dismantling perceptions in re-creation breaking down matter down to its smallest elements – he says with agitagion - one night   my sister and I were here in the computer lab working     we had been working for hours   we were working on transferring data of the various parameters of her visual works   the colors   the textures    the shapes   the lines and intersections    the various patterns     from some of her paintings    from some of what she calls her oneiric landscapes   transferring that data into our computers and applying it to the parameters of sound   that is to say    mapping all that visual data to frequency[1]    amplitude[2]     rhythm    timbre and spectral information[3]   in other words    taking all that data and turning it into potential musical information     the values from the data  we then plugged into the patches[4] I wrote in SuperCollider 3[5]    the various instruments[6] I had created using the SuperCollider 3 program which would take all that information and manipulate and transform it into different kinds of waveforms      sound structures of varying textural densities    timbres    frequencies and amplitudes    using different types of envelope generators[7] to produce different kinds of attacks and durations    using random number generators    that is to say   noise generators    to control the values of the various parameters in each instrument   so as to add unpredictability    needless to say    the complexity and variety produced was enormous    one of my favorite patches is the FM synthesis[8] patch with multiple carriers and modulators which produces an incredible variety of timbres     attacks and textures      it’s various parameters     it’s envelope generators      also controlled by random number generators so as to produce as unpredictable a number and types of attacks and durations for each event as is possible     I applied various sound prosessing techniques with the instruments I wrote in SC3    such as various types of filtering    FFTs[9][i] for spectral processesing   various types of granulation[10]    aliasing[11]   the afore mentioned FM synthesis    all of whose parameters were controlled by random number generators   the brain being the greatest random number generator of all! – he suddenly squeals with excitement - all of these instruments and processesors I put in a kind of list we call an Array   and this Array I nest inside a Routine   which is a virtual object that generates events at given times   these times too were controlled randomly – he says wheezing - all of this produced an effect of great variety and unpredictabiltity     textures would change in surprising ways    all kinds of unheard of tone colors    durations and articulations    creating a sound scape that unfolded and developed in a virtually infinite number of ways    a sound scape into which we would go exploring in a state of complete wonderment – he says with excitement, smiling with pleasure revealing his stained, rotting teeth – yet one night     one night something happened    something terrible    something truly horrendous – he says barely whispering in a trembling voice – a door was opened    somehow     somewhere    we don’t know how    a door was thrown open     perhaps in my mind     my mind as conduit    a doorway into a world of an infinite variety of languages    words and voices    bumping into each other in a haphazard manner    snaking around each other in a frenzy – he says barely audible – as I was sitting in our modified dentist’s chair    wearing the headset you see there with all the electrodes and wires coming out of it     deeply plunged into a completely relaxed and open hypnagogic state    our computers all of a sudden began to act erratically    my sister who was sitting at the monitors    lost control of the machines as they began to scroll data up and down the screens with maniacal speed      I began to hear at first a faint humming sound     like the metallic humming of insects     insect mandibules clicking and clacking obsessively   insect wings in the distance humming maniacally    then growing louder and louder and among the humming sounds    I also began to hear what seemed like voices      metallic insect-like voices    laced with occasional bands of staticky noise    nervously chattering mandibules and sharp     fidgety claws clickety clacketing    and in the midst of the images I was receiving from the computers of my sister’s intra-psychic landscapes    there began to appear pitch black   angular shapes     heads with angular pointy ears on wide   angular shoulders from which issued black pointy bat-like wings with sharp claws at their ends   but somehow these were flat    two dimensional shapes gliding without effort among the images of the varied tissue-like geological structures    textures and colors of my sister’s landscapes    as I looked more intently into my self    into my mind    I saw that the flat     bat-like shapes where issueing from one central place    one central point    an annulus   perhaps the very center of my mind    gliding rapidly they began to form circles of flat    sharp    angular bat-like shapes turning clockwise and counterclockwise    one circle within another     suddenly reminding me of M.C. Escher’s woodcut “Circle Limit IV” with it’s concentric circles of black bats     their humming   mumbling chatter    the electrical humming of their metallic mandibules chattering   ringing in my ears and in my insides     driving me mad    tearing at the tissues of my mind    tickling me in different areas of my body    from the inside out    from inside my body     I began to wonder if he too    Escher   had encountered these creatures    these dark angels that now swarmed in my insides    the static of their electric thoughts buzzing in my ears     mumbling mindlessly   they began to nip and cut      nibble     bite and tear at my insides     with their razor sharp angular shoulders and pointy ears they slashed and stabbed at my flesh from within     first at my liver and spleen    then   with their razor sharp claws they tore at my kidneys     my bladder and intestines   scooping out my insides   slashing at the connective tissues that keep the organs in place    puncturing my lungs till they collapsed    stabbing at my heart with their scorpion-like tails    in the far distance I could hear a terrifying scream as if the sky was being ripped asunder     as the scream got deafeningly closer I opened my eyes only to realize the scream was mine    I saw my sister     mouth agape      staring at the wall in front of her paralyzed with fear     I turned my eyes in the direction she was looking and saw a swarm of the shadow-like   two-dimensional creatures swirling round the room   they glided effortlessly along the walls     ceiling and floor     their point of origin seeming to be the vertices of the room’s corners – he says with agitation - instinctively I pulled off the electrode headset and jumping out of the chair   ran as fast as I could to the equipment rack in the back of the room and immediately killed the master power switch to which all of the lab’s electronic equipment is connected      the mayhem disappeared almost instantly – he says with a grimace – they exist in the electrical system you see    in the flow of electrons    it may very well be that another dimension     another universe exists in the electrical system     the flow of electric current   the stream of particles    of electrons    opens up doorways into other worlds where these beings exist     perhaps electricity itself is alive      a kind of living process    with a mind     a consciousness of its own     perhaps through the quantum processes that go on in our brains     something like quantum entanglement ocurrs     our brains    our minds share the same particles with other beings in other dimensions     enabling our minds to connect with theirs    I must admit   a frightening thought – he says whispering softly – it may very well be that these beings    these entities have been my editors all along     cutting and pasting   rearranging my writings    turning them into something I can’t recognize as my own . . .      
                                                              it was the editors I’m sure – he says gasping for air - and if it wasn’t them   then it was . . . just as they rearranged my insides    my organs    they started to change things around    change my brain waves   put thoughts    language    voices in my head I didn’t have there before     I didn’t want there   they put writing in my head    on my pages I didn’t want    never meant to be . . .       
                                                                                                     it was the editors – he mutters cautiously -  I’m sure    who nearly killed me    they might as well have   just as they scooped all my organs out    they took my works away from me   they took my words away from me    my writings   my excretions   they obviously wanted me dead     dead in life    a kind of living death is what they had in store for me    keeping me half alive   this is the torment they’ve had in store for me all along    they scrambled my brains   my thoughts    so that I could not have a single    clear thought or insight anymore     I could never love anything I wrote after they finished with me    my body   my mind     after they finished with it   my writings   completely destroyed – he says with desperation - they destroyed the original intention   the original vision   under the pretext of producing something they said the public wants to read    as if anyone knows what the public wants   or even if the public reads at all    or if the public even exists for that matter!    they destroyed the structure of my works    in most cases    it is the structure that says everything    just as much   if not more than the words themselves   I mean to say   the internal relationships between the sections and subsections of the work  as well as the relationship between each of the works themselves   they completely erased the experimental    exploratory nature of my works   turning them into the opposite    turning them into the conformist    complacent kind of literature one finds everywhere     I could never love any of my books after that   I could never consider them mine anymore   they merely had my name on them   but it wasn’t me who wrote those books    not after they finished with them   they changed everything in them   in my books   they altered everything   after they completely rearranged them beyond recognition   I could never see them   read them again   consider them as mine   consider them mine   they claimed the main idea was still there   in the books    that it was the best part of the books    this they said patronizing me    as if I couldn’t see what they had done   but of course the main idea was the experimental nature of the works which they discarded completely   they claimed the main idea as theirs   which they completely changed into the usual drab linear narrative   thus erasing it  the main idea so-called    of course there was more than one main idea    as they called it   they were complex    you couldn’t reduce them down to just one idea    it was censorship plain and simple    it was politically   ideologically motivated without a doubt   the philistines wanted narrative   they wanted narrative stories   they said the public wanted something they were familiar with   something they knew    they said the public liked that   that they like what they know and that they didn’t want any changes made   they said the public knows what it likes and it likes what it knows   it likes what it knows and it knows what it likes    tight little circle this   pretty as the truth tied at both ends – the old man says bitingly - they said they didn’t want this little circle   this vicious little circle of theirs    this nasty little limit cycle of theirs broken    this was not the time to inject new information into it   they said the public doesn’t want its little habits changed    its reading and thinking habits   the public’s perceptual habits should not be changed   should not be challenged in any way – the old man says annoyed - this is what they said    that the time was not ripe for change   but of course it never is! – he gestures angrily - of course   by doing this   by re-interpreting my writings in their own image   and releasing them to the public as mine    the so-called public of which I know nothing and for which I have nothing but contempt    they   the editors   were preparing the way for my suicide   I am discarded   I am discharged like so much refuse   a vagrant   so much jetsam  
the I is discarded   this whole story was   is about the destruction of the self   this gradual process of degradation    a long process of erosion that takes years and which got me to where I am now   living in the rubble of what was once myself – he mutters slowly with trembling voice holding on to what’s left of his cigarette with a shaky hand, his knees too tremble, his entire body shudders with dread like an animal in a slaughterhouse sensing the nearness of its time – they took me away from myself you see – he whimpers - they made sure my voice had been made ineffective   I had never even met them    this Mr. Q and this Ms. Z    my editors    I never met them in the flesh   face to face    I don’t even know if they exist    I called the publishers  enquiring after them   but they were always out   they worked from their homes I was told   and were not to be bothered as they were now involved in an enormous translation project and had no time for me and my petty problems   so I was told    of course by changing my writings    my language   they were changing my thinking    by changing the structure of my writings   they were changing my insides   by re-arranging the structure of my writings   they were re-arranging my insides   by changing my language they were also changing my perceptions   pushing me ever closer to madness   it was becoming necessary that I change things back to the way they were originally   I needed to protect myself – he says with increasing desperation – I found it necessary to re-write everything I had written until then   until now    everything that had been published in my name    in an attempt to repossess my work   my legacy    rescue it from these horrendous misrepresentations    of course   in order to do that I had to misrepresent the published works again     misquote and plagiarize the books and writings that had been published in my name    this was a kind of ritual for purifying myself   a self purifying ritual    I mean to say
                                            certain rites are necessary to purify and protect the space around oneself in which one works you see   this is an absolute necessity   of course it was this obsession with the main themes in my works    that of the destruction of the individual   of the self    and that of how language can re-shape   redefine reality and the self   how it can influence and change our perception of reality and therefore     how it     language
can re-define and change us as individuals   the map may not be the territory   but it is most definitely part of it and what’s more    the map itself is a kind of territory – he emphasizes vehemently wheezing – it was these two recurrent themes that brought me to the place where I find myself today   my self demolished   a veritable collection of rubble   unable to find the energy   the peace of mind with which to collect myself   pick up the pieces   literally – he says sighing again – it was these two recurrent themes in my work   one: the destruction of the individual and two: language as a determining factor in how we think and perceive reality   its hallucinogenic properties    and its role as a determining factor in the construction of identity and therefore the individual   these two themes that   ironically    have led to my destruction – he slumps back down into his chair exhausted breathing again with difficulty -  if only I could tell someone about this    if only I could tell people about this   but nowadays   no one talks to anybody   no one listens to anybody   there are all these barriers   everywhere you go   everywhere you look   there are barriers    walls and moats    trenches and barbed wire fences   endless divisors and mazes    erected first in our minds   then all around us in the so-called world outside as excretions of our insides   of course   I talk to all kinds of people   people of all ages you see    I mean to say   if I could talk   if I could go outside   leave this house   if I could walk   I would speak to anybody   a child   an old person    a teenager   a young adult   a student   I could speak to anyone   if I could speak   if I could walk   their age   their station   would be irrelevant   we’ve all been there at some point in our lives   as youngsters   or will soon be there when we get older   all these barriers we have erected and maintain in ourselves and around each other   why do we go on like this? – he enquires barely audible as he stares vacantly at the wall in front of him – I look to the sky   the night sky and no longer see the stars   it has been years since I’ve seen stars   in this city of gray   gray skies   gray walls and gray   foggy nights   there are no stars to be seen   anywhere   the world is a progressive dimming of light    it is only the incomprehensible that has any conviction . . .
                                                                                                                liking  disliking what does any of that mean? – he says pensively drifting off into silence - hob knobbing with hobgoblins! – he suddenly cries out - I care not for extracting more than utter gloom  from this our human landscape of inconceivable devastation!     to ward off the contingent    toward warding off the contained offerings    con . . . con . . . contaminated!    as I’ve already said    this is what we struggle with throughout our lives – he mutters softly almost sobbing - those scenes lifted from real life so-called     the storm  reasserts itself     unable to let go    yet   at the same time    unable to hold on     all of the arts    all such endeavors are dead     pointless – he says softly with mild derision – have been for quite some time now   as well they should be    for they are expressions of a time long gone     it is the silence we must now face together     only one moment of silence and darkness brings us all together    unites us all in a single terrifying realization      that of our bare naked existence – he mutters distractedly staring at the floor as the light suddenly shifts in the room - all of the twentieth century with its various schools      its various movements     its avant gardes    with its aspirations to revolution and changing the world      all of the twentieth century with its sacrificial   heroic movements    was nothing more than an extension of Romanticism and the acknowledgement of the latter’s failure to achieve its goals    we flail haplessly in our self made prisons    helplessly     unable to face the hopelessness of hoping    of course    to exist is to exert conditioning power on the world    it’s a two way street    why doesn’t anybody see this? – he asks almost squealing -
                            killing life     killing the world with our thoughts     they force me to repeat myself you see    they take me away from myself    from my body     they make me choke on mine own words     subject to a naïve    a simplistic conception of matter    we turn life  into so much inert material     over analyzing everything to death    into death    with our deadly beliefs    we turn the entire world into one large necrotic mass    one gigantic heap of corpses    the new born come into this world among so much death    the muck of putrefaction   why! ones semen is black    necrotic!    in the end    only kindness mutters     to itself – he chuckles softly – what more is left us    the  tedious   mendacious lot    but to destroy ourselves and each other and everything else    we hate everything   anything   anyone that makes us feel lesser   inferior   inadequate    and life    the universe     makes us feel very small    insignificant    we can’t stand it    we can’t take it    we are incapable of accepting it you see    and we can’t change it   control it    nor can we destroy it    but out of spite then    we will destroy one of its creations    ourselves!    ourselves and this world our planet and everything in it    poisoning everything to death!     the life of the intellectual is a dry   meaningless    lonely life     after all this time  aah aaah I’ve arrived at this realization only to see that all my accomplishments are vain and empty and that reality is so much more than I     in my arrogant    myopic view     had envisioned   reality is so much more complex and magical than we can grasp with our words    our thoughts   the most astute verbal descriptions and constructions     the most clever forms of thinking don’t come close to grasping what’s happening all around us and in ourselves and what we do to the world    subject as we are    have been for centuries    to a naïve     simplistic conception of matter    of materialism    turning life into so much inert matter     over analyzing everything to death   into death I should say   it is into  death that we analyze everything    killing life    killing the world with our thoughts    of course they are all fighting each other all the time   killing each other in the most insidious ways    in an attempt to consolidate their turf    what they see as their turf   their territory   in an attempt to establish superiority    intellectuals and artists    writers    poets and composers everywhere fighting each other   fighting each other over bits of scrap thrown at them by the philistines   the business class    they fight each other over beauty   what they think is beautiful    beauty and truth    wanting to be the first    the only ones who express the truth    wanting to be right    always right    wanting to be the only direct conduit    the only messengers of the Gods   of the truth and therefore establish their superiority over everyone else    all along blind to the fact that all the fighting and its ensuing nastiness is the only truth and it isn’t a beautiful one    quite the contrary    it’s very ugly   it has the ugliness of ego    of selfishness behind it     motivating it     it is the same nastiness behind all the wars all the ugliness and suffering we humans are capable of and have seen throughout the hundreds     the thousands of years of our sordid history   wanting to feel superior     all this born out of a sense of disdain for the human   the mortal   the body and its imperfections   our fear of what’s inevitable     our fear of death and decay   our fear of life  - he suddenly looks at me grinning and swivels around playfully in his chair tapping his feet on the dusty floor displacing dust balls and cigarette butts - 

those there are who think me negative – he says derisively – negative   positive   what’s it all mean?   more dualism   more fragmentation    which is at the root of all our problems – he snickers - just think of this    all those wonderful people – he says again mockingly – all those artists   and scientist    those teachers and composers with all their wonderful works   their contributions to history    to culture    to knowledge    to so-called humanity – he emphasizes snidely – not to mention all those wonderful   positive human beings who shall remain forever anonymous   those loving mothers and fathers who had nothing but kindness to give their children    all those teachers who had nothing but support to offer their students    all those wonderful anonymous people   with all their positive thinking   their optimism and perseverance   their love for humanity   none of that managed to prevent   to stop the First World War   the massacre of one million Armenians at the hands of the Turks    the horrendous exploitation of the Congolese by the Belgian    the extermination of the indigenous peoples of the Americas    the death camps and all the other horrors of the Second World War   the Vietnam War   the rise of all manner of brutal totalitarianisms   global Capitalism being the latest incarnation   the ongoing conquest and destruction of the natural world    this sort of thing   this rage against life   against ourselves and each other   this has been going on for hundreds   thousands of years   this destructive movement   evolving throughout time  becoming more and more devastating like a growing wave    a sunami   an avalanche
                                                                   all that positive thinking   all that love and optimism   all that hope   has proven useless in face of the destructive force that is humanity   for we are a destructive force   obviously   just being positive and optimistic is not enough   especially when such optimism entails denial   closing off the so-called negative within ourselves   not facing and dealing with it head on
                                                                                           obviously   avoiding these things doesn’t make them go away   all the deathly weariness of human existence   as we have seen throughout the centuries    quite the contrary   it comes back with a vengeance
                 our country     all of humanity in fact     is shock    shock and awe   as the military    strategic term goes      a totality involving a ruthless and brain destroying recipe that corrodes one’s resolve to the core   
                                                           in such a weakened state     everyone       including one’s closest family and friends     turns on you    they do everything they can to make you falter     to undermine you     drive you over the edge to suicide    they have no interest in seeing who and what you really are     only in so far as they can use you     exploit you in some manner    this is what they do to you    they judge you      label you    brand you with an image they have concocted in their twisted minds and then treat you accordingly for the rest of your life   in effect freezing  you into a position     into a collection of habits and behaviours from which you can’t break free and which serve as justification for the punishment    the violence they enjoy inflicting on you – he says in a loud hoarse whisper - this destructiveness we see everywhere in our society   in our world    this unabashed hostility    is especially directed at thinkers   intellectuals and artists     people who think and question   people who create new ways of seeing    listening    thinking and feeling    it is directed also at sensitives    seers    people of deep spirituality . . . this has been going on for centuries    thousands of years in fact    but in recent history    it has taken an especially nasty turn with the rise of the industrial age and capitalism    this in combination with anglo-saxon Protestantism and positivism – he says smirking again – anglo-saxon capitalist pragmatism in combination with positivism has completely enslaved our world    has turned our world     ourselves included – he says grimacing again – into so much raw material to be dissected and exploited with impunity . . . an environment   a society that is itself obsessive    fixated on denial   it    society   obsesively looks away from the suffering it has caused and is actively involved in causing    even now as we speak – he frowns and coughs, then continues – as I’ve already said   by talking incessantly and walking around in circles I keep them at bay    it is a kind of ritual dance    an ancient ritual dance   you see   to scare away evil spirits     I learned it from the Abipon   an indigenous people of South America    you know    they lived in the lower Bermejo River area in the Gran Chaco of Argentina     it is more effective if more people are involved    forming a large circle    walking around in circles     chanting and talking    sometimes shouting so as to generate a field of energy the spirits can’t penetrate . . . we are surrounded by them here    our cities are crawling with them    you know    we attract them with our negative thoughts and violent ways    they love our gossip    our mendacity    as do we  you might say they feed on it . . . but if . . . as it is claimed . . . the Buddhists say in the Lankavatara Suttra      that we create reality with our minds     that we create objective reality with our minds    and presumably that means   with our brains . . . – he mutters desperately, aimlessly shuffling about mechanically on the floor – but no . . . no . . . – he stands still for a moment, cigarette in hand, staring vacantly at the wall in front of him, drool dangling from his lower lip and then he suddenly exclaims - what am I saying!   here I go again talking my head off    I meant to show you!    I wanted to show you how this contraption of ours works!     the very interesting results we get with it – he walks toward the equipment rack and flicks on the main power switch, all of the equipment lights up, he then sits at the computers and turns them on, the screens light up and he boots into the system and opens several applications and programs, SuperCollider 3.8 among them, the lights on the interface units blinking - I’m sure that as an artist yourself    as a composer    you will find these results to be very interesting – he says enthusiastically. In one of the screens I see images consisting of complex textures and shapes of varying colors and hues, they look like electron microscope images of different kinds of tissues. Some of the images also look like landscapes consisting of various geological terrains. The colors, shapes and textures seem to shift slowly as if they were alive, breathing. I assume these are examples of his sister’s visual art. On the other screen I see a window with code and another window for a DAW; the digital to analog interface unit that controls up to thirty two channels through which signals are routed. He gets up and asks me to sit at one of the screens and instructs me to click on three virtual buttons with the mouse cursor when he tells me to. He quickly walks over to the modified dentist’s chair and nimbly jumps into it, then, reaching above and behind him with his hands, he takes hold of the headset with the electrodes and fits it onto his head with ease. He then lays back into the chair and closes his eyes. Taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly, gently, he seems to sink into a deep state of relaxation. In a soft voice, he directs me to click the first button. I suddenly see on the SuperCollider oscilloscope window an image of several very low frequency sine waves. Their frequencies are so low I can’t hear any of them. I look over to the old man and see a gentle smile on his face. I assume this must be the phase cancellation process he had described earlier. I look at the old man and he seems to be in a very deep sleep, his eyes appear to be moving behind his closed eyelids as it happens in REM sleep. About a minute later I’m startled by a very low and distant voice; a basso profundo coming from the professor, a voice I don’t recognize as his. The voice tells me to click on the next two buttons in sequence, which I do with a growing sense of unease. I look at the screens and see the images of his sister’s artwork becoming more active; their shapes, textures and colors mutating, changing over time into very different patterns and landscapes from where they had original begun. This seems to have activated the SuperCollider synthesis program that is now producing sounds of different frequencies, amplitudes, timbre and articulation; creating shifting textures of varying complexity that seem to correspond to the changing images of his sister’s art. The sounds are projected through an array of eight speakers the professor has distributed around the room creating a surround-sound effect that gives me the sensation of being immersed in a kind of environment, a kind of substance: a veritable roiling ocean of sounds and images. For several minutes I sit watching and listening enthralled, I look over at the professor and see that except for very shallow breathing, he is absolutely motionless. I turn my head back toward the computer screens and as I do I seem to hear a low frequency humming or churning sound. I move my head slightly to the left and then slightly to the right and I think I hear something like a low-pitched mumbling or chanting whose origin I can’t place. I get up from the chair and walk around the studio slowly moving my head in one direction and then the other trying to locate the source. I hear a sudden sound coming from the professor and see he is clutching frenetically at the armrests of the chair and shaking violently from head to toe. In a panic I leap back toward the desk realizing the old man never explained how to get him out of his trance should anything go wrong. I look at the computer monitors and see a dark figure dart across the screen where the artworks are. Another figure quickly glides past and then another. The ceiling and the desk lamps begin to flicker wildly. The monitor where the sound synthesis code was has now gone black and a stream of large, bright green symbols unknown to me stream up and down the screen in a kind of cascading motion. I look back at the professor and see he is now convulsing madly and foaming at the mouth. In the other monitor screen I see the dark, bat-like figures the professor had described earlier, arrayed in concentric circles turning in opposite directions from each other and I begin to hear too a kind of speech consisting of metallic like clicking and electric buzzing sounds coming through the studio’s speakers. All of a sudden a terrifying scream rents the room like a lightning bolt and I see the professor sitting up straight in his chair, eyes and mouth wide open as he screams hysterically at the top of his lungs grasping at his head with both hands. Flinging his arms toward the ceiling he collapses onto the floor sobbing as the studio door flings open and Helena, the old man’s sister, rushes in – Allan! Allan! – she screams – what have you done! what have you done! – she screams again and running toward him falls to her knees and puts her arms around him. Angular shadows are now cropping up from behind the work bench, the shelves and stacks of equipment, they glide effortlessly along the walls, ceiling and floor seeming to issue from the vertices of the room’s corners. In sheer terror, I pull myself together and lurch toward the study door and in one sudden move push myself through the threshold and sluggishly, as if in a dream, amble down the darkened hallway toward the glass paneled door and the foyer behind it awkwardly bumping into the paper clad walls in a daze. I reach the foyer door and clutching the handle fling it open in a fury. The door slams against the wall shattering several of the glass panels, the shards fall to the carpeted floor with a muffled clinking sound. In a frenzy I pull at the front door [stop??] and throw it to the side and frenetically begin fumbling with the many bolts, latches and locks the door is fitted with. Behind me I hear cries and screams issuing from the professor and his sister and behind them, the hypnotic chanting of the metallic, insect-like voices of the shadow creatues. Seconds seem to stretch into minutes and minutes into hours as I struggle with the door until finally, I undo the last latch and unlock the last lock and mustering all my strength pull the heavy metal door open and leap onto the steps that lead to the side walk outside. I turn around and with fear and anger, slam the door shut. I stand still listening. All I hear are the normal street sounds of a late fall afternoon; the occasional sound of traffic and passersby and a few sparrows squabbling over some crumbs of food on the sidewalk. Puting the hood of my coat over my head I turn north and begin walking at a fast pace

up Noordeinde street into the late afternoon’s drizzle, past the queen’s working palace, heading out of the old Zeeheldenkwartier. I walk up to Mauritskade and the canal that runs along side it and cross over onto Zeestraat heading north toward Scheveningseweg. In a few minutes I reach the inersection of Javastraat and Scheveningseweg and veer slightly to the west onto the latter. In a few more minutes I’m walking past Carnegie Plain and the Vredespaleis; the Peace Palace where the International Tribunal resides. 
                                                                                                     as I walk on in a panic    frenetically   against the north wind    every so often turning my head     looking back over my shoulder     I begin to mutter    I don’t know what I’m uttering    perhaps out of fear and anger    I’m cursing     I mutter to myself as I walk along    I can’t understand what I’m saying    I seem to hear myself say     my dreams disown me    perhaps I’m chanting     at the wind and rain     at the dark rolling sky     soon Scheveningseweg bends straight north    and as I reach the old sycamore trees that line the  avenue    not knowing why    I begin to run     at first slowly   then   at an even and moderate pace    the cold     drizzle-laden breeze gently caresses my face    as I run      I settle into a kind of mesmerized state    soon I’m running through the Scheveningse Bosjes park on my right and the Zorgvliet park on my left   in time     I begin to sing    perhaps I’m chanting     maybe I’m speaking in tongues as I seem to hear another voice whispering again     a life still mine   it says    a still life mine      in bits and pieces   girones de viento   in shreds of breezes speaking

all sorts of things rush by,
all that and much more rushed by,
what does it river mean?
by foot or on the wing becoming and going
into off course with a smile

a stray stream into endings just beginning         
accidental  and resisting foiled interest into messy logic    
other territories from discourses ended      
divisive islets of meaning
meandering as growing sand banks move across the page careening   

whenever and ever as whatever it means to mean     
the sea helps to place a space a splace
splicing the place and the space into two overlapping waves licking
                                                                                              
there is why a wall       to ask a mark
because     becomes turned alleged question before to
speak in knots        which is to say     what a cul de sac

a ledge where a voice is what and who speaks of it
terminated      breathing as song initiated at
moments before a blank page    

wavefunction as what   
be before becomes comes into
being be cuase  be becomes why
laid bare     bore because agape in cloudlessness      
be because becomes be caused     
became turned away things turned out

commencing here against each other and
one another as be before goes round unfolding into answer   
wrapped around which wrap around what
which wrap round afternoon moment turned
unfolding said it is said and what of it
is what and why the in as it is a trace to sentence falling      

the only of which it is the of    
of it itself  as de-forming into chiaroscuro
as eye language just begun    

by no to something nothing is but
what to remains of motions terminated     
there is and much more that is to say what
and then pushing what words wait for thought        

spacing         

sign flotsam discombobulation  
                                        some jetsam to forget      

and then some more again so what of it   
it means what it is what means it is      
-guished  from each other  
-sively ideological         

nobody now knows  what dissipation’s wren
a talk in a breeze of doubt  
to what of it and then some edges left to the to      
undo the what it is that these are a tangent of
                                        
is almost a say

the page where on when      
the moment to each and away    
another to which  
is or is not on debris is on   
on as away 
is a bare is a or is on a cloudlesssstreaming
sensual
              so what of it
              it means a what
              it is it means
                                    we each kept each we kept
a then now and when in what to which to say a violet
Listening to the whirls.
                                Una maraña de cosas, all tangled up in sound
                                                                                          In formation with - or lately at least –
             More variety in the form of repetition
                                                                    another time around;
This continuity to which “I” belongs.
                                                       means by a sea repeating       
                                      
                        reproduced enough                                           becomes into being because                       
                                              such that enough again restriction ended
               to antipathy this day of clear cut divisions
                                                     moans by a sea retreating    so tiresome the things
and meaning the names now droop away    
                                            what breath blows what leaves into sun’s waves  coalesce       
        whose inflection beyond prone
                                         language     something sometimes remains ended
motions piece a blank plank across out by the telling     reasons with light interjections scrambled
                                                     howl’s appropriate place is when
      and now a remains
                                               from which broken erroneous formation message
continuity gap agape frozen circuit explosive
meaning “I” as of in the with what distinction plenty marks a place
                        enough more resting just begun
endings growing again meaning laid bare because things                 and one answers       became speak
a ledge terminated and then it is what –sively and then these the page away is then by now a means 
such that this day of clear cut erosions began deforming
                                                 languaging
landscapes of languages colliding as wheat against blue to light of fiction
                                    fricative nasal plosives in-
                                                                   formation with or lately at least     all sorts,
                  all that what and does rushed by on foot talking
at speaking becomes smile
                                     knots freely disproportionate into a reduced version of this continuity
 as something other than working against the shaping     
                      final fallen repetition  I mean
plenty marks a place   
some so such and so such is enough  
such that enough some so much said made so 
gives this constantly summer into
 interactive about which just then so remembers
                  what this is      stories foreigneous  ‘n everything
                                                         just because discovered at intrusive of when is then
windblown light about which of these so figured words
wait in wobbly places    
                                   so much so words
more much so that then enough much so
that made when is said so much
so said that them words
 again seldom said begun again so said and
  
Interjections with scrambled howls approximate
change remains sometimes appropriate wandering
up ended motions now piece a blank page
listening to the whereabouts of when
                              what words were saying in swirls churning this thought in
           something making here a petal      
                                              liking them they think not only who as much or any some not what
                                   will they when a knot make      unwinding pauses
                                                         what when were you saying what an intent was
                that were saying is overgrown
                                                      should be in thought translated as 
                                                                  whisper interjections change up-ended listening
                   were saying something think not will they what
                                              that translating whisper howls at blank page
                          so much across coalescing language
                 telling reasons said so much more than enough 

sometimes changes

I find myself wandering near the area where Scheveningseweg bends slightly east becoming Prins Willemstraat which, in turn, veers north-east becoming Juriaan Kokstraat taking me into the town of Scheveningen proper where the street changes name again becoming Gevers Deynootweg; the large avenue that runs parallel to the Scheveningen beach on the North Sea.
                I walk in a daze for a while oblivious of the traffic and the crowds that frequent this busy part of the town and then head for the beach. Once there I make a sharp right toward the east in the direction of a town called Wassenaar. I walk past the old hotel, the Kuurhuis, the Skyview pier and the vacant nudist beach, then, onward to Het Puntje and the wooden stairs that will lead me up the dune to where the old German bunkers stand.
                                                                                                                         The beach extends for miles and miles, not a soul can be seen. In the distance, I hear a ship’s foghorn. The night is rapidly closing in. A cold, damp breeze picks up from the sea bringing in more rain down from a roiling, dark gray sky. In time, I see Het Puntje and the wooden stairs that rise up to the dark silent shapes of the bunkers on the grassy dune-tops. They look like patient sentinels, silently looking out to the watery horizon, reminding me of the moai of Easter Island. I amble up the old wooden stairs toward the dark looming shapes of the bunkers. Once there, standing at the top of the dune, I turn my gaze back to the sea       I feel the cold breeze pleasantly caress my face and see a heavy bank of fog moving slowly on the surface of the water toward the shore       I mutter to the sea     I mutter to the darkness as I turn around and move further on up the dune until I reach a rusty old sign that says Verboten!: Forbidden! hanging from the fence that separates the field of bunkers from the pedestrian path.
                                                                             I reach for the fence’s barbed wires and with both hands pull them apart. I duck under and in between and soon find myself in a field of tall, blond grasses heading uneasily toward a bunker.




I wonder if there might be any old land mines left over from the war. Inland, in the distance behind me, in the midst of the Scheveningen wilderness-preserve, the old water tower’s light dimly illuminates the southern façade of the bunker; it is covered in graffiti.  I wander aimlessly for a while among the tall grasses and weeds that grow everywhere      until I find what I’m looking for 
                                           muttering to the breeze     I lay myself down in a furrow carved out in the sand by the north wind      covered over by a scrub of weeds and grasses     snug in my overcoat    feet pointing toward the gray North Sea     belly warm with the contents of the flask in my pocket      I mutter again to the breeze    
                                                                                        a life still mine     I hear it whisper back    in bits and pieces     strung together in word metal scraps     a still life mine    I hear it whisper      a life in bits and pieces    strung together     in word metal scraps     same old words    same old scraps    a patch work    a million times over    and then some more     and then again     I mutter to the sand again   
                                                                                      I mutter to the sea     to the sand     to the pale    tall grasses leaning over me     I mutter to the dark rolling sky      I mutter to the graffiti covered walls of the bunkers nearby     and the fog . . . the cold gray fog seeping into everything



Acknowledgement

                               Some sections of Dr. Sarturnian’s Monologue are composites made of bits and pieces taken from other texts, whether in the form of a direct quote or as paraphrases, which when put together in collage or bricollage fashion, constitute the professor’s “voice” or rather, his many voices. A list of these sources is provided below.

1) Adorno, Th. W., “La posición del narrador en la novella contemporánea,” Notas Sobre Literatura, Obra Completa, 11, De la edición de bolsillo, Ediciones Akal, S.A., 2003, Sector Foresta, 1, 28760 Tres Cantos, Madrid, España.  My translation.
(Adorno, Theodor W., “The Position of the Narrator in the Contemporary Novel,” Notes on Literature, Complete Works, 11, From the pocket editions, Ediciones Akal, S.A., 2003, Sector Foresta, 1, 28760 Tres Cantos, Madrid, España.  My translation.)
________________, “La forma en la nueva música,” Escritos Musicales III, Escritos Musicales I – III, Obra Completa, 16, Ediciones Akal, S.A., 2006, Sector Foresta, 1, 28760 Tres Cantos, Madrid, España. My translation.
(_______________, “Form in New Music,” Musical Writings III, Musical Writings I – III, Complete Works, 16, Ediciones Akal, S.A., 2006, Sector Foresta, 1, 28760 Tres Cantos, Madrid, España. My translation.)

2) Artaud, Antonin, “Artaud the Momo,” Watchfiends & Rack Screams: Works From The Final Period, Ed. And trans. By Clayton Eshleman and Bernard Bador, Boston, Exact Change, 1995.

3) Barthes, Roland, “Writing and the Novel,” Writing Degree Zero, trans. Annette Lavers and Colin Smith, Hill and Wang, 1977.

4) Bataille, Georges, “Oresteia,” The Impossible,  trans. Robert Hurley, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1991.

5) Bernhard, Thomas, Gargoyles, trans. Richard and Clara Winston, The University of Chicago Press, 1986.
__________________, Gathering Evidence: A Memoire and My Prizes, translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway, Second Vintage International Edition, November 2011.
__________________, Old Masters: A Comedy, translated from the German by Ewald Osers, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1992.
__________________, The Loser, translated from the German by Jack Dawson, Afterword by Mark M. Anderson, Vintage International, Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, October 2006.

6) Bernstein, Charles, “Artifice of Absorption,” A Poetics, Harvard University Press, 1992.
_______________,  “Hearing Voices,” in The Sound of Poetry, the Poetry of Sound edited by Marjorie Perloff and Craig Dworkin, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London 2009.

7) Bonca, Cornel, Don Delillo’s White Noise: The Natural Language of the Species, in White Noise: Text and Criticism, Don Dellilo, ed. Mark Osteen (New York: Viking critical library, Published by the Penguin Group 1998).

8) Deleuze, Gilles, Guattari, Felix, “Becoming Intense, Becoming Animal, Becoming Imperceptible,” A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Translation and Forward by Brian Massumi, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2009.

9) Dworkin, Craig, “The Stutter of Form,” in The Sound of Poetry, the Poetry of Sound edited by Marjorie Perloff and Craig Dworkin, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London 2009.

10) Ehresman, David E., Wessel, David L., Perception of Timbral Analogies, IRCAM, 31 rue Saint-Merri, F-75004, Paris and, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, U.S.A.

11) Flowers, Brandon, “Spaceman,” Day & Age, The Killers, Island Records, 2008.

12) Gallup, Smith, Tolhurst, “Charlotte Sometimes,” Standing on a Beach, The Cure, Elektra Records, 1986.

13) Goldsmith, Kenneth, “Introduction,” in Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age, New York: Columbia University Press 2011.
_______________, “Language as Material,” in Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in    the Digital Age, New York: Columbia University Press 2011.
_______________, “Revenge of the Text,” in Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in    the Digital Age, New York: Columbia University Press 2011.

14) Paulson, William R., “Literature and the Division of Knowledge,” The Noise of Culture: Literary Texts in a World of Information, Cornell University Press, 1988.

15) Perloff, Marjorie, “After Language Poetry: Innovation and Its Theoretical Discontents,” in Differentials: Poetry, Poetics, Pedagogy, Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press 2004.
____________, “Language Poetry and the Lyric Subject: Ron Silliman’s Albany, Susan Howe’s Buffalo in Differentials: Poetry, Poetics, Pedagogy, Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press 2004.
____________, “Unoriginal Genius: An Introduction,in Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 2010.

16) Serres, Michel, “Rats’ Meals – Cascades,” The Parasite, trans. Lawrence R. Schehr, University of Minnesotta Press, Minneapolis, London, 2007.

17) Silliman, Ron, “Who Speaks: Ventriloquism and the Self in the Poetry Reading” in Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word, ed. Charles Bernstein, New York, New York, Oxford University Press 1998).

18) Stevens, Wallace, Collected Poetry and Prose, The Library of America, 1996.


Endnotes 



1. The highness or lowness of a sound which is measured in Hertz or  cycles per second (CPS).
2. The loudeness (or volume) of a sound which is a function of how much energy a sound has.
3. The frequency and amplitude information in the attack of a sound which are determining factors in that sound’s timbre (or tone color) and which enable our ears to identify the source of sounds and, distinguish one sound from another, e.g., the sound of a violin from that of a flute
4. In Electronic and computer music, a patch is a constellation or system of generators and processors (also known as Unit Generators or UG) which are connected to each other and which generate and process signals. There are different types of generators and processors. For example, a White Noise generador generates a kind of noise called White Noise. A High Pass Filter is a type of signal processor which allows through only high frequencies from a signal. If we were to connect the White Noise generador to the High Pass Filter, we would only hear the higher frequencies of the White Noise.
5. SuperCollider 3 is an object-oriented programing language for sound synthesis and digital signal processing originally created by James McCartney in 1996. In 2002, when he joined the Apple Core Audio Team, he released SC under the terms of the GNU General Public License. SC3 is now developed and maintained by an active  and enthusiastic community. It can be downloaded for free at http://supercollider.sourceforge.net.
6. i.e.,  patches.
7. A kind of Unit Generator that controls a signal’s attack, sustain, amplitude and duration.
8. Frequency Modulation syntesis is an electronic music technique where the timbre of a waveform (the carrier) is changed by modulating its frequency with the frequency of another waveform (the modulator) that is also in the audio range. The result is a more complex waveform with a different timbre. There can be multiple Carriers and modulators which make for even more complex timbres and sound textures.
9. Fast Fourier Transform is a technique used in computer music to analyze the frequency content of a sound’s spectra. Complex waveforms can be deconstructed into combinations of simple waves of different amplitudes, frequencies and phases.
10. Granulation or Granulation Synthesis is a technique used in computer music in which an electronically generated sound or a sound file is broken up into very small fragments called grains. These grains can be used as building blocks for larger sound objects as when they are scattered to form cloud-like structures or organizad into streams.
11. In digital signal processing, aliasing (also known as foldover) is a kind of distortion that occurs when the sampling rate of a sound is more than one-half of the sampling rate. Half of the sampling rate is called the Nyquist frequency. So, if we have a sampling rate of 20,000 Hz (where the Nyquist frequency is 10,000 Hz) and we are trying to sample a sound that has a frequency of 12,000Hz (2000Hz higher than the Nyquist frequency) we will get foldover or aliasing with a resulting sound that has a frequency of 8000 Hz. Aliasing can produce some interesting sound artifacts.