On wind from the west off the hudson walking...
thursday, february 8, 2001
This was spoken almost in real time, walking up 7th Avenue from 23rd to work above 37th Street, at work.com.
Corrine Sheman was a girl older than me with whom I "went out," or was going steady: kissed and certainly smelled. (I still can.) I had a Beatrice complex toward her, sadly lost. She was 12 years old, and I was nine. We met on the swing set.
It matters not what we think we are when we are in the clear most allowed to see what matters not.
"Trace" comes up here, and I was not thinking of that trace Spivak made in translating Derrida, viz. her preface to Of Grammatology: "I stick to 'trace' in my translation, because it 'looks the same' as Derrida's word; the reader must remind himself of at least the track, even the spoor, contained within the French word," which Derrida employs to compass his "absence of a presence," AKA "differance", "arch-writing", "pharmakos/pharmakon." Essentially "specter" is Jack Spicer's "spook." Any other word than "trace" would have done as well, including "pig iron," or "remember this pig iron." Though remembering, too, in speech there is a taste in the mouth of what Rene Daumal's word kha lights:
"The Sanskrit name for the zero is kha, which also means
"hole, orifice" (in the body: sensory organ), emptiness, dot, infinite
space, sky, air; specifically, it is the hub of a wheel, the immobile
center that makes rotation possible (the wheel itself would be more
illustrative of Chinese genius: "It is the emptiness at the center
that allows for the use of the wheel," says Lao-Tse). Kha is
also happiness, knowledge and activity, and the brahman itself
(in these three aspects, the immobile motor, also called ka
the "˜Quod?' ["what?"] (Chanddogya Up., IV, 10, 5). Through the
game of synonyms, the zero is also "sky" (ambara, vyoman)
or "infinite" (ananata): every number being a limitation of the
What we say is framed in that "0" everything follows: What the mouth is (though properly ellipsoid), or what Munch caught on the bridge in the facing figure - but, perhaps not screaming - ignoring its title - but what is worth preserving, remembering, which you cannot say without feeling the precluding state, acknowledgement, of something missing. What must be remembered (not "appendixed") - is more direct and within the interval: Daumal, ""intense awareness that gouges your eyes out" -
"I am Universal, I explode;
I am specific, I contract;
I become Universal, I laugh."
It's the vacillation we cannot stand but are, and yet there is also a laughter in us larger than we can contain ("Universal") and that we become at the point of absolute indifference: Dickinson's "zero at the bone." All we know actually explodes and contracts, back and forth (Duchamp's "tautology"), but to hold once in a simultaneity is in the clear, as Robin Blaser in "Truth is Laughter 8" makes bold:
"on the bus, the small boy, newly
into letters, spelled out the letters
scratched out on the glass F U
C K loud-voiced, "Mom,
what does that say?" "˜That's
not a word,' she said,
looking straight at me "˜It
doesn't spell anything'"