Vallejo Lorca Spicer Stein Pessoa Drummond

From my dialogues elsewhere.

Person A, quoting Pessoa:

Whether we write or speak or do but look

Whether we write or speak or do but look
We are ever unapparent. What we are
Cannot be transfused into word or book.
Our soul from us is infinitely far.
However much we give our thoughts the will
To be our soul and gesture it abroad,
Our hearts are incommunicable still.
In what we show ourselves we are ignored.
The abyss from soul to soul cannot be bridged
By any skill or thought or trick of seeming.
Unto our very selves we are abridged
When we would utter to our thought our being.
We are our dreams of ourselves, souls by gleams,
And each to each other dreams of others’ dreams.

(«35 Sonnets», in Poemas Inglêses)

Z:

SMT, I meant to say this long ago. The other great poetry class, comparable to the Lorca-Vallejo-Stein-Spicer combination, is Lorca-Vallejo-Pessoa-Drummond. I will surely never be allowed to do this so you should. Also, I was originally going to run my benighted Vallejo dissertation through the lines of Drummond, Pessoa, Valéry, Borges, Bergson, people like this, and did not get to because it was seen as too conservative — neither postcolonial and hip nor poststructuralist and hip. I continue to believe that this was only because these professors I was dealing with were very concerned about fashion and “productivity” and also had not read the people I was talking about very carefully. All of this has to do with fractured subjects, empty signs, and centers that are either absent or fall away, but it isn’t “anti-humanist” in the slapdash and flashy manner people used to take on when exerpting and patching with Foucault.

Person A:

By chance I also came across these lines from Jack Spicer, riffing off Benjamin (and Baudelaire): “As things decay they bring their equivalents into being […] That is what makes it possible for a poet to translate real objects, to bring them across language as easily as he can bring them across time. Things do not connect; they correspond. That is how we dead men write to each other.”

In the meantime, someone entirely different told me this:

Concerning holographic projections, e.g., smart phones, “holographic protests”, etc., the phenomenon is not quite as mysterious as it first appears. Once one realizes that the hologram is not actually a physical image, floating in intersubjective space, but is merely a subjective, virtual image, that is, *virtual* in merely the sense of Newton’s Opticks (1704) and not so much that of Tim Berners Lee (1989), for example, and that through careful monitoring with lasers that provide continuously updated feedback of information on the focal length vector of each of the observer’s two eyes, a virtual image in the above sense can be easily made to appear and persist anywhere in the observer’s visual projective space – not just hovering above the plane of the smart phone’s screen or on the city street that one’s body is physically facing. One fascinating fact, that holography points up in a somewhat different though related way than perhaps “virtual” reality technology has been doing now for quite a few years, is that our notion of “virtual” is very powerful in this sense: its context is paradoxical in being at once unified and open-ended. Currently, the term, “virtual”, appears to possess three distinct senses, i.e., of “virtual” (optics), “virtual” (virtual reality) and “virtual” (virtual particle/field). With the further advancements in the disciplines of quantum computing, holography and quantum gravity theory, which are expected over the next 30 years or so, these three distinct acceptations of “virtual” will be understood to be just different perspectives on the same underlying process, and this new understanding shall forever more fundamentally blur the boundaries between physical reality, virtual reality and mind.

And this:

The mothership checked in for a moment there.

And I laughed. The idea of the mothership checking in, “souls by gleams,” as Pessoa would have said, sunbeams, slices of blue sky.

This is what it is, today, to feel whole as one once did.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bibliography, Poetry

This could be a “therapy goal,” if one is needed

Not to withdraw, not to dissociate. To be aware of the tendency to do these things. To keep in mind that it is safe not to.

(It really is amazing, the difference between not suffering anxiety/fear/panic and doing so, the difference between withdrawing and remaining in the foreground of oneself, and the difference between not having physical pain/fatigue and having these.)

(I do not fully understand why I learned to berate myself for not being able to concentrate while also creating as much suffering as I dared. I would never have done this earlier.)

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Banes

Soberanía y transgresión: César Moro by Mariela Dreyfus

I will get hold of it.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bibliography, Poetry

“The ‘grain’ is the voice in the body as it sings”

Roland Barthes in Image–Music–Text, here. I was reminded of it because of a piece on Stuart Hall by Homi Bhabha in Critical Inquiry, and I miss reading Critical Inquiry and some other things.

The grain is the voice in the body as it sings, and this is one more road leading to or from Vallejo. Bhabha talks about semiotics, locus of enunciation, intersubjectivity and language.

(Once again I want to say I do not like this behaviorist psychotherapy, that is all about setting little goals, containing yourself, and being good … and where the assumption is that without such containment, you will be incredibly small minded and self serving. I do not know that that is what this psychotherapist intends to do, but when I arrive in late afternoon he is tired and does not need to be sitting any longer, he needs to be stretching, there is pain in his every sinew, and he says formulaic things. He was not like this before and I had been thinking he was getting older but now I wonder: perhaps he is just impatient, tired of me.)

Transference. I do amateur psychoanalysis on myself on the blog because I do not seem to get, or do not think I can get it elsewhere. I claim psychotherapy is about containing oneself, saying the things one is allowed to say so that one can appear deserving of some glimmerings of useful insight or care. Is that, then, what I actually think about people and life? I am myself considered a good and inspiring advisor because I tell people to take what they need and do what they will (and I trust them to be ethical about this). I say it to everyone as a matter of course, but I do not say it to myself, and I probably mistrust myself.

Evidence suggests I am a courageous person.

Axé.

2 Comments

Filed under Bibliography, News, Poetry

Even more for Henry Miller: the unsafe space

  • Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  • Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’
  • Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  • Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  • When you can’t create you can work.
  • Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  • Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  • Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  • Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day.Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  • Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  • Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

MORNINGS:
If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.

If in fine fettle, write.

AFTERNOONS:

Work of section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.

EVENINGS:

See friends. Read in cafés.

Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.

Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.

Paint if empty or tired.

Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.

Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.

One final note: people always said that the reason I wanted a research job was arrogance, and the reason I would take a research job outside academia over a teaching job within it was fickleness and lack of dedication. But those are not the reasons. The reasons have to do with taste and interests, but also with the fact that cliquish teaching institutions are unsafe spaces for me particularly–tight little family-type atmospheres are just hard for me to navigate.

I am depressed, says a psychologist, and if I behaved and thought differently, I would “manage” better. I am not depressed, says a doctor who knows me in real life and sees me in action — I merely have anxiety, panic, and claustrophobia as rational reactions to a real situation. It is possible to have these afflictions without being depressed, she says. “We must turn from the inappropriate use of the disease model of emotional distress and understand that individuals’ psychological pain arises within social systems as well as within their own brains,” someone said.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Banes, News

More for Henry Miller: the anger

Instructions for writing and life.

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can’t create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day.Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

Miller’s schedule.

MORNINGS:
If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.

If in fine fettle, write.

AFTERNOONS:

Work of section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.

EVENINGS:

See friends. Read in cafés.

Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.

Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.

Paint if empty or tired.

Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.

Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.

Perhaps what I would like removed from me is a certain anger, and its roots.

1. You will not be able to survive at that university.
2. You should not go to graduate school.
3. You will not be able to write.
4. You will never get a job.
5. You will not publish.
6. You should not work on teaching.
7. You are not working enough on teaching.
9. You are unemployable and it is a genetic problem, you are too original, what is desired is conventionality.
10. You should not publish things based on your actual research results, as what you actually think will not be acceptable.
9. Research is procrastination: just write based on what you already know, or already know to be acceptable.
10. Why do you feel we have closed all doors and you should do something else? How can you betray us in this way? Write. But again: do not do research, just write.
11. You do not know what you want. Why do you not know what you want?

All I ever wanted was a research and writing job and all I ever heard was that these were bad jobs and also impossible, and that I could not do them, but then again that I should not do anything else. This is why I have felt for so long that all doors were closed and I should just die. Really, though, I have a murderous rage against those who said the eleven things above so often, and with such insistent passion. It was so important to their survival, or at least their happiness, to be able to say these things to me.

People in terrible pain. I have always been willing to die so they could feel better, and I was already too wounded to simply stand up and leave. Well. The time I got myself together to do it, I called in a Reeducator for support, and we know how that went.

Qué tragedia. I am teaching Blood Wedding, where people do not entirely restrain themselves in the end and actually die of their tragic impasses, and it is interesting to think about the shadows of this I have seen in real life. I am also chair of Committee A, AAUP locally, and it means I hear more than usual about certain things that are done. People are put through amazing amounts of pain.

*

I, meanwhile, understand more things now, and feel better. It is interesting to note that in psychotherapy, apparently, people go in and are hostile and unreasonable and egotistical, and they learn to say sensible things, and then their mission is accomplished. For this reason I go in and hasten to show I can already say sensible things, in hopes that with that out of the way I can do deep work. What happens, though, is that the therapist tries to lead toward the trivial. Perhaps I would have better luck if I attacked the therapist, the way people do on In Treatment.

Axé.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Postscript to Henry Miller

It is ironic to note that I am working 80% time, theoretically, at least the past month, so as to have time to devote to therapeutic activity, and that this is the first day I have taken off for that.

In any case, I have gotten a lot done. I am uncomfortable working on my own behalf — I have fear of success because I fear my success will hurt others — and perhaps the problem is not that I am so loath to do that, but that I do not really care about people who would react that way, and I do not approve of that. This is an interesting theory.

Another one is that I am hiding, from my real trauma, one I will not even write about, and the real trauma is not even the real trauma, it is the conviction that if I discuss it I will be killed for it — and that that did in fact happen when I tried. That night, the night I felt I had been killed with an axe, split in two.

The night I never recovered from and must. Trauma is not a bad thing, some say, it can be what defines you positively. I wonder. I am afraid to take what I need, especially the most basic things like enough fresh air and sleep. I reject you, and I will not take care of you, I keep saying.

I keep saying that what I need is a beach vacation without others to care for, and research and writing. It is true. I would also like to stop screaming at myself every minute of the day — to stop fearing execution at any moment — to stop feeling like such utter crap — to stop feeling that death would be the only release, the only way to come into contact with life.

Instructions for writing and life.

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.

  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’

  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.

  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!

  5. When you can’t create you can work.

  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.

  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.

  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.

  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day.Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.

  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.

  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

Miller’s schedule:

MORNINGS:
If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.

If in fine fettle, write.

AFTERNOONS:

Work of section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.

EVENINGS:

See friends. Read in cafés.

Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.

Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.

Paint if empty or tired.

Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.

Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Banes