Saturday, April 08, 2017


A profane rhetoric in which “fuck” is only the beginning.  A grammar that eats its own structural bones.  Liquescent viscera turning florescent through decay.

All the people who try to nail down writing by nailing the writer to the floor according to the category square that is thought to define them will be baffled because socio-economically based categories won’t work this time around.  The unity is in the whole floor and the nails, the hammer and whatever paint or ink was used to draw the squares, which writhe and evert anyway.  The grid.  Sometimes a power grid.  Other times the grate over the sewer entrance, which does not block vapors.

The question that unites us is what it means to be made of flesh and to contend with the biofilm of cultures, both the ones that kill children and the ones who object, esp. if it’s their children, and anal-mouthed bigshots who exploit the deaths.  But we don’t share the same outlook, the same vocabulary, the same life-paths, our arrogances and expectations.  

I deal with the flesh by holding it at arm’s length as print.  To him “arm’s length” is the distance to which you can force a fist, until you can feel the heartbeat.  To me arm’s length is the distance I try to push away the half-grown cat so I can see the computer screen.  His numbness comes from overload.  Mine comes from wanting to sleep because, as a friend said, “you have a kind subconscious.”  She meant my dreams are comforting.  And childish.

His portrait of me is about his mother’s consciousness.  That figure of me is easy to construct because we’ve never met and because an auto-didact can never get access to the reflection process that a proper grad school would provide.  It is indeed a deconstruction in preparation for a new schema, but he knew Foucault for reals, met him and maybe more.  That’s not the same thing.  It's flesh.  On the other hand, my print passage through this gauntlet did not give me real world contact.  His has taught him how dangerous it can be to deconstruct one’s own genesis.

At seminary I often did pulpit supply in nearby towns.  In one of those places an older divorced woman came to me for advice.  She had been using a “dating” website and was involved with a young university student who seemed very needy.  She wasn’t sure what to do.  I recognized him, which neither of us expected.  He was in one of my classes, a singularly arrogant young man.  We never told him we knew about his double life.  He had assumed that the woman would never tell anyone, out of shame.  But the ordeal of divorce had deconstructed and reconstructed her understanding of sexuality: she had no shame about the relationship.  He did.  Philosophy is a great way to evade reality.  But she hadn’t abandoned her maternal impulse.

So much vice is held in place by the grid of presumed virtue that enables blackmail, extortion, and pimping.  Sometimes it’s all about money as a metaphor for flesh, but money doesn’t die.  It was never alive.

Rubus armeniacus, the Himalayan blackberry[1] or Armenian blackberry, is a species of Rubus in the blackberry group Rubus subgenus Rubus series Discolores (P.J. Müll.) Focke. It is native to Armenia and Northern Iran,”  “ Himalaya refers to a mountain range in Asia separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau.”  Rubus means it is related to the roses and apples.  Not so appealing as either.

Between the two strips of pavement on Interstate 5, a route straight up the lush green prosperous Willamette Valley, the highway people wearied of rebuilding barriers to accidental deadly cross-overs by vehicles.  They planted Himalayan blackberries, a tough thorn-daggered entanglement that becomes a strip forest, a refuge and a dumping ground.  Now and then the skeleton of a boy and his bicycle will be found in the embrace of its bracts.  No one contacts CSI.

The passage meant to simplify, make speedy and expedient, holds at its heart a dark channel of death, concealed by a bellicose jungle imported from a primal part of the world.  Nor was the highway itself innocent.  The mayor of Portland once remarked that a gangster could strike in Portland, take a fast car down the Interstate and be having breakfast at a pancake house in LA before anyone realized a crime had been committed.  Of course, some crimes are never detected and some are not quite defined as against the law.  If a corpse is simply tossed into the blackberry brambles, identity is erased, let alone autopsy.

Adrenaline as a drug powers the trip and the effects of it over time are more deadly but less detectable than, say, fentanyl, which will kill you quickly.  It’s a puzzle why people try to keep users alive.  (Love is a puzzlement.)  There is no law in biofilm function that says any one small part has to live a certain length of time, so long as others in the “film” reproduce.  It’s not morality — it’s survival.  But adrenaline surfers have a tendency to take others with them, and then there’s always the inconvenience of people only partially surviving.with broken necks and exploded minds.

It’s much safer as an adrenaline junkie to explore second-hand adventures through art.  Advertisers are giving up on romance and turning to various versions of bungee-jumping — explosions, murders, fires.  A fancy car has a voice that dares you to be different, to take risks, showing a winding mountain road.  A president fires a barrage of rockets and the television show runners feed on the trajectories of their vapor trails until the egghead commentators protest “haven’t we had about enough of that?”.  

Making art is done with flesh, real-time, and a matter of the connectome, not the auto-generated chemicals.  Those who can manage focus and function of neuron connections get there with paint, shape, movement, sensory awareness.  It’s interesting — sometimes thrilling — to look at the paintings of people who are wired differently, like van Gogh, but it’s also interesting for some people to look at the paintings made by elephants, who have a connectome wired for a different sensory array.  For a human, the MAKING of art, creating a new connectome pattern, can be salvific.  It is tantamount to becoming a new person, changing the terms of existence.

But it will still be flesh-based since that is the source and home of all neuron connections, all sensory life.  Even biofilms.

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