Something about the colour of the place, abruptly altered, shockingly distant already. I watch the activity, separate. Suddenly uninvolved and struck with amazement about how a place can so cruelly betray me. And on the walls, that familiar sunlight seems sadder, not the property of travelers in whose number I now belong. There is no music so bold or delicate, no dancing limbs; no rain to wash away that something in the trees stinging me in my heart.


Caveat Lector

Let's begin: we have to begin somewhere, a mouth beginning to part, lips moist for a kiss or a voice warming for speech. What does the voice say? How is it said? How much distance, longing in the tone of the voice? How does the voice cut through that longing, sever it at last and finally, that bitter longing, hanging like a sheet in the dark? The box of the larynx, the home of Maxwell's demon at last, two bodies in tandem, entropy mere trash in the lexicon bin, never coming forward to haunt the beyond, the place where forgotten voices go.
To hold that candle up in the temples, to perform those rituals forgotten to all but the bravest, walking to mass alone in the dim winter snow, a beautiful desire, the hum of voices in the seasonal air: deep, resonant, rich in its succulence, snow binding in the sound, softening it to something closer to a true heart beating. Voices saying love, in unison.
Voices: projecting images on the wall, successive, insistent, the perfect film every time. Voices across from one another, familiar, playing upon each other in a joyous intimacy, saying over and over again: you, you, you. The infinite voices of lovers, with a vocabulary of one.
In the dark, the voices are soft and sanded like smooth, cool stone. The reception from stars, interfering, attaching light and history to the words, generating force to the hearts behind them. There are voices here, those that I know and those that cannot be recognized, I lean forward my fingers, an urge to touch, mold, outline, seduce; behind the banner of the erotic come the legions of voices: they can do so much.


No, let's really sit down and think through this, and let it not make sense. Come forward, you ambiguous, you answerless realm, the best direction to something. I seek you.

First, a hand reaches into a dark box and produces a photograph. In the hand: a tissue of something we designate a reality, but at a [remove]; somehow lacking in something, restrained from an experiential potentiality. The photograph is now pushed into my hand. I can look at it, describe it, write about it, it can illicit an emotional response in me, I can engage in it in many ways, save one--the reality of the photograph does not surround me. I am not present spatially/temporally. Either the image or I am a corpse, out of sync with the clock, motionless. I cannot alter, manipulate with the real subject of the photograph, nor can it do the same to me. I cannot touch the shallow waters and stir ripples, I cannot pull the posters from the wall. Only phantoms, without all sense. I hold in my hand a translation, an echo of what reality appears. I am victim to this tyrant. I gnaw on these dinosaur bones.

Or, counter-intuitively, does the photograph hint at a greater potentiality? The experiences produced from photographic image-engagement are merely projected towards a different vector. But are the experiences really different between the thing and the image of the thing? After all, isn't everything we experience image? Are we then all at a remove from reality? Suppose our reality is mere image; what, then, is a photograph? Just another element of that image, meta-image.

Moving forward, into celluloid, quickening the pace of the still, even closer to the experiential world that surrounds us. Motion pictures, a series of images moving at great speed: how are these not reality? The time traveller sees into a past: "real birds" "real children"--how is he seeing? How are they to be called "real"? Images pour out and mix.

How do we define reality? How do we define image? Consider that all we have is image: all five senses are image-based. Lacking image, we are not only blind, but devoid of all other abilities. Image is the grammar of the mind, the fundament; even the word is subservient to it. Language is our best method of image-translation, of picture-communication. An examination of language in tandem with image is the best way to come to an understanding of language, thought and the nature of reality. Here comes forth an awareness of the contingencies of language, human thought and our relationship with the "outside" world. Amazingly enough, the humble, unassuming discipline of composition navigates best this direction--invites philosophy in the most profoundest sense, asks deep ontological and epistemological questions, and overlaps into disciplines as foreign to English departments as theoretical physics and neuroscience.

I pause here at the devoid point.


August 16, 2008.

A forecast of rough work, rough beast, the scaling chisel of the bones. The vanguard dusts of something momentous are bursting through the air; sawdust, sand, chalk, blood, the consummation of the ancient wastes and the cosmopolitan streets. Old soils, new dirts and stains: painting into something to become so beautiful and perfect.
Looking, uncovering, excavating: a liver-light in a collapsed corner of a forgiven city; promoting a confession between citizens, looks between lovers, eyes, hands, mysteries: touches with only sight. The clasping hands of strangers, always with that special vigour, to keep the chance contact from turning wholly to vision, the desperation of that tenuous lust. Back to dust, always back to the dunes of sand spinning in the wind.

My jaw is red, a colour i don't recognize until i come to understand the tincture of my own blood, a burst mouth, a wounded voice. The sound coming out of me is new and it frightens me.



that i enter into, signing the contract, doing the business, watchful eyes. things follow: one after another--past then present then future, but then mix: mashing out the present irrevocably. Building or dismantling, that is this present, where these streets rule, mouths of streetlights, alley-puddle moist, reflections and winds.

Things, maybe in the shapes of animals, move slowly on the plain, insisting, coming forward, not belonging. This, the difficult thought that comes before the thinking begins, the image mouthing out the knowledge, scraped out hollow in the letters. The cities, streets mere carvings, decor in this living room. A citadel of words, electricity and speech. I write this city out: it comes out, I make it happen.



every last one torn apart by furious determined hands, leaving nothing behind, cutting your hair and changing your name, crossing a sea and beginning again, tearing up even the photos left around the heart, and the cold wind in your lungs. To be half-ghost, to die a mimetic death, to suffer the insurmountable mercilessness of it; ashes in the eyes that never wash away.


Finding direction where the paths of old ways and new ways meet, crumpled in the glove box of a forgotten car full of names, fallen sick off the road. light of a distant carnival ferris wheel, laughing screams on the wind, lovers wandering. here, in the dry dark, under a blistered tree burdening the weight of time, watching the sun come up, and falling helpless beneath its wheels.