December 18, 2005

Word Mass

(sitting on the couch)

She: They want more words. (sigh)

He: Well, that’s your job, isn’t it? ( smoothing the plastic wrap over the window) …this is so staticky.

She: That’s not a word.

He: What? Staticky?

She: Yes, staticky. It’s not a word. (inert languor) There are enough words. Use a word that already exists. I mean, how big does the dictionary have to be.

He: But you knew what I meant. Doesn’t that make it a successful word if you knew what I meant? (scratches head)…do we have any chips?

She: Computer chips? Wood chips? Tortilla chips? Potato chips? That was an unsuccessful word because it wasn’t clear what you meant. (picks at thumb cuticle) Ouch, shit. That hurt.

He: Yeh, right, I was asking if we had any wood chips. (moves away from She)

She: Well, maybe you were going to smoke some pork or something.

He: Yeh, right.

She: I have to go write more words. I wish I could send them a tape with my spoken response on it. Mm.but that’s words too. But not physical words. (slides closer to He)

He: (looks at She suspiciously) What?

She: We have some bbq chips in the pantry. (smiles) you could use them to smoke the pork. (laughing)

He: my my, you are so puntablous that it hurts. Do we really have bbq chips?

She: Technically, that was not a pun.

He: You’re a tyrant. Go write your words. (gets up)

She: (feigned weeping) ahhh…plagued by text…

He: (calling from the pantry) hey, we do have some chips, chicken flavored! I hope you didn’t drink all the root beer.

She: agh…(a thump as She falls off the couch) ouch…

He: aww, darn, the root beer’s gone.

Posted by wood0072 at 12:21 PM

December 10, 2005

the suppression of my you and the tyranny of one-dimensional you.

She: Hello, thank you for doing this interview.

Her: Not a problem.

She: There is a freedom and a danger in not knowing who exactly you is.

Her: Yes. I have a general idea but I can never be sure of myself comprehensively.

She: How does this affect your voice as a writer? You is unconstrained but also can be misconstrued.

Her: Do you mean my voices? Do I know if my voices as a writer are as malleable as my speaking voices? Perhaps voice is like snowflakes and fingerprints--it is never the replicated, never the same voice twice. How could it be? We cannot step into the same river twice? Once an instant is over, it is over forever, not even in the mind is it the same. My voice is influenced, compounded, by the inflections given to it by the world. Even clothing is inconstant. Every time I wear my hat, it has new dirt on it, a new flaw, a new scent. Life, writing, voice, all of it, irreplaceable, unreplicable.

And my you is never unconstrained. There is always a format. And words can only be misconstrued outside of their context. I construe them one way, and that is my way. Another hears them differently, but correct for their context.

She: Your ideas reflect an acceptance of individual reality.

Her: Yeh, okay.

She: Tell me about the statement in your book, “I do collaborative writing with myself. I am all of us and we are the author.?

Her: Isn’t that one obvious?….Our idea of this uniform one-dimensional monument of the self might be more accurately depicted as a flexible mosaic structure that is continuously in flux, gently and ambiently and some times violently, even after death, partly meta, almost metabolic but more, mmm… you know. The whole identity corpus hovers out in the collective conscious like a huge ethereal blimp… and, that is always transmogrifying….ahem.

She: So, a decentered self implies that a defined “true? identity would be a more stable.

Her: Not at all. The single iconic notion of the author is a tyranny in the Humanities. It creates an arid climate, arid writing, arid speech. Arid, arid, ugh. Arid. My ictus of aridity.

She: In the sciences it is the norm that research articles are collaborative with 3,4 or more authors, but in the English departments, for example, we have a looming one-dimensional version of authorship.

Her: Amen sister, That is what I’m talkin about. So much possessiveness!

She: Her, thank you for talking with me today.

Her: Oh, She, it was absolutely a pleasure, to treasure, beyond measure, let’s hope it’s read in a state of leisure….Abientot!

Posted by wood0072 at 6:44 PM

December 7, 2005

She and Her

In Plato's Pharmacy Derrida writes:

“Hence the dialectician will sometimes write, amass monuments, collect hupomnemata, just for fun. But he will do so while still putting his products at the service of dialectics and in order to leave a trace for whomever might want to follow in his footsteps on the pathway to truth. The dividing line now runs less between presence and the trace than between the dialectical trace and the no dialectical trace, between play in the “good? sense and play in the “bad? sense of the word.? (153)

Her: There's no reasoning with you. You're impossible.

She: Well, darling, at the moment, I'm all you've got.

Her: Oh, I wouldn't be too sure about that, toots.

She: You really do get quite piqued don't you! That is so cute.

Her: Cute! Why you patronizing little doily...!

She: Come now, my hot-headed pugilist, let's just make some tea and sort this out! I just love your energy!

Her: Lady, you are something else, I think you oughta go back to your red-hat club or where ever it is that they feel so happy and spunky about everything because this refusal to grasp the bitterness of life is giving me an itchin for whiskey like you wouldn't believe!

She: Whiskey! How divinely hurly-burly! Do you have a tattoo?

Her: (groan of disbelief, agony, and frustration at not having her stalwart and gruff gumption taken seriously by She.) arghhh.....
Posted by wood0072 at 7:03 PM

She and Him

She: Sometimes external institutions put a metaphorical gun to our heads. .

Him: Yes, but sometimes we hold that gun there ourselves. .

She: Well, if you look at it that way, we are always the ones to do it because if we don’t then the external institution will do it for us, and knock us out of existence..

Him: What I mean is, is that sometimes we create our own regulations that aren’t necessarily instilled by external forces. In other words, we put our own demands on ourselves that may not be required outside of our own standards of living, so in that sense, we can put the gun there ourselves when we don’t necessarily need to..

She: Are you saying that it’s not really a fundamental requirement of life to push for progress? .

Him: No, I’m just saying that how hard you push depends on who’s holding the gun to your head. A law can require you to do something and if you don’t do it you can lose your way of life such as if you don’t pay your mortgage or your property taxes, you will lose your house in foreclosure. If you don’t fix your roof, which is not enforced by law, you will also lose your house to the damage caused by a leaky roof. In either case, there is a metaphorical gun to your head requiring that you act in some constructive manner..

She: So the gun is a good thing? .

Him: Well, rather than be evaluative of the gun, which is just a thing, we can be evaluative of how we use the gun. .

She: Yes, sometimes we can use the gun when we don’t need to, creating aggression and stress when its not necessary. The gun is always there, but the danger can be real or illusory. We can trick ourselves and abuse the powers of the gun..

Him: And sometimes, the danger is real, but it might only shoot you in the toe rather than in the head. .

She: That’s kind of a violent metaphor. .

Him: Yeh. Maybe we could just say it‘s a big stick..

She: Mmmm. I think either way it involves violence.

Him: Yeh..

She: But, it can be a painful world, and a beautiful world, too. .

Him: Yeh. .

She: Painful and beautiful at the same time. .

Him: for sure. .

Plato's Phaedrus:

Socrates: He will sow his seed in literary gardens, I take it, and write when he does write by way of pastime, collecting a store of reminders for his own memory, against the day “when age oblivious comes,? and for all such as tread in his footsteps, and he will take pleasure in watching the tender plants grow up. And when other men resort to other pastimes, regaling themselves with drinking parties and suchlike, he will doubtless prefer to indulge in the recreation I refer to.

Phaedrus: And what an excellent one it is, Socrates! How far superior to the other sort is the recreation that a man finds in words, when he discourses about justice and the other topics you speak of.

Socrates: Yes indeed, dear Phaedrus. But far more excellent, I think, is the serious treatment of them, which employs the art of the dialectic. The dialectician selects a soul of the right type, and in it he plants and sows his words founded on knowledge, words which can defend both themselves and him who planted them, word which instead of remaining barren contain a seed whence new words grow up in new characters, whereby the seed is vouchsafed immortality, and its possessor the fullest measure of blessedness that man can attain unto
. (276d-277a)

Posted by wood0072 at 9:52 AM

She and the VFW.

“I’ve never been here before,? he whispered.

“Don’t worry,? she answered. “It’s a piece of cake.?

For 12 minutes they stared at the apparatus, unsure how to master it. Then, at the 13th minute she put on her fez and entered the VFW. fez.jpg

She looked behind her and he was still standing there, mute and immobile.

So, she went in alone, scanning the place. The walls were lined with memorabilia and patriotic emblematic material. It was dim, and a little smoky. The old guys playing pull tabs at the bar looked at her fez and nodded absent-mindedly at her.

She found a stool at the bar and sat down. There was lots of talk about various wars, and some talk about Iraq. There weren’t many women in the place, but she felt okay with her fez on.

Finally she saw a younger soldier there, wearing tan camo fatigues. He was far away across the room, but you could really feel his presence. She went over to talk to him and he said that he wasn’t allowed to talk, that she’d have to go talk to his girlfriend in a different part of the VFW.

His girlfriend told her about how Daniel lost his right to communicate, they even took his hats. Daniel, was, in a sense, a prisoner of the war; he was not allowed to come home or to talk about it.

After she left Daniel’s girlfriend, she left the VFW and went to tell him whom she had left behind what she’d seen and heard.

Outside the apparatus everything was the same as when she’d left.

Posted by wood0072 at 9:12 AM