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June 2012

¢ «Those people who now use the telegraph, the telephone, the gramophone, the train, the bicycle, the motorcycle, the automobile, the ocean liner, the dirigible, the airplane, the cinema, the great newspaper (synthesis of a day in the world’s life), never imagine the decisive influence these things have on the psyche.»—F.T. Marinetti, "Destruction of Syntax—Wireless Imagination—Words in Freedom" (in Burning Cityburning city)

¢ Message from MS Word saying: «There are too many spelling or grammatical errors in Raft Manifest to continue displaying them.» Do I care?

¢ Daft Punk Is Playing At My House is playing at my house.

¢ the river is still ever arriveing ....

¢ a page from my journal that i sketched in the dark on a sleepless night in Istanbul is on the cover of the chappbook By Way of Explanation by Anna Rosen Guercio:

istanbul sketch

¢ «The tomb was being put into the bottom of the river. That's how we bury our dead here.»—In Watermelon SugarWatermelon sugar (which i just reread for the first time since circa 1984).

¢ «Messy, isn't it?»—Richard Brautigan.

¢ Maybe it’s cuz of the buddha books i’ve been reading in tandem, but Michael Kimball’s UsUs rises above language to read to me simply like one big-hearted & anti-heroic gesture of compassion—a compassion of the kind, so deeply rooted in the suffering & death of a loved one, that you wish it all upon yourself.

¢ House of LeavesHouse of Leaves isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Could never get past how hideous it is as a book object (the 'remastered full-color edition')—how clumsy it feels in your hands & the unsightliness of the text on the page. It's books like this that give experimental fiction a bad rap, that i think people say they like just because they don't want to admit they wasted so much of their lives reading it when there are so many other better books to read. Then again, i had similar feelings about Infinite Jest, so Danielewski is in good company (the rest of the world seems to love them both—though in ten years they might ask «what the hell were we thinking/taking?»)

¢ «... we are poor wayfaring strangers bumping into each other in the dark / going to the outhouse  like the picture show in the tent in Snow Lake /  that old marque tacked up side the whiskey sign it ain't ever right / everybody specting once upon a time one thing and ain't getting / such a thing / when they get there they might as well turn around cause it / won't be on / less you want to get a pint and buy a ticket and take a chance / you can't never go wrong on that sign it always got the good / show playing / I tell you I'd rather put my faith in a fishing pole instead / of a word / many a time in school I've had my mind like a circular table / like a mirror / ready to be set with hope but when the teacher opens her mouth / she besets / it with T.V. dinners when I had a feast in mind a feast to feed / the world ...»—The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love YouBattlefield

¢ «Because, in the end, it is impossible to decide whether it was for us or because of us that she died.»—László Krasznahorkai, SatantangoSatantango.

¢ If we were to broadcast one video into outer space for alien cultures to understand us, i nominate this one.

¢ «It is coincidence that discloses the sometimes secret relationships of things.»—Norman Lock, from Escher's JournalEscher's journal.

¢ «Content-free words are indicative of writing style, Rockmore says. While two authors might use the same words to describe a similar event, they will use content-free "syntactic glue" to link their words in a different way.»

¢ List of Fictional Suicides (From David Markson’s Reader’s Block).

¢ Norman Lock has a new book out with Ravenna Press entitled Escher's JournalNorman Lock. In his own words from the afterword: «I wrote this imaginary journal to explain a genuine interest in Escher's work and to think as profoundly as I am able about the grand metaphysical notions that spellbind even the most cynical practitioner of the arts in our time: truth and semblance, the finite and the infinite, the temporal and the timeless, natural law and the dictates of unconscious life, dreaming and the creative imagination. (Those of us for whom to write is to consider ideas, playfully more often than not, seem never to tire of these oppositions.) And so Escher's journal is also mine.»

¢ «Our perceptions give us the plan of our eventual action on things much more than that of things themselves.»—Henri Bergson, from Creative Evolutioncreative evolution.

¢ Due E by NE then SE .. that's about as much as we can say, for the best laid plans are to often go astray ....

¢ The Baška tablet (Bašćanska ploča), the «baptismal certificate» of Croatian literary culture:

Baška tablet

¢ the aftermath of river arriveing: surviveing us .. a gushing chuck to sound we touch to our ear .. «we» . being ark-angled wakes in what our four-fathers (in retrospeck) pernounce cum «holey sea» .... not even propre wakes . but untouched nodes of potential . augured from the roar .. collapseing to an etymolog of our corpus borealis .... befor we am kumtux egg-wise or even of germs boring .... befor eves of future pass ....

¢ Ark Codex 0:5:21: Circumvent the vinyl siding of «let there be light» & draw your own conclusions. To each animal its own horror story in this sky-scraping inn, abiding sentencing & excommunication. Once upon a time we left the meter running in the taxidermist & climbed a double-stranded beanstalk thru arcing rafters to a hatch in the diorama’s ceiling. Beget to differ & extrapolate backwards—in the crow’s nest you’ll see the sun setting perpetually on the horizon. There will be no record of descent & aftermath is forever evening.

¢ Today is also a good day to die.

¢ Read Joe Sacco's Safe Area GorazdeSafe Area to get into a Balkan state of mind.

¢ «Instinct is sympathy.»—Henri Bergson, from Creative Evolutioncreative evolution.

¢ FLASHBACK TO: Foraging in East Africa. One of us is killed & we are driven from our water hole. Defeated, we bivouac on the side of a cliff.

¢ Number of people who downloaded Ark Codex ±0 in the first 4 months: 18,720 ... number of people who volunteered to pay anything for it: 4 ... draw your own conclusions.

¢ Defunct journal du jour: The Kamloops Wawa was a newspaper published between 1891 and 1923 in Kamloops, BC. Most of the texts were in Chinook Jargon, hand-written in the French Duployan shorthand system. The full run of issues have been archived online at the University of Saskatchewan Library.

Kamloops Wawa

¢ «Hokahey! Nake nula wauŋ welo!»

¢ «No, I write my texts, my sentences, in my head—outside there is a terrible, almost unbearable noise, inside there is a terrible, almost unbearable, pounding silence.»—László Krasznahorkai interviewed in The Millions.

¢ «we arrived at the Cathlahmah village where we halted and purchased some wappetoe, a dog for the sick, and a hat for one of the men.   on one of the seal Islands opposite to the village of these people thy have scaffolded their dead in canoes elivating them above tidewater mark. these people are very fond of sculpture in wood of which they exhibit a variety of specemines about their houses. the broad peices supporting the center of the roof and those through which the doors are cut, seem to be the peices on which they most display their taist. I saw some of these which represented human figures setting and supporting the burthen on their sholders.»—Meriwether Lewis, from his journals.

May 2012

¢ «As far as I could see a state of mass hysteria had broken out.» This is how i feel most anywhere in the world i go.

¢ There was a tornado in Tucson, AZ. We were in the foothills watching it approach only a few blocks away & ran down into the basement. We listened as it passed over & then someone checked some device he had that could track it. On the radar screen the tornado kept hovering back & forth right over us like a broken record. So we called the forecast center & they said they were seeing the same thing, that it was some sort of strange attractor stuck in a cycle centered right over our house & then asked if we had been using a tracking device. We admitted we'd been tracking it, but that we saw the tornado with our own eyes right before it went over us, so we couldn't have caused it & didn't see how tracking it could cause it. The tornado remained stuck over us & we were all laughing at the absurdity of it—i said it reminded me of that football player in the Jim Carey movie, the one who kept make making the same play over & over. They asked which one & i couldn't remember the name of the move but said, «you know, that 'laces out' guy».

¢ Scusatemi mentre bacio il cielo.

¢ Saw the Lux in Arcana exhibit down the street at the Capitoline museum—the 1st & perhaps only time the Vatican secret archives are being displayed outside of the confines of the Vatican.

¢ Henrique Oliveira:

henrique oliveira

¢ 'Kafka' in Czech means 'jackdaw'. Kafka loves my big sphinx of quartz.

¢ «Diane! So many things are clear. Diane was blushing. Her yellow fuzz shows in the sun. She no longer has words of her own and so chooses grunting. Diane! Open! Contribute! Inform! The place!—her brown fuzz, a yellow fuzz over it. The curtains are original. A room contains medical equipment. Diane's an early type who before arriving in Siena had a day planned for her departure. She had made the arrangements so she'd stay during the spring in Italy as an imaginary character with hope.»—Diane Williams, Vicky Swanky Is a BeautyVicky Swanky.

¢ Old news maybe but the now sold out New York tyrant Vol. 3, No. 3 ny tyrantis as good as the cover.

¢ «Announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh.»—Al Swearengen

¢ P.S. We were out of the country during the earthquake but strangely we were in Bologna last weekend & as we were climbing the leaning towers there we were wondering about earthquakes.

¢ I was setting up to play a show with this band i had never played or even practiced with before & i hadn't even touched a guitar for years. We were perched on this jutting spire (that i'd later find out was the tail). I plugged in my amp then climbed down to test it out. My amp was feeding back & it sounded cool but when i strummed the strings nothing changed. I was trying to down-climb this muddy sheer cliff & started slipping & bringing mud & other equipment sliding down onto the band members below. I kept half-sliding half-climbing to get to safety, down a spiny ridge until i got to the crux, this overhang into this cave, which as i was walking away from it onto solid ground realized it was the mouth of an alligator & what i had been climbing down this whole time was this giant alligator monument.

¢ Going to a city where the people sleep, sleep in the daytime. If they want to, if they want to.

¢ «Yet within the assemblage that was my identity then, I began to feel a rot; something trapped by lacquer had begun to fester. When I managed to contort my body in such a way that I could touch what I thought was the source of the rot, what I touched taught me to shave.»—Evelyn Hampton from 'Boy' in New York tyrant Vol. 3, No. 3ny tyrant.

¢ «I felt more solidly composed, now that I was horizontal. I was impossible to knock down.»—DFW as channeled by Blake Butler.

¢ «People said, 'why don't you do Wild Things 2? Wild Things 1 was such a success.' Go to hell! Go to hell. I'm not a whore.»—Maurice Sendak

¢ Pronouncing a proper noun kills every ounce of what's proper about it.

¢ An excerpt from 40— a text/image collaboration by Brad Brown & Stan Adler—in Evergreen Review:

Brad Brown

¢ Took a trip on Italy's spanking new high-speed train & read Ben Lerner's Leaving the Atocha Station: boring, cliché, pretentious & overrated. The book that is, not the train.

¢ «Name not that which you intend to cultivate.»

¢ Mamook whim nika kapa illahee seeowist. Pe klosh kahkwah tumtum nika.

¢ Blackbird thinks we planted these strawberries for him. What are you going to do.

¢ 99% of the internet is rehash. & 99% of the hash we harbor codes for how it became harbored there to begin.

¢ «After an idyllic start, things go drastically wrong with this Noah’s Ark.»:

¢ Last night i learned of a law banning domestic dogs from the Black Hills of South Dakota. I couldn't believe people would actually abide such a law so i checked wikipedia & it said «as of 2012, no more white people live in the Black Hills».

¢ The more you know where you are, the less you know where you are going & vice-versa.

¢ To the 255 people who came here last month from the results of a «spy vs. spy» search—I always root for the other guy.

¢ Best European Fiction 2012 from Dalkey Archive was the best year yet. Though strange that out of 26 European countries & 34 languages, Italy wasn't represented. Are things really that bad here?

¢ To the 653 people that came here in the last 3 days looking for the «world's largest McDonald's»—you're barking up the wrong tree.

¢ «In the early stages of creation of both art and science, everything in the mind is a story. There is an imagined denouement, and perhaps a start, and a selection of bits and pieces that might fit in between. In works of literature and science alike, any part can be changed, causing a ripple among the other parts, some of which are discarded and new ones added. The surviving fragments are variously joined and separated, and moved about as the story forms. One scenario emerges, then another. The scenarios, whether literary or scientific in nature, compete. Words and sentences (or equations or experiments) are tried. Early on an end to all the imagining is conceived. It seems a wondrous denouement (or scientific breakthrough). But is it the best, is it true? To bring the end safely home is the goal of the creative mind.»—E.O. Wilson on The Origin of the Arts.

¢ «One would be making the gravest of errors to read this for traditional narrative or meaning.»—writes Nafkote Tamirat in a review of Ark Codex ±0 on Her Royal Majesty & then proceeds to do just that.

¢ «I romani, perfettamente raccontati con quella corsa di motociclette messa in scena da Fellini, sarebbero a questo punto un'avanguardia culturale. Promotori di una capacita di comprendere che scarta l'approfondimento, una perdita di tempo, e corre in avanti, sempre. Duemilaottocento anni di eta non sono pochi. Essere sopravissuti cosi a lungo sara pur indizio di qualcosa.»—Elena Stancanelli, da A immaginare una vita ce ne vuole un'altraElena Stancanelli.

¢ Language-minded as i am, i misread this Larval Subjects post as 'What's in a WORD' & subsequently replaced every instance of 'world' with 'word' in my mind, which atually makes a lot of sense: «And as a consequence, in the framework of my ontology, a [word] is nothing but a network of relations between structurally coupled entities. These relations take work to be maintained (they always threaten to fall apart; and this can be a good thing) and they take time to happen and be forged. They aren’t given. For this reason, [words] can both grow through new entities coming to be related and [words] can decay and disappear as a result of relations and interactions breaking down, entities disappearing and so on. [Words] are ecologies, with the caveat that ecologies are not containers but rather entities or units interacting with one another.»

April 2012

¢ Pasolini's Uccellacci e Uccellini was kinda dumb, but worth it alone for that talking crow that follows them around. He looked scrappy (surely not worth eating), but that crow sure could act. The singing of the opening titles was cool too.

¢ Arrived at the 110th street station at midnight & set out to meet J at west 4th—just started walking & spaced it—next thing i knew i was at 250th street—I'd been walking in the wrong direction. So i turned around & started walking back & called J to tell her. I was walking through some Washington Heights neighborhood at 3 a.m. that people considered "sketchy" or "bad," but no one even took note of me. I had to climb up some fire escape ladder contraption & back down through some weird hoop so i put down the phone down to free up my hands & when i did J was there with me, climbing through this weird hoop contraption that defied physics.

¢ The 2012-2013 Rome Prize winners were announced, including the wonderful Lucy Corin. This town needs new blood.

¢ The last two arks shipped to Pakistan & Russia. & now there's a codex for grabs on HTML Giant.

¢ «A person's degree of primitivism in an urban setting can be gauged by his indifference toward other people and their needs, but the firmness of his conviction that he's alone in the world and has a right to do whatever he wants here and now, regardless of the misfortune it may cause other people. His place is nature. There he learned that to exist means to mistreat. He's unburdened by the illusions of Homo urbanus—for him nature is not a delicate equilibrium, a sensitive and complex organism; nature has only mistreated him and his tribe through history, harassing them with droughts, storms, floods, and frosts; they've fled from nature and have brought nothing but nature with them—they are nature. A person's degree of primitivism in an urban setting can be gauged, I maintain, by the disturbance he represents for other people. A primitive person is unable to exist in quiet discretion: he always creates noise, unsightliness, and stench. He does everything he can to be noticed—he constantly emits his existence. His being is a blow to the senses and an insult to the intelligence. He mistreats us with his very existence. When he celebrates, a considerate, tasteful person unfortunate enough to live next door to him is bound to suffer. What a primitive person enjoys inflicts pain on the civilized.»—Andrej Nikolaidis (from 'The Coming' in Best European Fiction 2012euro).

¢ Luca Arnaudo interviewed me for Artribune. It's in Italian & i wasn't sure what i was saying half the time, but it's amusing to read when put back through google translator: «... see the centrality of the ideas of wave generation and reset in the text—found on the workbench on the way to the White sewing machine and an umbrella on the surrealistic memory.»

¢ Last night i went to a place called This Must Be the Place with Pan Sorrentino, who named both the city & the movie. When we got there i looked down & Pan's feet had turned into hooves.

¢ If you look at the etymology of religion it means «to relink,» which these days sounds like the Internet.

¢ «Religion is a defense against religious experience.»—Carl Jung

¢ Just finished re-watching the Bill Moyers-Joseph Campbell Power of Myth series. Campbell still rings.

¢ «If I had a list of top five philosophical errors to avoid in metaphysics, hylomorphism would be among them. Everywhere we encounter the hylomorphist temptation in philosophy, the humanities, and the sciences. We find it in the way that Kant talks about the relationship between concepts or the categories of the understanding and the sensibility. We see it in the way that Chomsky talks about deep grammar. We see it in the way that so many people talk about genetics as a blueprint of the organism and phenotype. We see it in the way that people talk about art and artists, implying that the meaning of the work is in the author and that he had an image in his mind that he merely “embodied” in the formless matter of paint.»—Levi R. Bryant (Larval Subjects)

¢ Discovered bunches of rucola growing wild on our roof tiles, big-leaved & tasty. Who needs pots & planting soil.

¢ From The Tables of JupiterTimothy C Ely by Timothy C. Ely:

Timothy C Ely: Tables of Jupiter

¢ «They accounted for everything—and did it, too—as enlightened beings, in enlightened words.»—Popol VuhPopol Vuh

¢ «The religious situation today eloquently reflects the American psyche—we create our own reality and we are absolutely free to do so. This condition, however, suggests that there is no reality and that we live in a completely intellectual world where the free choice of the individual determines the values and emotional content of experiences. We are at ground zero religiously with little possibility of a revelation to enable us to move on.»—Vine Deloria, Jr., God Is RedGod is Red

¢ Started Kevin Sampsell's newer Common Pornography, but had to stop. If you are into brutal honesty & realism, then A Common Pornographycommon pornography is for you. I just found it unsettling (which is perhaps the point), especially when such stark & expository writing is branded as «memoir» & drags in more than just yourself, but victimized family members. I liked his earlier books better (which i talk about about here & here), like the original Common Pornography from which this new one was derived.

¢ «At my last job I took optimization so far that in the end I had to fire myself.»—Armin Kõomägi (from 'Logistics Anonymous' in Best European Fiction 2012euro).

¢ Where the ducklings have normally been nesting on the tiber banks, today a dead bloated goat floated up.

¢ Incriminating footage (in Italian) from Ark Codex ±0 Rome launch (thankfully Alessandro does most of the talking).

¢ Woke up & started writing a new book today. Working title is The Raft Manifest & working author is Rermus. Remus might pilfer & salvage pieces from this & that, otherwise it's something entirely new. Not that Remus has put anything to paper—mostly looking at pictures of bird flight patterns to get the 10,000 foot view of Remus's headspace.

¢ RT @ André Gide: «Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.»

¢ Birds are the new words.

¢ «What are words for, when no one listens anymore.»

¢ Last night seagulls bitching like babies. This morning the crows are anxious—3 of them dive-bombed the pesky blackbird that digs up my cilantro & gets away with it.

¢ «This seemed, in my dream analysis within the dream, like a pretty cool idea. Leave aside, as I did in my dream, the issue of whether this is a perversion of the notion of a documentary.»—David Byrne's art-directed reality dream.

¢ «The principal of discontinuity was paramount then; many commentators have spoken of a “shock effect” produced by the abrupt juxtaposition of fragments of irreconcilable or at least incommensurable realities in, especially, the collages of the Dadas. Today there is no shock, though there may sometimes be nostalgia for shock.»—Nero blog on Alessandro Roma.

¢ There is no continuity in becoming but there's a becoming in continuity. At the infinite end of regression this scripted flagging was gathered & rolled into a scroll where it was recovered & read aloud as we surveyed the phase space of possibility. Ptarmigan stitched up behind with sinewed talons. We skipped our genie rations as our eyes lashed the blackness, stabilizing the standing wave pattern.

¢ TV antennae & birds angling every which way against overcasting skies. An island calls.

¢ «A landscape doesn't have an inside.»—Patricia de Martelaere (from opening piece in Best European Fiction 2012euro). & «Memory is the capacity to forget.»

¢ Destination du jour, Pingelap: «In 1775, a catastrophic typhoon, Typhoon Liengkieki, swept through the island, killing 90% of the inhabitants and leaving only approximately 20 people. It is believed that one of the survivors, namely Nahnmwarki Mwanenised (the ruler at that time), was a carrier for complete achromatopsia (known on the island as maskun, meaning literally "not see" in Pingelapese), a recessive genetic disorder which causes total color-blindness in sufferers. All Achromats on this island nowadays can trace their ancestry to this male survivor.»

¢ Ark Codex 0:2:28—0:2:31 in Fiddleback 2.2, e.g.: «We «learn the ropes» & knots necessary for tying our selves to the mast. The rules of culling & restraint need be replicated & archived as manifest. In the interim, we eat those that got us here for reasons of economy. Arcs of light bridge our tongues & teeth & dissipate into Adam’s apple. Those without tongues or teeth are taken to the bridge to fend for themselves.»

¢ 4 is the 1st superfluous number (redundant with 2).

¢ Shoot straight if you're going to shoot.

¢ «In 2006, researchers at the University of Southampton and the University of Kobe reported that they had built a six-legged robot whose movement was remotely controlled by a Physarum slime mold. The mold directed the robot into a dark corner most similar to its natural habitat.»—Eleni Sikelianos quoting wikipedia in sublime slime (& a reminder that Sleeping Fish is currently accepting autopo(i)etic submissions).

¢ L'inaugurazione romana di ARK CODEX ±0 sarà domenica il 1° di aprile a 16:00, presso la Stamperia del Tevere (via di S. Francesco a Ripa, 69). Pagine originali dal libro saranno esposte, tra cui un' incisione speciale realizzata in collaborazione con la Stamperia del Tevere.

Ark Codex Roma


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