Aphorisms II

There is a beautiful pathos of history in the fact that the totalising force and the absolutist will always be dogged by those with a blog. The might of the word, of knowledge, is similar to the might of the ocean. You may divert its force for a time, but it will flatten all land eventually. You may think you can divert it. But once something is realised, it stays realised.

*

When I hear someone exasperate about the internet, I always think – which comment annoyed you today? Which site fractured your sense of comfort in knowledge? Because of course, there is no such thing as the internet. There are only individual users, and groups… But then, that’s not quite right. The word – internet – like the word – society – has an image or sectional meaning whenever used in this way. It comes accompanied with – a comment section filled with drivel – the endless mass of opinions – lists of reviews, one to five stars, each with their set of entries… And I can’t help but think of this, whenever someone says ‘what’s wrong is the internet’ or jokes that… If it weren’t for the internet, we’d all be happy. The internet, they say, like a compulsion, their fingers itching to pick up a dustpan and brush, or an EMP device. I wonder if they know how they seem to us? We who have lived in the internet. They merely adopted the internet. We were born in it, moulded by it…

*

One was not born, but rather became, man. Or, the same, we can say that a newborn has a biological history, but not as yet, a cultural history. But why the past tense? ‘Man’ is dead – now, there is man. Because Man in our cultures was rarely defined against something, it was so throughout, so hegemonic, that it became such that it was never thrown into question. What an incredible amount of violence and ignorance must have been undertaken to reach that point, where everything other was buried beyond sight. But now those who work to define themselves as men, do it against the woman, the other, the beyond. That they do this is a symptom that they have already become different.

Or is this too simple – for who wrote the books, the newspapers, owned the presses? Rich Men knew their rich world, keeping the right company, having all the weapons. And so there must be a history of people outside, in the countryside, in the underground, out of ear-shot, who did not pay heed to the shouting and babbling of homoerotic joy at ‘Man’ (though of course that has its place.) These are the people who have so quickly in our time wrested their voice and as a byproduct of that process, ‘Man’ was destroyed. Their existence was only expected in a crude, partial way, in small encounters soon pushed from the mind. Or their behaviour was put into categories beyond thought. Or, they were simply ignored, kept from the true accounts, as the image was forging. It is an image with a great inner weakness that is destroyed simply by the existence of difference.

*

Since the old world is dead on its feet, we need only to keep living how we want, in order to push it softly into its grave. Culture is dead, long live culture.

*

Postmodernity is partly the realisation that we are animal, and much culture is therefore arbitrary. The kinds of firework show deviations from the past through so-called primitive art, and geometric shapes, becomes ubiquitous, and beautiful. This is the universalism, channeled and shaped consciously or unconsciously by architects through international capitalism, delusions of true rememberance and projection of power into giant capital structures like Shanghai.

*

Information of a thing can infuse its phenomena, knowing this or that makes it seem ‘yes, that should be like that’. A brutalist building could seem cold or totalitarian, but when you know it was built in response to dead aristocratic imitation of imperial forms, and built for the use of normal people, then it seems warm, and loving, and clears the air.

*

My brain has a buffer zone for target words – I see the word Manchester, and then type it into my phone – I’m going to… Manchester. But the word I saw has overridden what I originally meant to say – the shop. The target is replaced by a functionally similar word, but never by an ungrammatical word. One of my colleagues will talk along with me, almost to the point of mimicking everything I say. Watching or hearing speech is so bound up with speaking that they sometime bleed into each other.

*

Perfect translation is an oxymoron. That there is no such thing as a perfect translation is a tautology. We may say that the most perfect translation is the same sentence written out twice, and read twice by the same person, and even then we have problems.

*

People make more sense when we consider the regimes of meaning they move within, what commanding concepts structure or hold important nodes within their connectome – be it atoms, material, science, or with friends, of days and nights out, of love or sex, or of politics – of ideals or utopias, or realism coloured by nationalism, or by history, or by strategy, or of faith or religious cultus, or of meditativeness of the moment, or of the smallness or greatness of the moment, or the worst of all, just doing stuff no matter what it is. And all of this might be more or less hidden, or subtextual.

I move from regime to regime, depending on which regime has disappointed me most recently. If I think the answers rest in friendship (which I mostly do) then I consciously try live in this regime of meaning, where we do what we say we will do, and honour and love each other. I succeed to varying degrees. This is all just a fancy way of talking about what really matters to us.

*

Can Descartes’ answer to the problem of life be boiled down to this; we are in the care of a great and powerful illusionist, one who cares for us greatly, who feeds us our worlds out of love for us, coddling us. Within this illusion, other, smaller, illusions are spun to make us doubt them and in deepen our trust in the greater illusion.

*

One might say that if we knew everything about someone, we could say exactly what they would do in a situation. But what kind of arrogance is this? We don’t know everything about anybody. And nevertheless, such a someone can still have good reasons for their actions. They may still deliberate, and act, they can still be free.

V.49

We are not built to think of space
of true beginnings and endings
when the book becomes less and more
when cups and paths and horses fall

off the registry of items –
yet we do and it brings a break
in thought to the page. The blue roar
of water as I’m arriving

at work, draws back concepts like a
curtain / The sun on the water
is scintillating like a proud
child. Light blue eyes encapsulate

me and the red waters rise. Rain
on the air after a storm, rain’s
ghost captures small insects on its
silk. Far off a head of thunder

attempts to drag itself out of
the blue. As I’m leaving work, I
become tangled in the silver
linings. The car is hot, I put

Takk by Sigur Rós into the
CD slot and feel antiquate.
The end of things is far from me
and the cool breeze. The sun blinking

V.43

With this poem, we will approach
obliquely, a statement about
beginnings and introductions.
We will take the correct approach

not taken by the author in
their own preface, which was written
by an entirely different crux
of forces than the text itself

and let’s not start on how poets
enhance and distort the way words
arrive from the constellations
by talk of love and stars and more

distortions. We will take up more
than the text itself; biographs,
scans, scansions and resonances
autopsies, trials and physics

also the being of beings
themselves. We will make it present
in a way pure and crystalised.
Just the thought of you crossing this

road ten years in the past is quite
enchanting to me. This poem
will confuse, and then begin to
make sense, I promise. To begin,

V.12

There’s no such thing as english
culture. Think of the differences
between what we call the deep sea
and what we call the mountainous

and the region of cultural
bleeding around it. I have stood
up many historical things
ideas, concepts, idein,

you know in the way that dancers
in concert are both aching for
attention, and yet there is this:
a joined togetherness, a halt

who goes there before the Other
where both achieve some cathexis
some oxidation. Well in all
history is this element

of love which creates a rhythm.
There is no such thing as human
being, only the levels of
being beneath, being above

being a component, being
Happy and safe in the knowledge
or collapsing over some event
horizon as you rest breathing

A World

Wavecolour

There is a beyond I want
It sits in the bay – swelling
and parches colour from skies
If it were to flatten – I
would hover in galactic
clearness as whale stock rolling
through depths of flat darkness

It is a mess of futures
I want to feel weight holding –
not pulling me down, not crass
If I were to dive, would it
help me to feel this soft truth?
All its cruxes, circulate
into my skull sockets, pour

Skycolour

In the original slow
blue-shift on crystal axes
and the cloud-plane’s flat chatter
which gulls inhabit – It strokes
our lives with rotations
so unnoticed – like a spine
holds us, cranks us all onwards

This thing, this vast thing thralls me
with the subtlety of god
I want to live as slow as
this thing is the thing itself
as uncaring, swept distance
that it unfolds me into
a greater care, the air itself

Earthcolour

When I stand in the peach-rock
plain – hear cicadas eat sound
and grind my soul off on sand
using just my feet, my flat boots
– I want to hear the pattern
of sun-dry olives falling
of mountains blowing in wind

I want to smell the dry cracks
splitting the earth and the ants
cacophonous rustling will
The sweat which drops from my brow
– will it birth a cold spring, no
it crackles into the dirt
then a sun bleached toothless skull

Suncolour

Once, the sun was in my urn
buried, half-buried in sand
half in air, then it poured out
and the corona blasted
a hole through me, I smiled clean
I fell and my body spread
in a floating slow dissolve

Light was everywhere – light swam
in oceans of light, pearlesced
in the centre, a headache
a burning, a green cactus
bee mantra, a pebbled floor
and a pale darting lizard
The gull shadow sweeps within

Starcolour

A fell day, a final drive.
Long journeys open cold doors
and out – look upwards – yes
There is the ancient cave wall
where myth crystallises – whites
and all reds and bright far dawns
brim softly with absolutes

They are eyes, palantíri
Vectors indicate some truth
– whatever, the darkness fades
from a pale light to shimmer
Orion’s heavy shoulder
It ripples, this fabric lives –
swear it was not known til now.