Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Pedro R. Rivadeneira, Song of Anonymous (a nomadic novel), Section II "As far as the I can see"

sutures and scars, image by Pedro R. Rivadeneira

D(r)ea(m)th Passages: A Sound Poem MP3

Song of Anonymous
(a nomadic novel)
Section II  "As far as the I can see"
 (a work in progress)


 as far as the I can see



it's been five years since i moved to the city by the lake     hoping to escape a life of dead end jobs and the destructive clutches of  toxic relationships     i got a job as music instructor at the local community college      now    the cold leaden skies     the dilapidated     peeling factories     the garbage strewn fields and dumps     the rusted out ships and abandoned grain elevators on the shore     seem to signal the end of another phase      my life appears to be moving in slowly swirling cycles of four or five years     at the end of which     i move to another city in an attempt to change      jump start my life      the excitement i feel at the prospect of such a change fills me with hope     and a sense of opening ensues as if i’ve walked into a sunlit field that expands boundlessly in all directions     and a suffocating     paralyzing dread is suddenly lifted from my shoulders     my chest     allowing me once more to breath freely     on these occasions    my entire body seems to change     become lighter     full of energy     and life again appears vast     full of promise and wonder as only dreamed of when i was a child


now     having finished grading papers and exams and my contract ended     i am poised once more to relocate     this time however    the move is to a city abroad     in Northern Europe    soon   my face will begin to erode     vanish    my features   my characteristics erased    forgotten    lost to those who knew me    or thought they did       a shadow that   for just a brief moment in their lives    has crossed over onto their paths     a formless wisp of cloud     pushed along by unseen forces    my countenance lost     slowly washed away among a faceless crowd of others dissolving into time’s receding wake 

                      the moment has come sooner than expected     and i’m on my way down highway 90 rolling along with my belongings in a rented van heading east toward the intersection with highway 81 in Syracuse   then south toward Binghampton     attention span     snap back track   toward what was left behind in the fray     the sway of the river now becoming a murmur in the bluing horizon     looking for a place   a space   left my little   red Japanese car to a friend   lost in drink and blues with my old guitar amp in the trunk which he kept without a thanks or a bless you for nothin’    just moving along    what’s left to say washed away by the oncoming rain  as a train of thoughts and feelings gushes on     looking forward to the oncoming hills or are they mountains really?

                                                    i parted in the late afternoon and now   night catches up with me with a sheet of rain   the sun   zap!  fizz!  evaporated   in the hills of northern Pennsylvania just past the southern border of New York State     the steep hills      i should say way too steep in the pouring rain    thick strands of water    becoming sheets    and these    layer upon layer    becoming walls of a thick translucent substance     blunting the head lights of the van    visibility no better than ten or fifteen yards   and meanwhile    enormous sixteen wheelers roaring past in a fury    downhill     barreling into the darkness blindly   or so it seems      rattling my nerves as i catch a glimpse    in their more powerful head lights    of the rocky    scraggly ravines below   and in the flash of their headlights   i get glimpses of a network of long   gnarly    fingery twigs and branch-like


i came here searching for pages    pages to write on surfaces to scribble on    i came here looking for somethink to write    somethink to write on     somethink to say     somethink concrete to say    to write on     somethink concrete to write on     somethink concrete to write       to say     somethink to say on       somethink concrete to say on     i came here looking      which is to say      searching      what point?   what?   what matters now?      the something to say      i means   the search matters now   (no, don’t be critical, that is, not too critical, overly critical . . . )


i began somewhere   i know   i began somewhere     i know     in the middle perhaps    in the middle perhaps i began     and moved away toward the edges  the other areas of the story     perhaps the ledges    where other stories begin     where other stories feed the stream     the murmurs      conversations   and monologues    the  thoughts overheard in the dark edges of the story    overheard in the distance   as if brought about by a restless wind    a breeze    the way voices carry     in the distance  overheard in my sleep   

limbs entwined   reaching   clutching at each other in a scrubby mass    impatient bastards     i mutter to myself   where could

you all be going in such a hurry     such a fury   where oh where?     they must know this road    these rocky    wooded hills   like the backs of their  bony    veiny hands   their trusty machines splashing forward    a veritable caravan of roaring mastodons rushing the way back home      and all the while     my mind has been turning    churning    as before   that is to say   as it always has   as it always does     or to put it another way    a different part of it    (that is   my mind)  a strata  of activity    (one of many)  a strata    as i was saying    a different strata of my mind has been churning   yearning to make itself felt   heard  (some tend to think  of     to explain these    as processes    “mechanisms” by which the mind   (some would say the brain)  “handles”   “deals” with all the stimuli and information    experiences    feelings and perceptions we are besieged by on a daily basis    that is to say     by compartmentalizing it all      but this presupposes a central controlling entity    an administrator of sorts who   in effect   sorts things out   makes decisions    judgments  and    as it were    like in the post office   puts these experiences    perceptions etc.    into little boxes and stores them away somewhere till a later date    but who   or what makes these decisions?    and on the basis of what are the judgments made?  i say    maybe we’re not in control of anything   i mean   these processes    these interacting strata of activity     most of which the “I” is not even aware of (or so me thinks)  these   as i was saying     interacting strata of activity    over which “we” have little or no control whatsoever    the mind     the brain    as i was saying    being comparable perhaps to a kind of chaotic system  (no   not system that’s too mechanical

too neatly so) a process maybe that transcends the “I’s”

self-centered boundaries         [. . . us    i mean   we

a process     as i was saying         little meat machines

that consists of several layers     the lot of us

of stuff which   sometimes             scurrying about

as it were   bubbles over                worrying about  until our

into each other transferring energy   little chemical programs

or information in the form           stop   or are halted

of energy “packets”      bursts          by some disease or                    impulses    desirings    yearnings         catastrophe,

influencing each other                      too comforting an           

in an ongoing process of           explanation  another way of

transformation or. . .or . . .       sweeping under the rug the     

not. . . or maybe getting caught     responsibility we

in a repeating cycle                      have for our actions. . .]

where the yearnings and desirings cannot become yarns and thus escape their strata   and so   over time    become embedded in the flesh   become   in fact    flesh     buried alive as it were    as if words left unsaid seeking an outlet    going round and round inside my head   yes   a limit cycle    as i’ve already said . . . and all the while    as i was saying    i had been      thinking   i mean    pondering    about how it had been my intention   my desire to write a discription    to give an account of    of what?    what can one give an account of    much less a description    an account   a description   are they the same thing?  an account requires     describing perhaps?  but   i mean  yes        

over and away from the herd   the acoustics of the mind’s ear      the perspectives of the mind’s eye     searching   the overview      everybody’s been talking   while i sleep     about how i’ve been talking in my sleep overheard in a dream    this everybody of shadows unseen     peopled by shadows     a room  in shadows     a cornerless room   peopled by shadows talking    shadows without corners or the corners are buried in the shadows     buried alive in a room full of     shadows  


i never finish the book   

i never finish a book    

i never finish reading a book   

i never finish reading i never finish reading not writing and

but writing too i never finish never finished writing a book

never finished writing the book     i mean   i only read in bits and pieces      bits and pieces of writing   

           spawning events

as by means of an engine like so:



(// a kind of Spawn.




SynthDef("My_Klank" ++ i,



{arg out = 0;



var env, exciter, spec;


env = [Env.perc(rrand(0.01, 0.1), rrand(1.0, 2), rrand(0.05, 0.3), -4),

env = [Env.perc(rrand(0.01,0.1), rrand(1.0, 2), rrand(0.05, 0.3), -4), Env.linen(rrand(0.1, 2.0), rrand(0.5, 2), rrand(0.5, 1), rrand(0.05, 0.2))].choose;


n = rrand(5, 13);

// number of simultaneous


as i was saying    an account    a description perhaps    of the goings on    the events one has experienced over time    i mean  me   my   experiences   this had been my intention all along   an account  which is to say    to bear witness to our everyday life experiences    what goes on   on a seemingly regular basis    not the least of  which is the nastiness that goes on   on a daily basis    and to which many turn a blind eye     as i was saying    on a daily basis    the “little” horrors as they call them   of everyday life     the so-called insignificant horrors and subtle violences we commit against each other  on a daily basis    as i was saying    the gossiping   the using and abusing    the power         

and    sooner or later    plays and exploitation    and how    overtime   it all builds up into larger horrors   breaks out into even larger catastrophes and tragedies  producing unspeakable destruction and suffering as we have already seen so many times throughout history    our ruinous history    and of course    of course   one needn’t look too far back     for even as we speak    that is to say   even as i think and write these words and someone somewhere    perhaps    someday   

reads them    the little violence       as i was saying     and the greater ones too         are going on right now   and   i was wondering     if perhaps it’s true   that even one’s thoughts   one’s words    one’s feelings    gentle and otherwise     are indeed felt throughout   i mean   vibrate   reverberate throughout the universe   it being   as they say   one body   in which everything    every little molecule    atom    subatomic particle    and every string of energy    including one’s thoughts    are intricately and intimately connected to each other in web-like fashion  if so    then    maybe    we’re in a heap of trouble   i mean   in deep shit    even    as i was saying   as i write these words   in a somewhat distracted manner    as if half looking away in fear and disgust     perhaps even shame    these meager words   these even

more rudimentary thoughts that i struggle to latch on to    and which     in these scribbling motions     i tries to make sense of    and     as i’ve already mentioned     i can’t help but doing in a  somewhat detached and distracted manner    as if half looking away in fear and disgust     and    as i was saying   possibly even shame    accompanied by a sickly   vaguely nauseating     sensation of numbness     while at the same time    peeking at it all in wonder    the way a child does               through his fingers     in a scary movie

                                         none-the-less   it had been my intention     as i may have already said    to give an account   to bear witness to the goings on in our daily lives   that is to say    my daily life      yet knowing full well that such an account entails an enormous amount of detailed work   both on the micro and macro levels    very close attention to detail     precise detail    while at the same time maintaining one’s vision     an unwavering state of attention   to the overall flow   direction and shape that all the details are taking in bricollage fashion    and it seemed to me to be virtually impossible to create an accurate mapping    as it were   with words   of the goings on      as i’ve already mentioned      both    one’s  inner world     so called    as well as of the world outside     as some are wont to say     and how these “worlds” are in fact intricately and intimately connected   


p = rrand(8,0.2))].choose;

n = rrand(5, 13);          // number of simultaneous instrument                               exciter = [,, 200), rrand(0.007,0.2)),,].choose;

spec = Array.fill(2, {


Array.fill(p, {50.0 +     20000.0.linrand}),

nil, Array.fill(p, {0.1 + 5.0.rand})

        ]}); instruments 21);

// number of partials per instrument


// number of partials

// per instrument,     , exciter),, 0.3) *, doneAction: 2))

// Klank is a bank of fixed //frequency resonators which can //be used

// to simulate the resonant //modes of an object }).play(s);

rrand(0.1, 1.5).wait;

// wait anywhere between 0.1 and //1.5 seconds before playing new //event.});}).play);

sounds like an aperiodic carrillion with bowed crotales, add to that, old oil drums

banged upon with blunt objects, using random number generators to control each sound’s envelope, each with their corresponding attack, sustain and release times also controlled by random number generators, such that an attack may be short, long or somewhere in between (likewise with the sustain and release times) and the time at which the next event occurs is also        controlled by random

such that the distinction between inner and outer becomes severely blurred    further complicating matters

                                            an anomaly    a moment of otherness    a kind of singularity disrupting the familiar flow of one’s sense of self and time   making the task at hand   that is to say   the writing endeavor    all the more difficult

number generators   thus undermining one’s tendency      one’s conditioned response to expect sound events musical events    to occur on a periodic basis   one’s expectation to be comforted, consoled by music      it having been relegated, barefoot and pregnant to society’s dark    dirty    little corner    subservient to     enslaved by     the image

just as the truth    it seems to me     is known only to the one who experiences it   and if one chooses to relay it to others   one automatically falls into falsehoods and inaccuracies    all this compounded by one’s    that is to say    my    faulty and inaccurate recollection of events and things     (more so    after my so called accident      as some euphemistically refer to it)     thus    it is distortions     inaccuracies and lies that are communicated    the notion of communication   perhaps being the greatest lie of them all    and the more one tries to untangle this abstruse web    as i was saying   the more mired one   that is to say “i”    becomes in falsehoods and falsifications

                                                             the desire for the truth like any other drive     is the quickest way to arrive at falsehoods and inaccuracies    the facts themselves being distorted by one’s very own desire to express the truth    distorted by one’s hopes and aspirations   thus   to write about one’s life    one’s recollection of things past    one period    or even one moment in one’s life    results in the  accumulation of hundreds    or even thousands    of inaccuracies and falsifications     a veritable patchwork of memories    dreams and half-truths all of which    in collage-like fashion     are   as it were   stitched together by the writer in his or her vain attempts at conveying the truth     which are    nonetheless   familiar to the one describing them and the period in question is seen as truths and nothing but   yet somehow    the description    the very act of describing    distorts the truth    however hard one tries to be factual

                                                                                                                               one’s recollections follow precisely the chain of events     in precise chronological order      still    the results are something quite different from what things were really like or seemed to be     the descriptions make things clear    that is      with the writing one makes an event clear    and    this is in synch with one’s desire for the truth    but   not with the truth itself   for    as we have already seen    the truth is quite impossible to convey

                                                                                                                                                   we make a series of events clear   that is   one makes the effort to describe a series of events clearly    yet   it is never the events as such one aspired to describe    they always end up being something different    fictitious even    this even though one begins the endeavor over and over again    having crossed out or erased one’s failed attempts    one starts off from the beginning again    only to find oneself wandering down a different path    a different series of events  ostensibly led astray by one’s very aspirations to tell the truth    it is one’s very desire to convey the truth that leads one into a veritable maze of recollections   that is to say   an inscrutable web of corrections

                                                                         i’ve always been told that to write well    one must write about what one knows    well    what i’ve known most of my life is disorder and chaos    illness and unhappiness    violence and fear    contradiction and dishonesty    hypocrisy and corruption    callousness and insensitivity    cut throat competition and odious destructiveness   isolation    alienation and loneliness   manipulation    coercion and domination   snickering   malicious gossip and gloating    the will to power in all its nasty manifestations    large and small    in short    the all around malice humanity is capable of and has been involved in for centuries    for thousands of years in fact

                                                                                      i’ve known very little order   clarity   very little love   kindness and sympathy    


                                                  this sort of thing   this nastiness   as i was saying    we see reproduced at the corporate   institutional    governmental and international levels and     it is reflected at the micro level too   that is to say   at the interpersonal level    in our families    at work and in school    in the various kinds of relationships we’re involved in and     it’s all a direct reflection of what is going on at the macro level   that is to say   one is the reflection of the other   they are mutually dependent   

                                                                                                                      the nastiness at the macro level would not be possible if it didn’t also occur at the micro level   that is to say   in our minds to begin with    the whole process having become a feedback loop   a negative feedback loop    as i’ve already said   a limit cycle     and     no matter how one may try to overcome this situation     how one may try to free oneself from humanity’s nastiness    due to one’s deeply engrained conditioning     both social and biological    the more one struggles to free oneself   as i may have said   the more deeply mired and enmeshed one becomes in the whole mess   

                                                 due to one’s hypocrisies    deep seated contradictions and blind spots     one ends up betraying the best of one’s intentions    and this process goes on    as i’ve already said    regardless of gender   regardless of what ideological camp one may be identified with   what religion or belief system one may adhere to    whether one believes in a god or the left    the right or the extreme center    being as we are   in the grip of    that is to say     at the mercy of our envies    jealousies   greed    and the odious intensions they generate   at the mercy    as i may have said    of our fears and insecurities     for which we are incessantly trying to compensate   endlessly trying to patch up  

                                                                                                                   thus to write what one knows    would only be to reinforce one’s habits    my own and that of a potential reader’s   and therefore   any intention of clarity and order would be yet another falsehood     writing only in a linear narrative manner   as most writing is nowadays    would only mean writing more of the same    staying within the field of the known   and thus reaffirming the old conditionings that limit our thinking our perception and our behavior    to write in a nonlinear manner   that is to say     to write turbulently   i mean   not only about the chaos    but chaotically   where the writing itself is a kind of mapping of disorder  (and this order)   discombobulating the old structures of thought and perception that keep us in place    stuck in our cages    means allowing for inconsistencies and  incongruencies    ruptures and disjunctures   and paying attention to language’s (and thought’s) self organizing tendencies   paying attention to language’s energy flow and where it wants to go    it means   writing into   or toward the possibility of something different   something other than what is already known   something other than the conditioning

                                                                                     not writing what one knows but writing toward. into uncertainty. crablike. backing into it. perhaps then knowing not knowing and what “i” means in this context   belonging perhaps to these turbulent motions   if to know is to be   then    what are we when knowing not knowing?

                                   and the difficulty in all of this is further compounded by the developments of the last one hundred and twenty years or so   the exciting but imposing and sometimes intimidating precedents set by the various avant-gardes    the various experimental currents from Baudelaire Rimbaud   Mallarme   Roussel   the Dadaists and Surrealists    the Futurists and Concrete Poets    the Noveau Roman and others with their cut ups and permutations   collages and pastiches    the Oulipos   Vispos and Fluxeses up to and including the Language Poets in the U.S.   all of which have claimed   established and   staked their place   their various territories within grounds broken   tilled and re-broken and whose broad and varied innovations have so thoroughly exhausted the field of experimentation   such that any notion of a poetic or literary beyond   a literary or poetic future which does not simply regurgitate what’s been read   said and done a million times over    seems impossible

                                                          we   that is to say  “i”  can no longer construct any new form of poetry   literature   music   painting   or any other kind of artistic endeavor  since every option   as far as “we” can tell as far as anyone i know can tell    i mean    as far as the i can see     has been exhausted   has already been tried   has been done before . . . that’s been done before being today’s operant phrase   it seems    yet those who gloatingly mouth and savor it with relish   seem unaware that the very phrase they use to invalidate the works of others    that very phrase they use to gloat over the failed attempts   the failed efforts of others   has itself been said before    a million   billion times over and is   therefore   by the force of its own logic   made invalid   further bringing to light that this process   this process of exhaustion   as i’ve already mentioned   has reduced one   that is to say   me   reduced me   confined me   forcing me down to a mere motion   physical action   a collection   a repertoire of physical motions of scribbling    of doodling or typing    as the case may be   which are the direct result   as i may have said   the direct outcome of a nervous energy   an anxious energy  twitching   a fidgeting   yes   that’s it   all inscribing   all writing   is now a fidgeting   and it   a trace   the direct result of a nervous quivering   a fidgeting in one’s mind   and therefore one’s body   a fidgeting in one’s body and therefore   one’s mind   as i was saying   the fidgeting in one’s body and mind   the distinction between them   now blurred or even erased by so much fidgety scribbling    the distinction between them no longer being clear   in one’s mind   in one’s body   nothing left to say   nothing left to do but fidget and scribble    scribble and fidget   i can’t control my fingers   i can’t control my brain    i can’t control my thinking   it’s driving me insane  

                                                                                                      i mean   this historical   this apparent historical cul de sac   the vertex of which   exerts such tremendous pressure on my head   in my head   my thoughts   confining   reducing me   forcing me down   compressing me    my actions   my thoughts   my thoughts as actions   down   as i was saying    into a corner   the vertex of the corner   acutely pressing down on my writing and thinking   my physical motions   my physical and mental actions    down to a limited repertoire of scribbling motions and its constant yet intermittent   stuttering stream   production   projection of nervous and anxious energy   its incessant production and projection of images and impulses   feelings old and new   voices and fears   monologues and dialogues   in the ongoing ill attempt  to cover up   to avoid   to escape   divert and disperse  the ill attempt as i’ve already said   to distract from the incessant   the ongoing feelings of unpleasantness   el malestar   and the emptiness that lies beneath

                                                                                                                               my tongue tied   my brain fried   my tongue and brain tied    by fences restricted   the rusty barbed wire fences of so many ideological considerations such that to say   that’s been done before   is itself problematic    because it’s been said before  and is therefore made invalid by force of its own logic    which means that one   that is to say  i   have no choice but to continue    even though . . . that’s been said before . . .

                                                                                                                               it’s at times like these    that is to say    when i’m inundated by thoughts like these    that i wish for     i think of    constructing a machine   or   i fantasize about writing myself an algorithm with which to convey to the machine the necessary instructions   that it may deal with     take care of   all these sticky details and the complicated web they begin to form over the course of time     

                                                                          trying then to find     perhaps construct     a writing machine that would do the job for me   with only my having to feed the machine bits and pieces of language    or languages   phrases   words  thoughts  sounds  thoughtsounds  imagisounds and thoughtimages    scraps of found language   scraps and shreds of found language   scraps and scrapes  found in the ongoing process that is one’s own internal monologue  duologue  triologue etc.   energy flows   currents of energymatter   flows  currents of energymatter   electrochemical currents and flows   that is to say  a veritable polyphonic structure consisting of several voices   layers   consisting of several strands of sounds images thoughts  dreams  impulses and desires  each having its own tempo and direction    perhaps akin those contrapuntal compositions one finds in a certain period of the Renaissance  or  more recently  in the works of composers like Elliott Carter   such as his Third String Quartet or his Triple Duo  or  the collective improvisations one hears in John Coltrane’s “Ascension”   and finding   as i’ve already mentioned   these pieces of scrap   these shreds of language in the environment as well   that is to say    the ongoing monologues of others    in the various media through which they are disseminated and heard     without my having to distress myself with all the thoughts and feelings    the unpleasant ones one often finds while writing   hurting myself further    tearing at the memories   the scabs over countless    unhealed wounds   my own and that of others     the one’s we never found the time to properly tend to     caught as we are     in the mad rush of things

                                                                                                                                                   and these pieces of scrap    as i’ve already mentioned    these pieces of scrap and shreds of languages   would then be arranged and rearranged     connected to each other (or not) and subjected to permutations   different orderings in unpredictable ways by the machine or algorithm (are they the same? is an algorithm a kind of machine?) thus producing a web   a flow of varying

//click here to highlight, then press "enter" to play


thisThread.randSeed = 4;//set random seed


                  t = Task({                                                                         



                                               SynthDef("My_Klank" ++ i, {arg out = 0;


complexity and intricacy    a web  a flow as i’ve already said    of associations and

connections   a web or flow of

relationships one as a writer

had not foreseen or imagined    discombobulating the rigid tangle    the rigid grid formed by the

language-thought-perception triangle    the writer  the reader   we   that is to say    humanity  having become so used to what we think    having become so used to what we see   so used to what we hear and feel  so used to what we smell taste and touch   the reader     the writer  we  


Env.linen(rrand(0.75, 2.0), rrand(0.5, 2), rrand(0.5, 1), rrand(0.1, 0.75))].choose;            0.75))].choose;// Each time a new event is generated, choose an envelope with new values


                n = rrand(13, 21);// number of                simultaneous instruments

                p = rrand(8, 56); // number of partials per instrument

                exciter = [, 20), 0.007),, 1.5), 0, 0.025)].choose;

                //exciter =, 1.5), 0, 0.025);

// Each time a new event is generated by Task, choose an exciter from array.

                spec = Array.fill(2, {`[Array.fill(p, {[30 + 1000.0.linrand, 50 + 5000.0.linrand].choose}), nil, Array.fill(n, {0.1 + 5.0.rand}) ]});,, exciter)


that is to say   humanity   being the result of hundreds  if not thousands of years of biological   cultural    social and ideological conditioning

                                             and these pieces of scrap   as i’ve already said   would then be arranged and rearranged  connected to each other (or not) and subjected to permutations and other means of transformation and variation  by   as i’ve already mentioned     the machine   the algorithm   in unpredictable ways   according to certain guidelines   


*, 1, doneAction: 2),, 1))// turn off each event when done.

}).play(s);rrand(0.1, 1.5).wait; // generate a new event anywhere between 0.1 secs and 1.5 secs.}); }).play(SystemClock.sched(90.0, {t.stop;}));//control overall time of event with SystemClock.sched) this one is similar to the one above except that the attacks here are of a sharper percussive nature


with greater dynamic contrasts . . .


                var env, exciter, spec;


env = [Env.perc(rrand(0.01, 0.1), rrand(1.0, 2), rrand(0.1, 0.75), rrand(-1.0, -4)),

using perhaps random number generators and probability operations   thus producing an open field of possibilities in which the linguistic events would then be placed and connected in different and unpredictable ways  according to a list of guidelines    guidelines   for example   as to whether there are morphological correspondences between the different scraps or shreds of language i may have already mentioned and   between the elements contained within them   that is to say   individual words or syllables even   and these

morphological correspondences would be considered not only in terms of the words or parts of speech and their grammatical and


Under such

The full panoply,

Pursued and perused

Some areas

With caution

Marked by a number

For inclusion here

Increased elevated

Of this now shaping

Related to that all.

For inclusion here

Marked by a number

With caution.


The outcome is a number,

Marked by caution,

And what has been scattered

In some areas under such

Increased elevation

For inclusion here

Present in the language

syntactical functions    as well as their semantic surface  that is to say  their apparent meaning   but the morphological correspondences would also have to be considered in terms of the various sounds contained in these elements  that is to say   words would have to be considered in terms of their overall sound as well as  in terms of the sounds of their individual components  their syllables   their phonemic structure

the words   the imagisounds  imagithoughtsounds and their phonemic components would have to be considered as well as the vocal formants that constitute them   that is to say   the frequency range where vowels are at their most distinctive and characteristic pitch  

                                                             and being  as i may have already mentioned   that words are a kind of nexus where sound image and thought are intermingled    the guidelines would also have to take into account graphemes   that is to say  those written symbols  letters  or combinations of letters that represent the same sound and   what’s more   they would have to take into account the graphical aspects of words  their visual appearance in print  their various shapes   their various thicknesses and the varieties of textures they form over time on the page

                                                                                                           a machine then    that would deal with all the non-linear aspects of writing   thinking and feeling    and that would thus save me the emotional duress that writing can sometimes bring     something comparable perhaps to those synthesis programs that produce all kinds of complex sound events    depending upon what kind of algorithm one writes for them   what kinds of instructions one


 Perused and pursued

This interrogation.


Such a turning

Was from the late,

The experiencing self,

While ever disappearing,

Increasing in some areas

Related to all that

This interrogation

Pursued with presicion

However fitfully

Toward fulfillmeant

The outcome was a number

That’s been scattered.


In some areas here

Under incision

And continuing perusal,

By force of poignancy,

Momentarily at least,

As if by inclusion sometimes,

Casual directions became

The central influence.


Such a turning was,

As of late,

A nexus, as such, a turning

Is a nexus, is such a turning

Will be a nexus as such a turning. There is in this approach, never disappearing and not merely a diversion,

But also a deflection,

Continuing increasingly

Into the present.


Our mapping is thus

An ongoing taxonomy of movements toward a new  narrowing of course   and off course    of scribbling motions

As casual directions

Becoming a central nexus,

Momentarily at least,

And not merely a diversion,

Continuing presently

And never disappearing

Or rather, an ongoing

Flickering, in aperiodic



gives to the machine   with all kinds of parameters controlled by random number generators    thus creating a varied and complex texture that changes   evolves over time     words are    after all     sound complexes themselves     or to be more precise     complexes

of codified noises     a kind of nexus in which sound and image intersect


a fashion of non-periodicity

at times using repetition

as a means of creating

disrruption and variety

within the flowing sameness

of ongoing change

sound images and images in sounds colliding becoming    imagisounds

                                                                                                              this   even though i realize that language itself is a machine   or that language and thought  have machine-like characteristics   and   that one     that is to say   the writer   need only be attentive    without choice    to what the language looks like on paper   and   perhaps more importantly    what it sounds like    in order to know what to write next   if anything at all   in other words    one needs to be attentive   sensitive to what the materials require    what the sound materials and the graphical materials imply or suggest     how they connect and don’t connect  how they move    and thus   how the language projects itself into the future   into the unknown    it having its own logic    its own self organizing properties and propensities

                                                                                                   all this    knowing full well that the mind   the brain   can sometimes function  like a random number generator    its deeper layers of activity    generating events   thoughts   ideas   images   sounds   impulses   emotions and desires   at random (or seemingly so)   the subconscious and the unconscious  behaving in a seemingly erratic manner   having a logic of their own   having their own reasons    their own perceptions and motivations   which conscious thought or the will   the “I” can’t seem to control   (just as discursive knowledge has the truth in front of it  but can’t posses it)   it   the brain   being an adaptive   complex system as some like to call it    consisting of several layers of activity some of which go on in an independent manner   or seemingly independent manner as far as one can tell   that is to say   as far as i can tell    or rather    as far as the “I” can tell

this    even though   one may be stuck    that is to say  one’s feelings may be stuck in a kind of feedback loop    (and they are)    one being reluctant    afraid to let them go despite their (mostly) unpleasant nature    they being the only familiar thing one has left connecting one to the past    as it has given some kind of meaning to one’s life   and yet   still   trying to shake it all off by means of repetition    slippages    misreadings and mishearings      misinterpretations and miswritings    and thus     not knowing before hand what will be written    what will be said    not knowing before hand where the story (or stories) will go    just as the reader can’t know before hand what the story    or stories are about and where they are going or how they will end   assuming there is an ending at all    or a beginning for that matter    as writing is always already a kind of reading

                          and perhaps more importantly   a kind of listening and it   the readwritelistening    is already made     readymade to move across the page   a plane     having begun somewhere   somewhere like an elsewhere   (elsewhere like here?)  somewhere in the middle perhaps   and moved     dispersed toward the edges of the writing surface    if it be a piece of  paper     or as electric impulses on a hard drive’s magnetic surface representing a series of binary numbers which    in turn    are encoded to represent the text one is writing   stored in a place    a locus on the computer’s hard disk    its vertex being . . . the text’s point of origin being . . . being what? what is the readwritelistening’s origin? 

if it is a monologue of sorts    an internal monologue   a kind of talking to one’s self  in one’s head   the brain talking to itself     pretending to talk to someone else  in its own  created  virtual space    in the brain’s own virtual   holographic space    then   perhaps   i think perhaps   the monologue  that is to say     the readwritespeaking    originates from a wound    an unhealed wound which   for a long time now   has been bleeding    the wound speaking     at varying rates of profusion     bleeding   as i was saying    sounds  words  images  and sensations   a kind of short circuited damaged tissue substance   electrochemically firing and misfiring    creating a self-hypnotizing barrage of noises[1]      a kind of verbal-sound-image-sensation stream   hemorrhaging    all of which comes to form an ongoing wall of static    like white noise or tv snow    all of which is    perhaps    again     an attempt    an ill attempt to heal the wound  the self trying to heal itself    to comfort itself with an ongoing stream of noises   where  it is thought  that noise is perhaps preferable to what lies beyond it    that is to say     the noise having become a  kind of enclosure     a screen  providing one with a feeling     a sense of security    from    against    what lies beyond

                                                                                                                          but   just what is this beyond?   the noise of others perhaps?    one’s noise being   as i’ve already said   a kind of membrane    separating one from the rest of the world    but   as all of humanity seems to be engaged in this production of noise      the noise outside  may be continuous with  or   a reproduction of the noise inside    that is to say     in one’s mind     such that there really is no “beyond” and no “other” as we are all engaged in reproducing the same wall of sameness within ourselves   around and against each other

                                                                                                                                  by turning up one’s own “inner” noise   one tunes out the noises of others   a kind of masking effect   to borrow the term from acoustics    where      as i may have already mentioned   waveforms of the same frequency    amplitude   and phase    cancel each other out such that the noise “inside” is proportional to the silence “outside”    that is to say    in the so-called social sphere   all of this pointing to the astonishing fact that the mind    the brain    rarely   if ever   is quiet    not even while sleeping   wreaked as we tend to be by our never ending desires     fears and anxieties

                                              and this wound    as i’ve already mentioned    this slit     this gash    this rift     this fault    this trauma    may be akin to   or   a reflection of  a fault that has been in existence on a larger scale and for a long time    between us    that is to say   humanity     and the rest of the world     nature     the universe    life    a relationship that    for the most part     has been marked by violence and destruction    divided as we tend to be   within ourselves and between each other . . .

                                                                                                           and yet   knowing this  our progenitors and   our so-called educators   in their zeal to press upon us their knowledge and wisdom    their so-called well intentioned zeal to instruct us for our own so-called good    under the pretext of preparing us for life’s so-called difficulties     waste no time in delivering  with cruelty  their hard earned life lessons     gloating with relish at the sight of their young and helpless victims squirming with pain and humiliation     perhaps out of envy of the children’s as of yet unsullied minds   out of envy of the children’s freedom   feeling no qualms about imprinting upon their defenseless minds  their own fears  their own suspicions and hatred of life  poisoning the children’s supple  pliable and trusting minds with their cynicism and   with their harsh  sarcastic words  cutting everyone down to size  reducing everyone down to their  that is to say  our educators’  our progenitors’ level of baseness and brutality cultivating callousness     insensitivity and cruelty    producing thus a culture of brutality and barbarism   preparing us for the corporate and militaristic mentality         the ideology of domination that prevails in the world today     that dominates our lives today

                                                                                                                                          and the adults   evidently   under the guise   the excuse of education and convincing themselves they are doing good     feeling and thinking that they have license  that they have the right to dominate the children     the helpless children   and impose upon them  all their various kinds of neurosis   their fears and prejudices   with relish   with gusto perform the nasty task  while at the same time turning a blind eye  that is to say  dissociating themselves from the fact that the very same callousness and cruelty they cultivate and inculcate upon their victims   the helpless vulnerable children who trust them with their lives     that very same so-called education in the hardness  the harshness of life   is what makes life hard     harsh in the first place 

                                                                                                                                   it is that very same kind of thinking    that self-serving thinking   that self-justifying thinking  that self-replicating kind of thinking  those very same self-justifying rationalizations that make life so-called     this so-called life  hard   it is they  our so-called progenitors and they   our so-called educators and our so-called leaders  with their half-baked ideas  excuses and rationalizations   that make life hard   life    life is hard   they say   they say this with authority     throwing those expressions around as if they knew what they meant  as if anyone knows what life is or means or should be    as if they were omniscient    they    our so-called educators   our so-called leaders  in their ignorance and arrogance     taking advantage of the defenseless    innocent minds of the children    feel no qualms and   with gloating relish   imprint their brutality upon us  and later act surprised when finally    one of the children    one of the destroyed children   no longer able to take the confusion and contradiction     no longer able to take the fear and humiliation    snaps and goes on a shooting spree with weapons provided him by society itself      and again      acting surprised     society    through the various media   the various talking heads and spin doctors asks   ponders     wonders how could something like this have happened?   how could someone have done something like this?  but   it is in the very same act of asking such a question   it is in that very same question   that society dissociates itself from itself   from what it has produced and fostered   a society that takes for granted that domination is a so-called fact of life   a so-called necessity   and that therefore violence too is necessary   a fact of life   this society acts surprised when one of its victims behaves violently

                                                                             a society that cultivates the ideology of domination     therefore justifying violence   a society that takes for granted that exploitation is a necessity   acts surprised when one of the exploited snaps    a society that fosters and practices competition and humiliating comparison    acts surprised   a society that practices and fosters the organized forms of murder called war    acts surprised when one of its own acts violently   a society that bombs children to pieces in a faraway land    acts surprised when one of its own children kills others in its midst . . .

                                                                                                          (now the blind spot looks on   watches   stares us down   realizing too that the mind   the image is a blind spot and the blind spot a scab on the wound of the mind’s eye   the mind’s mouth and ears   the blind spot is an image   and   that image   projects another and then another . . .  the mind itself an enormous blind spot   a scab on reality itself   projected   or better yet   cut and pasted onto reality itself    just as a work of art is mute   and through its muteness speaks volumes   the entire sensory apparatus   an obstacle   the truth and descriptions thereof  an obstacle   the descriptions themselves a scab on the described   the descriptions themselves erasing and replacing the described   a blind spot projected on reality   the brain itself and the entire sensory apparatus so-called    being an impediment   an obstacle   the blind spot itself . . . coming into contact with this imprisonment brings about an acute state of nausea   not just a physical nausea   the autonomic nervous system triggering a physiological response   reaction   consisting of repulsion    vomiting   and piercing headaches   but a deeper (inadequate word) kind of nausea and discomfort (again inadequate) arising from the pit of my stomach     rising from the marrow of my legs trembling   weakened by an uncontrollable feeling of dread   this even though i’ve barely read Sartre     he     so tedious     with his little cigarette and his deadly second hand smoke . . .  

                                                      born in a casket    a coffin    staying there for life      they might as well have been born in a casket     a coffin and stayed there for the rest of their lives    this labyrinth of cages we     that is to say     humanity   throughout the ages    have constructed and anyone who tries to get out     free himself from the cage    the labyrinth      is discouraged      everyone in their cages!     their glass cages     everyone in your cages!    touching without feeling      feeling without thinking     thinking without insight     hearing without listening    looking without seeing      they are born inside a coffin and stay there all their lives    they were born inside coffins   they might as well have been born inside a coffin   inside coffins    and stayed there for their entire lives     born inside a coffin   as i’ve already said   and stayed there for life   in our little cages   our prisons   the walls and alleyways of which spread indefinitely and infinitely in all directions like a maze  so dividing the world into two kinds of people     creating thus two kinds of people who populate this world  

                                                                  there are two kinds of people in this world  two kinds of people who populate this world   the victims and the victimizers    whose roles are    nonetheless  often interchangeable  producing a sadomasochistic web of relationships     mechanical relationships

                                                                                                                                            and few there are who desire to stray away    stray away from their cages   their confinement    these having provided over the ages   a sense of security   false security to be sure  but which they  nonetheless  settle for as if nothing else existed   nothing else mattered

                                                                   and very often  the doors of their cages remain open  very often  the way has been shown them  in which to wander away   the way has been shown them by which their freedom can be gained   yet   still   they prefer their confinement     their confinement originating from within  that is to say  in their minds  afraid perhaps of wandering off into the human made labyrinth and getting lost   this human made prison  and the indefinite  infinite   infinitely indeterminate sprawl of walls and alleyways  which  all too often are dead ends   all too often fatally so

                                                                                                             it is the confinement within that is preferred most    that is to say   the confinement in our minds     it is   to begin with   this confinement from within   that is to say   the imprisoned mind   the thoughts and perceptions caught in a grid   the habitual feelings and gestures that create   that generate the various kinds of confinement  which   overtime   crystallize   petrifying like mineral deposits into strict   rigid forms and courses   confining our actions

                                                                                                                                                      and as   overtime   one by one  they drop dead     even while new ones are born   their pallid    boney bodies or   their bloated   torpid bodies are assimilated into the structure of the maze   their minds   their brains   their flesh and bones becoming an integral part of the labyrinth’s calcified    petrified structure    their skeletal remains   their agonized expressions   and even their sometimes peaceful expressions   can be seen as occasional incrustations in the walls and alleyways of the interminable maze which is the labyrinth of our cities    our civilizations  the outskirts of which blend into the night and with the periphery of our dreams and nightmares coming true . . . )


By now the rain has begun to thin out and it looks as if i’m the only soul left on the road. i see no headlights approaching from the opposite side, nor any from behind. A quick glance at the dashboard clock confirms my suspicion, it is nearly midnight. i’m feeling hungry and tired so i decide to get off the highway at the next possible exit and find a place to eat and maybe rest up for the night. The darkness beyond the head light beams appears immutable, impenetrable, and gives the impression of encroaching upon the meager beams of light the van produces, as if a thick, black fog. This unpleasant sensation is dispelled by the occasional flash of lightning seen in the distance above the wooded hills, each flash revealing, in stroboscopic manner,   a different and yet somewhat familiar topography; here a group of saplings and bushes shaken about by the gusty winds, there a scraggly, rocky escarpment and, further down, the dark crack of another ravine. The highway seems to be leveling out, with less twists and turns as if i’m entering a valley. A sign appears by the roadside in the distance, still too far to be legible, but which, nonetheless, gives me hope i'm nearing a town. i slow down as i approach the sign in order to get a better look at it. As the sign draws closer, i read “Harford 2 mi” in the familiar dayglo white against dark green background typical of these road signs. Encouraged by the thought of food and rest, i step on the gas and the van lunges forward without effort. In a few minutes the exit appears on my right and once again, i slow down to make the turn. With a sense of relief at the thought of getting some food and rest, i enter the off ramp that veers gently toward the right and then forward in a downward slope, Then, as i approach the road at the underpass, a flash of light catches my eye, my right eye, to be precise, i mean, peripherally, i catch a glimpse of a red light blinking in the distance. Stopped at the intersection, i turn my gaze to the right and looming a few blocks away, i see a large barn-like structure with a luminous sign above it that reads in blue lights “DANNI’S BARN” and beneath that in smaller, blinking, red lights, “live girls   topless dancing,” there are no other buildings in the vicinity as far as i can tell. i can’t help but grimace in disappointment but then i notice that in the sprawling parking lot around

[1] noise here is meant in its two  though not entirely unrelated senses   that is    in the sense usually used in music   which is   those complex sounds that are characterized by a high level of randomness in their frequency components and  sounds whose frequency components are in an inharmonic relation to each other    that is to say    complex non-periodic waveforms     i also refer to noise in the sense used in information theory    that is     the presence of extraneous information in a system    or     to put it another way     information that has no apparent relevance to the system (in this case language) but which is nonetheless present as part of the mechanism or technology used by the system for its expression.

the building, parked in neat rows, are the enormous hulks of the trucks that just a few hours ago passed me in a frenzy on the highway.  i begin to wonder if perhaps DANNI’S BARN is more than just a strip joint. Maybe it is a truck stop with a diner – i think to myself - taking into account that we are in the middle of unpopulated hills    it doesn’t seem like such a far-fetched notion – i say again to myself -

                                                                                                                                         i have always felt apprehension at the thought of going into a strip joint, the fact that, by and large, they seem to always be in secluded places, operating at night, often in seedy areas of town, in windowless buildings, as if the activities taking place inside were something to hide, is enough for me to feel little or no attraction, repulsion even. What’s more, the people i’ve seen entering these places often look rather shady, or if not shady, they seem to cut a sad, somewhat pathetic figure, mainly that of horny, middle aged men bored with their lives    bored with their wives. . . But what bothers me most about strip joints and the entire sex industry, is the repetition, the constant repetition that seems to me to represent the enslavement, exploitation and debasement of desire and the use of desire to keep people, that is to say, us, under control. i resent the constant teasing, the constant titillation, arousing our desires, keeping us always in a state of longing    without our being able to truly fulfill them. A kind of sadomasochistic mechanism in fact, designed to keep us all like hamsters on the proverbial treadmill chasing after the proverbial carrot, just barely out of reach    echoing thus the larger state of affairs, that is to say, how the dominant socio-economic order keeps us all under control by never fulfilling the promises it makes, freedom being the main promise broken, indefinitely postponed    

                  a kind of claustrophobia would arise in me when witnessing the repetitive, mechanically ritualistic behavior often seen in porn movies and usually associated with everything sexual in our society; the constant pressure to be sexual, the obligatory nature of the whole thing, sexual pleasure being, all too often, the only means we seem to have of escaping the doldrums, the dreariness and meaninglessness of our lives and where, the pursuit of pleasure, comes to take the place of the need for meaning and purpose in one’s life so becoming society’s principal instrument of control . . .

                                                                                 well - i mutter to myself - maybe or maybe not    maybe i need to retrace my steps     my thinking     maybe i’ve been reading too much critical-theory    maybe these are no more than clichés and stereotypes   maybe people in there are just having some harmless fun    and maybe    in these secluded    mountainous areas    people find it difficult to entertain themselves and make a living any other way   the fact is    you’ve never been to a strip joint   so how would you know? - i say to myself - everything you know    or think you know about them    the people that frequent these places   is mostly hearsay    you have no actual experience with any of this    maybe you’ve seen a few movies too many hon - i argue again against my fears - why do you give others so much authority over your own perceptions and experiences    over your own experience of reality?

                                                                                                            These thoughts, these rationalizations, become all the more powerful as my stomach’s demands, its rumblings and grumblings    begin to assert themselves more vehemently, such that even as they are coursing through my body and mind, i begin to make a right turn onto the main road. i move along slowly in the direction of the building     it’s blue and red blinking lights casting elongated, intermittent reflections on the wet surface of the pavement. As i approach, i notice that there is another structure annexed to the barn, it has a lower lying wing, in bungalow fashion, which has been added to the barn’s rear. Though much lower than the main building, it seems to jut out several yards from the back wall and from one side of the barn into the parking lot forming a large “L” shaped structure. From where i sit, it gives me the impression of being a medium sized, single storied house. Seeing this, it occurrs to me that it might be the diner part of the building - or maybe it’s just the owner’s living quarters – i think to myself – cautiously. i press on until i reach the parking lot’s entrance. Egged on by hunger and fatigue, i decide to put my rationalizations to the test and turn onto the lot’s gravely surface, i park the van nearby where the trucks are, their enormous frames stand silently between the tall lamp posts whose greenish, metallic light shines serenely upon their massive backs. i turn off the motor and unbuckle my seat belt. In a state of lethargy, i slowly open the van’s door. The long hours of constant driving have made my legs and the rest of my body stiff and numb. i descend onto the gravelly ground stomping my feet and shaking my legs one at a time and close the door. Then, i begin ambling across the parking lot toward the barn finding it difficult to walk on the thickly graveled surface.

                                                                                                                                    The rain has stopped completely and scattered about the parking lot in irregular fashion, i see several roundish or oval shaped puddles on whose oily surfaces are reflected the various blinking beer signs from the barn’s opaque windows. The puddles with their intermittent reflections, suddenly strike me as being large, insect-like eyes     impassibly staring at the dark, rolling sky.

                                                               i continue walking slowly and not without apprehension, but still hungry and thirsty and with great need of a bathroom. i muster up courage and head with more determination toward the building’s entrance. As i approach, i hear the thumping of loud music. Finally, i arrive at the entrance and with my legs still numb, i hobble up the steps and push open one of the double doors, the strident sound of hard rock comes blasting out compelling me to retreat, still, i plod on into the murky, smoke filled depths ahead of me. 

                                                  From the inside, the barn looks a lot more spacious than it appears outside. As i stand inside the entrance doors, i see the bar straight in front of me at about thirty feet. Behind the counter    hangs an enormous antique mirror contained in a dark and ornately crafted wooden frame consisting of volutes, whorls, spirals and scrolls. Above the mirror hangs an old and frayed confederate flag with what appears to be bullet holes in it. Further away and to my left, at about forty-five feet, there stands a stage bathed in multicolored lights that move slowly across, to-and-fro, blending into each other. The stage has three brass poles distributed at equal distances from each other. Gyrating around two of the poles are two women wearing nothing but thongs and high heels, their sagging breasts, flabby bellies and thighs reveal these are not the girls promised by the signs outside but middle-aged women who’ve been around the block a few times too many. Dispersed around the front of the stage are tables and chairs in which sit five or six men smoking and drinking and, on occasion, cheering or hollering comments at the women on stage,   comments which, in the overall loudness of the music, remain unintelligible from where i stand.


To my right is a large room with more tables and chairs and more people, men and a few women seated drinking and talking. i’m about to turn around and leave when suddenly i see the restroom sign. A bit shaky, i walk in the direction of the sign which points to the back of the large room on the right. Behind the bar area i find the door to the men’s room and walk in. As is to be expected, the walls are covered in graffiti, most of it obscene, and the smell and filth is almost more than i can bare. After relieving myself, i walk back out into the main room and approach the bar. Behind the counter, the bartender stands straight in front with his back to me polishing shot glasses and beer mugs with a rag, a small cigar juts from one corner of his mouth.     He is a tall, lanky fellow, about six feet eleven wearing nothing but a black leather vest and an old pair of wornout jeans. On his head he wears an old, frayed, olive green marine cap. His dark hair is short and on his long, pointy nose, sits a pair of round, metal-rimmed Marshwood style glasses through which peer two impassive, steely grey eyes. Noticing me in the mirror, he turns around and looks at me. He puts down the rag and glass he is polishing and approaches the front counter. As he faces me,  i notice a large tattoo of a carp across his torso in the Japanese ukiyo-e style; a symbol of bravery meant to ward off evil spirits and bad luck. He stares at me coldly through his glasses as the music and smoke continue to swirl around us - are you Danni?  - i inquire timidly – naw - he says curtly - that’s Danni over there - he gestures with his thumb. Sitting on a stool on the far left end of the bar, is a man talking to a large, heavyset woman who stands on the inside corner of the counter. Her copper-red hair seems to glow under the overhead lights and against the low-cut black blouse she is wearing which reveals an ample cleavage. The man sitting across her is also heavy set and wears a red baseball cap and black leather jacket, an old pair of jeans and light tan work boots. A large gold ring glitters on the annular finger of his right hand as he waves it around while talking – is that him? – i ask again – her - the bartender corrects – oh . . . that’s Danni? - i say trailing off – that’s right     the one and only Danni van Kralingen - he says smirking – Van what? - i ask – Van Kralingen - he responds - New York Dutch or somethin’     so waddayal have?- he continues drily – do you have any food? - i responded meekly, nervously shifting on my stool – does this look like a restaurant to ya? - he says annoyed - his voice has a long raspy drawl to it reminding me of a recording i once heard of William S. Burroughs reading from one of his novels – well . . . i was hoping it was a diner . . . a truck stop    you know . . . – i answer somewhat shaken – well it ain’t - he snaps back in a matter of fact tone – so . . . what happened to the girls you have advertised outside? - i ask changing the subject, trying to break the ice, he gestures with his head toward the stage where the two women are dancing – you call those girls? - i say in a failed attempt at humor – what were you expectin’? - he sneers back – well    i guess i was expecting     you know . . . young women? – i respond trying to chuckle – the young ‘uns are in the back - he gestures again with his head, this time in the opposite direction. i turn my head toward my right and in the far, right hand corner of the large room i notice for the first time, an entrance covered by a bead curtain behind which emanates a faint, red glow. Realizing this is the entrance to the annex i had seen outside, i turn back toward the bartender – you mean there’s more dancing back there? - i inquire incredulous – oooh yeah they’re dancin’ allright - he cackles meanly - ya oughtta check ‘em out    they’re really somethin’     so waddayal have? - he asks again,  looking amused – do you have any coffee? – i ask -  nope - he snips back – how about a coke    a bag of chips and some peanuts? - i say with resignation. Grimacing, he turns around and with a long, wiry arm, plucks a bag each of chips and peanuts off a stand on the rear counter which he then tosses in front of me. He then reaches into a cooler under the front counter and takes out a can of the soft drink and places it in front of me with a sharp clank along with a glass – that all? – he says visibly impatient – yeah – i say, as a dark feeling of emptiness suddenly wells up in me - black like a swirling cloud of India ink - i think to myself - a rapidly spreading stain - the starkness of the clank still echoes in my mind while at the same time, i feel a palpable, black silence surrounding everything, as if waiting its moment, gently pushing with firm and even pressure despite the loudness of the music which now seems to issue from far away in the distance. i turn my eyes to the meager pickings in front of me and begin eating without noticing the taste      my attention still focused on the silence and darkness that seems to encase everything around me as if somehow, i've entered into a parallel world that lies a hair’s breadth away from our own. The vague memory of having read or heard somewhere about quantic processes occurring in the brain, in the midst of its electrochemical processes, in microtubules in our neurons, enters my thoughts and the fantasy that maybe one’s mind through some kind of quantum wormhole in the brain, might, momentarily, enter into a different, a parallel world, seems to me to make sense, the way physicists say an electron, in its indeterminate orbit around an atom’s nucleus can be in two places at once, what they call entanglement - if an electron in one’s brain suddenly makes a leap    such that it is both in the brain and somewhere else at the same time   say the other side of the universe     who’s to say one’s mind    one’s consciousness    one’s awareness doesn’t go along for the ride too? - i think to myself, munching on some peanuts - our brains    after all    consist of about one hundred billion neurons    roughly the number of stars in our galaxy    and each brain cell is connected to about ten thousand other brain cells forming a vast electrical network    who’s to say that deep down    at the subatomic level     in the electrochemical firings of the neural network    we aren’t intimately connected to the quantic processes of the rest of the universe at the hyperspace level    through wormholes or some other means?    well    holes for sure i have - i muse, this time munching down on some chips - and worms?   i wouldn’t be too surprised either    all things considered    all that sushi i’ve eaten . . . but this darkness    where’s it come from?   this darkness behind the scenes    behind all that exists     seeming to be immanent to being itself – i think to myself, taking a sip of the soda - and the silence?    this seemingly eternal silence that underlies and surrounds all sounds?    it is this silence    which    by way of contrast    makes all sounds clearer     brighter    as if i’m hearing them for the first time ever – i muse, munching down on some peanuts again - maybe i’m temporarily stuck between two worlds    two universes: our universe   some seem to think   may be a membrane with a parallel universe just a millimeter away from it    floating in hyperspace and for some reason    i    suddenly     find myself in this cosmic crawl space in between    looking into our reality from the midst of this unfathomable and seemingly aware darkness       this space between membranes    what?    what is it?    a kind of limbo? -  i say to myself, drinking down the last of what’s left of the soda vaguely feeling the coldness of the can between my fingers - no    of course not    it’s just me    the mood i’m in    i’m tired that’s all it is    the fatigue has changed my mood and the way i see things    there’s no darkness between worlds     i’m not stuck between parallel worlds    it’s the tiredness that’s making my eyes dim     the darkness emanating from my eyes    from my mind    through my eyes into the world around me - i reason trying to comfort myself, suddenly realizing that the bartender is standing in front of me. i turn my gaze up and see his expressionless face looking down at me, his lips move silently    no sound appears to be coming from them  - wha . . .? - i begin, sitting up alarmed – anything else? - he asks pointedly – uh . . . no . . . thanks - i mutter disoriented – well? ain’tcha gonna go? - he inquires raising and lowering his eyebrows rapidly – go where? - i ask puzzled – ta see the young ‘uns - he says with a facetious grin, pointing in the direction of the bead curtain with his thumb. i pause looking toward the faint red glow – don’t know – i answer with apprehension. The barn now seems livelier and loud conversation and laughter intermingled with music fill the entire space as if during my obscure reverie, unbeknownst to me,    more people had entered the establishment – well    ya oughtta check ‘em out they’re really hoppin’ - he cackles meanly as he removes the soda can, glass and wrappings off the counter and with one quick sweep of his rag, wipes it clean – you mean there’s music and dancing back there too? - i enquire reluctantly – oooh yeah    they’re dancin’ alright    to their own brand of music - he chuckles pursing his lips into a kind of lascivious pout while gyrating his hips. The tattooed carp on his torso suddenly comes alive to the rhythm undulating obscenely on his chest and abdomen. i shift uneasily on my seat and suddenly get up not knowing why – weeelllll . . . maaaybeeee . . . i’ll check it out . . . - i mutter in a daze, part of me resisting the motion      which makes my body sluggish and stiff while at the same time, another part of me begins pulling toward the annex’s entrance. Moments later, i arrive at the bead curtain as if in a dream, my heart pounding in my ears along with the music which seems to have gained in intensity. Taking a deep breath, i gather resolve and step through the curtain. A bleak scene greets me on the other side. i’m standing in the vertex of the angle formed by two hallways, one right in front of me, the other to my right, both illuminated by bare, red light bulbs. The walls are made of painted plywood and the floor appears to be old linoleum. Sitting immediately next to the entrance is a large, heavyset man in his thirties, he’s wearing a black Harley Davidson t-shirt with the sleeves cut off, a pair of jeans the cuffs of which are tucked into a pair of black, worn out biker boots. There are tattoos all over his thick arms, among them a swastika. His head is almost completely bald and his clean-shaven face is framed by two wide, untrimmed side-burns. A large, round golden earring dangles from his left ear lobe as he looks up from his comic book with a wide grin that reveals a sizeable gap between his front teeth – howdy - he says cheerily - looking for somethin’? - he smiles at me facetiously winking an eye – the bartender said . . . there’s more dancing back here? - i answer cautiously with apprehension – did he now? - the man chuckles - well you could call it that     it’ll be twenty bucks - he says as he opens an old cigar box that sits on a stool next to him. In the box i can see rolls of bills tied neatly with rubber bands.  The man sits there looking up at me, a grin frozen on his face – twenty dollars? - i say in disbelief – well    yeah   if you wanna see the show     ya gotta pay     you know how it goes - he says with another wink   getting chummy – i . . . i . . . - i begin hesitantly – aw c’mon - he gestures with a thick hairy arm - ya know ya wanna! - i shift from one foot to another as if pulled in opposite directions, fearful of complying yet at the same time, fearful of walking away and angering him.  i reach into my pocket and pull out a clump of bills, find a twenty-dollar bill and handed it to him – go down this hall - he says pointing to his right with the comic book - turn left     first door on your left    ya have half an hour – frowning, i began walking in the direction he indicated and as i pass him he says cheerfully - enjoy! - with a facetious grin still on his face     his eyes quickly turn back to his comic book. i stop midway down the narrow, luridly lit hall in front of a set of double doors on my right and timidly look back inquisitively pointing with my hand in the direction he just gestured. Shaking his head, he suddenly gets up and says annoyed - you guys!    you’re all the same!    desperate to get some but when it’s right in front of ya’s    y’all chicken out! - with a firm grip, he takes hold of my arm and pushes me past the double doors around the corner into another hallway, he then opens the first door on the left which swings back into darkness while at the same time saying with an aggressive snap - turn the light on bitch! - a weak sound, barely a whimper, reaches me through the darkness. A bedside table lamp suddenly lights up as the door slams closed behind me with a laughter. i stand with knees shaking, staring in horror at the sight before me as the acrid smell of shit and urine fills my nostrils. Sitting on a low cot covered with a dirty, soiled bedspread, sits a young woman, a girl, no more than sixteen or seventeen wearing nothing but an oversized T-shirt – pl. . . please don’t hurt me - she says stammering and begins to shake uncontrollably as she brakes into a sob. Petrified with fear, i’m unable to move or utter a single sound – please – she mutters weakly again – I’m sick     I need my medicine – i notice her arms are covered in small bruises and soon realize these are needle tracks.  In a mechanical daze, i move toward the door and slowly pull it open. Sluggishly, i step into the hallway, close the door behind me and still in a daze, begin walking.   As soon as i turn the corner into the main hallway, the man at the entrance sees me and exclaims – well    that was fast!     what happened?    didn’t she wanna put out? – he grins again facetiously – the girl in that room is sick – i mutter back – naw    she’s just overdue for her meds – he grins and winks at me – i think she needs medical attention – i say meekly – we should call an ambulance     she needs medical attention – i say again mechanically – an ambulance?      i ain’t callin’ no ambulance – he answers back annoyed – well   if you’re not going to    i will – i retort – you ain’t callin’ nobody – he says angrily and turning his head to the hallway in front of him yells – hey Joe!      Joe!     come out here! – soon i hear another voice respond from the depths of the hallway somewhere – what is it?     waddya want? – we got a problem     ya gotta come out here – says the man by the entrance – alrightee – says Joe from a distance – and i hear a door slam followed by the sound of heavy footsteps. In a few seconds a tall, somewhat chubby yet muscular figure with long, dark, curly hair and full beard appears at the hallway entrance – what’s up? – he asks smiling – this guy here says our little bird in room one is sick and wants to call an ambulance – answers the man by the entrance pointing at me with his thumb. Joe looks at me with a grin and taking a step toward me says in a friendly tone – naw    she’s not sick man    you know   she just needs her medicine  s’all    she’ll be fine      don’t worry about it – she looks really bad – i answer back    with trembling voice – i really think she needs to see a doctor – Joe’s demeanor suddenly shifts from friendly to aggressive and he says angrily pointing a finger at me – now look here asshole       I told you     she’ll be fine    now you go in there and do your business or get the hell outta here      y’understand? – shocked, i step back a few paces – i’ll call the cops if i have to – i say with fear. Joe suddenly stops and looks at his friend by the entrance, they both stare at each other quietly for a few seconds, then a big grin appears on their faces and suddenly, they erupt simultaneously into loud laughter. Joe stomps on the floor with one foot while slapping his thigh – you go ahead and do that! – he says laughing – you just go ahead!    lets see how far that gets ya! – they both shake laughing uncontrollably – the chief of police is one of our best customers! – Joe says laughing even louder stomping his foot and slapping his thigh again. They are now leaning on each other shaken by violent paroxysms of laughter, their faces flushed red with exertion, i step back further uncertain about what to do next when suddenly Joe straightens up and getting aggressive again says – I think it’s time for you to exit these premises bud – he and his friend walk quickly toward me and overpowering me they each take hold of my arms and push me toward the double doors on the side of the main hallway. Joe vigorously pushes the doors which open violently onto a small cement landing which has a set of cement steps that lead down to the parking lot outside – wait!     i’ll leave    you don’t have to do this! – i say stammering again with fear – you damn right you’re leavin’ – says Joe as they both push me forcefully through the doorway making me stumble on the steps on which i trip falling on my hands and knees on the gravely surface of the ground outside. A sharp pain rips through my right knee as i hit the ground tearing a hole in my pants. i lie on the ground writhing in excruciating pain while clutching at my injured knee – that’s what you get for being a trouble maker – i hear Joe say, the two friends look at each other and begin laughing again – you better get the fuck outta here now or we’ll really put a hurt on ya – says the other guy stepping onto the cement steps. i roll over and slowly pick myself up and begin limping across the parking lot toward the van still clutching at my knee – that’s right you dipshit     go back to momma – says Joe mockingly – yeah   get the fuck outta here you fucking pussy – says the other guy with angry disdain. Still limping, i speed up my pace. i reach the van,     unlock the door and with great difficulty pull myself up into the cabin. i sit in the driver’s seat, slam the door shut and quickly lock it.  i look at my knee and notice the pants material is soaked in blood. Moaning in pain    i reach for a box of tissues on the other seat and pull out a handful and stuff the wad through the tear in my pants onto the gash in my knee. i sit there for a few minutes pressing down on the wound trying to stop the bleeding. i switch hands and keep the pressure on with my left and taking the van key in my right, i push it into the ignition, turn it and lightly press on the gas. Much to my relief, the engine starts up almost instantly. Still rattled by fear and pain, i reach for the seat belt, buckle up, then release the hand break and slowly begin moving across the parking lot toward the exit. Turning left onto the main road  i decide to go back to the highway and search for a motel in which i can spend the night – the further away i can get from this place    the better – i mumble still trembling with fear. The asphalt is still wet from the rain and i pass large puddles of water by the side of the road as i move forward. In a few minutes i reach the ramp that leads to the highway and accelerating with a growing sense of relief turn onto it splashing through another puddle. In a few seconds i’m back on the highway heading south again. As i step on the gas a thought begins to insinuate itself in my mind arising from the unease and fear, triggered by the recent trauma, a familiar feeling begins to make itself felt, the feeling i’ve always had, a feeling that surfaces every now and then under certain circumstances, a feeling of not belonging and that i’m living behind enemy lines.    The realization suddenly hits me that not only have i just had a brush with what some call the criminal element, but, that i have also just been kicked in the face by fascism, kicked in the teeth by what i’ve always felt, always known was there, in one form or another, veiled as it were, lurking in the seemingly innocent actions of men and women going about their daily lives; a kind of potential force which under the right conditions suddenly becomes a kinetic force that slams into one’s life, one’s being, with the violence of a freight train, discombobulating one’s mind and body - a violence over which one has little or no control whatsoever – i mutter again to myself as a shudder runs through my entire body making me feel out of sorts with myself, my body, my senses, making me feel unreal as if i’m in a dream wandering aimlessly in the darkness of the highway . . . In time i see the large luminous sign of a motel ahead of me to my right. i pull onto the off ramp and reaching the main road, i turn right and see the motel about a block ahead on my left.  i pull up to the entrance and cautiously turn onto the cement surface of the parking lot and move slowly toward the motel’s office. Once parked in front of the office, i turn the lights off and then the motor. i unbuckle the seat belt and opening the door, painfully climb down from the van’s cabin. Still limping, i amble toward the front door and pulling it open step inside and hobble toward the receptionist’s desk. Sitting at the desk i see a heavy-set woman in her mid to late twenties, she’s wearing a grey cardigan style angora sweater that reveals an ample cleavage. Her abundant blonde hair is bunched up at the top of her head and held in place with a large pin - hi! – she says cheerfully – what can I do for ya? – i need a room – i mumble back weakly – ok     for how long? - she asks – just tonight - i mutter – okaayyy   that’ll be sixty five dollars – she says while typing on a computer keyboard with stubby fingers which i notice are clad with long, pointy   ornately decorated finger nails. Wondering how she manages to type with those long nails i pull out my wallet and extract a debit card which i hand her. After a short while she says cheerily – here is your key, its room number eleven to yer right at the end of the lane, ya have to be out by ten am tomorrow mornin’ – she says handing back my card - i also need a first aid kit - i mumble cautiously - oh! what happened hon?  cut yerself or somethin'? - she asks showing concern - i had an accident . . . hurt my knee - i mutter back.    She reaches under the desk and pulls out a small plastic box which she places on the counter in front of me and says winking with a big smile on her face – is there anything else I can do for ya? – frowning i respond cautiously – uh . . . no . . . thanks – still frowning and with key in hand i grab the first aid kit and turning around begin walking toward the office entrance and as i reach the door i hear her say – well    if you change yer mind    you just give me a holler hon – i turn around slightly as i’m walking through the doorway and see her winking and smiling at me again. Puzzled, i hobble back to the van and climb in. i start the motor and pull out of the parking space in front of the office and slowly drive down to where my room is.  i park the van, clamber down with first aid kit in hand and then reach inside the cabin for my backpack and suitcase. i limp to my room, unlock the door and walk into the room which smells like cigarette smoke. i lock the door and walk toward the bed and throw myself on it leaving the back pack on the floor.  i lie on my back for a while with my eyes closed and almost fall asleep. i suddenly sit up and begin taking off my clothes. Once naked, i amble into the bathroom and turn the shower on. i stand under the flowing water for a long time feeling relieved letting the warm water wash over my entire body caressing the gash in my knee.  After the shower i dry myself with a large fluffy towel and walk back into the bedroom and sitting on the bed, i reach for the first aid kit. i apply disinfectant to the wound and put some gauze on it which i then secure with some adhesive tape

                                     i’m sitting in the dark on the edge of the bed staring at the window      it has started raining again    the parking lot’s metallic light seeps in filtered by the gauzy curtains and rivulets of rainwater which flow down the pane creating a translucent     undulating pattern of shadows on the wall which divides the room into a triangle of gray-green luminosity against the darkness in the rest of the space  

a new combination of space and time seems to be taking place     a flattening of all objects felt into a web of surfaces     surfaces interlocked     surfaces within surfaces projected on the wall     there are different times going on    different time continuums      a mesh     a web of different time continuums inside me     in my body and mind     my thoughts     my brain    and also outside     in the world around me     the rain has its own time     the water has its own time     the thunder and lightning too    my breathing and heart beats their own time      my thoughts and feelings their own times

                                                                                          for a long time i sit on the bed staring at the window as the rain keeps falling    drizzling     then pouring again    staring at the shapes on the wall created by the light from outside    filtered by the rivulets of water on the windowpane and the gauzy curtains     an hour or two    maybe three    maybe more go by    the pain in my knee throbbing and the bandage i made for it fallen off onto the carpet

                                                entranced by a thought or feeling    a memory which usually grows disturbing me with shame    embarrassment    fear and melancholy    what should i think    what?   as if thinking will make a difference    to persuade and be persuaded    perused    looked over     locked into a grid of mutual manipulation    permutations     next    what should i do?    held firmly against myself in fear    paralyzed    i wait for a moment or two for a revelation to release me from this stultified state    as light from the parking lot outside flows into the room filtered by rivulets of rain water streaming down the window forming undulating designs against the wall     i feel the presence of someone in the room staring at me in the dark    an immense presence seems to insinuate itself into my mind but i know there’s no one there     i stare blankly at the moving shadows on the wall    without thought    frozen stiff    stifled from within by fear     in the dark    shivering    and as i stare at the patterns i begin to mumble     to myself     unknown to myself     words    words seem to drift down the wall in changing designs     drooling down into the shadows

               words are moving again    shifting places   changing order    permutating    drifting like banks of sand     groups of words        

                                      streaming round ‘n round bumping into each other   groups of words are shifting    changing order   intermingling    getting mixed up     caught in a whirlpool  

                                                                                                            streaming round and round      words are shifting   floating   like so much debris    flotsam   some jetsam too    bumping into each other   inverting order   interjecting    changing place   swirling round and round    branching out in all directions

words are         moving    permutating and drifting like sand banks    groups of words    forming islands     bumping into each other

                                     bumping into one another    words are forming    permutating and sifting    drifting like sand banks   shifting     groups of words forming islands of varying texture and density

                                                                                                                                      groups of words and the thoughts    the feelings they represent   dissolving   disseminating   into textures of varying density   varying degrees of points of view    intertwined   disrupting a flow   the flow of something or other not quite the same   bumping into each other   and curly cues forming convolutions and counter-involutions deforming into sentences streaming

                                                       jetsam and some flotsam too   swirling round and round   changing position   words are shifting    of varying density and texture   like so much debris    thoughts are drifting   and some words too   bumping into each other   jagged black and white shapes    words are moving again    their wavering shapes    erratically bumping into each other   

                                                                                       shifting positions    bumping density  swirling round and round forming curly cues   drifting and permutating   branching out in all directions    interjecting  bumping   intertwined   disrupted flow moving    inverting order  interjecting  changing  bumping  moving  sifting dissolving   thoughts reforming   density something convoluted     swirling   intertwined disorder   interjecting changing convolutions  round debris black bumping deformations    groups of words   the feelings and thoughts they represent electrochemically firing

                                                                               intertwined becoming a flow    their undulating shapes   words are moving again   changing form   branching out in all directions   into textures of varying density   dissolving    disseminating   shifting positions   drifting and permutating   sifting through thoughts this orders again into inverted other form shifting forming  jagged shapes   bumping into each other wandering    drifting like sand banks shifting like so much debris    words are swirling round and round   streaming some jetsam too   

       floating    inverting order    words like islands   drifting and density disseminating    deforming    sifting texture dissolving view   round debris black bumping   forming    bumping    bumping swirling bumping curly cues and round interjections changing convolution something round debris black re-presented again


bumping de-formation electrochemically firing   words are of sand    words in whirlpools churning     islands round and round bumping       turning   forming curly cues     bumping bumping swirling round and round intertwined disorder bumping de-formation electrochemically moving again

                                                                                                               jagged black flotsam and white jetsam too     floating swirling bumping    drifting words are shifting

                                                                                                      jagged   white      black and white    jagged shapes      puzzle-like    slowly swirling round and round     caught in a whirlpool     near the window’s edge     where the bend begins      blindly searching each other's edges     words and their sounds    their undulating shapes     erratically     erotically bumping into each other       never quite    fitting in

               undulating in slow wavering motions     vibrations    reverberations     convolutions through    in time and space     undulating like mollusks   squids in a dark abyss     amorphous thought and flesh    bone   indistinguishable     where i begins and ends  difficult to discern who or what is doing the discerning   down this corridor before    soon language    words and thoughts becoming sound   vibrations   pure energy    currents dissolving into each other emerge out of darkness    serpentine    ephemeral     waiting in an office building blinded by the lights the street lights    distracted    looking at the streets below    as if in a foreign country    a foreign northern country where the cold     the drizzle covers everything with grayness     indefinite    gliding above it all as if in a helicopter or blimp     drifting gently in the silence     my head feels like a balloon gently drifting    a weakening formation so small     infinitesimally small     a forming weakness     adrift 

           in the darkness of sleep    i search for myself     muttering adrift     in the ruins     among the ruins i search for myself   passing in the screen like sky    the tv snow sky    faces appear and disappear    flicker into and out of existence     passing by like gentle clouds behind an endless landscape of ruined cities and ideas     cities of ideas and images digitally crumbling    flickering into and out of existence   it was a reflection that led us   me   the me   echoing     here in the first place     it was reflection that led me here indefinitely into an abyss     certain that the silence listens   the darkness    the silent darkness listens    is aware   intelligent     infinitely listens    absolute stillness listens   unflinchingly    here next to me in the boundless darkness and


silence listens to me     to us    our thoughts    our words     the sounds     listens to the glistening    in each other as becoming and going in a wilderness of molecules randomly interacting    undressing     squashed up to personal trees     up close and personal     no division   mutually interpenetrating     don’t know what in the not knowing    the everything and the nothing flickering up close and personal    infinitely listens    the boundless silence as galaxies turn    churn     burn onto walking down the rusty streets    volume laughter squirming in unison    opportunity clearly blurring loop derangement   black   translucent vision   sheer energy meets automatism advanced in stages of degeneration    yet still without a goal could wind up anywhere where someplace means a place of repose for the crowd unpleasing in its unconscious appeasing resonating now with the fears of a world trembling since day one watch the sun they do not feel do not know what they steal  when they touch   anyone mist passes the rise   the hillock   the trees remain silent as ever in the unflinching stillness  clearly this resonates with someone in the distance of what is trying to be becoming and going in the harshness of winter hear the clocks ticking relentlessly ticking away at the bottom of despair as ice congeals sometimes clinging to the the        to speak petty empty mouthed a jabbering in the dark they so like it so much they so love it so much cling to it in the dark with mouth and terror can only say but a few words in the dark fuss full of nothingness translucent black fuzzy static clinging to the air hanging low like a headache blurring the vision disturbing the thinking interference like black tv snow hanging low over the city licking thick thinking sick nausea membrane elastic stretching with our efforts to break free in the sun in the dark in the spring in the winter unknowing splintering in the coalescing ended retreat into being chopped tiresome drooping away inflection beyond remains upended reasons become from past gleaming the everything knowing the silence biting evening the bushes straight into the reading begins by a sea enough comes cut under retreating so now too names meander whose sometimes telling bell sounds reverberating a few words not knowing no me in sounds in the trees among the across breath blowing interference membrane spring chopped past the whose sounds gleaming telling so much so that enough is not enough again and then some more what leaves into sun waves coalesce into disorder upon the ridge in one boundless squirming simultaneously sounding scrambled what motions interjections frozen through future darkness up close and personal  to the edge   i knows “I don’t know” clambering piece meal like into a description falters the way through unconsoled mourning as past becomes re-past piece meal the names because to antipathy the things they were away in the distance and the nothing to i knows no knowing i blurry vision sound mass vibrations discombobulating aphoristic listening

                                                                                                            antipathy begins croaking the names such that clear cut    i'm the sun's waves sometimes with    with light frozen inside out through futures i know no listening to the sounds biting     dissolving me such by    i'm told    a few words membranous again boundless darkness up the river description because to vision moans chiming in the trees      figures system is to the and all the making posh as the me was a parapet synchronized posting what the they philosophically reproduced thinking

                                                      re-produced enough to antipathy moans in this night coalescing into inflection such that enough is not enough again that restriction begins ended in a piece of blank planks across out by the telling of the it like it is by a sea retreating the names drop sometimes scrambled into rain    reproduced enough     comes into being because becomes  such that enough again restriction ended  undercut    cut under   chopped   to antipathy this day of clear cut divisions       moans by a sea retreating    so tiresome the things that meaning means open ended “i”   i’m told a timeless    the names now too droop away     what breath blows what leaves into sun’s waves coalesce     whose inflection beyond prone     language is languaging language  and somethink sometimes remains upended motions piece meal like     a blank plank across out by the telling     reasons with light interjections scrambled howl’s appropriate place is when     bell sounds become motionless frozen sounding simultaneously in one boundless time reverberating from past   present through future unrelentlessly squirming in their seats a few words gleaming in the distant like darkness turned inside out   i don’t knows in the not knowing   the everything and the nothing up close  and personal   i know no knowing i knows no knowing unknown to i knows no knowing “I”   up close and personal listening to the “me” in the silence that listens    blurry visions and my ears are grasping the distance in the sounds biting at them in the night a sound mass of frog and insect sounds amasses me in the evening air dissolving me into vibrations croaking chirping and chiming in the trees among the bushes what more to do?  such by the rain whose remains blow breath across the straights into the tiresome    in a timeless universe I’m told a multiverse i read somewhere     reading aphorisms    aphoristic reading    watching expressions on tv    explosions on tv    film   video   the war continues    centuries   thousands of years  there are wars everywhere    wars of all kinds   on a daily basis    in the mind   among each other  institutional wars   aesthetic wars   corporate wars   everywhere wars of all kinds  reproducing the war mind set   reverberating throughout space and time   echoing each other in a timeless web of interdependent ill will and nastiness     

                                                      paradise lost ‘cause i never had one   axiomatic action figures synchronized posing watching cretinism    purdy please automatic autonomic authoritarianism system is what they stand for   "just what we needed   them saying how subversive to logocentrism    to the philosophical tradition of conceptual thought writing is    as if they discovered the whole thing   and all the while taking it to the bank   marketing 'their' 'ideas'    turning themselves into authorities    making posh academic careers for themselves in the process   stars   authority figures    the boring lot   the boring self serving    self satisfied lot" heard them saying that  as whispering with spittle in mine ears   as me was thinking  in a dreameandering    echoing in mine ears     more like a buzz saw purdy please with a parapet for jumping off a cliff into an abyss stuffed with reams and reams of paper and rusty dust     

                                                                                                                                      just as well intransigent motherfucker wants music for every line    every sentence   i’ve been put to death a million times by now rotting away in my niche   my grave   my cave   platonic and otherwise   can’t stand the stench   can’t stand their stench   tireless wannabes insular self-motivating international organization hypnotic surveillance team insecurity safety pin cushion death machine fabrication morale posture slump turn around torniquet disaster area aerodynamically puttsying round ‘n round fuddy duddy involutionary seduction intestine technological banality contest for fan fun machines  drool driping mouth on pillow i is mumbling to myself

                       no one writes here so insane scribbling sense jabbing fragments in the dark jabbering who may be conceivably possessed and foreign other nobody manages experiences so beautiful about memory and agony two decades of whole horrors playing their parts coruscating here and there at their best makes “me” err   thought dis orders “you” phony ummmm     a sort of lapsus al revés de   vés?    moments later neither manner meant ceased to cause and effect    heavy duty cycle and absence as who needs “it”     the “it” of “that”  that is to say   what   say   say what?   de-essencialized for purdy please comfort    sonrisa   tormenta metáfora   ya vés   mas palabras al re-vés   distancia   this stance of doing al revés   a line meant discombobulation borders     punish meant: fascism    align meant: obedience    these lines are curving in time    bent out of shape   well that’s “your” problem for a change of fashion clothes as revolutionary duty cycle    watching “it” out of my hair    electrochemical Miss conduct surely never knew - say a wood - seguro nunca lo supo    verse-like dream - hood for “beauty”    ahora el “tu” no me ve    “nothing” language grates distance    lo supo nuevamente pienso en un salvage   this stance of doing al revés   “belleza” significa idioma    entangle meant:   escritura como ”maleza”    i.e. a scrub    un yuyal    una maraña de cosas  all tangled up in sounds   nuevamente en tí: un bosque, espera  per  verso; la que todo el decir “nada” en este “de tu” se desintegra   smile   simile smile  miles and miles of smiles   similarly smiles   sonrisa storm metaphor   tormenta metáfora   see words in more more    ya vés    palabras y más más    decisive X-with knife   una decisiva equis-con cuchillo    a new neo blinds from a distance    this stance of doing al revés     un nuevo neo enceguece desde la distancia     “at entrance” stops senses    sentences thinking    “a la  entrada” se detienen    los sentidos    oraciones pensantes    no one writes here so insane sense jabbing fragments jabbering who what may be conceivably possessed and foreign other body nobody manages experiences so beautiful about memory two decades of whole world horrors play their parts coruscating here at their best     in a timeless universe    multiverse    read the aphorisms     look at the expressions   watch the explosions on film    on tv    video    the war continues    wars of all kinds continue    for centuries   thousands of years    there are wars everywhere    wars of all kinds  which reverberate  throughout time and space   echoing each other in a timeless web of interdependent ill will and nastiness

                                                                                            pressure writing perhaps synonymous with face to face sequential curling round ‘n round the slow action toward this juncture    frozen in shreds of darkness staying  and not to mention the rest of “it”       what when say what windblown    not only a whisper this as planned “us” becomes “we”    what purpose as perilous clockwise control pleasure control prank thinking     the great what impulse around us    what known meant the take just as says should remark as a through the writing   they can whatever as what in a sense imposed upon our “is”       valley breaking everythrough falling purpose thing as before     what meant the take thinking what will    the meaning lotsa restlessness sometimes meant pretty just as says so    what they can whatever means made alike a knot only thought should be or as they are that what upon a sense   person valley through thinking though upon an almost when     no book   just meandering of paths and night faces between destinations aperiodic     then of this crack an image initiated    round the squirming name    eventually forgotten inside but also themselves inscriptions like fissures soon forgotten   whereas nowhere and now here forming a skin as web spilled perhaps then opening up where the drop responded within and some way shared forming how an agile tangle meant becoming sive     i might say “as you say”     say what accumulated belief twisting as desire to them beyond the more remains about writing writing     desiring desires unraveling unquote    quiet touch of trajectory there recollecting myself perhaps as nobody stroking the self to what twigs now involved as such an expression     if anything now said still depraved might come aground again     and or on having    to move to another    shattered order      so what’s a crowd    la oscuridad      creek like aqueduct crossed out for a ride to know that floor dancing   these almost then a mouthful        her “as is”    of hard long soft whose humor then wanted to be then as rows now rising bewildered they came curvilinear breaking a long answer short      to make another who asked me short coming before that question marks smeared down away the treading    fast as you say toward what end giving    permission misunderstanding under being what gasps said misled eye over under beneath becoming must have been a bridge    an optical what is    somewhere like an elsewhere we are as if a location turned the hand turning a page as blank as a stare when “i” was going somewhere where was now looking back then  nothing before that and there like and like there the and so soon adrift  so anyone this journey cannot hold

                                                                                   then of images round the eventually    but also inscriptions soon nowhere here as web then where  within way forming a tangle i might say accumulated way saying what twisting to them moving      cracks initiated name inside fissures themselves whereas now a skin perhaps up some agile because and shattered creek ride a bridge elsewhere turning   then soft rows curvilinear meant before the giving under turning “i” and now so soon held  then forming inside fissures bridging everything round ‘n round again as is la oscuridad now involved perhaps becoming the more trajectory    to know that wanted almost rising say what you say what soiled thoughts  the faulty haphazard slippages   starts the straying construction and away a way of becoming and going letting go of the staying  not my territory     which is to say  straying and resting for a while  which is never enough such that enough so much more said and then again some more straying starts to begin again   an aporia and doing the risk again      layers of making sense sedimented becoming non sense  encrusted meaning in formation regimented into resisting assimilation    the tension between what is central and what is digressive arises and the possibility for new meanings is generated  this function and dysfunctional it doesn’t work   i.e., it doesn’t serve power     turbubabulent curlicues involutions and counterinvolutions meandertalltelling vineyarns yearning   with a mouthful of words and sounds disintegrating and reintegrating in re-creation  slippages sopping through fissures and interstices encrusted with meanings rusted     the issues becoming like tissues of which here and there where endings begin misfiring into misreadings and mishearings electrochemically pitterpattering and stuttering discombobulating into disjuncture   a swarm   a shrapnel   a multiplicity of voices and sounds following upon the exploding of fixed meaning and instrumental language careening into disorder and this ordering again this writing as yarn translated into yearning  a yearning translated into yarn   to spin and to spawn   a twist discovered in the unconscious downward into body as transducer    a betrayal of course and off course a discovery of bodymind as the locus of languaging     musicking  droping off the false dichotomy of mind versus body    as close a transduction into sound as possible     oneiric landscapes and language as wilderness    yarn vineyearning    sloppily sentimental     as wheat against blue    out of pain or tangled weeds     bloom dwelling interest into foggy story shared to light of fiction haunted by inky ghosts     a line of green to root    this tale leads nowhere     or lately at least    what illumination i choose if history’s a chiaroscuro     floats over entering   sinks into vision exactly at shade    positioned on waterway wondering    wandering through realism’s entangled looseness    such that silence is approval of ephemeral     copies darkness late in the spinning leaps into pattern    “it” shimmers     wobbly in places    goes into rain    meticulous    calmly meticulous    the grim grind of stony ground    concrete stories of sound and round wind down the bend    leafy articulations    mossy perambulations and then some more after appetite’s return     glide down the slopey detail’s construction    upon old    cold clods of sullen earth with dread    dearly read ready-made statements to an end     and then again     and then some more     that is to say     languaging not languishing!     i means     verbatim not verboten!    which is to say    in other words    nobody now knows what a talk to what edges left to these   we each a then in what say what inflection sound saying the what itself which is to say we kept and when to say what in a way    which is the is     is what say what the is    knows when a breeze and then some a tangent of   of say what’s left to say     to write what’s left of right to say what again say what’s left to say   what to say to   to say what    what to say to say   say what to say    what’s left to say     to say   say what    you might say what’s left to say       say what?  

                                                                                                                                                a ray of sunlight touches my eye, my right eye to be precise, blinking awkwardly i turn on my back trying to avoid that luminous intrusion into the comforting darkness of my dreams. i lie still for a few minutes trying to recover the thread of the dream i lost. Finally, i give up and blinking painfully, slowly open my eyes. i look toward the window and see a beam of sunlight streaming in through the dusty white curtains. i check the clock on the bedside table, it is nearly eight am. i try to move, but the ache in my knee paralyses me. Carefully, i sit up on the side of the bed. i’m feeling raw, physically and emotionally. Thoughts of the events of the previous night come flooding into my mind and as the memories circulate randomly in my head, a shudder ripples through my entire body echoing with feelings of fear, shame and regret. i look at my knee,   it is bruised and swollen, a large scab of dried blood and pus has formed on the kneecap overnight.  i get up off the bed and hobble over to the bathroom where i left the first aid kit. Returning to the bedroom, i sit on the bed and begin applying disinfectant gel on the wound. i then make another attempt at putting a bandage on my knee. This time, i apply extra adhesive tape which i wind around my leg and the damaged area securing the bandage tightly. i sit on the bed for a few minutes eyeing the telephone on the bedside table. i'm startled by the phone's sudden ringing. Shaken, i pick up the receiver and hear a friendly female voice on the other end - good morning sir - i hear the cheery voice say - we just wanted to let you know breakfast is available in the lobby until ten am    thank you! - uh    thank you - i mutter cautiously and put the receiver back in it's cradle. i sit there staring at the phone for a while pondering whether i should call someone and report the events of the previous night: the girl held against her will, drugged, forced into slavery. i take my road atlas and lap top out of my bag, looking at the map i see i'm in the county of Susquehanna, a little bit north of a town called Lenoxville. i get on the web and start a search for the nearest FBI office, i see there is one in Lakawana, the next county down from Susquehanna in the city of Scranton. i write the phone number down on a piece of paper and sit on the bed looking back and forth at the number and the phone for a long while,      wavering. The image of the desperately sobbing girl in the stench filled room comes to mind prompting me to suddenly pick up the phone and dial the number. The phone rings for a long time, i'm getting nervous and think of hanging up when suddenly a female voice says - FBI Scranton -  hello - i say shakily - how may I help you sir - says the voice at  the other end  - i . . . uh . . . i want to report a case of human trafficking - i answer back nervously - ok - says the woman's voice - let me transfer you to the Criminal Investigative Division    just a moment please - she says efficiently - a phone begins to ring, i wait for several seconds again wavering, i'm thinking of hanging up until another female voice suddenly says - FBI     Criminal Investigative Division    how may I help you? - fretting and looking around the room in a panic   i mutter back with a trembling voice - i . . . i want to report a case of human trafficking – Ok sir     let me transfer you to the agent in charge      one moment please – says the woman followed by a ring tone which goes on for several seconds until a male voice says – agent Warren     how may I help? – i want to report a case of human trafficking – I mutter back meekly – ok     where are you calling from sir? - says the agent in a calm but firm voice -  i . . . i'm in a motel off of highway eighty one . . . just  north of Lenoxville in . . . in Susquehanna county - i stammer nervously - is the trafficking going on there    at the motel? - asks agent Warren - uuuhh . . . no no   not here - i spit out frantically -  try and calm down Mr . . . what's your name? - i'd rather stay anonymous - i say meekly - ok Mr. Anonymous . . . could I at least have a first name? - i hear the distant voice say, seemingly amused - you can call me Robert - i answer slightly annoyed - ok Mr. Robert     where is this trafficking taking place? - the agent responds calmly again. Feeling the urge to get up and run out of the room barely controlling myself, i stammer again - it's a bit north from here     in Fordham     off of highway eighty one - is it at a motel in Fordham? - the agent asks – no . . . no - i stammer again trembling - it's in a bar     a place called Danni's Bar - i say muttering nervously - in a bar? - agent Warren asks - yes . . . well no     not in the bar itself - not in the bar itself?    what's the name of the place again? -  the agent asks - Danni's Bar     with two ns    near the exit to the town of Fordham - i respond still shaky - Danni's Bar     with two ns - i hear the agent repeat as if he's writing down what i just told him - so if it's not in the bar proper where is this trafficking taking place? - agent Warren asks again - it's in the back of the bar      behind the bar there's an annex      a kind of bungalow    you enter it through a door in the rear of the bar - i say now with increasing confidence - so    just what were you doing there Robert?- i hear the agent ask seemingly amused again - me?     i     uuuh . . . - i tell him i had been driving all day    that i was tired and hungry and that i was looking for a place to rest and get something to eat - so you were looking for a place to rest and get something to eat - he repeats - well  yes    i mean     i thought it was a truck stop with a restaurant    you know the kind    i saw several semis parked in the lot outside so i thought it was a truck stop – i repeat and then tell him how i walked into the bar and headed straight for the rest room and then,  after that,    how i had sat at the bar and asked for food  but the thin, tall bar tender with a carp tattooed on his torso said they didn't serve food there and gave me some peanuts and a soft drink instead - ok    but that doesn't explain how you know about what was going on in the annex    what were you  doing there Robert? - agent Warren emphasizes - well     i . . . uh . . . – i start with embarrassment - i thought there was dancing going on in there - i respond feeling shaky again - dancing?    what kind of dancing Robert? - i can almost hear agent Warren smirking - well . . . you know . . . topless dancing    i've never seen it before    i've never been in a place like that before      i just wanted to see what it was all about - i respond annoyed and embarrassed - never seen it before      never been in a place like that     wanted to see what it was about - i hear the agent repeat as if to himself - so what prompted you to go to the annex Robert? - the agent asks - well      the bar tender told me about it    he said there was more dancing back there - i say - more dancing? – the agent asks  - well     yes     i mean      there was dancing in the bar room too    there was a kind of stage near the bar where two women were pole dancing     but he said there was more dancing going on in the back and that they were younger -  i say again embarrassed – who is “he”? – asks agent Warren – the bar tender – i respond meekly – the bar tender     more dancing in the back     younger dancers – i hear the agent mutter as i feel myself blushing profusely with embarrassment – so what happened next?– asks the agent -  i . . . well i . . . i sort of dragged myself toward the rear of the bar where the door was . . . it was a doorway with a red bead curtain . . . – i stammer again – you dragged yourself?  what do you mean you dragged yourself?  were you drunk?– the agent asks emphatically – well     no    i . . . i wasn’t drunk   one side of me was curious to see what was going on while at the same time i felt apprehensive    i felt something was not quite right – i mutter back again with embarrassment – i don’t really know why i went back there      i guess i was just curious        i knew something was wrong       it didn’t make any sense      i mean      why more dancing in the back where no one could see them      when there already was dancing going on in the bar room – i say trying to sound logical, rational - i was definitely afraid      but something kept pulling me along –  i say trying to shake the shame taking over my entire being – ok      so you went anyway      and then what happened – the agent says again in a serious tone of voice. i tell him that i was greeted by a bouncer, the biker guy on the other side of the red beaded curtain that separated the annex from the bar room, i tell him how i had to pay twenty dollars to see the show as the biker guy had described it with a grin,  i tell him how the bouncer had dragged me by the arm down the hallway, opened the door to a room and shoved me into it where the girl was sitting on a bed, i tell him how she had tracks all over her arms, how she was sobbing in despair and had said she was sick, i tell him how i left the room in a panic and told the bouncer the girl was sick and that we needed to call a doctor and how, instead, he called his friend Joe, who came out of another room and how they both had threatened me, i tell him how i told them i’d call the police and how they mockingly laughed at me saying the police chief was one of their main clients and how taking me by both arms, the bouncer and his friend had shoved me out the double doors on the side of the bungalow onto the gravely surface of the parking lot outside where i tripped and fell injuring my knee – I see – says agent Warren – I think I understand      ok Mr. Robert    you did the right thing in calling us       we will investigate the place       thank you for informing us about this     as you might know       we have been investigating human trafficking in this area for several years now     this might be very helpful to us       is there anything else you want to tell me? – no – i reply dryly – is there a number we can reach you at? – he asks again – i . . . i rather not – i say annoyed - you understand you could be an important witness in this case – i sigh exasperated – look      i don’t want any trouble       and anyway i’m going on a trip – going on trip?     were to? – he asks – to Europe      and i don’t know when i’ll be back – i say briskly – where in Europe exactly? – he asks again – mostly Northern Europe – i say – i’m just going to wander around      maybe i’ll visit with some friends in the Netherlands     i haven’t made up my mind yet – I see      well can we stay in touch with you via email? – what?!? – i exclaim agitated – are you kidding me?     i don’t want to have to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder! - we’ll protect you – the agent says calmly – what?!?!       what do you mean?    like in a witness protection program?     are you joking?      no way!     i’m supposed to go into hiding?     change my name?     relocate?      what about my family?     my friends?      are you crazy? – by now i’m yelling into the receiver outraged and in a panic – try and calm down Mr. Robert      we already know you are calling from the Best Western outside Lenoxville     all we have to do is get your credit card information from the motel to get your true name and address – says agent Warren calmly – no!     no! – i yell back – no way!      i did everything i could to help!     leave me alone! – i yell again and slam the receiver down. Gathering my things in a frenzy, i walk out of the room into the day outside which is bright and sunny and jars my dark and angry mood. Putting on my sunglasses, in a hurry i walk toward the office dragging my suitcase behind me with backpack slung over my shoulder. i fling the office door open in a fury and walk up to the desk on which i slam the room key  startling the young woman at the counter – i’m checking out! – i exclaim -  are you ok sir? – the young woman asks visibly flustered – uh . . . yes    yes – i say agitated – yes i’m ok    i’m just in a hurry – i say breathing heavily – i just need to check out now – she looks at me then at the computer screen in front of her and says – would you like to sign up for our preferred customer plan? – no – i answer curtly – may I have your email address so we can send you our current deals and discounts? – no – i respond dryly with increasing impatience – very well sir you are set to go      have a nice trip – she says smiling. Reaching for my suitcase i turn toward my right and am suddenly paralyzed by the sight of a long table at the side of the lobby. i realize i’m looking at a breakfast buffet, a rather elaborate and appetizing buffet. On it are several pots of coffee and two jugs filled with orange juice along with a couple of platters loaded with doughnuts and pastries. Realizing this must be the breakfast i was told about earlier, i remain motionless and silent contemplating the scene as the gurgling growls in my stomach, of which i had been unaware of until now, begin to make themselves felt with growing assertion. Remembering the meager meal i had the night before, i turn my head toward the desk and see the woman staring back at me with a smirk on her face – would you like to have breakfast sir? – she asks cheerfully – uh . . . well . . . yes . . . i guess i better – i mutter slowly, embarrassed - you don’t want to get on that highway with an empty stomach now – she says knowingly and still cheery – no . . . that’s probably not a good idea – i respond slowly, blushing – i walk over to the far side of the lobby where the breakfast buffet is and set my things down by a small table by the window, i walk back to the buffet and pick up a plate. i look at the two platters in front of me, one piled up with doughnuts, the other with pastries. The first platter has several types of doughnuts on it: plain, dusted with regular sugar, dusted with powdered sugar, chocolate and maple glazed, cream and jelly filled and so on. i pick up a chocolate glazed cream filled donut and place it on my plate, then i pick up a powdered sugar, jelly filled doughnut and put it on my plate and as i do, the growling, gurgling sounds in my stomach get louder and more intense. The second platter really catches my eye, it is piled up with several of my favorite pastries. Among them are plain croissants, ham and cheese croissants, chocolate and almond croissants, Danishes of several kinds, slices of apple strudel, cream puffs, custard filled chocolate éclairs and tarts, some filled with custard and some with fruit. i stand by the table astonished, wondering how these scrumptuous pastries got here, this motel in the middle of nowhere – maybe there’s a bakery in Lenoxville - i think to myself while picking up a pair of tongs by the platter. i begin to load my plate first with a plain croissant, then a ham and cheese one, then, a cherry and cheese Danish, this is followed by a couple slices of strudel, a cream puff, a chocolate éclaire and finally, a custard and a strawberry tart each. After setting the plate down on the small table by the window, i return to the buffet and pick up a cup and a glass and proceed to serve myself some coffee and orange juice.  My stomach is growling really loud now. Feeling self-conscious, i look around wondering if anybody can hear it. Back at my table by the window, i begin the process of eating my breakfast. At first slowly and methodically, i pick up the plain croissant and dunk one end of it in my coffee the way i used to when i was a kid and put it in my mouth savoring every bit of it. Soon, however, any semblance of decorum has evaporated and i’m now stuffing myself frantically, with hands ashake, pushing the donuts and pastries into my mouth voraciously. In my mind’s eye i see my stomach as the head of a ravenous wolf with glowing eyes and mouth wide open scarfing down every last crump of food i give it and which still, ferociously, demands more. This process goes on for a few minutes at which point i feel satiated. i pick up the remaining pastries and donuts and wrap them up in a couple of napkins and stuff them into my pockets. With a growing feeling of anxiety, i get up from the table, pick up my backpack and grabbing my suitcase by the handle quickly walk to the front door which i open in a fury stepping into the sunshine outside. In a hurry, i trot toward the van. Once i’ve unlocked and opened the driver’s side door, i throw my suitcase and backpack into the cabin, climb up onto the driver’s seat, put on the seat belt and start the motor. Soon i’m driving south on highway eighty-one past Tompkinsville, East Benton, Wallsville and Waverly. In about an hour and a half, i’m in the outskirts of Scranton driving past the towns of Blakely, Dickson City and Dunmore. Near exit one eighty seven, at the intersection with highway three eighty, highway eighty one veers south west toward the town of Wilkes Barre not without passing first the town of Scranton. As i’m passing Scranton my anxiety returns as moments of my conversation with agent Warren come back to mind. Once i pass Scranton, i’m feeling relief, i’m feeling glad i’m leaving the FBI and the events of the previous night at Harford behind me - hopefully now     i’m moving toward a new life – i mutter quietly. In about a half hour i see the sign for the town of Wilkes Barre on my right and on the other side of the highway, the hills of the Lakawanna State Forest. 

The cloud covered sky has become an even, lead gray color with occasional patches of a lighter, whitish gray. This brings about a dull pulsating ache behind my eyes and an anxious, empty feeling churning in my stomach. Soon i’m feeling in a daze, like i’m just floating here in a kind of suspension, as if i’m not going anywhere, as if i’m not doing any progress at all, as if the wheels of the van are spinning pointlessly in a void keeping me stuck in a loop, a limit cycle, as miles and miles of concrete, power lines and colorful, luminous plastic sign sameness unfolds around me; a seemingly endless landscape of fast food restaurants, strip malls, motels and gas stations repeating themselves over and over again, hour after hour. Doomsday has come for me today - i say to myself  - i can see it in the streets    in people’s worried     frowning faces     i can see it in the leaden sky     it buries me in ash and  asbestos      in fast foods    garbage and consumer goods     it suffocates me in a haze of smog      it taunts me with toxic waste and pesticides    drowns me in a sea of lead poisoned water     i can see it in the phosphene spot that suddenly appears in my eye     my left eye to be precise    the spot     a visual representation of the growing black hole of anxiety and emptiness churning in my stomach - i’m suddenly reminded about why i left everything behind in the first place, why i decided to quit my job teaching, why i stopped composing, why i stopped writing, years and years of teaching, years and years of composing music, experimental, so-called avant-garde music, years and years of writing experimental so-called avant-garde poetry and prose, only to find i don’t know why i’m doing it any more, what’s it all for any more, what it’s all doing in our culture, our society, in this world . . . and it’s not because i don’t enjoy it, no, one day i just woke up to find it all felt empty, i felt physically disconnected from my work, like i lost my footing, my foothold, i felt disjointed from my work, as if my mind and body were at odds with each other, in two different places,  spaces, in parallel worlds . . . Some of it wasn’t so bad. i mean, some of it was the way i like poetry and music, gnarly and disjointed; fragments of a broken mirror reflecting landscapes and faces, thoughts and feelings from different angles and places, standing in critical opposition to perfectionism; those tidy little aesthetic packages, pretty as the truth tied at both ends. The contrast this place i’m now in elicits, brings forth the incongruency that is me in these environs, in this world, this world of businesses that surrounds me. Academe wasn’t much better either, with its nasty, backstabbing competitiveness, its pretense, nor being with other writers, other composers, i could never understand what we were all doing there – here - what we’re all doing here with our work. All that pretentious, pedantic crap about culture, high culture and all that shit about intellectual rigor. me? i oscillate irregularly between high and low brow and anything else in-between, i’m a survivor, somewhat of a pirate, a wanderer, i’ll make use of what i find lying around at any given time as i traverse, cut across the various territories i’ve never been able to fully identify with. i could never stand the idiotic, aggressive, defensive stance, that war-like mentality, i don’t think Alban Berg’s “Lyric Suite” is exclusive patrimony of academe, or Cage’s  4’ 33” that of the avant-garde, nor, for that matter, is Hendrix that of the anti-establishment hipster either. A masterpiece! A masterpiece! Groundbreaking, revolutionary! A cause for celebration! A brilliant new work! Admirable, breath taking and disturbing! Dazzles with invention! Riveting! not for the faint of heart! Brimming with insight and wisdom! As open as life itself! Obsessive and gripping! A writing so simple it becomes radical! Vibrant and new! A wonder to behold! They go on like this forever, critics, literati, reviewers and others, tidy little aesthetic packages, pretty as the truth tied at both ends. But me, me, i hate master pieces. But more, i hate the adulation and fawning of the admirers, the worshipers of culture, the hero worship, wanting to be near the glow, the aura as if in some kind of swoon, some kind of religious ecstasy, as if their being near the admired object somehow, transfers them to some kind of spiritual realm, brings them closer to God, purifying them of their humanity, which is to say, their all too human inhumanity, somehow protecting them from the vicissitudes of life under capitalism and the certainty of a pointless death after years and years of a meaningless life, while in the mad rush to further their careers as they push and shove each other, stepping on and kicking each other, stabbing each other in the back as they stake out their various territories. But me, me, i’m never really here, in this place, any place, i’ve been displaced, misplaced and me, me, i’m never really here, neither here nor there, nor somewhere in between, i’m a traveler, a stranger, always a foreigner, furtively moving through the established spaces and boundaries, territories to which i’ve never really belonged. Being homeless, i take what i can and use what’s around me at any given moment, as best i can

i’m trying to think of some good news, to cheer myself up, something positive as they say, you’re so pessimistic, you’re so negative, my family and friends are always telling me, but i can’t help but see the thin, gray veneer of a shadow cast over everything, the certain shadow of death casting itself over all things positive and negative alike, marring all the positive things people are always going on about, working hard at denying what’s inevitable. The good news, whatever good news there is, is always in the shadow of the very bad news that our lives are now immersed in, and that is, that our planet is dying. Not just dying, no, we are the ones who are actively involved in killing it, unable to stop ourselves, forced to participate in the crime if we want to survive in the system that feeds us, even as i speak, here, now, in the van, driving down the highway, spewing more and more co2 into the atmosphere as i go along my merry pessimistic way . . . It seems clear we were all, we are all composing or writing because we enjoy it, it is gratifying, it brings us pleasure, we basically do it to please ourselves. i mean, i compose the kind of music i find interesting, challenging, the kind of music i would like to listen to that i’m not entirely finding elsewhere. The same goes for my poetry, my prose, my writing. It’s clear then, that we do these things to gratify ourselves and to meet a need in what is increasingly an unbearable world, unbearable because frightening, a world increasingly violent and self-destructive, unbearable because impoverished and ungratifying in so many ways, where imagination, thought, knowledge and perception and the various alternative views they can generate are no longer welcome, increasingly less and less so, less cherished, less valued, less respected. And it’s not so much that they’re not welcome, as if there were some kind of hostility, no. In a very real sense it’s worse than that, it’s the blunt indifference with which it’s all met. It’s as if the music, the writing doesn’t exist, they have no place, no place in which to make a connection. At least with hostility your work, what you have to say, your point of view, is being acknowledged, dealt with, but indifference erases you, your work, your thoughts, your point of view, as if you didn’t exist, it reduces you to a lifeless thing, a mere blob, where they, the ones erasing you, see you the way they want to and treat you accordingly, the way it suits them, their own purposes. They paste onto you the image they have created of you, they filter out your persona, snip it here and there, cutting and pasting you, they re-write and re-arrange you. Indeed, they are like editors as they re-think and re-write your identity until it fits their image of you, as if you were a character in a novel or a play. It’s all utterly self-centered and about power, it’s about them, the erasers, the editors, having power over you. So it gets to a point in which, writing and composing, to satisfy myself, my needs, is not good enough, not good enough, not good enough, because there is one crucial need that is not being met and that is, the need for connection, the need to connect which would make the  work so much more meaningful. Meaningful because it would have a purpose.  A purpose because it would have a social function, one that maybe provides the listeners, the readers with new information. An input, as it were, for difference. That is, new and different information as opposed to an output for sameness; the same old information always already circulating in the limit cycle that is our society, our culture, and which reinforces the psycho-emotional limit cycles in our brains that keep us stuck in the same old feelings and thoughts. What’s more, there was a time when composing, writing and teaching, at least in my case, gave me a sense of purpose, i felt that what i was doing was something positive, something constructive for our culture, our society, that i was making a positive contribution, however small, to humanity, to our world . . . in vain in vain in vain again naïve again in vain, i’m suddenly reminded of my left eye again, behind the lens of my sunglasses, with its phosphenic spot staring at me like a scab on the eye of my aching brain, obstructing the view. In light of everything that is happening in our world today, the ever-growing economic disparity, the rise of fascism, the wars, the climate crisis, to just sit at home and write my music, my poetry, my novel, just for the sake of making myself feel good, strikes me as empty now. Empty because utterly self-centered. It seems to me that, in light of everything that is happening, a different kind of action is needed but i still don’t know what that would be . . .  in this age of destruction, this age of self-destruction we all seem to be participating in. Of course, this so-called age didn’t just start yesterday, or even recently, say, since Trump has been president or, let’s say, a decade ago. No, this age of destruction, of self-destruction, as i was saying, this age of poisons, of toxicity, this age of contamination, has been going on for a long time, at least since before i was a child in grade school, where in science class our teacher told us that scientists were warning about the dangers of pollution and overpopulation. A few years later, as a teenager, i first heard talk about the greenhouse effect and that we needed to take steps to prevent global warming. Now, decades later, here we are, in the midst of it, this climate crisis, and little if anything has been done to prevent it. Hearing the sound of the tires on the pavement a familiar feeling re-surfaces, the familiar sinking feeling i’ve been having now for the past several years, a feeling that eviscerates everything, all enjoyment and all certainty, all sense of purpose. A sinking feeling of dread, remorse, disappointment and confusion arises in me from the realization that it all has been an immense failure, that the project of knowledge, of thought and reason, a tradition to which i thought i belonged, yet was never really allowed into, has failed to bring light to our situation . . . or rather, the belief that by bringing light to our situation, seeing and understanding things as they are, would free us from the bonds of need and the sway of our base impulses, this belief seems to have failed to lift us out of barbarism, that intellectuals, artists, scientists and politicians have failed, despite their claims to revolution, and that the revolutions themselves have failed miserably to bring about a radical change of consciousness and that we, artists and intellectuals, despite our revolutionary claims, have failed miserably at preventing, warding off, stemming the tide of regression into barbarism and destructiveness we now see unfolding everywhere in the world. After countless years of reading and reflecting, thinking and writing, after countless years of composing experimental, avant-garde music, after countless years of reading all those writers, philosophers and critical theorists we so avidly read and admiringly placed on a pedestal, turning them into authority figures and whose words we so obediently and accurately regurgitated authorizing ourselves as we chided and corrected the hapless victims of our arrogant, self-righteous moral outrage, thinking we were changing the world for the better and seeing it all fail, seeing those of us, who were supposed to know better, collapse into the usual back stabbing competitiveness, hierarchism, authoritarianism and territorialism, those of us who in such a patronizing manner preached, chided and corrected others, arrogantly believing we were changing their minds, their consciousnesses, thinking we knew better, thinking ourselves revolutionary, yet failing to change our own minds, our own consciousnesses first, have thus ended up reproducing the very same behaviors, the age old structures we had set out to change and free ourselves from in the first place, all of which we ended up swallowing whole as with time we learned our places in the various hierarchies and power structures in society, in the academic and artistic worlds so-called, always keeping our heads down, always showing respect for our superiors, hoping perhaps to catch a favorable glance from one or two of today’s major composers, writers or critics who roam those environs the way a great white shark casually lords over its deep blue territory . . . or at least to avoid their wrath lest we wither and fade away under their terrible glare like a desiccated vine that never quite made it past the first or second rung of history’s ladder as it rises indefinitely into eternity . . . not to mention if you happen to be Hispanic in the so-called academic, the so-called artistic worlds, why, you’d find out soon enough that you’re not on equal standing with your white, Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Nordic, Celtic etc. colleagues, who think of themselves as being ideologically, politically to the left, calling themselves liberals, socialists, Marxists, anarchists and so on, and for whom it is ok to say things like: “the U.S. is not a democracy, it is an oligarchy” or, “the U.S. is an imperialist power and has no interest in democracy” or, “capitalism is a form of totalitarianism, it has no interest in democracy, its sole interest is total domination” and my all-time favorite: “America is not a country, it is a continent, the U.S. is but one country among many others  in the American continent, to refer to the U.S. as America, as if that’s all there is to the American continent, betrays an imperialist mind set” all of which i agree with whole heartedly. Yeah, it’s ok when they, these supposedly left leaning gringos, say all those things but, for some odd reason, it’s not ok for you, as a Hispanic American, to say them. No,  if you, as a Hispanic American, born and raised here, in the good old U.S of A, were to speak those very same phrases, word for word, you’d be liable to getting an earful, you’d be liable to get gringosplained by the very same people who uttered them. You’d hear things like: “well, you should feel lucky you live here in the U.S. you know, where you’re free to speak your mind” or,  “you should feel lucky you live in America where you have the opportunity for a better life” or, “you should feel lucky you have a U.S. passport” and so on . . . well, it just so happens i have a U.S. passport because i’m a U.S. citizen gringos and, i’m a U.S. citizen because i was born here, in “Americagringos cabrones de mierda! It’s not as if someone did me any special favors when they gave me my passport and it’s not as if this country belongs to you exclusively, you hypocritical shits! And forget about saying anything critical about academia itself, you can rest assured some kind of punishment will befall you, usually in a surreptitious manner, and these kinds of prejudices and double standards become more obvious and painful if, as a Hispanic American, you should happen to be applying for a job, good luck with that. The hard and brutal reality of these injustices, these veiled and often not so subtle hostilities, settles in with the aplomb of a lead weight bringing back that sinking feeling, that feeling of an existential threat with its attendant shudder that ripples through my entire body in chaotic waves accompanied by that churning sensation of emptiness drilling through my stomach, as i realize that all along, it’s as if i’ve been living behind enemy lines, and so, disheartened, the desperate realization that prejudice and fascism, all too often, are lurking in the most unexpected of places, behind the most unexpected of faces . . . Too late for art and culture now, a threshold has been crossed and a different kind of action is needed, especially in light of climate crisis and the implacable wall of denial it has been met with; there won’t be any art, any culture if we don’t have a habitable planet

                                                                                                                                         i’m feeling choked up inside, like i should be crying, i feel like sobbing but i can’t, there is a vast desert inside me, filling me up from head to toe with parched, dry dust, like a large, bloated fungal sack brimming with sterile spores ready to burst at the slightest touch; the dust of infinite libraries and study rooms accumulated after endless years of reading and thinking; a desert filled with the parched dry sounds of scratchy writing, etched in shifting sands and the breezy, flapping sounds of turning pages. You pay a high price for not submitting to the will of others, for not submitting to their authority, for not going along with their charade; whatever little game they have concocted to keep their beliefs alive; encased in their mental armors that shift position to attack or defensive mode as the case may be; this kind of cystic, tubercular thinking, which, by its very nature, that is, its self-enclosed structures, walls itself off from the rest of the world, forestalling any possibility of influencing or changing that world it so much abhors except perhaps, through brute force alone


no words of wisdom to be found here now, wisdom has long since fallen flat on its impassive, impartial, pudgy face, as has, evidently, the age of enlightenment and reason which have given way to the age of catastrophe and barbarism. The age of anxiety still prevails and we can now add to that the more recent age of depression, all of the above seeming to be evidence that the Dark Ages have never really gone away; it, with its chaos, superstitions and plagues, the latter of which, today, consist of several viral diseases, the ever growing cases of autoimmune illnesses and cancers, respiratory and cardio-vascular ailments, obesity and diabetes, all of which have reached epidemic proportions. Rota Fortuna. The wheel is still in spin as the struggle continues between the Dark Ages and the age of Enlightenment, the age of Reason, the latter not faring too well evidently. At the same time, the re-enchantment of the world some were touting a few decades ago, doesn’t seem to have fared very well either. More like fortuna rota     me thinks     broken fortune – i say to myself with a helpless chuckle –

                                                                           and as i drive along, i seem to hear a little ditty, a little song begins to insinuate itself into my mind, sung by a middle-aged baritone voice. It suddenly occurs to me that the voice belongs to that Medieval, Aristotelian monk, Saint Thomas Aquinas who is sounding more and more like an old, street wise tango crooner, dressed in the typical garb of a tanguero  consisting of a dark colored pinstripe suit, with a white, silk scarf elegantly wrapped around his neck and a dark grey fedora hat  sitting on top of his tonsured head and  who, standing in the yellowish light of an old street lamp, sings - at times low and soft, at times with assertive macho fervor - the following words occasionally tinged with ironic inflection . . .


There is no consolation at this late hour

Not from Boethius or any of the others

The ones who preceded and followed him; the countless

Philosophers, critical theorists and spiritual gurus

All of whom have fallen flat on their bland, pasty faces

In the shadow of the darkness that now looms over us  

Like a billowing cloud of toxic fuuuuuuuuuuuumes!


We’re down to the bone here, scraping the bottom of the barrel. i look around and see that whatever passes for relationships, is all transactional, all business, there really is no connection between people at all. We’re all like things, packages on a conveyor belt, one after the other following a predetermined course over which we have little if any control at all . . . The highway goes on forever it seems. Not only do i wish i could turn off it, but, i wish that i could turn it off; its roaring sounds, the recurring sameness of the scenery as it glides past in a rush. i wish i could turn it all into a poem. Not so much verse but prose. But then again, i really don’t want to, no, it would disgust me, make me sick, my stomach would churn with that acidic feeling of emptiness and nausea again. It would be too much. Not just because it would trivialize the experience of the highway; banalizing it more than what it already is by way of romanticizing it, it would also sentimentalize it. i’d be avoiding saying, with so many words, what i’ve been feeling and thinking all along: that i hate people, the so-called human. It’s not wanderlust that keeps me going but wandering lost: never quite fitting in, never quite feeling at home anywhere, always a stranger, a foreigner, who keeps searching, feeling like i’ve been living behind enemy lines all my life and i blame capitalism for that. It is capitalism that is not my friend, not our friend, not a friend to those who truly want to be free. It is our enemy. These places seem so sad, they seem so pointless, they are wasters of time, wasters of life. i can see countless lives whose time, whose energy has been diverted, put in a harness and made to work, made to serve the interests of others for eternity. By definition, that is what slavery is. i can see countless lives erased and forgotten, replaced like so many machine parts. i imagine countless lives erased and forgotten who passed through here, worked here, at these dead end, unrewarding jobs; jobs whose sole purpose is to make profits for people the workers never get to know, their faceless masters. The entire social, cultural space has been taken over and defined by the business mindset, there’s nowhere you can turn here that some kind of business isn’t shoved in your face, forced upon you, there’s nowhere you can turn that the business aesthetic hasn’t taken over the entire landscape with its empty shallowness . . . there doesn’t seem to be anything outside this totalizing business landscape as i’m given over to these thoughts, dreams and fears. My thoughts of the highway and  its environs and the lives it  has taken, the horror of it, that is to say, the highway itself, the meaningless horror of it: this monstrous snaking body of cement, asphalt and tar, punctuated every so often by lamp posts with their metallic lights, traffic signs and the impassive, watchful gaze of traffic cameras; the thousands, millions of cars, trucks and vans, the onrushing flow of vehicles of all kinds of colors, makes and models, pushing forward, as we move along toward . . . the thought of being swallowed up and dragged down, disappearing into the dark depths of endless horizons

                                                                                  and very often, here in my cubicle, this tin box with wheels, very often, i can’t hear the sound of the traffic outside given over as i am to my thoughts, in a hypnagogic state, brought on by the endless highway itself, intensely occupied with my fantasies, with my thoughts of the highway and the strip malls, gas stations, restaurants and motels passing by outside, i can’t tell when someone is passing me or suddenly cutting in front of me startling me in one of my obscure reveries, one of my fantasies of opening the door and stepping outside into, then, with my entire body, plunging into the headlights of the onrushing traffic, into, as i was saying, the cold relentless logic, the horrendous, mechanical logic of the whole thing, the ruthless, self-organizing, self-perpetuating logic of the whole thing, and which with mechanical impetus pushes us forth, inexorably, into the frigid night, in a series of catastrophes, now past Hazelton and Allentown, expanding endlessly, with the mechanical ruthlessness of its logic, expanding, as i may have said, in seemingly exponential fashion, in a series of catastrophic events, leading us, it would seem, eventually, toward total disaster and suddenly finding myself face to face with a sign that says Harrisburg five miles and the horrendous contrast between the concrete, matter of fact simplicity of the sign and my despondent gloominess wrenches my insides with guilt and self- consciousness, a shame that washes over me like a freezing cold shower making the idea of jumping into the traffic outside look more and more appealing by the second . . .

                                                                                                     and very often, as i’m sitting here in the van’s cabin, driving, munching on some trail mix or some sun flower seeds, i think about the highway and its relentless motion, the rushing traffic around me as it passes and recedes into the darkening horizon ahead, and staring into that dark distance, i think of the lives, the bodies it has dragged away, both willing and unwilling, down into that dark, gray blue, cold horizon, the countless broken lives, the silenced broken souls it has taken into its fold, perhaps even mercifully, like no mother or lover ever could, and who’s stories remain forever untold, i think of those countless, erased lives, those broken souls, whose now no longer struggling bodies, the highway, in its relentless passage, has engulfed and with brutal indifference,  crushed, dragged down and away, as i’ve already said, into that murky distance and with the ruthless force of thousands, millions of tons of cars, vans and trucks, hundreds of thousands, millions of tons of glass, steel, rubber and plastic, trapped those bodies down into the hollow of smashed, totaled vehicles, like some dark metal and glass box or coffin, confining them in their final resting places forever

                                                                                                                       but no, i say to myself, that is, i think to myself, there is no final resting place in this, the highway, for even as i think to myself, that is to say, i speak to myself, in my head, ceaselessly so, the highway, in its endless flow, with utterly brutal force, continues to pummel away at those now  lifeless bodies which, as i’ve already said,  lie boxed in, as if in a coffin, helplessly pinned down in the hollow of a smashed up car somewhere, and the highway,  as i’ve already mentioned, with brutal force continues to pound away at all that lifeless flesh, and over the course of weeks, or perhaps even a few days, pressed on by furious after furious tire tread, like so much squashed, mashed up road kill, erodes, eats away at the now putrid tissues, tearing away bits and pieces, even chunks of what is perhaps a flesh in an advanced state of decomposition, and over the course of weeks, or perhaps even, just a few days, strips away the flesh in patches; swaths of skin peeled off, then the fatty tissues below, followed by the muscles, sinews and tendons, eroded, peeled away, as i was saying, until, in a matter of weeks, or perhaps just a few days, only the bare bones are left, upon which the highway continues, in its relentless process of demolition, to pound and grind away at, rub and chafe the cold bones against the hard, rough surface of the pavement which, as i may have already said, over the course of weeks and months, the incessant grinding and pounding slowly but surely turns the bones into clay or mud which, over the course of weeks or perhaps just a few days, is pushed away down the highway toward that distant, dark horizon; the bones lying, as if in a mortar of cement and asphalt,  pounded upon by a gigantic pestle made of millions of tons of steel, glass, plastic and rubber, day after day, ground into a fine dust, that is to say, pulverized, now turned into clay or mud, pushed away, dragged down the highway,  by water and wind, every last bit, every last particle swept away, inexorably toward the edge of that darkening horizon


a ledge broken off    from which to begin again      alleged beginnings it is said    commence here where nothing      it seemed     there was left to be said     as stray sections foiled    streaming my own interests messy      into musical mis-hearings     ends    ruins from logic     a kind of oneiric logic     accidental other territories     resisting ideology      reproduced enough and again      not enough    the words whirling langwidge       langwheezing      whimsical      languaging     saying verbatim in places      as i was pounding in re-creation through speechlessness and speaking verborragia      hemorrhaging bricolage      a composite digressive possibilities whatchamacalliting into sounds   dismantling verbatim into day dreaming turbubabulent curlicues in recreation      a shrapnel     meanings disordering and this ordering     meaning this here beginning as mishearings     electrochemically into this juncture      into       into trance elation transacting a while     that is to say      looping round and round again     the ongoing digression into my beyond   stumbling into clusters embedded contradictions refracted sense locus sounds rejecting explamutilations       whirl windy words     then say to the whirr      where other whirls in conjecture without between someone shown under “i”

                                                       arriving at an edge again    writing this again starting location     a skin to be theme    all some more and then again    enough is not enough     in dislocation which is     that i only have myself      my body and mind      my embodied mind and my senses with which to know the world     we only have ourselves and each other with which to do the knowing      each other and language with which to conduct the task     even as we know that ineluctably     everything    sooner or later     slips away into silence at last      only that the silence isn’t as bad as some have thought     as final      it is the silence after all that makes the utterance possible




and i’m never really who i say i am again,

not in these environs or any other;

at work, the highway, the writing, the text,

not since someone said the map is not the territory.

Yet the map remains nested in it,

tossed around by the wind,

frantically flapping its broken wings, begging to differ,

given that being embedded in the territory,

for all intents and purposes, makes the map part of it,

which proves the inadequacy of the metaphor.

i much prefer the description is not the thing described

where the description, nonetheless,

is not separate from the thing

as they are in a kind of mutual relationship

one in which they give each other meaning and therefore reality,

which brings me back to the map and the territory. 

If by territory we mean reality, life, the universe and everything,

where else would the map be? Is there an outside to reality?

Not to the best of my knowledge, although i admit,

the latter leaves a lot to be desired, dubious at best. The horizon’s

glow, the aura is ever receding, especially at this late hour,

yet almost always within my reach, seeming to blink back

at me impassively, irritating as hell. Taking dictation is no problem here,

despite my reputation for being difficult, deficient, and this is because

the music provides the meaning while the semantic surface

of the words becomes more and more superfluous; dangling

their feet in the flow, testing the air, the water, with the tips of their toes,


                                                                                                                 as the highway curves south-west across the Appalachian Trail passing Green Point and Fredericksburg and then the intersection with highway Seventy Eight in the direction of Harrisburg where i will have to hook up with highway Eighty Three which will then take me into Maryland, not without stopping first to rest and replenish myself, whereupon i turn right onto the offramp that leads me into the suburb of Linglestown in the outskirts of Harrisburg. Onto and moving along, splashing down the recently rained on streets searching for a place in which to eat, i make a left turn on Mountain Road and after a few seconds spot a Japanese steak house and sushi bar on my left. Waiting for oncoming traffic to pass, i feel my stomach growling with anticipation as i consider what i’m going to eat. i’m thinking of some makizushi with sticky rice and ingredients, usually some kind of raw fish like tuna or maybe some shrimp, scrambled egg, raw or pickled vegetables and spices, carefully rolled in a sheet of nori seaweed. Or maybe some gunkan maki, also made with a strip of nori wrapped around a ball of rice topped with salmon roe, squid or sea urchin, and along with that i think of having some temaki which consists of rice held within a sheet of nori wrapped into a conical shape with different kinds of toppings such as squid, sweetened omelet, pickled plum and fresh vegetables all of which i intend to wash down with a pint of  ice cold Sapporo Yebisu beer, by the time i’m making the turn into the restaurant’s parking lot my mouth is watering profusely and my stomach is growling wildly, i realize it’s been hours since i had that scrumptuous breakfast at the motel in Lenoxville, five hours and twenty minutes to be precise, it seems like ages since i left. Looking back, it all seems unreal, like a dream as does the night before at Danni’s Barn, like actions i’ve seen in a movie late at night, lying half asleep in a motel room somewhere. Such is the effect, that i’ve forgotten about the dull aching pain in my knee. Soon i find myself seated at a booth in the restaurant enjoying a meal consisting of miso soup, sushi and an ice cold beer. Once i’m done eating and drinking i relax for a while and lean back in my chair as i mindlessly stare out the window at the traffic, the trees and the leaden gray sky. My breathing has slowed down and become very gentle, like that of a baby’s. Sporadic thoughts drift by like gauzy clouds and i slowly slip into a semi sleep state, the distinction between wakefulness and dreaming seems to have vanished and all of life, existence, seems to me to be like a dream, as if images in a mirage, gently oscillating, wavering in the dull afternoon light. Time seems to have stopped as i drift in this pleasant, languorous state; a blissful release from all cares, until the polite sound of a voice wakes me from my reverie – do you need anything else sir? – the voice asks, i raise my eyes and see the young Asian man who earlier had served me my food. He now strikes me as being South East Asian - Thai maybe     not Japanese –  i think to myself - no – i respond sleepily – thank you     just give me the check – he pulls the check out from a small black folder, places it on the table and quickly walks away. For a while longer, i sit at the table and look out the window again – it’s all done     finished – i say to myself – i’m done      finished      i’m finished      i’m done for – i say to myself with a sinking feeling in my stomach. Where just a few moments ago i had slipped into a kind of timelessness in which the world, my thoughts and feelings seemed to me to be like a dream, slowly drifting and changing, having the tenuous consistency of clouds or mist, and feeling myself suddenly freed from the anguished thoughts brought on by my usual state of anxiety, now, that very same scenery of trees and sky strikes me as oppressive; a dead end wall painted with a pleasant landscape of sky and branches against which i’ve smashed into head on - am i condemned to spend the rest of my life trapped in these dead end places      these dead end spaces? – i say to myself with exasperation – but of course it has always been a dead end – i whisper under my breath – academe      the so-called world of the arts      culture     society        civilization       it was all a dead end to begin with      all a suffocating dead end – i shift  around fidgeting in my chair  as a shuddering feeling of panic courses through my body - this time is no longer ours      this time is no longer mine    time has been yanked out from under my feet      ripped out of my body     my mind     my memories    my desires       this is no longer my time     it never was    just as mine is long past    the time of the great intellectuals     the time of the great thinkers    the time of the great artists     that time is nearly gone     me and my generation    quite simply    have  arrived too late     out of time    no matter how clever and insightful one may be     it will go un-noticed – i say to myself – it will fall on indifferent minds    indifferent senses     our works      our thoughts    our words will fall on indifferent ears     indifferent minds       not because in and of themselves they necessarily lack merit    but because you and your generation are in the wrong time – i say to myself - for the older generation and the ones before    the time was right    the time was ripe     but for you and your generation   and for generations to come   you have no choice but to go around in circles     stuck in a feedback loop   a limit cycle      condemned to repeat the past    what’s already been said and done    thousands of times     a vast collection of clichés       it’s all derivative       derivative thinking    derivative ideas        all that’s left for us to do now is rearrange    in a practically infinite number of permutations     what’s been said and done a million times over      for you and your generation    quite simply    your time is up     you have no time     you are like ghosts – i say to myself in a whisper - no substantiality     no matter how hard you try     how hard you work     how well made and interesting your works are    they are essentially empty    have nothing to say        for you have fallen in between times – i mutter to myself – you are in between eras       you’ve come up at the end of an old    dying era     and at the beginning of a new era     you are in between eras – i mutter again - in a kind of limbo     but what new era is this?     is this really a new era or yet another cul-de-sac?      this is more than just a dead end for me personally     no     this dead end is more than just me     it is more generalized – i say to myself with a growing sense of claustrophobia – it is my entire generation      we are stuck between eras      our works no more than academic exercises condemned to dust away in the shelves of some college or university’s music library if lucky      or worse yet      as digital files no one will ever see or hear - all this is further aggravated by the enormous proliferation of musicians, composers and writers around the world, all of whom are hawking their wares, trying to get heard, trying to make their mark, struggling to find new sounds, new techniques, new forms, struggling and competing for attention even while the idea of the new is itself exhausted, is itself old, in fact, a romantic notion as is that of authenticity - mere clichés     derivative notions – i scoff  disdainfully – i    the experimental composer      conscious of the materiality of sound and sound production   oscillating irregularly between constructivism and expressivism       searching out new sound resources     new techniques      new forms      rebelling against the old     traditional musical values     i    the experimental writer      subject to an ethics of alterity      emphasizing the materiality of language      following a constructivist rather than an expressivist poetics     aware of the nonidentity of the signifier and the signified after years of writing     after years of searching for new strategies of writing and reading     new poetic structures which challenge our habitual modes of reading and thinking     now find myself  in a cul-de-sac of tediousness       the whole thing now seems to me to be utterly pointless     totally meaningless     utterly tedious       nobody cares about this stuff anymore – i hear myself say in anguish - certainly not the lay person      the so-called average person on the street       most people don’t give a shit about this stuff – i mutter under my breath -  why do i even care? – i mutter again annoyed –  i’m thinking now of  Goya’s “Saturn Devouring his Son”  which i saw  years ago at the Prado museum in Madrid. The disheveled old titan, with scraggly gray hair and the wild eyes of hysterical madness, fiercely clutching a limp body, already having devoured the head and one of its arms, with mouth agape about to tear off more flesh from the bloody torso of his hapless victim. It is said the original painting, which Goya painted on the walls of his dining room, featured a half erect penis on the old god, who, in the throes of frenzied violence, was apparently aroused by the destruction of his own progeny

early on, as a teenager, my music and my writing had the tendency of being very expressive, romantic even. i would model my musical compositions after Chopin’s etudes and Brahms’ Intermezzi which i loved dearly, i could not get enough of those rich, complex harmonies. In my writings however, i looked to Rimbaud and Baudelaire, especially the former, inspired as i was by A Season in Hell and the Illuminations. In my late teens i became more interested in the music of the impressionists, Debussy in particular, and wrote several piano pieces in the style of his Preludes. Later on, now in my early twenties, i began to strive for the intellectual coolness and detached objectivity of constructionism and shunned expressivity, inspired by the works of Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern and Edgar Varese as well as the architecture of the Bauhaus and Le Corbusier. By then i had already discovered the writings of Kafka, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett and soon after that, Kurt Schwtters’ Ursonate and the concrete poems of Brazilians Augusto and Haroldo de Campos, Décio Pignatari and the Swiss-Bolivian poet Eugen Gomringer as well as the sound poems of Henri Chopin. In time however, after having fully studied all these works in detail and after having written many of my own versions of poésie concrete and poésie sonore, along with several musical compositions after the New Viennese and Darmstadt Schools, including many electro-acoustic compositions, i began to feel something was missing, i felt something was amiss, i began to feel something was missing, something is always amiss, something is always awry, something is always missing, which is why i have the tendency of repeating myself over and over again, i mean to say, 

tautologically, that is to say, finding ways of saying more or less the same thing but with different words, like variations, verbal variations, hoping to create a web, a net of words with which to catch that which is missing, that which is amiss and which almost invariably slips through, escapes me, slips through the fingers of my senses as it were, trying to cover reality, the so-called objective world, with a grid of words and descriptions such that nothing will escape my perception, but in time, as i was saying, i began to feel something was missing, in time i began to realize something was amiss, i began to realize  i was neglecting something, i was neglecting myself or rather, i was neglecting a certain aspect of myself which was making itself felt by means of certain emotional states, states characterized by anxiety and at times depression. Depression and anxiety began to insinuate themselves into my life, as i was saying, stemming from a deep seated sense of dissatisfaction, despite all my successes, my academic and artistic successes, despite my mastery of  the various art forms in music and literature and even some of my philosophical writings, my philosophical commentaries on the works of other philosophers some of which were published in reputable specialized journals, in time, all of this began to pale, to become meaningless, increasingly necrotic, which led me to realize something was amiss, something was missing in my life which was being flooded by the dark, cold, bottomless waters of meaninglessness and futility, futility and meaninglessness, all moving relentlessly, with the force of a boundless river toward a paralyzing systemic despair. In time i began to realize i was neglecting myself, or rather, a certain part of myself, in time i came to realize i was neglecting my needs, i was neglecting my basic needs, i realized i had emotional and spiritual needs i was systematically neglecting, i realized i had emotional needs which i could no longer ignore as they were nagging at me constantly, i could no longer turn away from my feelings, i could no longer deny my feelings, my sorrows, my pains, my fears and anxieties, nor for that matter, those sparse moments in which i felt joy, just as i could no longer turn a blind eye to the suffering, the pain of others, were i to do so, i felt i was betraying a deep part of myself, that i was betraying some very basic need my intellect could not fulfill, so i began to allow in my works, my musical and my literary compositions, moments, even entire sections of expressivity, not without pangs of guilt, and began alternating them with moments or entire sections of pure constructionism, though also, not without the afore mentioned pangs of guilt, such that soon, a conflict, a divide ensued in me, caused by the tension between constructionism and expressivism, one whose push and pull produced a wobbling effect in me and in the works themselves; a kind of irregular oscillation between both aesthetic views which would nearly drive me mad with the feeling i was betraying both and their adherents, my friends and colleagues; a moral dilemma i felt pulled apart by

in opposite directions and in the academic and artistic so-called worlds, pressed upon from both sides; an

instability that worked against my sanity and the formal integrity of the works as they wobbled irregularly

between integration and disintegration. In time, my musical and literary compositions consisted of vast fields of discontinuities made of bits and pieces of scrap, scrape scraps, leftovers from other works, shreds stitched together forming a vast fragmented texture made up of sutures and scars; the signs of a battlefield, a war that raged within me, racked as i was by guilt and shame, pulled in opposite directions by the rational force of constructionism versus the emotional forces of expressivism; the entire mass, the entire edifice, teetertottering on the verge of disaster

                                                            when i was young, i plunged myself into my studies with the manic energy of a zealot. i plunged myself into my music, my writings, my readings, my philosophy with the manic energy of a fanatic. Inspired by the thought that music, writing, the arts and thought would change this dreary world we have constructed, that they would change my mind, my consciousness, thus liberating me from the social and biological conditioning i’ve been weighed down by for years. Thinking i was digging myself out of the grave i was born into, the grave culture, society traps us in at birth, i worked on with joy thinking that i was digging myself out of the grave, i, the experimental composer, conscious of the materiality of sound and sound production, oscillating irregularly between constructivism and expressivism, searching out new sound resources, new techniques, new forms, rebelling against the old, traditional musical values. i, the experimental writer, subject to an ethics of alterity, emphasizing the materiality of language, following a constructivist rather than an expressivist poetics, aware of the nonidentity of the signifier and the signified, after years of writing, after years of searching for new strategies of writing and reading, new poetic structures which challenge our habitual modes of reading and thinking,  now find myself  in a cul-de-sac of tediousness, the whole thing now seeming to me to be utterly pointless, uttery meaningless, utterly tedious. For years and years i plunged into my studies with unabashed enthusiasm, into my so-called creative work with unabashed passion, happily thinking i was digging myself out of a life of tedium and despair, thinking i was working myself out of a cul-de-sac, only to find that, in fact, i had been digging myself into a dead end, only to find that, in fact, i had been constructing for myself a cul-de-sac, i was in fact, all along, entombing myself further, just like all the people i knew growing up in my neighborhood, my friends at school who grew up and settled down and mortgaged up their lives, their bourgeois lives, their petit bourgeois lives, only to find that i too, like them, had walked into a death trap, i too had constructed a cul-de-sac for myself in the form of my academic and artistic careers, for the arts, the humanities, are fraught with conflict born of jealousy, ambition and fear, the politics of territorialism, where one is forced to acquire and secure a position, mark and defend one’s positions, one’s territory, not to mention always having to prove oneself by producing papers and compositions which were supposed to be the product of research, original research; it was all supposed to be original research, one’s compositions, one’s writings, they were all supposed to be original works which made original contributions to one’s field. But it soon became obvious that this idea, this concept of originality and the related  concept of authenticity, of the genuine, both these words, these ideas, these concepts, it soon became obvious, were anything but original and authentic  and that much of what one reads or hears today are recycled ideas, recycled sounds which, by dint of being recontextualized may seem original or authentic, but are in fact nothing more than derivative ideas, derivative sounds, derivative writing, derivative thinking, this whole idea of originality, this entire notion of the authentic, is nothing more than the product of derivative thinking                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                it is utterly derivative    all such claims are utterly derivative   devoid of any originality    devoid of any authenticity   such thinking   if it can be called that    is utterly derivative    utterly formulaic    all such thinking sounds utterly derivative these days   all such pronouncements    such criticisms    one hears in the media    in the so-called specialized magazines   sound utterly derivative and utterly unimaginative    and most of all   utterly repetitive    it is all utterly repetitive    utterly redundant    everything one reads and hears today is utterly repetitive and redundant – i think to myself - one has heard it all    over and over again    decades ago    decade after decade the same useless tripe    decade after endless decade the endless tedium of humanity    the endless tedium of the so-called human   the so-called human condition    the so-called human and its self-importance   as if that’s all there is to life    as if that were all there is to this vast     mostly unknown universe we’re in    it is maddening!   one feels like an animal trapped in a maddening labyrinth    a labyrinth made of derivative thinking    derivative talking and derivative writing    a maze made up of stock phrases and derivative    formulaic thinking    the maddening tedium of it all!    no longer can i escape from the maddening tedium of all these derivative thoughts and stock phrases that are forced upon me from all quarters    no longer can i escape such crushing tedium such mind numbing idiocy    by listening to some of my favorite composers    of which there are countless examples    from all historical periods     no longer can i find consolation    no   not even in Boethius and all the other philosophers before and after him – i mutter snickering to myself - or by studying and listening to my favorite composers     no longer do i find solace in Hildegard von Bingen’s Alleluia, O virga Mediatrix or Machaut’s Messe de Notre Dame    nor for that matter    Dufay’s motet Nuper Rosarum Flores    or my all-time favorite    Ockeghem’s Requiem! – i whisper with increasing agitation - what’s more    i can no longer escape this condition   this crushing tedium    by listening to Josquin’s Ave Maris Stella or Pallestrina’s Pope Marcellus Mass    nor for that matter my all-time favorites    the madrigals of the marvelously dark    the murderous Carlo Gesualdo!   not to mention    the madrigals of Monteverdi and Arcadelt! – i think to myself with mounting anxiety – no longer can i escape this paralyzing boredom by reveling in Archangelo Corelli’s Trio Sonatas or by meditating on J.S. Bach’s partitas and sonatas for solo violin    or Mozart’s Divertimenti!    no!    nor do Beethoven’s late quartets satisfy     nor do the fantastic Nocturnes by Chopin   or any of Brahms’ works     nor for that matter    my all-time favorite    Mahler’s Fourth! – i whisper again to myself nervously fidgeting about in my chair – no   no longer can i find pleasure in Debussy’s Jeux    or Stravinsky's Rite    nor do i derive any intellectual satisfaction from the works of the New Viennese School    Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire    Webern’s Five Movements for String Quartet    or   for that matter   my all-time favorite    Berg’s Lyric Suite! – i say to myself clasping my hands together and raising my eyes imploringly toward the ceiling – no    no longer can i escape this agonizing condition i have fallen into by listening to my favorite avant garde composers   that revolutionary master piece of musique concrète   Symphony pour une Homme Seul by Pierre Shaefer and Pierre Henry    or Stockhausen’s    Kontakte and Microphonie    no   none of those manage to pique my interest anymore    neither do Cage’s marvelous compositions for prepared piano  or Feldman’s   Durations     or Milton Babbitt’s mysterious Philomel for computer and voice    not even the wonderfully poetic    so-called acousmatic compositions by Parmigiani   his De Natura Sonorum for instance   no   none of those any longer provide me with any kind of pleasure or interest     no longer can i escape this petrifying condition i’ve fallen into    this petrifying condition i’ve fallen prey  to – i whisper loudly - this insidious condition that’s taken over me     body and mind     by listening to Ligeti’s Atmospheres    or anything by Xennakis    anything really – i say to myself, as if suddenly distracted, sighing loudly – nor does La Cuhte d’Icare by Ferneyhough    provide me with any intellectual pleasure    or the amazing sound compositions by Helmut Lachenmann such as his Les Consolations   or Salvatore Sciarrino’s Sui Poemi Concentrici    or the enigmatic this(continuity) by the equally enigmatic and reclusive Peter Riverdale    or Harry Partch’s wondrous The Bewitched    or for that matter    my all-time favorite   that incomparable noise music theater Hellhörig by Carola Bauckholt! – i mutter to myself whimpering as i sink back into my chair with resignation, covering my face with both hands - 

                                                                                                            no     no longer do any of these works satisfy       or rather       manage to distract me from the eternal tedium of the so-called human     with its constant fighting and competition       its constant bickering      its constant wars and hatred     its constant self-inflicted terrors and fears      no      no longer can i escape from the maddening tedium of all the derivative thoughts and stock phrases with which i’m bombarded from all quarters       almost on a daily basis     from the various media    no longer can i escape such crushing tedium     such mind numbing cacophony      the endless tedium of the so-called human and its so-called human condition     with its self-importance and its eternal whining     its constant complaints and mindless chatter     no longer can i escape this maddening tedium by reading some of my favorite writers       some of my favorite poets and novelists       some of my favorite thinkers      of which there are hundreds maybe even thousands     from all historical periods  - i quietly whisper into my hands while shuddering -  no     no longer can i find any consolation      any relief from all that madness      no longer can i find any consolation by reading and studying some of my favorite authors of antiquity starting with that pre-eminent master piece of Italian medieval literature      The Divine Comedy  by Dante     nor for that matter do i find any longer  any relief from the boredom that is humanity in that incredibly witty satirical master piece of English medieval literature      Chaucer’s  Canterbury Tales      and related to these      Boccacio’s Decameron       no      no longer do i find relief from this oppressive     mind numbing reality      not even in the hilarious dialogues between Sancho Panza and Don Quixote in Cervantes’ ceaselessly amusing master piece Don Quixote     a novel    which some claim     is perhaps the first modern novel     or a precursor to it     with its concern for showing life in a more realistic way     with both its pleasant and unpleasant sides     and in which its characters develop over time    showing us     during the narrative’s unfolding      their inner lives     their emotional      their psychological struggles       a novel which     for me    has always been a metaphor for art and the artist and his or her precarious place in society     a society involved primarily with purely materialistic     pragmatist concerns       the artist who      on a quixotic quest    dares to dream     to imagine beyond the norms established by that society with its dead end places and its meaningless spaces such as i now find myself trapped in     no    not even that novel which once inspired me on a heroic quest of my own     in the arts      in the life of the intellect and imagination      can now rescue me from this horrid despair – i mutter helplessly with hands still covering my face – nor   can i find relief from this tedium    this human tedium      by reading those other masterfully witty luminaries of Spanish Baroque letters     the poets Francisco Quevedo and his life-long rival Luís de Góngora      these too are no longer helpful in weathering this time of meaninglessness and despair      these dark times of devastation in which ignorance  stupidity and meanness prevail     nor are the more contemporaneous writers such as the most eminent of the Spanish Generation of ‘27  movement      Federico García Lorca or the many fantastic Latin-American writers like Octavio Paz     Carlos Fuentes     Gabriel García Márquez      Ernesto Sábato and my all-time favorites       Jorge Luís Borges and Julio Cortázar!      no      no longer can i find refuge from the banality of today’s society     today’s world      by reading some of my favorite plays like The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale  by that giant of English letters  William Shakespeare     not to mention his sonnets which have always been an immense source of pleasure  and reverie along with that incredible epic poem Paradise Lost by that other giant of English letters     John Milton     all of these now seem to have crumbled into ashes     vanished into a meaningless void     the way the pages of an old      discarded newspaper are swept away down a dark empty alleyway on a cold wintery night    to say nothing of all those other English poets who once enthralled and inspired me      the mystical  Blake and those other two romantics     William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge   and    my all-time favorite     the amazingly musical and most original of the Victorian poets     Gerard Manely Hopkins     perhaps one of the most innovative poets of his time     with his lively rhythms and striking imagery of nature    no     none of them matter now      not at all      it’s as if they never really existed – i mutter to myself bewildered, still hiding my face in my hands -  not to mention the more contemporary British writers such as those three Irish giants Yeats     Joyce and Beckett       Joyce’s Wake  being perhaps one of my favorite experimental works of all time and Beckett one of the few writers i tried in earnest to emulate as a young man along with Kafka and Thomas Bernhard       all of whose inspiring influence eludes me now in these dark and unsettling times      the same goes for all those French poets i once held so dear and which inspired me to write with their radical experimentalism       beginning with Arthur Rimbaud     who     as a teenager     i regarded as a hero    for his rebellious attitude and because the bulk of his work he wrote in his late adolescent years culminating with one of his major works   The Illuminations at the age of twenty    after which he gave up writing altogether     nor are the works of his one-time lover Verlaine of any help to me now     in these dark and eviscerating times     nor for that matter   is  The Flowers of Evil  by Baudelaire    the forerunner of the Symbolist movement    or the fascinating Les Chants de Maldoror    by that other poéte maudit     Le Comte de Lautréamont      whom the Surrealists regarded as their prophet      and the Surrealists themselves who once exerted such fascination over me      especially with their technique of dislocation    which they got from Lautréamont     none of them can help me now    all seeming to me to be utterly pointless and irrelevant in my own current state of dislocation     my current state of alienation    this widespread state of displacement and misplacement     i     and so many others     find ourselves in   where we ourselves have been rendered totally irrelevant and discardable – i whisper quietly, almost sobbing into my hands -  no    not even Mallarmé can save me now      he whose highly experimental work foreshadowed many of the experimental artistic schools that followed in the early part of the twentieth century    such as the Cubists       the  Dadaists     the Futurists     the Surrealists     all of which mean nothing anymore to me    nor for that matter do all those movements of high modernist French experimentalism like the poésie concrète and the poésie sonore schools    as well as the Noveau Roman and the Oulipo schools which i once read  with ardent fanaticism     to say nothing of that pataphysical genius Alfred Jarry and his master piece of absurdist theater  Ubu Roi    a performance of which i once saw as a teenager     not to mention that other eccentric of the French avan-garde     Raymond Roussel and his amazing writing machine which is described in detail in his novel Impressions of Africa    a machine which i      for years dreamed of building    one which i could feed words     sounds     that is to say phonemes      graphemes     that is to say     letters      phrases and found literary matter which the machine would then take and construct a text with    a composite    a literary object     a complex    non-linear     open literary system      an ongoing literary process      thus saving me time and energy and above all    the emotional pain that often accompanies the act of writing      to this effect i thought of writing an algorithm which would implement this ambitious plan   that is   of creating a writing machine   but which     to this day i have failed to do because one day     before i even started working on the algorithm    as i looked at myself in the mirror while shaving and nicking myself in the exact same spot on my chin i always nick myself on     i realized i am a machine     that writing machine i so much wanted to construct        a thinking      writing and talking machine      three or more machines in one      all of them interacting with each other     yet      at the same time     capable of functioning independently    an array of machines clitter-clattering     jibber-jabbering non-stop day and night      i am that very same machine i had dreamed of constructing    of reproducing     of cloning      and that all i was trying to do was to build another machine that would do the writing for me while i      that is to say     this writing machine     would use that time for other endeavors       not the least of which is sleep      an ever increasing predilection      for not only am i a writing machine     no     but i am also a dreaming machine      the dream state seeming to me to be just as important as the waking state if not more    for all our thoughts and actions in the waking state are rooted in those of the dream state     a double life if you will   where one state shadows the other    something akin to wayang kulit      the Javanese shadow puppet theater     seeing this fact      this reality soon deflated all my lofty plans to construct a writing machine    no    even these ambitions    which once inspired me creatively     intellectually     now reveal themselves to be paltry   flimsy in light of the overwhelming     crushing tedium of this our human condition     with its endlessly repetitive routinary behavior     all of that seems dead to me now      a landscape full of crumbling monuments under the hollow light of an empty    lifeless moon – i say to myself, still speaking into my hands, somberly, as if kneeling and praying in the ominously dark shadows of an unknown, towering temple -  no      no longer can i escape the madness of all the endlessly repetitive and derivative thoughts and stock phrases that characterize this     our tedious human condition     this mechanical    this endlessly repetitive human state of degradation     by reading some of those wonderfully inventive and original writers of the North American tradition like Emily Dickinson      Edgar Allan Poe       Walt Whitman     Hawthorn and Emerson    and later authors such as  Hart Crane      William Carlos Williams and novelist William Faulkner with his stream of consciousness writing    culminating with what is probably my most favorite writer of all time     and from any country    Gertrude Stein   and my most favorite book of hers     How to Write     which    despite my ardent enthusiasm     i have never finished reading   only having read about half way through      which i kept reading and re-reading and re-reading

                         no     none of these suffice in providing relief from this agonizing meaninglessness i am now plagued by     nor do any of the later writers of the North American tradition which i once admired and emulated     poets like Ezra Pound and his Cantos or objectivist Louis Zukovsky and his magnum opus     A     nor for that matter Charles Olson’s The Maximus Poems     as well as other poets of the Black Mountain School like Robert Creeley and Francine du Plessix Gray    the same goes for the Beat writers like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg and one of my favorites     William S. Burroughs with his collage-like writing   his cut up method with which he wrote several of his most important works like Naked Lunch and   The Nova Express  in which he completely discombobulates the novel’s linear narrative structure       and then there’s that all time elusive    enigmatic and obscure author    Pietro Della Riviera    (whose name now strikes me as that of an Italian gigolo)    with his one and only novel     that magnum opus of late twentieth century high experimentalism      Writer Unknown      and who     supposedly   disappeared without a trace in the mid-nineties     and who      some think     was never a real person     but a concoction     a construct designed by that equally enigmatic and anonymous avant-garde collective of experimental writers known as The Editors     and whom      no one i know      recalls ever having met     no     not even that very entertaining     labyrinthine work     manages to distract me from this desperate and feverish state i now find myself in     nor does one of my favorite American experimental poets of all time    Jackson Mac Low     with his wonderful homage to Kurt Schwitters     his 42 Merzgedichte in Memoriam Kurt Schwitters      and then       of course    there’s another one of my favorite poets of all time     John Ashbery and his The Tennis Court Oath      which had an enormous influence on experimental poets who came after him      not the least of which are the Language Poets or the Language School or the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E School as they are also known      all of whom i just loved with a passion     absolutely all of them     a movement which began in the nineteen seventies but which i still feel are very much relevant     more so today      considering the current reactionary social and political climate      the triumph of neo-liberalism and globalization      which is one reason why     until recently     i still read them     why i used to read all kinds of things     i used to write in all kinds of exploratory ways      systematically and  a-systematically     turbubabulently     my brain a random number generator      an erratic percolator       bubbling over with the messiness of the erotic     alluvial     dragging the me kicking and screaming      as far as the I can see and beyond      slipping between arguing dentures gnashing     languaging not languishing!    wandering     writing and thinking wanderfully directionless        along whatever path the writing saw fit or seemed interesting      addressing the needs that needed to be addressed     is      i might say     a method     a kind of textual and contextual play     transgressing the boundaries     the established territories of the various –isms     aesthetics and procedures       read writing        write reading to create impossibility      allowing for the imaginary      transgressing the limits of normative signification and ideological framings      questioning power and authority in all its nasty manifestations     from left to right through the extreme center     transgressing the limits of normative signification      again     the whole point of revolution is to break out of    to undo the nasty vicious cycles we’ve been stuck in for millennia     by changing the way we think and perceive     the way we relate to each other in our daily interactions      of which writing and reading are     but one example      a writing making explanation obsolete    ex-splash!-nay-shun!    swerving erratically between closed and open economies        undermining the will to power guerilla style       critiquing the various schools and their constant fortifications       defense mechanisms     their will to power and the war mentality they mimic     the imperialist powers of the world they end up echoing and reproducing      a migratory writing that wanders across boundaries     aesthetic frontiers      i’m a mongrel – i whisper to myself - a racially impure migrant wandering across the borders of frontiers   with pen and paper in hand     lap top overheating    programming code slip slop slithering off screen into air waves      writing against aesthetic cleansing and ethnic cleansing     for they go hand in hand     swerving irregularly between aesthetic frames     as i was saying      between order and disorder     personism     projective verse     prose     proceduralism a la Oulipo     the  Newlipo    conceptual poetry    the New York School the new New York School     language poetry     post-language poetry     lost language poetry    modern    post-modern   Alt Lit    the New Sincerity    the older sincerity     cyberpoetry     sampling    lifting and appropriating    (which i call borrowing)    excessivism     the professional confessional poetries    parody     irony and flarfing around a bit too       the mother tongue and the other tongue     not  tongue tied  but  tongues lashing out at each other like serpents in heat dancing entwined      an entangle-meant:  a meaningful tangle of events      all this i was wont to do      all this i enjoyed indulging myself in     yet despite it all      despite its apparent relevance      not even all that can help me now  - i whisper again almost weeping -  not even they can rescue me from this paralysis     none of them can        for i am nested      embedded and petrified      confined in that very same social and political milieu      trapped     entombed in it      as i’ve already said     always already confined by it from the very start     even as i thought i was digging myself out      like the creature in Kafka’s Burrow      all i’ve been doing all along is to strengthen     to buttress the walls of my prison    all i’ve been doing all along is to shore up the walls of my cell     with my books      my reading      my writing     my music      my listening     my thinking     my compositions     my career     shoring up the walls of my prison     no    in fact      it is they     all of those writers and their marvelous works     it is they who have led me here to this place     to this state of reckless despair    they whom i blame for having inspired me     for having motivated me early on in my life to pursue the arts     thinking i was working myself out of a life of tediousness and mediocrity – i whisper loudly with anger and resentment, tears welling up in my covered eyes -

                                     but mostly what got me    what made me stop writing    what made me stop composing      what made me stop dead in my tracks      was this fever    this feverish state     this cold    black fever hollowing me out     a state caused by a kind of intoxication      an intoxication caused by the promise     the hope      the years of hoping and imagining    the visions of an alternate reality music and writing     the arts     promised      a reality that never quite became realized     it was this constant imagining and yearning    this constant state of living in my mind      in my imagination     with its hopes and visions    my imagination in constant conflict with the prevailing reality     which finally made me ill     this permanent state of nausea     this permanent state of nausea and feverish paralysis     intoxicated     blinded by the endless images in my mind     this idea that with art we could change the world     bring about a revolution of consciousness    the fact remains it hasn’t changed much of anything     hasn’t revolutionized much of anything    not even us     the artists who proposed the revolution     subject as many of us still are to our old habits    stuck in our old competitive  and territorial behaviors      subject as we still are to greed     envy and resentment                                                               

                          the fissures    the cracks    the abysses into which i fall with so much certainty     what might emerge against the silence?    what emerges against the void?    the darkness?      am i a man or something dimorphic?    not entirely male     not entirely female or something in between      not entirely human either    what am i anyway?   am i a human being or something else?     something amorphous?   a cloud    a mist     a being in a gaseous state      a wisp of existence blown about by a restless wind        ultimately dissipated in this cosmic wind     without beginning     without end      where am i now?

                             what am i now?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             that the wind

                                                                  has erased

                                    my hands

                                                                            my face

                                                                                            my eyes

where are you now

that the now split

of a second

to none of my

business as usual

when the phone

ringing in my ear

hollow and homeless

we are in our rubble


confined to a shimmering

ruggedly disoriented

is amazing ad nauseum

in a very ouch

kind of wave

in the vertex

of an historical cul-de-sac

biding my time

counting my blessings

there gives

through meaning

a lack having nots

this content

a face mixed

forming a page

not myself

an other

with both

yet at

to run


the haves

and the

have knots


am i words?     only words     words and the spaces in between     words as islands    from afar    just a black dot in an infinite sea of white silence     or soft white noise     a jumble of words     sequences of words forming sentences     like columns of ants meandering     thoughts entangled with each other      breaths     inhalations and exhalations      punctuated by occasional gasps or coughs    at some point in time     fated to cease forever     somehow transformed into something else     traces of writing perhaps     and writing traces       sequences of sentences       series of words      pieces there of     syllables     letters      phonemes     forming divergent series resembling thus an infinity of creases and pleats of unified and dispersed matter     random thoughts     not much more than that      am i       this i that no one knows and i     myself    barely    an elusive shadow that can’t be grasped by my very own words     my very own thoughts     incomplete     me     finished in my incompletion     composed of units that are neither logical nor organic       the writing folds     unfolds and  refolds me     pleats and creases and ragged pockets    with holes     inside out and outside in    the i riddled from within and without by a writing practice that scatters everything that would form a unity or a whole      now that my body    the world     is infinitely cavernous – i whisper gently to myself, almost lovingly, with eyes still covered - caverns within caverns     fissures and cracks and ravines within cracks and fissures and ravines     that is to say     made up of gaps     spaces      interiorities and absences    because someone has tried to kill me     since i was young     there’s always been someone who has tried to kill me     to put me under      do me in     shut me up     bury me alive    as the subject is enveloped in the predicate implying perhaps that the universe is a chaosmos      a chaotic cosmos as Delueze and Guattari would have it

                                                                                                                                                                   no    not even all of those philosophers     those amazing thinkers i once read with so much enthusiasm     so much hope as a young person    none of them can help me now     no matter how brilliant      how clever their thinking was or is     how deeply revealing their insights were or are     starting with the philosophers of antiquity such as Heraclitus who believed that permanence is an illusion    that everything is in a process of constant change and whose insights today     all things considered     are probably the most relevant of them all     or  Diogenes of Sinope     Diogenes the Cynic as he was also known     who having eschewed the trappings of society and embracing poverty      lived in a barrel in the city square and whom i admired for his irreverent attitude toward authority     these were followed by Socrates      Plato and the polymath Aristotle     and then of course    there were some of the medieval philosophers like Boethius with his Consolation of Philosophy and his Quadrivium and later    the scholastic    the Aristotelian    Thomas Aquinas     none of these     are of any use to me today – i whisper to myself with trembling voice again -  nor are the philosophers of the enlightenment      the so-called age of reason       rationalists such as Descartes      Leibniz and Spinoza     or the German Idealists such as Kant      Fichte       von Schelling and Hegel which eventually led to my reading Marx and Engels    whose political philosophy had an enormous influence on me     especially Marx’s     Das Kapital     all these i read with utter fanaticism until i mastered their concepts and was able to recite by memory entire passages of their works     all of these were later followed by Schopenhauer    Kierkegaard and Nietzsche    with whom i was obsessed for the course of a year   especially his concept of eternal return which nearly drove me mad with fits of anxiety which i could not control and which led to my having a nervous breakdown and having to spend an entire summer in a clinic     in therapy     resting - i say to myself shaking my head - and yet     after about a year of not reading anything i began reading again      i began studying again      but this time carefully     cautiously      a little bit at a time      not voraciously like i used to before my breakdown     i began reading the works of Henri Bergson with his emphasis on the senses and intuition as a way of knowing reality     as opposed to reason and science     which i found charming      i found his downplaying of science and reason and his emphasis on intuition and the senses really quite charming     captivating     enchanting even    until about the third book of his i read     his Creative Evolution      in which i began to find the charming side of his philosophy annoying     irritating      with his ubiquitous references to nature and its shapes     its patterns     it’s recurring shapes and patterns echoing each other    its cycles    its recurring cycles      its returning cycles     nature and its patterns of returning cycles began to worry me      began to make me feel unsettled      these recurring cycles and patterns began to make me feel trapped again     began to make me feel claustrophobic again as had Nietzsche with his eternal return      imprisoned within cycle upon cycle of eternal returns      trapped in a fatalistic universe . . . as an attempt to counteract my growing feelings of anxiety    i immediately stopped reading Bergson and drastically changed course diving into the works of Wittgenstein whose cold and rigorous logic i found calming    comforting    the antidote i needed to counteract Nietzsche and Bergson     both of whom i have difficulty naming even to this day without breaking into fits of shortness of breath    cold sweat and nervous ticks    Wittgenstein was later followed by the works of phenomenologists Husserl     Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty    the latter of whose work    The Phenomenology of Perception     i loved greatly even though      at times     it reminded me somewhat of Bergson

                                                                                                              i later discovered the Frankfurt School of which Adorno was my favorite and whose works i read in their entirety    culminating with his amazing last work    Aesthetic Theory    which     fanatically    i read countless times     this was followed by other     later    Marxist theorist and thinkers such as  Baudrillard and Althusser whom i greatly admired and who further inspired a revolutionary fervor in me     around that same time too    i encountered the works of Hanna Arendt    especially her seminal The Origins of Totalitarianism which had a profound effect on me    yet    even so     the fervor i once knew    now seems paltry     laughable      pretentious even    of no use to me now – i say to myself mired in panic, chuckling helplessly - none of it seems to have any practical application now      none of it ever really did     there always seemed to be a gap between what i read and every-day life with its endless drudgery and exhausting routines that sap us of our energy undermining any effort to resist the system we’re trapped in     the ideas expressed in all those wonderful books     all those great minds     all of those great ideas kept getting postponed from actually being realized into kinds of action that would transform our world for the better     all of those works    all of those words and ideas now strike me as mere noise    useless information     now that the social    political and economic contexts seem to have shifted in a manner such so as to make them all seem irrelevant    impractical     all of this owing to the absolute domination by capitalism around the world and its eradication of any opposition – i whisper again further burying my face in my hands - a threshold has been crossed which has recontextualized everything     the arts     philosophy    their significance     their value     their function    whatever meanings and function the arts and philosophy had     by virtue of contrast to the gravity of the situation we now find ourselves in: the destruction of nature     climate change     the collapse of liberal democracies and the rise of authoritarian       nationalist  governments      all that seems to have reduced the arts and philosophy down to the level of mere academic exercises     a kind of escapist entertainment for the privileged     powerless to effect any change in the minds of those who create and consume them    seeing as how we tend to remain trapped in petty competitiveness      territoriality and defensive egotism    let alone the general public who seem completely unaware of the existence of the arts and critical thinking while remaining addicted to all kinds of mindless entertainment and consumerism      the deadening influence of the mass media to which millions are currently condemned       a social field devastated by capitalist subjectivity - i mutter helplessly again – the same is true for all of those very interesting structuralist writers and thinkers      people like linguist Ferdinand de Saussure     anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss     psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and Russian linguist Roman Jakobson who founded the modern discipline of Phonology which is concerned with the systematic organization of sounds in spoken languages which to me       being a musician     a composer    was very compelling given that since i was a child      languages always struck me as being kinds of music which i imagined we learned a long time ago by mimicking animals and other sounds of nature     but all of that is useless to me now      just as are all those amazing post-structuralist thinkers and writers who back then had a very liberating effect on me and my creative work      people like Michel Foucault     Roland Barthes     Julia Kristeva and Jacques Derrida with his deconstructionism      not to mention    Deleuze and Guattari and their mind blowing book A Thousand Plateaus     as well as later    more recent thinkers and writers like Judith Butler    Luce Irigaray and her beautiful book The Way of Love     all of those writers and thinkers whose works      whose ideas    for a long time     i was beguiled by     all of these and many more     i read and studied with utmost interest and careful devotion      all of those wonderful minds who      no doubt       to be sure    are or were aware of each other’s works       each other’s ideas and thinking        having read and thought through each other’s works       many of them having known each other personally      i mean    throughout the course of history    great philosopher      or critic     or theorist A has read big critic or philosopher or theorist B and C’s works     while philosophers B and C have     of course      read and mulled over great philosopher A’s works      and philosophers A      B and C have read the works of philosophers D and E      and    in turn     philosophers D and E have read and possibly written about the works of philosophers A     B and C       just as it’s very likely philosophers and theorists F      G and H      have read and thoroughly mulled over and written about and perhaps even deconstructed the works of philosophers A     B      C       D and E and so on      each one with his or her cadre of followers and admirers      their established territories      their embattled fortifications     their positions of power       their cadre of admirers     as i once did     latching on to every utterance      hanging on to every word as if the words of a god . . . and yet here we are     on the verge of disaster     teeter tottering on the verge of the abyss – i mutter to myself in a frenzied whisper - countless years of reading     writing and thinking     crumbling away into dust     into the dusty dark corners of academe with its endless libraries and their labyrinths of study booths     intoxicated by  the rusty dust of knowledge’s project accumulating in my lungs     my aching joints     my fatty organs     my body and mind     choking me like some kind of psycho-emotional asthma      mercilessly squeezing the last remaining tears out of my body    the last breath of air before i’m able utter one last word     cry one last cry

              no    even they    all those philosophers and theorists     all those composers and writers   all of them   now   after all these years of close listening and study     of close reading     are dead to me    empty shells    meaningless    they all sound overdone    empty    utterly derivative    all too familiar – i repeat to myself  with hands still covering my face – empty really   they’re all empty    this is why   one day     i just stopped writing and composing    i came to a complete halt    this is why   one day    i could not write a single word      not a single note    not a single quarter note       not a single eighth note    i could not articulate a single musical idea    it became blatantly obvious that it is very difficult to know what to write anymore    what one needs to write     let alone the historical necessity    if there is such a necessity at all    one day i just had to stop   i had to stop trying    one day i just stopped trying    i couldn’t go on anymore     for a long time i would torment myself by trying   over and over again    to write something    to compose something    please   i would say    just let me write on more meaningful musical idea    just let me write one more original musical idea    one more musical idea that doesn’t sound derivative   this i would say   to whom?   to what?   i don’t know   perhaps to myself      to God the universe      to some unknown deity     i would implore    like this i would implore    humiliate myself to whomever    to whatever   by begging in this manner   i would say   please   just one more musical idea    just one more piece with some semblance of originality    one more fragment   which i could then     if nothing else    repeat over and over again and   at least    sound contemporaneous with the so-called minimalists and their so-called minimalism     i would whisper emphatically as i wandered in the dark around my apartment drink in hand     let me at least repeat myself in this most tedious manner and so be contemporaneous with my minimalist colleagues      let me at least repeat myself    this little musical idea of mine   as i’ve already said   let me repeat it    in this most insidious    this most annoying and irritating manner   and thus    by force of sheer redundancy    that is to say   by means of sheer brute force    force it upon myself     make myself believe in it     make myself feel it is meaningful    convince myself i am doing something meaningful    maybe not entirely original    maybe not entirely authentic     but at least     by force of sheer repetition    create a context which would provide some semblance of meaning to this little musical idea of mine   and so     in this manner     convince myself it is meaningful    convince myself i am doing something meaningful – i mutter impatiently shuffling my feet on the floor – my so-called colleagues     my so-called minimalist colleagues    all this i would say to myself    think to myself   all this   yet knowing full well that to say such things    to have such aspirations    is itself derivative    old hat   cliché   over worn

                                                             it all turned out to be one gigantic mess     accumulated over the years     decades    one gigantic mass of stuff     an avalanche      a tidal wave    one gigantic defense mechanism generated to deflect the world outside      generated to create the illusion of an inside as opposed to an outside; a gigantic mass of noise with which to blot out the world outside      reality so-called . . . everything seems to be stuck - i whisper again to myself in desperation - the entire world seems to be stuck in a kind of box      a mechanism     a kind of musical box that keeps repeating the same series of elements     ideas    pitches    words     images but in different permutations     different orderings      our thoughts and feelings     our perceptions and sensations      caught in a whirlpool that never cascades out of control but keeps all the flotsam and jetsam in place      circulating over and over again     trapped in a limit cycle     making me feel increasingly suffocated – i think to myself, as the idea, the  ever recurring hope of freeing myself through art, through music and writing, brings about yet another wave of piercing headaches and nausea as i see, once more, that all such hopes together with the total domination of society by capitalism, are nothing but the bars and walls of my imprisonment -                                                                                     i’m condemned to wander aimlessly in these kinds of places    forever – i whisper again trembling, almost sobbing - these dead-end places    which are cloaked in darkness even under the light of day      too old to be of any relevance to the world of music     of writing     too young to die     talk about the death of the author     to be dead while still alive    speaking     thinking    writing from a living grave    still breathing but all dried up     nothing more to say    nothing more to write     a vast wasteland expanding from within      there were times when    unable to sleep    i’d wander around my apartment     in the dark talking to myself     talking to people i’ve lost     friends     lovers     family members      people who are no longer among us      feeling i was dying from the dead things in my head      i’m dying from the dead  things in my head      i’d say to myself      my little cocoon of a head      my beehive of a head buzzing with voices and sounds beyond my comprehension - i’m beginning to get the uneasy feeling i’m trapped inside the landscape, the landscape is like a case, a mold pressing in on all sides restricting my motions, my thoughts and feelings as an irascible, wrenching, screechy sound  rips across the sky, honing in on me, the tip of its vertex like an arrow entering the top of my head, into my throat, finding its target as it inserts itself violently into my agonizing, irregularly beating heart. The pain is so intense, not even a squeak comes out of my mouth. As if a photographic negative, the world around me changes colors and textures, rapidly flickering in and out of existence. God, the universe, has suddenly placed me in the middle of Edvard Munch’s The Scream silencing my voice. i want to scream but a barely audible dry, raspy sound comes out instead as a silent, febrile blast freezes me into place under a lurid red, black and yellow sky


i’m sitting here waiting, with blinkered eyes and mouth agape, staring out the window at the fractured sky: aberrant, waiting to be, to become an aberration, longing for it, hoping to be rescued, maybe resurrected by it; a growing, eerily luminescent phosphene aching in the eye of the beholder, the eyes of the so-called world, the universe: me, an aberration, the proverbial splinter in the eye, poking their eyes out with the ideal  of beauty itself; the ideal, like a scab on the mind’s eye, always getting in the way: anxiety sears through me like a cold bolt of lightning freezing me into paralysis as the placid afternoon light softly streams in through the restaurant’s windows: all the knowledge and culture that was supposed to help me, save me, make me a true individual, a real human being, an autonomous agent capable of thinking for himself, capable of discernment, creating a new kind of subjectivity; all the ideals of the enlightenment, our ability to think, to reason, the belief that by means of reason we would come to know and understand ourselves and the world we live in, now nothing but a vast desert of crumbling, eroded monuments and the ever growing mountains of garbage dumps expanding out to the horizons surrounding our overcrowded and polluted cities; all that savoir, now no better than the stained, used napkin crumpled and twisted in my sweaty hands


not knowing how or why, i suddenly raise myself up and standing stiffly with both hands resting firmly on the table, i turn my head left and right several times, mechanically, like an automaton surveying the space around me. i see i’m the only customer in the room and in the far-left corner, i see the young man who, just a while ago had served me my meal, standing behind the cash register staring at me intently with a big frown on his face - why is he looking at me like that? what is he thinking i’m thinking? - i whisper through my teeth – what does he think i’m going to do? – i say to myself – he seems alarmed – i mutter under my breath – or is it just me    projecting      my anguish and anxiety      do i look alarmed to him? - Afraid of upsetting the waiter, i stand with tense muscles, unable to move while at the same time feeling the uncontrollable urge to turn and run out of the restaurant. With a sudden spasm i move away from the table and with stiff legs walk quickly toward the rear of the room where the rest rooms are. i slam the door shut behind me and walk to the urinal and relieve myself. Then i walk to the sink, wash my hands and begin splashing cold water on my face with maniacal intensity. Over and over again i splash water on my face, my actions are so violent i also splash water on my neck and shoulders soaking my shirt. There is a dark outline made by the water on the top part of my shirt spanning from shoulder to shoulder across my upper chest. i look at my shirt in the mirror and laugh hysterically until i notice my face. i stare at myself in the mirror for several seconds but don’t recognize myself, i don’t recognize my face – my face is not my face – i whisper frantically  - my face is not me – i say again with increasing terror – this is not who i am      this is not my face      this is not me – i mutter almost sobbing now – i begin splashing more water on myself again while vigorously rubbing my face with my both hands, sporadically checking myself in the mirror in the hopes my face has gone back to normal. The water has become very cold now, making my entire body shudder with displeasure – my body is not my body - i say again frantically – this is not my real body    this is not who i am      this is not me – in a panic i run out of the bathroom and approach the cash register with face and hair dripping water onto my shirt. Wide eyed, the young waiter looks at me and asks – is everything ok sir?      Yes! Yes! – i answer curtly – i’m just tired     been driving all day      need to lie down     need to rest     is all      thank you – i say, handing him the money mechanically and then abruptly walking away. In a few moments, i find myself sitting in the van’s cabin staring blankly at the steering wheel. Leaning back in the seat, i close my eyes and quickly fall asleep.

                             When i wake up, it’s almost dark. There are more cars in the parking lot now and the restaurant’s sign on the roof has been turned on giving the lot a strange but pleasant blue-green glow. Through the restaurant’s windows i see people seated at tables, eating dinner, talking with family and friends. i turn the cabin’s light on, roll down the window and stick my head out to look at myself in the rearview mirror. My face has gone back to normal, i now recognize myself. Puzzled, yet feeling relief, i turn back around, roll the window up and staring at the map, study the route i am to take to continue my journey. i switch on the ignition and slowly begin moving out of the parking lot.  In a few minutes i find myself on highway eighty-one again, heading south west into Harrisburg, searching for the intersection that will take me to highway eighty-three south into Maryland. In about ten minutes i’m on the Harrisburg beltway on highway eighty-three heading south-east past Colonial Park, Progress and Glenwood. Then the highway veers west toward the river. In about fifteen minutes i’m driving across the bridge over the Susquehanna and in a few minutes more i find myself on the other side of the river passing the town of Lemoyne and soon after that, i’m on the exit ramp heading south-east onto highway eighty-three toward the town of York which is not far from the Pennsylvania - Maryland border.

                                                                         As i’m driving along, heading toward York, a memory slowly crops up, slowly insinuates itself into my mind, a memory of the time i saw French theorist, philosopher, Jean-Francois Lyotard give a lecture at UNC, Chapel Hill. The title of his lecture was The Foreclosure of the Other or something to that effect. The thesis of his paper was the eradication of difference by the rising forces of neo-liberal globalization; a kind of homogenization of the world that leveled all cultures, cultural differences, reducing everything down to the level of a commodity. Toward the end of his lecture he said that it is the duty of artists, educators, writers, thinkers and so on, to bear witness to the foreclosure of the other. i was struck immediately by this last statement because it seemed to me that we, artists, educators, intellectuals and so on, are among those being foreclosed and are by and large powerless and unable to resist or fight back against that implacable erasure. When after the lecture i approached and confronted him with this conundrum he was unable to adequately address the issue, he was unable to suggest any strategy or action that we could take to resist or counteract the very powerful force of globalization - how do we bare witness?     how are we supposed to do this?   how do we resist if we are the ones being foreclosed? - i asked somewhat irritated and whiny, all he said was - you must continue with your work     you must continue with your art     your writing    your music     whatever you do -  even in total anonymity? - i retorted - even if the work never gets heard or read or seen?    even if   as educators we aren’t allowed to talk about this foreclosure you speak of in the academic environment?    and how do we continue if we have no employment?    little or no money     no health insurance      no basic economic stability in which to do our work?     those who can continue working are the privileged    those who have secure academic positions – i said getting more agitated - the ones who by and large are not affected by this foreclosure you speak of - i remember saying with increasing despair, feeling my chest getting tight, beginning to wheeze - for most of us     if we’re lucky    that is    if we have the basic financial means    we can continue our work by going underground     by receding into total obscurity     total anonymity – i said getting more and more agitated – i mean     you’re speaking from a very lofty perch      you teach at universities in France where the government supports intellectuals and artists and you teach at big universities here and elsewhere around the world     most of us aren’t quite as fortunate - well - he said, looking at me with what appeared to be compassion in his eyes, which made me feel even more irritated - you have to try     you can’t give up – two or three years later, he died, and was soon forgotten, and that was the end of that. Now, decades later, i find myself disappearing, i find that i have indeed disappeared, i’ve been rubbed out, no longer part of academia, no longer part of the art world so-called, just a wanderer lost in space, in a kind of nothingness, that is to say, without a place, a community or home, condemned to wander these endless highways of cement and asphalt, lit by the empty, eerie cold glow of fluorescent, LED or metal halide lamps; this mad, pointless rushing about that gets me nowhere

                                                                                                                      i’m approaching York now. Even though it’s night-time, i can see it is smaller than Harrisburg. From what i can tell, from my vantage point on the highway, the buildings, the architecture seems to be older, the town seems to have an air of old, historic quaintness about it compared to Harrisburg in which there appeared to be taller, more modern looking buildings, at least along the river front. i’m finding this seeming quaintness of York attractive for some reason and suddenly catch myself desiring to get lost in it, in its shadows, it’s eaves and awnings, falling into a slumber of summer nights gone by, maybe curling myself under a bush like a stray dog in the main square and dream myself away till the morning sun wakes me. i regret not having arrived here earlier, i might have wanted to stop and have a look around but it is well past nine in the evening, i want to at least cross over into Maryland before turning in for the night. Driving past Emigsville, i’m entering into the north side of town. Soon i’m driving past North York, a borough in the north-west side, and notice that the highway cuts through the middle of the city the way the Susquehanna cuts through Harrisburg dividing it into two halves. The highway curves eastward for a few minutes and then continues straight for a while until it curves back westward and then continues straight heading south again. Soon i’m reaching the southern outskirts of the city and find myself driving past the village of Jacobus. As i’m leaving the outskirts of York, i notice the vegetation along the roadside is getting denser consisting of wooded areas alternating occasionally with open fields which i imagine might be farmland. The traffic, which wasn’t very dense while driving through York proper, has thinned out considerably on both sides of the highway. i’m now passing the borough of Loganville and heading into what appears to be open country. In a half hour or so i should be approaching the town of New Freedom and just a few miles south from there, the Maryland border. Feeling excited at the prospect of getting some rest soon, i step on the gas and plunge forward into the night on a mostly empty road.

           As i’m driving through the dark countryside, another famous French man comes to mind, a big composer, who once came to our university when i was a graduate student to give a master class and talk about his music. During the presentation of one of his compositions, which was a large piece for orchestra, he explained that the pitch material and orchestration was based on sounds taken from traditional Mongolian music which he subjected to spectral analysis. The timbral information he got from the analysis he used to orchestrate his piece which provided the composition with unusual and attractive tone colors, he said - but isn’t that a kind of exoticism? – i suddenly blurted out interrupting the lecture, the room grew frigidly silent – a kind of cultural appropriation whereby you make your music sound interesting – i said emphatically not without a bit of sarcasm – i mean    here you are     a white European yet again plundering the cultural resources of a poor      so-called third world country     did you get permission from the musicians to use their sounds? – i inquired again. By then his face had grown red, he was clearly angry, some of my colleagues were looking at me pale-faced and wide-eyed, evidently shocked by my audacity and several of the faculty were glaring at me with anger and disapproval. One of them suddenly spoke up and asked the composer to please continue with his lecture – we can deal with those questions later – he said visibly irritated, shooting me a dirty look. The composer ignored my questions and continued with his presentation. After he was done, i approached him and asked if he would address the questions i had brought up earlier. He looked at me sternly and with a thick French accent and curt tone of voice said – if you want an answer to your questions you must make an appointment with my secretary in New York – he quickly turned around and walked away – goodness      what an asshole – i remember thinking – what an arrogant asshole – a wide grin  forms on my face and a chuckle gently issues from my mouth as i roll down the window. Soon i’m tearing down the highway laughing my head off, the cool evening air blowing on my face and through my hair as i stick my head out the window laughing and howling at the waning moon that now hangs low in the night sky. i suddenly feel free, released, glad i no longer have to deal with shit like that anymore - happy i no longer have to deal with assholes like that one anymore – i yell out the window – i mean      what a fucking asshole that guy was! – i yell out the window again laughing maniacally. This was a grown man, a famous, powerful, influential man, an adult, who had everything one could desire, a very cushy job at a major university, professional performances and recordings of his works on major labels, his works were known the world over, getting defensive, unwilling to answer a simple question from a unknown, powerless student. i have always been surprised at the prejudice and pettiness i’ve often encountered in adults, mostly male, in the academic environment, especially coming from people who are supposed to be highly educated - why the nerve of me!    the gall! – i exclaim out loud, laughing my head off again. i’m suddenly feeling fortunate, glad i no longer am in those environments, in the academic and artistic environments, where everybody acts as if they’re walking on eggs all the time, self-consciously looking at each other, always feeling they have to save face, it’s enough to drive anybody crazy - who wants to live that way? - i yell again out the window. If in the academic environment we’re not allowed to question, to have discussions, to debate, to disagree, what can we expect from the rest of society which is increasingly suffocating and oppressive, how are we supposed to bear witness to the foreclosure of the other, as Lyotard put it, if we’re always already being foreclosed in academia itself, if questioning, disagreement and debating is already being closed down

                                                                                                                                  and yet . . . and yet . . . on the other hand – i think to myself beginning to waver, the cool evening air still swirling around me - discussions and debates, i mean, the questioning can get out of hand too, it can in fact turn into an abusive event. Why, i remember another incident, at another college i was a student at, involving another big, famous composer, this time from Germany, accompanied by a retinue of followers who apparently went with him wherever he went. This was during a new music festival where a young student, a new student, maybe no more than eighteen or nineteen years of age, presented a composition for piano that sounded a lot like Tchaikovsky.  After the concert, the young composer was confronted by the famous composer and surrounded by his entourage whereupon the older man began attacking him for writing such a conventional sounding piece. Didn’t he know that the nineteenth century had ended a century ago? Didn’t he know that tonality had ended along with the nineteenth century and that new sounds and techniques, new conceptions of form and structure, new ways of organizing sound material had been developed during the course of the twentieth century? If he’s going to present a composition at a major new music festival, he should at least be aware of the history of the past one hundred years and make an effort, do the research, to produce a work, even if that of a beginner’s, that at least reflects some of those changes and shows some historical awareness as opposed to merely repeating the past, merely repeating more of the same, said the big composer sternly, staring the younger man down.  Though i agreed with the older composer’s criticisms, i found myself feeling increasingly repulsed by the scene developing in front of me, clearly this was abuse, the big composer and his group were shaming and humiliating the young composer. The young composer’s eyes rolled around in his contorted, agonizing face as he seemed to be making a gargantuan effort in trying to respond to his attacker but hardly a sound came out of his trembling and gaping mouth. The big composer’s entourage were looking at each other with smirks on their faces, snickering, evidently enjoying the pummeling the young composer was receiving. All along, members of the audience, mostly made up of students and faculty, had been gathering around the event and stood looking on and listening, many in apparent disbelief, judging from the frowns on their faces. As the big composer attacked the young composer, i could hear the stir of voices, whispers, rippling through the crowd expressing shock and disapproval, but no one spoke out loud enough so as to be heard by the big composer. As i watched i could feel my heart sinking, i remember watching it all with increasing anger and disappointment as i had been an admirer of the big composer’s music and writings, but mostly what i felt was shame and disgust at all of us who just stood there looking on doing nothing to stop the humiliation the young composer was being subjected to, not even his teacher and other  faculty present did anything to stop the abuse. All the while, the boy’s bewildered face was flushed red with shame and anger and i could see that tears were beginning to well up in his eyes. For a short while he hung his head down in defeat and humiliation and began to cry and then, with an abrupt turn, he pushed his way through the big composer’s entourage and ran for the exit quickly disappearing behind the door as it slammed shut. Slowly and silently we all began moving toward the exit and walking out into the main hallway. Some people stood around in small groups quietly talking to each other so as not to be heard. i walked out of the room slowly and once in the hallway, began walking away at a quicker pace toward the building’s main entrance. Feeling sick with disgust and anger, i wanted nothing more than to get as far away from that place as i could. i needed a drink, badly, all i could think of was throwing back a shot or two of bourbon, straight up, and forgetting about the whole affair. But I couldn’t.  Soon, i found myself sitting at a bar nursing a double shot of bourbon, there was a ball game on tv, people were sitting around watching the game, talking and drinking and i sat at one end somewhat in the shadows watching the game too and mulling over my thoughts and the recent events at the school. i saw the crowds in the bleachers in the ballpark suddenly rise up and cheer, many of them triumphantly with arms extended reaching up to the sky with their hands extended. Endless masses of people, myself among them, seemed to pass before my eyes, pleading, yearning to be something, something they are not, can’t be, no matter how hard they tried, sliding back, tumbling down the bleachers which had suddenly turned into a muddy hill, getting swamped, sinking into mediocrity, clambering over each other, stepping on each other, pulling on each other, pushing and kicking each other down, shouting out as with contorted bodies they tried to snake their way up to the top. There were convolutions, involutions and counter-involutions as they extended their fingers, hands, arms and legs branching out in all directions, straining and curving their agonizing bodies, forming curly-cues and swirling motions in the muck, shooting out sighs and muffled screams, their tortured torsos twisting and straining, limbs stretching like dark,  gnarly roots grasping at what remains unseen . . . already feeling the effects of the alcohol, i finished my drink in one gulp and ordered another one, this time followed by a chaser, and soon found myself ordering another and then another. i didn’t know what to do with my feelings, my anger, my pain and my shame, all of these emotions were churning around inside me, pushing and pulling in my body like fighting cats in a sack. i vaguely remember stumbling back to the house i shared with other students and waking up next day on the old couch in the living room with a terrible headache. From what i heard a few days later, the young composer never came back, he quit the music program and never returned. It also turned out he suffered from a disability; he was hearing impaired.

                                                                                                                                                      No, i can’t say i’ll miss any of that; the ill will, the aggressions, the attacks, the humiliation, the condemnation, the ostracism, the cancel culture as they say today, not to mention the sexual harassment which i and other students were subjected to. Sexual harassment was par for the course at that place, no one talked about it much for fear of retaliation but, it was there, everybody knew about it, including the faculty who did nothing to stop it. A few years after i left that university, i found out that several of the faculty were sued for sexual harassment and they were all forced to resign. i took satisfaction in hearing the news but i’ve always regretted not having done something about it myself while i was still a student. i regret not organizing the students and confronting the faculty who were harassing us, as far as i'm concerned, they deserved to have had the shit kicked out of them - no    i won't miss any of that - i say again, as the cool and invigorating evening air washes in through the window making me feel light and relieved

                                                                                                                 and yet . . . and yet . . . years later, as a professor, dealing with students in the academic setting, things turned out to be not much better. i experienced aggression and hostility coming from a different angle. Aside from the nastiness of academic politics and competitiveness, which reared their ugly faces all too often, as time went by, dealing with the students became increasingly difficult. The hostility i experienced was of a different order and for different reasons. Whereas previously the criticisms had originated as a defense of knowledge, intellectual rigor, academic integrity, imagination and creativity, now, the attacks came from those who saw education, knowledge and all of the above as an encumbrance, as obstacles; a kind of empty ritual, a mere jumping through hoops, as i'd often heard students say, in order to achieve their goal of obtaining a degree. Their concerns were purely pragmatic, there was no enthusiasm for learning for the sake of learning, no pleasure in learning new things, new ideas, no pleasure in understanding and resolving problems, no sense of wonder about the subject matter at hand, about the world, life, history and the human endeavor. As the years went by, increasingly, i found myself facing a growing student body made up of angry anti-intellectuals in an environment which, by definition, is one in which using one's intellect is, or ought be, the norm. What to me had always been the obvious notion, that is, that as students we were in college to work, that is to say, to study, to learn new things and to have our own views and ways of thinking challenged, with the passing of years, this idea became less and less obvious to the students  who increasingly seemed to take for granted that one, as an instructor, as a professor, was supposed to allow them to pass with a good grade without them, the students, having to do much to deserve that grade. And if one, as an instructor, as a professor, didn't do this, it would incur the student's wrath who, at the end of the semester, during the course evaluation, would give the instructor a very bad review often consisting of absurd accusations. All of which led to instructors feeling more and more intimidated by the students and who, out of fear of retaliation, would submit to the students' demands which in turn led to the further lowering of academic standards. A phenomenon which seemed to be occurring everywhere in society beginning in grade school and continuing in high school, where, i had heard, angry parents would often confront teachers and the school principle if their child didn't receive a good grade. Over the years, i began to notice an increasing disrespect on behalf of many students, for those of us who were in the front lines of teaching and who often found ourselves caught between the students' hostility and the college administration's unwillingness to deal with the problem, the latter, evidently, all too concerned about student enrollment, would often place the entire responsibility on the instructors' shoulders. Things became even more distressing after the passing of the state law which allowed students and faculty to bring guns to state college campuses. Having a disturbed, disgruntled student, who, say, got caught cheating on an assignment, threaten the instructor with a gun is not my idea of a productive, enjoyable teaching and learning experience - so much for trying to do the right thing     so much for doing your job and doing what you were hired for     so much for teaching what you were hired to teach     your specialty     your field of expertise      i can't honestly say i'll miss any of that     enough is enough - i whisper angrily - allowing people to come to campus armed and some of the stories i had heard from other instructors about incidents such as the one i mentioned above, was the last straw which led to my decision to jump ship and abandon the academic world for good. From one day to the next, it all came crashing down, like an eighteen-wheeler smashing into a brick wall - no     i can't say i'm going to miss any of that any more     i’m glad i’m no longer in those environments     those schizoid     contradictory environments that put one in a double bind      a damned if you do     damned if you don't situation     good riddance to all of that i say – i hear myself mutter angrily under my breath, while at the same time beginning to feel euphoric again, happy to be on this highway to nowhere, enjoying the fresh air and the moon, suddenly feeling fortunate that i don’t really know where i’m going, suddenly feeling released from the anxiety of not knowing what i’m going to do with my life, actually enjoying the not knowing – i can go in any direction i want     do anything i want now    or do nothing at all    either way     it’s ok – i mutter – maybe now i can finish my book     my novel – i say with increasing enthusiasm - i’m glad i don’t have to deal with all that crap anymore or any of those assholes, students and faculty alike, which is just as well, given that i’m not, nor ever have been, your effete connoisseur of the exquisite sound, the deliciously spacialized sounds in the ever-increasing multi-channeled panning fields of academe, with its aesthetic packages all in a tidy row, with their cute little ribbons and bows, pretty as the truth tied at both ends, as the song goes, most of it boring as hell, some of the most boring, pointless, empty shit i’ve ever heard, and many of us, faculty included, just tolerating the whole thing, all those festivals, wearily putting up with them, hoping it would all end soon, not knowing what we were all doing there, what all that music was for, how any of it connected with society, the world, if at all. However ingenious, however clever some of it was, much of it not having anything to say other than how clever they were, or listen to this interesting sound or technique, to which i would say great, good for you, so now what? not that i have anything against  interesting sounds or techniques, it just depends on how they’re used. i chuckle to myself getting cheery again, getting excited again, with that feeling of release again, and that feeling of relief again as if i’ve just escaped a dangerous, deadly situation, relief at escaping certain death, seeing as there are different kinds of death – frozen     embalmed     condemned to write that empty      freeze-dried shit again – i say grinning from ear to ear, feeling the cool evening air blowing over my body, suddenly noticing the smell of earth, grasses, flowers and trees inundating the van’s cabin, realizing again i don’t know where i’m going and enjoying it; knowing not knowing and feeling ok with it – now i can write      compose      what i really need      what is meaningful to me – i say to myself. i tend to like the raw as opposed to the cooked. In academe, where they often use culinary terms like taste, exquisite, delicious, to describe qualities of sounds and compositions, they tend to like the cooked and the overcooked. i like the  under cooked, al dente, the raw, the rough, the imperfect, the incomplete, the fragmented, that which resists closure and completion, that which resists packaging – they over cook everything – i mutter to myself and then, sticking my head out the window, i yell laughing maniacally – they overcook everything!    everything!    everythiiiiiiiiiing!  

                                                                                The road looks endless, expansive like the night itself with its blinking stars and reeling galaxies that spin ponderously forever on their unseen paths. i’m now passing through the environs of Shrewsbury, Stewartstown and New Freedom. In a few more miles i’ll be crossing over into Maryland and then on toward the outskirts of Baltimore where i’ll find a place to spend the night. With renewed enthusiasm, i step on the gas, the dark silhouette of trees in wooded areas by the roadside zip past followed by open fields where an occasional farmhouse light can be seen shinning bleakly like a beacon in the depths of the darkness. In a short while, i notice a large sign in the distance and, as i approach it, i see it says “Maryland Welcomes You, Please Drive Gently” which makes me chuckle. i also notice it is a rather ornate sign featuring the state’s flag with its heraldic banner of arms belonging, as i later found out online, to the second Baron Baltimore Cecil Calvert and which also consists of the escutcheon of his father George Calvert, First Baron Baltimore. i’m now driving past exit thirty-six and the environs of Freeland and Bentley Springs heading toward the area of the Gunpowder Falls State Park which i’ve heard includes a beautiful river by the same name and a large lake all of which i won’t be able to see from the highway in this darkness. In approximately another hour i should be in the outskirts of Baltimore where i plan to spend the night, possibly in the Cockeysville or Sunnybrook area. i’m looking at the night sky, the moon now seems to be below the horizon and i’m noticing how much more of the sky i can see without it as well as the lower levels of man-made light pollution here in the countryside. i’m wondering how many of those twinkling stars i see are actually galaxies

                                                               i also notice what appears to be a fair amount of darkness between all those gleaming astral bodies and wonder what might lie in that unsounded depth - there seems to be more darkness than there is light – i say to myself slowly as if with caution - the stars and galaxies are like islands of light in a boundless black emptiness   but what lies beyond the farthest star    the farthest galaxy? – i ask myself softly – an incomprehensible darkness     a darkness you can’t really look into as there is no point of reference your eyes can adjust to     the darkness is in your face     as it were     in your face staring back at you relentlessly  – i answer back quietly - It occurs to me that, with the exception of those islands of light which are the stars and galaxies we see, darkness surrounds everything, it would seem that the entire universe is surrounded by an eternal night. We focus our attention mostly on the shining objects we see in the night sky but most of what we are really seeing when we look at that sky is darkness, a boundless, unfathomable darkness, nothing but solid darkness, an intimate darkness that stares into our minds, into our hearts - this can’t be a good thing    this does not bode well for us - i think to myself - a night that lies in waiting     mocking our every step as we go about our daily business oblivious     with unquestioned confidence - i whisper gruffly with increasing trepidation – i suddenly realize that most of what i’m looking at in the night sky is the past, the majority of the light coming at us from the galaxy, the entire universe, is light that left its source hundreds, thousands, even millions of years ago, who can really say if those objects, whose light we now see, in the midst of this, our present moment, are still there at the place from where their light originally issued, we may be looking at nothing but ghosts, remnants of times and places that no longer exist, our present, here and now, is not their present there and then, our present here and now does not occur simultaneously with their present, a universe that is mostly dark, empty space in which things and events rise and fall, no more substantial than fragile, temporary bubbles of foam on the crests of waves that disappear almost as soon as they take form, and what we, reassuringly, like to think of as our present, is already in someone else’s past who may be looking at us from a distant world

                                                                                                                                              and how did we get here, to this place, this world, i wonder, some say by pure chance, while there are others who say there really is no chance, what we call chance is our ignorance of the complex machinery of causality. Machinery is perhaps not the right word, it implies parts, sections which can be disconnected, disassembled and therefore implies a kind of clunkiness, whereas what i'm really thinking of is more organic, more like the ebb and flow of fluids and tissues in a body without beginning or end; a web in whose intersecting fields we are but temporary filaments, threads with no control over our existence, our coming into being and, little or no control over the consequences of our actions, if it can be truly said that those actions belong to us given that it is highly questionable whether we are in possession of our lives at all seeing as we seem to be the consequence of conditions that came before us and have little or no knowledge whatsoever of what function we have in that boundless body of which we are a temporary aspect - does this mean we are completely devoid of any responsibility? – i ask myself, feeling the cool evening air moving around me - our self-awareness, and our capacity to think and reflect, our capacity to question these matters themselves, and our, albeit spotty, awareness of how our actions affect others and things in our world would seem to contradict the notion that we live in a purely deterministic and fatalistic universe of which we’d be nothing more than blind instruments, while at the same time, our ability to influence the course of events seems to be limited as is our ability to see how and  to what extent our actions affect the world, the universe at large if at all, the problem of free will versus determinism then, would seem to not be an either/or issue; we are free up to a certain point, within certain limits, and our ability to see the consequences of our actions also seems to be limited – yeah great – i mutter scowling - like an animal in a cage is free to move around within the confines of its enclosure and act upon whatever objects lie therein     wonderful    thanks a lot universe – i say sarcastically sticking my head out the window shouting and laughing maniacally at the night again, i can’t stop laughing, laughing at the fact that i don’t know what to do with myself and my newly found freedom, a laughter that is hardly due to happiness or joy, rather, it is the laughter of helplessness and resignation, the freedom i enjoyed by my not knowing where my life is going and which seemed to imply an open field of possibilities, now strikes me as oppressive

                                                                                     before long, i’m passing exit thirty-one which leads to the Gunpowder Falls Park on the west and the towns of White Hall and Wiseburg to the east.  Soon i’m passing exit twenty-seven and route one thirty-seven that leads to the town of Hereford which brings back memories of the town of Harford in Pennsylvania where i had the altercation with the two goons at Danni’s Bar the night before, and where i was thrown on my face on the parking lot gravel injuring my knee. For some strange reason, it all seems to have taken place a long time ago, in the distant past and to someone else. i touch my knee and feel a dull, aching pain but am glad to notice it feels a lot better than it did the night before. The cool night air keeps me awake and alert. In a short while i’m passing exit twenty-four and the environs of the towns of Butler on the West side and Manor and Glencoe on the East. Now it’s only ten or fifteen minutes till i reach exit twenty where i’ll turn off the highway and head toward Cockeysville. Up ahead i see the sign for exit twenty and begin slowing down, soon i’m veering off the highway onto the exit ramp on my right. The ramp slopes downward gently toward the intersection with route one-forty-five. i stop at the intersection and switch on the turn signal and then make a left turn into the underpass. After emerging on the other side of the highway, i drive for a few miles on route one-forty-five until i reach the intersection with route forty-five where i make a right turn and head south toward Cockeysville. Having checked in the internet earlier this morning before leaving Lenoxville, i know there are a couple of motels in the Cockeysville area. Soon enough i see the sign of a motel in the distance on my left, anticipating a shower and a comfortable bed i step on the gas a bit. In a few minutes, i’m turning into the motel’s parking lot and find a space near the front of the establishment’s office. i turn off the head lights and switch off the ignition then unbuckle the seat belt and open the door and slowly step down from the van’s cabin. My legs feel wooden and heavy as i lean into the cabin and reach for my backpack and suitcase. Moving slowly and awkwardly, i walk past the double glass doors which slide open automatically and into the motel’s lobby where sitting behind the front desk is a thin, middle aged black man with graying hair and beard dressed in a maroon colored vest that has a bronze colored nametag pinned on the right side that says Thomas. i tell Thomas i want a nonsmoking room for one night and hand him my id and credit card. He quickly turns his eyes to the computer screen in front of him and energetically types something on the keyboard. He then reaches under the desk and brings up a key card and hands it to me together with my id and credit card – that’s room two-o-seven sir – he says in a matter of fact manner – the elevators are that way – he says pointing toward a hallway on his right – your room is half way down the hall as you exit the elevator on your right- he says with a polite smile – have a nice night – he says smiling again – thank you – i respond with a hoarse, tired voice  distractedly pocketing my debit and key card and then shouldering my backpack and pulling the suit case after me, begin ambling toward the elevators in the hall the attendant indicated a few seconds ago. As i walk down the hall, i suddenly feel my stomach grumbling, raucously, and realize it’s been a long time since i’ve had anything to eat, not since the Japanese restaurant in the outskirts of Harrisburg in fact, and that was over seven hours ago. At the end of the hall i see a couple of vending machines and decide to visit them first before going up to my room. i’m too tired to go out looking for a restaurant and in any case at this hour of the night, they’re all probably closed. There are two machines, one dispensing snacks, the other beverages. i buy several bags of snacks, among them chips, mixed nuts and trail mix. From the beverage machine i get two cans of ginger ale and a bottle of water. i put all that stuff in my backpack and walk back to the elevator. As soon as i enter my room, i rush to the bathroom and relieve myself and then begin taking my clothes off throwing them in a corner on the floor. i step into the shower stall and turn the water on letting the warm jets massage my skin and wash all over my body. i crouch down and sit in the tub under the soothing flow of the water and close my eyes momentarily drifting into a shallow sleep. After a while i open my eyes, get up and turn the shower off. i step out of the stall and dry myself off with a large fluffy, plush towel i found on a shelf. i wrap the towel around myself walking into the bedroom and sit at a small desk near the window. While munching on some snacks, i pull my laptop out from my backpack and begin searching online for the flag of the state of Maryland which caught my attention on the highway. Its design and colors seemed quite unique to me compared to other state flags i’ve seen in the past and was curious about its origins. After googling the state flag of Maryland i decide to look at a printout i have of the manuscript of my novel in progress. i pull it out of my backpack and lying back on the bed begin leafing through it at random. i fall upon a page near the middle section of the novel that catches my eye and as i begin reading, i faintly hear the raspy, muttering voice of an old man


“one has nothing except this black silence   sometimes I think there’s a way out there   there’s a way out somewhere   but soon I’m overwhelmed by thoughts and emotions   weighed down   drowned in a flood of thoughts and emotions – the old man says wheezing again - a panic as I see there’s no escape   I only think that I think   but it is not me who thinks   it is not the me that does the thinking   something else does the thinking   it is language   it is the writing   perhaps a kind of parasite   it is this other process from which thoughts and feelings arise   which the vainly believes belongs to it    are of its own making   the I  is a small temporary vessel thrown about on an endlessly flowing river of changing forms   this is our life   this ever changing continuum   to become attached to anything   even this   the idea of non-attachment   makes no sense   our refusal to accept this fact is at the root of all our troubles you see   this beginningless river is more real than you and me – he says sighing – we’re only temporary configurations brought about by conditions that are themselves in a constant process of change   it is hopeless to try and grasp anything   ourselves or anything else   we are condemned to lose ourselves sooner or later    more so as soon as we try to crystallize ourselves into a kind of freeze dried existence   the only thing we can be certain of is change   the only thing we can expect is the unexpected    an idea that seemed good yesterday   an idea that seemed to be a stroke of genius yesterday  today seems completely mediocre   lifeless   seems like shit – he spits out -  even so   despite these changes   for most of us    life is tedious    most of our lives are utterly boring   we are utterly bored with ourselves   with our lives   numbingly bored with each other   if there is a hell   it must be this life of ours   in which we are condemned to listen to each other’s voices   each other’s points of view   we are condemned to listen to each other’s incessant whining   what forced me into hiding   is the incessant whining within and without   the ongoing complaints   the ongoing aches and pains   this labyrinth of faces one is forced to face   day in and day out   until one dies   and then who knows what happens? depending upon how well we have endured our present punishment   how well we have dealt with it   how well we have learned to deal with it   with patient acceptance    for it is always about this   acceptance   we must accept our punishment   deserved or not   just or not   we must learn to love what has been crammed down our throats   forced into our minds   it is this constant exposure to the terror   the horror   the horror story is this   our minds   our current reality  this is the true terror  our so-called everyday life   having to face each other every day   the incessant boredom and the sordid   tedious violence that is forced upon us on a daily basis   this is the horror story   all those idiotic so-called horror novels and films that people consume so voraciously are trivial compared to the horror of our everyday lives   it is this constant exposure to terror   to the terror of existence    that makes us brutal   we are brutalized by existence   therefore   we ourselves are brutal   the searing harshness of our existence   our longings to be free   to awaken   foiled   over and over again by the ongoing rushing flow of changing events   while we cluster ourselves here and there on whatever island   whatever promontory of temporary stasis   whether natural or fabricated   as we struggle to awaken from this nightmare   among so much death what choice do we have?   we are nothing but necrophiliacs    consumers of death  

                                this I see   hear   when I’m writing   the words themselves   broken   their sounds   their images   fragments of materials adrift like flotsam   debris from a wreckage in the onrushing current of circumstances that is our existence   the writing itself   the drifting words    a kind of mapping of catastrophe   bumping into each other   searching each other’s jagged edges like chunks of ice   floating refuse drifting down river   toward the falls   like flotsam     jagged   white   grayish shapes   puzzle-like   slowly swirling round and round    caught in a whirlpool   like jetsam     near the river’s edge  where the bend begins   blindly searching each other’s edges   shapes   erratically bumping into each other   never quite   fitting in”


i don’t recall exactly when and where i wrote this rather dark section but i find myself enjoying it. Intrigued by what i’ve read so far, i flip the pages forward until another section catches my eye:


“not knowing why    I raise myself up – the professor suddenly says in a quiet, gruff voice - my body   my mind    my thoughts and feelings    I who am a car . . . a car . . . a carcajando me like carne nigra gran ganando gangrenous carcass amid a mist mu . . . mue . . . muerto    mujer rota morta est amidst a buca rest with fallen teeth out of rotting gums and tongue’s unrest   deceased by disease    by disease deceased   so   I raise myself up off the bed and sitting on the edge gaze out the window at the trees outside    at the branches intertwined   crisscrossing each other    forming complex shapes and textures     this is what I see    see as an example of what to do    where to go    not only what to write    but    how to write     their lonely     lovely    brightly colored   autumnal leaves    seeming to have a light of their own     they have a light of their own      the luminous bushes and the colors of the fallen leaves    replicating themselves    spinning in my room   like the leaves outside turning in the wind   in my head    this of course is an allusion but we are tired     I can no longer go on like this    all thoughts    all words are excremental – he whispers gently with eyes closed sniffing the air - what we tried to get at with words    for years now    centuries    is it meaning in the commotion of its gleaming or yet another voice in a turbulent night of dreaming?    motions of something reading itself     reading itself was something in motion with a voice for propulsion    rather agitated    antiquated  yet still effective    looking for a purpose  ‘neath the sun’s glaring stare    bare of all intent      one notion will suffice to organize a life and project it into unusual but viable forms     so that they become a luminous backdrop to ever-repeated gestures     do you know any Ashbery? – he asks looking up at me - Ashbery and Stevens are my favorite poets      but then there’s Artaud    who destroys all that . . . but . . . as I may have already said   writing can be a demonic endeavor . . . writing is primarily a kind of activity   I mean to say   a kind of physical activity   which is to say   a kind of bodily function as is thinking an excretion if you will   all writing is excremental   the brain’s electricity bleeding into the surrounding atmosphere     only through this destructiveness can one speak freely  you see    it is only through this disintegration    this ongoing destruction   that one can think and speak freely   alienation becomes the singularity that allows for total freedom”


Mystified, i don’t recall having written this section either while at the same time finding myself drawn to it, absorbed into it. Feeling pleased and contented with myself, i let the manuscript drop to the floor. Smiling and relaxed, i yawn and switch off the bedside table lamp and turning on my side quickly fall into a deep sleep

           i see the highway in the headlights ahead of me disappearing into a dense fog. Without knowing it, i seem to have suddenly stopped somewhere and now find myself walking in the fog. The visibility is no more than just a few yards. The ground feels sandy, like that of a beach. There are tall, pale grasses everywhere and a cold, murmuring breeze from the north is playfully drawing figures in the sand. As i walk on, i begin to see the dark, slightly domed shapes of large cement structures placed at equal intervals from each other receding into the murky distance. i walk closer to one of the hulking shapes which is covered in graffiti and find a furrow that is wide and deep enough to accommodate me. Fatigued yet feeling relief, i lie down and looking up see the grasses and weeds arching over me forming a vault-like structure that reminds me of the ceiling of an ancient cathedral. i close my eyes and begin drifting away feeling comforted and protected by the fog and the grasses. i hear the breeze whispering and open my eyes, there is a dark figure clad in a long, black coat leaning over me with hands clasped at either side of his pale, cadaverous face. He has no eyes, only empty, black sockets. His open mouth seems to be screaming but only a weak scratchy sound comes out. i close my eyes, burying myself further in the dream as the breeze begins to whisper again - a life still mine - it says in a raspy voice - a still life mine       in bits and pieces       strung together in word metal scraps     same old words       same old scraps       a patchwork       a million times over     and then some more      and then again . . .i mutter in my sleep, i mutter to the breeze, to the sand and the sea, to the tall grasses leaning over me. Sinking further into the dream i feel my body slowly begin to rise. The breeze has now lifted me up, gently carrying me above the grasses, then we float over the silent, rounded cement structures and deeper into the fog above. Before long we are floating high above the clouds and further on up, i can see the clear night sky which is cluttered with stars. We are moving faster past the sky and into space, some of the stars now appear to be galaxies slowly turning on their axis as they speed along their unknown, invisible paths. There are nebulae and clusters of stars and galaxies everywhere around us occasionally interrupted by gaping patches of black emptiness. Clutching at myself, i feel my body quiver from head to toe as the endless cold of eons penetrates me to the marrow. i begin screaming in terror but the wind which has been blowing from a beginningless past, is indifferent to my complaints as we move ever closer to the brilliant center of a cluster of galaxies. i now see that the entire universe is ablaze with an all-consuming fire; all its galaxies, stars and planets with all their creatures, burning in an interminable fire. Realizing i am helpless to do anything about this, i cease trying to resist and stop screaming giving myself over completely to the wind as we approach the incandescent center of a galaxy. Clad in a long robe, pitch black as the deepest recesses of the sidereal night, i go forth into the searing light, my eyes blinded by its scorching incandescence. Soon there is nothing but light all around me, i myself seem to be made of light, my eyes, my entire body and mind flooded with light as we sink into the galaxy’s center, which extinguishes us, the wind and me, the refulgent light having consumed us completely. As if in a photographic negative, i suddenly emerge on the other side into the absolute blackness of an eternal night now wearing a blinding white robe of light on which a swirling mass of letters, syllables, phonemes, words and sentences snake around randomly and whose paper sharp edges begin cutting into my eyes, my flesh, into my mouth, worming their way into and out of my body and in the process, weaving me a new one, a new mind, new  eyes and ears, new senses, a new voice made up of many voices which are articulated as simultaneities; massive chordal and polyphonic structures where each voice, each line, with their own time and place, echo throughout the past, present and future. Countless feedback loops made of micro loops locked together, circulate information, my entire body is a mass of interlocking feedback loops in which information circulates at an alarming rate. My eyes are suddenly filled with columns of bright white symbols which move against a black background. i don’t recognize any of the symbols as they flow up and down vertically. Feeling dizzy and nauseated, i look past the columns of symbols into the blackness beyond, my eyelids become heavy, soon, i can no longer hold them open and darkness engulfs me completely. The wind is whispering again, i can’t make out what it’s saying but it’s got me firm in its embrace as we continue on our way, but where? i can feel the cold of eons creeping up on me again. Shivering uncontrollably, i wrap my arms around my torso as the chill penetrates every fiber of my being. In horror, i realize there is more darkness than light in the universe, in fact, all those stars and galaxies i last saw are surrounded by an unfathomable blackness. i can hear the wind’s whistling chant as we fly away from the last of the galaxies which is dying, smoldering in heat exhaustion. In time, the wind’s whistling too begins to fade as we move further into the darkness ahead disappearing into the endless night, i close my eyes and mutter myself to sleep



  in wind flung night

    abroad again;

   perishable poem



    what to write



   with scratches



     in keeping

     with scraps




    to trances



   like everything


    desires desiring

   a poem passes


       it has

    a word here

      what were

        with which

  beneath unfolding

        the eyes

         enfolded in


    same time


   all its figures

    whose orderings

     knows when

      say we

      say as

just who are

       devoid of


      these days


         like clouds



    comes here


   in windy sun

     far from

         far off

       a shadow




         a bout,

        an about




   that disorders


       off course



     at any



      depth like


           no longer

point of the


    a distant



     is both

a time of

     glow with

       from the

   input is

       at this

     has been

       by the



     that is to say


   a kind of neither


       if it can

     be called

       one hears

     in the in

     over and

      over again

   in the like of

     rarely if this

    nor have i

      probably of

    each voice

     from after

    another what

      makes it



writing all together

not a single syllable

    writing what to

   write any more

     or if there even

          is such as

     an open window


       nothing at all

   with which we

this language


  there with

   that’s been done

    not to

      born of and


      back again

       as if just a

       following forth

    which looks at



    what seems


       word window      images

chiaroscuro leaves

   at night’s edge,

      a hand having

   studied the most

         of them

   a body of sounds

  i means to say

in flesh and blood


    the emphasis on

      most of them

   with what’s

       that of color

  and some husk

  of a word

    on their the


     it is all this

       in even who

   are always

           in the as if


            these days

        most of all

          one reads

       devoid that of

        heard it all

     of the so-called

    mostly unknown


       is to

     all such

       of a

    what’s more

        and so

      has and then

          to say


    what we would            know

     of the surface,

    the reflection of

   an abyss,

     one’s hands


       a labyrinth

questions wrapped

     while at the


 remains at the gap

before the naming



a bright light touches my eyes. Irritated, barely opening an eye, i see a ray of sunlight shining in through a gap in the curtains. i roll over with my back to the window and briefly fall into a semi-sleep. A few minutes later the alarm goes off and i open my eyes again and stare mindlessly at the wall in front of me with its floral wallpaper. i notice the pattern with its small bunches of red and blue flowers tied together with brown colored twine against a pale grey-green background repeating itself transversely across the wall. Sighing, i turn onto my back and lie there staring at the ceiling - what the hell was that all about – i say to myself suddenly remembering the dream – goodness      were those shitake mushrooms i had yesterday or were they something else – i mumble sitting up in bed rubbing my eyes and yawning – all that thinking about the universe      light and darkness    did a number on me    the idea of an unending darkness surrounds everything     gives me the creeps      serious fits of anxiety – i think to myself while lying back in bed, vainly covering myself up from head to toe with the sheet so as not to be seen by anybody or anything; i can’t shake the uncanny feeling that the darkness knows, it can see me, all of me, inside and out, through me, into me, it knows all my secrets, it knows where i’ve been and where i’m going, my thoughts and feelings, it listens to my heartbeat, the gurgling of my stomach and intestines, my thoughts, it listens to my listening . . . unnerved by these thoughts, i suddenly throw the sheet off and quickly walk to the bathroom and standing at the sink, frenetically begin splashing cold water on my face. i think of shaving but just as soon as i had begun splashing water on my face, i freeze, rigidly fixed in the awkward position of being bent over, face down, staring blankly at the drain, afraid to look up at the mirror for fear i might not recognize myself again. Very quickly, i peer upwards at the mirror and then back down again, feeling relief at noticing i’m still me, myself, as i remember myself from previous days, nothing seems to have changed - i’m still me – i whisper cautiously yet sighing with relief – i slowly straighten myself up and then begin shaving with quick, precise strokes. Once finished shaving, i splash more water on my face washing off any excess shaving cream i might still have on my skin. i then dry myself off and walk back into the bedroom were rapidly and with a sense of urgency begin to dress. All of these actions i perform with mechanical precision and purpose until i'm all dressed up. Then, with the same mechanical focus and intent, i begin packing up my things, first putting my computer away in my backpack followed by my notebook and the excerpts from my novel then, i put the dirty clothes i discarded last night before showering in a plastic bag and pack it in my suitcase. i look around the room to make sure i haven’t forgotten anything and then with a vigorous pull open the room’s door and step out into the hallway carrying my backpack and dragging my suitcase behind me. With stiff legs i walk quickly toward the elevators and as i do so, i notice my stomach is grumbling and realize i’m going to have to have breakfast before getting the road again. i arrive at the reception desk, hand in the key card and look around the lobby hoping breakfast is offered at this motel. This time there are no buffet tables in the lobby with trays full of donuts and pastries, not even a coffee pot or jug full of orange juice, nothing - i’m going to have to stop somewhere for breakfast - i think to myself disappointed and irritated as i’m anxious to get on the road again. i walk out the sliding doors at the entrance into the parking lot and find the van parked nearby as i had left it the night before. i unlock the driver’s side door and angrily pull it open then throw my suitcase and backpack in the passenger seat, climb in, slam the door shut, insert the key in the ignition and turn the motor on. i then strap the seat belt on and with a loud sigh begin backing out of the parking space. Soon, i’m driving back on route forty-five toward the intersection with route one hundred and forty-five where i thought i saw a fast food restaurant the night before. In a few minutes i see the restaurant on my right. i hate eating at these places but i’m in too much of a hurry to search for something better. i roll up to the drive through and order orange juice, coffee and a couple of egg and cheese muffins. After picking up the order at the delivery window, i park the van in a parking space in the restaurant’s parking lot and with trepidation begin eating my breakfast. Immediately after the first bite i find myself wolfing down the muffins and every last drop of the orange juice and coffee, and, to my surprise, i find myself enjoying every last bit of it.  i didn’t realize how hungry i was until i remember that all i had for dinner last night were some snacks from the vending machines in the motel. After i’m done eating i study the road atlas to see what route to take to get around Baltimore. i’ll drive back to highway eighty-three South and then hook up with six ninety-five West, the Baltimore belt way, and at the southern end of Baltimore, hook up with highway ninety-five South which will take me to Washington D.C. i start the van and slowly pull out of the parking lot turning left onto route one forty-five heading West toward exit twenty on highway eighty-three. In about ten minutes i arrive at the highway, drive through the underpass and make a left turn onto the ramp and in a few seconds find myself on eighty-three heading south again

                                                                         i’m thinking about the writing now, my writing, and the sections from my book i read last night which i didn’t recognize, wondering why i couldn’t remember what i wrote some time ago, not only what i wrote but who wrote it, which i now realize is quite alarming - i should be alarmed by it but somehow    i’m not so much – i mumble softly under my breath, how is it that sometimes i can’t remember what i wrote or perhaps more precisely, who or what wrote it. Sometimes it seems the writing writes itself, languaging not languishing, as it were, except that it doesn’t have a self as such, a me, an “I”, not even a body, that is, a carnal being, yet the text is a kind of body in progress, an ongoing process


i’m now driving through the general vicinity of The Lakes, a suburb in the north side of Baltimore, it’s about nine thirty in the morning and the traffic isn’t as bad as i thought it would be, in another twenty minutes or so i should be arriving at the intersection with highway six ninety-five, the Baltimore beltway

                                                                                                                                         my writing, my composing has always been about change, impermanence, transiency, not about but a bout, not writing about transiency, but rather the process of writing and the text, what it’s saying, if it is saying anything at all, is transiency itself, is only a temporary configuration of meanings and intents, structures which arise and then in a page or two disintegrate, an ongoing process of disintegration and this integration; i never read, write into the same textual stream twice as it were, because the text is never quite the same and i, the writer too, am never quite the same as i am edited, rewritten by the writing and reread by the text - the activity of writing and the text written and read    are the locus in which both subject and object meet     there is no distinction between one and the other when one is writing   when one is giving one’s complete undivided attention to the writing   the reading – i mumble to myself

                                                                                                              the GPS on my cell phone tells me we have a few more miles to go before we reach the intersection with highway six ninety-five, the traffic has been getting denser as i’m beginning to see signs for exits leading west and east, but i’m sort of changing my mind and wonder if i should just continue south on eighty-three which cuts across the middle of these suburban areas i seem to be driving through and which would take me straight into Baltimore proper where maybe i can find the connection to highway ninety-five south, but then i change my mind again thinking the traffic in the middle of the city will be worse and more complicated and finding my way around an unfamiliar city looking for the connection to ninety-five might lead to my getting lost so i decide to stick to the original plan and circumvent the city by going around it on the six ninety-five beltway

                                                                                                                    but the writing – i mutter again to myself feeling somewhat agitated as i continue thinking to myself - the inscribing     i mean to say the scribbling      is a kinesthetic process where the paper     the pen     the computer     where the embodied act of writing the text     is writing and rewriting me      that is to say      the me     where the me     the I is refracted into a multiplicity     disseminated into and by language     becoming an other      an unknown    from moment to moment      the writing     the text an entangle-meant: a meaningful tangle of events where the text’s meanings are not only dependent on the order      the sequence of words and their relationship to each other     the words      the signifiers as they point to their corresponding signifieds and the space in between where meaning       as a kind indeterminate fill-in-the-blanks process     takes place     but also a wobbly locus and an activity where other kinds of meaning occur which are dependent on graphic as well as phonic differences     a word is a complex structure itself     a sound-image-thought complex which     like a neuron that has multiple dendrites to connect with other neurons      connects with other words in a variety of ways creating a network     a web of possible meanings     and this web of connections and meanings not only takes place in the present but also includes the various meanings which are sedimented in the word that connects it to other words in the past and into the future     thus words transcend time     reaching out to each other over time     from present to past and into the future      forming a stratification of meanings not only in a vertical sense but also horizontally      laterally     tangentially where these strata these web strands      intersect at nodal points where information is exchanged      bleeding through from one strand to another along with extraneous information or noise that disrupts normalizing modes of thinking and writing so producing new and unpredictable events which take us in directions we had not foreseen and which edit     rewrite the me in ways the i could not have foreseen; the text pulsating     vibrating in multiple directions      dimensions at once      a process made of simultaneities each with its own tempos and frequencies      all of this involving an ebullient     noisy process in which seemingly extraneous information is exchanged often intervening from other processes     this writing is primarily the product of turbulent processes       a kind of turbubabulence      if you will     a babbling brook of the mind – i think to myself, chuckling – processes difficult to predict and thus control     the brain     the mind being something like a random number generator     or rather     a complex of random number generators in which the various generators interact with each other exchanging information; a play of articulations reinscribing and splitting up the body within sequences and loops it has little or no control over     this is perhaps the real     the true musicality of the text     not only it’s rhymes     its echoes and reflections     but the fact that     like a piece of music     it unfolds in real time    held together    over time     by the internal relations of structures and processes we hear and recognize aided by memory and our ability to project possible paths into the future


we’re arriving now to highway six ninety-five, the Baltimore beltway, the traffic has increased dramatically made up of a mass of vehicles of all kinds occupying all lanes and on which the sunlight gleams impassively highlighting their shapes and contours, their different colors and hues thereof, characteristics, i realize, that drive home the limitations of my perceptions and my ability to describe them. There are automobiles of all models and makes, of all kinds of colors: red, black, green, white and blue, metallic grey to name a few; white and metallic grey seeming to be the most common colors for automobiles and white for vans like the one i’m driving, there are also lots of eighteen wheelers making their way through the lanes. Along with the increase of traffic density, where all the lanes are backed up with vehicles of various kinds, the rate of flow has slowed down considerably as we approach the exits. Now the traffic is almost at a complete halt as we inch our way toward our respective exit ramps. i see mine, six ninety-five west, in the distance led up to by a long line of cars and trucks moving toward it at a turtle’s pace, i begin to feel sorry i didn’t just stay on eighty-three south but when i look over to my left at those lanes, i see they are moving at the same turtle’s pace as i am on the off-ramp to the six ninety-five beltway – it looks like we’re going to be here for a while – i mutter softly under my breath – all of us in our tin boxes with wheels     tin boxes of various colors and shapes     some consisting of elegant aerodynamic lines     others      of a squarish      clunkier appearance each one of us in our sardine can      our package      like packages on a conveyor belt     we seem to want to be packaged     to be packages     with a nice firm tight ribbon and bow     tied around a tidy wrapping consisting of sharp     geometrically perfect pleats which press in on us      keeping our flesh and thoughts contained within a particular form that does not change     in effect     freeze drying us into a kind of thing suppressing the messiness of the flesh     providing us with a sense of security and purpose     this may account for a lot of people’s attraction to uniforms – i say to myself - uniforms are a good example of the packaging i've been talking about     uniforms are essentially packages too     packages that hide our bodies hiding the transiency of the flesh     its mutability     denying the mortality of the flesh     of our bodies      the messiness of our mortal flesh     a kind of exoskeleton keeping all the messy parts     our organs     soft tissues and fluids     neatly and tightly packed inside behind an unchanging façade – i think to myself -

                                                                                                                                                      but all of this is useless now     i don’t know why i go on like this      thinking about these things – i mutter through my clenched teeth, annoyed at myself - all of these criticisms are worthless now     stupid     they’ve been made utterly naïve      worthless      by virtue of the indifference they are met with for they fall on deaf ears      on insensitive      callous hearts      on distracted     dead minds      a threshold has been crossed      we’ve crossed a threshold      a point of no return that has recontextualized everything      all of life     completely changing the significance of everything      their purpose and meaning     and which has rendered the arts     philosophy and the project of knowledge all but pointless      yet another exercise in futility      unable to deal with     shed light on what is currently afflicting us     their power was limited to begin with     now      the arts     are completely impotent to bring about a change of consciousness that would affect society at large . . .  of course    all along     it was this idea    this notion    this absurd     idiotic notion that i’ve been pressured and obstructed by for years    which has been the source of my anxiety and depression     my nagging feelings of guilt and inadequacy     and which have undermined and colored my entire life – i say feeling my heart sink – this absurd      this idiotic idea       this belief that one with one’s writing    one’s music was going to change the world     with one’s art was going to affect the minds      the consciousnesses of one’s readers      one’s listeners in such a way as to bring about an inner revolution  and so begin a wider change in society     and eventually      in the world at large       fell flat on it’s face     not only for me personally but for everyone else who ever entertained such notions       such simple minded notions      what was i thinking?       what were we thinking?    now    in light of everything that has happened and is currently happening    it is very clear that all such ambitions were     at best     naïve     the situation i now find myself in     we now find ourselves in     has brought me down a few notches      several notches     it was all such ambitions that became an impediment     an obstacle to my writing      to my musical thinking in the first place - i utter angrily this time, grinding my teeth while clutching at the steering wheel more firmly, the force of which presses the blood out of my hands making my knuckles turn white as we slowly inch our way toward the exit which i now see is considerably closer than when i last looked at it. We’ve been sitting here for more than twenty minutes but now all of a sudden, the traffic begins to increase speed and soon i find myself entering the flow of the Baltimore belt way. i’ll have to keep going like this for another twenty minutes or so, maybe half an hour, heading in the west to south-west direction before i reach the intersection with highway ninety-five south near the environs of Ellicott City, another suburb of Baltimore, then it’s onward to Washington D.C. where i’ll connect with the four ninety-five beltway west to south-west around that city and hook up at the southern end with highway ninety-five south again. Maybe another hour and a half or two of driving then i’ll have to stop somewhere for lunch. We are now accelerating, in all lanes, all the cars, vans, trucks and eighteen wheelers of various colors, models and makes, racing toward our next destination, our next exit to wherever we each are going, cutting across the Baltimore suburbs, Owing Mills to our north-west, Towson and Parkville to our south-east, heading around Woodlawn on the south; a stampeding mad herd single mindedly pushing past a blurring scenery of motels, fast food restaurants, gas stations and shopping malls making me tremble and sweat with fear and anxiety as i try to stay in one lane driving at a moderate pace while speeding vehicles of all kinds weave around and cut in front of me in a frenzy. Soon, as the highway curves southward past several exits, including the exit to highway seven ninety-five, the traffic begins to thin out some making the driving less nerve wracking. i feel myself calming down and as my breathing becomes less labored and my heart rate slows down a bit the anxious thoughts about my writing resurface again

                                        . . . at the same time      i can’t stop writing       i mean to say     i can’t stop scribbling – i utter nervously yet not without a glimmer of hope that perhaps the writing, the composing, are still rescuable - over the years      i’ve filled countless notebooks with my scribbling     perhaps out of need      the need to bite back      as a way of dealing with the anxiety that arises from seeing what is happening around me and its effects on my innards - i keep going on like this, i mean, going around in circles, repeating myself, not only out of fear of having left something out, having missed something - because there’s always something missing      something is always amiss    always someone missing something – i chant softly between my teeth – but also because of the anxiety, the fear of having lost what was once so precious to me; the writing, the musicking having at one time given me immense pleasure and also, a sense of identity and what is perhaps more important, a sense of purpose - losing that sense of purpose is what distresses me most – i utter not without pain, not without feeling that unfathomable, cold emptiness opening up in my stomach, gutting everything i think, everything i do and the bottomless silence that comes with it and which listens to my listening and everything i say, think and feel. i keep uttering words and sentences, i keep producing language, surrounding myself with it, in an attempt to fend off the roaring madness of the world around me, i keep generating language, words, sounds and sentences which undulate from within my distressed body, snaking their way out of my mouth, nose, eyes and ears, snaking their way in again and all around me becoming my skin, my flesh and bones, my blood and veins, my guts, heart and lungs, all the mumbling, the muttering, the uttering snaking in and out of me - i keep talking to myself like this      and to the world around me      this world of torment    full of tormented souls writhing in constant pain      because somethink is always missing     somethink is always amiss     i mean     there’s always someone missing somethink      but most of all     to blot out that bottomless silence that lies behind everything      that lies within everything and listens to my listening – i whisper vehemently as i look around at the rushing traffic, trying to gauge where i am in the beltway relative the exit that will take me to highway ninety-five south. i see we are now passing the exit to highway seventy which courses east to west, this tells me we are nearing the area of Ellicott City and leaving behind the environs of Woodlawn, my connection to highway ninety-five south is not far ahead, maybe just ten minutes or so. In a short while, the GPS tells me we are a few miles away from the intersection between six ninety-five, the Baltimore beltway, and highway ninety-five south. As we get closer to the exit, the traffic begins to get denser again slowing down the pace. i can’t help a feeling of excitement at the thought that soon i’ll be on ninety-five heading south toward D.C. and later, past that dense urban mass, via four ninety-five, D.C.’s own beltway, past Bethesda and Arlington down to Alexandria where i’ll reconnect with highway ninety-five south and then move into the more open road of the Virginia countryside, passing Montclaire and the Prince William Forest Park, Quantico National Cemetery and Aquia Harbor, into yet more open, hilly farm land before arriving in an hour or so to Fredericksburg, the next major urban center, around the west side of which highway ninety-five bends on its way south into open country featuring two to two and a half hours of driving across still more hilly farm land and forested areas before we arrive at the city Richmond, the capital of Virginia, one of the oldest major cities in our country, where perhaps i’ll stop to rest and grab a bite and after which, i’ll resume my journey on ninety-five south, which divides the city into two halves, toward the southern area of the city where, in the vicinity of Petersburg, i’ll hook up with highway eighty-five south heading toward the North Carolina border through more forested areas and farm land and where the highway splits into two two-lane sides, one going south, the other north, with a forested median in between, which makes it so much less nerve wracking to drive in and much more pleasant as we drive through the hilly and forested south Virginia countryside, through the counties of Dinwiddie, Brunswick and Mecklenburg at the bottom of which and straddling the Virginia-North Carolina border, lies the John H. Kerr reservoir, a dam constructed between nineteen forty seven and nineteen fifty two, and adjacent to that reservoir, Lake Gaston, another reservoir which also straddles the border between both states and stretches across the border into N.C. over the counties of Halifax, Northampton and Warren, and which, near the town of Bracey, VA, after another couple hours of driving, i expect to be crossing, on highway eighty five south, heading toward Chapel Hill, N.C., my final destination, at least as far as this road trip is concerned given that a couple of days later, i’ll be on a plane to Northern Europe where i plan on being a bum and wander around aimlessly and, on occasion, visit old friends and colleagues

                   i realize i’m trying to describe things which really aren’t things at all, fixed objects that remain structurally stable in time, but rather, processes too complex and maybe intangible which cannot really be described or imagined, where this description itself falls short, never quite bridging the gap between words and the things they name – it may sound good on paper     it may look interesting on paper     as a text      as an idea but is that what’s really going on?   trying to get at something with words that can’t really be gotten to with language     something     a reality that lies beyond my grasp even as it sits right beneath my nose      or between my ears       even as it stares me in the eye    reality speaking without my being able to comprehend what it’s saying    even as thought and language themselves are aspects of that reality     even as i’m an integral part of it     which means i am an unknown     unknown to myself     a stranger to myself    at best knowing not knowing     as moment to moment i steps into the unknown whether aware of it or not – i whisper to myself gently - language being a reality unto itself the description and breadth of which i can’t quite fully embrace and describe     a chain of words     metaphors and metonymies alternating with chains of blank spaces     the abouts of the writing     the text      not so much about but a bout    an about face without orders that disorders into off course      an ongoing process of scribbling     an ongoing tsunami of words    a scatter that splatters in all directions at once which includes the space between words    the spacing and its non-sense a constellation of white    empty spaces     a place that is everywhere      not a predetermined fixed site     a place      or places where virtually anything is possible for they are everywhere and any surface and fold thereof is a potential space for the scribbling to take place on      where there is no such thing as a total or proper meaning     at best what i can say is that it just means     not what     but just     it just means    even through its blankness    it’s non-sense    a meaninglessness that is itself meaningful or full of potential meanings which the emptiness allows for    perhaps subverting the totalizing      the normalizing discourse of the dominant polity and economic order    thinking    scribbling between the lines thereof – i say to myself while following with my eyes the wide white lines on the highway which delimit the lane i’m driving in and in which i try to stay as much as the swarming traffic around me allows me to, the act of into a moment, the constellation of blanks, a fold, enfolded, which is to say, are not the, as a kind, where other complex, connect possible includes an into, laterally exchanged disrupts us in the each, sedimented, seemingly primarily by the babbling, the brain text pulsating with its own turbubabulence, tangentially bleeding, articulation generators reinscribing the scribbling, gleaming metallic down toward our landscape, not even scratching the surface of, keep on keeping on, stemming the world, composing critical figures and corrected for the into who in collapse down to the bones, whatever passes over which turn they glide, of feeling of the never been not the they whose other for replica replaced like in the name cracks and fissures found linking in spiraling, there is with what, the other which once this fact in light of receding find a looking closer consuming the wind from head to toe and the grasses drifting away incandescent                                                                                                                                                  but most of all blot out, it is that of the what, back as if following, i see, seem to have and a, the dark receding into a furrow, figures in the sand placed at equal, i is no more everywhere begin to each other and i lie down, the me of the, in a long no eyes sound comes a life still, and then some more to the breeze, above the grasses, cluttered with stars, further on and into, over me with hands eyes again in small bunches repeating, roll over and i the pattern grey-green, i mumble light and darkness every whisper covering myself listening and soon as still and find it open, i think to doors saying intents, never quite subject or object, the same am never quite written and read before or after, fissures covering the whole, a patchwork, the what it is is the what the i is no more everywhere begin to each other by in a long no eyes sound comes a life still to the breeze rounded, a furrow, the spacing by way  of, folded, the us be but the eye is not, still be there be absence of here is the “the” and the “this” using the within, this to made up of, using the within to designate and almost such a “thing” as an expression, i escapes into obscurity bemoaning a moon for the sake of, shrubs twist “me” into broken light beneath since everything that, the structure of movement through a, at the, and up in the for with and made with the i and in a soon staring become the to as the then with replenish outskirts a place in an anticipation, the tide after a series of my selves and self jumping into the, so many here at never by the face landscape of it, it would be than what it so many words, worlds, wanderlust that keeps “me” always a stranger, erased and forgotten “who” passed through here, whose of others for replaced like

                           and very often the sound, suddenly and stepping outside into the “the”, i can’t hear on by the endless, swallowed up, now past expanding as the “I” was saying, opening the door, onrushing whole thing, in the and its ahead, never i’ve been not they whose others for like defined in your entire horror, down, disappearing into, by outside my obscure body, face to face matter of can see countless thinking all along, a ledge broken off, messy territories in re-creation digressive turbubabulent this here now evasive beyond between someone shown under “I”, away down into that dark, but no, even as endless flow already said, i speaks to continues, to helplessly continue on by the now state of patches peeled, rub over into away after day by day down the horizon, plagued by emulated, not for that cut, that all time elusive “that”, of course which are the all of dragging the reading writing along the slipping between which is one to write in all kinds of, alluvial, bubbling over the me with whatever path i might say made me me, out the years, am i words? and the gaps between gasps, forming inhalations, to cease, traces forming random, elusive shadows, me folds outside in with cracks, ravines and who it is, with so much, how with the everything probably who having and whom and the pointing at the what, even they all these years, they all sound, covering my face, with hands still writing and still not a what one needs had to stop, i read and to and i means or read and mulled over latching on to whispers, into dusty dark corners what remains, i would i, i don’t like this i would say “I”, one more sound, whisper repeat myself at least by it is, i’m sitting, aberrant, by it, me, like a through, not knowing around me what does, is it just me a while ago? this face splashing through, from what extinguishes and sentences snaking around “it,” what? you what, forget me knots, there is no consolation, feeling of the never, i’ve been not the they whose for like defined i really glide, passes which turn um, i can see erased who keeps searching whirl wind words, with to my, with my passing in one with my relentless series of my selves, broken stories no longer crushed a ledge broken off, it seemed mis-hearings reproduced enough saying what, who i say i am, since someone said wind, arriving at an edge again, the void folding itself over from outside according to spacing itself from a there is which is now snow the entire it upon it plus this with a, plagued by emulated, no none, nor do any, nor for that the other this reality which once made me out the years stopping dead at, but the already blank and “blank,” “full” the that, a series of tropological structures, a meaningful tangle of events, where that of a, to none when the ringing hollows out the more or less, a face fixed meaning a lack, with so how with the everything who having and the with this forming an elusive, within cracks and fissures, just a black of words, breaths, and writing matter, bare, incomplete, that would gently to, pleats and creases, unfolding and refolding me, riddled with yet at to run into the have and have knots so soft or white noise and tall tales meander tall telling, i whispers gently with eyes closed now that the split shimmering, confined to a simmering, the me forming ravines at the what, cracks pointing still not whispers, me what snaking been searching broken stories who i say what i can see nibbling at the edges light made, anticipation stranger, beneath forgotten, it is that in the sand no longer eyes, stars further patterns on and into swarming enfolded laterally exchanged text scribbling a gleaming world passing like that, the tide after, chocked up, me up from ready to burst reading shards, shifting etched into a skin that i only, myself into by the thought constructed, but that “place” is everywhere, that ragged within racked as i was and their in the my made forming a within, teetertottering on the verge of white thing dissemination and vice versa, the “that” metaphor of the but the already blank “blank”  in the constellation circulating infinitely, there are no hinges on which “it” hinges, no even they after all these, meaningless with hands writing still writhing and not a single one had to stop, wandering tedious, this little annoying sheer brute force, like “I” would say, one more sound, just for a long something, now empty shells, myself a repetition, for something original compared to what? and creases me what snaking stranger in this most by means of, re-pleating the fold, the self, abysmal, overturning the me, meaning in so far as it refers to, since everything becomes metaphorical, convince myself it is the shuffling of feet in the dust, i would think to myself, see yourself cascading again in a limit cycle, since everything becomes metonymical again, and again, and then some more, and still some more again, the close to by the, as an early from the turned unfurled, like a then up into a by the open place, noted, returns blank spacing, white thing circulating round and round indefinitely, first have thus ended up to change our places glare-like rises a desiccated vine that roams those environs and shrubs twisting me into broken light among awnings and trellises rising into solid darkness, in the we, here with, no more as soon as we call it in us, metonymy cascading in the me again, i means reflecting opposition, the contrast, and it’s not so much than that, see the dark receding into a furrowed frown,

sense of am putting my i, put the look around listening and soon over and how it wrote transiency, i mean to say, the scribbling, refracted into relationships and into laterally exchanged edges includes an into the each seemingly primarily the babbling with extraneous information, kinesthetic process writing and rewriting the me, a place in the other words, as strata pulsating events tangled connects with other worlds, me, the me shuffling everything by the white and rising curly cues meander tall telling forming divergent random thoughts stuck in the everything, the that of the place already blank, the me cascading in the synecdoches again, the thingliness of darkness where the we, here with no more as soon as we call it in us, ears say of it knowing gently and describe abouts of disorders that splatter, sense a site even through meanings of the while which i try articulation scratching for the into, the never linking, consuming so much said, primarily discourse non-sense fixed in and in moment to moment, seemingly bleeding through, not even and in myself, not myself orders that scatter, what’s it where? can’t really beneath my being, able to bridge a gap where there is not what but just, passing away over which passes an about face, a stranger begotten, reality speaking, are aspects of that unknown and breath alternating a bout, the that its non-fixed  surface, hook up areas with a border splits into two which makes it so much forested of which and between also stretching across a sense of sight cascading on deeply furrowed lands my final destination where words forming me on rainy highways days later, drip drop drooping, am i words? in an infinite sea forming sentences writhing what to write, chuckling unfolds in real time, light made anticipation stranger, beneath forgotten, it is that in the sand, no longer eyes, stars further patterns on and into swarming enfolded laterally exchanged text scribbling a gleaming  world passing like that, the tide alters me choked up, me up from ready to burst reading shards, shifting etched into a skin that i only, myself into by the thought constructed, arriving at a ledge again


i arrive at my parent’s home in Chapel Hill in the late afternoon.  i turn onto the gravel driveway and stop midway briefly and then begin turning the van around on the front lawn in order to point its rear to the left side of the house where there’s enough space to drive through to the back yard. i see my father, clad in his perennial bath robe and Galician style cap, opening the front door of the house and then stepping out onto the small cement landing, waving at me. i wave back and then put the van in reverse and slowly back it up around the house into the back yard toward the very end of the property where an old garage and work shed stand. i park the van under the shade of an old oak tree with its back end as close as possible to the shed’s door. i see my mother coming out of the kitchen door, then just standing there looking at me as i sit motionless in the van. She waves and smiles, I wave back an smile too. i climb out of the van and walk toward the back. i unlock the double doors in the rear of the vehicle, push them open with ease as they swing out locking into position. The boxes, some electronic equipment and my instruments look in good order. i hear my mother say something. i walk around to the side of the vehicle and see her standing by the van’s cabin where my father has now joined her - where are you going to put all that stuff? - she says smiling again and then says giving me a hug - long time no see     how have you been? –  hi     i'm ok     how are you doing mom?    well    i was planning on putting it all in the shed     you guys aren’t using it are you? – i say trying to sound chipper – well    what if we need to store something in there – she says a bit worried -  i’m sure there will be room enough if you need it      i really don’t have that much stuff – i respond with a smile on my face trying to sound nonchalant - and anyway     it won’t be for long – i say dismissively yet not being able to ignore the fact that both my parents now look concerned as they  fix their worried, deeply furrowed, frowning faces on me - what are you going to do? – my mother says, anxiety rising in her voice – i don’t know – i answer back calmly – but what are you going to do over there     in Europe? – she insists again – i don’t really know    bum around for a while i guess     visit friends – i say with strained voice as i carry a box full of books into the shed – how are you going to support yourself over there? – my mother’s worried voice reaches me from outside the shed - i’ve been saving money for several years now     i can live off it for a couple years if need be      i’ll pay you for the storage space if you want – i say amiably as i walk out of the shed wiping sweat off my brow - how long are you going to leave that stuff here? – my father says – until i get back – i say raising my voice as i walk back into the shed with another box of books – well     how long are you going to be gone – i hear my mother say again with increasing anxiety – i don’t know for sure mom      maybe a month or two? – i say straining again as i lug another box into the shed – so you just quit your job?      your career?     just like that? – she says in disbelief  wringing her hands – more like it flung me the hell away – i respond dragging my old guitar amp out of the van – it turns out i’m not very good at academic politics     it chewed me up and spat me out      academe can be a pretty brutal environment      not to mention the prejudice – i utter sardonically -  so what are you going to do when you get back? – my mother says, anxiety rising still further in her voice – i don’t know – i mutter, as i quietly place the amp on the ground next to me and grimly look them in the face – i just don’t know





Some sections of Song of Anonymous are composites made of bits and pieces taken  from other texts, whether in the form of a direct quote or as paraphrases, which when put together in collage or bricollage fashion, constitute the narrator’s voice or rather, his many voices. A list of these sources is provided below.


1) Adorno, Th. W., “La posición del narrador en la novela contemporánea,” Notas Sobre Literatura, Obra Completa, 11, De la edición de bolsillo, Ediciones Akal, S.A., 2003, Sector Foresta, 1, 28760 Tres Cantos, Madrid, España.  My translation.

(Adorno, Theodor W., “The Position of the Narrator in the Contemporary Novel,” Notes on Literature, Complete Works, 11, From the pocket editions, Ediciones Akal, S.A., 2003, Sector Foresta, 1, 28760 Tres Cantos, Madrid, España.  My translation.)

________________, “La forma en la nueva música,” Escritos Musicales III, Escritos Musicales I – III, Obra Completa, 16, Ediciones Akal, S.A., 2006, Sector Foresta, 1, 28760 Tres Cantos, Madrid, España. My translation.

_______________, “Form in New Music,” Musical Writings III, Musical Writings I – III, Complete Works, 16, Ediciones Akal, S.A., 2006, Sector Foresta, 1, 28760 Tres Cantos, Madrid, España. My translation.).


2) Andrews, Bruce, Paradise and Method: Poetics and Praxis, Northwestern University Press, Evanston, Illinois 60208-4210, 1996.


3) Artaud, Antonin, “Artaud the Momo,” Watchfiends & Rack Screams: Works From The Final Period, Ed. And trans. By Clayton Eshleman and Bernard Bador, Boston, Exact Change, 1995.


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25) Perloff, Marjorie, “After Language Poetry: Innovation and Its Theoretical Discontents,” in Differentials: Poetry, Poetics, Pedagogy, Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press 2004.

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____________, “Unoriginal Genius: An Introduction,in Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 2010.


26) Roads, Curtis, Microsound, First MIT Press paperback edition, 2004, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England.


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30) Silliman, Ron, “Who Speaks: Ventriloquism and the Self in the Poetry Reading” in Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word, ed. Charles Bernstein, New York, New York, Oxford University Press 1998).


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32) Watten, Barrett, Questions of Poetics: Language Writing and Consequences, University of Iowa Press, Iowa City 52242, 2016.


33) Wörner, Karl H., Stockhausen: Life and Work, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, 1976.


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