Speak spirit! pt 2 of 2

Posted on September 8, 2015 in Uncategorized





The particle ‘ri-‘ seems to range over the territory OF particularity, the bit, the

morsel, a piece, even the riff of riff raff (‘one and all’, keeping in mind that riff raff

constitutes the debris of society, those who cannot be constituted as a proper group,

those who can only participate in an aimless Brownian motion). It would even seem

to be expressive of rift as a gap. Opening, or breach (as the singularity often does for

the collective).

The suffix ‘-ot ‘ expresses nativity (patriot, idiot), or a natural ‘belonging to’.

‘Riot’ might naturally be taken to mean a condition of excessiveness brought on by

an aggregate of those who natively (‘naturally’) belong to the one, (that is, their own

unmediated desires), to their own anarchic potential to transgress, to be unincorporable

in the collective, those in the gap. Those in a riot (and like chaos, all

riots, no matter when or where, would always be the same faceless aggregates of the

always-potential uncontrollability of singularities) would exhibit the excessiveness

of bare life, the possible profanation of its border-breaching nature, its lawlessness.

A riot is the breaking open of the social skin, the surface holds the directed activities

of the body politic into a vectored whole; it is the rising up of the ribbed (always

there but in a state of detumescence), the rhizome, the spreading of the bit, the

morsel: like but separate from the whole.


In September 1961, Betty and Barney Hill, A New Hampshire couple under heavy

pressure for their interracial marriage, decided to visit Montreal Canada for a short

holiday. On their return, they found themselves suffering from unexplained physical

pain, anxiety, and nightmares. They were particularly disturbed because they could

not account for two hours of their return drive, so they consulted a psychiatrist,

Benjamin Simon. After undergoing repeated sessions of hypnosis with Simon, they

recalled a truly incredible experience: they claimed that while driving south on US

Highway through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, just south of Indian

Point, they were taken from their car by a group of small, gray, large-eyed aliens, led

into a UFO, and subjected to a series of physical examinations and medical

procedures, including the taking of skin, nail, and hair samples. The aliens gave

Betty what they called a pregnancy test by inserting a long needle into her abdomen,

and they took a sperm sample from Barney by attaching a circular device to his

groin. The Hills also reported that the aliens, who communicated telepathically with

them, seemed fascinated by the differences between the couple, especially by

Barney’s dark skin. After being told by the aliens to forget what happened to them,

the Hills were allowed out of the UFO and watched it depart.

Thus began the modern fascination with alien abduction … and another fascination

with an ecstatic taking-into-larger-being, the breaking of grapes, flowing and

fermenting into another vessel, flotating there…just ahead, barely visible, invisible

really, but bright oh so bright.

What If There Is No Race.

O fortress of skin, redoubt of holdings, flows, releases!

Bleached, dyed, cicatriced, bound…ghosted by an outline not it’s own, radiant

bodies by absorptive ones, absorptive by radiant: both conduits to the boundless sea

inside, staunched (but yet made possible) by the material seeing of outside: marked

by thin epidermal barriers, firm but porous, the uncanny stroke between planes of

immanence yet forming infinities of violent and erotic connection and the inexorable

linkages between the two, flowing out —> in and in —> out, smashing, penetrating

while linking..

O! There the tips of two scars meet (pyramids tip to tip, gliding over), mingle,

perturb orbits, spinning untold stories untold stories into the tongue, some

expressible only through ecstasies of gestures and sounds, at a pace unmatchable by

language, wrenching free in noise, pain, anguish, births, still-borns, and glossolalias,

O all you bound by skin! The release comes all too soon or all too late, through

violence or eros and eventually emptying by death.

(Is there an ‘outside-skin,’ in opposition to Derrida’s infamous impossible ‘Horstexte’?

Is there a skin of no color, of no blemish, of no scar, perfectly whole and non-perforated,

a perfect boundary, a skin outside all skins and encompassing all skins?

If so it is undoubted, and praroxically, the marked skein of language, with its own black and white which simultaneously negates its markings and color schemes, while its phonic

on/off supports / barricades / limits / epithets.)

There, at the border, at the center of rememberings, also forgettings and oblivions:

opaque knots and scars which fly in the face of possibilities, impossible contortions of skin

and musculature protruding into the world, violent explosions of oblivion seeking

release into song, chance, story, noise, freedom from impossibility, long dormant

hang-times of hundreds, then thousands of years in which we, hubris of skin that we

are, walk like ghosts amidst the debris of time’s sedimentation in the stroke of skin

(monstrous and uncanny Klein bottle that we are, Mobius strip of

impossibility/possibility, inexcusable thinness of power and powerlessness, the skin

itself forming a stigmata of both lightness and heaviness of being.)

“One would be obliged to conclude that at times, remembrance can be as

destructive as oblivion can be productive: in this case, the end of memory

would lie in muteness, and forgetting would lead to speech. There is no

doubt that achievement, in these terms, grows difficult to measure. It could

be rash to propose any summary judgement of the relative accomplishments

of those speaking beings who can and who cannot speak. Who does more,

and who does less — the one who can remember but cannot talk, or the one

who forgets and can thus speak? Among lesser animals, the possibilities are

many; privation wears more than a single mask.”

Daniel Heller-Roazen, Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language


“I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar

Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man

of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids – and I might even be said

to possess a mind. I am invisble, understand, simply because people refuse

to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it

is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorted glass.

When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or

figments of their imagination – indeed, everything and anything except me.

Nor is my invisibility exactly a matter of a biochemical accident to my

epidermis. That invisibility to which I refer occurs because of a peculiar

disposition of the eyes of those with whom I come in contact. A matter of the

construction of their inner eyes, those eyes with which they look through

their physical eyes upon reality. I am not complaining, nor am I protesting

either. It is sometimes advantageous to be unseen, although it is most often

rather wearing on the nerves. Then too, you’re constantly being bumped

against by those of poor vision. Or again, you often doubt if you really exist.

You wonder whether you aren’t simply a phantom in other people’s minds.”

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Invisibility is a form of both oblivion and a pure witnessing, a seeing without

being seen (Derrida’s slitted helmet in Specter’s of Marx). To be invisible is a

form of powerlessness but a peculiarly efficacious powerlessness. It is the

impotence of both angels and demons, the registering of sensations inhabited by

futility. The coming race would be likewise marked by a general futility, marked by

a general exhaustion of markings: first a surge of markings, a saturation of identities,

then after the identitarian florescence would come the community which Giorgio

Agamben speaks of, the community which is forever coming, the community of

whatever singularities. There would be no race card to play because everyone

would be a singularity, their own race perhaps, the one thing that the State hates and

probably Race also as the embodiment of state/State conflict/power source:

“Whatever singularity, which wants to appropriate belonging itself, its own

being-in-language, and thus rejects all identity and every condition of

belonging, is the principal enemy of the State. Wherever these singularities

peacefully demonstrate their being in common there will be a Tiananmen,

and, sooner or later, the tanks will appear.” (G. Agamben, Means Without


The solidarity of those who have noting in common, of those who have become

powerful (visible) because of their invisibility (powerlessness), that is, they have

become the human race, the race against time’s depredations of love, that impossible,

invisible solvent, that ultimate event (always on the tip of the tongue) which both

defines and undoes the concept of ‘race’, that explosive event which is always on the

way to us, the expectancy of skin laced into the hubris of language: the bind of

THIS-ness, of the now, the zeitgeist, Bejamin’s Jetztzeit, the time of now shot

through with that-which-has-not-yet-come. The unspoken face of everyone,

everything, forever striving to open the mouth (and to create a mouth), to scream if

nothing else