"The landscape of that age is one of anguish and nostalgia. The little girl is running. You can't tell if she's running away. Or if she's lost. If she's running after the tiger. Or if the tiger is running after her."

Helene Cixous


"Through the Return we do not only desire that which turns us away from every desired, but here there is desire without desiring and by way of a detour from all desire, as from all that is desirable."

Maurice Blanchot


He paused for a few seconds in front of the door. It was covered with flyers and posters of campus events and various and sundry revolutionary incitements. He shifted the bottle of wine and book to his left hand, straightened up from reading and knocked lightly on 'Free Mumia.'

She was smaller than he remembered. But even prettier he thought. He felt waves of electric current wash through him. Neither of them knew what to say, that awkward moment when...well, he had never experienced such a moment before frankly. He felt empty and full at the same time, a curious elation like he was walking on the edge of a cliff.

She was moving animately around the small room, slightly re-arranging the three chairs around the small worn table. She seemed just as nervous as he felt inside. Lots of laughter and incomplete sentences on both sides, looking at and then away from each other as the package was opened and then the confused search for the corkscrew for the wine. She collected children's books so he had brought her one written by a famous woman black poet.

He looked around the room while she was opening the wine. He could see the bedroom in the only other room in the apartment. The room felt incredibly exotic to him. The paint was peeling from the walls and ceiling in places but..it seemed appropriate. An old Navajo rug graced the space between the couch and the dining table. The coach itself was a very old reclining style which would not have seemed out of place in a Victorian sitting room--or Freud's office. To the left as he had come in the door were double windows hung with white sheets and a small table in front. To the right of the door was a large basket with a pile of shoes, then the couch. There were a couple of pictures in old frames; a couple of the enigmatic snapshots he had sent; some three day old flowers in a plain vase on the table. A book. the wine.

The evening darkening as they sat, he on the couch, she on a small stool in front. Her hair glowed in the gloom. He seemed either on the verge of speechlessness and catatonia or a vertible cataract of words, covering every surface.

A giant breathing, in, out, in, out, had begun, cycling their bodies into each other, like with these words, trying to shake the bones into the flesh, make them coalesce, make us one, practice and performance, deed and thought, breath and air, a continual coming--for awhile, for, as it turns out, just a breath.

doomed by its very intensity of breath, a negation inherent in the cycle (how could he know?? but she knew. she said as much, dead zones always at the top and bottom of the cycle, push the thing off for a short ride down, too tired to push it back up, too tired to suck the air from loins, too tired for caresses turned into the Same, into the same negative oscillation as all the befores, scryed in the future Tarot decks, the hangman turned to the front, turning me into some sort of discarded beetle carcass, cracked open after a summer of wetness smashed then underfoot).

It was still cycling he was sure of it, some monstrous (he thought now) Carnot Love engine, always running out of fuel, burning whatever was handy...burnished for awhile yes, to a high gloss, rubbed, rubbed, rubbed---to a spaceage pinacle of, ..of, body-ness, of hardness, of cum-ness, of soft wet sweetness before the cycle starts down.

Takes the bloom off the molly he thinks to himself as he hangs up the final phone. But ... something sucked dry, some expectation, some innocence, all hard dry rattling bone now, hard up against it ... He was now only capable of circling, vulture-like. But now he saw it everywhere, not just HIS nose whacked out of joint (and what HAD happened to his sense of smell?! he sobbed to himself...was he never to be able to smell perfume again, a flower? Everything smelled like fresh drycleaning now, no sweetness around any edges, a grainy matter-of-factness...) And like some film process in the Hitchcock film Vertigo, he felt everything moving away from him into the distance and yet, at the same time, the ESSENCE of closeness choking in on him, smothering him with a presence that was basically empty, that had become a literary conceit.

How small she was becoming! ...viewing the large end of the telescope, the fate always of time and love, both irrecuperable, and in this age, the age of the New Egyptians, pyramidal, death-bound, suspicious and good only for a certain use value, market value, worthy only of being entombed, a precious artifact, lost in that fertile triangle....

How like this lyric she was! he knew even then, even as they slow-danced naked, he whispering the lyrics in her ear a fraction before they appeared in the air, his favorite song which now brought a deep shadow which obliterated all suns:

" I compare you

to a kiss from a rose

on the grave...

the more I get of you

the stranger it feels."

until there's no feeling at all.

"You will come to grief from your own body," she murmured in my ear as her nipple blossomed, ran to mulberry-like between my lips, "I warn you now and you will only hear me later."

Sliding inside her, moving into an amniotic trance, slowly twisting against small festers of flesh, she said "I will rub your skin into parchment, translucent with time, brittle, combustable to the point of madness; then, oiled into transparency, you will lie awake at night half-delirious in dark dissolve never quite knowing. And I will never care and I will never come. This will be shortly before blisters form and you burst into flame."

This while she stradled me, moaning, medused hair flying, riding me down to a thin sliver of embers and flickers, half-lit/extinguished with body fluids, sweet and gone as St. Teresa in ecstasy.

I realized only later that the war between men and women, waged over the tussocks of still-to-be-defined clay, is interminable and is waged over many fronts, yet wears only one face.


(p.s. Experience means nothing now. Or maybe more troubling, it means everything so much so (and some experiences more than others?) that one can't get away from it, can't get any purchase on it. It only seems real when one is having it--but then, you can't look at it directly. SOMETHING is happening but it's not exactly clear what the import is. At least the past glimmers, glares, and buckles inside one like something seen on the horizon through heat waves on the Mohave at high noon.

So i write to you, unseen, unheard, yet not unfelt, being battered and shattered on my internal vision plain, seeing you at a distance (no, FEELING you at a distance) but with odd, intermittent disconnects, electric crackling, through great heat rising from a vast expanse, a fata morgana wavering, threatening to dissipate completely, some ship always sailing, now, obliquely, loxodrome of the spirit and the heart, spiralling to some pole other than mine. You now seem like dull scizzors shredding the waves of, reams of, time and sheets inbetween. Like the battered wavelets we slept on, fucked on, came on, its own peaks and caps now crevassed and stained beyond recovery. (I can still hold your shell to my ear, the groans and creakings, cracklings of thunder on the distant panhandle horizon...I guess I never heard the warnings to evacuate.)



 Hut Project - June

"[.....] all our so-called consciousness is a more or less fantastic commentary on an unknown, perhaps unknowable, but felt text."
F. Nietzsche / Daybreak

"This lonely knoll was ever dear to me,
and the hedgerow that hides from view
so large a part of the remote horizon.
But as I sit and gaze my thought conceives
interminable spaces lying beyond that
and supernatural silences
and profoundest calm, until my heart
almost becomes dismayed. And I hear
the wind come rustling through these leaves,
I find myself comparing to this voice
that infinite silence: and I recall eternity
and all the ages that are dead
and the living presence and its sounds. And so
in this immensity my thought is drowned:
and in this sea is foundering sweet to me."
L'infinito / Giacomo Leopardi

May 25, 1999

The new Star Wars: The Phantom Menace continues to hover in my consciousness for some reason.. And not that it was a `great' movie because I think the critics were often right about its various failures. Nevertheless...for a certain TYPE of person, it sends out tendrils which have effects/affects over and beyond its virtues or failures as `just a movie.' Those effects aren't just peculiar to Star Wars I think but include others where special effects play a prominant role and are very well done--seamlessly, in fact, with ordinary reality. (although this face it, filmic reality IS a special effect generally, whether it's about character development or a Jedi Knight; as regards `character development, it's just much more insidious and difficult to see the `torsion' that is applied by the apparatus).

So anyway, while I was waiting to see Star Wars, I went to the bookstore next door and as I was wandering around, I happened to see the cover of a large book on Queen Amidala, who features prominently on the film. I had seen photos of her before but had not known her name. The proximity to that part of the brain called the "amygdala" was unavoidable so I immediately went to the reference section to find material on the amygdala, an almond shaped, bilateral structure which processes aversive behaviour, fear responses, trauma, etc. (T
he nose has a hot line into the amygdala.)

And the figure of the Queen does serve this affective function in the movie, with even her visuality taking on almond-shaped overtones (her face framed by the headdress, the lights on her gown, the extreme and bizarre bilateralness of her costumes/headdresses which seem to evoke images of cross sections of the brain...and also the strikingly yellow-merging-to-red costumes of her ladies in waiting, almost as if axons leading charges away from or toward. And of course one of which, Padme, turns out to be the REAL queen. Padme means purity, which, given the plainness of her dress means a certain transcendance of biological aversive reactions -- but reached through aversive secrecy and misdirection! )

And of course there is a video arcade quality to parts of the film (as there were to the other star wars) which serve to loop the film out of the movie theater (as do all the figures/merchandising, one of the other criticisms of the film) and into `real life'---albeit the life of the video game. At any rate, breaching the darkness of the movie theater in a way that would do Philip K. Dick proud--but in a totalizing way, a `virtualness' that doesn't call attention to itself--or if it does, it does so in the same way as the slight of hand of Queen Amygdala, the real nose behind the news, by misdirection. One might say that the film instaurates (or at the very least recognizes and gives a state of the art push) a new plastic pantheism, a `paganism' of the apparatus which operates by slight-of-hand, instituting into childhood in a gestural, proprioceptive, glyphic fashion a largely unconsious appreciation of the collapse of the borders between thing and self, animal and human, an enfolding of the `monstrous' as the cuddly, that is, what was once aversive, run through the amygdala, becomes a Familiar, an Aspect.

Unlike previous paganisms which were cults of the dead, we now encounter a cult of the un-living, another form of the Doll Universe, very old in its uncanny doppleganger-ness but new in its dopplerization of our ability to put our doubles in autonomous motion, always accompanied by a hideous keening now, announcing their approach and departure (but always in orbit: like comets coming in from the Oort Cloud, just beyond reach).

A big point being this: all the `cyberization' of reality that folks talk about takes place here, in gaming, role playing scenarios (which is what films like star wars as they escape the theater involve), and engagement with a very mutable boundary of `reality' and its other.

How intentional is all that? And does it matter?


I was standing in the shower this morning and felt myself split and penetrated by all these sites, electronic communications, like being in several places at once. An unsettling feeling as if one is moving while standing still. All of sudden I had intimations of the simultaneity of ...everything, like the first orbit of the earth in 1961, the first photos showing the earth from a removed vantage point. But...both exhilerating and exhausting. Was the 2001 space baby entering or leaving?

Those who are happy and content (and I take it on faith that there are such) are one up on the rest of us only in a certain fashion--but then maybe that quality is the only one that counts. A certain `mindlessness' is necessary for such contentment I think and THAT is different from what most often passes as such... that is, distraction. But what if a whole culture were happy and content? (Contemporary American culture is often portrayed that way: wealthy, complacent, unperturbable. I don't think that's true. American culture is terribly driven, even in its pursuit of leisure. There is a restlessness, an agitation there that is tantamount to the affective quaities ascribed to televison: it passifies you, while at the same time, activating other structures of muscles, nerves etc. A very active dreamstate. or nightmare if its pushed just a hair further. And it seems to always get pushed further.)
I suppose this is a `millennial journal.' Although it didn't start out that way. Let's say structurally it is, since it began on january of 1999 and perhaps it will end on January of 1999. To be a real millennial journal however, it should probably take more note of all these `pushings,' school shooting, war outbreaks, tech breakthroughs, and on and on. But it's all I can do to keep up with my own affective states in regard to those events (which, let's face it, don't impact me in any direct sense...to say otherwise would be to engage in more `push', to try to leverage myself into some more direct engagement with those events. Perhaps I could gain some moral advantage in such engagement. But perhaps trying to gain some sort of moral advantage wouldn't be that moral afterall. It's like a gift: if it's not freely given it's not really a gift...but then also a gift always involves some notion of reciprocity it is said--so one ends up asking: is there really any such thing as a gift.)


I have seen the future and it is ir-real. Or at the very least the borders of reality (now `reality') are zones of struggle and contention. That has always been the case for humans perhaps but the media industry ups the ante.

I just saw "The Thirteenth Floor" and it fits into he same category of recently released films like "The Matrix" and "eXistenZ".

In truth, the reality questions that they pose are very old ones and the generative thrust behind all the questions, newly stated or otherwise: is there another reality behind or around the corner from this one? and as corollaries: is this reality a projection from another reality? To what extent does our technology create/abrade/defie/defile/deform the human reality?

But all heavier, `gnostic' questions aside, I often walk out of the theater from these films in a half-dissociated daze, not that they have presented anything new that a second century gnostic hadn't considered but...that the film makes the meditation momentarily real. From far away, one hears dimly and through the soles of one's feet as it were, the grinding of distant cultural mills, the sliding of massive gates accompanied by a whiff such as one catches late at night, traveling fast in a car with the windows open, sudden puff of...something sharp, tangy, and unidentifiable


It's better this way, that there be no one hanging on every word, but that it be like this, like a cigarette flicked from the open window of a fast moving car late at night, watching it arc behind me into the damp warm darkness before pirouetting briefly on the pavement, bombed clusters of sparks zig zagging into extinction. The brief moment of the flick and the following tiny illumination is about all you can expect of anything now anyway.

How easy it is to extrapolate endlessly on the stars, the things around me. the philosophy of misery, (I seem to have misplaced the theory of happiness), the misfortune...but to go to one's own brief spark--ah, the stars look beautiful tonight don't they?

I found out today that my ex-wife's mother had died. I had known her for thirty years and was too ashamed, or guilty, or frightened to go see her when she was ill. One of the chief advantages of youth (and thereby largely invisible to the young, blessedly perhaps) is that one doesn't have to deal with such questions. Everything seems of life and light, even one's sorrows then have a vibrant quality to them, an ernestness and intensity that seem to light up the misfortunes. And perhaps it really IS fortunate that a form of dry rot sets into memory for the old, that it eases the exit; much like the blissful empty slate of a baby seems such a joy, both for it and for those who behold it. Two forms of radiant emptiness; for some I guess both are expectant.

There is not even going to be a funeral held--which I understand is more popular now. But since funerals are for the communities of the living...what a sad comment on those of us left behind.


The fireflies are beginning to come out around the hut. They start out from the ground and blink their way into the tops of the surrounding trees. They bob up and down and their light comes on at the up-stroke. I just read about an area in the mountains where they blink in unison. And I remember being in Virginia with L. when the banks along the lanes and into the trees were smothered in small blinking lights, like some Disney propaganda film.

Nothing but a mating ritual of course, lasts a few weeks then gone and a new cycle, like some oscillating catalytic chemical process writ `into the tribe' as it were, the individuals just being the mindless elements in that genetic soup of expansion, contraction. Their light display seems like a stochastics of survival as spectacle. But then all survival can come to seem like that, some terrible specacle given before half blind gods, perverse in the pleasure they take in the struggle. Like that flung cigarette, extinction can often seem entertaining.

These meditations don't amount to much. But godamit! they're me! (and not me!) they're all I have (and don't have)...sometimes there doesn't seem to be much of an inbetween, just evisceration and then words. An incredible empty yet infinitely miniscule gulf between them...take almost any `them' you want...

My `powers of observation' --my `hutness'--seem not to be up to the task lately. The previous entry is perhaps indication of that. (I almost deleted it; but I wrote it, it stays; never was much of an editor, especially of myself. If one were to think of writing as an 'architectural process' then this THING, this journal, resembles nothing so much Capt'n Tinkerpaw's ramshackle, glued-together, bricoleured dwelling. Certainly nothing as seamless as the mollusc of Ponge...more like perhaps the Hermit Crab, an opportunist who will stick together whatever doesn't fall apart. And there IS a sort of spindly, ungainly, curious ELEGANCE in that jiggery-pokery of flotsam and jetsam. But from a supremely futurally oriented civilization and culture -- one where PLANNING is practically the only thing that counts -- , it's not very satisfying--and certainly not very stable. (The very ESSENCE of human culture and civiization in that sense is...the Great Pyramid. In almost every sense I can conceive. Like a grappling hook in time, it continually sutures time, drawing past and future together--curiously eliding the present--while at the same time, leaving a raised surface, a cicatrix which throbs through history--but continually displacing its effects: the fruiting body of a VAST rhizomatic mass, capable of breaking through the surface at any time and place, the `butterfly effect' of chaos theory applied to time and its effects.)

And at all times, while this `ventriloquization' is going on, the hut mentality continues on also, in its own peculiar way, ALSO an eternal (and in some ways opposed) impulse, always picking up its pieces at the edge of empires, sticking them to its worn carapace. `Language' itself sometimes seems a grand example of that oscillation between hut and empire, the poem/art/prophesy versus the manual-of-instruction/the king lists, probably a human dialectic that's been around since the beginning--and even the idea of a `beginning' (and hence an end) is caught in that binding spiral, so like DNA in seeming to have a life simultaneously outside and inside---the closest approximations being those border patrols of philosophy, religion, and then poesis/language as the grease slipping them all together---or maybe even in some odd sense, as the Dinge an Sich, a certain coagulation of `linguistic' and the `genetic' with the codings of the eschatological, which constantly tries to frame as set pieces all codings, even those purported to be `infinite' . Scientists aren't even exempt from that, producing reams of speculations on `beginnings' and `ends.' All very scientific of course.

Meanwhile, those hut dwellers go about their business of piecemeal placing the world in place. (a `nomadic science' as opposed to a `royal science' as Deleuze and Guattari had it, or methodless, anarchic science as Feyerabend had it). At least THAT observation has become very clear to me. (and of course being FORCED into a hut is not the same as finding oneself where one was all along; there are many would-be emperors forced the `indignity' of living in a hut, just as there are no doubt emperors busily sticking things together, ala hutness.)

Even though those mentalities seem to form a continuum, there doesn't seem to be a lot appreciations/sympathies from the margin toward the center, nor vice versa (even so: it's hard to see how there could be one and not the other, as structural necessities). It's almost as if they form extreme ontological states into which humans slot--almost like a troupe of apes. Civilizational tropes merely blow-dry, powder, diaper that `ontology'. But even that is SOMETHING. Nothing worse than a wet, raw butt on a hot day.

coming back late at night on the expressway, windows open, hardcore techno turned up LOUD, it fades into the pumping pistons, sshrusshing 18 wheelers blipping past, only the tops of the rhythms making it through, then breaking out, all drama-like as the truck moves over/I pass it, like the scene from that movie The Hidden, something about to burst out as everything gets closer and tighter, hand on steering wheel, just another linkage, a little assemblage of pops clicks bumps grinds whizzes all coalescing into a primal monoblock of nothing but rhythms at 85 mph and 130 bpm, no content just movement, blank, evaculated, inches from being eviscerated, close to becoming a body w/o a body much less organs w/o a body--but as long it all locks together, doesn't really matter...BAM! could be straight into the bridge.
...as long as it's on the beat.

There are distinct differences between a `witch's hut' and a `philosopher's hut.' I was thinking that as I was contemplating adding more color to the hut and after just having finished the incredible last three chapters of Agamben's "Language and Death: The Place of Negativity." Gray (as in the color of the concrete surfaces before I began applying paint) is certainly the philosopher's color, the mid-range between black and white, the point of reconciliation, (rather than redemption) the rationalization of the bright painful red of desire and despair (nope, not black as is usually thought...). It's the color of a departure and return, yet to the same place. (In truth, that may be the only place we can get to.)

This (hrmeneutic)circularity is endemic to the philospher's dwelling, a continual bumping of the head of the clouds and scraping of the butt on the ground, destined to a continual flapping of wings, searching for that updraft which provides the lift, up and away. But it's always a false hope (which leads to a `bad infinity' in Hegel's terms: the old hubris represented by the medieval drawing of the man sticking his head though the shell of the stars to see the `true' depths), and yet one which fuels the very essence of the philosopher's hut. And language is that very combustion which the philosoph uses to try to reach escape velocity. A futile enterprise according to Agamben since `words' ALSO are the source of the negativity which always `grounds,' lacerates and divides the project. 'Once upon a time', The Great Search (The Philosopher's Stone?) of the philosopher was for that which decoupled language from that 'thing-which-generates-language' ... the philosopher is continually trying to find ways to stop being a philosopher in other words. Like this quote from Leopardi which Agamben offers:
"Another thing that makes me unhappy is thought. . . Thought has given me much suffering for so long now, it has always held me entirely at its mercy. . . . It has evidently condemned me, and it will kill me if I can not do something to change my situation."
Perhaps the Witch's hut is a phantasm of the philosopher, yet another attempt to interrogate the `other side' of that inherent division/negativity that seems to be part of the definition of `human.'
Agamben gives a quote from Heraclitus and then buffs it:

""The Greek term for `habitual dwelling place,' or `habit,' is ethos. The ethos of humanity is thus, for philosophy, always already divided and threatened by a negative. One of the oldest testimonies of a philosophical reflection of ethos characterizes the habitual dwelling with these words:

ethos anthropo daimon (Heraclitus, fr. 119 Diels).

Daimon does not simply denote here a divine figure. Its etymology leads back to the verb daiomai, to lacerate, to divide, so daimon signifies the lacerator, he who cuts and divides.

This fragment from Heraclitus should thus be translated: `Ethos, the habitual dwelling place of man, is that which lacerates and divides.' Habit, the dwelling in which one already exists, is the place of scission; it is that place one can never grasp without receiving a laceration and a division; the place where one can never really be from the beginning, but can only return to at the end. It is this demonic scission,this daimon that threatens humans in the very core of their ethos, of their habitual dwelling place, that philosophy has always to think, and to `absolve.' For this reason philosophy must necessarily have its beginning in `marvel,' it must, that is, always already leave behind its habit, always already alienate itself and divide itself from its habit, in order to be able to return there, walking through negativity and absolving it from its demonic scission."

It's for sure that neither the philospher nor the witch live in `habits'--or at least they each dwell in them in a different fashion from those who self-identify with those 'habitual' states of being (what Marx would call the bourgeoisie). One could say in fact that the `hut' is the minimal unit of `habit-ation' to which the philosoph or the witch can acceed, leaving the most minimal `trace' of habit-uation. For many humans the grind of habit is a comfort, a source of security, hence pleasurable; it is life and domesticity well within the perimeter of the camp fire. And now with modern tech, the campfires burn continuously and brightly everywhere. (nevertheless it is also perhaps the case that the `division' and `laceration' of Heraclitus is just a bit more covered over---not vanished. Varnished maybe.) And it may also be the case that the more that `domesticity' courts its own fulfilment and completion, that it meets up with its daimonic laceration, the pragmatist subtlely rounding the corner and becoming a sorcerer AND as a necessary and logical result of her original position as pragmatist. (Agamben favorably quotes a passage from Leonardo--"That which is called nothing is found only in time and in words"-- and then says that Leonardo's notes "contain various reflections on the concepts of point, line, and surface, and they demonstrate the strict, operative connection--which we should never forget--between nothingness and the fundamental geometrical-mathematical concepts." This would lead us naturally into Spinoza and D & G but I'll refrain for now. The only point being a certain structurally necessary chiasmatic relationship, one thing turning, inside out perhaps, like a starfish eviscerating itself to open and eat an oyster, into another thing which at first appeared to be in opposition.)

But the witch's hut...a harder place to find, secluded and trackless in the depths of the forest as it is. The clearing it forms there is certainly more problematic than Heidegger's clearing. Made of gingerbread and brightly colored twigs, perched on chicken legs, it projects a preposterous image, equal parts desire, revenge, resentiment; a continually infolding, boiling cloud, bruise-colored, collapsing in on itself, attraction and repulsion in rapid oscillation with each other (like Baba Yaga shifting from young girl to crone, back and forth,
erasing her trail as she flies).

The witch's hut is a place deep within those lacerations and cuts, transcending them only by becoming them. Unlike the philosopher coming back to his hut after his constitutional (
godam fat burgher kant), the witch never seems to make it back to the same hut--or rather, the hut is always with her, carried like a carapace (hence the pertinence of Baba Yaga's hut on legs), nomadic, a thing of the periphery entirely; The philosopher is mesmerized by the billows of brightly shifting colors in the distance but he can only attribute them to a fata morgana, a mirage seen on the horizon. (Morgan le Fey was King Arthur's half sister and student of Merlin--the fate of the witch's hut is always to be seen out of the corner of one's eye, a glimmer/glamour/clamour on the horizon; the philosopher draws certain conclusions from that concerning existence or non-existence but that is only an indication of the side of the divide he is on. The witch has no need of such pronouncements, preferring incantations, a speaking - into - existence, rather than a judgement-on-existence. Many philosophers now, having seen the mysterious `writing on the wall' -- though not being able to read it -- have decided that `performativity' can take over the function of manifestation, that a certain gap can be narrowed [part of the `educational mandate' of the philosopher]. The witch, for whatever reason, is under no such illusion and has no such mandate -- she eats children instead of teaching them. And apparently the etymology of morgan le fay is `the fate of death'.)

Often however the fate of the witch when connection with a habitus / habitation if formed is the same as that of the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz---she is crushed by it, a `natural' response by the philosopher and the socius he represents to such extreme mobility and fluidity with repect to border regions (we remember the ecstatic flights through the air -- unacceptable to land-locked partisans ... like the philosopher Kant who never traveled further than 70 miles from where he was born.) The intent of the philospher is be at home everywhere in his canny wile-fullness, while the witch can only set up simulations of comfort, being basically homeless, finding little comfort in the predations of her own un-willed, hence uncanny machinations.

The philosopher looking over at the witch's hut sees nothing but bruised time, a confused trauma (Greek for wound) of conception, death, birth, first one then the other taking precedence (and it's true there is a resemblance physically to a livid wound...even in my little hut)--the time between an `Eden that never was and a Heaven that never will be'. (This is the time of trauma as Laub and Felman describe it: an event that "has no beginning, no ending, no before, no during and no after. This absence of categories that define it lends it a quality of `otherness,' a salience, a timelessness and a ubiquity that puts it outside the range of associatively linked experiences, outside the range of comprehension, of recounting, and of mastery.")

The time of the witch's hut is the time of the Mystic Wound, the appearance of the shallow cut (stigmata even) which has closed over the deeper disturbance (into the very granular level of existence, into the particulate gloom of DNA, the only absolute substance that consiousness knows.) Scribing a reflection of eternity and infinity into the very flesh, the witch's hut is itself a reflection of the collapse of realms: the Now into the Neverwhen /Alwayswhen, a Limbo where scrying takes over any navigational skills since all appearance melts aways into the
fog, inches from one's eyes and the only recourse is second sight, casting lots, reading the leaves, entrails, the cards.

It is a place/time of tangled ontologies. As too the consciousness of the late twentieth century has come to seem to be the tangled time of trauma (no better exemplified than by the patron saint of witches, Freidrich Nietzsche).

This is the place of the Eternal Return of the Same, the arrival of an implacable and almost unimaginable antiquity in the middle of modernity. The witch's hut is the springing open of this portal--as well as the realization of the necessity (or at any rate its unavoidability) of this Return, that this IS the pagan Absolute Substance re-asserting itself not AGAINST all odds, but WITH all odds; it is the primal re-assertion of the Primal, beyond the calculabiity of the machinic (and hence formative of the technical).

Just started reading "The Infinite Conversation"/Blanchot on the Eternal Return and found this (on smell):
--"I would remind you that theologians have sometimes spoken of `the smell of the end of time,' a sort of sui generis experience that, amid real historical phenomena,would allow one to discern the breakthrough: being heading for its end.
---No doubt the smell of atomic explosion. Nietzsche, another theologican, already asked us: ` Do we smell nothing yet of divine decomposition?' And Heraclitus said before anyone else: `If all things turned to smoke then we would discern things with our nostrils.' But he did not make the nose into a theological organ."

But in a sense the nose IS the organ of parousia par excellance, being the receptor of substance TO substance.
I had to take the car in to be worked on this morning. Taking the three mile hike back from the strip, through the `burbs, everything seemed like nothing so much as an encampment, provisonal, temporary, occupied by nothing by cyborgs: heads in metal containers zooming by like giant metal rats in the rising summer haze. My thoughts jostling, bumping each other off, tailing into frayed bits of 60 cycle hums caught in loops, not really going anywhere. Everything seems like random collisions of banality, no more significant than the aerial displays of jousting gnats frothing in fuzzy head-high diaphanous balls. forming and re-forming as I pass through them.

As I was walking I suddenly remembered a Henry Miller book I picked up in a used book store yesterday (`Quiet days in Clichy', one of the few I hadn't read)..., how distant that Milleresque exuberance seems now! I mean generally, in cultural terms. Things seem much more constricted now, work-man like, channeled, and at a very rapid clip at that. The kind of boho existence he wrote about---did it ever really exist??! Even bohemian life--or what passes for it--seems to have a frantic urgency about it now. Well, it's just an impression---but I don't see much fucking/bicycling/wine swilling. except for college students. I guess all that goes on but perhaps the times have changed so drastically that the boho lifestyle can be found as the main course at any apartment complex.

All I know is, it was a long hot walk with no bike, much less the other two.


Synchronicity is an awesome and frightening thing, frightening because it portends an irrational system which is just out of reach and intrudes into this reality just enough to forge connections and alliances. A joining-together whose sense-making has to take account of the synchronicity which put the elements together; a way of playing-out the sense making to the frayed edges of its `sense making-ness' -- and then pushing it implicitiy one more step. This seems in fact to be very very close close to the poetic/generative capacities of language both as a truth `uncovering' device as well as a fiction `generating' device; both in scare quotes because it's not that simple a dicotomy but rather a porous boundary between the two--the completion of their forms takes place outside grammar. (or rather is it the opposite?)

At any rate, to write rigorously within that synchronistic linkage, more toward the frayed edge---how difficult and mysterious that is. One has the feeling of existing/being created at the edge of the known universe, where all perches are also the perched-on, one (and there IS a shift from `I' to `one,' a shift to an im-personal which nevertheless includes the personal) becomes the written as well as the writer. And at the same time, one feels like a spider, sensitive to the slightest vibration of the strands reaching out into the void, never knowing if responding to the `rustle of language' will put one in the presence of a tasty fly or a spider eater. Rarely another spider I bet.

Language in mythology forms a large uncanny lump into which one ventures at one's own risk. Upon stepping into it's water's edge, rumblings are no doubt heard deep in abysses in the earth's core and far from the rapidly dissolving footprint at land's end. No wonder the fear and repulsion it brings forth in some (scientifistical) people, for it's a snaky tendril coming from out of the dark, and we can never be sure if it's composed only of our forbodings (and hence secret wishes) or if it is `real'--or for that matter what the difference is.

Meaning plays hopscotch along the tips of words, skipping along the surface of a vast ocean for a bit then sinking out of sight.

I was in a bookstore thumbing through a book on Merlin and came across a section on Morgan le Fay and the various permutations from Atropos the death goddess, to the triple goddesses of Greece, to Medea, to Medusa, to the original spelling of `murgen', `mor-gue,' (L. used to sign her letters to me as `murgen'--means sea-born...also carries darker connotations).

And then in doing research on Nietzsche's Eternal Return, I came across an interesting article called "Nietzsche Medused" (Bernard Pautrat) which speaks of the freezing of time in place which the gaze of Medusa effects (not un-connected to the woman/man thing but at the uncanny mythological level) and which the Eternal Return basically is -- a traumatic freezing of past present future, all somehow connected with primal scission of man/woman and the lacerations and traumas which that division beings.

The footnotes to the article has two pieces which I will now quote, the second by Bataille because it is so beautiful and mysterious and I wish to have the pleasure of stroking the words myself, and the first by Raymond Queneau I write without comment:

"I have seen, oh source of my life!
the solar wheel which blazes
and I have seen the Gorgonian
the noble head of Medusa,
that face, ah! I recognize it,
I recognize the awful smell of a hatred which terrifies,
I recognize the awful feminine
sun which is putrefying,
there I recognize my childhood,
still and always my childhood,
infected source, dirty wheel,
severed head, evil woman,
Medusa who pulls your tounge,
could it be you who castrated me?"

and Bataille:
"If on this cool globe which bears us, combs shape hair according to fashion, what their teeth untangle is perhaps the silent trace of some quite other nature, that of the constellations, the galaxies, the comets, a streak of fire there where coldness has set out the order of our houses. On heads hair rustles, as foreign to the fixity of concerns as the most transparent Medusas bathed in light through the waves."

That `other nature' lies off the edge of the world. Perhaps the only traces of it we can catch are those synchronicities and mythologies (which Nietzsche must have thought the Eternal Return would bring back full force), an ancient world stepping into the noontide of modernity--but the world pulsing into existence for Nietzsche was not the world of the Greeks but the same world that was pulsing into existence in the same way for the Greeks, i. e. the Egyptians about which little was formally known then. The Medused stoppage which the Eternal Return formulates must ultimately be Egyptian
,pyrmidal even, as Bataille recognized--always keeping in mind the root entomology of 'pyramid' as fire in the distance)--but in a way which we have still to recognize.

These pulsations, returns, and traces don't take place in some never never land however--they pulse forth within the very flesh itself, through those ancient DNA structures where it formalizes itself as consciousness meeting the material of historical concerns, always everyplace, springing erect into existence at touch, seeking the marshy lands of its `birth,' tips of dark continents meeting, creating a stoma, psuhing though the dark night, leaving a glistening sheen of consciousness track slug-like where ever it moves reflecting stars through it...

While the technical gently brushes our eyes shut, some mortician's gentle touch in the mor-gue, trying to send us on our way. But unlike the Egyptians (Opening The Mouth ceremony), wiring our jaw shut--O, fiery psychoplasmic blast we are creating! Belly-munching machines sealing up the crevasses...but what happens when THEY come alive??!


I heard a piece of piano music on the radio station this morning. It was a very ingenious piece, if I can put it that way. It SOUNDED almost like a beginning piano student in its hesitations, missed notes, almost-simultaneously sounded notes, bits of recognizable childish melodies (like `Chopsticks') coming through the careening, stumbling fingers. And yet I have no doubt that the piece of music was a formal, written piece of music. A recording of a beginning music student would not have been nearly as interesting. This was, trully, a piece for a virtuoso piano player and I've been haunted by the conceptual implications since I heard it.

In this case, the mere writing of wrongness opens a gap and creates a piece whose subject IS that gap. It is possible, I suppose, for improvisational music to operate in that gap---but in that case, the musician would have to be KNOWN to be a virtuoso player (that is, he would have to be priorly `written' in some fashion) or would have to create that gap for the listener during the performance.

Much of formal art operates in that reference gap, a distance which can be seen in any number of ways--as ironic, alienating, incomprehensible, unbridgeable. From the side of the virtuoso player however the only `virtue' or `right-ness,' is fidelity to `write-ness,' whatever phenomenological or affective problems are the responsibility of the author or composer.

Once that gap is perceived, it's very hard to step back over it and pretend it doesn't exist. (That gap can be formulated in any number of ways, the widest maybe being the presence/absence distinction or: intentionality / accident, re/presentation; more than anything else it is the current omnipresent stroke, `/,' which divides and lacerates events, inevitably creating partisans on either side of the stroke -- and in the case of de/construction, even partisans of the stroke!)

Perhaps it is the case also that the only thing that can suture the sides together is trauma--or perhaps it is the case that trauma RESULTS from the suturing, leaving a permanent inflamed raised welt, more of an X in that case than ` /'. Perhaps that's also where some of the conceptual power of the Christian crucifiction comes from -- and yet another illustration that at bottom, Western culture occurs in the cicatrix, is PREDICATED on trauma as an originary mechanism for suturing nature/human together and that language itself (`writing') is the place where the inflamation/scar occurs on the body politic. (In that case, the idea of a pure `coding' which is rampant in the culture now, is interesting. The technocratic impulse is to bypass the `body' in all its forms and simply emphasize the code; if there are no `sides' to suture together, there is no trauma, no sacrifice -- in either the Girardian or Bataillean sense -- and no problem, there is only a mass of particulars, individual codings which possess their own individual integrity and not affected by the coding next door.) The hope for technology is the closing of both that primal gap -- which is really a delirious temporal one -- and the more pragmatic, banal gaps which exist as `surface' phenomena. Tech would act as a surfactant, breaking up the surface tension, causing collapses and mergings all up and down the line (the `writing of the disaster'?). And isn't this the original apocalyptic eschatological wish? Perhaps even the result of a structure put into motion long long ago. In that case, the emergence of tech IS the Eternal Return....And what happens to `meaning' I wonder? Perhaps like plants, it effloresces then dies, effloresces then dies, over and over again...Mobiated (mobius) meaning...
"Eternal recurrence of the Same is designed to be un/canny, its peculiar character overdetermined as a wound (Greek trauma) not only in temporality and history but in the body politic."
G. Waite / Nietzsche's Corps/e
"The Nietzschean experience of eternity is not an eternity in extension, the endurance of a stagnant moment without past and without future, stretched out linearly without end, but an infinity in the present moment, an eternity in intensity...:"
Alfonso Lingis
"Hence there results a new state of affairs without war or peace, an unsettled strangeness, an errant and in some sense secret, vast space that has little by little overgrown our countries and where men act mysteriously, in ignorance of the change they themselves are in the midst of accomplishing."
M. Blanchot / Infinite Conversation

Everything and everyone seems to be in Brownian motion these days (those random motions of small particles seen under a microscope as they get jostled by surrounding phenomena). People moving, getting divorced, just restless.

The speed of particle fluctuation increases as heat is applied to the environment/solution they are in until at some point the whole substance does a phase shift transition to another form of substance--to vapor where there is an even more radical dispersion and movement of the particles.

In the new Starwars film, the kid comments about his machine: "Everything's overheating!". Yes, probably true. The culture seems to be trying to reach some sort of escape velocity., first shaking off all molecular bonding, turning into irreducible particulate matter.

There are times when this just seems completely pointless. It's neither a `personal' journal nor a sustained philosophical reflection, it's not purely private -- which has a certain allure, long lost revelations discovered years after one's death by others and all that post mortem carpe diem-- and yet it's too privately coded to hold `wider social demographics' at attention, as some marketing guy would say...besides dealing with literary esotericisms which, while of import to me, are nothing but fog, smoke to others. And neither does it chronicle human events--or what amounts mostly it seems, to gory details of man's inhumanity to other fellow humans.

But i guess it's the case that NOTHING holds our collective attention for very long. The most slimey horror turns into just a momentary fulgarating passion glimpsed through a glass eye dully....which should perhaps give one warrant for the more benevolent passions. like writing.

And the advantage of this, net-based--um, what, performance? writing? being?--THING is that it gives one a slight murmuring in the ear...even if wholly imagined...of multitudes caught up in appreciation of what it is one is doing....and given that artists often confuse what they do with who they are, one feels some ghostly appreciation for who one IS. All bogus -- maybe even pitiful -- modus ponens, no doubt. But the heartening thing is that I wouldn't be the only one to so indulge myself with imagined simulacrums of glory. The great and disorienting virtue of the web is that it is hip deep in such self-produced ruminations, unfiltered with the demographic eye of any editor. So, since I've now convinced myself to continue, I say more power to all us hapless minnows; it's a vasty deep we swim over....EVEN if we just appear to be swimming over ourselves.

One of the main effects of an `economy,' (that is, of any system of circulation) is a temporal constriction. And all cultural artifacts which it touches (and it touches ALL cultural items) are also restricted. The oxygen around the commodity / artifact / fetish / technical product that allows it to burn so brightly becomes thinnner as you move away from its baleful influence. An economy puts everything in movement and in so doing shrinkwraps it, temporally speaking.

`Money' flattens, squeezes, every available timeline, pressing the available horizon to within inches of the nose. (in a way, this is a counterpart of Benjamin's Destruction of Aura if we would convert W.B.'s spatial analogy -- intimation of the greatest distance in the nearest, closest space -- into a temporal one.) The term I `re-purposed' to describe this `pruning' effect, or constriciton, in economy is a term from botany, `surculation.'

None of ths is new of course. (I would even say that Marx's `phantasmagoria of the commodity,' it's `theological capers' is part and parcel of this phenomena and that the more advanced the technology -- and by that I mean a tech which comes to more and more closely resemble what it is to be human -- the more a bifurcation happens because of the constrictive, channeled nature of economic surculations. On the one hand, a complete banalization of life, life and consciousness as nothing but mindless stuff doin' the bump, to paraphrase Whitehead.

At the same time, a döpplegänger, a shadow X-world is created /discovered / re-discovered / remembered and a certain immensity of time opens up. I think of Nietzsche's Eternal Return as having this duality (and the resulting esoteric and exoteric relations it opens up); it seems to be the return of a Lost World... perhaps one always here yet almost impossible to see and that tech works continually (in one of its modes) to efface.

I was thinking of such time bombs -- abysses really -- after perusing a book on archaeological finds which have been excluded from pre-historical evolutionary accountability because they were TOO anomalous, completely disrupting any notion of evolutionary schematics -- or rather, throwing it into loops because of the vastnesses it implies and yet also a certain constancy of human form. `Modern' human remains / tools found in strata millions of years old, worked stone and metal objects found hundreds of feet down embedded in plio-pleistocene boundary layers. Impossible objects in impossible times.

And yet -- when I finished looking through the book I felt a most distinct loosening, much like the dissociative effect coming out of certain movies. The suffocating banality recedes for jus t a moment, a slight blemish appears in all these shiny surfaces, all these `happy, shiny people.' A slight
crack, which, for a split-second, has a visceral impact. It's almost as if I can feel time itself as an autonomous force, a winnowing agent.

I go to a coffee shop afterward -- continuous pull back into centripetal banality and distraction, from the continuous traffic to the musak playing, almost a completely seamless surface is moving us (IN us) from the street to the shop to the car to the home, accompanied by continuous noise and disturbance-which-disturbs-nothing. Reinforces in fact.

No wonder people have such HOPE and FEAR of the blessed Y2K event -- the only thing that can alter, slow down even, this monstrous all inclusive, monstrously over-coded system is some OVERLOOKED part of the system itself, a disruption of its auto-immune system you might say.
The Second Coming as a coding flaw.



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