Diary: How to Improve the Text (You Will Only Make Matters Worse)

textsDiary: How to

Improve the Text (You Will

Only Make Matters Worse)

 

John Cage titled his diary, “Diary: How to

Improve the World (You Will

Only Make Matters Worse)” (1965),

suggesting a zen koan where every move

in one direction is a move in another direction.

Cage was not too into the game of chess,

that was Nabokov. Were they neither control

freaks? One looked down on the ground

for mushrooms, the other up in the air for butterflies.

 

Listen to the music mushrooms make:

shiitake, for example.

 

“Nothing to be done,” Beckett said, and he said

it more than once: “Nothing to be done.”

Again and again, recycling the words,

 

imagining a future without retail,

which entailed imagination, the tale

of dead malls, hollowed out shells,

shelter for the homeless.

 

(artificial intelligence:

“all watched over by machines

of amazing grace,” Richard Brautigan said.)

 

What if anything is artificial? Artifice, father, creator:

The true ecologist loves garbage, Slavoj Zizek said,

and, we must become more artificial,

if we are to comprehend the universe,

a grasping together. GASP! (Taylor, Examined Life).

 

Every thing is recyclable, even no thing (as Beckett showed),

all things crawling with recycling bugs chewing,

the textual droppings of these bugs crawling across the page

two streams of ants, one going, the other coming:

ant ant ant ant ant ant ant ant ant ant ant

tna tna tna tna tna tna tna tna tna tna tna.

The ants smell textual clues.

 

The job of being

human

altruism and community, signage,

the shape of mouths, lip tools,

tongue, teeth, mouth to ear, surplus

age, a pantry of letters, a kitchen of words

a living room of text, a bed of books,

a shelter of stories.

 

It probably never was the best of times

and self-pity to call any time the worst of times.

The people bored march on nothing.

Blog is dead, someone said, sweeping up,

blogging, only dead if you thought

that; otherwise, it was still

“lots of fun for everyone!”

 

Retail is dead, the tinker said,

stirring her pots and pans;

on the other side of the street,

a drone drops a text.

 

In “For

The Pleasure

of the Text…,” Jeremy Fernando explains how

text comes into being when reading, comes and goes, his book

full of marginalia mushrooms, the writer a saprophyte,

pages flipping to and fro like butterflies, and as hard to find,

the text always disappearing, pages not mumbered [sic],

but we know where to look

for mushrooms and the colors butterflies prefer.

 

When speaking of the universe, keep in mind nothing is factual; everything is argument – claim and rebuttal, recycling. When speaking of the text, keep in mind everything potentially purposeful, so yes, the most effective writer knows not what will be read, can’t be sure of what’s being written. That is one pleasure of the text, the not knowing, uncertainty, ambiguity – the taking and eating of a strange mushroom, an invasion, a landing, of alien butterflies. Beckett said we can’t listen to a conversation for more than five minutes without noting inherent chaos. Yet some writers abhor ambiguity and seem to think they write with clarity. What is clear is that nothing is clear, in spite of grammar.

 

Understanding the text, or attempts to understand one’s own comprehension of the text, are subservient

to experiencing the text. One can only begin to experience the text by giving in to it, which is to say,

consuming it, mouthing the words, eating the text, licking the letters, smelling the ink’s decay.

The text is a meal which like the mushroom can be distasteful, cause belches or gas, even be poisonous.

One might prepare for a heartburn of the text, but that heartburn is part of experiencing the text. The

metaphor grows stale, corny. Halt. Stop. Let us retire for a break in the text to some hops.

The text plays itself out.

text
g UL p
ale

The reader returns to the text, changed, reader and text, both changed, a bit tipsy, textual vibrations: screen shots of textual cuts, rips, woven riffs, quotes like on a guitar, but cited for the newly planted who need authority to get established, but why would one want authority over/under/sideways/down another? textual authority to pass testual [sic] authority, getting testy this, this authority, King Ibid on his throne in the kingdom of Where Did You Get This Weave? There can be no misreading, only the experience of reading: vicarious. Author as vicar, vice advice, a writing vise.

a grammar of the other

another

other

mother

moth (lex) toward the light

mouth (law) toward the dark

declension

every text an attempt to improve

which worsens

writing as self-medicating

for which there is no cure

curator

mother

a text that cures

Watt Ales

 

what is the meaning of an unpaginated (upainted) text?

citations as reproductions, pics of texts

folder paper, where the lines are the bedrock

of grammar, the grammar of the text –

the reader creates the ungrammatical (including typos)

as the police create crime (cite N+1)

calls into question any misreading

“justesse of any sentence” (JF, PT)

ripping through the text, pulling quotes out

disrupting the horizons of folder paper lines

horizontal disappearings

a following silence until a new text swells

the crowd disperses, the text shelved.

 

In the middle of the text we find a pic

of “Anatomie” (Ibid: 180), and this

quoted:

“To write the body,
Neither the skin, nor the muscles, nor the bones,
nor the nerves, but the rest: an awkward, fibrous,
shaggy, raveled thing, a clown’s coat”

so we get at once
Love’s Body (Norman O. Brown)
Beckett’s clown
& Bob Dylan.

 

Next comes the pun: body > corpus

and “authenticity” – the authority

of the corpse, already with us,

and the illuminated manuscript,

backlit screen.

 

And don’t miss the three asterisks.

 

A typo it appears? (Elfriede Jelinekl) in the text, part of the text; typos are like black holes. They suck in the light. Some readers delight in seeing them (schadenfreude), but perhaps the typo corrects one’s vision. Certainly they test it. Typos are purposeful. Theory of accidents.

 

Musical interlude, listen, an invisible text. Music as language must be translated. “Happy New Ears,” Cage said.

 

…now to dreaming:

the experience of reading. experience is not

necessarily evil, a song of experience is not

a song of evil – nor is a song of innocence

necessarily a song of good. depends on text.

 

No more links, likes, or comments;

and if you don’t like this post at the Toads,

take it up with JF’s RB, or RB’s JF.

 

The bits about death, or Death? One prefers breath, or Breath! One might here sight [sic] Walt Whitman or Charles Olson, but there follows a sketch (portrait), not traced, there are rules, after all – yes, but whose rules?

The rules of the text:

JF and RB by JL

~~~

the text tails off

them’s that’s got it

Vonnegut footnote

inventions (externalizations)… to be continued, continue to be

References

Fernando, Jeremy. (2015). For The Pleasure of the Text… {etc.}

references

 

An Imperfect Imposition

An Imperfect Imposition   Gloss
       
He goat a haircute,   “Beware enterprises
molted a shive,   that require
and emptoed the moot.   new clothes.”
       
He out cast the let   Ruined good tune,
down at sup-a-dup   raised to put
and unvaled a crune,   bread on table.
       
frumpted and follying,   Commuters fly
and clutched the rolled,   in wingtips aspire
acrested the abridged am-this   cross closed bridges.
       
Daddy-Oh! Pater-pitter-patter Ah, familiar
potairy, roong froom the Gin-is-is in joy of brewcrew
hisses Ink Pour Age.   song of a pint.
       
He rit the hoad alt coomed,   [Readers
sweeat urned his id,   may reply
and snoozled wths sapoozed.   below.]
       
Hairfigged fitted, compred wronged, All quiet
he wroted, a temptwitted,   on the worsted
but ownlie slylents twas loosening, font.
       
ands the suns downsed and moons Only a real fool
arowsis a crewised shell fellowing ignores the full
pips sillied byburds.   loon.
       
Sorry to impose like this is the poet Where should it go:
speaking, but have you a place for thes Recycling, Compost,
amythidst your these is?   or Garbage?
       
Supposing posing, oh, posing:   Climbing
“I am positioned,” the imposing the corpus
poet posited, “I am composed.” ladder.
       
Nonesuchofwhich off course   Maybe end
was teachno techno blareney,   with the “byburds”?
steel eye as I am I am postplus. Too late now?
       
Owl duedew uandeye goal   Reading kicker
quickwick of it?   position player
Illklicked ear, wellclick thr.   diversion.

A Lyrical Poem of Vast Beauty Reluctantly Revealed Ridiculously; or, Possibly the Widest Poem Ever Written

Oh
luv
ly
ths
yth
nss
rth
lss
ly
un
rave
lling
pling
bling
sling
Sans
snarls
&
pots
&
pans
&
yell
ing
frm
the
top
of
the
stairs
Whn
old
age
 ______________
still
like
a
horizone
lies
a
cross
a +
drift
pacific
blue
Oh pan
acean
ly
on
the
Strand
 ~~~~~~~
summer
still
&
above
the
Strand
grand
avenues
Houses ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
closed
like
shelved
novels
every
 [_] [_] [_]
wandoor
a
 ||||||||||||||
page
un
||||||||||||||||| |||||||||||||||||||
cut
Every
home
a
pot
ten
shall
poe m
full
.%
care
act
ears
&
song stairs
We inner rupture ths poem
to bring you a comment:
     !    !   !
Well?
"Is this mic on?"
"Another poem? I used to like this blog. Has he lost his YKW?"
~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ Reply Not every.

Waiter! Waiter! Water! Water! please plea see
Really? This whole woeful willy nilly silly stuffled-stuff is enough to drive a noose guy nuts you know what I mean? Perm it me to clar i fry  !
whn dows Beauty In Ter ?

Keep SCROLLing

RIGHT

What? We are weave ing the har bor for the o pen C ~~~ deep po a fry well try certain ly wide anyways
You & me let's Beat it out-a-hear let's go let's get lost golast golest golist goloose golinked goleaked
know
wht
?
Yssssh
awe
s
last
lest
list
lost
luster
&
plural
 paisley tiediedlies
Do
a
log
ist
ics
s
egi
there
s
con
verse
say
shuns
reveal
Alphabet The didrest hidrest hadrest hardrest
he awrecked up awent walking
composing each step ed
re member patters n
shapes saw assign
KEEP OFF THE
WORDS!
Pls

Apropos of Nothing Alphabet Primer

AA beast abuzz amidst the clovers: A is for Always Anxiously

Bees besieged in Beelzebub’s circles: B is for Bunched Bop

Ceding the bee’s sting: C is for Cut Care

Denuded dazed drone doodle: D is for Drilled Daffodil Dust

FlowerEach easy flower glowers, going crazy: E is for Eating Earwigs

Felled flies found in forged gyre: F is for Flounder Flour

Grease hopping aground bottom: G is for Goaded Garlic Gear

Heliotrope: H is for Standing Erect at High Noon

M ss ng  n Act on: I is for Idling Slowly Down the Mississippi River

Jived, joed, and jellied: J is for Jump to Comments

Kitchen kelp: K is for Krilling

Los Angeles lovers afloat: L is for Lost in Ballona Creek LowlandsCAPE

Moneyed, honeyed, and schooled: M is for Marriage

Nonesuch wiser the nuncio nun: N is for Nauseous Napkins at High Tide

Only one occupied optative mood phone booth: O is for Obnoxious Ontology

Peeing peregrine on ice plant spears: P is for Pilled Paper Piece Work

Queued quacks: Q is for Quick Quiz

Read in rows: R is for Rubric Rust

Sew seven scarves: S is for Subsumed Existential Snow

T is for Tremulous Titbirds Telling Mother Father Will Be Late

Undertow: U is for Until Unction Snore

Vexed voice: V is for Verisimilitude

Waiting for FatherWho When What Where Why: W is for Wasted Window Father Watch

X’s not and no O’s

Yellow harrow and black and yellow bumblebees: Y is for Yielded Yelp

Zonked zone: Z is for zooming in and zooming out, buzzing, zooming, walking, talking, doodling at poems, scratching names with dates in wet concrete, riding the bus to the metropolitan zoo

Samuel Beckett’s “Molloy” p. 161

  1. I

  2. I

  3. I
                                                 I
                   I
my
       us      I          I    
I      I     
                             I              my
       I                          my                  me
                                    my                me
                    I                               I
                              I

               I
                                   I
                                          me
             my                          
                                              my
                      I 
             my
me                                 me
           I
   I                           my      my

   myself
                                                I
                                       I
      I                                          my
              me         my

                                                          I
                  I

     I
                                     I
                                                         my
                                         me
   me
   me

The above, expunged page is from Three Novels by Samuel Beckett: Molly, Malone Dies, The Unnamable (First Evergreen Black Cat Edition, 1965, Seventh Printing). Page 161 was selected not quite at random (I liked that it begins with the numbers), though any page might work, to illustrate, in concrete poetry style, the proliferation of personal pronouns throughout Beckett’s text. The excised page, each pronoun appearing in its place from the original page, the surrounding words cut, makes for an effective and lovely concrete poem expressing one of Beckett’s themes, the individual immersed in white space, floating. Although an equally provocative reading might suggest that each pronoun is a separate individual, each reaching out for another. Try reading the concrete poem aloud, pausing between words just for the time it takes for your eye to locate the next one.
Three Novels by Samuel Beckett

page 161

On Words

City Life

“Overrated and abused, underrated and reused, hyperbolized and underused, understated and overstated, restated and retracted, excused and double-downed, drowned and rusticated, nailed to a wall and drawn on a scroll, ignored and explored, welcomed and turned away, painted and scrawled, yelled and whispered, tattooed and erased, written down and written up, spelled out in the bottom of a tea cup.”

The above quote is from the comment stream to a previous post: “Bob Dylan & Clarice Lispector: Bewildering, Transfigured & Redeemed.”

The drawing above I made years ago, the paper now yellowing. I wanted to title the drawing “Leaving the City,” or something like that, “City Life,” but the drawing might somehow be appropriately titled “Words,” for the city is constantly in commute, the exchange made with words; our world is filled with words, sounds rising, mixing in the froths and foams – the city yeasts of ambition and commerce, change and exchange, the city a sea of words that act like yeasts, fermenting. Inside each car a radio no doubt adds to the mix, each car an oven full of baking words.

At night, a bread of crusted quiet rises, the din below softening, words breaking apart and falling like shreds of unintelligible graffiti, night words. From a distance, animals contemplate the city scene.

Walking with another in the country, on a path, words spoken have a pronounced different quality than words spoken walking on a sidewalk on a busy city day.

The characters in the foreground of the drawing might be workers in an urban call center. The fellows in the bottom right might be stumbling or sneaking home from a local pub.

“Words are overrated,” the commenter had said to the Dylan & Lispector post. No doubt, I thought, but more, and replied with the comment quoted above, to which the commenter then replied, “Ja, just so.” And, there you have it. Talk on.

Ticker Tape Sentence

A new sentence, ahoy, begins to move along the horizon, words crossing on the horizon like ticker tape, words like ships at sea, ship-sat sea, a sentence a fleet of words, but quiet, so far out, out to sea, but futile, our following them, their passage, so why not just limit the sentence to one word, a single word, stop, for example, stop these ships before it's too late, before we cross the point of no return, but no, I'm not worried about running on, I'm more concerned with running aground, so I'm running with the wind while the wind's in my sails, running with this new sentence, running with the wind, for a spell, a run-on sentence, tilting and lilting with comma splices, funny term, comma splice, like tacks, like sailing tacks, the comma splice, to cut off, pause, we learned in grade grammar elementary school while the period was a full stop pull over go to sleep, compared to the comma, where you had to leave the car running, riding the clutch (but wait, we didn't drive cars in grade school, can't use that comparison - too late), quick breath, come around, though, we got that, just enough time to glance up, look at the teacher, visage, what was she thinking, and did she have hair under her habit, she had thick bushy black eyebrows, like punctuation marks underscoring the white cardboard starched forehead, big black dashes, but that's to digress, to veer from course, deviation from planned course, stay on tack, on tact, too, and on track, for the railroad is like a run-on sentence, too, too, too, but the run-on sentence is like a chase scene, like a chase at the end of a Keystone Cops adventure, a chase that runs on and runs on, like a run-on sentence, sometimes called a comma splice run-on sentence I should caution good reader there is no end in sight to this run-on sentence, so if there's somewhere you need to be, you might want to mark where you are, just grab a piece of tape, or something, a felt marker, and make a mark on your screen, not a period though, a comma, mark your place, where you are in the sentence, mark the word just above where the little blue bubble marker is now located below this run-on sentence, mark it with a caret, like this ^ or with an upside down y or keep going no reason to stop unless you need to be somewhere but still give them a call, call in, and tell them you are in the middle of a run-on sentence you can see that we are in the middle of this run-on sentence by checking the blue bubble, if the blue bubble is in the middle of the ticker line, then we are midway through this run-on sentence you don't need to mark your screen when you get back just slide the blue bubble over to the middle of the ticker tape-like rectangular oval below the sentence nice feature that blue bubble where I got the idea actually for this run-on sentence thinking why bother having to tab down read down always down the page why not just keep moving sideways this is how new things are invented by questioning the status quo and a book could be written like this why not run the sentence to the end of the page, turn the page, continue sentence on the back side, reach the end again, continue the sentence onto the next page, not down, straight across, until you reach the end of the book, then go back to page one before you tab down to the next row, the next line, and off you go again, until the book is full what would each page read like then a complete surprise futile though the perspicacious reader will note the influence of John Cage here, here on this run-on sentence, so maybe this idea of the ticker tape run-on sentence is somewhat Cagean, but then again, maybe not, maybe Cage has nothing to do with this, but Cage embraced the futile and in doing so crossed the horizon of doubt and I keep coming back to Cage even after all these years and new things to look at and read and listen to, and reading Cage's books, "Silence," for example, or "A Year From Monday," might suggest more ideas for new forms of composition of posts, though Cage preferred the mosaic to the linear the ticker tape sentence (I think the name might stick) is certainly an exercise in linearity if nothing else for it resembles a line, a line sliding, a line of words, sliding horizontally, like ships on a horizon, words like a fleet of ships, ships though that never come any closer, and whose purpose remains, at best, ambiguous, or worse, simply silly, but it takes a long time to stop a ship, and still, there they are, out to sea, floating above the blue bubble in the long oval, and they stay on the horizon, sliding across the horizon until they are out of view and we are left to go our own way.

Say what you see (look-and-say) sequences

1

1 1

2 1

1 2 1 1

1 1 1 2 2 1

Solve for row 6__________
a

1 a

1 1 1 a

3 1 1 a

1 3 2 1 1 a

Solve for row 6__________
a n t

1 a 1 n 1 t

1 1 1 a 1 1 1 n 1 1 1 t

3 1 1 a 3 1 1 n 3 1 1 t

1 3 2 1 1 a 1 3 2 1 1 n 1 3 2 1 1 t

Solve for row 6__________
ant

ant ant

ant ant ant

ant ant ant ant

ant ant ant ant ant

ant ant ant ant

Solve for row 7__________
c a t

c a t ' s  u p

w h a t ' s  u p ?

catch up

Solve for row 5__________

Look-and-say sequence.