Sunday, February 5, 2023


Explain yourself. People want the backstory, an explanation for the injunction and a reason for breaking away. The language confounds, the poem doesn’t make itself clear enough, the images are not grounded in specific places. They are not even images, they are thoughts, and it is hardly poetry, the product of the work done here. What’s with the refusal to open the door, to shine a light onto the inspiration, the private process out of which form is regurgitated in the form of an extended reply? And even as a reply, the form is unclear. It does not cede itself. Even as it recedes, it concedes to contradiction.

What to make of a mess of language arranged into a series of small piles? What to make of something that doesn’t make itself out to be something otherwise, which presents no use, except for a proposition, framed in the form of a question, of which it attempts to answer: Can articulation move toward something other than redress? Or, to frame it another way, can there be writing which does not exist against and in response to a general accusation of opacity?  

I am trying to carve out a space beside the text, which I have placed on the other side. What is at work here is an extended experiment, a certain breaking off which is also a breaking over. The whole process collapses because of the need for a process, a way of doing things so as to be able do them again. Methodology is described always in reverse, a means of correcting a certain slippage between accumulation and intention.

Last week, we spoke about the fact that our interest in abstraction leads us to have conversations in which neither one of us is exactly sure of the thing we’re getting at—we’re both groping at the contours of something that is still coming into being. We had this conversation while walking by a large roadway, past a series of what I’d presumed were student apartments, each with small lawns bursting with green. Faded blue wood and stucco and washed-out concrete. We were speaking about the limits of knowing, trying to get around that, not around the edge, but rather, to its limit, to brush against its grain.

If there is a place we know that language can get to, why not begin from there? At the bottom of the mirror is not another window, it is rather an equal mix of darkness and green; it is not seeing. The difficulty in explanation is that the project is itself explanatory, and yet at the same time, it is an attempt at breaking explanation at the very moment of its arrival. It happens alongside the call to explain the insufficiencies and excessiveness, to account for a deficit the origin of which cannot be explained in the constraints of a text message. No matter. If the issue was a matter of time, I could understand that. There too is a place I am trying to arrive to but have not yet reached.

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