Monday, 12 June 2017

Leg room is not permitted, because we need a little less space of our own. Transient thoughts pt. 3

Leg room is not permitted, because we need a little less space of our own. Transient thoughts, pt. 3 :

"Beneath the land that you walk is an extensive tunnel-system. In these tunnels there are over 1500 different species of ugly people.

We decided, I'm afraid to say, in the 1960s; when things started to change and got shallower perhaps. And so, in the name of good balance, we sent them away in their hordes.


The tunnels are lit and ventilated, have running water and, on the whole, are pretty warm. There is a large volcano that provides most of the heat, but once a tunneller hit an underground magma chamber. We lost 37, brave, ugly lives that day. One was a promising underground musician; Hollywood had rejected him, by virtue of a pronounced forehead. It protruded, like a Neanderthals did, and with the right lighting, too resembled a kind of unicorn horn. Jerry wanted to escape. He'd been practicing his needle-work and thought he could doctor the issue himself.

Heaven forbid for he hath died!"

It's pretty fucking relentless, listening to you two discuss ex-partners. "My ex was so so un-loyal," "but mine was crude, too." Just tell each-other you want to procreate. Or take measures against this deed; still lay in the name of the father, but not the son: Mary weeps at western men. Fornicate with flora and listen to the din.

My hands are throbbing and inside them are insects, which dance and make me fidget.

Stroke your hair and brag of an older woman, for your sex-appeal, even though she can see you already, will go through the roof. Out, up and above the glass ceiling into a world of fantasy - you, kind sir, are just a crustacean and have a confusing symbolism to your face.

Open the curtains and let in the light - don't mind the rain, inside is wet already, just let in the light. The window is closed anyway.

"Oh, fuck," he thinks. "I didn't want to be in a relationship; it's just a game of pretending to care with a sweaty, unwanted cuddle good-night." If you blow the smoke into my jumper, maybe they won't smell it.

It's a bit like using the rupee in Cheltenham, if you think about it a little more. Magic isn't illusion, but just really quick movement of furniture - I had a music box with only nine keys. My t-shirt is currently attached to back, like the slices of cheese you buy to cellophane-wrap: 'cheese singles', I believe.

With that sweet warm nectarine, I am yours. Imagine burying a family member in the garden a like poor little woofer - nothing but bone and memory. I put a stick into the ground and now it is your place to rest forever more.

Also, button down your jeans and play second-fiddle to her broad shouldered lover, with arms as wide as his television-screen. Scream, for more, the ride is free today only! Staggering back, you realise it is similar in structure to a game of chess, or the hand which strokes the clock-face.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Transient thoughts, pt. 2: after the event.

Transient thoughts, pt. 2: after the event.

Out of the darkness and into the light, of Bromley-by-Bow on the District Line. As the light pours in, life is affirmed and nature is visible, if slightly unnatural.  You’re on the penthouse train, atop the ground, now. It's the new one, the one where you can see all the way down and which kind-of resembles a snake; like the spirit of the thing itself. You're coursing through the city's core, now out of the thick growth where things aren't easily visible. You feel more free out here, but still inside a tube, not free, journeying to a place that you know you are going to. Home. You feel a crescent of deadness around your spirit, a crescent that at one point in its complete cycle, will be full. You feel frayed at the edges, but so very tight and taught at your center; unmoved and wound up. You are at a dangerous torsion and might topple like the wind-up toy, when the firm hold, grounding you, is released.


You kick your too-tight shoes off, flicking them with finesse into the shoe rack that your (ex) father-in-law gave you as a housewarming gift, from when you were consciously coupled with the love of his life: his darling sweetheart, his only daughter. You feel proud for landing both for one is good, and rare, but two is unheard of. You smile smugly, but not obnoxiously, with just a slight turn at the corners of your mouth. In your mind however, you are celebrating, in stadia to cheer as the two successful kicks return in action replay in your mind. The soft thud of TKMaxx discount-leather hitting the rack's wooden frame reverberates in your mind's ear and feels pleasurable.

It was a long day, as it always is, you think. You signed up to a digital magazine though, subscribing out of choice to get a free voucher for a takeaway, and other reasons.  You are culturally aware! You are creative and really do see the value in reading this week's lead story: 'why neoliberal garden space is uncanny, and represents wider political structures'. You'll probably cancel before the time given, in discount, as an introductory offer, and it pays for itself with free takeaway, anyway. Everyone must do it, you think. You think too much and often as if you are in a moment suspended; where thought and clarity abstract to something harder to decipher.

You are hearing, as you always do,  the drone of road noise, but by this small virtue, you think you probably save a few precious pounds a month. Your bank balance, which you checked on the way home, wouldn't buy many rubies, but for the first time in a long while you are in the black. Your watch ticks and you check it, around 3.37pm, and you thank someone, but nobody, for it being Friday: the day of the earlier finish.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Another aside, without laptop and away from home. Heimlich and Unheimlich dance within.

'If reading on a mobile, rotate your device to landscape,' if you will.

thoughts, reflecting on watching (a) 'waking life' :

Narcissus and I

The nature of existence, the essence, kernel or core, does not mind whether the person we address is yellow, brown, black. Or even he, she, this or that; it revolts in play and dances in fear. The primitive essence of being is tentative, by virtue of safety. It is nervous, by virtue of caution and it is insecure by virtue of condition. It is fragile, yet so developed and to be free is truly to be condemned: to a life of decision, which, however hard to take, requires making.

Self fashioning, or self-creation exists in a luminal borderland, between light and darkness, enlightenment and anxiety. It is limitless and liminal and is always in flux, bordered by the mechanistic structures which we have built. Time seems to hasten and through proportion is understood. If one is to age, a singular day slowly loses its importance, lost to the ether of other days, other memories too. Thrown into this melting pot is taste, which however folly to appearance is central in reality. That is, the reality which we call ourselves the driver of; for you are the conductor of your will and, similar to god, are creative and innovative, too.

For Joseph built his house on solid rock, it stands and remains today. For I stand and remain here, today, I must learn to listen and I must learn to pray. Maybe not a deity, but to something else out there, spiritual or freeing, but with hope in its soul. Evolve and develop into the being you desire, a human marked by insecurity and naked passion. As the candle flickers to the midnight breeze, life licks upon the frayed edges of me. A call to prayer and a fall to arms, for my legs cannot carry this burden anymore. Ask yourself that question and look past the mask that you have set beyond yourself, in a game of second guesses and gaiety. Fuck, am I free? Or condemned to be lonely and listening to inaudible ecstasy - to Ecuador I shall travel, for there they have the golden frog, which my aunt has on a golden key-ring.

Travel and commerce have changed the soul of man, woman and further afield. Cultures have collided and the realisation, to me, requires re-focussing; or simply just a understanding of this being you and this being me. Your me is different to mine, but has the same questions flickering in the shadows of night, and the blurring hazes of day.

The essence of your beauty pervades me,
Like the fierce unbounded force of nature.
Something stirs beyond me - all portraiture,
is faceless, displaced with your image. Flee
from my mind, my vision is conflicted.
As the sticks image refracts in water,
my body is bound in this restricted
perception, something engulfs me. 'Tis Me.
I love towards you with my hands open,
my heart rupturing. With a hopeful note
of your sweet voice, I am mended, hope in,
inside of me! Passion makes my soul bloat.
Look at me! Half of hermaphroditus,
totalise me, for destined double-ness

Don't gaze in to the sparkly carpet or glittered D I S C O-ball.  Cosmic harmonies tickle at my toes. The rest is peaceful, if you will, but I have to admit that I've seen the ending before. Putting your shoes on only hurts if you sleep on an uneven mattress. Walk on the right and stand upside down, if you will.

Monday, 6 March 2017

 philosophical thoughts  

There are those people we would be tempted to call cultural icons. Defining fashions, or at least reflecting tastes, these people embrace what we might decide to call, cool.

Like the blueness of that swimming pool that I see on Zoopla now, but originally on MTV cribs.

Celebrity is a word which not that long ago didn't mean anything; perhaps celebrity was once infamy, which is a totally different kettle of fish where swimming against the tide only results in pain. But this was the way it was, and in many, but different ways, still is. 

That’s another thing I guess, the 'way it was' or the 'way it's meant to be' or 'will be'. Being appears to have a quality of fallacy inherent to it, with the now of Being dependant on points that are fixed either in the reminisces of history or the, mainly conceited, often shallow, desires of futurity. This is however not a social-futurity for many, but a personal one: ambitious. These referential points we then aspire to reach, or get to, forgetting the wonderful delicacy of now-ness and the peculiarities of just being in a world of beings Being.  

Cultural icons look as if they reach these points, usually going back to something in history, drawing on this as inspiration to then go toward a new thing. They also seem to be pretty decent at Being, especially having to deal with being beings whose Being is both dependent on having to adhere to the desires of other beings and also on the construction of a certain type of Being, to this end.

There is a fallacy in this too, both in the very construction that supposedly defines us, and also how people view this construction, and we view them viewing our construction. This is because the Other's Being is a Being that one can never understand properly. This is because Being is only really comprehensively known in the sense of the self. The Other is ultimately just that: other, but the Self must, in the paradigm of Being, strive to garner a sense of Being outside of the Self in order the consolidate what it truly means to what is known as 'I'. Not just Me-I, but they-I too.

I went to the shops, I hate you, I really need to go to the toilet, I don't like the philosophical works of Martin Heidegger, as I find them slightly heavy, and akin with Fascism. I do however like long walks on short beaches, and that slow shuffled walk that accompanies queues. I like it when people argue in the street as I only argue with myself, and watching two beings argue gives me a strange sense of faith in humanity: there is comfort between such people, despite possessing the appearance of discomfort at that moment. General beings around them also feel discomfort, which is kind of nice because that needs to happen sometimes. 

This is not to say that we mustn’t aspire to reach the Other, it is crucial that we must, and ground our Being in the architectures of other cultures, tastes or simple fancies. Being requires a vision outside of the self and this gives an insight into the textured roots of humanity, complex and intertwined like the mangrove forest. Franz Fanon says:

“Man [or woman] is a yes that vibrates to cosmic harmonies. Uprooted, pursued baffled, doomed to watch the dissolution of the truth that he has worked out for himself one after another, he has to give up projecting onto the world an antinomy that coexists with him”.

This truth, this supposed sense of Self requires a dissolution, and requires a double take. “Bound by crushing object-hood” it is all too easy, blind, and ignorant to evaporate the Other, Other meaning anyone outside of the Self, to simple appearance, to preconceptions and inherently flawed prejudices. Whether this be race, sexuality, or just personal-taste, the Self cannot and must not use this difference as the starting-point – but see it as one of many subjective differences that define a person’s sense of Being.

“Consciousness of the body is solely a negating activity. It is a third-person consciousness. The body is surrounded by an atmosphere of certain un-certainty”. We must, for Fanon, go toward ontology and not debase a subject by objectivity. We must turn rather toward to mind, away from the body and to the “corporeal” not "epidermal" schemas that define, un-holistically, those external to the Self. “The fact of blackness” details a move away from pre-conceived, reductionist facts, that one might also ascribe to femininity, or sexuality: we must not define a subjective Being with objective terms. Female, Male, Cis, Black, White, Gay, Straight or anywhere in-between any of these classifications. Classification negates a lot, it boils one down to a defining feature. This does not mean that we shouldn’t embrace cultures of each supposed ‘classification’: we should revel in these definitions, exalt them and allow them to contribute to our Self-hood, and at the base of this our shared humanism.

This brings us back somewhat to cultural icons, and another fallacy in this. Cultural doesn’t imply culture(s) which by nature is multifarious, rather the one culture that guides us all, like the currents unseen that control the air and the waters. And this is capitalism. The £ and ¢ have made it onto our keyboards: our mouths. The culture and language of economy has caused an economy of language: where perception is based on objects, materials. But hey, without it, I couldn't have written this.

 Let us move-toward-things
  not objects.
  which we can tuck away into boxes
  to reflect
  on something quite different.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

an aside to the 'book'

an aside to the blog-proper in the name of intellectual discussion.

-written in response to Sarah Perry's fantastic article 'In Praise of Readability' < > for The TLS.

The Laudability of Literary Loquacity, “Unreadability” as (un)consciousness
Luke Connolly

“But when reflexion begins to play upon these objects they are dissipated under its influence; the cohesive force seems suspended like some trick of magic; each object is loosed into a group of impressions — colour, odour, texture — in the mind of the observer. And if we continue to dwell in thought on this world, not of objects in the solidity with which language invests them, but of impressions, unstable, flickering, inconsistent, which burn and are extinguished with our consciousness of them, it contracts still further: the whole scope of observation is dwarfed into the narrow chamber of the individual mind.”
from, Walter Pater, ‘Conclusion’ in Studies in the History of the Renaissance

Walter Pater, known for his ebbing Latinate sentences, with clauses unfurled effortlessly one-atop-the-other, is dense, lacks brevity, but has a certain complicated charm. His prose feels “unreadable” at times, but this is because it requires a different vision. How often a reader traces a page, overlooking its content and rather automatically following the shapes of letter, not the intent of these letters’ meaning. There is often the inclination to become lost in a page, processing it in immediate ignorance, following another train of thought outside the world of the book. “Readability” works to eschew this effect, it keeps things moving and feels efficient – something civilisation has strived for, for many years. Impermeable literature will frequently mean a reader will stray back into their own narrative: conscious of what will be cooked for dinner rather than focussing on the verbosities that so beautifully flicker on the page. Its resistance is its strength, however confined to the elite this may feel. It is however, ultimately human and realistic in its rambling.

Mark Twain once said:

“Stick to [simple prose]; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.”

But Mr Twain is missing something. The flowers that adorn simple prose, at times masking what lies literally underneath, but that which can also elucidate complex meaning, or paint images as readily as the mimetic artist, works against the steadfast sterility of plain prose. This approach to prose, despite its simplicity, is not condemned to be basic, or artistically weedy: it often rather works to the opposite effect. Hemingway, Orwell, write with a terse minimalism, pithy and precise and alluringly readable. It flows, it reads and it is inviting. What often goes unsaid is strangely expressive, and Hemingway does this with intellectual acuity, but ‘fluff and flowers’ is how one is to truly experience the subject. One can become joyfully shrouded in its sublimity, left confused but committed to finding the central kernel that lies behind the dexterity of the obtuse.

The human consciousness, the ‘con – science’ of subjective experience, revels in resistance. The rational, reasoned self: simplistic and honest and defined in readable, readily concise prose is hugely reductionist in terms of the subjective. A narrator with remove, objective and without the flowers of authorial interjection, does not represent the real. One does not think from a-to-b in laterality, but rather segways, serendipitously, swaying from literalism to a more abstracted arena. Joyce might take this too far in Finnegan’s Wake, and erects a wall to meaning similar to the wall that one puts around their personal subjectivity. It is so resistant it can leave one rueing purchase. It does however, demonstrate the absolute unreason, unreadable textures of thought. It shows a writer working against what has preceded him, discovering an artistic innovation which questions the meaning of everything: of the language that is central is life, interaction and communication.  

Arduous by nature and conceited by design, the sustained stylistic textures of “unreadable” prose often has no narrative, or juiciness of determined plot. It hangs, as Pater says, as a collection of impressions, ‘the whole scope of observation is dwarfed into the narrow chamber of the individual mind’ and leaves at its base the questioning subject.

Huysmans goes Against the Grain of brevity, instead triumphantly traversing the delicate delicacy of the aesthetic eye, descriptive to such a level that one must become lost in his words to enjoy them. Taste is one of the few shared characteristics in all, differing though it may be. We might be tempted to resist a 300-word description of a jewelled tortoise, finding it essentially verbose, skim-reading it in the search for a big plot finish, or a succinct wrapping-up of plot, but this would negate the journey of consciousness and the individual discovery of meaning, or interpretation of beauty.

Unreadable, complex prose, can too change the world. It can change the world of lateral signification, from the stark strictures of definition to a world of aloof, if slightly lofty, re-presentation. This is not to say that simplistic, readable prose cannot change things: it simply does it in a way to educate, easily. Reading must err into self-teaching; where a truly complex writer does not simply impose meaning but exposes the frailties of the such literalism, rather revealing the beauty of the subjective, highly-individual mind. The ideal life, for the Aesthete like Huysmans, mimics art and art has to in some way mimic perspective. Perspectives differ and this is where the beauty lies in resistant prose, or indeed overly-meta poetry. Post-modernism comes from an abstraction of meaning and its referential form loosens the signified, which we base our external realities around: the perceived real.

Terry Eagleton says:

“Lacan, as we have seen in our discussion of Freud, regards the unconscious as structured like a language. This is not only because it works by metaphor and metonymy: it is also because, like language itself for the post-structuralists, it is composed less of signs — stable meanings — than of signifiers. If you dream of a horse, it is not immediately obvious what this signifies: it may have many contradictory meanings, may be just one of a whole chain of signifiers with equally multiple meanings. 

Lacan speaks of the unconscious as a ‘sliding of the signified beneath the signifier’, as a constant fading and evaporation of meaning, a bizarre ‘modernist’ text which is almost unreadable and which will certainly never yield up its final secrets to interpretation.”

Let us exalt the symbol, and try to resist rationality and definition. Let us keep some secrets. Art thrives not with cursory glances, but detailed study which leads a reader back to themselves. There is a magic in re-interpretation, and resistant ‘unreadability’ gives us this.