Wednesday, May 03, 2006


The attitude here is not that we are fucked, but one of lingering “woah.” I mean there aren’t even proper emoticons to express the awe and intensity of this Lolita concept, its sashaying coltish legs, nimble breasts, queer eye[1] for global domination…[cough]. Well anyway, Liberty, the fire of our loins…

Liberty demands our restraint. At first glance, liberty champions the freedom of the individual. It is a concept equated with freedom, free-will, and voluntary action. The difficulty is that the concept of liberty acts as a whorish muse for unrestrained freedom(s). Liberty constantly begs us for its absolute, rather than relative glory. In the a.m., liberty is a remainder; it is a poor elegy for an absolute subjective freedom courtesy of Saint Augustine.[2] Around brunch time, liberty makes us politically self-conscious; we/it become(s) democratic, civil and contained, kept in careful antagonism with equality and enjoyed amongst scones.[3] In our dreams, liberty becomes fantasist, the unrestrained ego, taking flight and violating gravity. Lastly, in 19th century Russian fits of passion, liberty demands its culmination, its total unconcealment, death. Liberty becomes a suppliant to death’s unknown, and as its subjects we enter into self-conscious and befuddled Kirilov-esque soliloquy. In this state, suicide is both a means of actualizing and a symptom of liberty’s catch-22 contract.

[1] It is precisely Liberty’s queer eye, its ambiguity, which makes it particularly exploitative
[2] Interestingly, in Saint Augustine’s Confessions he is only able to define absolute subjective liberty through a recounting of false liberty or that temporal liberty of youth, which is of a hedonistic nature. If only Max Stirner (to be discussed later) had been given the ritual of confession he may have been capable of proper absolute liberty. But alas, Stirner’s dialogics were stuck in the Fisher-Price play-pen of the modern State.
[3] In this case, liberty is an enabler for an absolute equality. Even the notion, equality of opportunity, is absolute in as much as its utopian i.e. of the spirit.

Ego and Its Own

Marx Stirner’s The Ego and Its Own is an ideal archetype for the phenomenological historian. Stirner, a whiny Hegel’s-younger-brother figure, at other times an inbred cousin of Rousseau’s confessional persona (not that these are mutually exclusive). But the guy captures it—to Hegel’s owl of Minerva he is day old pizza. His philosophic musings are vulnerable, exposed, emo. There is little pretense of transcendence and only a dystopian stutter of transvaluation. He is utterly contingent, the Roseanne of 18th century German thought. As other philosophers cloaked mechanical duty in sheep’s clothing, Stirner arrived at the party late, without costume, and with the anxiety of a Karamazov trapped in Buster Bluth’s body.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

exits illusory

A tear hangs from the crescent of her eyelid. She senses its fall. And waits. It hits the pond, extending a vague and hesitant ripple. She turns to glance at this cause and effect—from tear to ripple. In doing so she catches sight of her reflection, surprised by her puffy eyes, unruly hair. ‘That is me?’ She smiles to transform her image into something familiar; to see the person whose mind is filled with awe, the “I” she knows. This makes her appear strained and insincere. Dejected, she sighs. There are no revisions, no rehearsals. The ripple knows the truth. The ripple knows the tear. She is the subject of a tear. Her self-knowledge affixed to this singular impression, this chance sadness. Time marches with this moment imprinted. There is no purging. There is no rear exit within the ego. Everything stays and there is only the momentary sense of forgetting. How can free will exist if memory filters nothing? Experience is left to sour until we call it something else, make room for it through elements of choice. How are we ever to live freely if the unconscious knows all our sins? Drifting forever between a sense of power and passivity like a chained dog, keeping up with its abusive owner, time. And if we are to purge, to atone, then how do we not throw the baby out with the bathwater? We can’t ever be sure of what we are ridding ourselves of. Those things we internalize seem to have their own symbiotic relationships merely subsisting in our ecosystem, that heart of darkness, that mind. If we throw out one memory, one belief, or one icon then how will that affect the food chain? What metaphorical contracts will be annulled? What subjects will we cease to equip ourselves with, like a painting rejected from a museum display? Each generation stealing and purging, hiding and limiting subject matter from the unborn babes and inventing artificial limbs, and new powers. It is hard to be born with your mind to the pulse when each generation re-sublimates the shame of its existence. But perhaps this flux is better to the passed down story, bloated with the glory of its own survival, as it greedily oozes through the lips of a bearded fellow to a bored audience, to innocent grandchildren. In chaotic times the melodious nostalgic myth is uplifting, but when faced with the daily stifling security of such a mother who among us, reader, is not tempted to quit her present condition. And love it seems, speaks to this abandonment. Love, must exist somewhere in this convulsion. The love of the movies is pure change of scene, disruption of routine, and instinctually, lust…or the more asexual feeling of having one’s soul penetrated and touched; in which atheists, prone to self-consciousness, invent a soul so as to be touched more deeply, so as to disassociate from the vulgar mechanics of passion.

In something heavier than a dream and less populated than a memory I ate horsemeat...The smell, the crackled brazen skin and brown flesh; and the odor, my oily fingers. Gulping wine came with the territory, that digesting of a comrade, providing closure for a hunt. A later impression (from the middle ages of eight-year old fantasy) flattered horses. It was not an apology, but an infatuation with the gallop. My heart given a certain horse beat, forever. The hunter now had a sense of a horse's intrinsic worth, partially catalyzed by toy pony cravings and an appropriated dolphin religion; a vision of deep turquoise and perplexing blues carried into the wind, enlivening the rider & introducing jouissance. Saddles struck the secular me as temples; learning the posture of power. Much later, teenage inquisitions, on a cheap internet site, introduced the idea of a man having sex with a dolphin. I recoiled. And in history class we learned of Catherine the Great, sexing with horses. I flinched. I hate the slow grey ones. I collected the skins of the black stallions and golden mares. They were perfect. I named them and fantasized ranch life. Boredom never exists. Often, when Peter, Johannes, Phillip, watch me ride they see the limits of their intimacy; the horse and girl become a portrait; untouchable, pure, and away. The away makes later erotica at the homestead--Falling back to human flesh, protecting muscles, and biting at ears. The flat hands that held sugar cubes now dance on bodies like demonic flies, stirring pleasure's tail, that impromptu whip. In an airport, a Paris Vogue awakens an equestrian aesthetic. Cowboy boots cramp New York's trendy streets. Fetish seems like memory, muscular and immortalizing.


And the whole experience, gives the sense of “intelligence” imitating (not striving for) the ceaseless and unchanging perfection of some transcendent. Rationality, thus being a way in which intelligence is communicated back into the subject, and in this respect, rationality is socially embedded. However, intelligence is truly without a strong I-subject. With this sense of things, I feel a greater solidarity with Descartes. I understand the revelation, but was always led astray by the “translation.” Rationality suffers from the virus of epoch contingency and learns slyly to placate these anxieties and fears with ornaments of veritas.

A Solitary Blue

Pausing to pick up a penny, love stumbles in
Staged as a love with those properties
that lead stage fright, like a bull to red tope
immutable redness—alert and acquiescent

Jitters, fast and determined
hardly pausing to narrate the swiftness
but in sudden misconstrue
squaws throw in the discernible barbell features
the grooves of movement now appear as gashes

a frigid logic mounts, activating a mind’s elegy
Bliss camouflages in the horizon
Departure leaves the mind with baggage
A solitary blue—
vast and immutable

huddles `neath secular halo

But please dear reader, do not take this as mere kindle to mark the time. We can do better. Huddled around together we may make something of our phantoms, and show compassion to those who are afflicted by strains we do not seem to possess. I wish you strength, even as it is your journey alone. But as you fill your emptiness remember that others do to. Alas, remembering is such a hard thing. Essences, deceits, our mothers’ favorite vase all shatter slowly like we can prevent[1] it, scattering broken bits[2] in our mind, and we piece them back with little fancies of description, together.

[1] If only our superhuman powers would come already—freeze time, suspend gravity, and grab the vase in mid-air.
[2] Some seem too sharp to touch, like the word truth or culture. It would be easier in science fiction.

beyond me...a mirror, a cloak

Beyond Me: A Novela to Celebrate the Birth of a Centaur

“Science, art, and philosophy are growing together in me so that in any case I shall one day give birth to centaurs.”—Nietzsche


“There she stood victorious in the good fight that she had waged all her life against the onslaught of reason. There she stood, hunchbacked and tiny, trembling with certainty—an inspired scolding little prophet.” –from Thomas Mann’s The Buddenbrooks

The day Edna Lucette Stavrogin was born was the day this prophet died. Did Edna inherit the traits of the prophet? Or contrarily, was she the insolent representative of a new generation? Edna herself argued that it was neither strict inheritance nor a feat of creationism that lent support to her historic positioning. But Edna’s voice on the matter should be silenced and the reader will be permitted to choose her own adventure. Now don’t let the question derail you for its quite marginal to the narrative that is about to unfold.

Getting back to the beginning, Edna’s exile from the womb, it just so happened to occur on the nebulous moment, 11:27 am, when William Harvey discovered human circulation and the exact month that commemorated the centennial of the assembly line. Of greater coincidence, and fiercely marking Edna’s birth date, was the battering of hurricane Charley on the Southeastern corner of the United States, which produced a large power outage, preventing Mrs. Larson of Vero Beach from calling her son in Buffalo to congratulate him on his job promotion. Luckily, and by the grace of God, Edna was born in the Midwestern United States in a hospital that remained largely ignorant of the conceited damages a hurricane could inflict.

Straying further, it was in the sterility of this hospitable where Edna first felt uncomfortable, albeit with infant consciousness. As she grew up she was able to feel, and by age fourteen properly articulate, a more abstract uncomfortable; the apex of her “uncomfortable” responding to the strings of observations and labels that were cast upon her by adult onlookers, notably her parents, but certainly to include the perfumed Aunt and the unfortunate business associate who was somehow a family friend. Edna became becomingly peevish in the face of such onslaught.
For example, after being referred to, and dismissed (the identity puzzle pieced), by one such onlooker, as an “amiable poet” she responded insolently, and with the hushed breath of a tiny spider--a soliloquy unfit for human ears:

‘Sorry but that identity doesn’t quite work with my green eyes and morbid intellect…I think I’d much prefer Tuesday gardener and Saturday night slut. But, you know when I come of age, or when I re-come of age as I will inevitably do as a forty-year-old spinster, as the genealogy of my name suggests, I could certainly plan on cultivating the disposition of a poetress. Or better yet, I could project this desired persona onto various youths and live vicariously through the labels I so freely give to the unsuspectingly innocent. But, no, I take your suggestion to heart. In fact, I could begin now as poet-in-suburban residence. But, I’m just not sure if I, or any decent poet for that matter, could manage the amiable, as it would require shedding the artiste persona and having a faithful audience who reads poetry. And frankly that’s just hard to find these days. And with further frankness, what are poets if stripped of their ability to wallow in pursuit of an audience?’

Wait, wait! Apologies, but this really wasn’t her tone at all. You see she’s already trying to trick you; acting like one of those actor types, please! Really and actually, Edna is sitting right there under that tree. She’s a shy little thing…has a lot going on in that there head of hers. Don’t really know what, but maybe it will come out one of these days. See her eyes (motioning to the reader with an extended index finger) they are busy with her brain.

“What lies beneath her thickening cranial bone? [an eerie voice of a mad scientist enquired]…Let us, dear reader, enter the laboratory!” The lights flicker pursued by a demonic scream.

* *
Throughout Edna’s childhood guardians had treated her with an inquisitive and distrustful reserve. They seemed to notice a certain deviousness that could perchance creep out from her temperate and shy disposition. This worried them greatly and so they taught her many crafts that would occupy her hands, lest they fall into an idleness that would promote drugs, decadence, and abortions. Needless to say; yet still saying (for the benefit of the reader’s warm visualizations to come), the early years of Edna’s hand-eye-coordination development were spent knitting, gardening, making brown clay vases, and painting bourgeois floral designs on white 6 x 6 tiles.[1] As Edna’s hands learned steadiness and occupation her mind was free to wander. Thus, she came to appreciate the monotony of her kitsch artistry as secret passages to imaginative realities. She could sit, perceived as patient and occupied, with the most adventurous or perverse thoughts and nobody would suspect; no observers questioning beyond the produced floral designs.

Now sometimes amidst this introspection Edna would feel a slight sad, nowhere near the realm of depression. It was more a feeling of shameful neglect--her mind had abandoned so much of present reality that her onlookers could not sufficiently comprehend let alone participate in her tangled private thoughts. To make up for this, when Edna was in her most common other realm, that of the utopian village she presided over as sole creator, she often appropriated the characters and habits from her real life and restored them to the civic picturesque.

Her village had no geographic bounds, but was resettled daily from family-oriented cowboy Western to an underwater mixed human and whale orphanage. It should be noted (with little consequence) that there were always flourishing moral economies within all of the villages. And it was this bartering system of exchange that necessitated the arrival of new inhabitants. For her imagined creatures (they were not always human) desired new trading sources to procure all sorts of goods ripe for their consumption.

Stretching this anecdote further, it was typically the protagonist of the fantasy, who resembled a more perfect Edna (whether she be in Orca or human flesh), who had to overcome some injustice—the structural cruelty of the orphanage or the snobbish personality of the pastor’s daughter. There was never any full resolve, but merely time for a wonderfully delivered monologue by Edna’s embodied persona to call attention to the injustice. The power of her oration in the face of evil was persuasive enough to silence the wrong-doing or at least to end her fantasy on a high note of expressive ecstasy. Then she would re-emerge finding her floral craftsmanship to be pleasantly mediocre; fixed in its normalcy.

[1] This occupation with crafts politely tagged Edna with a “creative” disposition.


I am fond of effacing my pure convictions with humor so as to explore their depths and remain grotesquely flexible to the opinion of others. I swagger between playing the vamp and the ironist in the machine. But...may a conscience never say I traded simple goodness for the beauty and power of making confounded allusions.

Most criminally, I believe in truth. Please define this as you like so we can begin our wonderful Rapport.

I am a moral citizen, but I see a child in the mirror; a child sashaying its coltish legs for the excitement of utopia, glory, and banners.