a series of fragments & notes about Chance, Fate, Context & Intention by Dara Wier
censorship, surveillance, scrutiny & camouflage (cont.)
in memory of Tomaž Šalamun who never diminished anything
"Some sentences walk in the mist, some bend strangely, I
like awkwardness, awkwardness is the crucial thing in my writing. Things
should not be clear. If clear they’re too domesticated. I dedomesticate,
invade the language, delogify." Tomaz Salamun to Brian Henry in an email
The Right to Be Forgotten
in increments, moving from shadow to shadow, stepping from corner to corner, moving from tree to tree, staying in the shadows, never stepping out of the shadows
how many times can you say it without it becoming questionably over-stated?
how what is quantifiable almost, mostly, usually, typically, most of the time
is valued above what can’t be quantified, let me count the ways
gives someone the means
to put a value on something
without all those messy and uncomfortable misgivings,
second-thoughts, multiplicities, negative capabilities, ambiguities and immeasurable omnipresent states of being
(though “state” is not what’s experienced in that fleeting sense of omniscience one ever every now and then sees in little glimpses and can never ever be anything but glancing)
One can only say so many times: I don’t want to know
what it is
that I want to know
(as if I’m practicing to accept the obvious
which is that mystery
is all there is, is all, just is)
(to be sympathetic
when one tries
to behave as though
I’ve got the jump on something,
we’re ahead of the game,
I’m nobody’s fool,
we don’t miss a trick,
our radar is fully functional)
(or less gently, boasting
how much you don’t want to know
(I don’t want to know, what makes you think I want to know)
can be a kind of pretending to know
there is more than what’s obviously
not all that mysterious) (& convoluted)
(and sometimes……more or less equally confusing,
this seems to superstitiously deflect
our very human touchingly needy
and at times desperately in a panic fearful
facing up to oblivion)
it’s both exhilarating and terrifying to come face to face with the immensity of life,
what follows instantaneously
that shrinking down into the essential infinitesimal it might just be me
that does take your breath away
that is what there is to live for
(when we can’t laugh about it, when even laughter has exhausted itself and turned into something else) (then comes the cautionary warning: stop taking yourself so seriously)
I cannot have something to say, I cringe when someone asks me what’s the point; how come? I suffer when someone asks what’s that book about & why do I do that?
I’m embarrassed, I’m at a loss, I’m used to it.
It’s not good to wreck an illusion, it’s unlucky.
I can’t begin with something I know; I have to know that I don’t know what I want to know----that way of saying that. That way of admitting one stares off into what’s beyond seeing. The horizon serves us so many purposes.
One can say something (say what you will, say anything) with variations so many times one begins to suspect something is hiding something, someone is whistling in the dark (which can be a help, a way to be found, or a slantwise comfort)
Or deflecting. Or refusing.
Who knows, hiding and deflecting and refusing and not seeing have sometimes been life saving. And why not let that be a knowing just as knowing as any other kind.
(as the kind, for just one instance, one is wanting, hoping,
wishing to avoid;
the kind that’s infested
didacticism, indoctrination, pomposity,
narcissistic self righteousness,
assumptions, presumptions, prejudice,
shallowness, stupidity and a closed mind,
that kind, the kind anyone wants to run from)
(and the kind we fear we most of all have been suffering under, we’ve participated in it)
(for instance, to be stupid is not to be incapable, it is to be by choice uninformed) (to be stupefied, to be stopped in your tracks, to be dumbfounded, to be speechless)
obscuring possibility can be what that is
just as much as if one were to say: this is what I know and I’m saying it, here it is, and this is all there is
as if everything about the world is ruined and ruinous
a cheat and a scandal and I will be telling you this in bright colors,
in the bright colors that light up our brains when verbal action is alive there and in brainwork motions of the electrically biological kinds
(and then there’re the times when one is pleased
to have one saying something clearly,
precisely and true to the logic it proposes;
as if sometimes what one wants
is to hear something that sounds sure and certain
in spite of/because of our wanting to remember
how we always go without knowing
how everything goes without saying
and I know it, or let’s say someone thinks she knows it: and so we flinch when we hear anyone say:
and I know it before you know it,
and when this happens
when what happens happens as though one of us knows and the other of us remains unknowing,
this appears to be one of the most terrible of all problems
And that way is dis-spiriting
(not to the me me---to the other me the one who stands in for us ---in a fiction of from time to time)
when it is you (not really you) who condescends to me (not really me) and you are I
in the words previous to these (and it begins to be more trouble than it’s worth)
and you are not you as in someone’s personal self (you can say that)
but you as a useful, a useful you, a you that is useful, a (convoluted you if ever there was one)
part of speech and way in this case to avoid saying:
and I, the author of this, knows it, (so why would you have kept it from me for all this time) and I knew it all along (which seems kind of smug), I’ve been knowing it (which is beginning to be unbelievable)
(maybe this is why it’s bad luck for a writer to over think
what’s going on before hand,
before the doing begins to be being done,
or why it is unlucky if one does think a lot beforehand
to not be very careful to forget all one’s thought;
to at least pretend you know nothing at all
even if you’ve fooled yourself beforehand
into thinking and enjoying it while you’re thinking it,
if enjoying is the right word for that, that you know a little something,
but about what……..what do you know…….
and the author indicates (in so many ways) that she knows it before you know it or what happens when all is good and true and right and holy and infinite: it dawns on both at the same time (you have to spit on your metaphorical hems, you have to say something to acknowledge your lucky timing, you have to undo, in some places, the so-called jinx of that, you say it is a coincidence, an occasion of synchronicity, simultaneity, you have to buy someone a coke
I don’t want to know something before anyone else knows it.
And that problem, and artist building into their work the idea that I know it before you know it (and thus I will be telling it to you, or showing you, or even more hideously, I will be forcing you to see) is one of the most limiting of all for art’s expansive indications,
it is doing everything that’s important after the fact, it is a when-all-is-said-and-done time, it is putting the cart before the horse, it is ass-backwards, grotesque and probably (unless you’ve got some great purpose for it) hurtful
I guess there are always going to be those of us, those among us, who are art tricksters and while maybe they aren’t my all time favorites, maybe I like to see how necessary they are to round out any world’s collection of humanity.
There is always someone around to remind me if I’m not being especially amused by being tricked there is always the chance I might be, and I certainly will be tricked.
(don’t the hoaxer hoaxes for many many reasons, one of which is to remind me most of all, I might be fooling myself) (and maybe that is a necessary reminding I should thank all hoaxers for)
The idea of forcing, of artists forcing people to see this or understand this or come to find out this (and most usually as if the artist (maybe perpetrator) sincerely (and sincerity is certainly in play) believes that there is a lot we don’t know that he will be taking the time and doing the work to show us or tell us…….the idea of “forcing” not a good one.
(the way a stupid parent will try to force a child to open its mouth to eat)
And who first started saying writers “force” readers to do anything? And from where does that language come? And why talk that way? Is there someone somewhere sometime who believes all authors to be sadistic? Is there a masochistic reader to be found?
(of course there is, leave them be to their own devices)
There must be. How could there not be?
Given we are all victims of variety.
Cautions to one another.
Seeing around us what we can’t see within us.
Who’s fooling who and for what?