It keeps occuring to me that I do best when I write about a topic- in spite of what I said in "Subject to Change." But, even then, have I simply said all I want to say? Is this the problem?
No, I love to write, I really enjoy it. It's just that I'm only now learning to work with it in a way that's more satisfying.
No- Who am I=Who is listening to me.
When it comes to poetry, I seem to want to speak in a soft voice. Yes, I remember about PS's readings- declaiming his lines in a loud, booming voice. Of course, too, Leland- definitive, confident- like Bruce. (Leland seemed to really like Bruce). But my poetic voice is not so confident- yet I am no longer so afraid of coming out of a delusion.
Perhaps I've been deluding myself about poetry- but I was out to show that I could write. Constantly assailed by doubts, I am forever choosing things in my life that give me no solid foundation- with one exception- my therapy degrees and my practice (and my therapy).
One thing about the short poem that attracted me was its "quick fix" satisfactions. Once published, I could easily picture certain forms being published in certain settings. But in the past ten years- the definitive date being P's announcement- I have discovered again and again that my poems do not *progress* the way my essay writings progress. This is true from a publishing context with no question. But this is largely a question of "change" as Leland's letter puts it. In a sense, going to a publisher is like going to a doctor. That's where my image of Douglas holding Emma comes in. Maybe the fact that I've tried hard to be honest with myself that makes my writing interesting to others- and to myself. I'm getting more and more of taste for that. Part of my anxiety (I felt it then) also comes from this successive (excessive) self honesty. Only fears of coming out of a delusion if I'm afraid I'll have nothing else. But then at times I get fuzzy about what is a delusion and not a delusion.
But art is based on fantasy- and the environments of mind in which I build whatever I write are important to me. From this perspective they are not delusions- in fact- they are the opposite.They are *armatures* (I prefer this word so much more to "structure" with its whiff of strict schedules and strict attention.)
Why should I write anything other than what I want to? Oh, never again (baby); never again. "I hate to see that evening sun go down, cause it makes me feel I'm on my last go-round." (unindentified jazz singer).
"Oh, woe is me" days are over- not that I'll never mourn a loss. But I'm not deluded about the "powers" or "impact" or pleasures of such mourning.
A "private language" is an awareness of the values of giving expression to ones thoughts as a way of learning what they are. "Free speech" then "free association" then- private language ("personal" language).
A series of essays using "trigger" words as starting points. (as in Ponge's use of "objects.") Time (past, present, future) Now - allow the other starting points to emerge from this one.
As a writer, to some extent I need the exhiliration of letting my thoughts go- there is a sense of "stretched time" in this (fold-out of chaos?) There is a mental equivalent of muscular freedom and buoyancy in this. Naturally, one would expect such an episode of freedom to a period of fatigue and reassessment. The point is to allow for, to comprehend such a doubling. It is fully a waste of time to predict the outcome, but here the need for a kind of ordering principle asserts itself. But one must not be too attached to this because it contains only a prediction of a *possible* outcome.
Preoccupation- (effect of trauma) causes a lack of flexibility in the thought process. A lack of resonance can be detected if much is present. This will lead to a narrowness of theme or an obsessive gathering of details. A *mood* will surround the whole.
An argument for sollipsism: the world as it exists (existed) for you comes into being at your birth. You wear the shoe (the world) whether it fits or not. Sollipsism is at one pole of freedom (the outcome of one direction of freedom).
Barthes' method of naming essays defines an area of maximum tension. The ambiguity of the term is isolated, as are words in the language. Now placed in this vulnerable position, the essay comes to protect the word. The same might be said of Stevens' titles.
One thing can be said of a game: it predicts with abolute certainty, the emergence of a winner and a loser. One is immediately tempted to say, well, we didn't need a game to tell us this. With this line of thought one is soon led to the conclusion: no, you didn't need a game, but you needed at least the idea of a game.(The idea of a game gives a form of an outcome). The success of a language can be directly attributed to the fact that words stimulate other words. This is what Steve McCaffery has called "a general economy."
The energy of this exchange, in the long run, keeps increasing- and, as with money, inflating. Since obtaining energy was an important part of initiating a language in the first place, this never becomes a problem, in fact, it's a gain. The loss consists of a loss of interest in the intrinsic properties of the medium. This is exactly what is happening with language now. If is very possible that the entire educational system is a continuously expanding (and succeeding) insitution created to avoid this loss. It is also possible that at the expanding outer rings of this educational system other terms are being negotiated which disrupt these systems in beneficial ways (ultimately, but in the immediate action also, traumatic).
Inflation, doubt, lack, emptiness, hollowness, inauthenticity, all pardoxically created by the holding high of something unnecessary, like a King or Queen, the support of an additiona burden which has outlived its usefulness. Language, seen from this perspective is not empty or corrupted, it is held down by subjects masquerading some false use-value. But don't we suspect that language does not need to perpetuate all its subjects but needs inventions instead? If this is true, what language needs is not a good speaker but a good *book*.
America thrives on invention, not inventors. This is a pleasure in this that subjects lack.
Woe to those iinventors who enjoy the status of their invention more than the invention itself. We like to allow one of each inventor- this necessitates an obfuscation in the value of the inventor's interest. Perhaps Duchamp and Einstein were invented by this in America.
It is hard to pit a union of parts against another. We pit a name against a name.
When it stops working tell me. I'll know when I stop working.
The transfer of attentional energies accompanies all transfer of meanings. Advertising's success is based on this.Writing also must deal with this anticipated event.
Isn't it also your awareness of my forgetfulness my lack of, or a certain kind of attention that leaves gaps for you to fill in, that assures of you of my sincerity? Sincerity implies that I will leave open certain areas, just as it implies that I will attend to some, or inhabit some.
"He points to a greater specificity in Coleridge's details, thus revealing a closer, more faithful observation of the outside object. But this finer attention given to the natural surfaces ia accompanied, paradoxically enough, by a greater inwardness, by experiences of memory and of reverie that stem from deeper regions of subjectivity than the earlier writer. How this closer attention to surfaces engenders greater depth remains problematic." (DeMan, Blindness, p.193)