This is soft august
I suppose, somewhere, there is hard august
the breakfast rolls are being shuffled’
across the boulevard
and my napkin, self-creased,
allows my manipulation
That’s what I mean by soft
I yawn and hear in the distance
a motorized something
in the city, as in the country
look through, look through the leaves
sight, total energy
from penetrating air, swirling
as a beyound-us realm
all these tiny nothings
You do enjoy this, I suppose
Yes, I enjoy this
You expect nothing more to happen
Thank God, nothing more will happen
You’re here for the day
I’m here. Yes. Completely
I remember seeing a film, within the last 2 years or so, on the television. Was it perhaps a documentary? I can’t remember. Was it perhaps St. Petersburg? I can’t remember.
But I remember-- inside a cafe or resturant, the camera aimed so that it’s looking toward the enterence, a door, a small glass vestibule framed in dark wood.
A large glass window to the side, with the edge of plants-- palms-- visible at the edges inside the shaded room while outside-- through the window-- morning light of incredible brightness, the sun overt the houses across a wide plaza, with electrified streetcars rolling past, and a few passers-by-- all drenched in the light, that second life-- a liquid silver rendering things half invisible in its total brightness which quivered-- as if light was thick with birds-- as if light were-- twittering.
That’s-- where I would like to be.
Well-- it’s morning
I actually see, at this very moment, how special life is. How wonderful and special it is
We can’t encompass it, can we. We can see it from the outside
But wait a miute. We’re inside it
Ah, but when we look at it, we’re lookingf at it from the outside
Yes. Yes. I get it
We’re looking at it from the outside
Even when we are looking at it being inside
Yes. This is true
It’s a wonderful, rich, dense spectacle
Yes, it is
Could I bring you a drink?
(Goes, returns, they down shots)
You know, I was judst talking off the toip of my head
I had the feeling, thought . . . .
I had the feeling it came from the heart
In a sense, yes
Didn’t you mean everything you said
Yes. I suppose I did
Please. Don’t disapoint me.
You think I’m here, but I’m not here
I can never count on you, or anybody else
You make a mistake, it profits no one
You know how I got here tonight?
Right. By car
I had to get here by car. When I leave, no doubt, it will have to be by car
What should happen-- or what should be able to happen, is I get here by mind power alone, but of course, that isn’t likely to happen
And you blame me?
In a sense-- yes
Well, I’ll have to try and figure that out, expending considerable effort, won’t I
Your fanatiocal committment to-- something or other-- should be just as intense as my own committment. But of course I can’t count on that
Grow up, Pal. And that’s directed at myself, please
Right. You don’t refer to me as a ‘pal’
The pressure is building.
If I change the subject--
Does that ease up the pressure?
Listen to this-- if I change the subject, does that start turning this into a ‘story’ of some kind? It’s like one thing, then another thing, then another thing. That counts as a story of sorts, I would think
Does that ease up on the pressure or build the pressure
Oh, a story eases up on the pressure
And that’s what you want?
Let’s say-- what I want is never what happens. And THAT is the story inside the story, which is inside another story, which is inside another story, another story, another story.
Who is real
Please be my friend
The real energy is elsewhere. I shall not be forgiving when it comes time to remember that
This is not what I believe, really. But then again, belief is so various and changeable, is there any reason to pinpoint something that better blow me down--
from which there is always a recovery,
even if it’s FAR AWAY!
I saw you drink something
That could explain why my head is spinning--
You mean invisibly
Ah, are we talking inside out again?
I can enter your world only so much, but of course I do recognize that half and half could be more of my own trouble
Most of it, I can identify with
Maybe that’s why your head is spinning.
Oh? I thought it was yours--
--Wait a minute. Maybe you’re right
This better help
Are you ready for this?
This bottle is empty
You can refill it using this bottle
I don’t understand
You can take the contents of this bottle and pour them into the empty bottle
A hundred per cent?
What do you mean a hundred per cent
Won’t the bottle be empty?
Well-- it isn’t
All right, I’ll do exactly what you say
Now this bottle is emppty
Is that a problem?
Let’s have a drink
Is something wrong?
Not at all
I want there to be meaning, everywhere, and there is, because when I come upon some portion of the environment that seems empty of meaning-- if I relax, totally, then meaning slowly pours into that emptiness-- with no effort at all on my part.
My rage is probably unhealthy for me
What is your rage
Against stupidity, which I sense all around me. In faces, movements of the body, in words that pour forth
Maybe I’m looking in a mirror
Oh well, that particular mirror engrages me.
I dare not
Do I know what world you in fact belong to?
What do you mean by this world
Let me show you
I feel a question has been definately answered, but I can’t remember the question
Your shoes need polishing
Is that a question?
In what kind of a world is this an issue of importance
Should I do it for you?
Aren’t you satisfied unless you can see your face reflected in my shoes?
I don’t get it
Why should I try to see my face reflected in your shoes
Here, I’ll take them off for you
Now-- I use this as a mirror?
Well, according to you, you can’t unless they get polished
(Pause, looks )
I can’t imagine myself in there, no matter how hard I work them over
I guess you’ll have to try
If I remember correctly, the polish is in the next room
(Exits as first re-enters)
Oh? Is this a nrew rule?
Aren’t you supposed to come in here unless you take off your shoes?
It’s not that kind of world
Then you tell me-- what kind of world is it?
It’s the kind of world where other people decide things for everybody else
That sounds right
The only problem is--
Well, what’s the only problem
(Pause. Other exit)
Look-- you don’t have to take off your shoes just because I have my shoes off
(Enter one with shoes)
Put these on
(enter other, with shoes)
Look what I have for you
(other puts them on)
Why did I both polishing these?
Isn’t it supposed to be for your benifit?
Look, these are your shoes, not mind
But you didn’t do a very good job. I can’t see my face reflected in those
I guess we won’t even talk about the ones you have on
Why not. They’re very comfortable
But they aren’t very well polished
Did it ever occur to you that maybe that’s why they’re so comfortable
OK. You made a choice
No. You made it for me
I don’t mind. That’s the kind of world in which I find myself
(Others exit. He does ‘steps’ in shoe, others peek in)
I thought you’d rather do that for an audience
No. This is the kind of thing I wopuld only do in private
(They go. He repeats ‘steps)
The truth of life is that there is none. There is nothing caled life-- nothing identifiable and definable as life. Life exceeds the identifiable and existance exceeds life. You have to get this into your head
Just saying over and over-- the impenetrable-- this is wonderful and gives energy. What is the relation between the energy and the impenetrable. Maybe there is no relationship, but-- no that is very incorrect
Life, the truth about life isn’t even demonstrable. What does this tell us about the word ‘truth’. It tells us that somewhere, on some level, there is a misuse of the word ‘truth’.
Or the word life
No-- that’s not a word
Of course it is
No. That isn’ta word
LIFE-- I just pronounced it
I think so
You’d have to go backinto the past to know for sure, and one thing I know for sure-- you can’t go back into the past
I have a memory
memory of the past?
Hum, I wonder if a memory about the past ios realy the past
Let’s let life give us the answer
Now you’re talking
Life always comes up with an answer
Idiot-- that’s just talk
That’s just “Life”!
This thing is called life
This thing is called nothing
Let’s decide if this thing is called life or this thing is called nothing
This is nothing called life
How are we realy going to decide
I should decide how we are going to decide or I should just decide between life and nothing
Take your pick
If you say so
Brief but to the point
That’s an anti definition
It’s the criteria of any definition
Life is not brief and to the point
Let’s argue that any description you give of life is incomplete
Then it’s brief and to the point
Life? No. Life is the opposite
If any definition you give of life is brief and to the point-- it’s not life. Then life is not describable
Well-- that description is brief and to the point, isn’t it
Yes-- but life isn’t
What could life possibly be unless there’s a way to describe it
More than a description
Don’t say more than a description-- say other than a description
That’s not right
Other than any possible description-- it’s nothing
It would take a superious imtelligence to figure this out
Oh great Duck, help us
It never says anything
Even in Duck language
There is none
That is not a language
You mean it’s just in my memory
Are you hesitating to be too close to me
Yes. Now we are close
You used one of my words
You'd like a drink
It would be better than sitting here a long time with no conversation
Oh? I thought that was your choice
We have to find a mutual subject
A drink would help
Would we talk about the quality of the drink?
We could drift into other things
(Pause, pours two, presents)
You didn't ask how much or what, or any of the usual details
How does it smell
There's alcohol in it
(She sips, he sips)
What do you do for a living
(Pause, looks away, back)
Nothing at the moment. I think I'd like to. . .travel
That's not doing something for a living
It could be. If I wrote about it
Oh? You mean travel guides?
But I'm afraid mine would be rather peculiar
What do you live on
I have money
I have money too
It's hard to explain
How's it going
Maybe you'd like to see my library
Since you teach
(Goes to door)
It's in here
Don't you want to see?
I can't get up
I don't know why
(He piviots his head to look)
I know why
You can't move. Do you know why? It's something I put into your drink
What else will happen to me
I'm not sure
I'm a little worried about this
Worrying doesn't help.
As a rule of thumb, it's impossible to avoid worrying.
Sometimes, when the weight of the world is heavy. . .something
. . .under the surface of things. . .moves.
I'd feel more comfortable if I didn't look at you.
Do you mind if I touch you?
Don't say all right
Here, in my hand, is a tooth
Did it grow there?
It's not dangerous. You see, if I apply this hand to your face, it doesn't bite. Because. . .it's a single tooth
I'm covered with blood
My cheek is, my arm is, my thigh, my chest--
I didn't mean it to hurt.
(Hurting was never the intention, but the blood shows through everything.
--what's the phrase? The singing in the blood, the trill in the blood? Taut networks in the blood, ringing
But of course the blood is ringing. I can hear it ringing in my ears
(She has gone to desk or table, opens note)
. . .You have to decide whether you want to accept this invitation
Thank you. I'd rather be struck by lightening
Maybe I should stand over by the window
I'm taking charge
I'm taking charge
See who that is
(She hestitates, he smiles)
I'm here to see the professor
Are you deciding whether or not to let me in? I can see him standing behind you
Yes. He's here
(rota run/ rota traffic)
Otherwise, I might rip into somebody's all too emotionally contorted expression
Otherwise, I might re-descend--
Depths, you see, are my arena
Otherwise, I might turn a sunday afternoon turbulent
--could a dheese cracker satisfy my voracious appetite?
No, no, I eat from one end of the town to the other and believe me
Nothing's left when I finish
Otherwise, when we dance, it's of course, mutual destruction
Here, my hand for a salutation
Plus, my hand for a weight that hurts
Those were secrets, now it's time for the masquerade to re-assert it's dominant hold
I never do anything else
Oh? I thought you were telling the truth
I dressed it up, I re-collected it's less than colorful patches. I stitched together a tissue of exageration to come up with something
What. Fill me in
That's just it, there's nothing to fill in. There you stand, prancing in space, a beautiful hole in nothing. That's where the wind blows
Now I know what to name it
Right. Whenever you name something. It vanishes
OK This is exactly what I meant
Look at that
It's a plate of cheeze crackers
It's an oracle
The cheeze. The crackers
I see that
Eat it first
No, no-- if I eat it, I read it. If you eat it--
--I never read what I eat
Knowledge as an aberant system.
Just suppose. Just suppose, the universe is not something that is, ultimately, knowable.
Do you realy see what I'm saying?
Just suppose, that built into the universe is a quality, or a structure, that renders nul and void the possibility of true understanding.
That the activity of the brain called "thinking' is constitutionally grounded in a process that by definition, can't be isomorphic with the universe as it really is.
The IS a possibility.
In fact-- history, and the continual needs to superceed each new platuea of science and knowledge-- support that possibility very strongly: that all knowledge is simply local knowledge.
(Pause. Holds head)
Just a minute
(Goes to drawer, tear up envelop)
Why did you do that?
I don't know
Did you have an intuition?
I can't say that I did
What can you say about what you did--
Theorize about it? Oh please, spare me--!
There's no other option
Of course there is. Look out the window, what do you see?
What's going on ouside.
(Backs up into closed door)
What does that mean, --it's night.
Close you eyes and begin talking
Is this in any way-- accurate
Let's make this accurate. Let's turn it into reality itself
(To drawer, tears up)
(Curtain rear opens. applause)
I went to the theater. . .
(On blackboard, writes "This is my name")
This is my name
(Writes again "This is my knowledge")
This is. . .a degree of accuracy about my life. The interesting thing is-- we SHARE a life.
This is my hand-- unreadable, until read.
So. It performs tasks.
It's true professor. Your hand's unreadable, but to a certain extent, your face is readable.
And my actions?
They are readable.
(envelop held up)
Shall I open this?
It says "I love you, I understand you"
Who signed it
It's not signed
I think you wrote it
Something about your expression. I just think so
Maybe you should look into a mirror to check out your own expression right now.
I'm willing to do that.
(Hesitates, goes to mirror)
What do you see?
All the obvious things
Ah, nothing to report?
Report? That's a funny word
Anything to report?
(The darkness falls)
Ladies and gentlemen. The truth of the matter is, this person I face: doesn't like me
That's not true
He thinks he likes me well enough
But he doesn't. This isn't because of anything I have done or shall do. In fact, his dislike is not demonstrable. But it is a fact, because in so stating, I make it a fact.
I re-define, as it were, the only possible grid on which such things can be measured
To prove I like you, I'm giving you a gift
In fact, what does this prove?
In fact-- is there any way to prove or disprove such things? There is no such way.
(I like the actors who appear, etc)
This public place, will allow me to think of it in private
Is this, now, private?
Think of it
I can think of it, of course. But I mean, or rather I dream of, sinking into it in private which means, sinking through it, into myself, which I can only do in private.
Do it in public
I can't do it in public
I don't know why
Use this to cover your head
It's private. And if you could communicate with me, you'd say "Yes, it's private"> And fortunately, I can imagine your face, shining or not shining, underneath it's cover of privateness. And that, serves me well.
I take a respectful step back from the aura of your silence: and my own head, fills, with a desired emptiness, thanks to your silence.
(Third in takes blanket off)
What was it like
Ah, I'm not answered, I'm cast onto my own shore, as it were, a vast continenent, ready for exploration.
Well, here I am. Would you mind, not leaving please?
(Sits. Pause. Up and out. Struggle to re-establish blanket. Done Re-enter, Sit)
It will be edmotionally moving to me if, once, I am able to see the face behind that barrier
One of a whole slew of fantasies, of course-- it turns out to be my own.
Your own what
Face, of course
You mean-- this one?I think so, but of course-- I don't see it. You see it
Are we talking about the same thing?
Of course not.
(She leaves. Blanket off. Other leaves. Alone)
This man who lived someplace OTHER than in his head. This frightened educational fanatic, who lapsed, after he reached for what he really desired
If you look at me long enough, you're given: lots
I notice you don't return my gaze
Let's say I did over an extended period of time; who burns up, you or me?
Is this metaphorical burning?
Indeed. What else
I have no idea
Oh please. You PLANTED the idea in my head.
Where in the head
Well, let's say in the center
Where's this center
Doesn't that feel just a little bit stupid, pointing at your own head to indicate the center of something.
(Pause. Other rises and points to OTHER's head, as other closes eyes)
Thank you: to give me the opportunity to say something under unusual external influences
Giess what. I removed my hand
You could verify it by opening your eyes
No thank you. The opportunity actually set me on fire, and now that I'm burning, I burn, and if I burn, changing course is out of the question for the moment.
I wish this could goi further.
That was your original mistake. Anything begun--
--can of course go further. But it's always a terrible mistake.
Always? I don't believe it.
Do ou see what's in this bread?
There are jewels in this bread
Does that make it difficult to eat this bread?
Yes. But not yes. I understand-- that one can eat, as it were, around the jewels
There are jewels in this bread.
What is this?
If my face opens, I radiate
All I can see
What is this
It's my face.
Let's get on the river
No. Language river
This face wipes itself with language
This face cuts itself on language
(Doc in presentation or interview)
You have to talk
Ok. The face talks.
(I was late in speaking. I wanted to remain in bliss. I wanted to grunt. Now I fall into speech. I am expelled from paradise.
Good and evil. Speech makes the break. Expelled from paradise, carrying the memory, the seed, which should better be planted in hell.
Non language, planted in language. Make language slide. Over the landscape at tremendous velocity.)
Ok. The face talks. It slows down by talking
What does the face do besides talk
Nothing. Talking is everything
Is the face attached to anything?
Is this a demonstration
I don't think so. It's unavoidable
What's up for grabs
Did I say I was talking or demonstrating
I thought you were getting at something, but--
Was that your chosen word?
You threw it into the arena, I grabbed at it, but--
Did you ever have the sensation of a slice, right in the middle of your, well-- language? Oh, I shopuldn't have comitted myself
I don't find you very comitted. Or me, for that matter
(Pause) Why don't we stay with the but, and leave out the what of the but what.
What are we left with
What did I forget.
How do you know you forgot something
It should be obvious (Pause) There's a gap (Pause. Holds head)
Holding the plavce where the gap is.
I don't think so
Let's move on.
(Pause) Are we sliding over something?
There's a gap
I don't see it
Are we sliding over something?
Let's move on.
What are you doing here?
Well, I'm drinking in the atmosphere
All I want out of life, is a certain mood. A certain atmosphere. I want to be in a certain state of mind
(M) Big mistake, Samuel.
Oh no. The way I look at it, it's a way to carry me to the essence of things. The ground of things
That's the point. It's fuzzy. So things can be there that can't be there when the fuzzy things are scrubbed clean, which means throwing things into the garbage--
Moods are like clouds, Samuel. They pass.
You supply the missing word.
I don't supply it.
No . . ."solidity", Samuel.
Silence controlled the situation.
Samuel sat not.
The relative strength of impulse, went wet.
And the heave of ocean that followed, upended everything he could fathom.
Oh Samuel, plunging into who knows what to say about it. Can you abide by the attentive tradition?
Here was Samuel. Polishing knives and forks, ready to close in for a kill even he couldn't countanance.
Silence controlled it, that's why Samuel was able to piuck up on heretofore unavailable stuff, loading his plate, watchful. Always on the go in a way that nobody else noticed.
At the end of the corridor, Marie waited with her usual smile, and Samuel ticked off the seconds on some internal clock that bent not, waiting for everything to happen in pure equilibrium.
She let her dress align itself with her deepest intention (her own body) and Samuel touched that, and as he did so, she floated carefully over several heretofore measured depths which meant "This is known by me".
They both could have said that, but Samuel controlled things, so they continued the usual drift and the lights flashed on and off and in the on phase they said "Silence" and in the off phase the said "Go deeper">
There was no relationship between Samuel and Marie.
They talked, they touched each other. But nobody's hand disappeared into nobody's hallucinating eyball, and so all gestures were like a quiver in non-existent aether, and the heavenly bodies-- all they could do was whirl. That kind of silence.
Tonight, nothing is here. The rose, ready to manifest.
In this pregnant, calm, space.
The belief is as follows
A rose, hovering in the air
And everything will disolve
Is this the . . .tremendous Sunday?
Not yet. Not quite yet.
I am a mirror, but so is the world
Bounce back and forth
Rise The red building acrioss the street is in me, and I see it as red, release the redness, let it change me.
drunk on molocule of water. Breath of air.
Ah, what a web of intentions. Sitting in cafe, watching city
Something WANTS to happen here. I open a door.
If one confronts, this trajectrory, this web
I went to the cafe. Crystalized morning. I went to the cafe. That is, I left by the front door. A click released the lock, which reverberated in me that click
A world, full of intentions
A grid of intentions
a web of intentions
decorate, circle back on themselves
So. Have none!
Oh great mirror city
is it this moment that will release me?
lift physical into spiritual.
The great work, trajectory tantra, alchemy
salvation comes from the real self, thoughts of the spirit are for it to share
change is necessary
the great work
the mirror. Enter geo city
world is mirror. sometimes fall into trap of believing in it
then stop. poetry is realizing you project into it, it's so THIN
Great city, room in which it could happen that. . .
a streetcorner. The space, the atmosphere, projected into. . . .
he arrived in a city
Oh city, city of. . .apostotic mode
City of turnings, that's what I call you
Because each small street turns, geometricised, and reveals an abyss? No. But a reflection of it's former self.
The chimera named Ali appeared and spoke his own chimera self
What city is it, where a corner resturant, speaks. . .
Geometry city, mirror city
Light. . .like othrer place. nectar of light
paint little flowers on faces
Is it you, richard? Yes (bum) I realized the sweetness had to me in me. Ecstatic. Not in art. Drunk on a molocule of water. a sip of air.
Is this really your kind of town?
I haven't been here very long.
But you get the feel of things kinda fast, or I miss my guess.
I'm the kind of person--
Nothing satisfies you, yes?
So this isn't really your kind of town. I mean, for the first day or two, you said to yourself, hey , maybe this is ok. You managed to squeeze out a little poetic frisson from a turn around the corner into this vista, then that vista, but then with a lkittle more time, it didn't resally seem to hold up, did it.
Of course I'm right. This town is a shit town. Take it from me, I had deep experience of this shit town, and a shit town is what it is.
That doesn't leave much doubt.
On the other hand, a lot of oppoprtunity is here, for somebody looking for a certain kind of something.
Oh? What kind of something.
You don't expect me to make myself overly clear, I think.
Well, I don't know if that's your habit or not.
What about your habits. (Pause) Don't your habits have something to do with the overal situation?
I get myself into certain situations where I don't know quite. . .how to respond.
Ah, like now?
Yes. Why the hell don't you know how to respond. (Pause) You want absolue clarity? Or are you aware of the disadvantages built into absolute clarity. That seems to be the question I'm putting to you, and you seem to me perfectly capable of coming up with some kind of response.
Yes. I should be. Certainly. . .
So? Do you want absolute clarity?
Let me ask, if I can-- can we define again the area under discussion?
Suddenly things get clarified. You're interested in entertainment. You're one of those people who can't be alone with his life. This perpetual drift from city to city, a diversion. That's all.
Go on to what?
Go on with what you wre saying
What do you want from me, anyhow? That's not what you're gionna get buster! You're gonna get a truckload of shit, that's what you're gonna get, and don't tell me you don't like it, because by the time I'm finsihed with you, you're gonna LOVE it.
. . . . .
What do you think about my sloppy methods
They seem unnecessarily sloppy.
Guess what you don't know. You don't know what the hell you're talking about.
I think you're acting more vulgar than you are, in truth.
O.K. From now on, what you get from me is nothing but pithy aphorisms. We'll see how good you are dealing with that. Then we'll know where we are, won't we?
Let me introduce you to a man who tried to encase himself in a work of art.
Oh? said the doctor. I can help this man escape from a work of art, but only if he genuinly wishes to do that.
What city is this?
Is this the city where
looking out the window
in late afternoon,
a beautiful vista seems dominated by the faint tracer-bullet patterns of many autombiles in motion, evoking,
as they cross the visible-from-a distanance multitude of bridges spanning the magic river that gives mythic dimention to this city nestled in it's curve
--automobiles evoking that specific seen-from-far away energy that paints precise,
energy strips in the imagination of someone
who perhaps relies too much upon that same imagination?
(There he goes, encasing himself in a work of art, in a proto-type
How dare you rely too much on that imagination
if what you long for, really, is being someplace else, as legitimate a longing as any of those invented for you by that multitude calling itself, hero, (heroes) or common sense,
or all the uncles and great uncles by default
who decided to bankroll your very viable future so that if you cheat (cheating in their terms) you're gonna get a come-uppance that'll leave you sitting pretty from the point of view of those who can hardly be said to have your best interests at heart.
See what I mean?
He made plans.
But-- here's the important part.
He didn't try to defind them
To himself or others? But of course both suddenly find themselves under the same ruberic.
It all adds up to the same thing, no? He made a work of art for himself, into which he might hopefully disappear. Then, seeing corners at the corners, and in response pulling the entire ediface of his sometimes cofortable enough life,
over his body like a blanket,
could he be in fact so blanketed?
And was that any different than simply to live, as he did live, within the aura that was so important to him now?
(I mean more imprtant than many other things).
Time to escape the new woman said.
Escape what, escape to what?
The new woman did not say escape to what
and we all knew to escape,
but we did not know to escape to what.
So what made her new, this new woman ?
She was always new because she was so. . .etherial.
I take no responsibility for my own etherialness, that's what she should have truly said.
But she did not, of course, which became in his sense one big, missed opportunity.
That was not new.
What was new was that he began to perceive, under this blanking artifact, artifactly enough,
that what was new and strange was his own relationship to whatever spewed forth, because now, believe it or not,
he did not have the feeling it was necessary for him to be mountainous in his efforts of will,
all directed to making his life cohere
into one of the twenty seven life-models ordered specifically into HIS consciousness on pain of death,
which certainly could not be avoided
down the road someplace.