Thursday, February 01, 2007


Syntax, structured coherencies, letting go to enter the streams-of-consciousness writing. But see how chromosomes are packaged. Tighter than any sonnet. We are form, and bound to form. Still, to untrain my mind, I allow emergences. We each experience the quality of the world differently, the qualia, but there are points, nodes, of happenings, in the world, in the event continuum, around which I gather my thoughts as I write this.

Browsing the news, I find a skeleton of pins, bars and a plate around Barbaro's leg, which is already held by a matrix of screws. The abscess, pummel of pus. Prize racehorse with a splintered leg. Laminitis. Later in the day, Barbaro is put down.

I'm reading Jean-Luc Nancy: "Isn't life always an escape from death? And this escape from death - which at the same time doesn't cease moving towards death, of course - which is it if not life itself..." " survives, that is, it is always on the escape, skimming non-existence, contingent..."

But my writing is full of grafts! Inserted into the landscape of soil-drenched words like the traces of a village found near Stonehenge.

And then this: "everything has the mark of its own disappearance." This phrasing, these words, their potential meaning, remain with me. I hover over them for a long time, writing them into my notebook, tracing them with my fingertips. Nancy says death is inevitable, we know that, it's just that when is unpredictable. Unless with drugs, like Barbaro, or euthanasia. Is the unpredictability of our disappearance marked on us?
The coleslaw is pale green and crunchy, tiny slivers of cabbage in a piquant dressing; I crave it when I see it. English cucumbers sliced on a diagonal, green and yellow wax beans, chickpeas, tiny diced red peppers, cherry tomatoes, a typically creamy potato salad, pickled sliced beets, and dressing, who knows what, perhaps a version of Italian. This, my small lunch from a salad buffet.

I am deep in an office tower of the corporate world. Outside of nature, here where death is remote, where it's dark beating wings are hidden. What's beating inside my head is monotony. Flourescent lights. A world in which there are no bodily fluids, no bodies with organs. A world of sheer surfaces, billboard women, men divided into one of two ranks: managerial or service. Or am I unfair?

Some scientists in Britain created a mechanical stomach that partially emulates the complexity of the chemical and muscular processes of digestion. It is of plastic and metal strong enough to hold the corrosive gut acids and enzymes. The scientists deliver foods to the mechanical stomach that even contracts just like a real one, and can even vomit, and watch the bile begin to dissolve everything into its constituents. The stomach isn't like a real one, which is beyond our ability to reproduce fully. Learning how our digestive systems work, especially the absorption of nutrients is the point of this digesting machine. Testing foods, antacids, even how poisons get absorbed, fascinating.

Back at the desk where I sit it's not as if I have anything important to do; they just need me here. Anyone. Someone who's good at the tasks. They don't even mind my writing, or me in the act of. Digesting.