Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Am The Heart and Fractal Eternity

Les Pensées

Artaud opened the letter, unfolded the single sheet of paper and read a delusional paragraph elaborating on the difference between the English and American literary epic of the ordinary man. Artaud looked at the obliquely pasted stamp on the envelope and saw it was marked Buenos Aires, October 29, 2010.

The Lucky Man

A week after he had come back to the city, he had sent out precisely one application for a position that he had been contacted about and that just seemed a perfect fit, Felix received an offer to start his new job the very next week. He had not been searching long for a new home. In fact, the first broker he contacted showed him the first apartment, which turned out to be a steal, they shook hands on it, and Felix signed the lease that very same day. Although Felix was an independent and critical man who believed that one should only love a woman if she was the right one, he had filled out the profile on the dating website and had met two women whom both seemed to be the love of his life, and because he couldn't choose he didn't. In the afternoon, Felix on his way to Grand Central, had taken the subway. There was an empty seat where Felix sat down and as he stared to the ground between his feet, he saw a silver dollar. He picked the dollar up, looked around at the half empty car of indifferent bobbing heads and put the coin in his pocket. The next day, Felix woke up with the sun shining in his face. He got dressed, walked out the door to get a coffee at the corner store. As he approached the corner, the lights turned to green and he crossed. He entered the grocery store, where Maria, the girl behind the counter greeted him with a smile. Felix! I just made fresh coffee! As he walked home, his neighbor was selling some of his belongings in front of his home. Felix walked up to the neighbor: David, how are you? They chatted while Felix eyed the books. At the top of the pile lay Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, which Felix had wanted to start reading, but he had not bought the book cause he thought it to be too expensive. Oh I absolutely loved the book, said David, but why don't you take it. No I can't charge a neighbor, take it, I am happy it is of use to anyone.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Office in the Window

Imagine: you draw a knife through an anthill and with the same knife gently push the two slices apart.  Now every tunnel and half opened 'room' looks across a gulf of space into other passages, into other 'rooms'.  Or if ants aren't your thing, imagine apartment blocks cut through by a street, the apartments lined and as mathematically poised behind shields of balconies as members of opposing armies.

And scouring this cross section with its jumble of plants and lounge chairs your eye falls quickly upon something that doesn't seem to fit.  A square of life that shuns domesticity, a balcony of plantless neutrality: in short, an office.  Behind a sensible black desk a slightly overweight, slightly greying, slightly well dressed man stares intently at a screen that loosely frames some excel spreadsheet or other.  He scrolls up.  Stop.  He scrolls down.  Stop.  And now he makes a little note on a pad or sheet of printer paper.  He checks his watch.  Stretches.  He seems pleased with that because now he's out on the sterile balcony for a fag.

That's when she appears.  Sliding her balcony door open with a yawn, she pads out into the late afternoon sun, a dog under one arm, phone pressed in half shrug against her ear.  About his age by the looks of her, about forty five or so.  By complete coincidence she mirrors his pose exactly: close to the rails, one hand on hip.  But she's a floor above.  That's the tragedy.  The smoke from his cigarette wafts up and past her.  She doesn't seem to notice it.  And then he's back in front of the computer, he makes a little note on a pad or sheet of printer paper etc. etc... 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Under the Moon's Light

When I looked at the moon, under the moon's brightly lit visible neck, I saw Jupiter, planet of man, the king of gods, Jupiter, a man of thunder and lightning, his force contracted in the night under the watchful eye of the moon, distant and barely interested, with a sliver of cold indifference, so manly cool, under a blue cloth of secrecy, covered in the moon's cloak, Jupiter does not love, so when Natsume Soseki loves, Jupiter loves, they stare up, fold their necks in creased upward stares, eyes looking away, as they ponder, the moon is so blue tonight.
And in that blue light, Venus shines, shines with a light brighter than Jupiter, there Venus, planet of beauty and fertility, female goddess of the mountains, sister of the earth, Diane of wild animals under the shadow of thick pine forests, I admit, woman's light is so much brighter than that of man. But most bright of all, more bright than man, more bright than the beauty of a woman, I stand and stare at the moon, my sister Selene, sister of words, sister of dawn, sister of earth, sister of animals, greater she is than man, she is Luna that I love greater than man, greater than woman, can I resist her eyes that do not look away, that do not say the moon is so blue tonight, Selene paces so gentle while the world sleeps, and she whispers I love you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

You Know It's a Fantasy, Don't You?

Faces (20)

(20) A slender man, half long black hair combed backward behind his ears, glistening in a slick reflection of the lanterns, has buried his face in the womb of his elbow, his under arm leaning against the dusty rear window of an old sports utility vehicles, his hand dangling down by the gravity of despair, his other hand holds a phone to his ear. His face bows down to the street, the world around has collapsed into the one dimension of the voice on the other side of the line. His shine black curls wave left and right on the gentle shaking of his head, which is lost in nothingness, all of space, all of the city, its architecture reaching to the yellowish night, the bellowing of voices walking by, rising and dying out, the gospel of merry happiness of Saint Marks Place, is absorbed in the silent tears that fill a man's eyes, leaning against a rear window.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Faces (17-19)

(17) Her face did not just consist of layers, but of separate rolls, oil black blurbs hanging by a string from her jaw, her double chin a rubber tube, her cheeks two rotting apples, her eyes peering out like the outer shells of a pair of mussels, her forehead frowned like the shifting sand on the beach, her ears two disconnected joints, her hair nothing but a scuffled wig. Her hands like fatty claws just hang out of her sleeves, as she spoke with a defeated voice. (18) The tiny skeleton of an old lady, her head protracted from her neck, welded to her fragile shoulders by a single joint, her arms kept their balance like a wooden puppet, she moved in jerks. Her white scruffy hair was deceiving of her astute and kind voice. (19) Her face was marked by round shapes, her jaw and forehead formed a perfect circle, the bridge of her nose was retracted and hollow with wide nostrils, emphasizing the two round openings of the nose channels, while her large black eyes stared with a soft roundness, covered by the semicircles of her dark eyebrows, resting on her loving, bulbous cheeks.

Les Pensées

Artaud looked at her white Fedora hat with the black ribbon across the base. She was a writer she said, had just moved here from California and was working on her memoirs. Oh no, Artaud being a true child of his time thought, not another memoir.

Writers 5-1: Albert Camus: Confessions of a Happy Youth

Looking back, I was naive. No, not just naive. I had not fully matured as a writer even. I was living still, in a state of purgatory, and living I was happy, my chest bursting with a loving heart that pounded so loud that I could sense it beating in my throat, the throbbing of desire, I could taste the thrushes of blood that rushed to my head, filling my veins and bursting open into wild thoughts. The way it came out was like a carnival of idiotic thoughts, and a stream of nerves tingling at my fingers end, so the only resolution, to relieve myself was to pick up a pen, and write. But I was scribbling, hastily jotting malformed thoughts down, and reordering ideas into a story without cohesion. The only thread was the trace left behind by the character's wandering. And the character was a wholesome person, too real for fiction, a happy character with a family, with children, gathered around a dinner table. If I have the courage to pull the manuscript out of the bottom drawer of my desk, I want to burn it to ashes, if it wasn't for the first chapter, which still holds the promise of another story, and I tell myself, Albert, put it back, something will come to you, and it will prove its purpose. But happy to place it back in the bottom drawer, I hope to forget about it, but I never do. Is that perhaps happiness, the haunting spirit of failure? Too much A Happy Death was still centered around happiness. Hunted by failure, the story's death, I became a writer. Because for the writer, happiness has no meaning, only when I learned to see unhappiness and the lack of meaning was I able to write The Stranger.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Petite Merde 4: The Three Hungers

Les Pensées

Artaud put his pen down and stared at the paper laying on the table. Letters curled along the pages from top to bottom, sentences streamed from left to right, words started floating. Artaud grasped for his lighter with a disgruntled expression on his face. In the last week, he had burnt most of what he had written, except for a four page letter to his friend Max starting with the words 'Dearest Max, my last request: everything I leave behind me...'

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I am in the heart


In the middle of the night, I woke up, my body overheating, my mouth dry, my tongue felt like leather skin. Despite being so warm, my nose was stuffed like I had caught a cold, so I didn't know if I should open the window or leave it closed. The night before I had gone to Wildwood BBQ for dinner and had ordered the special, a combination plate of three variations of ribs, 4 baby back ribs glazed in raspberry barbecue sauce, 3 beef back ribs in traditional barbecue sauce, and 3 Carolina pulled pork. 'I have seen one person eat a whole plate,' the waitress had ensured me. I regretted trusting her, but with her low décolleté and wide smile, she looked like someone I could believe. I woke up again an hour later from my own snoring, and as I grasped for breath, my nose rumbled again like a pig. I could hardly breathe and had to inhale through my opened mouth with quick takes. I reached for the bottle of water, opened the cap, and took a sip. Half of the water gulped out of my mouth, spilling on the sheet. I dried my lips and turned over. The third time I awoke from the early morning light. I took three quick sniffs and felt a lot better. I rolled over to my other side, and back again, rolling around in my sheets and pillow, like I was digging in the mud, and was surprised how comfortable I felt after such a bad night of sleep. When I stepped out of bed, however, as I tried to stand up, I fell to the ground and could barely just catch myself on my hands, as I toddled to the kitchen on my four hoofs.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Les Pensées

Artaud had spent the evening at a rowdy sportsbar. Groups of fans shouted to raise their voices over the blasting televisions. Conversations mixed into a loud blur of words. Artaud sat silently and observed, thinking in what a lonely city he lived.

Faces (15-16)

(15) Of his face I barely remember a single detail but its periphery of strong muscular arms that stick out of the rolled up sleeves of his t-shirt, of his thin and scruffy afro beard, his full and wide, coarse lips, his deep, soft-spoken voice and gentle dark eyes, misplaced in his tall, muscular build. (16) Her thin sandy arms are of the same color as her cheeks, with her slim limbs dangling along with her aging face with its sharp eyes, lengthy nose and round jaws, under the umbrella of a puffed up Afro hairdo, that gives her enough sexy air to fill the room.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

We are in the bowels of a bar on Houston street. It was empty when we first stumbled in around five but now the post-office crowd are pouring in, sucked into the darkness like leaves into a storm drain, riding the tide of filth and water, hugging the sidewalk, rushing blindly on to god knows where. So this isn't a bar after all. The walls; damp and congealed, rats scurrying across our shoes, and the crack and rummage of slow content cockroaches. Here comes Artaud back from the bar. He's grinning, which means something's happened. He's carrying two glasses of cheap beer: three dollars a glass if you manage not to tip. In the dim candle-light that smears a blurred red light across the room he seems like a devil. This is it! He says slamming the glasses down hard onto the table top and falling into his seat. This is what? I say. IT he says. Don't you see? We're exactly where we should be. The eye of the storm! The heart of the sewer! Look at these fuckers! He lifts his arms as if cradling a giant globe on his shoulders, trapping loud suited men in a deep parenthesis. How long do they have left? Days? Minutes? New York is emptying out. The Great Cleansing! One violent bowel movement that they'll talk about for years. But doesn't that excite you? Doesn't the idea of adults - grown men and women jostling for little pieces of society, selling childish trivialities like Coca Cola make you vibrate with excitement? Grown adults! All that anxiety and hope and ambition and sugar water! And here we are swimming among them, carried down the same stream of shit. It's perfect! Perfect! Wait, what time is it? It's still only six thirty. I need to make a phone call he says. I watch as he leaves the bar, pushing through groups of drinkers. Pigeons! He screams. And I watch as he ascends the stairs to be reborn into the cold evening light of Houston street.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Faces (12-14)

(12) His thick pepper and salt hair was perfectly dried and fostered, combed backward with great care, topping his hamster cheeks out of which peaked a small hawkish nose, and insecure glistering eyes. He spoke softly but pulled the left corner of his mouth slightly down as he smiled contemptuously from above his blue pin striped collared shirt. (13) His deeply tanned, frowned forehead did not draw your immediate attention, distracted by the thick frame of the retro frame. His head leaned forward trying to read the text on his mac's screen, giving his posture the appearance of a man in his early 60s, despite his fashionable brightness and much younger look, with his combed-back, half-long hair reaching his shoulders. (14) He did not make an immediately astute or hansom impression, his retrieving, shaved hairline, with his face directed downward, his eye brows formed a sharply declining V that pointed to and merged into the bridge of his nose, but maybe it was his plain white shirt, upper two buttons open, his washed blue pants, with his simple black dusty shoes, that gave him at second glance a sympathetic and considerately intelligent charisma.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Girl in the Window (2)

Her deep, black silhouette is tightly pressed against the whitened window's glass. Her opened mouth astonishing and astonished at the same time, her eyes are absorbed by the blinding light that sheds through the panes. I stand behind her in the dream, behind her curved back as she turns in a flash toward the garden, away from me. I can't see what she sees, a figure. Is this when I lose her? Is this when that she is losing something, is this a memory of her childhood? In the instant, she wants to run after the figure in the garden, chase it, but she is locked in by the walls, the windows, the glass, the frames, she stands still and instead only her eyes follow the man out of the garden, opening the gate, closing the gate again. I want to pull her back toward me but I sit at the kitchen table behind her and cannot reach her fragile body, that I want to cherish, retain, regain, possess, I want to enclose her in my stretched out arms that form an empty embrace, but she is out of my reach. I feel sad, I want to cry, but I have lost the reaction to sadness, and just stare at her beautiful, lost, black body, mourning. A continent away in time, the same dream, forward in time, the same room, the same kitchen table, my same stationary point of view in the girl's life. I don't see the coal black silhouette anymore, not the large lips, the curved eyebrows running like crescent lines around the waxing, tiny eyes, instead, a brightly lit, brown face on the other side of the window. Her face stained by the dusty window, her mouth covered by one of the white window bars, I can only see her longing eyes, her African nose, her Afro hair that fits her like a hat. Her face is framed near the door handle, in the pane below her flat, girlish body wearing a black sweater, but her arms hang silently besides her slim body, she stares at me, I cannot read her thoughts. Does she long for me to embrace her perhaps, does she not comprehend why I still sit at the kitchen table? I feel immense sadness again, I wish to hold her, kiss her, to comfort myself perhaps, I search for lips, but they are invisible, out of sight, untouchable.

Video Sketch: Buenos Aires

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Petite Merde 3: The train line between Palermo Viejo and Palermo Hollywood

Palermo is divided in two by a train line with Hollywood to the north and Viejo to the south.

Both sides of the track are full of bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

In order to get from one area of bars to another, Palermo's young, wealthy population must cross the train track strewn with rotting garbage.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Petite Merde 2: Master Ass Class

"What happened was simple: people were greedy and took advantage."
A social-criticism on the financial crisis. If you can please bend over and get fucked. Rising profits and a strong economy feed your consumer's lust. The great fairy rescue of more, more, more!

Petite Merde 1: Buenos Aires

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Big Bang of Self

"Everything living dies of internal reasons," Artaud thought. It is the law of being which states that all matter, organic or not, has no presence to the other except as an outer, remote appearance. This appearance was but a coincidental appearance, which was incapable to revert itself to the deliberate action of essence. Sartre had stated something along similar lines, he remembered, but of course, to Sartre the essence had been the self, and the appearance had been the impossibility of love. Death was the negation of the subject of the other, turning the other into a state of object. It was not enough therefore that dark matter constituted only eighty percent of the matter in the universe, according to estimates. It was obvious in Artaud's understanding that the universe itself was only a representation of the self and that this, true to its nature, was fully unknown. The dark matter of the universe together with ordinary matter did not even exist. The Big Bang had come into being by the immaculate conception of theoretical physics, but this ontological myth had as little to do with science as the religious myth of Creation. God created life, but as Artaud believed, the I was destined to die. Artaud concluded therefore that perhaps a lot of things didn't make much sense, or at least not right now, but as soon as he would unravel the mystery of death, the last missing chapter in his Theory of Life, the pieces of the puzzle would automatically fall together.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Girl in the Window (1)

I watched the heavy lump of male flesh sink rhythmically into the nest formed by the two slim legs, hanging somewhere in mid air without grace, of the girl with black hair laying on her back. She was being fucked without lust, his body rising again from her clinches but too heavy to free itself from his own gravity that weighed on her, trapping her in the mattress. She moved into another position only at the silent gesture of his hands pushing her sidewards or upwards, without portraying any sense for pornographic beauty or luscious will. I stared nevertheless obsessively at these two slowly fucking white torsos, maybe as much captured by their lack of desire as bythe beastly attraction of their movements. Their act of pairing visualized a necessity. I saw no passion, no madness, just two human bodies clumsily caught up in an attempt to shake off their loneliness, their movements desperately failing to escape their human fates. I saw the fat on the man's waist shake like a distant gel and felt disgust and pity. The girl's arms lay folded helplessly above her head, and I wanted to grab her hands and pull her out of her trap. When I looked again, their tired bodies lay along each other, in a parallel harmony, his hand caressing her, like unexperienced children denying the violent clash of lovers. His hand glided from her shoulder to her waist, over her thigh, as if to comfort her. I felt utter boredom and jerked myself off watching them.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rivers of the Underground: Phlegethon

The fire of my loins, flowing around my torso like lava, erupted from the mouth of Etna, spitting ashes in stone formations that sprout through the air, like the mountain being a giant whale ploughing its majestic grand body through the waves of the terrain, pouring open the wounds of evil, that live in my heart, of the cruelty that shoved in people's throats, like the sharpened pole's end of rupture and ego, penetrating their rectum, constituting the horrific rape of Lucrece, a crime that will not heal, but bleed here hundreds of yards beneath the plain's surface of goodness and kindness, of compassion, of humanity, like flames licking my beard, that smells of sulphur, the passion that once fueled my madness, now aflame, and like Tantalus bending down desperately to put out that bursting heat, my thirst increases, my hunger grows, alas, why were you Lolita of my heart, so young and luscious, to cut my head like Judith, the beak of a snake, now in your hand, that pulls me down this stream of fire. Did I not repent? To boil my soul in blood unto the end of times, is this the wage for loving you, this your justice. My crime to love you, to lust for the blood of your womb, to quench my violent passion to possess you, all born from love. Here now is my meal, the plate of man's hunger, for the flesh to ravishly possess, to penetrate the shield of other men with my spear, to kill the impossible and to take you. Now you speak, young maiden, where lies the crime in that?

Les Pensées

Artaud felt how the drizzle absorbed the mass of his body, the space of the city, and believed that he would soon dissolve, or was it Artaud who absorbed the drizzle, the city, the space, the mass, like millions of other bodies that wandered through the city without aim.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Brief Histories of Undiscovered Art: 1 Suddenism and Piere-Martin le Gris

Pierre-Martin le Gris (1895-1914)

Le Gris grew up the second of four children in Clichy on the outskirts of Paris. His father was a factory worker and collector of scrap metal.

In his early teens, greatly influenced by the Futurist and Cubist movements, Le Gris expressed an interest in pursuing a career in art but his father insisted he become an apprentice at his Uncle's Boulangerie on Avenue de Clichy.

Despite his father's disapproval, Le Gris sought the company of artists and spent much of spare time on the terrace of the cafe Wepler. It was here, along with a group of young like-minded art students that he became obsessed with the idea of Suddenism, an artistic movement he invented and which he claimed moved ten years beyond the art world's avant garde. Suddenism's aim, he said, was to smash past, present and future together so that the act of producing a piece of art coincided exactly with both its being viewed and its destruction. On the night of August 4th 1914, Le Gris set fire to one end of a Wepler napkin and began writing the Suddenist Manifesto at the other amid cheers from his fellow artists.

Le Gris was killed in the first battle of the Marne four weeks later.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Les Pensées

A yellowish blue colored the nightly sky above the high rising facades that formed the immensity of the city. Artaud lay in his bed and pulled the blanket over his shoulder and fell asleep unaware of the millions of lives that surrounded his lifeless body.

Why Women Drive Men Mad

At the end of the conversation a brief pause fell, so unlike G, and B waited for her to say a few more words. Then G said.
G: I did something really stupid.
B: What do you mean?
G: Never mind, it's nothing.
B: Oh. But what did you do then?
G: Nothing, just something stupid I shouldn't have done.
B: Well tell me! First you tell me you did something, but then you're not telling me what!
G: I am afraid to tell you.
B: Why! We always tell each other everything.
G: Yes, but I am afraid you will be mad at me.
B: No! I won't be mad, I love you.
G: I know, but I did something stupid.
B: It's okay, it doesn't matter, we all do something stupid sometimes. Just tell me.
G: This is different.
B: I promise I won't be angry.
G: You promise?
B: Yes! It's okay.
G: Well...
Another pause increased the hesitation in G and the expectation in B.
B: Come on! Now, you just make me worry. What is it? Do you still love me?
G: Yes, of course, I still love you.
B: I love you too.
G: I'll tell you tomorrow! Okay! I am tired. It's nothing. Just something stupid that happened.
B: Hm. Okay, I guess.
G: I'll talk to you tomorrow.
B: Okay, talk to you then.
G: Love you!
B: Love you too.