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Monday, September 1st, 2008
9:49 pm
i am moving.
http://notroubles.blogspot.com/

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Sunday, August 31st, 2008
12:24 pm - august

august, originally uploaded by if objects are much too solid.

and so i will take my leaving slow. a reminder to just enjoy. august, half of which i was not even in japan for, has been drizzle. the rainy season scarce this year in june and july has found its way here, but in a half hearted way. sometimes during my walk or bike to work i will be under my red umbrella nodding good mornings and circumventing puddles. it is nice to be back. kawasaki has a sense about itself. as though we've made an agreement. i know what's going on more now than i ever have and this is so very good to me. still surprises emerge. at my smaller junior high school an assembly formed itself out of nowhere. a man with the kindest face, all concentration on the vibraphone. before each song he would get one of the students to play a new instrument. getting all of them to rock their chairs and clap using their full upper bodies. when it came time to have someone dance a three step to the next song he caught my eye and then took both my hands. in the day to day i think this man is a miracle. he made the room just kind of light up. he took people by the hand, he led and relaxed everyone and without a single ironic smirk all the while. so i danced a three step with him, then got my english teacher to dance the whole time he and his partner played their next song. we added twirled flourishes to the whole thing. i think many things are miracles, by the way, joking with the kids. having them approach me with their humor and gorgeousness. seriously, look at anyone who is becoming a teenager. watch them generally struggle and think that everything hinges on Them and This without ego and tell me you don't smile at how much heart that takes. so goodbye august. japan is treating me so well and has for two years. i am saying goodbye slowly because i know it'll be hard to leave when leaving comes closer.

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Thursday, August 28th, 2008
6:45 pm
currently training the kids for the upcoming english speech contest. i have very very poor memorization skills. most of the time if anything is going to be retained by my mind it'll happen once i can understand the thing and its connection to other things. ie. i have to be able to get to information through rethinking it up. whereas some people can just memorize, without even paying attention to meaning. but, the thing is, there is something i do know by memory. i learned it in high school, junior year of. its the first eighteen lines of the preamble of the canterbury tales. i learned it because we were to recite it in middle english to our teacher. upon failing to do this and having her harp on me i actually learned it and recited it after the fact during one of those second chance type times.

Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
(That slepen al the nyght with open eye)
So priketh hem Nature in hir corages
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages

And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seeke.
(http://www.bremesoftware.com/Chaucer/intro.htm)

is there something you've memorized at some point and can recite anytime anywhere?

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Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
10:02 pm
slimming the wrist with tiny beads. feeling their run against the knuckles. threaded an umbrella beside the bicycle spokes. i tell you what. i will tell you what. your hair against the floor. i keep thinking my body might act out in the middle of the night. so i leave the curtains open. maybe there is someone watching from the late to bed. the lights still on. the night black bled.

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Saturday, August 23rd, 2008
12:20 am

, originally uploaded by if objects are much too solid.

back in japan. this has become my summer bedroom. it keeps me closer to the open window and streaming moonlight through the gauze curtains. its also nice to be sleeping on the cot case and jules left me under sara's stream of origami cranes. its really going to start sinking in who is gone when i make the typical weekend move to sendai. empty streets. this year, like the two before it, perhaps like the twenty six before it actually, will be different. quieter.

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Friday, August 22nd, 2008
10:19 pm - thank you casey and zombies







Zombie Letters from e-zombie.com

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Wednesday, August 20th, 2008
11:50 am - the dimension of my apartment had been bothered.
astoundingly jet lag neither took its toll upon me going or coming back. there was some degree of oddity of the senses however. i kept feeling like i was pushing solid walls to have them wavering under my head or against my hand. when i walked into my apartment the dimensions had been bothered by what i have to presume was the more familiar re-acquiantence with the dimensions of my childhood home.

dutifully i took ij with me everywhere. chicago to new york to chicago back to japan via tokyo to sendai to kawasaki. the book is well traveled. about as well traveled as i. and i didn't just take it to those places. i read it in those places no matter how few pages i could get through dependent on the level of focus and amount of time i had at my disposal.

as the book went on there were more and more instances which gave me the howling fantods. the fact that hal seemed to be meeting the news of the "forehead" instance with knee-slapping-hilarious-face which he was unaware of. an incapability of facial control which i would like to point out begins as we watch the unfolding of the about to become disasterous eschaton game. which i say by way of saying i am not entirely convinced that hal took the dmz, but rather that there was something already happening inside of him. be that metobolizing his own dmz from the childhood mold eating fiasco or not. anything wraith related also gave/gives me the howling fantods, by the way.

i have certain other questions and theories about what it is that's going on exactly. in fact two of the largest questions i have seem to align with two of the most discussed questions i am finding others are left with. what happened to hal? and what happened between the physical end of the novel and the last moment in time in the novel. last moment which i being desirous to pin down went back and reread the first seventeen pages again and a couple other choice sections (discussion of the dmz in which pemulis informs us of the guy singing ethel mermen in a cell corner {"'I mean literally lost his mind, like the massive dose picked his mind up and carried it off somewhere and put it down someplace and forgot where.'" (214)} and gately's dream of digging up j.o.i.'s head).

I'll get back to both of those. first though, something i did immediately after finishing the book is apropos of how this whole thing began about two months ago in the first place, research.

i came across two particularly interesting things. one a list of differences between the manuscript for ij and the published book (http://www.thehowlingfantods.com/ij_first.htm) which didn't necessarily shed any light on what might have happened w/r/t my burning questions, but was one of those very excellent for someone who writes things to see. like, yeah, dude did some major edits. if you will. the second thing were a set of notes (http://www.dfan.org/jest/txt) by one dan schmidt which were great to read in that they provided the casual run through of the thoughts someone else had post reading which i find immensely useful and interesting and enlightening. bring them on commentors.

so, my questions.

what happens to hal? this is indeed an obvious one. oddly enough it is hard for me to get a handle of hal. at the physical end of the book he has come to terms with the fact that for the first time he can remember he doesn't want to play tennis. he is obviously acting "strangely" though i am not sure this is actually any stranger than he has acted the bulk of the book. and the shift into first person. the notion that this means we are now actually getting hal. hal direct. not third person notions of hal which however omnipotent have to suggest distance whether or not hal is the narrator of the entire novel. as in if hal is narrating the whole thing then the third person would suggest his feeling out of body, distanced from self, and if he is not then we have the actual difference of body, somebody else doing the telling. this is, of course, always the case even in the first person as we are conscious of the fact that dfw is always doing the writing. i think hal is narrating. i think whatever has "changed" hal (see above) is coming from inside hal. but that doesn't mean that i don't have questions. especially after rereading the first seventeen pages. how is it that hal seems to be able to play tennis despite the fact that he cannot verbalize anything outwardly and seems to also not have control over his basic motor skills. does this mean, as he thinks about being well rested from sedation from the semi-s that hal is somehow able to perform beautifully at tennis still or that he is delusional? i am opting to believe he is still pure ballet on the court in which case i also think about the fact that he says his ankle hasn't hurt for over a year at the beginning of the book, in the year of glad. does this mean that he has let go of his body. much in the same way that letting go of wanting to know the name of something or a word brings it bubbling up to him at the endish of the book. as in to let go is to have entirely. to let go is to not feel pain and to let the body perform in that place, the one e.t.a. is so bent on teaching its students to be able to cacoon into while in the game. the one they are hoping will save the one's who make it to the show from the show. there is also a disjoint in the hal we leave off with and the one that opens the novel. which beckons my second major question, what has happened between the physical end and the last moment in time of ij.

but before that, two things. one, how lovely gately and hal are. how it seems in the sweating and the fever dreams and the recall that gately with something down his throat going to who knows where is working through what we can obstensibly assume hal will be going through in the year we do not see. gately is going through thoughts without the ability to express them in the ways in which we are used to expressing. he is laid flat by the sheer force of contemplation. and in this emerge a million things. like he has been all along getting to a point which necessitates he damn well better just lie flat and think about the whole damn thing. i mean, the necessity for a kind of quiet that's actually maybe the loudest thing anyone would have to go through with all those thoughts and wraiths and spectors jumbled and knocking around. take too the fact that gately has tended to be more muscle and hal more brain this whole time anyway and it kind of makes sense how they are even brought to what i think are pretty relatable eventual circumstances. gately by what's shoved down his throat and hal who knows how, but certainly, i think, in a more abstract and more very lasting way.

and two, a long quote from ij pages sixteen and seventeen. hal "speaking".

"I will be conveyed to an Emergency Room of some kind, where I will be detained as long as I do not respond to the questions, and then, when I do respond to questions, I will be sedated; so it will be inversion of standard travel, the ambulance and ER: I'll make the journey first, then depart. I think very briefly of the late Cosgrove Watt. I think of the hypophalangial Grief-Therapist. I think of the Moms, alphabetizing cans of soup in the cabinet over the microwave. Of Himself's umbrella hung by its handle from the edge of the mail table just inside the Headmaster's House's foyer. The bad ankle hasn't ached once this whole year. I think of John N.R. Wayne, who would have won this year's What-a-Burger, standing watch in a mask as Donald Gately and I dig up my father's head. There's very little doubt that Wayne would have won. ... I will be out in plenty of time for tomorrow's semi; I trust Uncle Charles. Tonight's winner is almost sure to be Dymphna, sixteen but with a birthday two weeks under the 15 April deadline: and Dymphna will be tired tomorrow at 0830, while I, sedated, will have slept like a graven image. I have never before face Dymphna in tournament play, nor played with the sonic balls the blind require, but I watched him barely dispatch Petropolis Kahn in the Round of 16, and I know he is mine.

It will start in the E.R., at the intake desk is C.T.'s late in following the ambulance, or in the green-tiled room after the room with the invasive-digital machines; or, given this special M.D.-supplied ambulance, maybe on the ride itself: some blue-jawed M.D. scrubbed to an antiseptic glow with his name sewn in cursive on his white coat's breast pocket and a quality desk-set pen, wanting gurneyside Q&A, eitology and diagnosis by Socratic method, ordered and point-by-point. There are, by the O.E.D. VI's count, nineteen nonarchaic synonyms for unresponsive, of which nine are Latinate and four Saxonic. I will play either Stice or Polep in Sunday's final. ... It will be someone blue-collar and unlicensed, though, inevitably—a nurse's aide with quick-bit nails, a hospital security guy, a tired Cuban orderly who addresses me as jou—who will, looking down the middle of some kind of bustled task, catch what he sees as my eye and ask So to then man what's your story?"

the passage really highlights a lot of the questions i have about the year of time that has passed, which, by the way, i am a little confused by, is this the what-a-burger they were anticipating? or one a year later? could it be a full year later? when does the tournament take place? one would assume in the thick of summer, which means that its the next year, year of glad, but not a whole year could have passed? and if admission discussions are occurring we are on the brink of the academic year beginning or is it much sooner than that? i have always been hard with time and consistency and some of it comes from my not remembering details more than fault in the writing {which i have, in rereading, settled for myself as this indeed being the what-a-burger we have been anticipating taking place in the year of glad which means a full year has not passed, something like so many months have and figuring out that i misread the ankle bit to signify the passage of a year when it really was saying so far this year, year of glad}. i'm just going to keep tossing out questions here, because that seems fruitful for elaborating the questions i have, ne. what happened to john wayne? he was masked and presiding over the too late dig up of jim's head gately and hal went through, but then what? he's not playing the tournament though he would have won? and this line, "so it will be inversion of standard travel, the ambulance and ER: I'll make the journey first, then depart." which baffles me to no end since i am pretty sure there is something quite significant in it, but i cannot understand it entirely. it seems in some way to be setting up the frame for the entire telling of the "story" of ij. which the second paragraph does in telling us some unqualified someone or other will ask for his story, and he will tell it, giving creedence to the potential narrator as being hal. but its more than that. making the journey first and then being able to depart seems to be very much what hal is doing here. having been pretty much unaware of what was happening in the time it was happening and then being able to depart, really leave and head into some other thing. to be able to depart in to speech. speech which j.o.i. was so certain he was no longer doing toward the end of Himself's life and which he is now not conveying, but probably doing a hell of a lot of really concrete stuff of.

and a few other things.

who was it that hal saw outside in the snow on the bleacher's when he looked outside the window where stice was foreheaded? what was going on with stice? gately sees jim's wraith at the hospital. and while it might seem like jim's wraith is also the one who is "haunting" e.t.a. i have no real idea why he would also be speaking to stice. in fact i think that the person the darkness is communicating with is actually jim sr., father of j.o.i. consider that the darkness seems to be getting information about objects. the life of objects and how to treat objects. this is something that jim sr. seems to hold near and dear to his heart, recall the chapter about how he ultimately busted his knees the one time his own father came to see a match. what does pemulis want to talk about? what has he found that requires serious interface? and what has he been doing? there is plenty more, but basically it amounts to the fact that i want to teach a class on ij. want to go over it once again and do it in a room of other minds dealing with it and their own little systems of associations and word beck and calls they are attuned to taking them in all sorts of interesting directions.

ultimately, for me, the reading of ij has been an incredibly intricate study of the american psychosis. {"One of his troubles with his Moms is the fact that Avril Incandenza believes she knows him inside and our as a human being, and an internally worthy one at that, when in fact inside Hal there's pretty much nothing at all, he knows. His Moms Avril hears her own echoes inside him and thinks what she hears is him, and this makes Hal feel the one thing he feels to the limit, lately: he is lonely." (694)} and despite evidence to the contrary i am unwilling to believe that that also means it cannot stretch to the world's psychosis in some ways. meaning that while there are components which are very much "american" in nature, they are not exclusively so. given too their detailed context then we can easily come to understand how these things manifest in different contexts in superficially different, but deeply similar ways. listen, i am a person of empathy. i think it is incredibly hard for me to suspend judgement and to empathize and to entirely immerse myself to be intrinsically aware of what it is that is seemingly somewhere else or in someone else. i am trying to do these things because i feel they are important. i try to empathize with my own feelings too. to not be wrapped uncontrollably inside of them in an excuse ridden way that disallows any outside empathy and so promotes the poor kind of selfishness. to stand aside at once and obviously succumb to them, the feelings.

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Monday, August 18th, 2008
8:27 pm
i finished ij. have about a million things to say. related and unrelated and eventually relatable to that. will make attempts to write those things. for now i am just a little exhausted. i sort of kept postponing finishing today because it made me sad to think i would finish. knowing there was a big huge hole i would be left in the middle of. how could there not be?

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Thursday, August 14th, 2008
10:00 am - nyc

, originally uploaded by if objects are much too solid.

day one: hanging out with the poets. curry fries outside of "a salt and battery". the strand. brooklyn with sisters.

day two: hooting construction workers and noisy bagels. staten island (ferry). cats and dog. craft night. old horror films.

day three: kate's joint. japan, too. gobo. olympics.

day four (morning): cafe grumpy. meandering. plane.

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Sunday, August 10th, 2008
1:58 pm

, originally uploaded by if objects are much too solid.

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1:58 pm

, originally uploaded by if objects are much too solid.

angelic, isn't he?

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Friday, August 8th, 2008
4:34 pm

, originally uploaded by if objects are much too solid.

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5:51 am

, originally uploaded by if objects are much too solid.

feeling a little boatish. drifting. thinking a lot more things than i am saying and that's okay because i know a lot of very smart people. all afloat. miss _'s shape. curving against the pavement. we'll catch.

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Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
1:52 pm

, originally uploaded by if objects are much too solid.

soy!

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Monday, August 4th, 2008
2:40 pm - my father & i

, originally uploaded by if objects are much too solid.

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9:13 am

, originally uploaded by if objects are much too solid.

so begins the digging through old pictures and putting some on the internets. i'll also start categorizing tendencies i haven't dropped: i was always a show off.

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Sunday, August 3rd, 2008
1:41 am - at a certain level of abstraction it's like the brain recoils
The Moms revealed that if you're not crazy then speaking to someone who isn't there is termed apostrophe and is valid art. Mario'd fallen in love with the first Madame Psychosis programs because he felt like he was listening to someone sad read out loud from yellow letters she'd taken out of a shoebox on a rainy P.M., stuff about heartbreak and people you loved dying and U.S. woe, stuff that was real. It is increasingly hard to find valid art that is about stuff that is real in this way. The older Mario gets, the more confused about the fact that everyone E.T.A. over the age of about Kent Blott finds stuff that's really real uncomfortable and they get embarrassed. It's like there is some rule that real stuff can only get mentioned if everybody rolls their eyes or laughs in a way that isn't happy. The worst-feeling thing that happened today was at lunch when Michael Pemulis told Mario he had an idea for setting up a Dial-a-Prayer telephone service for atheists in which the atheist dials the number and the line just rings and rings and no one answers. It was a joke and a good one, and Mario got it; what was unpleasant was that Mario was the only one at the big table whose laugh was a happy laugh; everybody else sort of looked down like they were laughing at somebody with a disability. The whole issue was far above Mario's head, and he was unable to understand Lyle's replies when he tried to bring the confusion up. And Hal was for once no help, because Hal seemed even more uncomfortable and embarrassed than the fellows at lunch, and when Mario brought up real stuff Hal called him Booboo and acted like he'd wet himself and Hal was going to be very patient about helping him change.

my reading of late (650-ish) has been swimming in a confluence of conversations i have been having and films (an angel at my table, the darjeeling limited, and l'enfant) i have been watching. the thing i love about being back here is what an absolute throw of this and that even near urban worlds are. a tangle and mess of everyone's thoughts and psychosis obviously worn on the face and in the heart across the spray of thoughts verbalized or symbolized. which all seems fitting in with the complex ways in which the having built pieces are now starting to complexly bring themselves up against one another. i am in the euphoria of it all. the fast push and pull and smash and crash of this and that. the phenomenal bits about lenz and green and the canadians and the resulting troubles of having people shift their cars to the opposite side of the street post curfew and the shooting of one gately and joelle beside. how mario wanders down to ennett at night. how horribly created we are by the things that have happened to us that we cannot shake, but cannot quite see either.

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Saturday, August 2nd, 2008
2:42 am - this day & night is all wonderful jasper
.

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Friday, August 1st, 2008
3:25 pm - home home
considered notions of home. something about adult life and consciousness has made me say that home to me is nyc and japan. this is true. when i think of home i think of these places that i know how to get around. that i do not feel i can get lost in. that i can take you through in restaurants and venues and parks. chicago is otherwise. in some ways it isn't home. the rooming i have done here kept to the under the thumb of youth and the suburban perimeter. but slowly. in the year i taught here after grad school and in the two weeks that i have been home, a mid-way point scratched, the grid is settling. so what i have i been up to? i have seen or will be seeing people i met in japan, college, high school, grad school, taught, was taught by, know through someone else, know directly. this is the highlight of things i must say. people people. given that i am pretty sure that the best thing about people is being one enough to be aware of what they are and thoroughly confused. i have also made a good deal of food with my grandmother, walked a bunch of well landscaped outdoor malls and botanical gardens and parks and streets, gone to a really nice show, read, sat on the grass, played frisbee, navigated streets that sounded vaguely familiar and areas that became immensely familiar using the cardinal directions. been mean, but only once or twice, been nice most of the time. had an eye exam and observed like one could not believe. observed like every second of everything. watched a couple movies in the late night darkness of everyone sleeping. and remembered. and looked ahead. and felt some things i have not felt in a pretty long time and a bunch i feel on a nice even basis. being home home is nice. i am happy to be back. and i will also be happy to go back to japan. and i like that i am both going back in both instance and still moving forward into somethings i don't yet know.

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11:08 am

, originally uploaded by if objects are much too solid.

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