Saturday, March 11, 2006

Defiant Reading

subjective asemic postulates

as one route through the experiential, a moment encountered as encoded information is decoded in the sensorium to a biosemiotic aggregate subsequently reencoded as language. at this distance, twice-removed, we find ourselves cognizant of our own experiences. human commonality in the sense of its social utility is predicated upon the assurance of subjective experience having become relatively homogenous through its encipherment in shared language. as one route through this encipherment, we might posit as its root components the recognizable variations on the standard shapes ascribed to a set of alphabeticals used in its written depiction. another, related route would investigate the sounds evoked under normative conditions by this same set of alphabeticals. by mutating the standard alphabetical forms, asemic writing destabilizes the encipherment at the site of its visible construction. asemic writing necessitates processes of navigation and decipherment only analogous to normative reading strategies. reading becomes recombinative, recuperative, and improvisational, in direct transgression of normative linguistic homogeneity, opening to a reconstituted subjectivity of experience within language. a strictly semiotic system is reconfigured as asemic when subjectivity assumes primacy for its interpretive elaboration. one effect of this is to introduce the seductive fallacy of having returned to an origin or immediacy, as if the act of destabilizing a human code could erase the human factor from a continual dialectic of the coded, the decoded, and the reencoded. destabilization of the alphabeticals disables received strategies of reading, thus opening the asemic text to interpretive experiences outside the set of acceptable interactions as reading. consensus reality is not communicable by an asemic field. structural censorship constraining the spectrum of permissible experience is not enforceable within an asemic field. hierarchical stratifications of the dominant culture, delineating slots and roles for authorities and subalterns, are available only as transparently arbitrary constructions within an asemic field. the asemic text offers an alternative subjectivity, a site for extrapolations of the experiential, in direct opposition to any homogenous template sanctioned in the diminished capacities of socially- and linguistically-constructed identities. the asemic writer extends an openness, an absence, to the reader. as one route through this absence, we might posit the provisional reinvention of reading as a radical extrapolation of subjective experience. nomadic reading strategies along the rhizome of the asemic insinuate fractal basins for the anarchic subject.


Viz & Po

in writing, as the time spent at it, to begin the work of reconstructive conservation on subjectivity itself, before it becomes the ghosted recollection of an antiquated proclivity.
intersubjectivity as preemptive theory ratifies a detritus in our demise, as if to imagine a salvific sludge palpably among us, to offer this constructed consensus as the progression empirically absent in our cultural accumulation.

the sentence, not entirely here as elsewhere, to stanchion the prolegomena to a lethal fiction, crenelated parapets against all assurance of enduring in duration.

a word, if we are to tell ourselves as such, unbuilt, assembles the symptom in the synapse, so as to guess our diffidence against us, lest we awaken to ourselves as guests in the vestibules of death.

letters are less truant to our experiential chaos. recombinant glyphs against the stable sense. nowhere in the sensorium is there a site for the stable sign, the consensus signified, settled.

sentences expand through words to letters towards experience and act. letters reduce to words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, books.

the persistent viz in po occurs where the syllables are seamed. at the site of poetic sounding.

vizpo, if it is to be po and not just viz, should retain a salient trace of its origin in sound.


a few notes on some subsyllabic determinants of rhythmic patterns

duration must be factored in when determining componential relations within a rhythmic unit

the space, pause, between words is a component either of the preceding or of the following rhythmic unit

subsyllabic determinants shift the shape of rhythmic units

clank plunk bonk
clank clunk clonk

in this example, lingual shifts determine rhythmic shifts

rhythmic components aggregate semantically within and among words

subsyllabic rhythmic components aggregate phonetically

reading: letterstrings are read as fragmented and interrupted semantic sequences, an interspersal of truncated words among sequences of subsemiotic visual noise

c lank p lun k bon k
clan k cl un k cl on k

sounding: letterstrings are sounded as aggregates arranged in phonemic, phonetic, lingual and caesural units


letteral interrelations enact the experiential nexus. as the aggregate units grow larger, the connections become less clear.



What do we think in words about words? Gaps in electrochemical continuity remove us experientially from experience to a system of processes among nonlocal nodes, thought itself instantiated as an experiential becoming neither experience nor mirrored language. We would model this as an image and likely append a text.

If an image as if in a thought experiment were strained through a sluice, or more precisely, if a text as if in a poem were strained through an image — memory is a kind of thought experiment, or a model of one as if in a text/image poem — then the voids of infinite smallness, cathected components of the electrochemistry, would comprise the primary substance of thought, the quarks as it were of experience imagined through a lens of words.

I write to get close. We want to get it right, or we tell ourselves that when we’re thinking about desire, when we’ve forgotten almost entirely about getting things right. Forgetting is half the journey. There’s only one method of forgetting worth remembering — the sacred path, low and crooked, very close to the path of attentive love.

Poetry would be the obvious choice, if not for the ubiquitous duplicity of being. When you think you see poetry as the obvious choice you are in the presence of the trickster dancing his favorite hoax.

Sometimes this is harsh enough, most often not. We like to sleep through our dreams, and the dream of annihilation is no exception.

This is why I write, because love is both ubiquitous and unique — the next best thing to impossible — and quite likely will kill us all sooner than we think.


translated, means literally “always guard the sweet spot”, a curious and somewhat cryptic miscegenation of basketball and baseball metaphors, with obvious sexual undertoes and partials. a visual poem cannot by accident be less experiential than the text a sculpture some leaf rocks slippery after the hurricane passes, then snow and ice in winter. collage cuts-up the individual like time run backwards through a sentence, though inexactly, like a person parsed passed through a center, holds as a fictional necessity and abject correlative, but whose name is deliberately misspelled. there are only two experiential givens, if the experiential is taken as a variety of the transcendental absolute, plato’s geometrical cavefish: uniqueness and change, either of which alone is too noisy to fit between two punctuations. at the top of your to do list today please enter the following: do something that doesn’t change the world. this means, simply, pay attention, and it will ruin your day. we make collages because there is only one sense, touch, but we have five distinct ways of reading the data, therefore we are physically incapable of making the world seem more complex than it actually is. collage flourishes when the soul is an angry refugee, when the economic disparities threaten to explode like televisions at an art school. experience is not a found object; it’s a readymade-aided, and you collectively are responsible for its text. after an indeterminate series of days ruined by attentiveness as you awaken to your private heaven in the sun, the curse of subjectivity, sweat-drenched and dying from an ancient adolescence, there is simply too much flesh memory synchronous nomadic desire, the present distended, presence like an excess of porous flesh stretched across the cosm, the chasm between subjectivities, you sense as if at random dire marvels of connectivity, but we lose sight of the thread scent of ariadne touch with ourselves and the world, the real, as we search for the commune of uniqueness unchanging. i wouldn’t have it any other way, but don’t let the pronouns fool you. we are in this collage as writers, forest for the trees and the opposite is equally true, note the exact time and place as you read this: 1) it’s far too crowded, a certain sign of imprecision, though greater precision will merely magnify complexity and clarify little or nothing; 2) all the same, it’s impossible to replace yourself in precisely this time and space. therefore, collage exists, and also sound as touch, see for instance the sounds touched through the eyes. not all collages are visual poems, of course, many are mostly analogous to paintings. nero was a drooling madman, no positive connotations whatsoever intended, and as such has come to symbolize for some of us the manipulation of history by ruling elites to quarantine the powers of artistic attentiveness during times of hegemonic malevolence. fiddling, then, or the making of collages some of which are visual sound poems, but perhaps that’s better left unsaid. new thinking will produce new behavior. the homogenization of experience is a strategy designed to train our dendrites to a trellis. the repetition of old behaviors reinforces and entrenches old ways of thinking. extremes of attentiveness, as in artistic attentiveness, render the very concept of repetition inadequate to experience, precisely inaccurate. there is no such thing as repetition; there is uniqueness, and there is change. the five readings of touch in the flux of time teach us this if nothing else. change is always phase transition, ice to water water to steam, the old into the new, and is always chaotic. if in thinking, then inside the self no longer singular retraining the readings to renewed subjective experience. an anarchy enters us as touch. collage as a form can be seen as a metaphor for cooperation. take it or leave it, say what you will, it’s a big risk either way. some of us are already into the phase transition. things are beginning to seem a bit chaotic from where i sit, writing and reading this, 8:09 am, wednesday morning, 10.15.03, 1512 mountainside ct charlottesville va usa jim leftwich


singing the flat opaque. each letter a thicket of vines distinctly our moan and squeak, copse into which the rabbit flops grinning from ear to ear, wrung through a wavy grid. ornament is the oldest tradition of every surface. an ornament in isolation, or in any context other than its own, is a glyph, primordial aura around the priority of speech, and prior to that the embryonic phonemes of the hunt, vocables of sex and harvest. the letters entered through the eyes as birds’ feet and broken trees and their birds built nests in the forks of the tongue. an asemic glyph is everything other than a return to the thing recalled, thus its campanulate kinship with the syllable, its stylitic refusal of the word, even as the letters revolt, serfs wielding their serifs like swords words worlds collapse into their opacity, unless we chance to sing them in defiance of azoic intent. asemia is not silence, nor is it any sort of absence, it is a song imploded everted, imbricate membrance. our words belong to our discarded calendars, to a childhood of astrology earlier than eleusis, or to the murder of kennedy and planes flying into towers. we want our words to transmute into glyphs, easier to thread a camel through the last straw in a haystack, then to transmute these glyphs back into words. glyphs live in the future, gandharvas across a bardo, we coax glimpsed sound from memory of things to come. in its purest form, a syllable is a vowel. much the same can be said for the singularity of a glyph. in the company of words glyphs cloak themselves in surface, and hide their songs like vowels inside a sentence. they gaze out at the reader like mute ornamental gargoyles. we read around them, shy and tedious, like the broken image of an elf. pixies among their pylons juggle our refuse and cavort for the surveillance cameras. they build pueblos of basalt at the base of the brain. dreams sweat feathery purr of missiles. polyphonic medulla sex in the gaps of signs.


emptying by filling. the inverse of tsimtsum is horror vacuii. ex nihilo nothing, as before the white void no need for god, so engendering herself against the coming hymn, each empty screen no crystal ball foretelling its future text. rupture expands along curved space to close as its own suture. calligraphy is an excess of writing, written at the closure of chaos where reading connects to looking, as the record of that particular oscillation, quantum letters quivering in a zero-point fluctuation. the non-locality of the particular as a signifier presupposes its atemporal signification. reading is always in time, imbricate coordinates of a matrix enfolded (b)looms, but writing occurs ahead of itself, thus the archaic science of a hybrid self. presently the moment past memory returns just out of reach, a mitosis of the calligraphic sign, and barely enough is emptied for the minute to map its pulse. since such you’re less surfeit a crowded selves.


A Brief Bible of Defiant Reading

the human eye is quicker than a chinese hopping spider. thus in reading the eye traverses the terraced chasms of the tao.

“give a man a fish and he will work all day. teach him to fish and he will eat you for lunch.” —chairman lao tzu

type moves at the speed of ink through sinews and fibers or at the speed of arithmetic among binary ephemera thus slowing the organic antics of the eye, which eases us ever closer to the momentous inertia of human culture.

reading is a process of dissembling the collapsible ideology of one’s local ecology. meaning is constructed through the labored disassembling of an osmotic aggregate.

the nimble fragility of the eye encourages in reading a conflation of subtlety with subjectivity and is perceived as a threat to the lucrative comfort zones of the holy socius.

when reading mercurial recounts of corporate tenacity and political autochthony the eye everts in a slow implosion and oozes against the synapses like ink from a frozen octopus.

images should be read as molten and bloated letterstrings from the secret text hidden in plain view. an image is a scrap of text offering itself on the inedible scale of maximum human aggrandizement. this is why humans tend to sleep through their dreams.

as a lunar moth is to an epson stylus 880 color printer, so also is the human eye to a keyboard before a screen. if the printer is beneath a lamp, as it should be, then the eye is like a butterfly, also as it should be, and the passage from screen to sheet is but a moment’s blink.

“a fish in the eye is worth two in the boot.” —sir jesus of christmas

“the letters are alien sperm.” —acidophilus kuttner (antwerp, 1460)

the aphorism drawn taut connects the horizon to its etymon : an it harm no man, read what thou wilt.


Jim Leftwich