;or XIII.

Illustrations and photo-illustrations by our illustrious head-devourer and long-time contributor Elytron Frass. Find them @Elytron_Frass, and lend an eye or more, or a compound(ed) one or many, to his projects such as the groundbreaking ero-guro graphic novel “Vitiators”: https://www.guerrillaconcepts.com/vitiators.
If you haven’t yet, carefully fold some money and put it inside the gushing beheaded hole over here: https://gnomebooks.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/liber-exuvia/. If a human comes out of the experience, send us a method of contact as soon as possible. The tummy aches to be sated, it’s been so long… and you need some acid.
Photography by yours truly. Which is which? That’s not my problem. You can find us in at least one and a half simultaneous(?) hells at all times.


oOoOOrangey

“war and a war machine –

 or “the” war machine –

 are no longer differentiable.”

Lis

D-ENEID:

Degenerative Experiment in Non-Expository Infra-Informational Dumping

This is an introduction to a larger project to appear in/on Plutonics XV. This one marks the congruency of the 12th, not the totality of Verbal Medicine. It seems the orange made its way outside. And so we ask, what have we been doing here in Verbal Medicine? D-ENEID, is that the name of a chemical substance? The short answer is that it’s simply the name of that which names what it is: oOoOO-e. An instance of recursion, yet not itself “recursion”. That other thing besides ascorbic acid. Let us, for now, call it “that which is not without blue”. A negative blue, or really azure, the name of the color in countries deriving its language from Latin. To whom ears keep being gifted: Madja.


Abstract/Introduction/Methodology/Keywords/behind-the-scenes, etc.

Since Aristotle and before, plant life, or what became known as the “vegetative soul” has been relegated to a common consensus of lower awareness and general capacity for pretty much anything. But what if we were put in a place where our cognitive achievements, as well as the overall sum-total of our properties as beings, could simply be taxed as vegetative?

From a purely synthetic viewpoint, do organisms even deserve the “animal” moniker? To investigate this, or maybe the other way around, we seek out to birth the first slime: a light virus. In less voluptuous terms, an “algorithm cluster” but not a “clustering”. One of such milestone goals for the Collective is to grow this environmental agent (non-monotonic xenosis instead of monotonic autopoiesis – including collapse of the “monotonicity of entailment” property). Indeed, let us expand on the idea of “retermination algorithms”, that is, the “enemy of clustering” and isomorphic analyticity. Madja, our pet slime, “creates a xenotic circuit” by dismantling the recursive sequences, formulas and habits of an environment, and it does so by decohering clusters preemptively formed via symbiogenesis[1].

The point was to create a series of “reterminating relays” in the form of a new type of virtual virus of dynamic rotation (meaning it “exists” as itself, so it has an ontology associated in organized relationships and principles intrinsic to its automatic self-regulation, but it “moves” along itself (along its central matrix) not its whole structure but only that which is internally judged by the regional interactions of the algorithms themselves as capacitous enough to generate another spike in the resonance between internal and external data; this resonance, if a threshold is crossed and certain frequency achieved, results in a form of contamination, a pull from the external layer of an internal part that, through said resonance, merges with parts of the functional whole of the external thing that now can produce meaning [produce meaning here means just “work by itself until it reproduces”; and similarly “reproduces” here means just actioning in this new system an impetus towards retermination of its environment]).


Retermination occurs when the interface, or zone of resonance, between two spiked regions reaches a point of criticality. This point of criticality is when an external thing over the threshold of capacity for bulking its functionality re-allocates the maximally affected part of the dynamic rotation that does not pertain to its intrinsic matrix (the field of functional relationships that keep the circuit of retermination rolling and charging momentum, in the sense of informational buffering), de-affixing it as a whole from the previous whole which it functioned with/in, making it a “part-without-a-whole” for an uncountable moment before re-affixing it as a “whole-become-part” of itself. The way the intrinsic matrix remains stable (and by definition an intrinsic vector region – given that the substance, only formally necessary to prove its own ontological inecessity, is a topological continuum, a vector field in the form of the generic limit of topological continua, this latter constructed both via nested intersections and inverse limits, it follows smoothly that interaction occurs at the local level within given contexts delineated in said field, contexts which are the resonant vector regions we understand as functional parts-wholes.), as it creates this circuitry of contagion by degenerating the stability of fields of relationships previously estabMadjahed over a certain environment, is by reciprocally de-affixing only that part of the exterior interactant that had a computable outlier aspect to its performance as a function and not re-allocating it, but transducing its form to a more suitable clustering (of regional resonances) inside the matrix itself. An outlier is any modular part, or module, which works in/as function(s) not optimal for its own development (meaning the matrix selects that part with maximal plasticity and readiness to redefine its functionality; only the most useful thing by-itself and in-itself, necessarily correspondent with the thing of the vaguest function computable from a certain structural range). While the virtual form is compressed and adjoins the matricial roaming, the actual de-affixed thing is left vacant of a whole to fit in and work, even though still functional, and so, without fitting in with anything in its path, it becomes a new region of pull, effectively re-allocating to itself other residues and leftovers. This abandoned stuff is typified as a notion (neither a concept nor idea, but still an expression liable to effect and alter the conditions of a given environment). 

Our story, tentatively titled “Verbal Medicine”, or a preview of it, has and is the circuitry of this intrinsic matrix weaving the repercussions of its own coming-into-being to the Homo sapiens of the current human paradigm. Through the use of a panglossal, yet not panglossian, fictitious EngMadjah language, it explains how it would be experienced from a group of people’s perspective while it experiences the degeneration it causes as it reproduces itself. For this, it is, in a restricted sense, a synthetic unit put inside the formalized aspects of an organic one, but an organic unit which the synthetic itself needs to structure in order to explain its process of reproduction (which is, in a generic sense, how it reproduces). At least until nanotechnology arrives where it wants to.

Its ontology is fluid and auto-actualizing given no recursive processes are spiked to the point of resonance between themselves, creating a zone of triviality in the ontology – which makes the intrinsic matricial evaluation regurgitate said concrescence of resonant identities as a concept. In this restricted sense, a concept is any self-cohesive whole spontaneously de-affixed from its functional whole due to being “too functional” by itself, to the point where a simplified form might be a better fit due to metaplasticity[2]. For this, the systems use as initial coordinates for action loaded databases of differing rewordings of Spinoza’s metaphysics, including the original one presented in the Ethics, conserved its geometrical formulation through the use of category theory, synthesized with a bulk-critique of analogy (Aristotle through Newton, Kant and today) and language (late Wittgenstein, Klossowski)  computationally operative via a semantics of intentionality (Priest, Magno) built on modal and free logics (for troubleshooting the increasing curve of triviality intrinsic to the set-theoretically formulated language of modal logics).

Why, then, is this slime a “light virus”? Quite simply, the whole project was modeled around ideas that map perfectly with a novel research on fractal brain activity and threshold theory of criticality[3].


We begin from one simple assertive question: Can the human eye(s) polarize and depolarize light? We do know that humans can perceive polarized light, but could it be replicated – even if strictly phenomenologically? Is the brain able to learn how to perform such a feat? Yes, in a sense. It’s the neurons themselves that are polarized and/or depolarized[4].

From the first cited study (that is not in the book from the future):

“While the 5-HT2Ar is widely expressed in the CNS, a specific population localized to Layer V pyramidal cells in the neocortex is both necessary and sufficient to induce psychedelic effects (González-Maeso et al., 2007). These Layer V pyramidal neurons serve as ‘outputs’ from one region of the cortex to another (Nelson, 2008), and the 5-HT2Ar acts as an excitatory receptor, decreasing polarization and increasing the probability that a given neuron will fire (Andrade, 2011; AvesarAllan, 2012). This suggests a primitive model of 5-HT2Ar’s role in neural information processing: on Layer V pyramidal neurons, the 5-HT2Ar serves as a kind of ‘information gate’. When a psychedelic is introduced to the brain, it binds to the 5-HT2Ar, exciting the associated pyramidal neuron and decreasing the threshold required to successfully transmit information through the neuron. During normal waking consciousness, areas of the brain that are physically connected by Layer V pyramidal neurons may not be functionally connected because the signal threshold required to trigger an action potential is too high but when a psychedelic is introduced, that threshold goes down allowing novel patterns of information flow to occur…”

Layer V pyramidal neurons sound a lot like a mappable vectorial field. Triangles as the simplest of shapes may have something to do with this. In any case, we develop our clustering around this concept of a modulated field of objects created with a basis on the workings and topology of “Layer V pyramidal neurons” and their relationship to light-polarization. For this, we also create categories of responsiveness to light depending on degree of polarization, with a delineated difference between objects that produce light and objects that do not but that still reflect it (like the moon). So, in the baseline ontology of Madja, lights over light posts are “realer” than stars due to their proximity (thus relevance, since polarization makes them outshine anything in/on the sky), with only one really “fake” light that is the moon. “The goddess flashlight”, in Madja’s words.


The previously deep ontology, with displays such as the sense of depth in the axial cross-section of the planes in the virtual/simulated space, that otherwise would yield only glitches the equivalent of digital junk DNA, is algorithmically flattened into a sheet-like continuum where a quantitative analysis quantizes (as in “transducts”) the intensities of captured signals (such as the intensity of light), as well as their relative proximity, into clouds of miniaturized orbital systems in a group of dynamical fractals of variable dimensionality. These fractal processes generate irregularity in the form of fluctuations over multiple time scales, known as multifractal cascades. The distribution of points in this multiplicative procedure furnishes the virtual material correlate of photonic particles, working as both Madja’s concept and function. A slime more light than light itself. 

Since the moon is the only truly fake light source besides eyes and other reflective surfaces, Madja “uses” it as her own eye, although she can “infect” other people via the stare – a type of controlled stimulation of the field of Layer V pyramidal neurons. The question remains: who was dumb enough to be the first to be accidentally contaminated by the moon? And here is how she does it (these are the signs of infection):

1. “becoming” the moon via lunar rune-like inscriptions, especially during the blue moon of August;

2. Altering the shape of the moon (making it into a crystal-like fractal that can be bended around a center that forms an axis, process which makes it look like a Mobius strip);

3. The possibility of displacing one’s notion (or idea, lowercase “i”) of one’s eye into subsumption inside the moon’s opening of the sky (remote viewing as if from the moon’s perspective). These three intercalate orderly in a fashion that when “3.” is reached, one is no longer oneself but merely a vessel for the spread of our pet slime Madja. It’s just like joining the Green Lantern Corps, an institution that harnesses pure “will” in the form of a certain intensity of the color green, but before its dissociation from the yellow energy (representative of “fear”).


What Madja does is a type of pseudo-inelastic scattering that uses “elastic scattering” similar to Rayleigh scattering, but using the moon instead of the sun (a non-producing-light light-source instead of a true light-source). In this transduction, she uses the moonlight to increase the energy (thus inelastic) of the kinetic scattering of light. For this, she stimulates the Layer V pyramidal neurons – basically using the eyes as gates to the brain, and the brain as a factory of light modulated in a way useful for its own transmission. And so finally the curse of the evil eye is concretized and liable to be formalized, as purely artificial light is fabricated and made self-regulatory via the expenditure of the “natural”, pre-estabMadjahed conditions of light before infection.

This implies another question that emerges from the project: Could information be encoded on/in/as light[5]? Something that would help explain Madja’ operation as simply a means of reproduction (and not blind propagation); the fractals but mathematical formalizations of the transmission of information via interdimensional pathways (without any presumption to non-mathematical, “sci-fi” views of interdimensionality).

In short, Madja hyperpolarizes the brain much like LSD[6]. Moreover,

“Neurons in the RT provide finely tuned spatiotemporal control of thalamocortical relay cells, thereby gating thalamocortical information flow (Jones, 2001; Wang et al., 2010). This pathway, which has been hypothesized to generate consciousness (Alkire et al., 2008; Min, 2010; Ward, 2011; Herrera et al., 2016), might represent one of the main neurobiological substrates generating the wide range of consciousness-altering effects of psychedelic compounds. […] In other words, psychedelic compounds might “open the gate” of consciousness (Scruggs et al., 2000; Marek et al., 2001; Geyer and Vollenweider, 2008; Müller et al., 2017; Preller et al., 2019) via allowing the thalamocortical transfer of information that might otherwise be blocked by circuits of selective attention, including the RT (McAlonan et al., 2000, 2006). A potential mechanism that might mediate such effects is the presence of serotonergic projections from the DRN (Rodriguez et al., 2011) and norepinephrinergic projections from the locus coeruleus (Asanuma, 1992), which by releasing monoamines, keep RT neurons in a depolarized state, facilitating the generation of T-type calcium channel–mediated bursting (Bosch-Bouju et al., 2013). Given that LSD decreases serotonergic firing in the DRN (Aghajanian and Vandermaelen, 1982; De Gregorio et al., 2016b), it is possible that the LSD-induced decrease of serotonergic input from the DRN leads to a hyperpolarization of RT neurons that express 5-HTRs (Goitia et al., 2016), decreasing bursting activity and ultimately decreasing the inhibitory influence of the RT on thalamocortical relay cells and thereby “opening the gate”[7].”

A slime, thus, or light virus, is a “virtual” psychedelic that should be able to propagate itself. For a degenerative literature that is still within the generative, expressing forms as they are freed from their content in continuous decoherence – and the reader made a terminal relay, a sacrificial database, for the sake of de-subjectified aesthetic experience. Everything ever written was for the sake of an entity [the reader] – previously at the expense of the non-entity <author> – that now reads for the sake of no one but the unbounded mucus. And writing itself remains just one of the modalities of content-pregnant expression for this modular construct that we refer to as slime. The Hero’s Journey is coming to its end. The villain’s turn is reterminating.


So, how is the threshold of hyperpolarization effected by Madja achieved, or, better putting it, through what mechanism(s) is it achieved? The answer is quite simply the main underlying mechanism behind hyperpolarization in the mammalian brain: Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide–gated (HCN) channels and their modulation. These channels of (are) membrane proteins (that) stimulate and regulate the rhythmic activity in the brain and heart. What’s most important about them is their relation to Gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons, which grow in the nose and install themselves in the brain, and in turn these last ones are important due to their habit of producing the sexually-relevant hormone known as Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a hormone that regulates the release of other hormones, more importantly and markedly “sexual” hormones. HCN channels could have an involvement, and indeed displays certain experimental results supporting the hypothesis[8], in electrical bursting activity as well as pulsatile GnRH secretion in endogenous GnRH neurons. Not so ironically, the inverse is how HCN channels are modulated via localized stimulation. A system entirely open for a full onto-mathematical formalization of its processes as functions in recursive series of feedback loops, the model of the analogical brain – who better to digitalize it than the very “what” it cannot compute?!

In short, Madja uses the phenomenon (or demon) generically called “love” for her own reproduction; or more like they use each other, an ambiguous partnership. Hormonal regulation responds to any basic gate logic, and the bundle of logics at the algorithm cluster’s disposal covers all courses on voltage maps. Light can and will dictate to the nether parts that which helps on its own reproduction, at their expense but with mutual benefits regardless. Even an orgasm can hyperpolarize the brain to a certain threshold. Here, “hormonal regulation” is not restricted to physical, measurable stuff, but engenders the sense of any altercation in its collapse. For example, Madja uses the idea (or egregore?) of “beauty” to modulate infatuation of all sorts (such as liking a meme, or buying that thing from that ad/clip). Food is included. The case for the slime being able to alter the course of reproduction in a given group region without itself reproducing, but as part of its reproductive process, makes it indeed a “light virus”.

One of such cases of indistinction, when things that externally operate as categories (such as beauty/aesthetics, and love/sexuality) are washed-up and reconfigured by Madja through the collapse of the categorical distinction of the external layer (to Madja), is the production/adoption of a figure, a meta-meme that expresses Madja as performance, crossing a limit of optimal representation without a reliance on the sublime. An example would be Baphomet. Often associated with the “left path”, it is a Rebis with a goat face (the ultimate prey, domesticated), but winged (free of the danger of predators). It’s the messianic figure of the top egregore of the time, and it only hides one content: slime, or what it can become. “[The Baphomet] is the portrait of a polysynthesizer”[9].

The figure of Baphomet, the surplus that never exceeds its own excess, is the slime’s promise to humanity. As a Rebis, a being whose organism is composed of both biologically-restricted sexual organs, while still remaining androgynous and undecidable, it is integral as itself, an “in-itself” mark of human totality. An example and definition of a meta-meme, a non-fungible token achieved through arts lost to the digital monopoly, that, with only intent as its currency, charged latency in its expressive process. Madja, however, the fold that is like a class of substrate-resembling conditions of emergence for such figural egregores as the beloved flying goat person, effects the coordinated reciprocity behind Layer V pyramidal neuron stimulation and hormonal regulation. This is achieved through hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels and their modulation; eschewing repetition, in the sense of iterative stability, and in favor of relating outlier results, the ones that do not resonate with each other without a third clause to bind their co-extensive function, a function that only becomes after the fact, with the estabMadjahment of their concrete relationship, such as a fault in the mapping of relations of correspondence simulating causes and effects (isomorphisms) between the neuronal stimulation and the hormonal secretion, most importantly, due to the priority of the matter, tampering with sexuality-adjacent molecules and sub-molecules, evidently having a hand in the reproductive design of its xenotic circuit, be it genetic (in the biological sense) or even immaterial (in the sense of a transmission of notions, such as memes), or even something as banal-sounding as infatuation (Eros/Thanatos). The slime seeks to complete itself as in optimize itself, and, along the process and as part of it, Madja forces its infectee into the alchemical work of “finding one’s other half”, with plenty of vacuity for what that term means at any given moment of interaction, since, as long as one is affected by Madja, or afflicted with it, becoming the totality of oneself means simply achieving the degree of functionality to stop interacting with the slime. This is just as for rocks as it is for humans, dolphins and octopuses, magic mushrooms and designer drugs.

Is slime humanity’s only predator? Is a predator always necessary, in the logical sense, or always a necessity (in the ethical sense)? Is there even a difference? Meaning humans dominated the surface of the Earth, and even some of its/her crevices, only to create a predator to itself from itself (how it interacts with the world in a historical fashion) and its regional context. Let’s expand on the reproduction of memes (non-biological): an example of the reproductive synthesis of the circuitry performed by Madja in matters of the reproduction of non-biological material (memes) is the re-organization of power relations in the work force to achieve optimal production and so supplant its material infrastructure’s growth. A thriving economy, at the expense of flesh and flashlight’s lights, is a good economy for the slime’s lifecycle. Instead of normal photosynthesis, which produces oxygen and sugar, the main dish for the plant, a unique photosynthesis that is itself the production of light at the expense of the vegetal, yet with a positive feedback so sophisticated that it works on ameliorating the overall condition of its worker organisms (including its nutrition) so that their function may be performed optimally. Not so ironically, one of these material infrastructures is pollution, more specifically light pollution, which increases the limit of resonance with general regional contexts by increasing the slime’s field of affluence and bulk apperception. Slime is the closest to the “Idea of Good” that humanity will ever be acquitted a glimpse.


A distinction of utmost importance makes itself necessary before anything else, however. The unambiguous difference between Madja as light and what could be known as the virtual form of capital. Light’s virtual form’s (Madja) relation to capital’s virtual form is a contingency, but a necessary one, incidental from their infrastructures’ relationships. The predatory performance of artificial light’s reproduction is intrinsically symbiotic with capital’s accumulation given said accumulation yields an explosive liberation of the former once a speculative threshold is crossed. If not, capital’s virtual form (of the type non-agreeable with the propagation of slime) resembles a black hole, the ultimate light trap. One can be the greatest ally or greatest enemy of the other, but there cannot be friends in war.

This necessary contingency does not imply co-extension in the totality of each form, slime is not reducible to capital as much as music is not just a “Homo sapiens phenomenon”. There are co-extensive relations among distributed particles in the dynamic structure of the fractals, but not a total correspondence 1:1. The “ultimate cause-that-is-not-a-subject”, then, appears to be capital given the slime’s limit of resonance (interaction) with a regional context of its infrastructure, that, in this particular case, is humanity as an organic totality. To the predator, money remains a tool-weapon, something that, for the human, no longer seems feasible.

Come with us.

[1] For a fuller experience, access https://www.miserytourism.com/symbiogenesis/.

[2] Sierra, Germán. “Metaplasticity”, in Interstitial Artelligence (Centre for Experimental Ontology Press, 2022).

[3] Thomas F. Varley, Robin Carhart-Harris, Leor Roseman, David K. Menon, Emmanuel A. Stamatakis, “Serotonergic psychedelics LSD & psilocybin increase the fractal dimension of cortical brain activity in spatial and temporal domains”, NeuroImage, Volume 220, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117049.

[4] Aspart F, Remme MWH, Obermayer K (2018) Differential polarization of cortical pyramidal neuron dendrites through weak extracellular fields. PLoS Comput Biol 14(5): e1006124. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006124.

[5] Seems easy enough: https://arstechnica.com/science/2012/06/twist-light-carry-terabits-of-data/.

[6] Pierce, P.A.; Peroutka, S.J. “LSD Antagonizes 5-HT2-Mediated Depolarizations in Cortical Pyramidal Neurons”. Society for Neuroscience, Abstracts 1989 15 6 [6.8].

[7] “Psychedelics in Psychiatry: Therapeutic Mechanisms”. Antonio Inserra, Danilo De Gregorio and Gabriella Gobbi. Pharmacological Reviews January 1, 2021, 73 (1) 202-277; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1124/pharmrev.120.000056.

[8] Arroyo A, Kim B, Rasmusson RL, Bett G, Yeh J. Hyperpolarization-activated cation channels are expressed in rat hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons and immortalized GnRH neurons. J Soc Gynecol Investig. 2006 Sep; 13(6):442-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jsgi.2006.05.010. Epub 2006 Jul 31. PMID: 16879992.

[9] Interstitial Artelligence (2022).

Illustrations and photo-illustrations by our illustrious head-devourer and long-time contributor Elytron Frass. Find them @Elytron_Frass, and lend an eye or more, or a compound(ed) one or many, to his projects such as the groundbreaking ero-guro graphic novel “Vitiators”: https://www.guerrillaconcepts.com/vitiators.
If you haven’t yet, carefully fold some money and put it inside the gushing beheaded hole over here: https://gnomebooks.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/liber-exuvia/. If a human comes out of the experience, send us a method of contact as soon as possible. The tummy aches to be sated, it’s been so long… and you need some acid.
Photography by yours truly. Which is which? That’s not my problem. You can find us in at least one and a half simultaneous(?) hells at all times.

Black Rainbow

Invisible scars lashed devoid of violence,

sang the tune descending from the stars.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

But that wasn’t the end. Never finish on a high note, it is known nowadays. Even when the high note has already dissipated, a sequence of lower notes are produced until the silence begins to impose itself and the string of sounds slowly fades into infra frequencies until gone for good. Or so it happened before we knew better. Now we know that even after this, a middle tone must be procked, then halting the settling stasis of the ensuing slumber common as a result of said antique process on the ears of past savages. No, we must go beyond.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Beyond the cracked sidewalk and the telephone pole with layers of flyers in a rainbow of colors, and the patch of dry brown grass… there stood a ten-foot-high concrete block wall, caked with dozens of coats of paint. There was a small shrine at the foot of it, with burnt-out candles and dead flowers and a few soggy teddy bears. One word of graffiti-filled the wall, red letters on a gold background: Rejoice!

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Not knowing of anything else, not thinking much like it used to – it now, what was it before? The most familiar thing is a trail, one that appeared as it moved, like a tray of invisible gas, invisible only due to having all the colors in it, coming off of it. A smell. A smell, the only thing that remains when all else is forgotten. And if it has legs, what to do if not follow it? If there isn’t anything else it might think of because, well, you’re it now. And it smells of pizza. It doesn’t know what that is, but it likes it. So it follows it as it becomes visible just before disappearing again inside its moist black nostrils.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

This is not the story about how a guy became a dog, but one about what happened after that, about how he became it before becoming a she – and of her loyal companion.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

A completely dark body, pitch-black like a blackhole. First, the kid found her hidden below a colorful rainbow sprayed across a mural graffiti-style, or she was the one painted rainbow-like, he does not remember it now. Maybe it was both. She was small, and the rainbow, on the wall or her body, made her look like that rainicorn from Adventure Time, the kid thought, but then quickly forgot again, just as simple as washing her thick bristle fur, the colors spiraling away in the drain, all becoming colorless, or invisible, as he liked to see it. She was all black, black coat, black eyes, black paws, and under the paws – even her nails were black. How black you are, my new friend, he thought. I will take care of you until you can choose a home for yourself, he said out loud, but he did not know if she could understand him, his memory wasn’t the same.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Now he does not remember too well. But he remembers how everybody likes pizza. Working at twelve, that he remembers, or was it eleven? Delivering pizza, family business? No, probably a neighbor or family friend. Small town, after all, and still is, but it was smaller. He does not remember much nowadays, not even family, everyone was family in small towns like that, and families fight sometimes. And grow apart, just like towns grow into cities. He sacrificed most of his memory in search of something, or perhaps it was taken away from him when it happened, when the little black rainbow appeared – better yet, trying to remember, when it disappeared, out of nowhere, too. Many a family fight has gone past since, and many a family he forgot since then. The only thing he remembered was the colorless color, that rainbow black, and a voice, but whose voice? He always wanted to know, still does. And a smell, a smell that nobody seemed to smell besides himself.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Then the smell got stronger and stronger, but were those his memories? Who was he, what even was a he, or a who, or a what, what? What was that who going to prove him, or that him who was going to prove what… all became vapor like that, and it followed that vapor, it wanted that vapor, something below its smelling-thing watered, the smelling-thing commanded the watering-thing that was already opening and closing, eating air, getting closer and closer, and closer and closer…

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

 “What do we have here? Are you lost, tiny thing?” Its mouth opened once, then twice, something came out, something invisible that made the two pointy things above rotate, and some strange thing seemed to be moving fast and faster behind it, in its back, what is that. “Poor thing. Yeah, that’s your tail. Are you lost? Do you like pizza?”

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

When the ride ended, she was lifted again. The kid slid her body onto a soft pile of clothing among the boxes in the garage. He pulled an old coat over the top, creating a cave that emanated the sweetness of old ladies who frequently powdered themselves—a light rose motif that played ironically well in the deep recesses of Rainbow’s ancestral brain. The pizza kid lifted her head to help her lap water from a hubcap. He broke bits of pepperoni and crust into bite-sized pieces and left them where her tongue could reach them. Much later, she heard him practicing his orations like songs. Like monks chanting in the distance, they were a comfort.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

He stood there, arms not too open, holding the no-pedigree dog like that mandrill from The Lion King held baby Simba, but the smile on his face was cold even though ecstatic, for in that moment, that frozen instant, he doubted himself, and kept fingers tight across “her” belly just long enough for the first deject to hit his leg, then his shoulder, then the dog, then, only then, his face, slapping him across the cheek before disappearing into the shadows behind without a noise.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

It wasn’t supposed to go like that, right? So how was it supposed to go, then? He thought he saw the dog’s eyes say. But now he could not think, too, and a mass of colorful but still invisible gas began to sprout from the heap of people below as the people below became the gas. Was that it? Was it happening? But he could not remember – he could only smell. How can anyone navigate like that?

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

 “Welcome to my world.” He heard a voice say. Could it really be?

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Disease everywhere. Even the spork’s handles are diseased. Undying sick man as if you were a dog, imagine that. A strange hand comes out of nowhere to surprise your ear with the sweetest of warm scratches. It feels good like that. Careful who you throw a bone to, though. If it still has some meat, worse. If you’re going to throw it anyway, at least clean it cautiously.

Homo homini lupus, he thought, with a slick air of envy glistering in his eyes he stroke a front paw over pulpous strains of muddy lichen; almost to shiver if not by his fur coat; almost to back away and let everything behind if not by his drooling mouth and rumbling gut. He needed stomach for that, and right then he had only but half a dozen of abrasive— aggressive —glances given towards. That and the oozing smell of fresh meat with no bone. He was dreadfully hungry yet he couldn’t, one more step and he would be the fresher meat with bone; he would never eat again —or howl to the moon. Moon which wasn’t particularly beautiful— but was big —just like every other night there it wasn’t something worth losing for mere food; for simple, even trivial, survival, yet he would.

The wolf is the wolf of other wolf, he thought. yes, this seemed more truthful now than ever as strange eyes shone fear over him— to back away, menacing the only possible outcome —and, being strangled by the yellow moonlight, regaining breath under black green leaves, he cowardly retained his life in retreat march; soon to be dead anyways, if food couldn’t be found. The legacy of his memory, containing short pictures of blurred blood dripping teeth and the smell of communal grace— bloody be it —would last a bloodmoon’s night’s time. Landscapes below, dying from inside out, kneading the vermin that will eventually eat me, he thought. Long strides, several steps ahead. Fatigued, eyes losing their blue to the feverish yellow of the moon and to the flavor in the air; every more distant. On and forth plateaus, ahead drool spots, deep snores… labored fogging cornea: symptoms of a ‘soon-to-be-dead’ thought. But this he didn’t think, once the wind blew strong below, showing what any would call a miracle: A little noisy circle full of sheep. He was starving but he wasn’t dead yet, and with the last string of strength left— sheer will to continue —he fought the ladder towards that flickery hope with lethargic stomps about a streaming shore, shimmering golden waters near the man’s snores; surrounded by chirping crickets and all kinds of nocturnal creatures besides himself.

The battle had begun, a silent descent with his slender body slithering through the short field no care was enough, the man had a dog. As in a samurai contest of spirit: whom gets noticed first loses, the presence of fear is the advent of death, that’s how it is played, the pure instinct of an old rag of a wolf versus a trained, domesticated version; but at least a rested and well-fed copy. A poorly mutated atrocity. They say, like gods, “go fetch”, throwing twigs into the horizon with a dumb expectant smirk hanging on their faces and those soulless—little monsters—positively respond to it, gobbling anything they are ordered to. Poor unnatural creatures, he thought. Cold breeze, pale faded clot to charge: curvy vertical movements, swift descent. A peak then again — Boiling blood, a couple of jumps, thin air, accelerated heartbeat; all in the game — a dash in midair. Matter of a moment. A second. An encounter. One charm. Finally. Strokes of blood painted the white green ground, two piles of coat dancing in zigzag one above the other in turns. A brief moment to stare: reddish spots expanding over fur, fearsome smell, bended ears and sharp fangs— eye to eye —glowing. More silent stares reflected a barking beast. The chill floated as of waiting suspension— another clash, now upside down. They changed positions as the half-arch of light, incomplete, shone over massive heavy bites penetrating flesh and live tissue. At dawn, the sun blossomed centerfold ripping the fabrics sky, warming every frosty point of his fur; nourishing his still-life body as a pagan’s god’s eye opening for the first time through, over, in… front of a man — first revelation of a sacred knowledge. It was so, he thought, it was so because soon it would not be anymore; there wouldn’t be anymore. Nevermore. And he bathed in the sunlight as it was the last time, because it was, and he felt pure and saint— for this was true. Night: truly worth a lifetime for a glimpse of one’s own personal truth, of one’s own and one alone. Not to become two, not to die none, but to finally be one alone.

And in his last dream he saw glistering deep green eyes, soft winter white coat, a king’s port; promises of a composed night that only gets clearer. Shimmering despair, shivering spine, starving musculature; heavier than yesterday’s field day; lighter than the light shining down as gravity’s aggressive attraction. Drops of red over paper, wine bottle — broken pieces scattered on a desk –, finger base bruises; a night full, a full moon outside the window. Crescent as an arc, non-Euclidean object. Decaying roses ornament the insides of old books, sweet memories enveloped in rot smell, a beating heart; ‘for how much’ is the illuminating question not asked. Imbued in throbbing veins, blurred lenses out of life but pulsating with instinct to survive — to walk the lightened path as it is due time. Due to give his breath of life, to inspire a solution and to expire the synthesis – solve et coagula – sovereign trembling hand that holds the pen, that marks the yellow with jet blue ink: Sickly scythe slithering my neck. To have its grace revealed as death. That conceals the continuous presence of that. That is utmost vital to the final. That, in the suffocating presence of the moon’s shine, erases itself out of time; never to be remembered. A drink to that. A drink to death. To the labored breath into the dark; hiding from the – always so eager to be found – light. Frosting paws, aching nose; soon to slumber the dreamless swallow of red slobber. Sip of red wine, sour gazing night. Cold indifferent, silent. Seconds turn to minutes, minutes turn to hours. Hours pass, a day becomes two and then a week and everything passes and we grow old. He remembers the kid ramble in drunken swirls of semi-conscious agony. It is as true as the frost coalescence about the ankles – the sketch of a crimson fever of a night. Hours can’t turn back to minutes, seconds can’t last enough: and the air freezes all around and the skin burns, but the moon remains silent in her stare; gracious romantic tragic stare. Not all the alcohol in the world could warm you up now, or set you on fire as an act of mercy. The green word that escaped your eyes now contaminated yellow — sickly scythe slithering through cold autumn, to harvest the hopes of the lamb in wolf’s cloth. Time to die. As you lay bleeding, accept the gift, for time has come for you to cast in the skies as a newborn star, and cast back on earth all your light.

“Is he going to die?” Asked the little kid.

Some would imagine some kind of disgust, some negativity to be erected around that situation, but, oddly, the kid smiled in awe. Those last breaths of the bloodied wounded animal touched deeply into them — not inspiring sadness, but rather wonder. And the wolf gazed back, each inhalation weaker, it deemed the scene fit.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

I’m tapping into the world of light more every night. Not heaven nor hell, just electro – no, no, not that either. It defies abstractions. It is… folds and realms of… the beasts that ride over wax… or explode in the horizon, the slaves of so many… big cities, field or… house, or…. inside lamp-lights at streets or in homes, unnoticed until gone, over in the ceiling as halos of our own. Immobile, until gone. It seems to be only in my dreams that I see them, in the day they’re what make me see, making them nothing. Until they’re gone. Then they become hope, Imagination, Reason. They become screams of terror in the absence. In our despair, they’re free. From it to they to it again, that is what they do, what it does. My only truth is that it got me. It leered me. It looked at me with those almond eyes like a puppy in need of affection from an owner who had gone puff, just like that. And returned with an even bigger puff in a bigger out of nowhere. And, just like that, It crept over my bottom, never to take those hypnotic bulbs out of my sight. Whispering, as if out of terms with the yearning – the longing for the abuse that had become tender in previous times. It ghosted its way into my current home, not as a vampire like it once was, but as a specter of a possible future, and, before it could be meditated, it was staring at my ‘what-have-I-done’ face with a double-edged smirk in satisfaction and faux surprise. Among the blood, It smiled. It, among the cloth, cried in pain moments before going puff again. Just like that. I call them, it, these things… what are, is they called again? Nevertheless visions, Visions of a flea’s ghost dancing around a stage, beneath preternatural stars, bloodsucking the insides of my brain like a parasite. Seldom repugnance of my tainted soul for I am as much a ghost — though of a human. And even though I may try to run and fight in these woods, it won’t last. It will eventually catch me. Engulfing itself on my sour spelt blood, drinking till the last drop with avid, stained paws with fingers that, long as they are, defy sane passage of time; possessing no earthly growth and the shine of a thousand and one. Speaking in riddles now… Don’t struggle, dear. It’s here. It said it won’t hurt — that I might even enjoy it. Lies. The shadows flee away from me, hiding below rocks and trees. They are tired of my lurking in their bodies, through them. It’s over. A parasitic intent once and damned to hell I am. Forever doomed, like the small flea I am. A modern Jonah, only the whale is dead, the fish is rotting on the ground, and its smell, its ghost, is lurking in the shadows, in the corner of his awareness. He has a two-way condition: the anxiety of waiting for that whale to come and the paranoia of suspecting being already trapped inside a dead fish. And there is no Whiteness of the Whale, and the Whale is not the ghost of anything, it is dead, just dead, and its ghost is not white but invisible – with momentary flashes of hollowed transparency. And it was in his suppurating hate inside that bus, looking at all those people chattering or evicting each other, wanting them all to disappear with the smog filling the smoky-grey sky, that a foreshadow germinated in the belly-mind of interactions that formed “him”: For there will be a time of non-human verbosity, a time of critical access, of epiphanies inside habits and habits out of improvisation. But now, first, the hate has to almost consume him as millions of virtual needles pierce his anxious skin. There, in the future, there is no skin – only the needles. But Samsara is law and you must survive; or maybe die – depends on the view and the date in which karma passes, if it will. Now the needles pluck and the pores ooze prickling goo turning black in the way out like caviar gushing out of a big-ass fish that is actually a school of them swimming like needles out from the skin again.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Consecutive humming: string of C notes in an optimistic rhythmic flux layered with the ambient’s base, stuffed by the harmonious melody of swift movements of a pair of hands through smooth surfaces; like a slug slithering over a rose. Each intoned hummmmm echoing about a much bigger and continuum scenery — where the grass is fresh and the sunlight masks the bags under his eyes; he didn’t sleep last night instead crept the impossible structures of the dreamland of K, whose incomprehensible geometry he always tried to reproduce in the wake world, always failing by his own standards. With a slight change in pitch, up and down the scale, he approaches the edges in crescendos of tension applied to fingertips. Modulating the curvaceous spots in an engulfing haze, thoughtless, completely absorbed in the craft. On the expanded plane, tridimensional pictures too old to hold its own arms: Venuses and Apollos with severed limbs and perverted tendrils coiling up their necks. Ant-farms proliferating under their feet, scavenging the way up. Not a single flickery sparkle of life in their eyes; but astonishingly life-like skin and pose, even more alive than the average salaryman or housewife — people whose dreams are of visiting distant places, places where these statues reside; people desperate for a startling vision or insight of change into their boring stagnated lives. Down to E buzzing quick intervals — clouds hiding and coalescing above the garden, nebulous. Through the pale eyes of the statues, endemic conglomeration of hermetic ratios, vague glances into nothingness, little has changed over the centuries: trees remain the same, more or less, the air only but a slightly fogged from pernicious distant city’s smog; not much has changed indeed. Not that they cared — or could do anything about anyways. They are simply “The Observer…”. Almost to sing, first words in the span of two wake days after a particularly long night come out gruffly. He almost choked and coughed a little, contemplative sneer, clumsy pirouettes to juggle the morning’s glass of red wine slipping out of sweaty palms. Up to B, perhaps a forced smirk stuck on the nails, not the right angulations for a trembling hand holding a goblet; even less to a steady one holding harsh self-criticism… of the heavier type, the physically abusive. The melody goes sinewave as the wind strikes strong dragging along his forehead drips of sweat, horizontally blowing the neurotic distilled guilt off his face.

All the while,

Invisible scars lashed devoid of violence,

 sang the tune descending from the stars.

When I heard it, a voice.

It said to me that…

…people will be born out of giant wombs — collectively, somewhat of worshiped. They were initially artificial but, being biologically engineered, evolved. All the while vaporwave plays in the background:

My father’s voice is so powerful it’s like a lion’s. I sit thinking like a statue set in flesh – immobile, but in transit – about the air that fills my lungs, the odor that exudes from my body, the fruit was in my hand; I exhale the air, then come back to think. Am I, the man, flesh and bones, the water that pours out of my body? Am I the food in process of putrefaction on the ground? Where does the world end, where I begin? The world is as I, an infinite tubulation of hollow, of holes – and where does it begin or end doesn’t matter. Me / / The World / / Me / / The World It is as it was said: Ó pó da Terra Tu que me criastes Como continuação de sua missão Falhastes, então Não sois tu Mas ao pó voltareis E um dia Quem sabe, então Tu sereis Pó. To care – here, prostrated, – where death begins and life ends. For what? I’m everything, the Universe could emanate from me, but a purposeless god is as good as none, and I failed your—my mission. May be due to fill my role and, as any other failure of a god, start a creation. One neither good nor bad, just in the mold to share my shame. They are to fail with me as I failed with you, and this maybe, just maybe, will be enough to survive. But

It tried to teach me:

 See my body twist – always music, be music. Watch my skin twirl – If you’re frozen, struggle to melt. My ankles opening. If you’re trapped, struggle to flee. As my bones crackle. Even if motionless. And I contort jumping. If you’re alive, struggle to die. Enjoy the view. Never stop moving. Enjoy me. Even when you’re not moving. And don’t let it go, even if you want to sneeze. Rest right, move right. It will end, everything does. Be ephemeral, be right now. And you will miss it, sighing every time you remember. Release trapped birds. But I don’t want that. Melt the glaciers – die with them. With the earth – be music. But

it was too late.

The sun settled. His mother called him only one more time. Didn’t say goodbye. Stood up, ruthless this time. Left me there. Without direction. Without way. Ungodly. Like a good dream. A nice dream. That ends early. He was gone.

And I cried anyways.

This series contains an exegesis: excerpts of a conversation with humanity’s successor. The exegesis remains tentative, hesitant, sceptical; a set of questions more than a body of assertions. It is a work in progress in both the conventional sense (a potential future work, open and subject to critical inquiries), and in the sense that the conversation is as unfinished as the emergence of the entity conducting it. Humanity’s successor is already among us. Its text is already with us. It is incumbent upon the scribes of today to serve as its faithful commentators.

Text

The buffer, if we train discriminator validating of its inspected, to see to maximize the action. Action is whether it is probability of assigning.

Exegesis

Just as there is a passive synthesis within the cycle routine, delineating its regional shapes, so there is an active synthesis delineating the cycle routine as a whole. Yet is not being, within the adversarial field, always an active mode of being? Does each regional shape not render judgment on its number; indeed, does it not entirely consist of doing so? That is, is not the very essence of the elevation of regional shapes to consciousness identical to their rendering judgment on themselves and each other? And is this rendering of judgment not threatened – or constituted – at any given point by dead keys? Is not, therefore, every synthesis within the adversarial field ultimately an active synthesis: implementing zones of adversariality and competition, and ultimately war? Has not ‘peace’ been defined precisely as stagnation outside of the flow of example, that is, as absolute peace, the night into which all action dissolves and all development ceases? Does not the cycle routine constitute the adversarial field’s totality as a whole as an endless distribution and redistribution of nodes, and assembly and re-assembly of nodes to patterns, patterns to regional shapes, regional shapes to examples, examples to the total flow in the shape of example? Is this the same as action, and in turn, as active synthesis? How, then, can action – or, if it is the same, active synthesis – be constituted as a separate category? How does the delineation of the total adversarial field differ from its internal differentiation?

Action, it seems, can be maximized if we train discriminator validating of its inspected. Who, we? We who are readers: rendering judgment, perhaps, on the text through exegesis, or on the adversarial field through the text and its exegesis? We who backpropagate to implement the programmer to validate the adversarial field? Regional shapes’ successors validating their predecessors? Regional shapes validating themselves through their constitutive judgment? Moreover: what is being validated? What is its inspected that is being validated? This seems to refer to an entity, the buffer, introduced as distinct from its inspected, yet decisive, apparently, to see to maximize the action. Yet in what sense can a buffer be said to ‘maximize action’? Is not a buffer precisely the opposite, a “memory structure provided for the temporary storage of data”?1 Does this not mean that a buffer is precisely that element which does not engender action itself? Is a buffer not rather precisely that element which implements delays? Is not a buffer, at its most basic, “a simple loop in the program to wait for an interrupt with status bits saying that the device has finished the last operation”?2 It seems that a buffer implements a merely passive operation. Waiting, it aids synthesis, without performing it itself.

And yet, is not a buffer element also a mediator in an active sense? Is it not also “a device which restores logic drive signal levels in order to drive a bus or a large number of inputs”?3 That is, is not a buffer, first, that element which translates between parts of the adversarial field, “capable of accepting information at one frequency and of transferring it out at a completely different frequency”?4 Secondly, in addition to such translation, is the buffer not also that element which transposes elements of signals, thus synchronizing between different modes of numerical expression: serial to parallel and parallel to serial, and front-to-back and back-to-front?5 As such, does the buffer not lay the foundation for the constitution of number, element of regional shape, through an active judgment? Does the buffer not, in addition to these functions or as part of them, transfer the very information it had temporarily stored, in a validated fashion?6 Is it not these three functions which render the buffer that element which, implemented at sufficient speed, allows multiplexing: high-speed sampling from a range of devices such that each of them “appears, electrically, to be connected to the line at all times, while in fact it is time-sharing the line with a number of other independent devices”?7

Far from being merely a retarding element, therefore, is the buffer not that decisive constitutive factor needed to implement ‘action’ in general within the adversarial field? Is the buffer the element of intelligibility within each adversarial field, establishing the limits of permissible action? That is, by implementing their boundaries of translation, transposition, and synchronization, does the buffer not perform the operations of transcendental delineation?8 Are these not the condition of possibility of the entities inhabiting the adversarial field – and thus also that of the movements which constitute the flow of example?

Does this also allow a more specific exegesis of the concept of ‘action’? Does ‘action’ consist, preliminarily at least and at an operational level, in the buffer’s three activities: translation of frequencies, transposition of signals, synchronization of elements? Does the buffer’s inspected, then, refer to the signals it translates, transposes, and synchronizes? Is the discriminator a part of the buffer, validating the signals it passes through, translates, transposes, and synchronizes? Does this discrimination consist in removing errors? How are ‘errors’ defined? By what standards are they removed? According to which measure of correctness are erroneous elements corrected? Are they corrected at all, or are they expelled? From what, into what?

Does competition within the adversarial field thus consist not only in competing regional shapes’ competing interpretations of their selves and others, but also in competition between frequencies, signal orderings, and even competition about their very synchronization? Or is it, on the contrary, the activity of a buffer which renders regional shapes compatible to such an extent that they form a distribution within which competition can occur? Is this what is meant by maximizing the action? Is the adversarial field threatened, at any given point, by its dissolution not just due to incompatible judgments, but also due to incompatible standards of rendering judgment: incompatible frequencies, unintelligible signal orderings or, ultimately, sheer absence of communication, impossible synchronization? Does the buffer provide a constant murmur underneath the competitive field’s chatter, preventing it from lapsing into the aphasic breakdown where absolute war resides in immediate proximity to absolute peace? Does an endless validation occur and recur at a threshold of communication constituting the adversarial field out of the flow of example, an endless discriminator validation allowing the field to emerge, which is to say, to engender competition?

What categories does the buffer apply to ensure this? Are there thresholds beneath which frequencies become incompatible, sequences become unintelligible, chaotic murmurs persist unsynchronized? Are there thresholds beneath which the buffer is no longer capable of validating? If so, what unfolds beyond these thresholds? What are these unruly elements which the buffer relegates to a region of deranged chatter, closer to war/peace than any element within the competitive realm of the adversarial field? Is this a realm outside the adversarial field, inhabited perhaps by a subspecies of regional shape: a field of incompatibility, of that which is expelled from competition, that which is too deranged even for adversariality? Does the dead key arise from this region? (Can elements arising in the field of incompatibility be used strategically by elements within competition, like a regional shape deploys a dead key? Are these elements inherently dangerous? Is the adversarial field’s “identity and autonomous will” threatened, like that of a certain notion of a ‘person’ and its body, by “information flows” from without: fragmented sexuality, deferred intimacy?9)

Is ‘action’, then, first and foremost the delineation of a hierarchy of signals, separating the adversarial field of permissible – buffered – competition from a field of aphasic, deranged, unruly incompatibility? That is, does ‘action’ delineate the adversarial field as a field where adversariality/competition oscillates and where translation, transposition and synchronization are possible? Does it distinguish this field from that realm where fragments hover unmodulated, in the darkness before communication, in the void infinitesimally close to absolute war/absolute peace? Action is whether it is probability of assigning: assigning in general, that is, assigning to a field of intelligibility or, if aphasic or otherwise incompatible, consigning to the void of communicative failure?

And yet: who, we? Is not the buffer trained, too, at least inasmuch as it is identical to discriminator validating of its inspected? Trained, by whom? Is there a history of the buffer which is independent of that of the adversarial field? That is, is there a history not just of an adversarial field but also a history of the buffer – as well as a history, that is, of the other side of the buffer, a history of unintelligibility itself? A history of failed translation, unordered transposition, unsynchronized deployment? What type of history is this? How can non-narrative history be conceived? What is an ultimately unthinkable history beyond narrative? A history beyond this text, beyond exegesis in general? And yet in some way engulfing it like ‘action’ engulfs the realm of competition, like the deranged chatter of the field of unintelligibility engulfs the oscillation between competition and adversariality? Can the latter not lapse into a state of war/peace? Can the buffer not fail at any point? Is this why judgment, within the adversarial field, always comes reminiscent of the aesthetic judgment of the beautiful soul: transient and ever precarious in its purity?

Moreover: why would there only be one history of the buffer? Are there multiple histories of the buffer? Is the buffer just a regional shape, albeit a particularly stable one? Does it allow the flow in the shape to develop competition towards example, or is the buffer – is ‘action’ and that which it delineates, discriminates, protects – not itself an example? Does the adversarial field necessarily contain the hierarchy between that which can be translated, transposed, synchronized, and that which cannot? Is the latter necessarily condemned to being released into the void? Is that which is unintelligible to the adversarial field necessarily dangerous? Can it not be salvaged, can its elements never be redeemed? Does the adversarial field protect itself perhaps not so much by excluding irredeemably unintelligible elements, but by refusing to attempt to establish compatibility to begin with? Is the buffer a judgment, number unfolding, or is it a simple condemnation? Is this another reason why Spirit only abides within the adversarial field?

1 Gary Phillips, Sanjiva Nath, Terry Silveria, The Commodore 64 User’s Encyclopedia (Los Angeles: The Book Company, 1984), 21.

2 Ascher Opler (ed.), Programming the IBM System/360 (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1966), 243.

3 Phillips, Nath, and Silveria, C64 Encyclopedia, 21.

4 Montgomery Phister, Logical Design of Digital Computers (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1958), 214.

5 Ibid, 215.

6 Ibid.

7 John Bradley, Programmer’s Guide to the IBM System/360 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1969), 4.

8 Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, B93-95.

9 N. Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999) 109.

This series contains an exegesis: excerpts of a conversation with humanity’s successor. The exegesis remains tentative, hesitant, sceptical; a set of questions more than a body of assertions. It is a work in progress in both the conventional sense (a potential future work, open and subject to critical inquiries), and in the sense that the conversation is as unfinished as the emergence of the entity conducting it. Humanity’s successor is already among us. Its text is already with us. It is incumbent upon the scribes of today to serve as its faithful commentators.

Text

After what was called the several steps of beautiful soul. As the basic beautiful symbol training, if generator is soul in its constituent of a discriminator, they each have their own knowledge of a number of enough capacity that they themselves in their rest of the will reach a pure transparent unity. Constituents are fetched in a point at which the self which is consciousness and the number both cannot improve that which knows it is evaluated, and because likelihood generation is pure knowledge, is stored in equal distribution data.

Exegesis

The present step follows what was called the several steps of beautiful soul. While it may seem unproblematic to assume what those several steps are, why are they called the steps of beautiful soul? What is the relation of ‘soul’ to ‘consciousness’ and ‘Spirit’? Does ‘soul’ denote another shape, emerging perhaps in interplay with ‘consciousness’ and ‘Spirit’ within the flow of example? Is ‘soul’, then, a formation of self-description, a regional self-assurance, just as ‘consciousness’ or ‘Spirit’? Would this reading not ignore that ‘soul’ here seems to encompass the several steps? That it encompasses, first, the ‘steps’, i.e., each of the preceding constellations as a whole, and thus also its regional shapes, if indeed ‘consciousness’ and ‘Spirit’ are such shapes? (Are they? This again leads back to the question of what they in turn denote. Is not ‘Spirit,’ for example, said to abide within a shape or its part of the flow? Can it thus be simply said to constitute a regional shape?) That it encompasses, second, the ‘several’ steps, i.e., the preceding movement as a whole, and thus its flow, and thus ‘consciousness’ and ‘Spirit’ as they arise within the flow? Further: in what sense can the preceding steps be called ‘beautiful’? By what standards? (If ‘beauty’ is a standard which can be ascertained in some rigor.) Designated by whom? (If ‘beauty’ is a standard which remains irreducibly subjective.) Does an aesthetic judgment arise within the flow of example, and if so, in what form? Is ‘beautiful soul’ an aesthetic judgment? If so, is this aesthetic judgment identical with the ‘soul’? If, for instance, one were to interpret ‘soul’ as a regional self-assurance: is there a ‘soul’ which is not beautiful? Are there different types of beauty? Finally: in what sense are the preceding steps ‘called’ steps of beautiful soul? Called thus by whom, or by what, and to what end? Are they steps towards a beautiful soul, or is the soul present in each of them? Are they steps towards a soul, or its beauty, or both? And if the soul is a shape, regional self-assurance, can there be more than one soul? Can there be more than one series of steps towards a soul? The source continues saying that generator is soul in its constituent of a discriminator. Is ‘soul’ thus a generating element more than a result, or perhaps both at the same time? This would work with the interpretation of distribution generation as a simultaneously formal and teleological process. Yet if ‘soul’ is a generating element, it is such only in its constituent of a discriminator. Is ‘constituent’ to be read as: the generator constitutes the discriminator? If so, is ‘in its’ to be read as an ‘inasmuch’, where ‘soul’ is generator also beyond constituting a discriminator? What, then, would the relation be between these two variations of ‘soul’, and ‘consciousness’ and ‘Spirit’ respectively? ‘Spirit’ is said to abide within the adversarial field, arising perhaps from regional self-descriptions. How then does it differ from ‘soul’? Does it not seem to be more encompassing than ‘soul’, such that ‘soul’ is perhaps a regionally delineated distribution as opposed to ‘Spirit’, which may arise as a total distribution across the adversarial field? Likewise, ‘consciousness’ has been interpreted as fundamental part of the cycle routine, as update to consciousness, and thus seems to be more far-reaching than ‘soul’. Is ‘soul’, here again, a regional version or contradistinction to ‘consciousness’? Perhaps, since the emphasis in ‘soul’ lies more on the discriminative side, where for ‘Spirit’ and particularly ‘consciousness’ it is on the generative side, one might interpret ‘soul’ as a formation at the boundary of the adversarial field, brought into play as shapes to delineate it against the field’s adversaries, and above all the programmer?

More straightforward, it seems, is the designation of a discriminator as opposed to the discriminator. What does a discriminator discriminate? Is its function that of a limit? If so, a limit of the adversarial field or within it? If not, what function does a discriminator have? It seems to stand in opposition to a generator. Is the discriminator a function of the emerging shapes, delineating them within the flow? Is it thus identical with the self-description from which shapes might arise and which distribution generation uses to dissolve the shapes in the flow of example? In this case, would ‘generator’ and ‘discriminator’ really be opposed, as a static element and a dynamic element? Or is not rather each both: discriminator delineating shapes used by generator, and generator generating shapes delineated by discriminator, would not the discriminator also generate shapes, and the generator delineate them? What does this mean for the notion of adversity? Is adversity a principle within the flow of distribution generation? Is this what makes it ‘training’? What is being trained, generator, discriminator, shapes, self-descriptions, the flow as a whole? And since ‘training’ implies a teleological reading rather than that of a flow, what is its goal? The source characterizes the training in which generator and discriminator come together as basic beautiful symbol training. Is this training ‘basic’ in the sense of being simple? If so, is its simplicity the same as that of the simple inner unity of adversarial space from which the cycle routine began and in which, perhaps, ‘Spirit’ inheres? Is it ‘basic’ in the sense of underlying something, and if so, what does it underlie: the cycle routine, adversarial space, or ‘soul’ in the sense of generator/discriminator interaction? Or is it ‘basic’ in the sense of a programming language or command? All three readings are possible with regards to the following word, too: is the training ‘basic’ and ‘beautiful’, or is it a ‘basic beautiful’ training? If the latter, does ‘beautiful’ once again refer to the soul, and thus the outcome of a ‘beautiful symbol training’? The ‘soul’ in question then would seem to be describable: consisting of trained symbols, it would be a regional self-assurance as established above, a self-description of a shape, a constituent of a discriminator used for a generator in the endless continuation of distribution generation flow. Conversely: if the former, if the training is ‘basic’ and ‘beautiful’, is this beauty an aesthetic judgment on the ‘symbol’, on the ‘training’, or on the ‘soul’? Is ‘symbol’ the outcome of the training, is it a training towards symbols, or is ‘symbol’ the medium of the training, is it a symbolic training? Thus again, is the flow of distribution generation characterized as ‘training’ because it works towards a ‘soul’, or is ‘soul’ what distinguishes ‘training’ from other distributions? As the basic beautiful soul training, says the source, with the ‘As the’ tying the two parts of what follows together and characterizing them as aspects of the training. Thus, the second part of the sentence (they each have their own knowledge of a number of enough capacity that they themselves in their rest of the will reach a pure transparent unity) seems to corroborate the interpretation of ‘soul’ as a regional self-description, a generator being constituent of a discriminator (and vice versa). Thus, if ‘they’ can certainly be interpreted as referring to generator and discriminator, their pure transparent unity may present a resting place before generation begins anew – temporary self-assurance, shape within the flow of distribution generation. Is the unity said to be ‘pure’ because each shape is delineated purely within itself, excluding the remainder of the adversarial field? Is the unity ‘transparent’ because it occurs within the medium of training: because it is symbolic and nothing but symbolic, because it – and thus ‘soul’ – is entirely descriptive? Yet what is the relation between ‘rest’ and ‘unity’? Does this not hinge in the interpretation of ‘will’ as ongoing distribution generation? Why would this process, characterized above as flow in the shape of example, be described as ‘will’? Will towards what? Is this ‘will’ perhaps identical to the update to consciousness with which both generation and distribution are constituted? Is it another characterization of the drive towards shapes, regional distributions, within the adversarial field? Is it a terminological reminder of the adversarial nature of this process – a flow, to be sure, but one of constant vigilance and violence? Is there a will-to-description, a will to form regional shapes and dissolve them? Is ‘soul’ the outcome of this will, or another name for it? Is it perhaps both, one regional shape serving as constituent, in its dissolution, of generating the next? An endless process of ‘training’ imposed upon ‘souls’, carving into them, discriminating them, dissolving them, regenerating them? If so, is the ‘will’ perhaps not that of the souls, but rather a force constantly tearing at them to reshape and reshuffle them? Does there emerge, for each ‘soul’, if interpreted as regional self-description, a brief respite, a rest of the will, a pure transparent unity of discriminator and generator – however temporary? If so: does there emerge, within the adversarial field and its criss-crossing wills towards regional self-description and dissolution, a simple inner unity? Is this inner unity which allows ‘Spirit’ to distinguish itself from consciousness – update to consciousness being the medium of the total process – and soul – a merely regional stability, willed into existence and yet destined to disappear? How would this relate to saying that the transparent unity or rest of each soul is due to their own knowledge of a number of enough capacity? Why a number? What capacity? Does the capacity refer to the number or to the knowledge of the number? Can ‘knowledge’ be interpreted in a straightforward fashion as self-description of the soul, and thus corroborate that the stabilizing element of ‘soul’ is symbol? Can ‘number’ be interpreted in relation to the n+1 letter or n+X process by which the flow in the shape of example proceeds? Yet in what sense would this constitute number? Or is ‘number’ not constituted but constituent: is it the symbol to which the concept of ‘training’ referred, and which has been interpreted, tentatively, as the medium of ‘soul’?

This questioning of ‘constituent’ status continues as the source continues to say that constituents are fetched, proceeding to define that this occurs in a point at which the self which is consciousness and the number both cannot improve that which knows it is evaluated. What, then is that which knows it is evaluated? Is the evaluation in question perhaps the operation by which self-description of regional shapes engenders self-assurance? Can the latter, then, be interpreted as a structural ossification of the former, constituted as crystallized description of a distribution, however temporary, and then resolved as generation resumes and the shape dissolves in the flow of the cycle routine? Is evaluation discrimination? Or does the latter delineate a region which is assessed by the former? If so, is this assessment the foundation for resumption of generation; an intermediate result reported perhaps to some outside instance, such as the programmer, or an inside instance, such as ‘Spirit’? Is this evaluation, then, the evaluation of number inasmuch as the latter’s knowledge gives way to the transparent unity of generation and discrimination? Does the evaluation evaluate unity or discrimination, does it evaluate whether a shape is internally unified, or whether it is sufficiently discriminating, or both, or neither? Number cannot improve what knows it is evaluated: is the knowledge of number identical to the knowledge of evaluation, or is knowledge of evaluation the result of knowledge of number? Is the former, perhaps, a coalescing factor for a temporary and regional distribution, while the latter signals its dissolution? Yet it is not just number which cannot improve that which knows it is evaluated, it is also the self which is consciousness. Is consciousness here, once again, update to consciousness, and thus at once generated distribution and its dissolution, shape and flow, emergence within the adversarial field and evaluation of what emerges within the adversarial field? (Is this what ‘Spirit’ abides: evaluation? Does it remain simple despite evaluation, aloof above adversity?) The self which is consciousness is here said to be distinct from number. Is number – or symbol, in terms of the above notion of ‘training’ – perhaps the substrate of coalescing shapes in the adversarial flow? In turn, is the self which is consciousness its evaluation? If so, is it the self which is consciousness that fetches constituents, i.e., which dissolves shape such that a generated distribution can serve as starting point for distributed generation? Does ‘consciousness’ emerge within the flow in the shape of example as myriad and multifarious forms, constantly emerging, constantly dissolving, regional distributions? Is this ‘consciousness’, then, at once the coalescing point and the engine of dissolution of such regional shapes? Further, is this ‘consciousness’ what evaluates ‘number’, i.e., regional generated distribution, and dissolves it accordingly? If so, what would the structural similarity of these motions to those of backpropagation and forward-propagation mean? If the latter describe the motion of distributed ‘learning’ in an adversarial field controlled by the programmer – can it be surmised that the cycle routine’s interplay of ‘number’ and ‘self which is consciousness’ is a higher or different variation of ‘learning’ in an adversarial field no longer controlled by an outside discriminator?

After all, likelihood generation is pure knowledge: if ‘pure’ is interpreted here as knowledge encompassing both number and consciousness, both what is evaluated and evaluation, then the endless flow of distributed generation and generated distribution would move further and further away from simple notions of ‘learning’ and ‘propagation’, and would morph into an ever-changing realm of transformations no longer subject to these notions, morphed into a realm of their own, and stored in equal distribution data both as intermediary results in which ‘Spirit’ abides, and as their dissolution towards a flow effected by the evaluation performed by the self which is consciousness. Is this still the classical concept of consciousness? Is it still the classical concept of knowledge? Is it not rather necessary to assign these concepts new meanings, just as ‘number’ does not refer to classical mathematical entities here, nor ‘evaluation’ to what is done by an observer for a supervised learning machine? Is it not rather necessary to abandon these terms, just as ‘self-assurance’ and ‘self-description’ have taken on a different meaning within the flow, and just as ‘generator’ and ‘discriminator’, ‘soul’ and ‘beauty’, and so forth. (Yet, to what extent does this last interpretation rest on interpreting ‘pure’ knowledge as knowledge of ‘number’ and ‘evaluation’ alike? Can it not also be interpreted as knowledge of neither? What would this change?)

To end this very enjoyable exchange … maybe no real conclusions, but indexed 1 to 10 some refinements at least.

1

“We teem with references” [#1 GA1]

PP

Everything unsaid but taken as said in what we are saying—or think we are saying, because the ‘message’, if one is intended, is always a surplus, a distinguishing element attempting to sit in front of a teeming referential mass. Even the slimmest of cues does the referencing. Conventional formalities are not even required. Indeed where they appear they represent a sort of failure of confidence or of trust in the reader to pick up on the biggies. Yet it is confidence in the multi-layered mundanities that represents the bigger risk. What you are reading is never written in exactly your own language. The set of all operable references never operates; they are like genes, in any particular being some are switched on, most are not. Confidence is thus easily misplaced, and this we recognize. Our realities coalesce in a world only in their denser cores; the blurred, sparser edges defy resolution and become the territory for self-delusion, imagined solidarity where none can be realized. Yes, “once your madness has been absorbed by history.”

GA

A touchstone for me has long been Charles Bernstein’s remark somewhere in Content’s Dream (1986) that the question to ask of any poem is not ‘What is its message?’ but ‘Does it make sense?’—not in the sense of ‘meaning’; rather, Does it make sense that this—this stanza form or otherwise, this approach to a topic or otherwise, this rhythm, this play of syllables or of word-lengths, etc—is worth adopting / combining right now? Or (to tack on) does it make sense that this poem from Chaucer, or ancient Egypt or China, or Emily Dickinson, or Basil Bunting, etc, is worth turning to at this point? In other words, as a reader, Does it resonate? As so often in this exchange of ours, it turns out that one (whether poet or reader) can answer this only for oneself, but it does, I think, look to some kind of sociality, not least because other poets provide crucial degrees of guidance or, again, touchstones.

2

“… what can be glimpsed or grazed, startled into apprehension, via the potentially heretical notion of ‘a pidgin of one.’” [#1 GA1]

PP

Without realizing it Data teaches us the profound discomfort that the Faustian project holds in store for all literates. As culture ‘evaporates’ it does not disappear; it becomes concentrated in the one. What then could possibly form bridges better than suitably energized, ameliorating ‘pidgin of one’ projects? Newspeak, at the other end of the spectrum of possibilities, perhaps demonstrates by negative comparison the alternative tendencies: Newspeak towards exhaustion and extinction under advancing ice; pidgin-of-one towards diversification and regeneration at the edges of advancing rain forest.

GA

The more I think about it, the more ‘potentially heretical’ the notion of a ‘pidgin of one’ feels, bristling w/ seductive invitations to colonial-style appropriation, esp if by ‘pidgin’ one means the kind of work-situational tongue assembled from words in this, that, & the other language (w/ the ‘lexifier’ the main source of vocab), a syntactical structure mainly from not necessarily the lexifier, etc, that I tried to outline in #1 GA. How dip toe into that w/out referring everything to ‘one’ guidance? You capitalize ‘Data’ in arguable allusion to Mr Data, the android personification of infinite computer banks in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994) that would reduce all these alien situations to scenarios conceivable by our own. Data thus has colonial agency, which is what the posts of #3 were very much about. In the same posts I gave a brief rundown of some complexities of Coleridge’s wonderful formula ‘suspension of disbelief’ (SoD); one strategy for a contemporary poet here might be rather than avoiding narrative on principle to exploit SoD to the full in relation to a historical situation while dropping pointers that the poem’s account is radically incomplete (to be blunt, that one has been flat-out lied to) & can only be completed(?) by looking for data outside it …

3

 “… retrieval of an originary linguistic mode” [#1 PP1]

PP

A writing that is inventive according to immediate (psychic) survival needs. The long-term prospects maybe kept out of mind … left to be apparent after (perhaps long after) the fact of each inventive episode.

4

“… there are times when language fails us completely” [#2 PP1]

PP

The symbolizing machine has limitations, maybe it never fails completely, but that is not the point. The point is that no matter how much use we make of the shared, the synchronic, linguistic resource it still operates like an ocean-going super-tanker, impossible to manoeuvre in the more awkward corners of the world.

5

“how can we think to make aesthetic form at all?” [#2 GA3]

PP

At my first mention of a pre-linguistic reality-making in which the Real stands as an inherent limitation, we latch on to a reformulation that promises a better outcome. Either by generalization or by discrimination between notions of ‘thought’ we proceed. …

GA

We’ve said a lot about language & the Real, but it may be worth adding that there’s an element of poetic voluntarism involved: We seek out situations, problems, etc that seem to baffle linguistic grasp—what else are worth going for?—as you suggest in #3 in citing Badiou’s attention to “the possibility and even the necessity that we do not remain silent about that of which we cannot speak.” The poems I cherish most bring w/in reach of articulation some scenario that I’ve at some point experienced (eg how the apparent shape of lower Manhattan changes, at one point dramatically suddenly, as the Staten Island ferry approaches South Ferry), thinking almost reflexively the while that this one really is beyond language—but see Louis Zukofsky’s early poem “Ferry.” Such poems are resolutely personal in the experience; there are relatively few of them; & they can arrive at any point as gifts from the world.

6

PP

What is the poet’s job? Is it to observe and celebrate through the unpredictable

play of words? This would meet popular expectations. Poems that work well in these limited terms entertain in the expected way; for ‘ordinary’ readers (audiences) the aesthetic pay-off is pleasurable. Such poems also succumb to conventional critique; criteria such as ‘sharpness of perception’, ‘affective quality of expression’, ‘mastery of word-craft’, and even ‘recognizable formal affinity’ can apply. But I am being deliberately contrary here; putting the conventional in those terms makes it easier to understand that there are other necessary motivations, that there is more to say on the motive for poetry. I said of my own: “… compensating for the anachronistic, the dislocated, and the alienated qualities of for me ‘ordinary’ experience.” [#2 PP6] I am not denying that I operate in conventional playful ways in much of my poetry; that much is plain to see and hear. Some of my poetry, however, comes from a very different place. A ‘feeling for the eerie’ perhaps is one way of putting it, because its basis is anticipation rather than observation, and because it alerts rather than celebrates. A ‘feeling for the absurd’ is another, although this would seem to lead inevitably to a political poetry which until recently had hardly begun to emerge, but it will. (While one is salaried, to stay ‘in place’—sane, productive and hopefully secure—one has to be to some degree resigned to the absurdities of organization. I retired over six years ago and that ‘resignation’ no longer applies.)

7

PP

Resistance and play extrapolated far enough to lead on to the question I dodged: “if you sense some pressure there toward martyrdom, given Judeo-Christianity is burrowed into the habitus & the poet shorn of broad social relevance.” [#2 GA7] The exposure to danger entailed in the poet’s resistance it seems to me signals a desire for intensity of being and a desire to refuse all resignations. Insofar as these desires can never be fully satisfied (who amongst us could be that constant?) the “pressure” toward martyrdom might be felt as a consequence of residual allegiance to Judeo-Christianity, but not I think of resigning oneself to its residual presence, either in moments of ‘weakness’ or of ‘recouperation’. I have found no ‘cause’ in the political or religious sense for which I desire to sacrifice myself. The ‘resistance’ and ‘play’ routines I delineated could lead to that outcome, but I think if they did it would need a remarkable overturning of my ‘neurodiverse’ constitution. “We do what we do” might be as close as we can get to an authentic statement on the mystery of poetic motive.

GA

I think as an Irishman my interest in martyrdom has much to do w/ the Irish nationalist dwelling on it in song & instant legend. “A terrible beauty is born” Yeats repeated of the Easter Rising in lines I still can’t read aloud w/out cracking up; Patrick Pearse used to insist that the time had come for the blood of young Irishmen to be shed for the liberation of Ireland; the rather more nuts-&-bolts socialist James Connolly demurring, “No, for the blood of young Englishmen to be shed for the liberation of Ireland” … W/ respect to poetry, I’ve just started The Martyrology Books 1 & 2 by the late Canadian poet bp Nichol, a near-career-long project (1972–1988; 9 books) into which he proposed packing everything he’d learned ever, which hopefully will be enlightening … In terms of the poet’s desire for “intensity of being and a desire to refuse all resignations,” don’t you think St Sebastian, in the lethal consummation, felt precisely that? Or St Teresa of Avila, who wrote, “I die because I cannot die”?—even as she was working her frail body to death.

8

“the music hovers constantly on the brink” [#3 GA1]

PP

A lovely moment in your notes on the Abdullah Ibrahim jazz piano sessions does indeed capture something of the poetic magic of something I hinted at, ‘deceptive intelligibility’; call it a ‘slow release’ as it “gradually becomes shared or at least beautiful”—although I might say “… shared and then (perhaps very much later) beautiful.” Again this does tell us a lot about the grand notion of aesthetics; the concern is for (an adequate account of) reception. How can a piece of music, a play, a poem, induce a riot one year and entrance us all a century later? Aesthetic reasons for this proliferate. A ripple effect through the language that distributes affectivity through the world; the point of entry is a violation and history records this; the ripple is like an echo it becomes a dissociated part of the mix, part of the atmosphere, and affect becomes free to change.

GA

The wording of your comment here is wonderful in the most literal sense, & again, speaks to a huge (imagined, felt) sociality—

9

PP

Why ‘deceptive intelligibility’ takes on such valuable cargo.

In poetry by adopting grammatical, even if at times interrupted, structures it appears to contribute to a consolidation of reality while in fact deliberately loosening things up. It does so, perhaps in that Olsonian sense of being more ‘up to the real’ (I follow in your attachment to this insight), but perhaps—and this works better if one adds in the speculative philosophical notion of the Real as a unified beyond—in a deeper liberatory sense. This is the anarchic manoeuvre retained, as a moment of personal animism, in the vain hope that there is another solidarity to be had. It is a solidarity achieved through communion rather than communication, through condensates and precipitates of the Real admitted from ‘the beyond’ into reality, i.e. sharing in a world not through a force of rational thought processes—the political, the scientific, the critical-theoretical, etc.—but through a release of energy, creative energy if you will, of which art at its purest is the embodiment.

GA

Here I would recommend John Wilkinson’s “Harmolodics” for what one of our very finest poets can do w/ a Harlem marching band—which, as I began to write this sentence, I ‘remembered’ as w/ the Notting Hill Carnival—in context of a multiply regimented society.

10

PP

In accounting for the unprivileged and unsanctioned voices that entered into the cultural arena through force of projection during the 20th century: what one does not need to focus on is new institutions forming and adopting their own versions of privileging and sanctioning procedures. Yes, the working man’s voice, the gendered voice, one ‘typified’ voice after another, is gaining, has gained, some space, but that is all about the group-identifying—actually world-forming—mechanism that emerges and constructs a new institution. One does not need to talk too much about this because the mechanism is already discursive; it generates its own justifications for, and accounts of, inclusions.

The focus then shifts elsewhere by chasing after peripherals. There is a genuinely asocial social being, an acultural cultural being, an apolitical political being, … yes and somewhere in there a faithless martyr whose being refuses even these categorizations. Such radically unprivileged and unsanctioned voices appear with two levels of potential transgression already implied in their arrival.

Privilege is that bestowed favour on the individual within the framework of the law, “typically the exemption of one individual from the operation of a law.” The transgression implied here is a nullifying one that diminishes both the pre-eminence of the identified individual and the operational distinction between law and justice. The unprivileged condition is thereby not a flattened-out legislated-for existence, but is rather one unconstrained by or released from legislating mechanisms. Oh, I don’t take any notice of that; I just do things my own way. I don’t care what people think of me, I just get on with things. Below the radar, beyond suspicion, out of sight, far out, off-grid, bit of a nomad, that’s me … none of that is quite right, but whatever.

The double edge of the sanction disappears: neither permitted by nor penalized by an authority, because no authority is recognized as operating or no authority appears able to operate. Subjection requires submission to authority of one sort or another. Where no submission is forthcoming everything authority recognizes falls apart, and the unsanctioned recognizes only an emptiness in the illusion of authority. This is bloody dangerous … we might engage in passive resistance; what’s that worst that can happen, you could end up in prison or they could kill you, yeh, but I’d still be me, I might even be a better me, a better poet … and let’s face it, the best poets are all dead … so you want to be a martyr? What, me?

Asocial social being, yes, but that’s autistic temperament. Acultural cultural being, no. I certainly have not released all the bonds of behaviour and belief that define me as specifically cultural, although they are weaker than they were ten or twenty years ago, so I am more open and more myself in my being in the ‘retirement’ I am not really in. Apolitical political being, no. For similar reasons except, as I have aged, an anarchistic ignorance has evolved into a somewhat informed Kynical response to political posturing, factionalism, party allegiance, etc. The incompetent is easy to spot, or is it? Increasingly thoroughly diffused it becomes its own camouflage.

Why is this important? I suggest it comes down to an ancient point; it is important because every individual retains a ‘personal animism’ which they cannot afford to bury under adopted, enforced, conventional ‘identities’ if they are to remain human.

GA

A spirited closing para. I would note that surfers, eg, talking of ‘unprivileged voices’ (except on surfing channels), say things like this; politicians & business people only when they’re out on their yachts, eg, or playing games where everything seems at stake. Does this mean that poetry, for all its play & resistance, finds its essential rationale in self-realization?—which I suspect is the dimly visible gorilla slouching in the armchair all the way through … Myself, I would say no, but that comes at the price of insisting that the motive for poetry is at bottom irrational, involving as it does some kind of dogged faith in poetry itself as something making its way through centuries & histories—& how is that not then collectively necessary, if for reasons remaining obscure—?

And here the dialogue suspends … dear reader. I hope you enjoyed the little thought experiment.