Wednesday, March 11, 2009

for Spring

If late autumn
pulls his eyes across sun rusted hills,
spring always returns him to the color of women.

Like now.
In the café a stranger's gaze moves slowly
above him to something he suddenly
wishes he were.

But turning he sees it is only the hills reborn,
so he smiles,
allows himself to begin,

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lucidity and Desire

"A.'s lucidity depends on a lack of desire. Mine is the result of an excess-undoubtedly it is also the only true lucidity. If it is only the negation of delerium, lucidity is not completely lucid, is still a bitt of the fear of going all the way-transposed into boredom, that is, into contempt for the object of an excessive desire. We reason with ourselves and we tell ourselves: this object doesn't have in itself the value that desire gives it. We don't see that mere lucidity, which we also attain, is still blind. We must see at the same time the delusion and the truth of the object. No doubt we have to know that we are deluding ourselves, that the object is first of all what is perceived by a desireless being, but it is also what a desire perceives in it. B. is also what is only attained by the extremity of delirium an dmy lucidity would not exist if my delirium were not so great. Just as it would not exist if the other, ridiculous sides of B. escaped me."

Georges Bataille
from The Impossible

Monday, March 2, 2009

On What Makes a Writer

In all the questioning about what makes a writer, and especially perhaps the personal essayist, I have seen little of reference to this fact; namely, that the brain has become a kind of unseen artist’s loft. There are pictures that hang askew, pictures with outlines barely chalked in, pictures torn, pictures, the artist has striven unsuccessfully to erase, pictures that only emerge and glow in a certain light. They have all been teleported, stolen, as it were, out of time. They represent no longer the sequential flow of ordinary memory. They can be pulled about on easels, examined within the mind itself. The act is not one of total recall like that of the professional mnemonist. Rather it is the use of the things extracted from their context in such a way that they have become the unique possession of a single life. The writer sees back to these transports alone, bare, perhaps few in number, but endowed with a symbolic life. He cannot obliterate them. He can only drag them about, magnify or reduce them as his artistic sense dictates, or juxtapose them in order to enhance a pattern. One thing he cannot do. He cannot destroy what will not be destroyed; he cannot determine in advance what will enter his mind.

Loren Eiseley
from All The Strange Hours