the struggle over a body, between a preacher hungry for prestige, for carrion, and those who, like us, incoherent and full of shame, abandoned somebody, their own flesh and blood, so utterly, as it may seem, well, it's a long story

what do you mean!

when everybody's left the house, you start talking to everybody, finish clearing the table, justify yourself to imaginary interlocutors - gradually this anxious filling will subside - quiet enters the house - the temperature drops - presently, it turns out, you've started -

think of the way jeff wall began to compose his elaborate photographs, having abandoned his early work, after a seven year interruption, creating an impression of spontaneity from a process staged typically over many years -

our compositions / redescriptions offer even less stability: they're groundless - just as there is apparently no way of deriving a robust basis for rights from a credible conception of a human being, so there is no way of showing why, as a person wanders from room to room, to another room, one of those rooms might contain anything of value -

some dirt has been spattered on this table, and up the wall, by somebody, maybe you - get a sponge and clean it off; if you can't forget about it -

if you can't do the right thing for the right reason, said Isaac Bashevis Singer, just do it -

in the short term, aesthetic judgement also fails: Marsyas, the centaur flayed alive by Apollo - this giant sculpture of a stretched membrane didn't, as they say, do much for me at the time - even during the play performed in / under it during the War in Iraq, which began to shed some light on men I have worked with in the United States of America - their love of farts, their apparent terror of mental and physical penetration - by Artaud - I was with Joe and a bunch of Rorty intellectuals, it seemed, in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, eighteen pounds plus booking fee - and yet, over time this synthetic skin goes on resonating, with that extraordinary text, in that compromised event, proving vital - "For An End to the Judgement of God" - check it out!

those paintings you come across in some chapel in the mountains: the Virgin surrounded by little pictures of people being tortured - skinning catfish with papa -

what's happened!

nobody knows - except one person, and what do they do? patiently make their way to where somebody else is e g hoeing their vegetable plot, what else? - seeing them from afar, as they walk towards them, they go over and over what they will tell them -

not to speak of you!

what if I don't feel like this, right now -

from earliest infancy, neither imaginatively fused with a mother, nor, as it turns out, utterly alone, there is an activity: by assembling fleeting appearances, s/he stitches together gradually: a raft of impressions and emotions - this template, which can then be cued by a certain feeling, is what Stern calls an evoked companion: everything that clusters in the mind around the idea of the other out of reach -

[[slnc 1000]]

an evoked companion can also - [[emph +]] must be called up - when the other person is right beside us - half sunk in shadow, raised above the damp turf on a camping stool,

what a feat of construction it is, Daniel Stern implies, to reach across the what? two feet of space from which we feel rising the breath of a gorge - towards that lingering, uncertainty -

the dead are shown waiting interminably for a thought, not to say the fresh blood they crave, while the living, muttering all kinds of endearments, are busy with a crude little model -

present - absent - hollow - whole -

so intense are experiences with ghostly, what we now call [[emph +]]virtual presences, that a mere person of flesh and blood exists uneasily, dependently, alongside such an other being, invested moved and nourished by with a history of longings:

so that person is in the position of one who comes uncertainly, dragging their heel in the dust,

then briskly opens the door to our disenchantment -


in the observable interaction between the mother and the infant, Stern goes on, this curious bridge, the mother brings her working models of her own mother, not to speak of others, whose ghostly presences then inhabit the nursery, he says,

i e the kitchen -

the streets, are full of viscous presences: our movements encounter resistance, come on! behind the scenes, each is occupied in constant adjustments and compensations, inaudible diaologues! this is why we're inexplicably exhausted, every day: by close, invisible work -

careful! don't fall out of the window!

memory of a getaway as an impasse:

the heat of summer is lit and turned up like a burner, in these places, the storms of autumn open like a faucet, I thought, listening to the great storm building,

pushing and plucking at the skin of this tent,

lying on the ground, pinned, as we felt, between a hardening international and a faltering internal situation, on this artificial hillside, to which we come back and back:

the cement quarry can still be heard, in the lulls -

why are you saying this!

tiredness -