Thursday, February 10, 2011

texts || Jim Leftwich

discontinuous poem #30

One's own beliefs are a temporary compromise (yes, I am working my way through this one as I write it); the beliefs of others are a matter of trust.

discontinuous poem #31

Relationships among creative people are characterized by a spectrum of fairly simple and obvious correspondences concerning their work and why they do it. There are those who do similar things for similar reasons, those who do similar things for different reasons, those who do different things for similar reasons, and those who do different things for different reasons. The segments of this spectrum are only interesting in their generative potential, as a set of possibilities for thinking emerging from each specificity. We have the beginnings of something truly substantial, however, something alchemical and mutagenic, only when the entire spectrum is encountered in a relationship.

discontinuous poem #32

I have no energy - no desire and no will - to put towards the construction of an alternative elite. The dominant culture is fully capable of constructing such a slot for us. Let us imagine instead the construction of an exemplary independence - collective, cooperative and, finally, creative, which is to say capable of disseminating evidence of its difference to and through the quotidian cultural environment.

discontinuous poem #33

All workers are cultural workers. Culture is an ecology. No one is expected to have a taste for all of its inhabitants. However, one might well be expected to experience the entire spectrum.

discontinuous poem #34

Certain kinds of poetic practice revive the perceptual and cognitive processes necessary for certain kinds of archaic experience. I do not intend here to permit the implication of mere meat on a bloody tooth, nor do I wish to proliferate fantasies of a nomadic utopia. Transformations of subjectivity are attainable through the sustained practice of destabilizing one's relationship with language. Destabilizing language itself is one method of sustaining such a practice. Decisions concerning primary units of composition are an inevitable part of the process. Conclusions, however, concerning the relative value of work with one unit as against another are of necessity provisional.

discontinuous poem #35

Think of a synapse as a muscle. Think of a syllable as an isometric exercise. This is one meaning of the phrase: writing against itself.

discontinuous poem #36

The axiomatic crepuscle, or the crepuscular axiom? The direction of a grey area makes all the difference in the world.

discontinuous poem #37

Slippery enough? Not if you can stand still long enough to read it.

discontinuous poem #38

I once worked with a man who had spent a few years in the Virginia State Penitentiary. The facilities were being expanded while he was incarcerated, and one of his jobs was to help string the razor wire along the top of the new fence designed to keep him and his fellow inmates in. We should all be so fortunate. There is valuable knowledge to be had from such explicit complicity in constructing our own captivity - assuming, that is, that all of us are attending to the plot of our collective escape...

discontinuous poem #39

What if the sentence? Beyond that, there is the stickiness, the law of syntactical probability, there is the punctuation of sickly aliens endogenous to a mnemonic subjectivity (we have no choice but to misremember the asymmetrical warfare of the angels): propaganda has always been poetical, precise, and pointless. A sentence, if letters, then a poetics of anarchist sorcery. We have always thought otherwise, thus flux as a commodity.

discontinuous poem #40

I once worked in a kitchen with a woman who was a witch. She said: an experienced cook never measures anything. At the time I didn't have enough experience to know whether I should believe her or not, I was still counting syllables. It took me about fifteen years to fully understand what she was saying. She really was a witch, I no longer have any doubt.

discontinuous poem #41

Memories generate other memories. I take all of my experiences personally. Do we think our memories are our possessions? I remember reading Andre Gide in high school. He wrote: our possessions possess us. After four years of college I gave away everything I owned. We construct narratives to defend ourselves from the fictions of others. I know this is worth doing, but I resent having to do it. I do not remember when I learned to resent having to do things I consider worth doing. The desire to do nothing is a form of dissent against the self.

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