Monday, November 7, 2011

Yes, I'm a beast (and I feast when I conquer)

Tonight I am hungry.

Tonight I wrote out of rage.
And love.
And fear.
And guilt.

I got out about 2 1/2 solid pages.
Beginning to clear the brush out of the way of my fire.
I will burn this shit down!
And I won't last on kindling.
I need cold, hard, wet boughs.
So much arrogant timbre to reduce to ash.

Still hungry.

(you gave me strength, gave me hope for a life time)

How could you let yourself down like this?
How did I help with that?
Why didn't I see beyond myself?
(I'm a bitch)
How could I not see beyond myself?

Tonight I tried to write a distance between my success and your failure.
(I can feel myself giving up)
I tried to project myself, into words, into a future where I write myself out of the pain of this attachment.
(this time...)
But, I have no taste for such efforts.

A hunger that begins to eat itself.
(Alone, all these riches...)

Where are you?
(I drove for miles)
Did I bury you?
In what?
the sloppy cement of expectations?
the moist soil of intimacy?
the ungiving steel of knowledge?
(I never was satisfied.)

Did I fuck you up?

No amount of pages write away this gnawing question.
No distance is global enough.
No pop song reassures.
A hunger that cannot be exorcised.

Here, then:
the pyre of my ambition.
(to find myself)
In the flames of a memorial?

Is it only possible to honor you in the form of a sacrifice?
(can't silence these voices in my head)
A past in need of redemption.
(('save me'))

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Today I found myself wishing I were in a public stall while I took a shit so I could imagine the Writer next to me, beating off to the obscene noises I was making.
A strange way to say you've been missing someone.
Reading Massumi and reading Arendt and reading Deleuze and reading Bifo. Fuuuuuck.
I miss my friends.
I feel like Reagan or something. That's what post-alpha means? Suturing the semi-automaton, half-a-person amputee status of life into the desire for completion. Still, always wondering: where is the rest of me?
How many of us are just bad actors, then?
Autistic, like.
I have to figure out a way to write a paper I feel I've read myself beyond. It feels like regression, an anachronistic in-folding to imagine myself writing it. SPITITOUT!!!
catches, snags, stickiness, chalky rustiness. A tear, a rip, a shlop or a creak. All betray the machine is running.
The ball as part-subject: the foot as transductor, the field and polarizing goals as inductors, the ball as catalyst: the play of the game... moves.
I wanted to hear more about the rules. Autistic as I am, I wanted to know more about the rules. Not because I'm, like, a queer negationist (the negative of my oppressor is my freedom, whatever that means), trapped in the logic of repression (transgression yields pleasure, pleasure is unruly, unruly is freedom), but because I'm one of these queer kids stuck and creaking, snagged and caught, between text and image, between new and old media, unable to quite yet synthesize a bridge--or better still, a logic--that would render rule-making fluid (again), playful (again), loose and easy (again?).
I like you to s.p.e.l.l.-i.t.-o.u.t. and then I like you to let me rewrite it back to you. to get the ball rolling. To begin a relational correspondence.
The conjunctive language of the body is often discovered as a "missed connection" ad. I read it too late. I'm looking for a connection. FASTER!
SLooooW down.
Slow down? I feel like a zombie. Like a classical zombie. Not a contemporary zombie, tweaking and speeding, ravenous, rabid. A pre post-alpha zombie: somewhat pathetic, slow, hungry, but not quite there. (the beauty of "Zombieland": classical zombies, contemporary post-political world.)
I was so obvious, it seems, in that class. She read me... (like a book?)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

the email that needs editing (story of my life?)

Dear XXX and XXX,
Thank you so much for your respective guidance! Unfortunately my computer crashed and I was (literally) disconnected until just recently. Please pardon my regrettably delayed reply!
This paper, in the mean time, has just been stewing in my head!

@XXX: thank you so much for the references! I actually found your deployment of Barthes' very helpful for my own project (i.e., his schematization of an affective, amorous "Image-Repertoire" in _LD_). I was also thinking of Genet--initially I was going to draw on Bersani's _Homos_ (reading his "Gay Daddy" against Genet's _Querelle_), but that is probably better-suited for a larger project. I'm am absolutely tickled that you sent me to Hocquenghem--he was the joint that led me to booting Deleuze/Guattari (as it were)--I'm in the thick of Massumi's _Parables for the Virtual_ (an excellent read!).

Before my computer crashed I'd been pursuing the historical link between Freidkin's film "Cruising" and a collection of interviews Foucault gave in the early 80s--one in particular conducted in concert with an "A. Wilson"--who, to be best of my ability to track this person down, seems to have also written a critical, Marxian-influenced review of Friedkin's "Cruising" (attached). It is in this context, I want to argue, that S/M becomes relevant for Foucault as a politically salient practice of the ethics of the care of the self as a modality of cultivating and "using" pleasure.

(This paper is also a first effort at pushing-back on the general assumption that there is an enigmatic schism between Foucault's 'early, political' work and his 'later, ethical' concerns--such an interpretation, I want to argue, is only sustainable to the extent that these 'gay' interviews are ignored.)

I'm keen on amplifying the role that institutions play for Foucault in these interviews--both the specific spaces of the gay leather/S&M scene (clubs, theaters, parks) as well as broader institutions like the family, the police/law, and even the 'public sphere' as a realm permeated with "sex" (in the way Warner/Berlant cast "sex in public"). I want to ultimately argue that Foucault's "ethical" concerns are misunderstood if not appreciated within the context of a political project that, as it were, is engaged in "queering" institutions rather than eliding their importance.

On a 'textual' level, this concern is dramatized in the film "Cruising": absent meaningful alterations in mass-mediated cultural circulations of 'gay desire' the relays that loop queer to criminal and criminal to (sexually) pathological and sexual perversion back to queer sexuality (etc.), the potential over-ripe in the rhizomatic nodes of S/M pleasure cannot actually constitute an enduring political challenge. These loops produce the killer, police brutality, and ultimately 'pervert' Pacino's 'gay desire' into the paradigm of the Repressive Hypothesis (i.e., prohibition and transgression, a dynamic animated by the affective experience of _punishment_). Crucially, these loops operate "within" the scene of cruising, 'infecting' the flow of (gay) desire by routing it through these nodes of affective intensity, and are not easily 'external' to them--they are, as it were, 'supplemental' (i.e., they 'haunt' but are not determinative of the scene--there is never any one differance).

Of course, Foucault is keen to resist the project of liberal assimilation--he demands the cultivation of new legally forceful protections at the same time he proposes the "inverting" or "queering" of pre-existing institutions (i.e., when he proposes inverted adoption as a recognized form of intimate relationality). That is, he is attentive to the important function hierarchical (sovereign) institutions play in the capillary circuits knitting together a micro-physic of power. Further, he is eager to figure S/M as a practice of pleasure that is _creative_: one does not 'punish' the desire for perverse pleasure in S/M (in which case S/M--to the extent that it is a performance of this desire for punishment and the satisfaction of this desire--is itself a perverse practice); instead one 'cultivates' pleasures--as if outside the rubric of prohibition/transgression. (On this front I'm influenced by Eve Sedgwick's introductory remarks to _Touching/Feeling_, esp. as she inveighs against a Lacanian figuration of desire and jouissance).

On a 'meta' level, then: the protests that, as it were, ''haunted'' the film's production (you can hear the protesters blowing whistles underneath the dialogue track, for instance), are symptomatic of a certain political _failure_ that, today, is couched theoretically as 'homonationalism'--the protests perform the refusal to publicly demand formal (legal) institutional protection of marginal and precarious subjects of desire, demonstrating through an identification with 'normal' (the politics of respectability) the desire to secret away 'shameful' members of the (gay) community. That is: the protesters approach the leather/S&M scene with the same set of I-R resonances as the police and the killer in Friedkin's film (i.e.: the loops that suture queer to criminal to pathological to sexually perverse to queer again).

I want to argue that it is in _this_ context, then, that Foucault's treatment of S/M becomes politically salient: rather than a politics that encourages the proliferation, and 'endurability,' of queer(ed) institutions, the (American) Gay Liberation project falters before the demands of the Law (to be 'acceptable,' 'recognizable,' 'patriotic,' 'non-threatening,' etc.). In other words, S/M is a strategic node of resistance for Foucault in these interviews to the extent that these practices, those who perform and enjoy them, and the spaces that enable them to complicatedly confront _both_ a hetero-normative imperative to "normalize" _and_ the political tendency amongst queers to respond to this demand, rather than to the potential to cultivate novel institutions "outside" the norm immanent to the practice of S/M.

I'm hoping this all holds together. Anyway, thanks again to both of you for your respective leads, advice, and simply for your responsivity--I greatly appreciate it! Perhaps once all is said and done I can send a draft along to you?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Gods Gifted (Poisoned) Me With a Wrath So Great, Its Power Unspeakable...

(...but it was only potent against that which I loved.)

I've been neglecting the medium I am attached to most: the written word. These dead letters, so many corpses of meaning, compiled and assorted, lining ditches cut by paragraphs, amassing around so many miscarried intentions, the significance of which is forever buried (while these ghastly bodies lay exposed and naked on the bare page).

I'm southbound to Marion, crafting my handwriting, a little bit funky, but over-laden with melancholy.

I am killing myself with the thick soup of nostalgia, spoonful by spoonful, choking on What-Could-Have-Been.

Good. I want to paint it black. I want to see it bleed. It. Me. That IT I can't bear to bare any more. Fuck me.

But IT is tethered to this cluster of events that wear your skin and bare your teeth when I see them seeming to smile. You would tear my face off. A cynical smile. You think it flashes love, but I see only the explosion of a muzzle. And that after I feel the tenderness of your insincerity rip through my chest. First the feeling, then the sight, then then sound.

It is deafening, the noise that floods the space between my desire and your dispassion. It is torrents of static and calamitous waves, hurling boulders. You don't hear it over the bubbling of your laughter. You can't feel it, so blithely leaping from foothold to foothold, the rush of wind against your thick, impenetrable hide. Those impermanent foundations are pouring out of my hemophilic body! Thin-skinned and paling, I can only watch your movements. You no longer fly into the wound you open, into this terrible space you've punched through my body. Away, and up--or down, no matter: still just away--your lurching body is frantic and harried, tired too, but hungry for escape.

How many scenes of your leaving must I die before IT dies, too? And trapped here in these miserable confines--these atrocious symbols! A, B, C, D, E, (F-this)--these scenes multiply and amplify and ricochet and intensify until... what? will they ever COLLAPSE?! What obscene power is this, animating this hateful form?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It Took Time (fine for now)

"Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral."--Threepenny Opera

But we, we are so gluttonous, over-full, over-ripe, bursting, so rotund, fleshy, massive, just so much of this excess! The sculptor's chisel is glistening, humming precision, fresh from the whetstone, ready to philosophize with a hammer!

(We're all faltering. How'd I help with that? If it's all or nothing, then let me go.)

To be so amorphous, massive, excessive. To be so ready for the striking imposition of form--to lust for such deprivation!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

On Being Boring and Stuff

I am deriving a cruel delight from being able to turn away from you.
Not only in those moments when I am solicited by you. But also in these moments when I am tempted by my own sentimentality, tempted, too, by the desire to turn against myself, turning toward you.
And so I turn away from this impulse, and turn toward the work before me. Which comes before me, and which will come after me, even if I turn away from it.
I'm not quite sure that I am turning toward myself, per se. But I am turning toward something that I can live with at least. It is workable.
And some how, being able to put you aside, for long enough to get on with what is in front of me, is a cruel pleasure. I'm being my own best Daddy.

Next week is going to be really crazy, and really stressful. Apply for jobs, looking for a place to live. Writing another paper (though this one will be much, much easier I am pleased to report. I am able, I think, to approach it with a more generous spirit of inquiry than I was before). I want to be a good standing member of my community, which sounds so cheesy to write out loud, but I suppose is true. I've been slow on this one, and it's been a mistake. I've nothing really pulling me so terribly strongly up here. I'm leaving, after all.

And it's strange, I suppose I'm ready to leave, too. Last night, for the first time with real fervor, I listened with resentment to the drunken gaiety of the 2am roamers making their ways from one bar to the next. I didn't like feeling it, and so I took it as a sign that I had brought myself to a place where I was ready to leave. Best to recognize it, and not make the matter moral. I'm still just very nervous about the whole thing. I think I stayed in Btown for as long as I have in part because I was afraid of having to make new friends and start that whole thing over again. But, seeing as I effectively ruined most friendships I had simply by making my relationship with J. disproportionately predominant, it is as though nothing really other than work and the allure of the nightlife keeps me here. And both are insufficient reasons.

I think I am going to be able to write something rather punch-up for my MA. It'll be nice to finally redress this issue.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Finders, Seekers, Merciless Cheaters

Right now, I want you. Your voice to answer mine when it calls, and your body to come when I arouse it.
An exercise in causality, the desire for something necessary. And familiar.
This paper is killing me. Coming in fits and bursts, a torturous delivery.
I saw you on a4a last night. You'd changed one of your pictures, and I stared at it longingly, wondering how many other boys were, too. Wondering which one you would have over, or were already entertaining.
You'd texted me earlier. "I just wish I could talk to you =("
I followed our pre-arranged script: I said nothing, I ignored you.
And then you texted me again, almost two hours later: "wanna have sex?"
And I again followed our pre-arranged script: "Fuck off, J. This sucks."
"ok sorry," you replied.
And then I saw you on a4a and I seethed with longing. A kettle full of evaporation, nothing but hot metal.
I did not hide that I was looking at you, I did not "delete the trace" of my cruise.
I did not want to hide my desire for you, from you.
And now, after being flaked out on three times--and after doing it twice over myself to other boys--I am desperate for you. Some one as desperate as me. Perhaps you'd even be desperate for me.