Monday, December 6, 2010

Restless, Getting into Trouble

Deleuze and Guattari riff on Rimbaud regularly. Season in Hell. I have a weird little signature in my copy next to a poem read aloud by a friend on his birthday.
The orphan of the inferior race, "the beast, the Negro!" (to presage Patti Smith.)
What is amazing is the frenetic, dense language of the text: they are on the cusp of articulating what they want, but they are stranded in a conceptual desert: their language thirsts for new shores.
The machine, the factory, desiring-production.
The body-without-organs.
It seems that they get right the way in which Oedipus is an interpretive black hole sucking everything into it. The double bind: to renounce Oedipus is to resecure Oedipus.
I think this is why Nietzsche spent so much time on forgetting as an active condition of the healthy body. Forgetting is a kind of rebirth.
Depression as a sleepless exhaustion. The inability to begin or end anything--not a present so much as a "perpetuation."
What am I to do, though?
In a dream he had his Grandmother heard his confession, coerced from him by (M)other. He woke crying. He slays his demons with such chivalry, like he's wounded himself. And of course, he has: this is the violence of interpretation?
I'm getting sick of getting skewered.
I've been full-up with bile and finally relief is in sadness, which oozes out of me like so much muck. It smells like so much aspirin chewed in your teeth, so much grinding in grinding in grinding in and so much away you spat/spit and the slick of milk still can't coat (so much!) resentment.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gonna Go OUT! (to see my man, cuz i'm nothing but this movement, my orbital existence)

I'd like to try to once again to delimit my discomfort regarding the aspiration to glean meaning from the scrupulous establishment of an historical context.

I'm taking my lead from Derrida's deconstruction of Marx(ism), especially the insistence on an historical present structured by schismatic heterogeneity: time is literally out of joint.
Riffing on Blanchot's "Marx's Three Voices," Derrida writes,
"With the sober brilliance of an incomparable density, in a manner that is at once discreet and dazzling, their utterances [i.e., Marx's 3 voices] are less the full response to a question than the measure of that to which we must respond today, inheritors that we are of more than one form of speech, as well as of an injunction that is itself disjointed." (Specters of Marx).

I think this passage, while admittedly dense, still resonates with a number of concerns that were raised in class, namely, and as Derrida puts it in _Spurs_ (the text Skinner takes as representative of deconstruction), namely: "...it is always possible that the <> detached as it is, not only from the milieu that produced it, but also from any intention or meaning on Nietzsche's part, should remain so, whole and intact, once and for all, without any other context. The meaning and the signature that appropriates it remain in principle inaccessible." (Spurs, 125)

...inaccessible to one another--the meaning and the signature which attempts appropriation, through a stylus = Björk's hands (loving one another) v. Christ's hands (not knowing one another)--but also to a 3rd party observer (why the desire for appropriation? why this manner? why this undermining ambivalence, this auto-erasure?)... all of this leading to a deconstructionist affirmation of the fungibility of language as an economy of the failed appropriation of meaning. Which is to say, and anticipating Strauss's methodological commitments a bit as well, one will never derive a Real sense of the context from the content of a text, nor content from context--the being-with structuring the text is precisely that which is denied--the 'style/us' of the West, i.e., aspirations to sovereignty! (cf. Of Grammatology)

By this I take Derrida to mean language is always already structured through such dis-joining, and this is the second moment of the operation of disavowal, the 'double gesture,' if you will: "The signature and the text fall out with each other. No sooner are they iterated than they are secreted, separated, excreted. They are formed from the enormous cleavage that decapitates them, into the scaffolding of a headless trunk. Their iteration is the expropriation that initiates them. And what it erects, it also marks with the structure of an _etron_. " (Spurs, note 21)

Thus, I take every utterance to be something of a spectral remainder which haunts ideologically closed systems of meaning through its inaccessibility, what becomes, therefore, the persistently different. Derrida acknowledges that Nietzsche's utterance is perhaps a "misfired" illocutionary speech act, but as argued in the essay "Signature, Context, Event," speaking in the language of "successful" speech acts presupposes language to be confined to an ontological functionalism which swiftly makes sense of itself (hears itself speak) only by silencing non-serious language (aesthetic utterances) while simultaneously excluding what else language may be doing while it 'simply' 'functions.'

Perhaps, then, it is suspect to take Derrida 'at his word' (perhaps this betrays a desire to hold him to 'the letter of the law') but still, I find it crucial that Derrida avows _Spurs_ to address the questions of STYLE and WOMAN, which is to say: in the face of the arbitrary appropriation of meaning through phallogocentric speech, a certain style which can be called "Western" in its most fundamental sense, woman stands as the remainder of a system, refusing its assignment of proper place--the lack, the 'sheath' of meaning, which is filled-in/up like/with an empty signifier--by, as Derrida argues in "Choreographies," affirming a certain style of performative innovation. This (sexual) skin of _Spurs_ is barely grazed--let alone penetrated--with the considering dalliance of Skinner's 'umbrella', or, in technical terms: his style/us-of-Being, or pen-is; or: Derrida's text on the question of sexual difference is castrated by consecrating this (sexual) dimension of the corpus of an(y) author to an (virginal) absence or disappearance, an archive/tomb which will, by it excessive emptiness harbor, or sheath, the canon, the 'pillars' of civilization: these flaccid texts.

This profound failure to attend to the context of Derrida's attention to the seemingly 'non-serious' or 'marginal' concern of sexuality and sexual difference is perhaps telling. What it _does not_ tell, however, is that I KNOW what Derrida really wanted to say in _Spurs_. Nor does it suggest that I know what Skinner wanted to convey through his amplification of certain moments in _Spurs_ at the expense of others. Rather, and to pick up the trace of Prof. Pitts's suggestion that a skeptical or 'negating' posture towards the interpretation of (the) history (of political thought), I can signal the overdetermination of certain dimensions of Derrida in Skinner's reading, which is to look at what is _not_ being paid attention to, and to ask after what remains.

Ok: so I wish now to register three complimentary complaints or cautions. I find that the desire to hermetically seal the illocutionary act from its perlocutionary effects smacks of a desire for presence to oneself. The conceit of this posture is the self-actualized, sovereign subject whose speech acts may "misfire" but not due of failure of intention (a sort of Kantian moment). The other side of this impulse is the elision of the horizon against which, into which, and through which any speech act is itself always responsible to, a veritable erasure of the polyvalence of of the necessary co-terminal operation, namely differance, or the self-negating "other side of the coin"--the psychoanalytic death-drive, the entanglements of power and desire, or quite simply: other people with whom we 'act out'. Relatedly, 3) Skinner cannot imagine the non-oppositional third term, the imaginary or the unconscious, which is the logic of differance, or of specters (namely, an original which is a repetition--as in Communism, which is to say: a time when every property is divested of itself as property).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Don't get sentimental it always ends up drivel...

I walk through walls. I'm not here.
This isn't happening.
The drugs coursing through my blood are beautifully refreshing. Not too much, nor too little. Comfortably numb.
Why are we lamenting this?
Somewhere, I think in Zarathustra, Nietzsche says something to the effect of the valor of knowing when it is right to die.
We have microcosmic examples of this: the 'hospice' care industry is essentially a limbo stage in western moralized mortality: death is itself sedated, incapable of leaving last words for the tongue is restricted by feeding tubes, and too heavy anyway to actually form sound, let alone give voice to meaning. Out of focus, easy becomes hard (the sentimental effusion of what is properly mournful).
But if living feels like vivisection, if 'liveness' means something like the excruciating pain of the torturers knife, the horrible sight of skin cleaned from bone and body, the first fresh separation of skin from muscle, like a Band-aid off skinned-knees, and then the searing, clotting pain of pure loss, of exposure, of a shame that cannot be covered-over... if this is life, then why do we revere this fetish idol? If life is intensity, the sporadic, eruptive bursts of sensory over-load, of pain... whatever. Do you care?
No.
Time, chronology is my nemesis, Father Time.
I hurt so im-mediately (that is: so much so fast, so amplified so quickly, such humming so loudly) that the dialing down seems so prolonged, such a protracted intervention, that I barely can believe only one hour has passed.
Only 1 hour!?
One cursed hour.
And now I enter my second. But I want out quick. One more gin, one more toke, one more pill, one more, more, more, more, more...!!!!!!!
I fucking love this pill.
Sleep.
Now.
After gin. After.Juice. After deciding I cannot deal> tomorrow gets my distortion, my noise, my AHHHH!!!!! and sobs.
Oh!: hospices as a dignified way of dying in the Nietzschean sense; psycho-pharmacology as living the dignified life of an honorable slave (one who, at least, will BE DONE! without much hassle).
Bed.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Violently Happy (Because I'm in Love with You)

Listening to ecstatic music. I was reading this queer theorist of the performative, Jose Esteban Munoz, and he writes about Heidegger's notion of ek-stasis, the ecstasy of time. It's actually just sexy to think about. The movement of time as arousing, as a re-placement of oneself within a temporal context, apart from the indictment to fear the openness of time's unpredictability. Like wind on the skin when sun bathing on a nude beach, the movement of time is a stimulating sensation, not for 'narrative' or standardized linearity, but for unexpected occasions of ecstasy...

Friday, September 10, 2010

grrr 1

These are the moments when I would ease open my tie with the gravity of a man aping a film noir antihero, lean back into my chair with the same weighty seriousness and roll a cigarette, nonchalantly, but still purposively. These are the moments when I would feel the itching of my skin tightening, like new teeth breaking through, or a distant but discernible thin slipping of air, a 'draft' of something uncanny, a haptic 'smell'. Everything knots tighter.
Back to work.


Monday, August 30, 2010

a reply

Dear Mom,
Thanks for the Sandburg collection--I didn't know about him, but his work is very apropos my own easing into Chicago as a city that is now home, with a history that is beyond my own, but which still seems familiar and recognizable. Poetry is a wonderful genre in this regard; it's capacity for hyper-distillation of meaning, and through this compression affect the production of a new resonance, encourages one to "read between the lines"--a feat only possible if you are 'in' on the multiplicity of referents and the significance of the contingent and particular relationship strung together in the metaphorical sign-chain of the rhythmatics moving the verse.
J. and I saw one of his professor's debut a dance/performance piece, and part of the debut included mounted artworks, a musical open-mic-type deal, and a poetry reading. The punch in the fridge was a 'creeper' and gave you a hang-over before you even knew you were drunk--beautifully blended quality whiskey and pineapple juice w/ a sprinkle of cinnamon and 2 lrg ice-cubes.
The only male member of the troupe--Jesse's prof was just able to double her 'company' thanks to a grant from the State, a still paltry sum, an embarrassingly obvious attempt at a buy-out, precisely by making you buy in: because she must still work, she is still neutered, but so cleverly that it looks like she is being assisted... Anyway, the only male member of the troupe is this beautiful gay man, my age, and in absolutely suburb physical condition. His body moves in ways that are simply captivating to watch. "To watch" is too verbial, too active: rather, I was taken over by the masterful fluidity of his form--the question of, or concern over, content makes no sense when speaking of movement, precisely because the principle of movement is nothing more than the perpetuation of movement: movement is the means in and of itself (for movement never asks the question of "ends," which is antithetical to its own internal logic of perpetuation).
Hannah Arendt makes a rather strange prioritization of the "freedom of movement" when critiquing the racist logics of nation-state formation (the nation: the 'blood,' the 'race,' language, sexuality, and origin myths of "natural" national identity; the State: the legal guarantees of belonging enshrined in founding documents and their amendments, as well as the performance of their authority through enforcement of and adherence to them). She argues that the vacuity of the "Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man" is anticipated by the explosion of the moral, political, and legal protections opened by post-WWI "displaced persons" or "internally displaced persons" (the up-dated version of this applied by the State Department when speaking of the 1million+ Iraqis whose lives have been rather radically and violently up-rooted by American imperial exploits). Namely, expelled Jews from the east, who were "illegal" because they were not covered by any formal law, were infinitely vulnerable to all sorts of political abuses because they were not formal citizens of their new nation-state 'home,' nor were they of the 'nationality' of their new neighbors.
From my interested perspective, I'm concerned with the way we speak of ourselves as subjects in the lexicons of movement--'entering into' a contract, 'leaving' a job, 'moving-on' from or 'getting-over' a bad relationship, ect., ect. When thinking of what 'queer' ultimately means, the emphasis is on a certain commitment to the principle of movement aforementioned. This is, of course, slightly problematic (some might object) in that if one never 'stops to think' about what we're doing, we may run into all sorts of problems, including genocides, Orwellian super-bureaucratized States, or banally phantastic capitalist-Christianity. But it isn't queer that all of these logics of domination are only substantial through the freezing or deadening of (now) stereo-typified Others, floating signifiers of difference and non-belonging who are 'filled-in' (like a coloring-book cartoon) with the fear, vitriol, and rage of a bleached, generic and ever-reproductive position of 'unmarked' abstract or universal 'In-ness'.
It is not at all difficult to adjudicate questions of consequence--indeed, it never really was: Scottish 'Enlightenment' philosopher David Hume presumed to disprove theories of causality, but he only further clouded the issue, which as Nietzsche reminds, is always one of morality: the simple fact is that one is able to, without much difficulty, entertain and then decide upon one of multiple accounts of the 'unfolding of events' without having a) an existential crisis or b) collapsing into an essentialized diagnosis of 'origins'; neither is judgment an immediate indication of prejudice, just as it needn't be a hyperbolic or ahistorical claim to privileged knowledge. Rather, the dis-ease evoked upon confrontation with a strong judgment is symptomatic of a precariously maintained distance from disruptive forces, powers, drives, or desires for change or difference. It is, as Nietzsche argues, turned inwards, into the guts of the dis-eased, rigid animal, the human-all-too-human example of a desire to evade responsibility taken to its most self-destructive extreme.
This is a banal truth now: the zero-sum-game of (Christian) moral purity is evident in Cold War MADD foreign policy; less obvious: how this obscene commitment to an end-all, be-all cause (the fictional Enlightenment autonomous, sovereign, rational subject) authorizes "proxy" wars waged on the terrain of trivial, meaningless locales--meaningful only by virtue of repetition of service as a staging ground: Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cuba, Argentina, and Israel; just as the Oedipal comedy repeats the same exhausted tropes on the petty trivialities of the ordinary. It is queer to think of an alternative game, where the loser wins, that might resist a logic of inevitable repetition; but it is naive to demean the ordinary violences of the everyday suturing of fractured and plural publics into a coherent whole simply because the normalcy of such spectacles would seem to warrant ceding the plane of contestation to this hegemonically ascendent configuration of conservative ideology. What is conserved is that which is never really in existence: it is a fantasy of a future that will mimic a past that never was; policing adherence to this fantasy is the stakes of the politics of the 'culture wars' that have set the terms of debate since the supposed 'silent majority' was spoken for by the Evangelical Right. Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush jr. and Obama as a continuous stream of apologists for and enablers of White American exceptionalism, unregulated private capital, and reactive, compulsorily heteronormative morality.
The logics of the future (which are claimed to be, by both sides of the ideological debate, the logics of the 'now') will, we may say, emerge out of the logics of the present tense, the now, the I in the active and passive voice; and it is only a willingness to continually begin again, to augment the trajectories continuously inaugurated, that opens the possibility of a future: out of this commitment to futurity seeps the life-blood of pleasure. This is not about a figuration of life predicated on a continuation or reproduction of a tradition; rather, queer specifically aims at the rupture of traditional genealogies, seeing in such reconstructed histories the violence of exclusion (not only of what is forgotten or censored from the narrative, but in what and who is valued in the narratives: this is the logic of nostalgic ideology: what is desired from a non-existent past is cast as the horizon of a utopian future). In this way, the future is already foreclosed as being a priori determined by an attachment to a phantasmic object of pleasure, the fetishization of any old object or condition or relation promised as a total panacea. Inaccessible to the present tense, the promise of happiness is projected onto the future; failure to properly pursue this promise of happiness is read as discontentment, disorder, dangerousness: a cause for concern. In turn, the failed aggression of the middle class white bourgeoise, and the disappointing products of suburbia, is "transcoded" into an ideology of defensive victimization under assault from the manic efforts of deviants, criminals, and political activists.
The spectacle of bourgeois opulence, the excess of resources which lay idle, the superfluousness of gluttonous corporeal mass itself--the comfortable padding indicative of the particular privilege mediocrity bestows--all this and more attests to the bog-like cultural climate of the planned settlements, out-posts of White Flight from the too 'urban' metropolis, that comprise the matrix of snobbish pretension on the one hand, and utter ignorance and aggravated disinterestedness of the bourgeoise on the other. Anything that pulses with life, a city, a subway, a gregarious or exasperated address, a cry of (failed) defiance--all of this will be coded as cause for concern. And again, the impulse (which is _privative_), is to normalization, which itself is a projection outward, of others, and oneself, onto a plotted flow-chart; a banalization of care transformed--more nearly, _de_-formed--into a silencing through parentalized intervention: the nanny state, the patriarchal former-colonizer, the analyst in the throws of counter-transference. Psychic disturbances are thrown-out, Freud writes, and treated as though arising from the 'outside', external to the subject. This is a mode of defense for what we cannot bear in ourselves. Our own pathology, our own sinthome (the peculiar knot bundling the subject), made Other, radically, a Sophie's Choice calculus performed daily, hourly: deaden this, kill that, ignore, ignore, ignore! And what cannot be ignored or killed, we sedate, poison, speak-for--anything to silence.
Like the thought of a cock in my asshole, which may explain the absence of any reference to my boyfriend in your 'concerned' email. Or, perhaps, that was what bothersome, what was nearly intolerable, was not having to change plans, but your profound inability to even entertain the possibility of alteration. Our (mine, J's--ours) vacation was wonderful, actually. We pitched scenes (as Barthes calls them), but ultimately, it was the ordinary kinks arising from encountering newness (my friends, mentors, former-lovers), and not knowing exactly how to negotiate the particularity of my history with each of them, or, more to the point, how those histories bear upon my relationship to him. I love him all the more for his willingness to suffer expanding his understanding of me.
The city pulsed with life, and my friends were generous, loving, and just like I wanted to remember them--which is to say, they have changed into the people we wanted to become. You missed all of that, but then: you didn't want to experience any of it. So, keep your concern, in your entombed enclave up and away: I already was taking care not to need it.

"Hey XXX,
I just wanted to drop a note to let you know we are thinking of you. Hope your trip back home went smoothly. It seemed your trip, though I am sure fun to see all your friends and hang out in Brooklyn and Manhattan, was stressful in that your plans kept changing. It didn’t seem like a relaxing vacation. By the time we saw you, you seemed very agitated and I have been concerned about you. I am hoping that since you have been home, back in your own territory and routines, things have settled down for you. I know you are very busy with work both at the store, and more importantly, with the prep for your comps, and I would wish for you to be at your best. Be well… and I’ll continue to keep you in my yoga intentions.
Love ya!
~Mom"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Face of a Defiant Woman

It's rather adorable, because most men fail to achieve the particular softness of feature that makes the posture of principled, mindless resistance lovable. Perhaps even redeeming. The chin slightly raised brilliantly displays the iridescence of play captured in the schema of an earnestly heaved gesture that vaunts from the sloping churlishness of a smirk that seems to beg for a kiss. Not from the man she's with, of course. Though she has kissed him. (Fucked him, too, duh.) But not from the man _this_ photograph is for, either. That man, who aroused such defiance, such principled abandon, has nothing to do with this drama any more, and so a kiss from him would be meaningless. She is begging for a break. She is covered in tattoos, by the way, and that this guy is a tattoo artist (the new one, that is, not the one she is defiantly divorcing) and just inks her up... seems like a Mel Gibson snuff script. Because she's also Christian, and most of these tattoos profess this truth. There was always a certain defiance, I suppose: Christians like their torture to be more private, more "internal" or "intimate." The spectacle of a mutilated body, scarred and stained, cut and mortified, profaned and punished, bloodied... All of this comes too close to the spectacularly masochistic carnival of torture: penance. And yet, a the tattoo is also a mark of distance from the traditional Western subcultures of painted peoples: whores, sailors, criminals, deserters, homosexuals--the entire menagerie of Genet's oeuvre. She's married in an ill-fated decision, on Halloween, the Devil's (un)holiday. The day is bucolically consecrated under the structuring trellis of an ambivalent sign.

My boyfriend executes this look with a subtly and grace that is simply atrocious... It is a performance, the performance of an history which I am not privy to, and which does not refract my gaze. It was a plea for help which dare not speak, which is to say it circumvented the necessities of speech by striking the difference with a pose, a sculpture, a routinized interface. I see this, and I see it's strategic deployment and I am hurt: I can see you are posturing, I want to yell, you're full of shit when you do this! And my aggression is another form morphologically protean anxiety takes when it fears it has too much to lose: a symptom of a foreclosure of futurity is the overdetermination of the present. It's as if I constantly yell, AM I GOOD ENOUGH?! half pissed to be still asking the question, the other half the result of failed defiance. I lack the specifically feminine softness that makes defiance completely neutralizing. Paralyzing. This is the femme fetale, Socrates, Rosa Parks... Politics requires a certain capacity for neutralization. This is also what is called, 'persuasion.' An argument is arresting. I am impeded, immobilized. As if by magic. And he does this with his face, not using a word: words do not fail him, they are beneath his talent, not worth their weight in water (or gold). The gesture is skin-tight and nothing gets through, for words are slippery, words collapse, things begin to fall apart; the whisper of doubt is impossible to properly appreciate: it is either a weak draft that does no harm, or it is what is forced through otherwise reinforced repressions--if the latter, opening the door is eradication--and so in this way even the slightest tickle of dis-ease becomes the sure portent of catastrophe. This, I imagine is a certain kind of crisis mode. It could be allegorized in a story about a survivor of post-Katrina New Orleans fleeing to the mountains so as to never live near rising tides again, a man for whom even too much rain is aggravating.

Silence was his guarantor against this inevitable confrontation with the sound of things falling down around him: he did not speak, disarmed speech by silencing it's perverse polyvalence. But I think it's because he enjoys the polymorphous perversity he's inciting in himself, and in me, that got in the way of the injunction to avoid the mess of speech. He's risking the compromises of speech, though, and that means he's parting with the iconicity of victimhood the defiant gesture is captured in. Mercurial, a herald of things to come, giving signs... my darling little faggot is becoming a queer.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

the mighty multinationals have monopolized the O2//so it's as easy as breathing 4 us all 2 participate...

It's been somewhat confusing to me, as a student of an archive wherein futurity is precisely the stakes of politics, to encounter in contemporary queer theory a regular de-meaning of the future. The bizarre title of Edelman's "No Future" alone strikes me as slightly obscene. (I know, I know: how homonormative of me, to attempt to regulate obscenity in the name of the future!) I think, however, that there is a strikingly shallow (not superficial) understanding of futurity, one which acquiesces to dominant configurations of the temporal horizon (Christian Millennialism, liberalism's perpetual deferral of meaningful change in the name of "progress," fin de siecle messianism ... ect) and therefore can only strike a reactionary, which is to say, profoundly unimaginative and limited, posture.

LB is right to note how Reaganite conservatism (which, ironically, does not exempt the Gore's or MacKinnon/Dworkin) perverted concepts of citizenship into one of an infantile or "fetal" comportment to the hegemonic images of a "present tense" so thoroughly corrupted that it must be battled against in the name of a pristine new beginning. The fetus, the peripheral character of a farcical culture wars waged by pro-life antagonists and pro-choice protagonists, is the perfect symbol for the vulnerability of being marked by subaltern critique as bearing a particular corpo-reality (on the one hand), while also quite literally serving as a (not-so-free-)floating signifier of purity, possibility, ideality. Of course, the paradox is evident: the fetal symbol cannot stand as a signifier of pure possibility precisely because it is meant to be the symbol of a "freed" possibility, namely freedom from particularity, a freedom to return to the comfort of universality, the privilege of supposed neutrality--as evidenced by conservative outrage that now-Justice Sonia Sotomayor dare speak from a position of particularity (the "wise Latina"), rather than don the fantastic position of "objectivity" (i.e., White, male, heterosexual, wealthy, ect...). The fetus as symbol of "jouissance"--the lost pleasure that can never be regained because it was never possessed (which is what makes Lacanian critique a useful intellectual tactic of exposure: the sought for and sincerely mourned lost past, the Eden of pleasure, is an ideological edifice just like any other, and the power of the critique is to illuminate the methodology of unconscious dis-ease as it flattens the contradictions generated by desire).

Further, by investing the fetal symbol with such redemptive power (which, in the service of preserving, preparing the way for, or defending against external, cold, metallic, unfeeling invasion authorizes a host of brutalities against difference) the present tense can be negated in the name of the future. It is not surprising, then, that the idealized subject position is one of ontological muteness, life-less constancy, and hypostasized imaging. Thus, the fetus is spoken-for (in the metaphors of slavery, patriotism, ect...); the fetus is radically and unendingly dependent on a mother--no longer a "woman" whose unruly feminine cupidity threatens the sanctity of the uterine sac; and the fetus is captured and frozen in the photographic optics of the sonogram. Again, a paradox, a political parallax: it is the "silent scream," the stages of development, and the cinematic documentation thereof which give life (and thus value) to the fetus: the unmoved mover of American political discourse, indeed.

But if an inversion of this temperamental domineering of the temporal stakes of political action is all that can be mustered by queers then perhaps the future is foreclosed in a profoundly disappointing sense. I write with a certain optimism--I can afford disappointment, not despair--because, in part, there is "no future" for the sorts of reductive reading of futurity that has become so posh. This does not imply, however, an absence of attributable responsibility for the consequences of what is written, what is authorialized by queer exemplars, and what is legitimated by sheer circulation in discursive relays (scholarly, activist, and most importantly, colloquially, among young queers succored on the accepted wisdom of the transmitters of culture, tradition, and style; in other words, what Arendt refers to as the physiognomical recognizability of norms spanning generations). Simply put: while wrong-headed, and in my opinion politically irresponsible, what is written cannot simply be ignored (mainly motivated by the conviction that denigrating the human capacity to inaugurate new beginnings presents itself an offense against the common world which, politically speaking, is temporally structured by an anticipatory orientation towards the future. Unless traumatically imposed and symptomatically sustained over-determinations of the past interrupt and make stammer the articulation(s) of a sought after future the present is the stage of most serious play; the moment of the present tense has the 'greatest weight' of the accursed and blessed voluntarism of freedom.

Futurity requires, then, courage and cupidity: desire and boldness; love shares with politics a certain blindness: what is most precious, most terrible (in the sense Rilke continues to confound me with) is what is most obscured, gazing at objet a, the moment of parallax. (Isn't this the point of queer/ning politics?) Politics, then, shares with sex, too, a marked abandonment, a release to the pleasure of futurity, or again the delight and dread at discovering who one is (to become in the face of who one was). Quite the contrary to a denial of future, the strictures of a present tense organized around a negation of this release are precisely those the stultifying regimes of identitarian culture wars. Perhaps it is wholly disingenuous to assert that the catalyst of action, the "cause" of desire, is a denial of futurity; perhaps, too, it is reductive to claim thereby that a desire to negate the demands of the future has as its negative wounded attachments to a present tense compulsively structured around repetition of a traumatic past; and, while a truism, no doubt the dyspeptic inability to "get over it" is indicative of a socialized normalcy inclined to hyperbolize the mole-hills of the trivial (the inanities and vulgarities of tabloid print media, hysterical news broadcasts, remedial establishments like the New York Times (policing through enactment the borders of what is fit to print), or Disney sitcom culture. "It" (where ever I'll be next, there is was--the question isn't one of time, so much as what and how to perform once catching up to the trace) renders desire untimely, rendering the pursuit disjointed, anachronistic--my genealogy is so narcissistic, so unerringly true to itself that time comes to slip into a counter cosmology of an eternal return of the same: a curiosity re-coded/re-corded by an age-old story-teller: queers fancying themselves the originators of the democracy like they were characters in an old Gregg Araki film about a pomo Harmodius and Aristogeiton.... the greeks got anti-social, or something... whatever.

This is the story of how the notion of time in "queer politics" gives the lie to both the purported and so repetitively proclaimed 'queer' commitments (yes: queers have commitments... you just won't know what they are before hand, that's the fucking point, prick!), and the pretensions to politics. Without risking what is ultimately the undecidability of the future, political action dis-appears. Here emerges an overt imbrication of the logics of sex and the logics of politics: risking having to rise to the occasion, to stand attentively, of opening to the persuasive influences of others; to venture exposure, vulnerability, pain; to express in the musculature of unrelenting moans the joys of asymmetry, of being fucked or of fucking; to defy the putative gaze and gossipy whisper of the State apparatus of police, snitches, 'private interests,' and worst still: do-gooders; and more: to get over it by getting on it, to ride it, to play power-bottom and cum, or piss, all over its face. (You're shoot will miss: IT has already been gone; that's the fucking point: politics, like pleasure, never exists in the present tense of the symbolic realm, nor in the ideality of the imaginary, but rather in the refusal to iron out the differences between them when encountering the generative contradictions of their intimacy; politics is not about pursuing the real of jouissance (that's death, stasis, immobility, reification, 'recognition'--that's why it's called a 'death drive'): politics is about anticipating the orgasm and so risking the cruise.

Desire takes place in the present tense: it is the 'real' of the complications arising from the unconscious in motion; but for this reason it is only ever what is returned to, once politics is done; when Aristotle said there are deeds done for their own sake he lists flute playing, and all manner of performing arts, but he would have been equally well-served by simply citing: queer sex. Desire thus appears as an affective 'reactivation' of movement, of anticipation. This is why desire seems to have the bizarre characteristic of longing for what is seemingly remembered (jouissance?). "In the beginning was the deed..." (or at least the anticipation, which dare not speak its name... "wanna go for a drive? need a lift? what are you doing? you free? can i buy you a drink? a/s/l? #boi4u2nite?)

JT walks out, into his living room where I am currently looking like a character out of a Bruce la Bruce slasher porno: zombie-fag! He would laugh at this, but he's exhausted and pissed at me for not getting the sleep I need. And he's jealous of my time, of my body, and selfishly keeps me tightly bound: my soul is an inverted comet, full of nooks and crannys, crooks and fairies.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I Dream of You Draped in Wires and Leaning on the Brakes

Well, I have quit smoking. Astonishingly easily, as well. I take one little blue pill when I wake up and then another one around midnight and that's that. I have been a bit more bytchy I suppose, but then, I'm quitting smoking. The worst part has been the evacuation of my lungs--about 11 years of crap has been coming up, and it hurts to be perfectly honest: my throat is hoarse from the dry hacking.

I still am completely incapable of managing money. J. and I somehow spent (collectively) roughly $1,000 in less than a week (food, drugs, dancing, movies, whothefuckknowswhatall). At least I am smart enough to make sure my bills are paid before I binge--or is it vomit?--money. We are kids with money burning holes in our pockets (or at least I am--but then, out of nowhere one day the b/f just drops a bunch of money on a bong that rips like a motherfucker, so he does it too, but at least on things that we still use... I often spend my money on an affective experience (a movie, a drink, a dinner, drugs, ect...) but he uses his money.)

All of this is so exquisitely vulgar. I love it. Crude, so handled, and wrinkled--like Brent Corrigan's asshole. (Zoom in for money shot.)

But now I'm sorta pissed. I've run up against a number of administrative red-tape blockades. For instance: to see a doctor I have to go to my school's clinic and then get a referral. Absent such a referral, I am charged $50 to see a doctor per visit. Well, in order to go see some one at my school's clinic I have to pay a $250 summer fee. Haha, brilliant. Or, the manner in which insurance doesn't cover some things. All of this has produced a pile of bills (well, hyperbole there)--but enough bills to make the sort of extravagances of last week a sadly now extinct phenomenon.

Let's see tho:
1) the Writer was in rare form for the 4th. I half wanted to cock smack him, and half just smack him. We had fun.
2) New Tulips are cool, esp. the DJ, who is a true sweetheart.
3) J. got a new bike, and it rides reallllll fucking smooth. He looks super hot. Hipsters beware!
4) 3ways are slightly over-rated. What was hot: getting fucked by my b/f while he was getting fucked by someone else. There is something Lacanian about this: the Phallus I want is in the vase (not my asshole, but J.'s)--what is nice, and maybe poor Jacques would have known this were he a fag--is that you can get this phallus in the vase: switch positions. Hottest, though: the sheer flattery of the whole damn thing. We will probably do all of this again sometime.
5) Fembots have feelings too. (Robyn and Scissor Sisters albums are really, really good.)
6) Re-writing my MA thesis (again), but this time with 2 years distance. I am finally (I think) on to what it was I wanted to say. Introduction sections are the pits, though. I hate them.
7) Spending more time in Wicker Park. It's a bizarre part of the city. No one is THAT cool. Except me. (And we know THAT's a lie.)
8) Making porno is hot.
9) J. moved last week and we were hauling all sorts of shit all over the place and that was fun. Better still, his Momma and lil brother showed up to help and that whole little family time went well. I was sorta nervous, and so was J. but we were both happy it went well.

I'm just sorta bothered. For no reason. Well, some reason. I need to plan a vacation, and then, on top of that study for a preliminary exam. Haha, whatever.

"Love hurts when you do it right: you can cry when you get older."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bounce You On the Lap of Science (Move it to the beats of silence)

Part 1.

As it was our week to celebrate a year together, J. and I did it up in style. The gods of work schedules prevailed upon Fate to allow for a series of free nights, and made good use of them. Thursday we had a lovely evening in the park listening to some Malian blues as the sunset behind the skyline, and then we were off to the tattoo parlor to get J.'s sister a belated birthday present, where we decided we would get some tattoos ourselves. It will be fun, I think, to finally get my dark horse. A gay tramp stamp, I suppose, but I love the look of them on the twinky pornstars I jerk off to so regularly.

Last night we saw Fucking Men (playing at the Bailiwick) and loved it. A very well-structured script which moved quickly but allowed the silhouettes of the characters to stand in marked relief given how briefly they unfolded. (What it true of love may not be true of art: the swift blossoming, though it withers almost instantly, still imprints an intensity of truth.) Then it was off to dinner, which was a quick bicycle ride away (actually 7 miles away...w/e), where we indulged in some fine dining. J. was in the perfect throws of youthful exuberance and, as it always is, it was infectious. We drank and ate and enjoyed one another's undoubtedly obvious and silly grins. Our server said we were "adorable." (The proper adjective for love.)

Then it was up to dance, dance, dance our pants off. Something strange happened: J., up on the little stage, begins to dance with another boy. And I watch at first, and he watches me, and I smile at him, and I wink, and then I turn away. They danced together until the boy ran off with his friends. Unsure of my ease the evening was a bit touch and go, but I was fine: unbothered.

Perhaps it is the drugs, perhaps that I am preparing to quit smoking tomorrow, or perhaps that I was able to tell him I knew he lied to me without my voice-cracking, and maybe it was that though I didn't need to prove my assertion he still didn't push it; and maybe it was because I said, "I don't care" (which was a lie at the time); or maybe because I'd just seen a play about the silly pretensions of monogamy... It doesn't really matter why, but I was actually unbothered. I'd seen what was so scary when it was just a fear: him enjoying himself in the arms of another person, him touching another person. I didn't feel that emptying in my stomach which he once gave me occasion to feel; I didn't curl my lips into a sneer, I smiled.

And perhaps that he was bashful about it all afterward, needed to reassure me, and be reassured by me. And perhaps that he came when I blew him, and then thanked me for my tenderness when we fucked. And perhaps, too, because I actually trust him. Finally. Again, for the first time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Never Look Back (WhatWouldIDoIfIDidn'tHaveYou)

Barthes speaks of love as the polymorphous vicissitudes of the "Image-Repertoire" that composes the Other, oneself, and the relationship between them. These are fragments, "schemas" (Barthes' corrects his reader: "These fragments of discourse can be called _figures_. The word is to be understood, not in its rhetorical sense, but rather in its gymnastic or choreographic acceptation; in short, in the Greek meaning: σχυμα is not the 'schema,' but, in a much livelier way, the body's gesture caught in action and not contemplated in repose: the body of athletes, orators, statues: what in the straining body can be immobilized.")
Thus, the lover's discourse (and the text which will "simulate" this: _A Lover's Discourse: Fragments_) is a "dis-cursus" ("originally the action of running here and there, comings and goings, measures taken, 'plots and plans': the lover, in fact, cannot keep his mind from racing, taking new measures and plotting against himself.")
Yet, the image-repertoire is static--each image is paralyzing, and it is the terror of an overwhelming image that does not so much imply a modification in its substance, but rather, that its stasis produces an amplification of its aeffects simply because it will not go away. This is not boredom (though one could imagine a pleasant image growing worn, like a porno that just doesn't "do it anymore"--the "je ne ce quoi" has evaporated, its 'effervescence' effaced--what a beautiful vulgarity!)
Rather, it is the horror of not being able to be done with an image! It is the dyspepsia Nietzsche diagnoses as nihilism. The inability to be done with anything, the "trauma" (the dream), is an activity, not a passive affliction: one must will-to-possess the image, to dwell upon the image, to wish to undo it and re-imagine it as one wishes--that is, to neutralize the dis-comforting image, to make it conform to one's own comfort. (Not the same as a desire to punish: this is not masochism; I am describing an absurdity named "Sovereignty". It is a profound irony: that the pursuit of sovereignty leads only ever to subjugation.)
Love, then, is somewhat demystified: love is the acute sensation of being haunted by the image-repertoire of the loved other, of being incapable of being able to produce _new_ images (for this would be a violation, an artistic violence against the free-giveness of the Other), which must rely upon, which must learn to embrace, to be ravished by the images given freely by the Other.
Yet, Barthes' loved Other does not say a word (for it is a text, X does not speak, he is written). But more profoundly, the Other gives signs (like a prophet, whose true-discourse is hidden within himself alone, who cannot answer before a tribunal or a chorus of witnesses). This implies deciphering these signs, to dwell on them, to not let them pass before they have been apprehended fully. That is, the lover cannot but torture himself, cannot help but provoke the horror of an image.
To love is to be in this paradox. To be in love is to be impossibly polymorphous (to be suspended by these images, in the images, perpetually re-figured). To be a lover is to be in the flux of the schemata, to give and receive, to measure and run back and forth, here and there....Is there a meaning to all of this action? (How could anyone ask such a question?!)

One year ago I met J. at work. It was wholly unexpected. He left, he came back. In between there was a risk on his part, and a desire on mine (I never remember properly). Tomorrow we celebrate. Though, the festival of our rage, our tenderness, our exhaustion, our passion--this has never stopped.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Affirmation of the Affirmation is Affirmation

I've been getting high on Barthes--A Lover's Discourse: Fragments--and he, of course, is getting high on Nietzsche (via Deleuze) and Goethe (Werther). When J. and I have our moments (scenes, if you will) I despair, not having a proper hold of myself or him or what it is exactly that has instigated the scene (for it is also something outside us that prompts the disturbance). A hold that doesn't need to hang on something. A gift that dissolves in the giving: "If you want you can..." and I interrupt: because you offered me an out, I know I won't need it.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Re-Memorializing Daze

Let me start by addressing my Chicago readers: bitch about your rained-out bbq to an Iraqi or an Afghani.

Memorial Day is always a strange one--I have a hard time getting into the spirit of the holiday for personal reasons but also because (unlike Independence Day) we are incited to implicitly celebrate American military conquest by explicitly glamorizing those men (and now women) who "served" their country or who "paid the ultimate (sacrificial) price" "in the line of duty".

I'm not meaning to hate on those who join the military. Rather, I'm querying the framing of the way we speak about America's military commitments. It was not uncommon for serious, "average" Americans to call into question the validity of the deaths of American soldiers in Vietnam, to ask, "why are we sending so many young people to their demise?" This was especially true of the Civil Rights movement--and we shouldn't forget that MLK was assassinated right around the time he was linking the struggle for domestic civil rights to American foreign policy (why are a disproportionate amount of poor black youth being drafted? why are there "exceptions" for white youth in college or who wear orthodontics?).

Left out of this discursive framing are the Iraqis, Afghanis, Palestinians, Mexicans, Somalis, and plenty of other folks who are directly or indirectly impacted by American military action. We don't ask after the over half-a-million internally displaced Iraqis, or after the families of those who suffered the loss of a loved-one or a home or a means of livelihood through "collateral damage"; we don't ask after the precarious position American patrols force already vulnerable Afghanis into when they are forced to submit to questions; nor do we ask after the American soldiers who have suffered rather serious injuries--psychical, physical, and neurological--and must wage war against an unresponsive, bankrupt bureaucracy; and finally, we do not ask after the logics under-girding both American militarism and enlistment (i.e., why are we fighting in Iraq? Or, why is the military one of the few places many socio-economically depressed folks can get a good technical or college degree?).

So, sorry that your bbq is damped by the weather, but maybe it shouldn't have been so warmly embraced in the first place?

***
In other news, classes end this week so I'm launching into the end of the quarter--final papers (both rather important) are to be written, and I'm looking forward to that. Also, teaching starts on Wednesday, and I'm always a bit anxious about the first class if for no other reason than as a younger, gay man it isn't always easy to earn the respect or exude authority, and so extra-strategic, diplomatic attention is always required so as to deftly read and respond to the nuances of the students.

I'm also excited for the summer to start. J. and I have been talking more regularly about expanding the structure of our relationship. What all that may or will entail is still unclear, but the summer promises to be exciting. IML was a great start. It was nice to be in it together, enjoying the attentions and affections of a lot of hot men and boys, and one another too! haha--there is something electrifying about being out with him when we are hit on: it is as if the desires of those men finds its way into and then out of our bodies when we fuck (i feel satisfied, full, invigorated). But he said quite openly that he wishes he could experience the cruising scene, and though qualified to include me in this desire (I want to cruise with you, ya know, for a third or something) I still get a bit anxious about how things will unfold. Yet, I should also relax a bit about it, not over-determine anything and let things happen as they do and respond when/if they do. Risk-aversion leads to some royally stupid decisions, which in turn tend to produce precisely the effect one works so hard against mitigating. Or, some effect even worse. All of this is easy to write, but maybe writing it out makes living it easier. The Stoics would say: live as if he already cheated on you, as if he already left you for another and then you will not be overwhelmed if he does, and you will enjoy your time with him freed from fear. (Of course, the Stoics were talking about death so they could speak of such inevitability, but love isn't like this: it imagines itself to be immortal, interminable: there is no escape from the lover's anxiety.)

Tonight we may go to the Black and Blue Ball, and I can get myself in the mood for it. I just don't know if I want to. It will depend on him. And then, in turn, on us. In the mean time, I'm loving formulating arguments against these despisers of the (embodied) Web. My work helps me, actually, with J.: it keeps me from making the same kinds of nostalgia-induced, reductive judgments: he keeps me fresh and fun. Infinitely interesting.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Needle In the Hay

When I was in elementary school we had "moving-up" ceremonies (queue the R&B). At Chicago we have "convocations" (summoning a large assembly of people for the conferral of awards). But I'm going to my sister's "graduation" (cf. also: 2; the action of dividing into degrees or other proportionate divisions on a graduated scale.). Our relationship has been fraught, mostly because we have "graduated"--divided by degrees along some measured scale of silences, thinly veiled insinuations of disapproval (oh, really? a sorority?... really? he's in the Army?... Or: Why do you date men any way?). Graduated... Though, at least I'll have an excuse not to really engage. No, I don't know the first thing about getting a real job in the business world... No, I wish I could but I don't live in DC so I wouldn't know if that's a good rental price... That sort of shit siblings continue to pester one another with from whatever distances they have furnished themselves with. But I like my little corner of the world, and I don't need to ask anyone for their fucking advice. (Not true: just, no one in my family.)

To be honest, it's just that this seems like a chore. No: like a total bore. It is crazy or stupid or whatever. Perhaps mean-spirited. But only if you think that we should subordinate ourselves to the drudgery of obligation--familial obligations I find most repulsive. Some people wish for the bondage of familial obligation; gays call one another "family" (not, what I think is more appropriate, but hardly more accurate, "community"), and a cottage industry of philosophy has blossomed under the sign of a nostalgia fueled vehemence that can only lash out at the desire for more wiggle-room with all sorts of nightmarish doomscapes of nihilism.

It's a matter of being an adept psychoanalyst, I think. Yes, yes, all of this has been said: anomie, dis-empowement, alienation, exclusion, despair--the canon of 19th and 20th century literature (of the readable variety--which is to say, pleasurable). Honest, perhaps more properly. What is beautiful about literature, about sitcoms, music videos, video-games, movies, comic strips, commercials, ect--the cultural signs--detritus and otherwise--is this mirroring effect. Still: one can choose how to look in the mirror. Perhaps it is just me, but after really good sex I like to look in the mirror, to match the image to the corporeal sensation that is still alive on the memory of my skin. I like to see my lover next to me in the mirror, equally pleased, sated--but not quite--always more, always lacking, always wanting, wanting, wanting--to avoid boredom or an image that is too recognizable, too the morning after; desire is the good.

The bonds of family--this is a bizarre desire, I feel. An over-investment in the paternal order, the militarized state, the disciplinary apparatus of church, school, clinic.

My a girl I knew in high school is starring in the remake of "Nightmare on Elm Street". She's "Rooney Mara"--which is funny as her nom de theatre is her mother's maiden name. Anyway, she plays the chick who cuts or burns herself to keep awake, to keep out of the nightmare, and who (of course) gets hospitalized and sedated--how brilliant! Modern psychiatry is what is responsible for sending us to our hellish deaths: their arrogant expertise amounting to nothing more than a banal death sentence--a lethal injection of good intention. One night, at her house, we sat outside talking about how unforgivable fat is--on ourselves and on others (body fascists my Sokrates says). From the open window of her parents bedroom we hear her father exclaim something nasty about her (out of frustration?) to her mother, and there is nothing that can be said since we've both heard it and yet to acknowledge that it was heard would be to acknowledge that it was said, and neither of us want to do that--it would hurt too much, be too messy, too unexplainable--a wound impossible to treat. But there I was, and a part of me was so pleased: yes, I thought to myself, I know for certain that all the rest of "You" are as abject as I am--and yet, I get to take all the shit for you, from you, so you don't have to speak your own shit out loud, so it can be disavowed, heard but not really heard.



I think that if I ever win an award that requires me to thank people publicly, I think I'd be of the temperament which would say simply: you know who you are that I am thankful for. My love knows no bounds; and that nothing in me knows any bounds, I am constantly engaged in a playful wrestling match; I often keep my desires bound and gagged, moaning for release. Oh, my father-Freud, how vindicated I am! Infinitely invert-able, laughing at the sudden reversals--may I always be laughing!

Tonight J. make me laugh out loud; how wonderful, I said, that you transgress a threshold and I don't scream in pain, but laugh like a child! May I always be able to laugh! I love my body in his hands. Strong hands, skilled in delicate and intimate foldings and unfoldings. My hands are sometimes too clumsy: they clatter like a keyboard or a train-car. My hands, my hands, my hands! When they are in love with my ideas they dance for me: like beautiful boys in a ballet choreographed by Alvin Ailey and Lady Gaga... Half-psychotic, sick, hypnotic...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Paper Gangsta

There may be some extra layer of shame that one might feel upon realizing that a pop diva has shown them up, called them out.
It came when wanting to identify with the Lady herself--someone just as real, as fabulous. And then I realized I had the flavor but no follow-through.
And I've thought about this song once before when I felt mildly reproached for being all about "papers". As an academic, that's about all I get to be into. And then I realized she said "fakers" and I breathed a sigh of relief.

(your diamond words melt into ice... absolutely devastating. Obviously this is about exploitative music producers or agents or what have you, but also about prenuptial agreements or marriage licenses--and thus marriage is implicated; and the self-help cottage industry... oh this list is endless! Like, Gangsta rap "ice" is ephemeral, melting away whereas Gaga will have diamonds only, and thus gestures towards Marilyn, an enduring feminine sex-pop icon--and what about that she is the new "Lady"? It isn't "move over" Billie, but rather: make some room--not that I think Billie Holiday would object to Gaga's company--birds of a feather and all...)

But, ok, I admitted to being called out. Gaga's affirmation--just as real, as fabulous--is a serious aesthetico-ethical standard. If she can dismiss managers/lovers/producers/competitors or "fakers" on these grounds, she must be able to escape her own dismissal. It was this thought that caught me, ensnared in the seeming purity of the dichotomy. I was going to reproach J., but alas: I fake as much as he does. He admitted what I have known for ages: he knows more than he lets on. And he puts up his blinders of repression, forces himself to see only what won't disturb. But the disturbing is seen, and it disturbs: he gave himself ulcers, for fuck sake! He basically says as much to me.

I think to myself: I choose not to show you things, too.

A version, no doubt, of faking.

I realized that I don't want to "grow-up" and that, in part, moving to a "bigger space" meant that I was growing--if not in age, then in the amount of stuff that I can't do without if I'm to be/come who I want to... Part of what is frightening about having more space is the silent imperative to "fill it". The German didn't do this for ages--he had an empty museum of an apartment when I was dating him. It scared me. But I should have seen then how perfect we were for one another at the time: he was increasingly incapable of swatting away the droning call to finally exhale and then re-fill his weary body with a fresh history. I was the bug that he could finally swat. And I was, of course, needing someone to show me that I was capable of doing what I wanted to be able to do so badly--namely, be a decent boyfriend, be sexy for other men, to feel my skin touched in new ways that I wouldn't recoil from or have to feel guilty for enjoying. We gave each other what we needed: he nailed the bug, and I got my body back (as if for the first time). But it was all there in the echo-chamber of his apartment--my pleading, broken-record whinings for him to finally "get some shit on your walls!" and his "I will (but not now, when the time is right)...)".

We think we are so clever, and yet we have no idea just how clever we really are: we tell ourselves and one another the truth all the time, in many ways, on many registers, and yet we don't recognize it for what it is--like an old friend we haven't seen in a while, who has gotten an uncharacteristic hair-cut--recognition, but not realization. Like J.'s eyes when the blinders wear thin and become patchy and transparent in places. These truths, where do they go? They are "in," like Trojan Virus's, but we don't feel the impact of the corruption until much, much later. And usually these detections require an up-dating of soft-ware, the next operating platform (if you will). Imagine the body as a computer dating from when you got your first family PC/Mac, and then imagine that without being able to simply replace the machine (the body) you have to get supplemental RAM, multiple external hard-drives; and when a virus seeps in, you quarantine it, but you have to use alternative programs now, you have to send your computer in for "repair" or spend multiple hours on "technical support" as an "expert specialist" walks you through repairing the problem.

It's just funny to think about. Some boy sits down and doesn't know how to navigate your crippled OS and tries to run X program and you freeze--the part of you processing (that rainbow circle of boredom) is remembering the stress, the hassle, the time wasted the last time this happened. Bodies, like computers, adapt; quarantine that program, and this one becomes the new default.

There is a part of my body that likes getting infected. (One can think cynically or hyperbolically but I think Laplanche, for instance, describes--in Freudian terms--how introjection is primal, and by this he means something like: infection of the Other and then auto-immune adaptive response: this is neurosis--and for Laplanche it happens from the very beginning!) Gaga says as much, in a sense, when she sings in "I like it rough"--"Is it cuz I don't feel it, or because you don't mean it... guess it's love..."--cf. also: Poker Face: "When it's love if it's not rough it isn't fun". There is the pleasure in being taken-over; in being overwhelmed. Infected by sensations, stimulations, (simulations), passions (pathos). It is deadly (for Freud: la petite mort), but this is the height of pleasure: to dissolve into the throbbing of a dance rhythm that two bodies produce, naked, like sounds--inside--...

I've moved to a new apartment, and I see a corner of the world now, and not just a ratty court-yard. I see people come and go; buses pull over and hiss and squeal as they let passengers off; I hear taxi cabs grate to a jerking stop; and the remix pulses of Gaga from the club across the way. I see boys going to the ATM, walking out with newly-found fuck buddies, the signs down the street advertising GOT MILK and then the TIME and WEATHER (2.45 am, 66 degrees)... I see the Hancock Tower way down the avenue, and what would be a tall, imposing gym-bunny appear only the size of my glass. (Rum and Rootbeer.)

I'm tired, but wired. And I'm wired to you. So I twitch, and hope that you don't think I'm trying to push you away.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sexpo, Paparazzi, Moving, Longing

Last night J., de Milo, and I all went to this Sexpo downtown. It was TRASH (*accompanying contemptuous dismissive gesture mimed*). We were so excited. We though we'd see gay porn stars! We even allowed ourselves to get so carried away that we fancied Buck Angel would be there. And though we all laughed at ourselves about how fucking scary he is (really: every infant boy's anxiety of the "bad breast," of the fatal feminine: a woman who can catch us, and kill us--his with vagina!), I think afterwards we would have risked Buck's cunt over the douchy sleeze-bags that populated the place. Poor women. And, interestingly, we were unmolested--we vamped and camped up a bit, and I thnk for this reason we were more frightening to these dumb-ass men than they were to us. Hahaha. Oh how I love invert-ability (Freud's blessing to faggots: we know how role-play like motherfuckers).

I'm moving today. Just across the street. Into "Pride Tower": Pride party at my place this year! (Perfect view of the route :) ) I'm not looking forward to it tho... it's a pain in the ass... But I'm excited once it's done. It will be beautiful--so much sunlight, more room... and still in Boystown. So important!

Being in VA made me really appreciate how lucky we are here to have a space that is all our own, where we run the streets.

I miss VA. I feel so stupid saying it. I miss "Tall J."--though, his name also begins w/ "J" so, I dunno... maybe I should just stop. He's become like a splinter under the skin of my imaginary. Digging and then disappearing and then sharply re-appearing. He suggested movies I should watch. "Antichrist" and "Otto: or, Up with the Dead People" (a gay zombie flick out of Europe). I'll have to find them some how. But I don't know if I should. This, thus far, other than the intoxicating memory of dancing, is the only thread that extends between us. And it is so tenuous, so fragile that I could so easily snip it without any pain or loss. But that's a lie. So I keep these txts in my phone, these titles, these suggestions.

I re-read my last post: it was half-true (or un-evenly true): I wanted what was also _not_ J: the difference, the remainder that couldn't be folded into the image of J. His accent, his age, his particular appreciation for the music (he knew the words, and was electrically alive when a song he knew came on; 1243: none of the bitches are better than me... It came on at the Sexpo last night and I thought of him instantly, and was thankful for his introduction, for I felt she was singing for me, and so I sang along having learned this refrain for the first time with him, his voice nestling the words in my ear as he gyrated against me)... (real good: we dance in the studio... [I'm your biggest fan...]--there's no other superstar...)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cuz I'm a Free Bytch, Baby!

"Bad Romance" was my theme song for our trip to VA Tech's Conference, Lady Gaga my muse, my Athena/Artemis/Hermes/Dionysus/Zeus/Hephaestus/Ares/Aphrodite/Demeter/Apollo/--my pantheon of personas blessing me with the gift of agility. In a nutshell: everything went swimmingly and we were well received. I was in rare form! Before leaving for this conference I say to the Grand Dame of our department, "I will reflect the glory of our department!" (I will channel Alcibiades for as long as possible!)

More to the point, I had a grand time with the Vegan, Cocoa and Parkaboy.

I also had the unique opportunity to get to know the local gay flora and fauna of the city of Roanoke.

We opened our night at "The Back-Street Cafe" where we saw a BRILLIANT drag cabaret show featuring Bunny Flingus and a stellar supporting cast. There I met a boy who did the make-up for Joe Biden and John McCain and Jerry Falwell Jr. (that's right the fucker's kid--Lynchburg is one of the "larger" cities in the area, along with Christiansburg, and the home to J. Crew and Jerry Falwell, until he died on my birthday, which also happened to be the birthday of this gorgeous boy, Caleb, who is a hair dresser/drag queen--tall, skinny, and looks 22 when he's really 27.) As the Vegan said, I scanned the room, found the cutest boy, bee-lined it to him, and was making friends within 3 minutes of being there. Well, more like 2 minutes, but w/e. hahaha...

Anyway, so apparently the place has been shot at. Surprise, surprise! But the Vegan loved it, and so did I, and though I wouldn't go so far as to say that they have gay culture "right," it is true that you don't usually see this sort of thing in Chicago (a cabaret that used "Alice in Wonderland" as the thread that wove all the performances together--for instance, the caterpillar performed--in a full caterpillar plush body suit--"Because I Got High" and the Queen of Hearts did "Poker Face" ect... all told, very clever deployments). The next night they did, at The Park--the only gay dance club in the tri-city area, with the "best sound system in Virginia!"--a rainbow themed show (obviously, Prince's "Purple Rain").

Friday the Park was next to deserted. It was interesting because the only nights they are open are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, so I had expected people to come out on Friday/Saturday, but alas: I was the only boy there who wasn't a total hot mess.

On a more somber note, I did meet a boy who was just tragic. (Tragic, not pathetic--the former, so far as I can tell, implies an overwhelming confrontation with Fate; the latter implies a confrontation with Fate which is not overwhelming but treated as if it were--victimization, "the spirit of gravity.") After a car accident, the boy is rushed to the local hospital which, because (no doubt) it is under-equipped and under-staffed, they send him to another hospital, which for the same reasons, sends him to a third. He is 6 y/o and wakes from the coma when he is 7 y/o--he literally lost a transitioning (symbolically, but with "real" affects)--and, though he is a lefty before the accident, has to learn how to write with his right hand because of uncontrollable spasms that rock the left side of his body. (We can imagine that if medical care were more immediately forthcoming the trauma he suffered, and which still plagues his body, would not have been so intensely damaging. We should keep this boy in mind, we pious theorists, when we feel compelled to issue forth denunciations of the "speeding-up" of time, of its terrible effects on our bodies, and when we sound the nostalgic call to "go back.") A scar, and a noticeable depression around his right eye, still indicate where the site of impact, crushing bone, probably damaging the nerves in his right eye (which is probably why he tripped and fell so many times--a dis-coordination of perception, which is only the organ-izing of sensuous data). He wants to be an actor, move to NYC and "become famous". It's Brittney over Gaga, but he still knows all of Gaga's songs and whenever one of them would come on he would take to the dance floor and mimic, with impressive accuracy, the stylized postures, gestures, moves, struts, syncopated jerkings of the video divas he has obviously studied with a desperate eagerness. And no doubt that I had bought him Coca-Cola's to get him to talk--Coca Cola because he was underage--had something to do with his choice to dance to Lady Gaga, as if still not believing my reassurances that I wasn't expecting anything in return. He was broke. Had driven over an hour to get to the Club. But the club was empty--saving some rather impressively trashy, and (to be perfectly honest) rather frightening, locals. "Hill people" the "city folk" call them. And indeed, we are in the valley of the hills out here. But this meant he could dance his little body all over the place, working himself against a pole in the middle of the floor, grinding his ass against it with all of the rapturous vacancy of a body on camera two lines down the rabbit hole, dropping to the floor back-down, pumping his torso up as if it were a mechanism in a car-jack, twisting himself around to simulate fucking the floor itself--as if the sexual energy were seeping up from the ground itself, an intoxicating perfume of sound and pulse and life giving him a freedom of movement, of unencumbered corpo-reality invigorating the musculature of his form--his performance at once the beautiful release of pleasure, and a gratuitous homage (he left his head and his heart on the dance-floor: a gift of self (to himself, and to the occasion itself for this opportunity, ).)

Then, and perhaps most interesting, I should say, was meeting "Tall J." as everyone called him. Indeed, he was J.'s doppelganger. Though he knew how to dance dirty.... lots of grinding, with no problem playing "top" or "bottom" on the dance-floor. But really: a spitting image: chops, skinny (with skinny jeans), the same mischievous smirk, the same unsure but cunning look in his eyes--a cinema major at the University (just as J. is a directing major--the visual arts). It was uncanny. He was both an impostor in my imaginary and an intriguing simulacra--the discrepancies fascinated me. I wanted him, to possess him--or at least the parts of him that reminded me of J. So strong was the resemblance that I could not help but want him. As if letting him go was losing some parts of J. that had become detached, which had followed me like a spirit or ghost and landed in this boy's body. As if not touching him, not hearing him breathe sporadically into the curve of my neck, not enjoying the pleasure of his attention... as if all of this loss was like losing J. I needed him. I begged for him. This imposing simulacra. Graciously, he was more like J. than I could bear: he said no, as if he were himself J., channeling his voice--the kind reminder that I wasn't in danger of losing what I had, that gentle reassurance (all spoken in the name of J.--"your boyfriend"...)--I clutched him before he left with his girlfriends, thanking him for knowing more than I knew--for understanding more than I could understand--even when he didn't even know or understand the desires wracking my body. I was thrown back--thrown back onto my own longing, my own desire, my own memory, my own anxieties: I wanted my lover, and this boy understood that. Better than I did, he understood, he knew--even though I can give no appreciable account of how. Perhaps I am that obvious.

Anyway, that was Saturday night. I also met Jeremy, who told me how, in W.VA, after one year of name-calling and taunts, his coming-out set a trend and "the cheer-leaders, the football and baseball players were all hooking up." I was stunned, having to flee the high-school in my own Liberal top-10 wealthiest American counties because the homophobia was so debilitating. I was jealous. I was completely flabbergast. I didn't understand, and I still don't. I desperately want to. Yes, there is homophobia in the South, but there is also something else that doesn't map onto the accounts that I'm so fluent in--from experience and academic training. (Interestingly, this plays out the same with bull daggers, too--the few I talked to also said that generally they were left alone, a sort of "not my business so long as you don't make it mine" governmentality operates in this area of the South. While obviously politically problematic, I'm was still jealous of the relative ease of these kids' experiences.)

Anyway, I made is home the next day. Made it back to the world where I dance "right," where I'm barely trendy enough to pass, where my lover and his contours and rhythm synched into mine like they so beautifully do. I made it back through back-water Ohio (where, at a gas station, a white woman just punched in her eye by her husband picked a fight with a Black woman for staring--as we all were--calling this woman a nigger, threatening to shoot her, threatening to burn down her house). I made it back past countless erections of trifecta Eucharist crosses. I made it past bad drivers, past XXX adult video stores, through rain, on badly maintained highways. I raced home. I sped back to my love, my home, my world. I fled. I did. I really did: it was a retreat. This world, this horror and this wonder, was too much. Enough for 3 days. But I had to get away. So much for the amor propre. I needed coherence again. My own frame. My world.

But that was because being there, in VA, was like living between two paradoxical frames, two mutually exclusive worlds: it was neither here nor there--we were like angels visiting from on high, and we were so readily recognized, but we were still spectral--our lives had no traction there, nothing solid to grasp onto--and so we dissolved, happily, into the pulses of music, the energies of the dance-floor, the indistinguishablity of the dark club where abjection, where shame, where fear was assaulted, buckle, and shattered under the insistence of the freeing siren call of the music (oooh lala!). Here we are just beautiful bodies, pleasure machines, wet with sweat, hot with energy, brimming with sexual need. We poured ourselves into the music, and we infected one another--our desire traveling on the tendrils of the webs of sound that bound our bodies together, quivering, spasming, "loosing" (but without loss--"orgasm")...

It is impossible not to fall in love on the dance-floor. I am you here, and you are me. We are not "WE"--we are impossibly separable. The dance-floor is where the paradox is kind, where it is loving--and we love this, we abject bodies and pleasures. This doesn't need a fortress of mountains to house, nor does it need a hip sophistication. I am so undone by this weekend... I left something of myself there, and I brought something of it back with me--and it is like a cancer now--it's cure is still there, somewhere, enigmatic and undecipherable--only showing signs.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Raaaaa! (When it's love if it's not rough it isn't fun)

I'm glad to read that the Writer and I have brilliantly common capacities to say nasty things to our loved-other which, in fact, only make sense in terms of the cliche "rubber/glue" division of labor. Something like the smooth curvature of a mirror that rebounds an echo back--a haunting return of the obvious (not the repressed).

Every once in a while I imagine what it would have been like if I dated him--though, interestingly, the sex doesn't figure as prominently as it once did when I would first think about these things. Instead, I imagine these brutal exchanges of volleys--something like the boring plugging away of Civil War naval battle, Monitor v. Virginia... I suppose the desire stems from the desire to have an equally vicious antagonist. One feels less guilty when here is a sense of self-defense, a moral self-righteousness that allows the most vile words to somehow seem legitimate.

J. never does this. He has never reared back and struck, the death-grip of a mortal embrace. I do, though. And it sucks. To lie on my side of the bed, too proud to ask for what I want, which is to stop punishing myself, to stop trying to elicit some moral justification for lashing out. And yet, of course, "this hurts me more than it hurts you" is quite possibly the most insipid recourse one can make to sympathy.

The Writer and I share, however, rather reserved partners in crime--reserved to the extent that neither are forthcoming with the sorts of quotidian reassurances. Nor are either particularly eager to engage in constituting the inter-esse that weaves the binding threads of a life together. Theirs is a different model. Of course, B. & J.--aside from what I imagine would be very hot sex--would be utterly useless to one another: absent the neurotic doting, prying, praising, and provoking characteristic of boys like the Writer and me these stoic beauties would devolve into a miasma of meaninglessness. Ironically, though we are the neurotic ones, we are also the ground, the foundation, the pillars that support whatever detached flights of fancy these men of ours endeavor on.

(Are these only _my_ fights, dear Writer, or do we lash out because of this stoic refusal to acknowledge their gratitude?)

This weekend I'll be in VA for a gender and technology conference, which I am looking forward to. The Vegan and Parkaboy will all be there, and we will go playing together. I banged out 11 pages on Heidegger, technology, Derrida, and Nietzsche. It was fun, and it sorta just flowed out--like a religious experience or an orgasm. This are moments of poetic ek-statis, and it is why I do what I do.

de Milo (he reminded me of his own name, how terrible--but I like it: Venus and Marquis implied at one and the same time--the fabulously gender-bending fucker...) may have found himself a partner in crime himself. And I am both jealous (though of who, I'm not sure) and very, very happy for him. My conceit as seducer shattered by reality... really? why always the Real? hahaha, whatever. de Milo is quickly becoming one of my best friends. I am regularly impressed by his ability to get and keep (provisionally) his shit together come what may. He is staggeringly strong, and here my conceit as seducer totally inverted: I feel for his savoir-faire, I suppose. And how gracefully, how aptly he has eased me into being happy with what I already have. He and J. were a bit awkward. I am wholly responsible for this. Playing a poorly orchestrated game. I've grown up, I think, and stepped out of the way, and surprise surprise: they like each other, and get along just fine. This makes me most happy.

Ok. I need to go talk to my Old Man. (Just Dance!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cold as Ice/Hot as Fire (you're a god, and i'm a liar)

I continue to fail to find Foucault's "ethics" satisfying. Or persuasive. As an interesting genealogy of the ways in which Christian asceticism develops out of certain Hellenic and Roman philosophical practices, especially Stoicism, Foucault captures my attention. But insofar as this analysis is meant to illuminate an _ethical_ dimension to life, and to the extent that this ethics is modeled after numerous _administrative_ examples (the soul as a ship, a bank, a house-hold, ect.), then Foucault seems to reinscribe a Christian figuration of the soul into Antiquity. I say this because, for instance, Plato and Aristotle--not to mention Heraclitus and Empedocles before them, and Diogenes after them--imagined the soul as an agonistic site of contestation and negotiation more closely resembling the Freudian tripartite psychic "structure" ego/s-ego/id, and not a technical/medical model of administration. There is also the ways in which Foucault's attention to "governmentality"--analyzed first in the context of a critique of neo-liberal economic rationalities--when it surfaces in his readings of the ancients repeats this self-same instrumental logic, "discovering" it in these texts (which may be true--but then, why build an ethic on the same rational foundations?)...

Anyway, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with the prospect of my move coming up. My landlord was a douche about breaking my lease a month early--though, I also wasn't particularly interested in _asking_ either. Hopefully this won't really be a problem. It shouldn't be hard for them to find a new tenant, and anyway: it's not my issue: these people have been so regularly terrible to me, that the last thing on my mind is making sure _they're_ alright.

But this week also starts an insane blitzkrieg of "events"--Arendt Circle this weekend, and then our trip to VA for VATech's Gender and Technology. I still need to write my paper for this VA Tech conference.

Anyway. To finish "The Seducer's Diary". How about an ethic of boredom? Can we say that boredom is the ultimate evil, that it should be first philosophy to hold at bay this sensation? What would that look like?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Like Eating Glass (forricherforpoorerforbetterforworse)

I'm enjoying and suffering in taciturn cycling a general aimlessness. Turtles/work/coffee-drinking/re-communing with neglected friends. In Lauren's class we thought seriously about the valences of "drifting" or "digression". (The "et cetera principle"--though, how could digression have a "principle"?--The Stoic says to me the other night: that's the death drive. I don't know, though. How can a "drive" which aims towards negation or stasis be devoid of an active principle? This isn't death drive. It is sort of just listlessness. Like a ship in a calm. A week long calm. But there is no sun for a tan. Of course.)

I've decided I'm only going to take 2 courses this up-coming quarter. Last quarter was brutal. I'll be so busy--just my travel plans are insane: driving to Virginia and back to only then hop on a plane to DC for little sister's graduation--and it really began to take a toll on me. And I guess I've been affected by the repeated complaints i've gotten from all of my neglected friends. And right now, missing J. as I am--which is rather more than I'd like to have to endure, to be perfectly honest--while anticipating a busy schedule prompts me to account for the profound ways in which I'd rather not want to feel like I do now. {On this, Tim Dean is wholly wrong-headed: there are ALWAYS mediating projections that enable a subject to FEEL close or distance to an Other.}

w/e. i'm bored. (even too bored to j/o.)

{If Paul Verilio's argument is that technology has effaced our ability to enjoy/suffer distances, then he simply reiterates a problem that has haunted the human condition for ages (Anne Carson does a brilliant job of depicting the tension of distance in the context of ancient notions of erotic time and space). The problem of "new media" is that it is new for us, and this is our problem: how do we establish distances, distinctions, difference? Plato gives this philosophical voice and sets in motion the tradition of attempting to negotiate this condition. Indeed, this is Nietzsche's prompt for maligning democracy--and the "Enlightenment" writ large--as a leveling of distinctions. The spatial metaphors N. deploys to characterize the necessity of transvaluation are crucial (even the notion of an "over" man, but they do not end there: rank, an expansive soul, a protraction of the will in time, the 'going-under' of Zarathustra's Dionysian 'great contempt' and so on). Anyway, how myopic to assume that we, in contemporary life, are so radically severed from the past and the struggles (intellectual/existential and socio-political) thereof. And cowardly: we refuse to stop and look around, so enchanted by the anxieties of contemporary life--enchanting, in turn, the terror of the question into a reassuring abyss of meaning--a glamourous nihilism. Fuck that.}

From a certain Scamp: "how i said to you, "honey, just open your heart," when i've got trouble even opening a honey jar, and that right there is where we are..."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Just Can't Get You Outta My Head

I got my first ever "B" as a graduate student. There are plenty of contextualizing reasons/excuses why, but I don't really care. I got a "B" and part of me is proud of this. At least, the part of me that realizes I could have gotten an "A"--or even an "A-"--if I had done the work in a particular way towards a particular end. But I _chose_ not to. I said to J., The thing that sucks about this paper is that I know the paper this prof. wants to read is one I don't want to write. And so I decided to write the paper I wanted to write, and not the one he wanted to read. And I got a "B," which must be the most cynical grade ever, considering ample participation, no incomplete assignments, and only one missed class. But it was a defiantly missed class--one I refused to attend on principle. No doubt my grade was a result of an equally principled decision.
Regardless, I'm not upset--it doesn't hurt my standing in the dept., nor does it nullify the course-work. It was just a dick thing to do, and not very surprising at that: he is a tool.
In the mean time, I await my other grades. I'm less nervous about them, though. I feel confident about the work I did.
Tonight I will see a friend's apartment. I was talking to the Vegan and he said something I was afraid of: "It's not like I love Boystown, but you miss it when you leave it--I was getting shot at, constantly sneered at, and there was nothing around." So I'm looking at a 2 bedroom space for $800 a month in Boystown that my friend has till May, which I may be able to take over if I look very closely at expenses. A study, a bedroom, a place to host guests... It could be nice. And I think that if I need to, I could (maybe) do a (gay) roommate.
Which is to say, I doubt J. will be up for moving in with me--despite my desire to live with him. It will probably be too much for him, and I think he likes the sense of freedom that having "MY place" and "YOUR place" implies. Immutable boundaries that can be enforced like no-fly-zones should they need to be. I understand that. I'm not entirely sure I don't have the same desire, too.
But he is willing to leave his father's phone plan and join mine. Which I think is something--not a lease, but something like it. A formal piece of paper that connects him to me in this world. Even if it is a Verizon cellphone bill. For phones we will largely use to talk to one another.
I'm in the Center again because the interwebz I pirate are down. It's funny to see how things happen here--the constant movement, very formal, very official: name badges, walkie-talkies. All of that.
Anyway, I'm gonna go home, get ready for work, go to work, work, finish work, read a book for a bit, and get picked up by this boy and see his apartment. I'm nervous about moving. I said to the Vegan, "Even though I don't avail myself of the local amenities Boystown has to offer, I like being around other fags." Maybe if I get this smartphone with J. I'll have to put my money where my mouth is, and rely on Grinder for my sense of community. Only if I move away. Which I want to do less and less...
In other news, I'm excited about meeting up with the Writer on Friday, despite his animosity, which I always found somewhat endearing and even a bit charming. Fag Jesus had to hear all about it the other night and it was funny when he interrupted me to let me know he can imagine, in each ear, the two of us bitching about one another. I blushed in mild embarrassment.
Last night was spent with my Stoic philosopher queen friend, and she (a real bio-woman--a bionic woman?) had a grand time. We talked Freud and James and Goethe and Billy Shakes and all was well. Though some guy followed me back from the bus stop where I dropped her off yelling, "Sir!" "Sir!" "Excuse me, Sir!" and I ignored him and kept walking until I heard his feet fall in the rhythm of a run, and sensing that I wasn't going to make it to Halstead before he reached me, I spun around, and said, "Yes?!" in the most no-nonsense tone I could muster, and when he realized he couldn't clock me over the head and take my money he mumbled a "God bless..." (to which I said, "You wish") and retreated back into the shadows of the alley from which he'd emerged suddenly, so eager and hopeful to score my wallet. Motherfucker. Scared the shit out of me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Best Friends Means I Pull the Trigger (Best Friends Means You Get What You Deserve)

Dear Boyfriends,

Yes, plural—I know, I’m discovering as if for the first time, too. (Rouge-ish, that ‘as if’. As if I knew and am now only owning up to it? As if! …Yes, exactly: as if what? As if wise enough? devious enough? capable enough? dispassionately passionate enough? Enough. Period. Yes, boys have periods too. Essentialize that.)

I find myself somewhat at a loss. I’m not used to addressing a plural intimate, no matter the fact some would contend that is disingenuous. After all, what is this talk about the plurality of the psyche, of the body itself even, if not a championing of the plurality of intimate relations? I tip my hand: I rarely feel intimate with myself in the plural—I often find myself uncomfortable among many competing demands, the demand to perform, to meet a standard, to stand at attention, to not let intimacy flag, erect quivering attentive.

There is, in any great concentration of desire, a deadening of the soul’s plurality, a great narrowing and channeling of attention. I regret nothing in the span of this great concentration, honed-in, penetrating deeply. There is only this. Now. Many suidices, athletes, war veterans, artists, and lovers have often spoken the same way. But then, I am all of these, expansive as I am. So romantic, so noble—possibly tortured. As if.

There is a sex toy ironically named for a phantasy I only now realize. “It’s so two bottoms can be boyfriends.” So blithely tossed out, as if knowingly. A fuck you to the domineering pre-tense of tops, who can’t imagine their cock supplanted by a dildo. My dick is my phallus! (As if...) For all of the boys I fucked, it’s the ones I never did that I love, and there seems something profoundly unfair about this. Forget communities of impersonal intimacy. I live in communities of unrequited love. Sublimated libido. Misshapen, gaps and ad hoc binding exposed, two different colors—this dildo has not sold, and now the sign that reads “New!…” reads like a bad joke, propped up on a pedestal, slightly out of reach, slightly out of sight—but a nice idea. As if… a queertopia!

The time of ‘as if’ is the future, and the space of the ‘as if’ is the imaginary domain?

As if it weren’t smoking or cat allergies or any number of differences too innumerable to enumerate… Let the dildo mean more than it does. It’s the silly sense of things: over-determine—perhaps even fetishize—the damn thing. And your boyfriend. The one you talk to. Whose dick is also sometimes phallic. Forget ‘as if’ is as superficial as it is/n’t: lie. My noble lie. So romantic, so noble—possible tortured. As if.

As if I weren’t happy to sleep with my phone by my pillow so his call will wake me? I’m quite pleased for the chance, thank you. This sort of impersonal intimacy. So I can have my refuge from the demands of requited love. (Who makes these demands? With what authority? As if I knew… As if.) The phantasmagoria of exclusive, reciprocal love--the caresses, the promises, the little gestures of on-goingness comprising the melange of meaning always already on the brink of being compromised--and uneasy alliance of disavowal and earnest vows.

The discomfort of a membrane stretched too thin, too easily ruptured, pierced--a hymen of sensibility. Or a condom. Filled with water. Dropped from the 22nd story window of the penthouse apartment you dream of one day sharing with your partner. (In crime, in law, in life?) So I stopped fucking with condoms, but that was itself a risk perhaps too risky to take, or rather, receive. And when I look at the folds of my anus I wonder if the swollen musculature looks more like a scar on the order of a pussy or if that is just the effects of age and regular use--having just been used. I wonder if my asshole is ugly, and I consider how this might be a trifling question compared to the more pertinent question, namely: am I ugly? The wrinkles around my eyes and mouth. Folds of flesh on the order of a scar, use and age? As if my face is an asshole. A funny persona to think about. As if I could stand to think about the degeneration of my body.

The terror of realizing that, when taken to its logical conclusion, positing plurality and flux leads to a dissolution of every solid banister or wall or ground. That, indeed, there was never anything solid there in the first place. We've always been in free-fall. And this is something like falling in love--the sense of falling at the same rate: as if if the laws of gravity, mass, density, ect. conspired together, like when windshield wipers flap back and forth in time with the left-turn indicator: tick-flap, flop-tock. I joke regularly about the phantom cosmic clock that times my life with J. And though I know it is a metaphor--do you know what I mean?--it still is one of those necessary fictions--one of those 'as ifs' that I don't question and can only embrace and cling to with the desperation of someone who knows that this clock is not Swiss made, that it will become syncopated. And then what? As if I knew. So romantic, so noble... As if tortured.

Of course, I write as if my boyfriend reads this. No, these are illicit attachments--a desire for what is by definition out of reach: and indeed, this is the way I like it. Though I get nervous about the extent to which I keep at bay what I otherwise would want to release myself to. And I wonder about how expansive and retractive my life becomes, the rhythms of receptivity accelerated by the necessity of keeping-time for/with/to the demands I desire obliging myself to. Because I spoke these words: I want... (Sappho) As if I knew what I wanted. Though, on the short list: the 'then' (Sunday) 'now' (today). I miss J.

The brutality of desire is its exhaustibility. There is no defense here: I am a selfish lover, and you, dear boyfriends, were brutalized by my exhaustion. So beautifully resplendent in its fatigue--flaccid desire is curdled milk. Thirsty? And yet, you are not alone in this measuring out, this parceling time, intimacy, desire, pleasure. Even J. suffers from the insistence of this instantiation of incrementalized instances of intimacy. Everything succumbs to the incessant need to quantify, divide, subtract, add--all this math--all of these numbers... Does this count as an apology? Does it add up to the needed guilt or innocence? Divide my attention by the answer; multiply this by 2/4/8/16/32. Keep the remainder. Hope the balance changes. Wonder what this amounts to. What does this amount to? As if I could calculate...

And the other night when I passed out in my bathroom, when my cellular phone dropped into the toilet half full of piss, when my head crashed against the unyielding metal of the radiator, when I woke and heard on the short-circuiting of the phone buzzing through the filth and porcelain, the flashes of pain, the vomit, the piss. What scared me was precisely the inability to speak. Or move. I cried. There was no one there. J. gone. My neighbors unknown. Phone broken. More vomit. Shoveling ice-cream down my throat to get sugar in my blood. Blood on my hands from my head. Scared and alone. As if in free fall.

I'm going to go home, smoke some pot, drink more coffee, smoke more cigarettes--does it make sense to brag about future plans to quit over the summer? in the name of youth and health and vanity and terror--and then ride my bicycle. It isn't very warm out--or at least, not as warm as I would like--who do I complain to about this--as if weather were a bureaucracy you could score cheap points off when you needed to boost your self-esteem. But no one does what I do better than me. And though I'm rarely sure what exactly it is that I do, what I am rather positive of--to the extent that one can in fact be _positive_--is that I act out these silly vignettes--... Or have you stopped reading? As if...