AFTER/WORDS

Whither text? This question will be addressed although often implicitly. Strategies and tactics of thought, more simply--ways to think, about whatever.

Feel free to contact, respond, or ask questions. Words by N.C.Catt unless noted otherwise.

Untitled (Relativity)

Untitled (Relativity)

subject, slave—                                                                                                                                                                                 

subjected to the will of another.

enslaved, subjected—

free will, whatever, a personal means of oppression.

could one ever decide which feels more real…

which exerts more power?

what puts one in check?

obsession is relative—

where one snaps another begins.

so fuck stability—

forever in flux,

spun on relativity.

(almost) untitled work from yesterday #2

untitled (flowing through)

through me,

right through my flesh—

yet another arbitrary boundary.

let me pass, let me bleed.

pass through me.

i am nothing beside that which flows through me.

i never realized i was alive

before spirit’s breath spoke silently:

exist as if infinite.

i never thought i would die

before spirit’s breath spoke violently:

you are anything but complete—

your epiphanies are ephemeral,

your being is temporal.

let me bleed,

my blood flowing forever silently.

let me pass,

my search has yet commenced

although the journey continues,

always renewed,

always over only to begin again.

whatever.

Note: The format is all fucked up like my previous post.  

untitled work from yesterday #1

untitled 

deceive me—

neglect my presence,

ignore my voice.

your dead eyes have no color—

nothing behind, nothing inside.

your emptiness concerns me.

i can wait,

for time passes only as illusion. we are

restrained in space,

restricted in time

as there is never enough,

right?

so, why stratify?

one above another,

vertically,

allowing power to fall as water—

downward.

above me, upon me

you believe yourself to be.

i pity those who necessitate such structure. therefore,

i pity your desire to climb,

stepping on the necks of those you used to respect.

i pity you,

i’m sorry for you—

not you (the friend), rather

you the emperor, the oppressor, the sovereign…

your power is limited regardless anything you impose.

i love you,

hope you knew.

Note: For some reason when I submitted this the format got fucked up, mainly the spaces between stanzas. Anybody know how to fix this?


"On Yesterday, Today" -Jonny Ray

Under the spell of a fair springtime day, I walked around the neighborhoods of my youth. With a curious eye I looked upon the small homes, each possessing and projecting their own soul, their own Spirit, the Spirit of this land. As a child I saw no beauty here and wished above all other wishes to escape this suburban prison. But at once I saw the bungalows glow and the melodies of all the flowers in their gardens sweetly graced my ears. At once, I fell in love with the braless housewife wringing out a rag full of soap in her driveway. I felt compassion for the man in his garage working into the afternoon on some unknown project.

Walking along modest sidewalks under birds chirping and playing in trees, I admired the modest architecture of a sleepy suburban America long passed, standing humble yet full of soul amongst its tasteless contemporaries.

            In this manner I walked and walked, my vision renewed and my spirit awed, until I came to a clearing, a field of grass upon which I laid to rest. Back against the earth, my eyes looked into the blue of the sky and focused on the elliptical jewel, the day time moon. I became a star floating in space, the link between the heavens and the earth. Lying there, I envisioned the inevitable perishing of my body from which my soul was emptied and released out into the cosmos, unbound and limitless.

-Submitted by Jonny Ray. http://jonnyrayflores.tumblr.com/

contextual stress

untitled" as of yet

cityscape,

street corner—standing,

people walking.

 

a stupid realization

realized. making feel

ignorance, or maybe naiveté…

 

feeling stupid all the time.

 

but you can’t stay

perpetually aware—

contextual stress.

 

feeling stress all the time:

there are so many forces acting on the individual,

above and below, sometimes

right in the middle—

the collective and the elusive (w)hole

that which constitutes us as such—

as this “individual.”

 

removed/removing

from it all,

time is still and air

is scarce to breath.

 

bleeding—a would be corpse

laying under a sheet—

blackish.

 

what is this feeling?

overwhelming/consuming

sometimes a flash,

then we forget, before

fading out behind that

stage of presence.

fuck.

 

sometimes it lingers…

 

walking around and around—

three dimensional,

or maybe more—

walking around and around,

one side at a time,

curvature—no definite sides, yet always

an obscured side—

un-see-able,

reduced to a wave,

a cloud of potential form.

 

sometimes it’s so still,

the silence all over/around you

and thoughts screaming.

 

an utter abandonment—

overwhelming—understanding followed

by crescendos of confusion—forgetting

some things,

followed by more

stress—

chest pains.

politics

The game of politics is a game of many all fighting to suck the golden tit. As workers we can only watch those with privilege access the tit and thereby attempt to suck it dry. But, for a while, the tit was great. It looked great and we respected those sucking it. Now the tit is wrinkled and sagging and dry, producing little to nothing. Yet we continue to watch them suck on the tit that is dry. They regurgitate dry nothing for our consumption. People are beginning to notice there is nothing left. Yet we continue to watch and play their game. And this, my friends, is why we are dead spectators for a spectacle removed of its former glowing glory, its fountain of youth possibilities; the reproduction—further, the simulation—of reality is definitely the most profitable market out there and it has been for quite a while. We watch our collective death as it plays out before us. We are so dead and we continue to die to live. We consume because we are dead and we know it. We fucking know it but pretend we don’t. So dead, in fact, that we fear death above anything else. We are so afraid and that is why we have no control.

Speaking of control—the apparatus. The apparatus is a mechanism that removes us further and further from our underlying fundamental totality of being. That which makes us not us. That which subjectifies us, making us into a subject in a series of specific relationships tailored to a specific function. Before the apparatus we are nothing—as we should so rightly be. I only want to be and nothing else. I hope this doesn’t sound selfish. I only want to interact—communicate and share—with others. Embrace the Other, lose the self (that internal sameness). Share and create, produce! Produce relationships outside the dull nature of production/consumption. Only in recognizing our collective dispossession and turning it inside out can we even begin to become. I want becoming, not change. Fuck change, fuck it.

Fuck what exactly? Fuck work? Fuck life? Fuck the world? No, fuck them. Fuck their control over us. Fuck the odds that are against us. Fuck numbers. Fuck expectations. Let something simply become. To come into being. To pass through the threshold of realization. To shift, to mutate, to lean ever-so-lightly upon the fencepost of existence. My friends, we must stop dying and consuming and start creating and producing—we must become. Until then, nothing more shall be said here.

wind/alone

Note: this poem constituted the sixth installation of my zine, “a manifesto of nothing”. I reformatted it to make it more readable…


"wind/alone"

through the corners of our eyes, sometimes

faint shapes stand and act.



then as we turn,

they disappear.

 

often i notice these things at night:

about every time, as i turn, those shadows escape

and i am left alone(…although ‘alone’ leaves enough inner-space to adapt to even the greatest illusions i trust in me a fair judge–despite subjectivity…)

 

i ask in solitude, "what lies behind–"

so i turn and stare at nothing

and i repeat to find nothing again

as i expected, so i return to before…

 

sometimes i think&wonder about emotion&space(emotion in space)



attempts/emotions express with no definite (indefinite)shape as wind/waves,

something fluid

emotion best explained as such

 

and i ask again in silence:

"can wind get stuck, painted in-between dead air,

in empty space, shifting through time?”



maybe those shapes disguised as fog(distorted in mind)

maybe they are impressions in space of some unknown past



impressions not written nor said, expressed—

the thoughts above symbols:

silent streams of consciousness…

 

sometimes i don’t turn and stare at those things to my side,



not in protest, not in vain—



sometimes i just leave silence/

wind alone.

The Weight

What shall we define as that impact of the varying degrees of emotional gravity that often keep us more than grounded, to the point where we are upon the floor—sometimes seemingly beneath the surface itself? That heaviness is what here shall be defined as, “the weight”. Do not we all know the effects of “the weight”? That which keeps us down. The stress that attacks our hearts and minds. Psychological hyper-tension, sometimes just hyper-tension. As we grow old gravity will only increase. The Weight growing larger. I don’t want to die lips to dirt because the world broke my back. 

-This concept is directly related to stress, but in a greater sense of the word than we are normally accustomed to. Soon I shall differentiate between what I consider “conceptual stress” and “contextual stress” in working out a more cohesive theory of stress and its affect.  

my generation

Our generation is simultaneously engaged and distanced from the source of our frustration. By frustration I refer to the latent yet often overwhelming anxiety beneath action, the paranoia due to unannounced yet apparent surveillance, that empty feeling when undistracted by technology and the like, and so on. We do not acknowledge nor understand our limitations and this makes us weak. Easily distracted and in constant need of entertainment we search for a screen in which to fixate our attention instead of facing what lies ahead of us. We are so accustomed to the instantaneous and the spectacular that we cannot appreciate the simple, the empty moment; the paradox here is that we often search for simplicity although we do not recognize it.

Further, we are a generation raised within what cannot be considered anything less than a “communication revolution” with little communication skills whatsoever unless it be from behind some machine. We network; we exist within complex social structures made tangible through the various social-networking sites that rob us not only of time but of agency. What power do you hold when living electronically?  The trick is that you feel liberated, to some extent, in that you can represent your unique, individual self for all that care to see, while you are nothing, nothing except another profile warranting more advertisements, further expanding virtual space to be claimed for commercial gain. We are ready to reveal ourselves to all in hopes that one might listen, nut no one ever does.

We have no truth, but this may be our only strength or possibly an even greater weakness.

We are everywhere, all the time, to the extent that we do not realize our position within the present moment. Our eyes have adjusted to the dim glow of the various monitors that constantly surround us and we cannot see without strain what lies in front of us.

We are one huge joke but no one is laughing.

And even if we were to laugh it would be silent, sent from one screen to another represented in such a way that completely removes laugher of its human element.

 

We are ready to accept the machine, to become hybrid, to finally reject nature yet we pretend we care about the environment. At least we care, right? We care enough to “go green” yet not enough to take it back, or at least to see through another legitimate movement commercialized and commodified. So shall we pretend that we are the saviors of the planet? One day written in history books for future disillusioned generations to pass over while in public institutions (state apparatuses).

 

We “revolutionize” culture but not the system, everything that does not require a fight. We are the ultimate realization of passive revolution, as we were destined to be this way. We never act but constantly move, skating across a smooth world, connected yet isolated.

 

After the novelty fades what are we to do then, when it is too late? When connection yields to surveillance, technology turned upon itself, what once was liberating now another means of oppression.

 

We cannot even begin to pretend that it will not come to this. And it will be impossible to find any center to attack as power will soon float, or is constantly floating.

 

And this could go on, this critique, but to what end? Symptoms of context, the unavoidable positioning of human existence within history; we are all products regardless of any particular ideology.

 

This critique is ancient, in that it attacks what is apparent but ignored by most. It is easier and now more than ever more productive to not care, as long as the eventual end is worthwhile.

 

We find relief in security rather than the satisfaction of making a difference, or becoming an actual vehicle of difference. Even belief is passive, personalized to the point of secrecy, understood to be secondary to the rituals of everyday life in which it is admirable to be agreeable and thus docile.

 

Underneath all of this is something much more dangerous though…

 

A nihilism unrealized yet marketed:

brand name nihilism.

 

The ghost in the machine brought to life.

 

The ultimate separation through instantaneous connection.

Your voice trivialized, over-saturated.

Your space insignificant.

Tearing yourself apart as your identity depreciates.

not too down

We’re all brought up more-or-less the same. Thinking back when does it end—this “bringing up”? It can’t all be the family (I refer to family in a very broad sense). –Why are we polite? Why do we care so much about just about everything besides people and other forms-of-life? –Just enough empathy to seem well-adjusted but not enough to actually feel. I guess if we were so outside ourselves all the time we wouldn’t be able to manage, to fit-in like a puzzle-piece allowing for minimal ambiguity and functional transparency. –So much weight upon our backs yet we don’t ever take time to stare at the ground. How many of us search for that kind of stability? Enough gravity to keep from floating away, enough weight to feel worthwhile—substantial. Our sweat as grease to lubricate the machinery we pretend to hate but cannot live without. “Use enough to make it smooth enough.

Some say all of our tastes, desires, intentions, etc., are products of the greater machinery. –Created in the image of a creator. A system must reproduce the conditions of production in order to survive. Is it that easy? I would like to believe things are a little more complex, a little more complicated, in hopes for some resistance without complete commitment—a way out without standing in line. If we all found our respective exits we could survey the space outside in its incomprehensible totality. –A new cartography. Collaborating, sharing—making maps to connect our independent paths rather than just as a means to find our way back home. Of course some would want to return home and we must not judge them. Sometimes you need to trace your roots even if just to appreciate the intricate patterns that emerge. When doing this though we must focus our energy on roots, the subterranean systems beneath our feet, as opposed to getting caught up in the pruning of our branches and collecting our dead leaves.

We must be very cautious we create no new apparatuses, nothing else to pin us down even further than we already are. Subjectified and de-subjectified, an endless cycle of involvement and alienation, control and the illusion of its absence. I think we’ve been caught up in this independence trip for too long.

–What is there to do alone anyway? Let me clarify: we must find our exit, the one that allows for seamless passing, but we must not believe for a second we can do it without others.

 

All I’m trying to say here is that I’m not too down with all this weight, the gravity above ground but bound within the atmosphere. Too much stress. My back hurts. I get some relief though from wondering what the weather is like on the outside. You think the sun shines underground?

2011 

Statement

“That life is complicated may seem a banal expression of the obvious, but is nonetheless a profound theoretical statement—perhaps the most important of our time.” -Avery Gordon