ON WRITHING AND WRY THINGS
Writing is a closed system—an autonomous space.
The poet Francis Ponge argues that he admires “writers most of all, because their monument is made of the genuine secretion common to the human mollusk, the thing most proportioned and suited to his body, yet as utterly different from his form as can be imagined: I mean WORDS.”
Words veil our bodies and exhibit our minds.
Words rest upon the landscape and create blizzards.
Speaking and writing are necessarily the result of various processes of selection, permutation, and reassembly.
Speaking and writing are chaotic systems that repeatedly make new chaotic systems.
Therefore, words fall in place like the cogs of a machine or the ways in which leaves collect in patterns on the ground during autumn.
Words permute like blood cells or viruses and they proliferate in our minds—parasites of thought.
Writing is not a choice—it chooses you.
You can’t run from language.
You can try (I suppose).
“You won’t get far you homo loquens you…”
Even when we are not talking, we are talking.
And the talking postdates an earlier writing—a writing that we are not even conscious of (that constant blather and din that operates in the background). Language is the white noise of consciousness and the general atmosphere from which “selves” and “objects” differentiate themselves as selves or objects.
Therefore, the word “self” selves (Hopkins) itself as a salve for the object’s profound loneliness. For this reason, the word “self” solves the foundational problems of existentialism because it repeatedly resituates itself in relation to the object or Other through a variety of dynamic hierarchies.
This statement is an effect of poststructuralism and certainly we are post-poststructural now, which may perhaps be restructural.
These new structures will be linguistic and they can be captured in writing if we are attuned to the ways in which language is white noise.
We need to engage with language in a langauge.
We no longer need to write language. We need to measure language.
René Daumal writes that, “although we believe we are addressing a man,” or, I would hope, a human…“it is rather a worm, a pike, a sheep, a wolf to which we are feeding the language that fattens him.” Daumal’s claim—which is certainly ’pataphilological—runs against the linguistic assertions of Abbé Condillac and Rousseau. Language is not the unique invention of human beings. In fact, for Daumal, language is not even spoken for and by humans, but for a variety of other non-human creatures.
Language isn’t ours, but we write it as if it were.
“Ours” lasts hours.
Belonging longs for being.
“To be” being and belonging.
I or you or we or they long for a complete sentence.
The sentence is a sentinel—sometimes frozen.
Freeze the frieze of language.
Op on wry things.
Operate and eat the “E” at the “he.”
Get past pronouns—we don’t need them.
Get past the passed participle—we don’t need it.
Only the presence of Gertrude Stein, or was it the present?
Writing is (a) present.
Even when passed or past.
(The last sentence was incorrect).
The writing should stop, but even when it stops it does not stop.
THIS IS NOT A PRIMER ON HOW TO WRITE; ON THE CONTRARY, IT IS A PRIMO FACIE LISTING OF THE FACTS OF THE FACIALITY OF LANGUAGE—OR LANGAUGE. THERE IS NO SILENCE AND THERE IS NO SOUND. THERE IS ONLY THIS NOISE. THE DIN. MCLUHAN (FROM ANONYMOUS): “We don’t know who discovered water, but it wasn’t a fish.” Link this to humans and language and we’ll be getting somewhere.
We’ll be getting here.
This is a message to writing.
A writing that is arriving.
Sketch out the shore.
Carve out the waterline.
Right it down.
The edge of know.
Sean Braune’s theoretical work has been published in Postmodern Culture, Journal of Modern Literature, Canadian Literature, symplokē, and elsewhere. His poetry has appeared in ditch, The Puritan, Rampike, Poetry is Dead, and elsewhere. His first chapbook, the vitamins of an alphabet, appeared in 2016 with above/ground press.