Sunday, December 11, 2016
Our Death 23 / "We Are The Dead"
This is a different landscape. There is a desire to kill here. And this desire ties us together as sinister brothers of the sinister failure of an entire social system. - Pier Paolo Pasolini, November 1st, 1975.
“Defeat is among us, and war, and prophecy.” That’s a line from Muriel Rukeyser. I was thinking about it a couple of days ago, asking myself whether the words followed a sequence, or whether they could only be taken simultaneously. That is, were they like marks on a calendar, or were they a kind of cacophony, a form of sky, an enormous black sky at that, in which we are all basically like haloes or pinpoints or stars, and so to be destroyed. There are no simple answers to questions like that. To try and find one I walked up to Sebastianstraße, and I roamed up and down for around three hours, screaming Rukeyser’s line over and again until my voice began to fall apart. Luckily, there was no-one around, because in the third hour things began to go wrong. Rukeyser’s words had started to become weird shreds of impossible meaning that once spoken could never be repeated because once they had been spoken all else would disappear. The sky was a hoax. The stars were border guards. Etc. I held my hand in front of my face and could see nothing but a bland white light, like a murderer’s mirror, a vicious and impassible glass. Not glass, a gaze. Not a gaze, a glare. Not light, but “Prophecy”, a word that for the past few months I’ve only been able to associate with surveillance, with cameras and with judges. Why? Well, if you have to ask, etc. Put simply, “prophecy” implies a prediction of the future via excessive and possibly aberrant interpretation of all available elements of what we like to call the present. And who are the current powers that survey and interpret the present to such an aberrant and excessive extent? It isn’t poets, and it isn’t mystics either. Anyway, whatever. I kept screaming, past all voice, all body, all of my borders. By borders, of course, I mean senses. And I thought at this point of Marx, about what he said about the five senses, imaginary or otherwise. You know the passage I mean, I’m sure. And the cut that it implies in the sensory calendar. Because these days I very much doubt that I can say with any certainty that I have five senses. Certainly, as I screamed out Rukeyser’s line it seemed I had only three. That’s right, surveillance, cameras and judges. Actually that’s not three senses, that’s just one. One enormous black sky, one enormous pit of cancelled language, one enormous voice rasping out one final, incomprehensible sentence. And it was mid-day. It was very dark. There were no stars. I think the buildings were burning. There were a few of us there, standing outside them, inventing language. We were wondering if that bastard the sun was ever going to return, and what it was planning on doing when it got here. We were talking about prophecy, about defeat and war, about how nobody knows what those words really mean, and what they will come to mean.