[-empyre-] comment relating to Johannes' night sea crossing 4

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Tue Oct 23 19:02:28 EST 2012

-- I wrote this text for Foofwa d'Imobilite's Involuntaries, which for me
were part of the inspiration for this month's topic. The Involuntaries
(with Foofwa, Vea Lucca, and myself) are at
and I thought this works in well with Johannes' comments, and issues of
real/virtual pain and embodiment.

I do hope others will participate with Maria Damon's contributions, 
beginning today.

- Alan

Breaking New Ground

all circumstances are extenuating.

"if you want to understand what they're about, perhaps these works will
open up the vast chasm of comprehension on the edge of falling apart - I
can't think of any better pieces in this regard, and, for that matter, in
the sheer beauty of fractured movement"

works based on choreia, return, withdrawal from broken edges (before one
is cut) (before the sound loses its grasp) (before one is cut out (of the
world) (of your acquaintance) (your grasp) (your body) (of your body my

how does one write or circumscribe the body of movement within horizons
defined by mappings of hyperbolic geometry in the circle? the edge isn't
just asymptotic; from the outside, it's a bad pill. what looks like chance
is a battlefield; what looks determined is incandescent birth.

"the battlefield is your last chance of being-alive, just as your birth is
your first-chance of dying."

there are so many things these movements and sounds are not: listing
narrows sublimity: just look, it's almost drained away. think of dance as
a draining, symptom as style, medication-technique, how to get out of the

don't follow or recognize avatars, don't follow or recognize symptoms.
they start with dim memories of body, with landscapes that accompany us,
we're hounded.

we're hounded by death, but we're also hounded by disease, troubles,
fevers, forgetfulness, wrath, rage, ecstasy, visions, poverty, money,
obligations, lovers, ennui, hallucinations, speed, crime, frustration,
cataclysm, heat, cold, hunger, thirst, nightmares, mutilations, panic,
neuroses, economies of attention, economies of the body, excretions,
garbage, wounds, scars, allergic reactions, insect bites, age, bad
eyesight, bad hearing, shudderings, shiverings, fear, belongings,
jealousy, loathing, disgust, addictions.

the playing-field of hounding, playing-field of the hounded. one hounds,
is hounded; the hounded hounds, hounding is hounded.

or like this: playing-field of haunting, of the haunted. one haunts, is
haunted; the haunted haunts, haunting is haunted. "these texts, they are

if i write this sentence, thus; if i write this sentence beneath or within
the sign of fever, migraine, incipient diabetes, tumors malign-benign. if
i write this sentence beneath the symbolic of medication, bandaging,
radiation treatment, dialysis. if i write this sentence gagged and

if i write this sentence to control you, if i write this sentence under
your control. the order to work: persevere.

to persevere, endure, maenad-dance of self-devouring, maenad-music of
self-control. how can that be, except to ensure that the beat is periodic,
that repetition hungers. the maenad feeds, hungers for repetition,
desecrates it (the repeat-ing). they passed it on so far down the line
that gender-sex and sex-gender change. they passed it down farther.

Who were they? Who's haunting us?

text by Alan Sondheim

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