Wednesday June 30th 2004, 12:36 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Derivative Tags:

OK, a hard habit to break. But I’m just gonna stick some stuff from today’s Grauniad up here to curb the urge.

p2, ‘The American asked me [Nshwan Ali, Iraqi intelligence officer of some sort] why we had beaten the prisoners. I said we beat the prisoners because they are all bad people. But I told him we didn’t strip them naked, photograph them or fuck them like you did.” Joy.

p6, ‘A portrait of England Captain David Beckham at the Royal Academy of Arts has been defaced…the photograph…has been inscribed with “You losers”‘. Heheheh.

That’s all, folks. And, on a sidenote, feel free to post comments. Feel free to use fake names and fake email addresses. I’m not fussed, really, so for those of you holding back in the interests of anonymity, well, you may well have missed the window to comment on anything substantive, so hop on the trailing edge of the bandwagon. Wow. That was enticing. Gratuitous poll soon, methinks.

smolder or smother
Tuesday June 29th 2004, 8:34 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

Settled down, but unsettled, still. Manufacturing drama? Non-drama? Or merely on the innate roller coaster? A precious gift of brain chemistry, to be introspective to the point of the complete loss of perspective. It’s not one thing, even, despite the lengthy rant below, nor even the complex complex of things attached and connected, remembered and recalled. A strong enough imagination to find new adversity in the face of an otherwise unobstructed horizon. A few sentences here, a few footnotes there, the looming deadline unlikely to be met, yet the possible knock-on consequences too dreadful to admit. This whole writing thing, of course, brings out the worst in me; my talent for exaggeration, or rather dramatization, in particular emotional aggrandizement, should not be underestimated. (Sidenote: Why does my flatmate insist upon lying about her age? I’m rather unclear what she thinks she gains from it. It’s drifted from 25 to 24, though she apparently tries to ‘pass’ for 21 for auditions. Yet a recent Irish newspaper gossip column pegged her as ‘not yet 20’, which indeed her passport, left carelessly about, confirmed. Sidenote commentary: Why do I give a fuck? Though I think the connection’s a little too clear. Or not.) Well, back to my albatross. Or perhaps just a quiet night off. Like last night and the night before. Hmmm. A quiet night off out, rather than in? Or a busy night in. Or out. Re-reading my own writings, re-listening to my own music. Self-consuming self-consumption. A dreadful habit.

hours later:I think I’m gonna take some time away from tenpointtype, here. Just to see, really, whether not dragging myself through my head, in excruciating detail, every time the whim hits me, might not be a good idea. Not so much a vita activa/vita contemplativa question. More, perhaps, of a ‘moderation in all things, including moderation’ thing. Or just time to try something different for a bit. No poll. The fine line between need, want, discipline, and punish. And, as a final note, I’ve noticed that the word-du-jour is, alas, no longer nominally, nor improbable, but ‘perhaps’. Ominous, that.

easily amused
Tuesday June 29th 2004, 1:02 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

Apologies in too many ways, to too many people, I suppose. Apologies, first, to those of you reading this to whom it’s actually directed, or whom it involves; the distinction between confessional and communicative medium should be far more rigorously maintained than this. But circumstances, being what they are, and the state of my head, caffeinated and nicotined, sun shining and tube strike looming, are such that, to tweak Jahweh’s words slightly, I am where I am.

A long long time ago, in what happens to be the same lifetime, I drove down to Los Angeles in a beat-up pinto with cow-skin patterned sheepskin seat covers, driven by a semi-friend (PsychoChick‘s roommate, in fact; told you it was a whole ‘nother story.) We rented a truck, spent a night down there (platonically, thank the gods above), and retrieved the piano that had been my childhood piano, and my mother’s childhood piano, and drove it back to Northern California. Where it sat in her apartment, as I didn’t have space for it, for a year or so. Until it was duly retrieved when I did have space for it.

And then a year later I left the country, to come here, and left the piano with friends, in what I thought was a favour going both ways. But it could never be simple. I made some decisions, all that time ago, about who and what and when. And caught up in strange and new circumstances, I defended my decisions, and moreover, sought to protect myself and her from opprobrium, from discovery, from things I wasn’t even clear on. And in the process I made still more decisions, about the truth, about the status and requirements of what I was trying to protect, and those whom I had no reason to protect it from, perhaps, beyond reflex. Self-interest, other-interest, misrepresentation. Mistakes made, perhaps, in more ways than I understood. I suppose I regret it, except that I’m trying hard to avoid regrets, in too many areas of my life. I think I came to understand it and accept it, both my own choices and those of others, and the pain mostly faded. Never disappeared, but faded. Revived occasionally, as well, but immunity from the past is a fiction I’ve never really believed in, and have certainly had more than enough occasions to confront the fiction recently.

For years, she told me to get the piano back. Not that there was money to do so, or a place to put it, or money to store it. But she was emphatic, if impractical. And I resisted. Questioning my motives now, after years of being berated for it by someone whose emphasis on retaining childhood relics is perhaps over developed, well…who knows. I don’t. But I didn’t pursue the matter, unsure where the piano was or how it was or where or how those who had it were. An element of faith, maybe.

And now, rather unexpectedly, decisions long past are echoing with decisions not so long past, and decisions present rear their heads. Now I know how and where, and learn, too, that it’s to change. Looking for a way, somehow, to find the space and the place and the means to re-store the piano. I guess a part of me isn’t quite convinced I’ll ever arrive in a place in life where I’ll have the space for it, the permanence for it, although such permanence cannot remain forever out of reach. Even if not so long ago I chose against it. Or perhaps, in truth, chose for it. But the reminder of transience, transition, at the same time that, perhaps, a buried link against the disappearance of the past perhaps disappears. Enough qualifiers on that string of words masquerading as a coherent sentence?

I had originally planned on entitling this entry ‘all apologies’, but chose the slightly more indirect approach. Primarily as I’m not sure I can offer all apologies, nor what difference it all makes. Decisions were made, words said, paths taken. I always used to fault her for getting into ridiculous positions of ‘there’s shit and it’s all your fault’, ‘i’m sorry i failed to prevent the shit’, ‘that doesn’t change that there’s shit’, ‘no, but here i am working to deal with the shit. what else do you want’, ‘i want there not to have been shit at all’, ‘well, there is, so help me clean it up’, ‘it’s not my shit’, “i’m sorry about the shit, but shit happens, help me solve the shit’, ‘i can’t believe you allowed shit into my life’, ‘that’s not helping’, ‘well if you hadn’t allowed the shit there wouldn’t be any’. Or something like that. (Burn the shit?).

OK, that was a rather meaningless tangent. Hume and Resemblance, temporal and physicial Contiguity, and Cause and Effect. Take your pick, there; I’m voting for 1. (A meaningless poll is perhaps long overdue here on tpt). Renewed contact with another person a few years ago was rather startling, as well. And though silence ensued, and has remained, it was actually a very nice evening. But history is history is history; god knows i should know about the ideological imperatives of the present in the retelling of the past.

I’m meandering unforgivably, now. Not through reluctance, or intention, so much as I can’t really get my head around it all. It all seems so long ago, but the reappearance of piano and context has brought it all back, but this time accompanied not by the fierce assertion of present tense and thus right decisions, nor regret, but a pensive look backwards and inwards. I don’t believe in this recent trend for counterfactual or conjectural history, but the impulse is clearly deeply human. He said she said I said they said. She chose I chose he chose she chose I chose they chose. And the ipod, on random, delivers the Wild Colonials asking, ‘what happened to the days of wine and roses’. Good question, on several counts.

Tuesday June 29th 2004, 12:07 am
Filed under: TPT the First Work Tags:

fuck me, mate, things aren’t quite as nuts over there as I thought they were: the Supreme Court managed to extract their heads from their asses, momentarily and partially. I gotta say I didn’t see that one coming. On the other hand, I’m gonna quote a friend who passed along this one this morning, but without the quotation marks. The US has formally handed over power in Iraq, two days ahead of schedule.

Glad that’s all sorted then.

Oops. I’m falling into the political again. Don’t want that. Whinge whinge moan moan. And then I said she said he said I said we did can you believe. Never gonna happen. I want I need I wish job job job elaborate and complicated analogy purple prose pretentious allusion hipster link I want I need I wish misdirection misapprehension whinge whinge moan moan. teenage level self-indulgence cryptic allusion Work work almost done never gonna finish gotta finish step forward look backward don’t trip. Phew. It’s ok, now, you can all relax.

it’s never too late
Sunday June 27th 2004, 8:37 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Links Tags:


grand opening
Sunday June 27th 2004, 8:27 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

I find myself opening back up to hope, to promise, to the future. Vulnerable, then, to the delicious temptations of music, to its ups and downs, its striking chords, as it were. Pleasure in a rainy summer day and wet trouser cuffs and hot black coffee. Not pleasure for, so much, perhaps, as pleasure in the not unpleasurable. And though I know all too deeply, all too woundedly, what consequences can result from the opening, or from the closing of (en)closure, I know, too, it is a process I don’t want to mediate or moderate. ‘A full emotional palette’, she once said, a strikingly lovely image that grew ever less accurate as time passed, as it crossed over the impossible gulf of the Before to the chasm of the during. And in the rupture of the after, ironically or not, the muted hues of Habit and Pattern slowly unmix themselves, slowly reassert the brightness and vividness that is, I think, their, my, nature. All of which is not to say that the music, the colors, the view from the rather lovely here and now, are free of the darkness and the dangers inherent precisely in the un-closing. In the desire of and for desire, and its self-fulfilling pitfalls – and pleasures. ‘And don’t you know desire’s a terrible thing / the worst that I can find / And don’t you know desire’s a terrible thing / But I rely on mine’. Love ’em.

Somewhat afterword: I wasn’t actually reading psycho-analytic criticism when I wrote this, but it’s fairly clear I need to lay off it a bit. Impressionable, me?

Sunday June 27th 2004, 5:07 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

Ah, the game. Not really ‘the’ game, but move and counter-move, where timing is essential, positioning elaborate, and intentions are murky, indirect and mis-directing. Where over-commitment is an error and a sin, and revealing too much about anything can be, or seem to be, fatal. ‘Or something’ the fateful words that concluded the 6 minute round, tempered by the slightly inscrutable and quite cautious ‘good to hear from you’, but nonetheless qualifying mercilessly the ‘I’ll give you a call’. Everybody still with me? Thought so.

And so it goes, the endless, or perhaps imminently ending, process. And thus the fantasy-anticipated plans for this evening come to an abrupt, never voiced, end, not to be fit into the structure of the engagement. But it has been an extremely productive day of work, though I doubt the self-inflicted disappointment (which, of course, is ridiculous, given the disjunction between intention and actualization) will allow me to sustain the work through the evening. Perhaps, even, the anticipation of escape was necessary for the commitment to and immersion in the all-erasing present of the work. Struggling to follow? Me too.

NY Octopus
Sunday June 27th 2004, 1:54 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Links Tags:


Saturday June 26th 2004, 5:36 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

OK, so it’s proving a bit more difficult to sustain, to retain the lightly euphoria-ish mood of last night and this morning. It’s proving a bit difficult, as well, to sustain the focus my work really demands at the moment. I’ve been moderately productive, but the great leap of thought required seems more distant than it did in the hazy, slow walk across the Millenium Bridge the other day, a thought-full stroll envisioning scribes, working papers, books, translations, wax tablets, more books, and a big wooden writing table in various (and variously impossible) configurations, attitudes, and reconfigurations. No closer, I’m afraid, than I was then, and probably more distant. Such is life, today, the gray weather and delayed Wimbledon giving me no excuses for a break, nor relief from the impulse to somehow add momentum to things when a pause is required.

trans-nat stats
Saturday June 26th 2004, 1:33 pm
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