A Barking Where There Are No Dogs

Norman Bluhm

“Attempts at description are stupid…”
George Eliot (Daniel Deronda)

“They love their delusions as they love themselves.”
Freud ( Psycho-Analytic Notes on an Autobiographical Account of a Case of Paranoia )

“In direct confrontation with the positivism of Comte and Mill, Dilthey’s objective was to show that the human sciences (Geisteswissenscha en) of history, poetics, anthropology, and sociology stand on an equally strong logical and methodological footing as the natural sciences, even though a key epistemological criterion separates them. In a well-known formulation, Dilthey asks us to distinguish between explanation (Erklären) and understanding (Verstehen). Open to history and the complexity and variability of human and social interactions, the human sciences seek to understand social phenomena rather than explaining their causes or resolving them to natural laws (it was the key point on which Dilthey strenuously opposed positivism.).”
D.N. Rodowick (Elegy for Theory)

” Ernst Kantorowicz spoke of the king’s two bodies, but the metaphor is more applicable today to the subject’s—or, rather, the liberal democratic citizen’s— two bodies: the now permanent digital self, which we are etching into the virtual cloud with every click and tap, and our mortal analog selves, which seem by contrast to be fading
like the color on a Polaroid instant photo.”

Bernard Harcourt (Exposed)

“No one who uses money is unchanged by that.”
Anne Carson (Economy of the Unlost)

It feels impossible to write about anything other than the massive Corona virus story, the massive repression of democracy and the massive usurpation of power by both state and federal agencies, both in the U.S. and across the world. The fact that every country on earth save Belarus, apparently, bought into this narrative suggests the globalization of propaganda and of paranoia.

In the U.S. the illogic of the entire Covid narrative is the most acute. Nowhere else is the public so openly being economically decimated and psychologically assaulted. The reality of digital monitoring is starkly present in ways it never was before.

Martin Jacobson

“Launched in 2007, the PRISM program allows the NSA to access data from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Paltalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL, Apple, and more— for a mere $20 million per year, a trifling sum for an intelligence program. In conjunction with other software, such as the XKeyscore program, PRISM “allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats”; they can extract a person’s email contacts, user activities, and webmail, as well as all contacts listed in the to, from, CC, and BCC lines of emails. Using other programs and tools, such as DNI Presenter, they can “read the content of stored emails,” “read the content of Facebook chats or private messages,” and “learn the IP addresses of every person who visits any website the analyst specifies.”
Bernard Harcourt (ibid)

And there is something stultifying about this discussion. The attention economy, so called, has been written about a good deal. Sometimes with stunning profundity (Jonathan Beller and Jonathan Crary) and sometimes in ways that are useful but just mind numbingly boring. And I want to return a bit later to this reality, but I also wanted to examine what it means to resist this reality — for it is insidiously present even when one thinks its not. Anne Carson’s book Economy of the Unlost is one of those books that come along about once a decade, if we are lucky. Like Charles Olson’s Call Me Ishmael, it is a scholarly study of poets and artists, written by a poet, and is, in the end, a kind of poem itself. It is also a palette cleansing experience, metaphorically speaking.

Emil Lukas

In my last podcast with Molly Klein we talked a bit about writing for an ideal audience. But that topic came from a friend of mine in Ireland who wrote something about reading great or favourite writers before writing himself. And I think most serious writers do this, at least occasionally.

Reading Carson is the perfect corrective to the propaganda now inundating all platforms of communication.

“From the outset Mallarme’s poetry is like a mirage … in which he recognized himself not by where or how he is but by where he is not and how he is not.”
Jean Paul Sartre (Mallarme, or the Poet of Nothingness)

The book is an examination of poetic economy. Though it is also about the alchemy of coins. From Simonides to Paul Celan, Carson looks to recover the idea of poetry itself. I realize that I have written (on this blog) several times on Olson and his study of Melville. It remains one of my three of four favorite books. And it began a habit of mine to read poets talking about writing. Robert Bly is one of the best, but James Wright, too, and essays or reviews by poets (Auden for example) are immensely satisfying. I have noted a couple of times the essay by Franco Moretti and Dominique Pestre (in New Left Review) on the prose of the World Bank. https://newleftreview.org/issues/II92/articles/franco-moretti-dominique-pestre-bankspeak

Anne Truitt

I have always thought if I were to come up with a curriculum for a course on creative writing — an actual several month course, that I might well start with that Moretti essay. I would ask that something of Wittgenstein be read, perhaps On Certainty. I would have them read Moby Dick and then the Olson study of it. I will stop, because lists are insidious. Bly’s Leaping Poetry would be in there, too. The sermons of John Donne, and Shakespeare, though what Shakespeare would be the question. In Praise of Shadows by Tanizaki, plays of Pinter, Beckett, Genet, and Handke. Something of Bernhard, and Death of Virgil by Hermann Broch. Now I will stop. But you see the problem, the course would be several years, not months. I’d have them read Marx, volume one of Capital, and Interpretation of Dreams by Freud, and eventually Aesthetic Theory by Adorno.

I was thinking back, recently, spurred by a conversation I was having with Martin Donovan, about the last transformative theatre experience I could remember. It was Three Acts of Recognition by Botho Strauss, at the Public Theatre in NY, with Richard Jordan. It was, curiously enough, directed by Richard Foreman. It was brilliant and got the perfect bad review from Frank Rich https://www.nytimes.com/1982/04/08/theater/theater-three-acts-of-recognition-foreman-extravaganza.html

Anne Carson

And its not even that Rich is wrong. I mean he IS wrong, but from his perspective he is right. Hence you know its a rather profound play. But it was Foreman and Jordan that made the evening so significant. I had friends at the Public Theatre in those days (1982) and got to see the play several times…all three plus hours of it. The only other time I did that was to see Lancelot Du Lac, the Bresson, which I went to every night for seven nights at the old Los Feliz theatre on Vermont in east Hollywood. (I had friends there, too).

“Humans value economy. Why? Whether we are commending a mathematician for her proof or a draughtsman for his use of line or a poet for furnishing us with nuggets of beauty and truth, economy is a trope of intellectual, aesthetic and moral value. How do we come to take comfort in this notion? It is arguable that the trope does not predate the invention of coinage.”
Anne Carson (ibid)

Carson is a favorite of the New Yorker and NY Times, but notwithstanding those dubious associations, she is a classics scholar and a writer whose clarity and restraint feel very timely. She looks a bit like, or comes out of the same sort of female mandarin laboratory as Carson McCullers and Simone Weil, and Elizabeth Bishop even, or sculptor Anne Truitt, whose minimalist colored plinths are a rather perfect visual corollary to Carson’s translations and poems.

Bodys Isek Kingelez

But I’m sort of free associating here. The point here is that I suspect most of us, even the few remaining readers of books, don’t fully appreciate the extent that digital detritus and debris and chatter has filled our heads. The propaganda itself, the pure distilled Schmittian fascism, is, if one is looking, even a bit, obvious enough. But the more amorphous commodity pitches and the entertainment ideologies embedded in TV series, both dramatic and comedic, are insidious and often absorbed and internalized without much notice. Language has been corrupted. The term “bad guy” (for example) is now used by political figures, by heads of state and doctors and celebrities. It is never given a second thought. It is convenient. And for Americans, the clear separation of good guys and bad guys is very appealing. It expresses a world view that is largely already in place.

“Negation links the mentalities of Simonides and Celan. Words for “no,” “not,” “never,” “nowhere,” “nobody,” “nothing” dominate their poems and create bottomless places for reading. Not white but red. Was it not Aristotle who said, “A mistake enriches the mere truth once you see it as that.”
Anne Carson (ibid)

Now I want to only quickly note something that became evident in the late writings of Adorno. Bernard E. Harcourt had a series of seminars on the late Adorno, and I want to quote a brief passage from him, and one from Adorno, that both relate to the Carson book. And to the radical uselessness of art.

“Adorno called his conception of dialectics an “anti-system.” Elsewhere, he described it as non-identity. Adorno explained his conception of the dialectic in these precise terms: “The name of dialectics says no more, to begin with, than that objects do not go into their concepts without leaving a remainder, that they come to contradict the traditional norm of adequacy. […] It indicates the untruth of identity, the fact that the concept does not exhaust the thing conceived.”
In this sense, Adorno’s dialectic arises from the non-identity of words and things— the difference between les mots et les choses. “Dialectics is the consistent sense of nonidentity,” Adorno emphasized.”

Bernard Harcourt (Introduction to 7/13 Negative Dialectics)

Francisco Mata Rosas, photography (Mexico City)

“One continually finds the word critique, if it is tolerated at all, accompanied by the word constructive. The insinuation is that only someone can practice critique who can propose something better than what is being criticized; Lessing derided this two hundred years ago in aesthetics. By making the positive a condition for it, critique is tamed from the very beginning and loses its vehemence.”
Adorno (Critique)

Adorno repeatedly derided the notion of positive criticism, of constructive criticism. He said…“The craving for the positive is a screen-image of the destructive instinct working under a thin veil.”

Constructive criticism is a lot like empty activism, and it is like sentimentality in artwork. These are like sleeper cells of the counterrevolution. James Baldwin wrote…

“Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty…the wet eyes of the sentimentalist betray his aversion to experience, his fear of life, his arid heart; and it is always, therefore, the signal of secret and violent inhumanity, the mark of cruelty.”

Anne Truitt

“Commodity form is not a simple state of mind. It fragments and dehumanizes human being. It causes a person to assume a “double character” wherein his natural properties are disjunct from his economic value, his private from his public self.These are the terms in which Marx described the effect of commodification on citizens of bourgeois Europe.”
Anne Carson (ibid)

“The point is, good riddles do not say what they mean. It is an innately stingy form of discourse, disguising its data and begrudging its truth. “You know the riddle advertises all the tecnhiques that the joke conceals,” said Freud.”
Anne Carson (ibid)

The note above on riddles is actually pretty significant. If the riddle is parsimonious, then that quality has come to infect the anodyne prose of financial institutions and then further has come to infect all digital discourse. It is partly why discussing the attention economy can be so debilitating. There is always an opaque film that covers the prose, there is a loss of spacial awareness, a loss of the actual subject being written about. In the entertainment realm the reliance on a familiar shorthand and on familiar codes and structural expectations means that when a show is cancelled, it is often barely noticed. Except of course it is noticed, only that recognition is buried, repressed, or denied. Carson quotes Marx at one point about translated language. She writes …“…money makes our daily life strange in the same way translation makes ordinary language strange.” This dislocation is amplified with screen technologies. Everything becomes strange.

Dana Powell

“We are now witnessing the triumph of a counterinsurgency model of government on American soil in the absence of an insurgency, or uprising, or revolution. The perfected logic of counterinsurgency now applies regardless of whether there is a domestic insurrection. We now face a counterinsurgency without insurgency. A counterrevolution without revolution.”
Bernard Harcourt (The Counterrevolution)

The metaphor of translation, a translated poem say, seems very apt. For the individual’s psychic development is increasingly mediated by digital and screen technology. The decline in literacy and certainly some degree of cognitive damage from electronic media has reduced that translation to a translation of a translation, or a translation of a text nobody knows. Or, rather, the individual’s discourse is flooded with a new mystery — and that sense of one’s own words becoming less and less familiar is based on an unsolvable mystery. And hence the growing anxiety of most westerners.

Carson notes that Marx saw money as that which made objects alien, and made the people we exchange with into alien people. This remains the core truth of society and its increasing strangeness. Only today the degree and quality of alienation has intensified and grown.

Vera Lutter, photography and media.

“The U.S. government “kill[s] people based on metadata,” but it doesn’t do that with the trove of information collected on American communications, according to former head of the National Security Agency Gen. Michael Hayden. Hayden made the remark after saying he agreed with the idea that metadata – the information collected by the NSA about phone calls and other communications that does not include content – can tell the government “everything” about anyone it’s targeting for surveillance, often making the actual content of the communication unnecessary.”
Lee Ferren (ABC News, 2014)

The need in writing, in fiction or theatre, is partly then to strategize means to traverse these multiple dislocations. In a sense, keeping to the translation metaphor, it is to engage with or closely read the translation — to do something I have described before, which happens naturally with everything we engage with, or at least everything (and this is mostly EVERYTHING) that exists as narrative; and that is to re-narrate. And this becomes both more personal, and more collective simultaneously.

Jeffrey Vallance

It is more personal because to write well today means to slow down the process, slow it down until it almost stops. By which I mean to literally not rush toward whatever it is that passes for a conclusion. The conclusion is always there, I believe, but its not always obvious. And more collective because one must create an audience. The Corona event, I think, is overdetermined in terms of its symbolism. The ‘self isolate’ policy seems intuitively what an authoritarian state would ask of its people. It is the material and literal expression of alienation. Images of children on playgrounds keeping far apart, not stepping across chalk line barriers, is chilling in its inherent morbidity.

How does anyone arrive at a consensus that keeping children away from their friends is any way good. Especially given they are nearly completely immune and are not carriers. So what is this death pantomime?

One of my favorite lines from Neruda is “Death is a barking where there are no dogs.” In the poem he is referring to something interior, something we feel in our bones, an angry barking. Death arrives like a shoe with no foot in it, a suit with no man in it. And I think of this poem sometimes, I first read it in New York in the 70s, and I felt it was ABOUT the death that is capitalism, the emptiness that is malignant and hidden out of sight. It is not always so hidden, but that is its costume. And today watching Bill and Melinda Gates I am reminded of first reading that poem.

Giulia Andreani

“Sometimes I see alone
coffins under sail,
embarking with the pale dead, with women that have dead hair,
with bakers who are as white as angels,
and pensive young girls married to notary publics,
caskets sailing up the vertical river of the dead.”

That stanza should be on the front of the Gates Foundation brochure.

So the writing of anything meaningful has to begin with the cleansing of our ear, our listening. And then the purifying of the language we use, of our vocabulary. Like those rituals of burning herbs or incense to purify a room or house. That is done, often, when someone has died there. This is about death, too. Now, how to do that is the issue, and the answer is to remember. This is a ceremony of remembrance. Read a page of Pinter. A page of Donne or Melville. One can literally pick up a copy of Moby Dick and turn to any page and find genius and beauty.

I swear I just did this…turning to chapter 96.

“So seemed it to me, as I stood at her helm, and for long hours silently guided the way of this fire-ship on the sea. Wrapped, for that interval, in darkness myself, I but the better saw the redness, the madness, the ghastliness of others. The continual sight of the fiend shapes before me, capering half in smoke and half in fire, these at last begat kindred visions in my soul, so soon as I began to yield to that unaccountable drowsiness which ever would come over me at a midnight helm.

But that night, in particular, a strange (and ever since inexplicable) thing occurred to me. Starting from a brief standing sleep, I was horribly conscious of something fatally wrong. The jaw-bone tiller smote my side, which leaned against it; in my ears was the low hum of sails, just beginning to shake in the wind; I thought my eyes were open; I was half conscious of putting my fingers to the lids and mechanically stretching them still further apart. But, spite of all this, I could see no compass before me to steer by; though it seemed but a minute since I had been watching the card, by the steady binnacle lamp illuminating it. Nothing seemed before me but a jet gloom, now and then made ghastly by flashes of redness. “

Lisa Oppenhem, photography (Silver gelatin print exposed to moonlight).

“The final limit on capitalism, Marx once commented, is capital itself, the constant reproduction of which is a frontier beyond which it cannot stray.”
Terry Eagleton (Marx was Right)

Eagleton observes in the same paragraph that Capitalism can only ever reproduce the present. And this is sort of crucial to understand. That the contemporary West is, regardless of the shifts in emphasis by the ruling class, a stunningly repetitive system that must obsessively to the same thing over and over. And that thing is tied up with the exchange form.

“I sat at my desk and did my work.”
Adolph Eichmann (from his defense statement, quoted in International Politics of Judicial Intervention: Creating a more just order, Birdsall)

The argument from Adorno and Horkheimer, in Dialectic of Enlightenment (putting aside if one agrees with the particulars) pointed toward the inherent classification (well outside pure science) and measurements of instrumental logic — what they termed instrumental thought or logic. And that this evolved into the ideology (or ideologies) of positivism. One can argue Eichmann was not accidental (besides the myriad other causes for his barbarity) nor is the mass conformity of contemporary screen engagement. Social media is tedious, partly , because it is so repetitive. The form cannot be changed. The drop down menus cannot be avoided. And my favorite is the FAQ section of most internet business sites. Frequently asked questions means questions we want you to ask because we have boring superficial answers. The digital age is not one of great creativity. Innovation perhaps, of a technical sort. But not creativity. One does not dream in digital space. Ever.

Nicola Lo Calzo, photography. (Carnival in Jacmel, 2013)

“Japanese paper gives us a certain feeling of warmth, of calm and repose… Western paper turns away the light, while our paper seems to take it in, to envelop it gently, like the soft surface of a first snowfall. It gives off no sound when it is crumpled or folded, it is quiet and pliant to the touch as the leaf of a tree.”
Junichiro Tanizaki (In Praise of Shadows)

Tanizaki’s notes on Japenese aesthetics, written in 1933, remain one of the greatest books ever written on culture and art. If he was horrified, to some degree anyway, by western typing paper and packaging, imagine his response to the absolute absence of paper today.He wrote, too, of Japanese ink brushes, and the western ballpoint pen. First, he said the black ink cannot be duplicated. India ink cannot and should not be replaced. The blue of the ballpoint was made for making notes in the margins of your spread sheet.

I mention this because I hear of so many writers, older ones, who miss the typewriter. I miss writing in my notebooks. I have probably fifty laying about. Many I wrote sitting in cafes. Some in the Mojave desert near Joshua Tree, some in Morocco, others in New York or Paris. And yet I’ve stopped doing that.

Vivian Van Blerk, photography (emulsion painted on glass)

But nobody does not feel a sense of alienation with working on a computer. Everyone does it, and clearly it is fast and efficient and I would be the first to acknowledge a wide variety of benefits, but I also know something profound was lost. “Herman does not mention the delicate situation of the ancient
poet, who is both xenos and employee, both friend and hireling, of his patron. Let us imagine Simonides, who has received cash payment from Hieron for a commissioned poem earlier in the day, seated beside the tyrant at dinner. What more does Hieron owe him? What are the rules for this? Money has quantified the moral tension between them and liquidated their mutual responsibility. Money has filled the box of grace with Syrakusan coin. Money has imploded the meaning of xenos. For alongside “guest” and “host,” the Greek word xenos denotes “stranger,” “outsider,” “alien.” At one time it made sense to blend these meanings in a single word because the reality was unitary. Stranded between “guest” and “alien,” Simonides sits watching this rich and ancient reality fall apart like an overcooked hare.”

Anne Carson (ibid)

Tanizaki was examining, often, the minutiae of daily activities and seeing in them important cultural aesthetics — seeing the history, the memory of daily work and its impact on life. I cannot imagine a contemporary version of this. And he wrote it is less than a hundred years ago. The ability to write seriously today is joined to the effects and indoctrination of the screen, of internet surveillance and the attention economy.

“The digital economy has torn down the conventional boundaries between governing, commerce, and private life. In our digital age, social media companies engage in surveillance, data brokers sell personal information, tech companies govern our expression of political views, and intelligence agencies free- ride of e- commerce. The customary lines between politics, economics, and society are rapidly vanishing, and the three spheres are melding into one— one gigantic trove of data, one colossal data market, that allows corporations and governments to identify and cajole, to stimulate our consumption and shape our desires, to manipulate us politically, to watch, surveil, detect, predict, and, for some, punish. In the process, the traditional limits placed on the state and on governing are being eviscerated, as we turn more and more into marketized malleable subjects who, willingly or unwittingly, allow ourselves to be nudged, recommended, tracked, diagnosed, and predicted by a blurred amalgam of governmental and commercial initiatives. The collapse of these different spheres is disempowering to us .”
Bernard Harcourt (Exposed)

Jack Tworkov

The loss of a sense of the poetic seems almost as important as anything, and it has far reaching implications. Without a language that is authentic and cleansed of the lingering affects of the ball point pen, as it were, there can be no grasp of an increasingly distant feeling reality. One feels distant to oneself. The most disquieting aspect of the mass attention economy is the sense of morbidity it holds.

“Secrecy dominates this world, and first and foremost as the secret of domination.”
Guy Debord (Comments on the Society of the Spectacle)

The hidden and secret have morphed from the site of ecstatic release to the site of relentless repression. Debord notes that “Formerly one only conspired against an established order. Today, conspiring in its favor is a new and flourishing profession. Under spectacular domination, people conspire to maintain it, and to guarantee what it alone would call its well-being.” This is a highly relevant observation vis a vis Covid19. The real conspiracy is one to maintain illusion, to maintain and lubricate the machinery of super domination — and the silencing of certain voices, usually working class voices, is achieved through a kind of subtle creation of gaps and holes in logic, just as the perspective is described in images that float free of horizons or other clues of location. The google world map is not a map, it is a hallucination machine. It is the recording of everything if everything were missing key parts. Debord also noted that because of these holes there lingers a feeling of strangness (as Carson observed), and that strangeness must be explained. Hence the official ritual manufacture of rumour. This runs alongside the official practice of government leaks. These are created to temporarily plug the holes in reality. And its not hard, because the public largely wants to maintain its illusions.

The ability to write in a language that will not disappear in a month is today an enormous challenge. To write as if in India ink, and with brush, as if by candlelight even if you have no candles. As if in shadow. Even if you sit beneath fluorescent lights. In silence, even if the noise is deafening. A language will slowly start to exist. To emerge. In its infancy, in a sense, but to survive it must be a story, too. Best would be on a stage.

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Michael Schmidet, photography. (Berlin, 1976)

I leave with the entire Neruda poem.

Nothing But Death (translated by Robert Bly)
Pablo Neruda – 1904-1973

There are cemeteries that are lonely,
graves full of bones that do not make a sound,
the heart moving through a tunnel,
in it darkness, darkness, darkness,
like a shipwreck we die going into ourselves,
as though we were drowning inside our hearts,
as though we lived falling out of the skin into the soul.

And there are corpses,
feet made of cold and sticky clay,
death is inside the bones,
like a barking where there are no dogs,
coming out from bells somewhere, from graves somewhere,
growing in the damp air like tears of rain.

Sometimes I see alone
coffins under sail,
embarking with the pale dead, with women that have dead hair,
with bakers who are as white as angels,
and pensive young girls married to notary publics,
caskets sailing up the vertical river of the dead,
the river of dark purple,
moving upstream with sails filled out by the sound of death,
filled by the sound of death which is silence.

Death arrives among all that sound
like a shoe with no foot in it, like a suit with no man in it,
comes and knocks, using a ring with no stone in it, with no
finger in it,
comes and shouts with no mouth, with no tongue, with no
Nevertheless its steps can be heard
and its clothing makes a hushed sound, like a tree.

I’m not sure, I understand only a little, I can hardly see,
but it seems to me that its singing has the color of damp violets,
of violets that are at home in the earth,
because the face of death is green,
and the look death gives is green,
with the penetrating dampness of a violet leaf
and the somber color of embittered winter.

But death also goes through the world dressed as a broom,
lapping the floor, looking for dead bodies,
death is inside the broom,
the broom is the tongue of death looking for corpses,
it is the needle of death looking for thread.

Death is inside the folding cots:
it spends its life sleeping on the slow mattresses,
in the black blankets, and suddenly breathes out:
it blows out a mournful sound that swells the sheets,
and the beds go sailing toward a port
where death is waiting, dressed like an admiral.


  1. Christopher Semancik says:

    Ah this is really good. And I’m in the middle of that coinage book- Guy Zimmerman mentioned on the aesthetic resistance podcast weeks back.

    I really like Anne Carson. I had read a book of her’s a few years back from the library about her brother. Or thought I had- I can’t find the damn thing anywhere. It was similar in some ways to The Beauty of the Husband. She’s a real treasure.

  2. Lawrence P Stevenson says:

    Whence this revelation that children are not carriers of Covid?

  3. John Steppling says:

    “A study by the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health and supported by the World Health Organisation amongst other research parties, have found there has not been a single case of a child under ten passing on the illness.”

  4. Lawrence P Stevenson says:

    Thank you! I hope they are right.

  5. Regino Robainas says:

    Hello, John:

    Well, let’s bark some joyful sounds. I’m
    currently reading Alexander Wendt’s brilliant
    work “Quantum Mind & Social Science”, and many
    of hia excursions blew my mind, but particularly
    the following, which integrates well with my
    intuition/insight that the world(s) is not a
    reified “Universe”, but an once sacred & PROFANE

    “…The upshot is that, in contrast to the
    classical view that people have a portfolio
    of actual mental states in their heads upon
    which they act, states exist omly as
    ‘superimposing’ or wave functions of potential
    ellicited interactions…”

    Thanks, again, John, for another great piece.


  6. “that strangeness must be explained”

    I think that is one of the greatest temptations of contemporary capitalist colonial man: to explain the strangeness – and that impulse, obsession, need…is keeping us from greater truth. On the other hand, the need to ‘explain the strangeness’ may reach such a height (or may have already reached that height), that an even greater strangeness and truth is about to envelope us all…

  7. Regino Robainas says:

    Another Walpurgis Night With Season of the Witch.

    Hi John,

    Your last remarks on Death elicited a truckload
    of Dread & menories of 1969, the evening before my
    scheduled (sic) induction into the army, at the Miami
    public library watching Bergmann’s The Seventh Seal.
    I’m strangely grateful fo the revealing spirals…


  8. Regino Robainas says:

    Some Notes in Season of Memorials

    As, I deeply suspect, these thoughts have
    been dictated from BeYonds & I”m not at all
    adept at shorthand, I would parse their truths
    mercilessly. But, as the lawyers write, having
    said that:

    It’s a turn they, but things that are waiting to
    blow my mind will not wait till tomorrow. News of a
    potential naval conflict in the Caribbean involving
    the United States (! ), Venezuela & Iran, naybe other
    powers too, are emerging tonight. Other apocalyptic
    events- California burning, Brazil dying, covid-19, ad nauseam-
    are rapidly looming.

    Whence and towards what end this diabolical path we’ve
    been following for hundreds, &, as a species for thousands
    of years, lead & source ? And, if our ancestors erred
    & led us so wrong, it is up to each of us to immediately
    begin to forge a new path. We must fight without quarter
    the sulfuric stenches of the neonihilists modern priests
    of Thanatos, like Trump, Biden, & that Brazilian goon.

    In Guatemala & Honduras people are raising white flags
    in the thousands in their cities & villages pleading for
    some, any, food, as they starve in enforced quarantined
    isolation. For too many of us, isolation is mostly an
    affectation with designer overtones.

    Good tidings to all friends of John,


  9. Regino Robainas says:

    A Wolf’s Howl

    Dear John & Friends,

    Greetings, again. Concluding, for tonight, the
    premise moods of the last post:

    And,furthermore, ostentatious offerings
    should not be proffered to the poor in the
    midst of a plague of shit has been empirically
    demonstrated by dramatic evidence in India. See
    the follwing partial & truncated ( my technical
    limitations) Reuters article on Frau Ivanka. [ God
    save us all].

    The girl carried her father on the back of her bicycle for about a week for 1,200 km (750 miles),
    the two said on Saturday, one of the many out-of-work migrant families leaving the big cities for
    their homes in other parts of India because the shutdown has sapped their savings.
    “15 yr old Jyoti Kumari, carried her wounded father to their home village on the back of her
    bicycle covering +1,200 km over 7 days. This beautiful feat of endurance & love has captured
    the imagination of the Indian people and the cycling federation!” Ivanka, daughter of U.S.
    President Donald Trump, tweeted on Friday night.
    India’s cycling federation, impressed with her endurance, has invited her for trials and said it
    could groom her into a cyclist, local media reported.
    But opposition political figures, as well as some commentators, in the country of 1.3 billion said

    I failed to complete the copying, but you may follow the
    story on tonight’s Reuters edition.


  10. Off topic of the blog (heady in both wonderful senses as usual), I have to thank you for the Quarantine plays! I just finished #3. They’ve all given me chills. #2 made me cry. Thank all of you for doing this–and the podcasts as well. Keeping us connected to something beyond the well-poisoned covid discussion. Muchisimas gracias!

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