Sunday, April 9

NKdeE Schoonschrift - 'amour'

NKdeE Schoonschrift - french 'amour'
dv2017 - ink & watercolour on paper, A4

  • started a new series of  NKdeE 'Schoonschrift', the Cathedral's investigative strand of calligraphics
  • in this cycle the emphasis will be on ligatures between letters and word starts and endings
  • the output of the letter posing project i'm doing with the fabulous Nele De Baets-Lemmens will be used as input for this cycle. Already, in this example  you can see the starting a is modeled after Nele's a-pose (see below)

  •  The 'Schoonschrift' is part of a broader R&D project trying to establish a Gignomenology, a fenomenology of movement that wants to offer an alternative to what is seen as a dogmatic restriction to objects within abstract thinking and a counter balance to the adverse effects of reification.

Sunday, January 8

 “n-embodiment in an RGB-room with slightly shifting perspective”
dv 2017, ink & water color on paper, 12,5 x 18 cm

Warm thanks to wonderful Nele for modelling, please visit!

written while listening, hearing, not-listening and listening in any order of those to this:

Some remarks on the absence of gestural traces in Machinic Writing

The gesture of writing

What is the initiating gesture of writing? (the program of) writing (in its init-phase) creates the canvas (white space) of writing, turns the surface of writing into the condition of writing (allocates the writing space its spatial co-ordinates and turns a surface into something-being-written-upon)[i].

This gestural aspect of writing is very basic to any writing. It binds it to archetypal configurations of the sacred. This is why Tae Ateh ( see ) is very right in her claim of asemic writing as an attempt to restore the unity of the sacred with the profane. When writing is enacted without a claim to semantic meaning, writing is reduced to its gesture, hence it also follows that it is logical to insist on this gestural dimension, or as she frames it:

"When asemic writing can explicate deep layers of pan-human (including pre-linguistic) consciousness, it should also carry some other features of our kind, not only mental but also physical: time duration, mortality, inseparability from environment. These “organic” potencies, as it appears to us, can be found in an asemic installation, based on the concepts of “a found object” and “an observer”."

Or, to put it simple: if you want your writing to work, certainly when you are into Asemic Writing, make sure you do some actual writing!

The gestural enactment of writing always includes the activation of a writing system. In Asemic Writing this is also the case, only here the writing system is being invented in the act of writing: its apparent lack of any system can only be reached by a constant repression of the emergent system. It is in fact the tension between the emergence and repression of system and meaning that constitutes the intensity of the best works in Asemic Writing...

Further on in (the program of) writing the gestural implication consists in the systematic inscription of the writing surface, implicating motoric co-ordination and the whole of cognitive actions related to the inscribing (drawing) of surfaces.  Here the Derridean analysis has done much ploughing of the territory. But even there the meaning that is generated in the manual act of writing itself, is mostly neglected in favor of more logocentric unravelings of meaning. The text is of primordial importance, the autograph is only to be studied in order to produce a text-critical edition or as a secondary means to 'reconstruct' the supposedly original meaning of a text.  Well, let's just call this  the Curse of Gutenberg, hihi.

Mechanic Writing

The Husserlean Typewriter[ii] alienates the (initial and further) gestures by mechanic intervention, transforms the gesture from a sweet and smooth activity to the nag-nag-nag-ting of the typewriter, but it doesn't change the status of writing itself.

In Mechanic Writing the gesture is phenomenologically alienated but structurally intact. This point can be proven easily by referring to the excessive amount of desire-production (fetisjism) surrounding typing machines...

What is deplorable in this context is that - to my knowledge - no-one ever took the trouble of investigating what the influence is of typewriting on the nature of writing produced in this way. IMHO the image of 'printed' writing made available by typewriters and the whole of gestural actions required to produce it has a tremendous impact on the quality of writing thus produced ('quality' here used with its philosophical sense, referring to the 'qualia').The writing actually improved and with it the thinking, which in turn led to better writing. No-one saw the consequences because, as always, people were only looking backwards for a unique Cause, explaining it all.

So instead, someone in Germany with a very bad conscience had a lot of theory about the terrible outcome of Mechanisation, an outcome that he alone imagined, perhaps because he had been in the habit of ripping people of their human characteristics in order to dispose of them mentally. Other people just loved the typewriter...

Machinic Writing

The next step, writing 'online' or on a computer is Machinic Writing, i.e. writing in the absence of any trace of the physical initiating gesture of writing. In a way, Machinic Writing is 'lacking' more of writing than Asemic Writing is lacking 'real' writing.

Now, loads of writing has been produced on the supposed influence of this new 'book free' situation, tons of horribly opiniating blabla especially on 'poetry', as if poetry is not part of writing and some special 'thing' on its own (perhaps because it is mostly only read by poets?), but it is extremely hard to find anything written on the lack of gestural traces in digital writing[iii].

Worse than this neglect is of course the horrendous neglect to discuss the economical effect of the advent of the 'digital era' on literary writing, but this is not the subject of this writing.

Machinic Writing needs to be accompanied by some sort of protocol differentiating the writing that is writing from the writing-that-is-code, constituting the canvas of the writing (the canvas of online writing is only very temporarily upheld by running code, it is runtime happening on a screen). For a machine any writing is code, just like sound or images or whatever you feed it, is code. It's only the protocol (commonly indicated by file extensions) that decides what needs to be done with the code, turning some of it in images, or sound, or 'writing'

The dependence on protocol of Machinic Writing to acquire its status of 'writing' , besides making a world of difference, also opens it up to the Inhuman. Any protocol can be mimicked (hacked) by Machinic processes and there is no reason to believe that Machinic 'creative' writing created without any human editorial actions will remain discernible from humanly created writing (work is underway to prove this point within the Cathedral) for any time much longer.

Concepts like 'original' writing' and the status of the author in general urgently need to be redefined in view of Machinic Writing. Work being done by various authors in this respect is not really getting the attention it deserves, but hey it's 2017, ti ta trumpera & all, so what is 'urgent' anymore...

Asemic Writing in the age of Machinic Writing

It can be argued that - perhaps the very last of literary movements - 'Asemic Writing' is a reaction to this new state of affairs, both in its 'post-literate' ambitions as in its 'post-literature' attitude[iv] towards 'established' writing:
  • 'post-literates' among the Asemics might soon be able to gloat over purely visually encoded messages (ads - political ads - downright indoctrination) being continually flashed in our directions and entirely made up and perfectly 'customized' to our 'taste' by A.I. Writing Algorithms
  • 'post-literature Asemic authors' may soon sit back with a sarcastical smile and watch all of today's cultural-industrially produced 'creative' writing being replaced by - much cheaper and more effective- purely Machinically written Books-of-the-Day


 Much more remains to be said, and many have said most before me, like because of the lack of a writing surface, any writing online is always on the brink of collapsing into its 'codeness'; it needs to be saved (into 'files'), but even when 'saved' it only 'exists' during runtime. Of course, in Neo-Cathedralic terms, any 'file', 'saving' or even 'existence' is a metaphorical illusion. Existence doesn't matter until it matters, untsoweiter...

Some very excellent authors[v] have spent decades in trying to get to grips with the nature of online writing, but almost no-one takes them seriously because we do not want to look beyond the comfort zone of writing as we think we know it. That will change soon.

Anyway, all of these aspects of online writing, including the problematic status of the author, have been and will continue to be the subject of Neo-Cathedralic Creative Research & Development (NKdeE CR&D)@ and Beyond...

dv @ the Centre of the Known Universe 2017/01/08 17:58

[i] cfr. Anne-Marie Cristin on the importance of white space of writing, laboriously prepared in "L'Image Ecrite ou la Déraison Graphique" (ISBN 978-2-0812-2890-0) and developed in "Poétique du blanc", a book i couldn't get my hands on yet.

[ii] everything that Heidegger, the ol' nazi bugger, came up with,  he owes to Husserl anyway,who died in shameful poverty partly because of his unforgivable neglect, so i hereby officially strip him of all of his inventions and reattribute them in a what seems righteous what-to-do-with-Lance-Amstrong way.
[iii] i prefer the term Machinic Writing over digital writing because A) 'machinic' is broader than 'digital' and not restricting the use of algorithmic processing of text to the use of digits in representing it B) it more precisely differentiates algorithmically created writing from 'Mechanic Writing' and from 'Manual Writing' C) 'Machinic' is more clear in pointing towards the potentially 'Inhuman' nature of writing produced by A.I. algorithms. 
[iv] there has been and will probably continue to be some confusion over these ambitions of some Asemic Writers. Initially the term 'post-literate' meant that Asemic writing points to a future (blessed be its Endings) where culture would resort to a purely visually organized writing, that would prove to be much more effective that all this mess with letters referring to sounds. Some Asemics took this to mean it was post-literature, so that as an Asemic you were writing after the end of literature. Looking at literature in its current state these gentle folk do have a point, but i think the potential of 'inhuman' creative writing is more of a real threat to all those nice blondes and tough guys punching out their 'novels' each year according to literary 'guidelines' made up by market research, facebook profiling research and sold as 'writing workshops'
[v]  i think of Alan Sondheim see here especially, but there are numerous others...

Sunday, September 22

for Alan Sondheim

some pictures of an installation i made for the past KLEBNIKOV CARNAVAL, a tribute to Alan Sondheim:

Saturday, April 20

The Seven Stages of Being

Being is an auxiliary.

Objects are fictional entities created to sustain the fallacy of human consciousness. Human mind cannot cope with Becoming without a continuous obsessive reification of how it is affected in the World, the Inside of the Event that has no Outside.

All is constantly being reduced to the illusion of everything, Eternity to fictitious Time, and the Event to a ludicrous display of causally connected Events, a comforting daisy-chain of calculable tiny Happenings, bread crumps to mark our pitiful Progress.

In fact there is no progress, there isn't even any Advance, we are constantly at the still point of our Existence, for which there is no basis in Reality, for there is Nothing to get away from ("ex-ire") let alone somewhere to go to. Ontology is the philosophical decision to deny Becoming in order to establish the power of the Word, a demonic order that negates life in favor of Being, growth in favor of Stasis and openness in favor of Closure upon Itself.

What we call objects, things, are in fact oscillations between information (coding as the kernel of life) and matter (the rigidity of flux in its moments of transition, death).  A chair, a plant, a person, a system, a concept: all these things that we have been taught to semantically trap within our (meta)linguistical communicative networks are mere subroutines within the ongoing process of the Event. As such all of these subroutines pass through 7 distinguishable stages most of which we prefer to deny in favor of the one stage of Integration where things 'tend to be things',  when they appear 'as they should' for our minds because we need to handle them as such.

The differentiation of these stages is of course yet another instance of our need to reify, I cannot escape the laws of writing within writing (therefore every serious writing is suicidal, auto-destructive, writing contradicts itself because it has Nothing to say).What I can do is overcode my writing so that its contradictions are made explicit. Let it be known that any substantive that is capitalised here does not refer to a thing but to a subroutine within the Event.

In the absence of Time, there is no conceivable proof of the requirement of any specific order  of these stages, so let's pretend the humanly understandable one is 'correct'.

The first stage of any Thing situates within the realm of Potentiality, consistency planes running across and corroding the Integrity of the Event. Here,  any non-place at any non-time, the subroutines are instantiated. Here the subroutines are pure information, ready to be picked up by Energy to get materialised. Mind you, there's nothing remotely platonic about this: these Things 'are' as much as manifest or Integrated Things 'are', and there's nothing ideal about them either. They are simply code remaining within the dark matter of Potentiality until they are energized by some movement within the Real.

In the second stage Things become manifest, they appear into the Real except they may not look at all like what we name them. A chair may be manifest in a collection of sticks and boards, a plant within a seed, a person's embryo may manifest itself, a feedback-cycle may be established generating an excess of functionality between parallel routines, a word may acquire an overcoded semantical content that is transfered throughout the integrity of a body of writing,.

Next, the Thing expands through the increase of energy it attracts and as it is being built or grown, there is a constant switching between its historical code of instantiation and the matter getting energized in its manifest form. This happens because all 'natural' code contains recursive calls upon itself, so any growth triggers further growth.

Then follows the blessed state of Things where things are truly Things: the stage of Integration where Things establish themselves, plants blossom, animals propagate, things communicate their 'Being' to their surrounding, a communication that may lead to further diversification of its routine. Here the oscillation from information to matter is at its material height which for some Things comes down to a near complete standstill. The chair 'is' truly a Chair. You can even talk about it as if  it is the actualisation of the Idea of a Chair.

The further the integration gets, the harder it is for energy to flow through the dead straps of matter. Here the process of mortification sets in. Rigidification within a person, for instance, is noticeable as a heightening of self-consciousness, the construction of a fictional inside opposed to a supposedly hostile outside, topologies that are then projected on the entire Becoming, in turn leading to further mortification. Death's becoming is an avalanche.

From then on (for a person that is from its early adult life onward) all leads to further decay, and finally to complete desintegration where all matter is resolved into pure data ready to be taken up into the recycling process of information ('garbage collection'). The initial information is not lost, it has been communicated to other subroutines (All is subject to the law of conservation of information).

It is easy to see how  a more detailed and  critical description of these stages of Being could lead to a successful new philosophical conceit of reified Becoming.

Friday, November 26


audio file:

Source text:


gru grit gruis grom fraga da
gruis grief gruut gamor uut
gaffel graven wroege vraga i
vergen vroege k lag lam b da

porce gruis da uut da
lein bo gruis da uut da
worg da gruis da ittistik
lein ni bobu gruis parik

gru ttt pk pk da da
gr uis pk eses t ss tuut
suis vsr kst susa stm

u is ms vs kkk da k da
is s mnt gruis stm uut
isis is si gruis issk astm.

made with MBROLA & Audacity, dv 2010
pre-involuted version:

Friday, February 6

Complicity with the author

erhaps fiction is all we have. German idealist philosopher Hans Vaihinger posited something of that nature in his work on the philosophy of the as-if.

As it happens, Vaihinger's work is only known by frequent quotations, not all of them very reliable, in papers, essays and books dealing with American literature. In that field Vaihinger seems to function as a mythical 'deep' layer on which many 'surfacing' fictional theorems are then supposed to be building (that is to say: theory as somehow included in novels, much like theoretical conjectures are brought to the attention of the reader in works like Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, re-counted, or discovered as part of the 'conte', the progression of the discovery of what happened, how the past got to be what it is in the present, by main characters in novel stories).

The novel as a genre has a very large tradition of incorporating philosophical treatise in its corpus of 'fiction'. Tragic and deeply moving stories by Dostojevski are largely lacerated by lengthy religious distractions, most of which could perhaps have been extracted leaving a more pure fictional work. It's been 30 years since i read the darn thing, but i do remember giving up after 40 pages of religious treatise in his "Brothers Karamazov". I remember a feeling most of you will recognize as 'ok, we know you've got some dark hidden truth way down there, explaining it all, now please get on with the story, i want to know what happened!". Whatever it is that we want to know while reading, it certainly isn't the theory behind it all. Authors who keep trying to explain, will eventually get flunked by their readers.

But authors of novels always kinda seem to like, well, er , be after the truth of things by means of their fictions. They often very much want to be taken seriously. The creation of fiction seems to imply a creation of truth as a negative by-product, and where there is a large production of beauty an equal amount of theoretical build-up appears to trouble the acclaimed novelist, tempting her to burst out in interviews proclaiming her world according to ME, the abandoned I she can't write or even speak from, the final persona that is left in the dark when all the worlds lights shine on her fictions and her raving characters.

In the novels themselves, pure theory however is only tolerated as a perforation of the fictional entourage. It's function is exactly to drive a thread of the real through the fabric of fiction. It allows the real to percolate into the moist and the thick of the plot, in such a way that will satisfy even the hardest of readers, another novelist.

The escape into fiction, a primordial motivation to start writing fiction in the first place, may well be that the author is seeking out the excitement involved when you start writing on the edge of your ignorance. The object of desire, the agency driving the act of writing, is a nearly physical craving for truth. The Other takes the form of an Outside that needs to overtake the author so that she can speak as one of the Wise, the True, and perhaps, the horrific Elders.

Writing fiction in that sense may be a kind of weakening of the sharp edges of the unknown, a laceration of darkness with daringly thrown bolts of lightning, a move forward by means of the acid of wordiness, the dynamite of poetic language, the recoiling of growing intrigue. Amidst her territoire armée d'armes et de larmes, the author stand bold, as if nothing could ever happen to her, as if the author always knew what she is going to write, as if she has total control over all the motions she is about to initiate, just by starting out like 'riverrun, past Eve and Adam's from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs'.

Of course she doesn't. And when we 're done, she, the author, us the readers, and it, the riverrun of fiction, we still don't we don't have the slightest clue of what 'really' happened while we were reading, only that our real world somehow got truncated by another, by an outside in which everything was a lot more straightforward, easier to grasp, better to hang on to, and full of sound and fury signifying exactly the same amount of nothing that we started out with.

Fiction, thus, enjoys the liberty of meaning without significance, of moving without being moved, of bringing about nothing and keeping you on the edge of your concentration while doing just that. The currants of 'real' theory inside the fiction function in much the same way as currants of artificial intelligence in large programs aimed at very specific goals: they lift the flow of what happens ever so slightly towards a perception of something real taking place, they reassure us that what is going on beyond our scope or hold is truly intelligent, sound reasoning, efficient data-handling: progress.

Both the Modernist novel, starting with Zola and Lawrence, as the post-modern body of fiction including such marvels of intricacy and intellectual splendour as Pynchon's work, both takes at the novelist job, have in common this continuous friction between theory and fiction, a poromechanics as our series-subject Negarestani would have it of the imagined real by the real as conjecture and vice-versa.

But what happens if the tables turn, and the theorist wants to become the producer of fiction, and when a body of theory is lacerated by shiny strings of sensuous fiction? Will the theorist retain his manly stature as a prominent builder of systematic thought? Or will he fall victim to the strategem of his own device? Will we end up with the best of both worlds, or the worst?

Wait and see, be sure to tune in regularly to for our next episode of DIGGING FOR OIL, a review on the run for the horrors of CYCLONOPEDIA, Reza Negarestani's take on the Middle East as a sentient entity...

Friday, January 23

vElfabet j

the letter j

was intended to get people

to come closer together

its vibrating power remains
poorly understood

Sunday, December 21

Towards an Enterprise Framework of Kinelogy

Perhaps what is needed in order to deal with what Bernard Stiegler refers to as our symbolic misery, notre misère symbolique, is a true dynamisation of our ontological apparatus.

Badiou, the self-indulgent little creep, has gladly given us a reductionist ontology nicely co-inciding with a reductionist mathesis, a tapestry of maps covering maps of the maps of a fictional world, and, on that basis, a Second Chance to establish a clearcut ethical New Order, a network of static gates governed by the Supreme Being of his own Badinage, a Sacred Topology centered around the zero ground of the one significant Event in the Universe: the Birth of his own sorry ass.

Serious philosophers however will know how to pierce through the blatantly maoistic style sheets of his rhetoric and will have no trouble in separating the true logic from the man's business logic, a particularly venomous variant of the old affliction that unfortunately has accompanied most seekers of wisdom who fail to love their own ignorance as the field in which they are allowed to progress: an insatiable need of power, a wish beyond all reason to dominate and to salvage their doomed ego's from death by the attempt to inscribe themselves as an identity on an imaginary Plane of All Humanity.

Now, for that, those two paragraphs is all that i will ever (from now on) write on the wretched subject, so please let us go back to our urgent problems. Bernard Stiegler offers us a very bleak picture of our present condition, and although i haven't at this moment by far finished with going through the entirety of his tracé, a quite impressive route along a number of often quite brilliantly written books of merciless analysis, it is now time i think to accompany my readings of this and other authors with a minor strand, or tiny string of my own.

In mentioning the One Who's Name i Will Mention No More, i have tried to indicate that our ontology, as we know it from one particular angle in our Western Way, is indeed in some respect and given sufficient linguistic reduction identifiable with a mathematically definable topology.
The way we think 'naturally' leads to mathesis, and the nature of mathesis is primarily static, i.e. it refers to a systematic of Place. Any referentiality of thought is based on and biased towards a conception of spatiality and in any conception of spatiality the human mind will always tend towards closure, finiteness and a dismissal of the Real through a fictionalisation into (systems of) objects. Any human becoming is limited by our need to be before we can come, hence the inevitability of our erotic misery.

My very Cathedral is built on the same premises, a designation of mathesis as the firmament of our sense of Being, our ontology, but i have at all times diligently steered away from the temptation to build a fictional apparatus of 'engulfing' on a discovery i do not consider my own, nor His, nor anyone's because it is simply the only logical conclusion that we, the totality of our intellectual efforts, are driven to by the inherent machinic conditions of those very efforts themselves. In spite of Alice's story, looking in the mirror doesn't make us actually leave the Place.

It is , in other words, all too easy to reconstruct the nature of Becoming as a system centered aroud a objectified Event, a merely topological co-ordinate that organizes our Being by its very existence. There is an awkward need and a dangerous desire to close the circle here, a circle of identification that ought to have remained the spiral of differentiation. Again the strange attractor of our need for Perfection is literally smothering any further chance of becoming, of escaping our need to Be.

Our contention throughout these writings will be that in spite of the tragedy of our human condition, and without the need to construct any transcendent realm of salvation, we can indeed overcome our own suicidal tendencies by construing an indirect virtual 'contingency' plan, a way, in short, to summon the Exterior into our fictional Existence.

The prospect of such investigations should of course be an utterly frightful one. The Lovecraftian adegium of 'Be afraid, be very afraid' should be taken most seriously because we are dealing here with things that concern our very survival. It is, in fact , a matter of life and death, and in such matters fear is often a better guide than self-indulgent bravery. But, as we will try to make clear later, this has always been the case, it is only our mastery of self-delusion that lets us of the hook of utter fear, our ability to turn our heads away from the monster and merrily chatter about the weather, right until the very split second that all cameras focus on our being snapped away by It.

We will therefore assume that what is required is an actual method that defies all our misgivings that anything that is written is an accomplishment. There is, in fact, no such thing as a philosophical accomplishment. Philosophy is a disposition, a process enabling the opening of accessoires (secure points of access - sluices) through wich the Exterior is allowed to give Breath to the living.

Therefore, what i write here need not be true. It needn't even make any sense (at this moment, or at the moment you are reading it, or at any given co-ordinate in spacetime).

What i write here needs to work, that's all. If it gives Breath to the living, it works, and then i will have written wisely, i.e. as a temporal construct bravely but self-deceivingly in love with my own ignorance.

There is, in fact, as Nobel Laureate Dorris Lessing once referred to 'No way but to go in". In doing so however, we generate a motion that can be forced into a virtual relationship with a Motion of the Outside. This can be achieved by meditation, as many religious traditions have shown in their adherence, their belief in the power of individuals, mystics to supersede the limitations of human perception. It will be our contention that some result can be achieved by refusing to designate ( again that word) any sense of contact with the Outside to what is traditionally contained by a religious harnessing, the belief in a Supreme Being.

Other does not necessarily lead to an-other in a relation to an a that is. Figures of speech do not add up, you can't count on them doing so. If you do, you'll necessarily end up in atrocity.

Soit. Let that be, for the moment.

Our main angle of approach will then be to further that to the contrary of what is historically our given method, a conditioning of our very modes of thought, and in spite of serious efforts of (for instance, but also: mainly) Jacques Derrida in deconstructing those modes of thought in order to revitalise the mortal coil that threatens us as humans, the spiraling down of our energies to our own extinction, and, moreover, in spite of Gilles Deleuze's efforts to break down our 'humanist' tendencies to close our world, his continuing effort (beyond his own death) to steer us towards a fundamental openness, we are still in a very urgent need to take up the continuing challenge to see through our own delusions and - sorry but you need to dig the humour of the thing too, or you will miss the whole clue of the enfolding tragedy - to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Wednesday, October 22

XCP celebrates

XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics celebrates its twentieth issue with the publication of a 180+ page anthology of contemporary writers addressing the theme upon which the journal was founded more than a decade ago. Below are just a few of the essays that appear in this anniversary issue:

Kazim Ali, “The Poetics of Islam”
Amiri Baraka, “Black Power in Newark”
Jeff Derksen, “The Idea of Cross-Culture”
Bhanu Kapil, “Notes of Failure: A Short Essay on Cross-Cultural Poetics”
Barbara Jane Reyes, “On Feminism, Women of Color, Poetics, and Reticence”
Rodrigo Toscano, “To Become Super-Solid”
Tyrone Williams, “Problems and Promises of Actually Existing Cross Cultural Poetics”
Rachel Zolf, “A Tenuous We: Writing as Not-Knowing”

Others writers in this special issue include Maria Damon, Patrick Durgin, Larissa Lai, Juliana Spahr, Celina Su, Edwin Torres, Fred Wah, Rita Wong, and many others.

XCP no. 20 is available as part of a four-issue subscription ($30, checks payable to “College of St. Catherine” and mailed to Mark Nowak, ed., XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics, c/o College of St. Catherine, 601 25th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. 55454; subscribers outside the U.S. please add $5). For questions, email the editor at manowak_at_
XCP no. 21/22 will be a special double issue (“South Africa: Literature and Social Movements”) that will include new writings from Dennis Brutus, Zine Magubane, Kelwyn Sole, Botsotso Jesters, Priya Narismulu, and many others.

As Juan Felipe Herrera wrote about XCP in the Poetry Project Newsletter a decade ago: “Welcome to a Writer’s Manual on how to detonate the master axis of Big Brother narratives.”

Monday, October 6

our hands don't touch this is

our hands don't touch this is
no touch the thought of you just
slaps my face, the other cheek turns
red, i run or is this running
wild your thought of me?

i write out of some dreary
lust, a withered
craving, knowing you
won't read a thing

when lust is trapped
at the inside of lust
the lust engenders horror


this hand now hands us
nowhere going nowhere
while it used to think
& therefor be
you but now no

we intertwined
we interlaced
we brought our
bleeding selves
into this world

the running shriveled to
this dying hand where its
dying runs dead
& all must end

Saturday, September 13

you are recursively generated garbage

analog synaptic potentials
digital action potentials
analog synaptic potentials
digital action potentials.

Donald Favareau: Beyond self and other: On the neurosemiotic emergence of intersubjectivity


" The explosive growth over the last two decades of neuroscience,
cognitive science, and “consciousness studies” as generally conceived,
remains as yet unaccompanied by a corresponding development in the establishment
of an explicitly semiotic understanding of how the relations of
sign exchange at the neuronal level function in the larger network of psychologically
accessible sign exchange. This article attempts a preliminary foray
into the establishment of just such a neurosemiotic. It takes, as its test case and
as its point of departure, recent discoveries from the neurobiological research
on viuso-motor transformations and on the widespread cortical phenomena of
selectively tuned, single-neuron response to argue for a vision of “intersubjectivity”
whereby the ens rationis arising as a function of the neuronal
semiosphere may be abstracted, constructed, and shared mutually across

Friday, September 12



La rosa enflorece
o en el mez de Mayo,
mi alma s'escurece
sufriendo del amor

Los bililicos cantan
en el arbol del amor
y la pasión me mata,
muchigua mi dolor.

màs presto ven Palomba,
màs presto ven a mi,
màs presto tu mi alma,
que yo me vo morir.

[text from a sephardic romance]

Our poetic impulse, our strongest intuition is to affirm life against any limitation, including, especially, in view of the countless historical disasters, religious reductionism of the free spirit to a transcendentally cloaked discourse of power.

Any affirmation of life precludes the affirmation of death plus the annihilation of consciousness, the improperness of any 'after-life', that can only be envisioned as a ghastly never-ending torment of pseudo-completion, as well as the idiocy of religious idolatry, personal god-creations, the attribution of uneasing troubles to demoniacla forces etc, although one needs to be lenient on purely 'practical' moral grounds, however little such leniency may have to be in accordance with a truly ethical position.

I mean: however ' wrong' some blokes may be, you just don't spit people in the face for being ethically adrift. In fact, in my view, the only vantage point allowed is a rectification by exemplum, acquiring the wanderer's weak and faulty rhytm and working it the other way, all the time keeping strictly within your own 'legal' field of movement.
Within the future present of the other's life, it's kinda like a Star Trek thing: you don't interfere, one can show but not touch, lest you corrupt the promise inherent in what is shown with the act of breaking the promise.

Unless you're some kinda nutty saint, nobody will notice anything, don't fool yourself, mohammed. But it's the only 'legal' way and theoretically it is even possible.

Anyway, in spite of today's fashionable 'bleak destination', including the 'daring heroism' of so many intellectuals staring Emptyness Itself in the eye (I, I, no I), any true immanent position today would require a serious reconsidering of what is too easily acquited as belonging to 'idolatric transcendentalism' or even plain foolish stubborness

For immanence as such _also_ necessitates a 'mystic' movement within its discourse, namely there where the ambivalence of the affirmative energies is used, metaphorically speaking, as the engine of pro-creating consciousness, uncut from the worlding spirals of pre-consciousness, on 'purely' virtual grounds, pre-individual if you want, albeit that the pre may be wrongly held as a signifier for an absent temporal order.

The order of speech here is perhaps topological, preceding the psychic space-time divide. And pro-creation here would be a lengthening beyond the order of speech that is applied, hence the paradoxical, hence the term 'mystic' to describe ( write down) the movement.

But of course this 'immanent mysticism' would de facto tune in nicely with any transcendental 'traditional' language/usage/method of acquiring 'un-worldly' knowledge. Extreme care is required in view of the strength and ruthlessness with which religious dogmatists have been able to recuperate any intellectual effort passed to us by these rare individuals and their testimonials of extreme experiences.

Furthermore, although a poetic method of investigation does not require any succes in a world that seems dead set on destroying itself anyway, regardless of any sense, common, poetic or otherwise, you might take care not to compound the already soaring insults of insanity and naïvity with any further association with the quacks and new agers of the scene, as it further succumbs into commercially orchestrated sickening whirlings of slime into slime into sour vomit.

It's worth giving this line of thought and (daily) praxis a chance though: occasionally one does end up with a piece of strangely sharp and heavy matter able to soar right to the bottom of this global mess and make a sound that cuts through all the crap.

It is, rather unsurprisingly, somewhat erotic, that sound. It goes like "thud" at its weakest or "dzjeEEUjuCK", or sometimes even "thooooaaheeeEEEEedzZjud".

danseuse presque noir

Wednesday, August 27

Morning Sickness

(to be pronounced as if spoken by an english adolescent speaking Latin, threaded & slimy but not too moist)

tereorama todore
torore terrea
turo rurore
rurore tororo

ramis tudoris omkto
ficinio alsi rama pulpo

taliente tumore
terema talient'_uoromo

furor a
timor u
moritu i

adieu bipède économe à la station de culée de pont
in every dark harlottery harbor my fingers
will brigh-
tingly linger
on the absence of your splendid skin

"ta fuoca ta fuo me fui fui ffffpff pf tkp fpt f"
(your every hair is eye-adorned an isle pointée)

"affev'_in fabelli balleggi no ishini tlip tkt
nt ushi pock lami lamitilla"
(your lips would suck the wet writing of des astres
and i'd reflect your beams in every single drop of dew)