coming apart

coming apart at the

Date: Friday, April 11, 1997 10:32:45 PM

From: Semiosis

Subj: coming apart at the semes

To: Earl Jackson, Jr.


Much too much time has passed since my last
communication to call this a resumption of a conversation, so let’s call
it a presumption and see what happens.

Like the gateway to your fantasy
, I wanted to open this text with a reflection (those pools in
the shapes of ambiguously transparent volumes,

one can’t determine whether the „book“ is something
to see through or to gaze upon in narcissistic
), but looking for the particular page I wished to diffract
across my own writing was much too difficult and not really necessary in
the hyper-hyperlinked mandelbrot
of your website. So let’s rely on
and its own presumptions (within this presumption) and see what


I found a mapping of the initials EJ
into JE
, followed by disjunctive elaborations upon the import of this
coincidence. My overall impression was of discovering
to be a mathematical fluke, like arriving at an ironic version of subjectivity
through a chaotic chain of circumstance that has elided both empiricist
and rationalist methodologies. The JE(U)
stumbled upon by this process acts as a mirror image, in turn, for
the slider je of the sujet d’Ènonciation / sujet
de l’ÈnoncÈ
in French, at once connotatively signifying
this pronoun
and exploding its ground
of meaning

JE / je–
„I hope you understand that this is partially tongue-in-cheek“.

So I thought it might be appropriate to respond to
this grapheme with an experiment I attempted about a year ago which could
resonate with the games you were playing. The letter that follows is an
attempt at resuming a conversation with X2. I’m not sure she ever received
it, and this disruption in the discourse between us has produced innumerable
imaginary dialogues in the back of my mind as I go about my daily routine,
many containing this recurring fragment: „The mutual
of desire
and what happens constitute language.“ This is how it begins.

Dear X2,

The only scrap metal yard in the city has been clattering with elaborate
purpose over the brick across the street through these barred windows into
an atmosphere of half-water so thick I’m afraid all my words will jump
with one electric burst out of the keyboard and back into my fingers ZAP
with nothing but two twenty-pound cats as witnesses to THE


it is, rather, a question of creating a space into which the writing
subject constantly disappears.
Each letter here is a test of another’s words since it/s too easy to
hide behind a horizon and three time zones and offer you a postcard of
my“self“ smiling, eloquent, the timid scholar in the raucous city, haunted
by friends he should have met forty years ago but can only read them now
and shudder on the way to the next bookstore. 
The work, which once had the duty of providing immortality



Each paragraph today reminds me of your sidewalk, criss-crossed
with (wise) cracks that I step on with all the metallic elocution of the
literary only to trip and stumble across blunt alleys sliced with margins
of intricate shade and narrow smells of piss in garbage piles and suddenly
I know I’m making promises and poses I can’t keep and construing a metropolis
of signifiers that doesn’t really need me here, gape-mouthed, stuttering,
a shoe-gazer with a big red theory book in his hands, cavorting in charlychaplin
hopes of „unintentional“ brilliance.
now possesses the right
to kill
, to be its author’s murderer. 



simple as despair cut to a reverse-shot of „paul“ lying sutured into his
sheets, a nude gulliver beneath streetlamp and blinds, somewhere between
familiar mass and shrouded energy, wallowing in incomplete letters you’ll
never read because love is blind.

he must assume the role of the dead man in the game of writing.


But how can murder ever be as sincere as its reenactment? And
is all this narcissism necessary
? I mean what am I trying to do, talk
myself to(ward (off)) death? And if so why do I still feel so insincere,
so self-ish?







An unfamiliar streetwalker pauses outside the window and crosses arms
where her clothing clings with an element of fresh discomfort A BORROWING
A GRAFT, even the lollipop looks contrived, her heel the balanced architecture
beneath a wave that stutters and flaps — a beemer slows, she leans, money
moves, and she runs with the immediacy of the siren that replaces her with
lights and ten uniforms bracing a rumpled face and fallen jeans each second
a fragment of complicated exchanges the splayed hands the search A REPETITION
A LOSS. Beneath the lamp, minutes later, the same actress now faces me,
cigarette depending, as I cough through the fan’s drone, through her gaze,
and a smile that flashes fort da with unwelcome complicity. I pick up the
phone. (A journal I recently found sandwiched between Madame Bovary
and Reading Dancing: Bodies and Subjects in Contemporary American Dance
: „Paul on the phone – I wonder how he can love me > his speech is sometimes
incomprehensible to me / can’t wait until he is here…“)




I hope there has been no gratuitous artifice in this montage here X2
only a question: A TRACK A VISUAL AID. Have I been peering through the
window or the looking glass? And what strange dream police monitors the
passage „criss-cross in all directions“ between the two?



I think every possible exchange we have may be part of sexuality




X2, will you misunderstand me in ways „I“ need to be misunderstood?





P.S. Meanwhile, Eliot lies glaring at me from a dark
corner as if I were a greasy smudge on the fabric of existence: each word
has been a negotiation with disappearance in slow feline blinks.

And I guess this is how it provisionally ends, this is where I remind you
that these are simplified moments, ebbs in the movement
of supplementarity

which you must elaborate into a more responsible complexity than that
of which I can ever be capable. In other words, read this lie with all
the violence
of your writing.




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