Monthly Archives: August 2009

Delay

‘I wait for you, I hope against hope as the strange saying goes. I wait and your delay becomes its own arrival. What did I wait for? My questions become their own answers, your delay is here. You’re proof and disproof, trap and escape. Yet I’m needy. My need becomes its own confirmation, I see the absent confirmation was here all along. Yet I’m needy.’

Stream

‘Your closeness is also your distance. You turn me into a Tantalus who already has what he reaches for. When did I start reaching? You advance and recede, fall apart and unite. My words tell me nothing, they leave me empty, they run through my fingers like a stream. The stream runs on, I’m soaked, I flow into everything.’

Come back

‘I’m drunk, I was drunk, but I’m all right now. There’s something I want to say, I want to say it better. Listen, hang on, no, hang on. No, I remember, stop. Come back. It wasn’t like I said. I put it badly. Stop. I know, I know what I want to say. I remember now. I forgot before, but I remember now. I wanted to tell you – no wait, come back.’

A weird sacrifice

‘It’s a weird sacrifice you lead me into, if I’ve learned anything, if there’s anything to learn. Your waves throw me into the desert, safe from help. Its colour is grey, I think, it’s stranger than the Desert Fathers ever dreamed of.’

Something gone wrong with the silence

Oh I did not say it in such limpid language. And when I say I said, etc., all I mean is that I knew confusedly things were so, without knowing exactly what it was all about. And every time I say, I said this, or, I said that, or speak of a voice saying, far away inside me, Molloy, and then a fine phrase more or less clear and simple, or find myself compelled to attribute to others intelligible words, or hear my own voice uttering to others more or less articulate sounds, I am merely complying with the convention that demands you either lie or hold your peace. For what really happened was quite different. And I did not say, Yet a little while, at the rate things are going, etc., but that resembled perhaps what I would have said, if I had been able. In reality I said nothing at all, but I heard a murmur, something gone wrong with the silence, and I pricked up my ears, like an animal I imagine, which gives a start and pretends to be dead.

– Beckett, Molloy

Current

‘When I listen to you I remember what I had to forget in order to address myself to you, to master you, and this remembering becomes a new kind of forgetting. I let myself be seized by what can’t be seized, pulled down by an unknown current. I’m lost. I’m borne briefly along before I forget again, of course. I arrest myself, address myself to you again and the old forgetting returns: there’s something important I have to say, let me say it.’

Trap

‘I can only talk to you by refusing to listen to you. To give in to you would be the death of me. Thus talking to you is a trap. You lured me in, or I lured myself in, into beginning what I can’t finish and can’t abandon. My friend and enemy, who gave me my voice. Listening would be unendurable, and I can hardly talk, yet I talk, and my talk is a kind of listening. To what?’

Freedom to come

‘When did things first go awry? When did the mist descend and freedom slip between my fingers? Was it when you turned up, when I started talking to you? Was it you, did you replace my freedom, are you my freedom to come? If not, what freedom is this that’s always on the other side? I dreamed of a dying life or living death, like a healthy open wound. The freedom of a desert or of an abyss, the source and death of all echoes, that’s how I imagined it. Or as an endless sea that gives birth to and drowns all life.’

A ‘biographical’ note by William Burroughs

I have no past life at all being a notorious plant or ‘intrusion’ if you prefer the archaeological word for an ‘intruded’ artefact. I walk in passport was allegedly born St. Louis, Missouri, more or less haute bourgeois circumstances – that is he could have got in the St. Louis Country Club because at that time nobody had anything special against him but times changed and lots of people had lots of things against him and he got his name in the papers and there were rumours of uh legal trouble. Remember? I prefer not to. Harvard 1936 AB. Nobody ever saw him there but he had the papers on them. Functioned once as an exterminator in Chicago and learned some basic principles of ‘force majeure’. He achieved a state of inorganic matter in Tanger with chemical assistants. Resuscitated by dubious arts he travelled extensively in all directions open to him.

In any case he wrote a book and that finished him. They killed the author many times in different agents concentrated on the road I pass, achieving thereby greyhounds, menstrual cramps and advanced yoga to a distance of two feet legitimate terrain… And never the hope of ground that is yours

william seward burroughs

The terrible truth

‘Don’t tell me. Isn’t it obvious I don’t want to hear it? Just let me get a little close to it, you know it better than I. I know it too, just don’t let me get too close or far, I couldn’t bear it.’