Monthly Archives: May 2010

There are scenes on the side of life

‘It dropped me far from here with no way forward all around. We met between tables. Later in a room we thought our hearts would burst but they beat on. We parted smiling. There are doorways in which to watch you walk away, watch it all go on. There are scenes on the side of life, ways between grasping and giving up.’

I wanted to turn back into the former me, the connected me, but I couldn’t find my way back.

I fear it descending again. And what I fear is something substantive, like fearing a car crash.

I know about the voices, the sense of vanishing, the horrible envy of others. No one should have to endure years like that.

Emily White

The scene

The scene is like the Sentence: structurally, there is no obligation for it to stop; no internal constraint exhausts it, because, as in the Sentence, once the core is given (the fact, the decision), the expansions are infinitely renewable. Only some circumstance external to its structure can interrupt the scene: the exhaustion of the two partners (that of only one would not suffice), the arrival of a third party (in Werther, it is Albert), or else the sudden substitution of desire for aggression. Unless these accidents are employed, no partner has the power to check a scene. What means might I have? Silence? It would merely quicken the will to have the scene; I am therefore obliged to answer in order to soothe, to erase. Reasoning? None is of such pure metal as to leave the other partner without something to say. Analysis of the scene itself? To shift from the scene to the metascene merely means opening another scene. Flight? This is the sign of a defection already achieved: the couple is already undone: like love, the scene is always reciprocal. Hence, the scene is interminable, like language itself: it is language itself, taken in its infinity, that ‘perpetual adoration’ which brings matters about in such a way that since man has existed, he has not stopped talking.

– Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse (tr. R. Howard)

Total

Soon (or simultaneously) the question is no longer ‘Why don’t you love me?’ but ‘Why do you only love me a little?’ How do you manage to love a little? What does that mean, loving ‘a little’? I live under the regime of too much or not enough; greedy for coincidence as I am, everything which is not total seems parsimonious; what I want is to occupy a site from which quantities are no longer perceived, and from which all accounts are banished.

– Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse (tr. R. Howard)

Whenever I happen to see you

Whenever I happen to see you
I forget for a while
That I am ugly in my own eyes
For not winning you

I wanted you to choose me
Over all the men you know
Because I am destroyed
In their company

I have often prayed for you
Like this
Let me have her

– Leonard Cohen, The Energy of Slaves

Breaking broken

‘Something dawned on me and it was the night. Something dawned on me and it was false. Nothing dawned on me. How does one. How. Night and it was nothing. Night. How does one. To end. To end all. To end something and nothing all together end and beginning all together. Sweet dreams. Or to end false for false to end. To end night. To end false night and rebuild. Rebuild what. To end sweet dreams rebuild what. To end or to begin. New dawn no more sweet dreams. Something broke everything is breaking. Nothing dawns oh to end all. Oh to rebuild. From what. Rebuild. From what. Breaking broken all breaking now all going gone. End all now. Rebuild now. From what. End. Start. From what. Start. Rebuild. Build.’

* * *