Four months ago, I announced that I had a third book in the works. Today this book has a title: Double Meaning. I hope to publish it via CreateSpace by November 2018. Details to follow. Meanwhile, check out the new design of the blog.
I have nothing to say
Nothing to say I have
To say I have nothing
Have nothing I to say
To have nothing I say
Nothing I have to say
Say nothing I have to
Have I nothing to say
To nothing I have say
Nothing to say I have
I have to say nothing
I say to have nothing
Nothing to have I say
To have nothing I say
Have nothing I say to
Have I to say nothing
Nothing speaks to me
For fun I google E.M. Cioran: “We are all deep in a hell, each moment of which is a miracle.”
A Tumblr page contains the line, along with other solemn notes. It’s the work of a woman—a tender soul/MFA candidate professing interest in:
poetics, critical theory, semiotics, poststructuralist philosophies, anti-essentialism, misanthropy, pessimism, introversion, & solitude.
YOUR PLACE OR MINE?
“I had always been aware that the Universe is sad; everything in it, animate or inanimate, the wild creatures, the stones, the stars, was enveloped in the great sadness, pervaded by it. Existence had no use. It was without end or reason. The most beautiful things in it, a flower or a song, as well as the most compelling, a desire or a thought, were pointless. So great a sorrow. And I knew that the only rest from my anxiety—for I had been trembling even in infancy—lay in acknowledging and absorbing this sadness.”
— Hayden Carruth, Reluctantly: Autobiographical Essays
I’M HARDER THAN LIFE ITSELF—A TREMBLING INFANT.
I pen suggestive lyrics with her in mind:
with nectar lungs
I catch her tears
upon my tongue
my head is crowned
for sweet repose
her highness perched
atop my nose
In a dream I lie beneath her feet, absorbing sadness.
“They won’t come clean,” she says. “See what you can do.”
Chris Truman isn’t himself. He has ideas for his blog, Creative Type, but the page won’t oblige—the words won’t stick. The stories he’s been telling himself—his personal narrative—are not his own. Perhaps his mind is all made up. His life a mask—the world an insufferable ball.
We have countless ways to hide. Truman sleeps. There is something to be said for silence, the warmth of inactivity. You’re weightless in a dream, given to nonsense. A pilot with no manifest. We spend the better part of our lives asleep; the worst happens with our eyes wide open. A possible post? His family might get worried. Is Chris OK? Taking his meds?
A blog, like a psychological history, sees many revisions. Inspiration takes time. You think you’re finished before the moment arrives. Where do you think this thought is coming from? Therapists have a way with words. They’re all about self-talk. Truman never tires of writing about therapy, second only to writing.
Truman looks to the past for answers but finds his strength in question. He recalls his project—to reveal his true nature in the fictionalized account of his friend Chuck Snoad. He’ll pick up where he left off. Publish when he’s ready. His therapist might enjoy a reading. She could analyze the document. Judge its authenticity.
In 1967 the literary critic and theorist Roland Barthes formally announced the Death of the Author. “It is language which speaks,” Barthes declares, “not the author.” Echoing Bakhtin’s concept of heteroglossia, Barthes writes:
We know that a text does not consist of a line of words, releasing a single “theological” meaning (the “message” of the Author-God), but is a space of many dimensions, in which are wedded and contested various kinds of writing, no one of which is original: the text is a tissue of citations, resulting from the thousand sources of culture. The writer can only imitate a gesture forever anterior, never original. (emphasis added)
There’s nothing new to say. Writing is a performance, a mix of styles. The author’s ideas are someone else’s. He merely borrows and reappropriates them in his text. Assuming the author creates, that it’s his Genius on display, is false. He is simply a conduit of culture; language speaks through him.
This is true of blogs. Even when I’m not setting off another writer’s words in block quotes, I’m summoning ideas already thought. Baudrillard. Bakhtin. Barthes. Putting dead philosophers’ words in my mouth.