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Tel Quel

je sais bien mai quand même

Category Archives: Relentless Taxonomy

Like Scheherazade, I sit here biding my time- with the exception that I am no storyteller, surreptitiously armed only with a fervent imagination of sonnets and seas and tangerines; waiting for an inconclusive ending to a single story with algorithmic in-betweens of in-betweens, ad infinitum. (The Persians invented the numeral system)

No king, no conquest, no trial, just story after story, or episode after episode. There is no said Godot one is waiting for, just waiting. It is a delirium, an enchantment: “I have received orders not to move.” I have lost all mobility of thought, a mere repulsion or recurrence of “the lover’s fatal identity” of I’s and You’s. This is also a story about the mandarin and the courtesan with the promise of a hundred nights and the following abandonment on every ninety-ninth. One hundred minus one: There is always less not more, where everything hinges on everything and the consequential regression into a numbers game; pure mathematics.


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The lights didn’t take my eyes, I’m still alive, I still know how many fingers any-generic-you are holding up: two, three, four, six, two point seven. It’s difficult to accept reductive quantification. I am a number. Technically, the intransitive aspect (despite the absent verb) invalidates the clause. Metaphysically speaking, again, it’s all part of one giant antipathic cosmic equation. This time, I used antipathic as a derivative noun. Because language is such, as such, that is why two point seven is not blunt force trauma, it’s plain trauma.

It’s a travesty because sometimes I refuse to explain (to) myself. In spite of language being and extending outside of everything if possible, the structure (I don’t like the word structure) of the word as in morpheme and phoneme being the process of sign, signifier, signification is premised on the assumption of one meaning at any one time and space. One suggests wholeness, an absolute, finite and in terms of the Boolean constant: true; the markers of perfection. It’s a simultaneous breath and death in every word and sentence, and punctuation. Punctuations have souls you know? They aren’t linguistic accessories or by-products of academic ignorance, with much respect to Vonnegut and Brian. What they might have liked to imply was its flagrant misuse and misrepresentation instead. But coming back, I know my fundamental logic has been compromised along this paragraph but it’s the same difference between a structuralist and post-structuralist. To use Barthes’ metaphor, a camera lucida. However, it is so much more alive than I can even begin to describe and since I like cats, I’ll use Schrödinger’s cat as an allusion, metaphor and everything else.

It’s a misunderstanding. Language does not fail per se, it is hyper-effective. Dualities are also pretty bogus sometimes so it’s not an Either/Or logic, especially so in this context. Just as I cannot adequately, conclusively process the prospects of forever or use Kepler’s Laws to measure the meaning of always. I am finite.

Yet sometimes I just trust, and feel, in spite of; to just stand within  (and not just to hear, according to Kundera ) the semantic sussurus of the tributaries whose nature resemble the Mandelbrot set, and breathe. I revere them because they protect me, and they protect me inside. If I repeat this number and several other concomitant facts long enough, they will gradually become awkward phonemes and empty sets, all over again. So Winterson is relatively wrong when she said, “As though repetition might achieve what faith could not.” But I still believe her anyway.

This is all displacement, so they say. Ego and Superego protecting the Id from material consequences: just an extension of the continuously evolving socio-cultural mores of modern society therefore law, logic, empirical reasoning for quantity control at one one-trillionth of a scale. I did mean quantity, not quality. Maybe not one one-trillionth because Jung postulates the presence of Synchronicity, or the collective unconscious. It came to a point where the numbers broke my heart: 945, 1216, 2020, 0525, 2.7…, but it doesn’t mean enough anymore. Numbers don’t protect me, all the little earnest love-making pairs of morphemes and phonemes do (and also incidentally reminding me of mome raths)

Thus weary of the world away she hies,
And yokes her silver doves; by whose swift aid
Their mistress, mounted, through the empty skies
In her light chariot quickly is convey’d;
Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen
Means to immure herself and not be seen.

11. 1189-1194

Apparently Paphos is the Southwest of Cyprus, nice. And if not Milton or Shakespeare, let there be no other. (Also because it is one of my favourite paintings from Vecelli) I have absolutely zero technical eye for Renaissance art, but it’s beautiful in a Shakespearian-Threnos kind of way therefore unconditional, because sometimes I really don’t have a reason for everything. The world spins madly on.

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I fell asleep at midnight but my heartbeat was too loud, like the symptomatic pause before the actual collision. The strangest dreams are the ones that have all the literal meaning and I figure it out immediately because I’ve somehow lost the space to be subconsciously aware and pardoned in advance because of the lack of clarity. But I’m completely lucid, so there’s an error. The most problematic yet is relativity


“Everything is pardoned in advance therefore cynically permitted”, according to Page 4. But I’m completely lucid you see or at least I’d really like to think so, I think I know what I’m doing. I wish I were more appreciative of Murakami’s novel because it is profoundly honest in a mildly sensualist sort of way but I found his exploration into alterity disturbingly axiomatic (in language, symbol…) Then again, to me the entire novel is indiscreet, not in a bad way, I’m just not used to it. After Winterson, Vonnegut, Kundera and Lewis Carroll, and now Pirsig (whom I’ve learnt metaphysics through practical organization of papers so far), I’m more inclined to becoming simultaneously less and more transparent at the same time. Murakami’s more linear, almost like a throwback to reality although I don’t appreciate it as much as I would like to. Two things that stuck with me though, is Laika (however paltry her appearance but I think that is the point) and the incident in the ferris-wheel at night. The gravity of sensory-perception could not be more heightened then, for me. Still, I’m not too sure if he’s a favourite, perhaps in a different way.


Stendhal, Chapter 39, Page 131 : “It is, therefore, most important to control the imagination in…” Objectively, I keep myself occupied inside before I realize that the cold is getting to my hands and feet but it might help me fall asleep tonight, like a car indefinitely in reverse

What hath night to do with sleep?
Night hath better sweets to prove,
Venus now wakes, and wak’ns Love
Com, knit hands, and beat the ground,
In a light fantastick round

If not Milton, let there be none.

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He  was a paper boat
And she the sea,
Calm as she was and whispered
“Float right up to me”

There is a sunrise on the other side of the world, where the air is thick with half-consum(mat)ed hearts and the earth a praeternal mausoleum for the faithful, faithless departed.

So it floated
from battle to battle,
shore to shore
And finally into the horizon
Captain, crew and all.

Beyond the eye, the boundary of sea and sky overlap with the passion of Rembrandt. From time to time, a message in a bottle is thrown overboard, half-expecting no one and  some(any)one, to find them and read them, and keep them. “Float right up to me, ” it says.

So it ends
In broken sets of three:
dit dit dit dah dah dah dit dit dit
A transatlantic overture,
“Rescue Me”

In our lifetime, we confront Atlantis in our nightmares and our dreams, each time arriving in a different time and place but always the same center of the universe. Where and if the journey ends, past the proverbial tide and it’s slow decay, I know we’ll eventually return beyond remains of the day.


Maybe six feet ain’t so far down

Darkness is not the absence of light, but quite the opposite; absorbing all frequencies of light without being able to emit or reflect light into any part of the visible spectrum. RGB gives you white, but this is pretty much a complete annihilation instead. In colour theory, it is a combinatory pigment of colours; Goethe himself said shade is a part of light (1824), ostensibly bifurcating from a locus of excessiveness. It becomes strange to defamiliarize common binaries of metaphors, down to quarks and leptons; it only occurred to me halfway through my paper today. Not so much of deconstructing signifiers, in fact not so much of signification or deconstruction at all. This is walking among the cemeteries of Bohemia in Kundera’s novel, “like gardens”, he said.

In physics, it is not so much of darkness as a cosmic frequency, but a “black body” (Gustav Kirchoff, 1860). Part of this inevitable gravitation towards nothing is the misconception that we, that I, will endure indefinitely. Perhaps, I had forgotten that I have the gift of mortality. I revisit Marquez for one last time, and for a placid moment, I confront the utterance of “Forever.”

When I was young, I wanted to be an ornithologist. It was so specific then, no one quite believed me. Over time I lost sight of orioles, ioras, kites and the occasional cormorant. “The graves are covered with grass and colorful flowers. Modest tombstones are lost in the greenery”, he said. The kites in the sky seemed to have disappeared along with dreams one night, but I know the waterhens still hide among the shrubs. My garden seems to be a looking-glass, every morning and evening a case of “Miss Drake Proceeds To Supper” : (She) edges with wary breath,/ Fending off jag and tooth/ Until, turning sideways,/ She lifts one webbed foot after the other/ Into the still, sultry weather. We even found a mildly apathetic boa once.

I used to have this idea/impression that I could use ciphers indefinitely, it was cute. I wrote obsessively in ciphers, in secret, to an imaginary correspondent, all by hand, even though computers translate them so much more efficiently these days. I had only one key. Now it turns out I’ll be throwing the key away, or I might have lost it somehow. When I want to ask myself “Why?”, the memory of Vonnegut’s trinity in Slaughterhouse-5 will remind me, Why anything? The key is so important though, I mean I guess you can work it out through a machine, but then half the fun is lost. When I think about it now, it seems so silly, or I grew up, grew out overnight. Part of me thinks that I haven’t, because the key is inseparable; skin, bones and tissue, like an organic memory. Like secret birds.


Tis’ the twilight of the idols in the dimness of worn pages and soggy intellect. There is no moon tonight; I hastily make one out of belisha beacons, commanding stars out of strobe lights and clouds from smoke. I lie on the driveway, the gravel and dew incinerating my skin into an icy stupor. Ashes trace my outline in darkness, I become a prophetic silhouette and breathe with the trepidation of a sandcastle by the sea. I must not lose this outline, it is all that is left. The phrase I would usually use is “in spite of”. Darkness is the excess of light, leaving you equally sightless. Somewhere, sometime I know a soul will gently walk over me, and I will barely feel it. “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”, he said. The +KN Mixtape have placed me on high sobriety, and  I am grateful.  Swiftly will I sleep in Deep Waters (Portishead) tonight, constantly bailing out the water in my dreams to make sure I wake up again.

If I could, according to the question paper today, write on just one character to represent a particular meaning, I would have definitely picked Karenin, unconditionally.

“Even we will one day tire of infinity”, I said.