Will Rowe

The Year Book (A year book)

A dream of inert earth, though that one came earlier, before the year started. Earth without air. No biology. If he had been trying to think inside 'the destructive element', then he'd probably been dreaming to do the same. Nothing to do with success, though. But maybe the dreams by showing how he's been attempting to swim may show something of the medium. Robert Viola's tv screens under water. He puts them in barrels and you look down at them through the water. Makes the water feel viscous, like glycerine.

11.9     leaving stuff all over the floor, not enough time or not enough energy, same thing. When you drag up a word from sleep, though it's less dragging than receiving, and what you're writing takes a new turn. Lovely.

14.9     a waterfall that terrifies me but I am the waterfall. Was seeing your death coming less terrible?

20.9     someone has left some shit in my bed. The toilet is covered in a sort of white gauze, and I can't use it. How am I going to pick it up?

27.9     a body emerges out of the lineaments of language. Not a figure represented. But contours on a surface in the thick of language. The thicket? It has no size.

6.10     biological warfare scare on tv. Scenario not virtual but filmed: New Orleans attacked by chemical and biological weapons, among them anthrax germs. After the images the talk. Not enough vaccine for anthrax. Only the US army have been provided with it. So there are two different biological species, it's no longer a time machine fantasy. What is Edward Said talking about with his humanism is the only legitimate response to 9:11? . . . He mentioned Conrad, but Conrad set himself to completely imagine the event. Jim watching the metal bulkhead bulging with the force of thousands of tons of water, its surface visibly moving, then yielding to his fear and abandoning the ship and leaving the human cargo to drown.

8.10     Breakfast time. 'The war's started,' she said ' She's heard it on her Walkman while jogging round the park. I am ashamed to be English,' said her twelve-year old son.

9.10     Feyerabend has this idea that the really serious person is the one who is 'stuck in the mud' not the one who comes along with a new theory that is supposed to sort everything out: 'the "deep" thinkers descend into the darker regions of the status quo . . . remain stuck in the mud.'

12.10    F. Fukuyama, in The Guardian, explains Middle Eastern 'terrorism' as the result of Islam's incapability for modernity. Bataille needed to study the Aztecs in order to understand Nazism. Serres talks about folds and turbulences in history, and explains Apollo 13 through Babilonian sacrifice cults. To understand September 11th maybe you need older Greek concepts of justice. The older meaning of dike was punishment. How can there be any 'universal' meaning of 'justice' until poverty, preventable disease, and famine have been eliminated? How many children die of hunger every single day? Sixteen thousand? Six thousand? I mean the ideas of justice that are inside people's actions, anyone's actions, that holds things in place. Meaning you can't live without it. The Furies keep the sun in place, says Heraclitus. The furies are, according to the modern commentator, 'relentless, primitive vengeance.' The newspapers keep coming on with how we're better then them, the 'terrorists' and whatever else.

13.10   I am watching a film of Pedro Paramo. I'm already in the scenario and it's being filmed. Old-fashioned house, very big garden. Well, it's almost a small estate, with several other houses, or dependencies. Scene: interior, slow camera movement towards a small, square, darkish space in the wall. It could be water, or a window. As the camera moves nearer a small dresser appears - the space is a mirror - with a small, brightly-coloured native weaving. Then the camera turns away from the mirror to the room. The objects aren't in the right position, the director's got it wrong. Maybe on purpose. Pedro, middle-aged, in a suit, like William Burroughs. I am crying with joy as I watch the film. In a later scene I have a small portable 16 mil projector, in a box, which I am going to show the film with.

17.10    clear streams running over cold grass into Lake Titicaca. Pure joy.

20.10    dejection: inertness, inertia. The earth in the potting shed, the rank smell of it. Rat-holes and broken flowerpots. No-one had bothered for years, not since the war I guess.

22.10    Robert Creeley discussing care: 'There is no information that does not have an affective content even if it's blinking lights or numbers in a random series.' And poetry: 'It's not quantitative information. It comes from living a life unrelieved. I mean going for broke.' And the way Cyril Smith talks about being human, amid damage. Last night, as I was falling asleep, I cried twice, at the small move from one thing to another.

24:10    We have bought a house. It's unfinished and we're fixing and decorating. Children from all around invade it. The people seem very primitive. A man makes a well for us with a tree trunk. I think this is Afghan children and Afghan oil. Last night we were discussing how much to spend on a new bathroom. 'Going through the vale of misery use it for a well. And the pools are filled with water.'

27:10    In a sleep cure institution, each of us has their own bed, the women in a separate dormitory. The cure is like electricity running through you. Downstairs women are saying prayers and rolling on the floor. Hindu? Then a Buddhist ceremony. By now the night is over and we are leaving. The curer says read chapter ten by Ashashar. I look for the book but can't find it. Kandahar has been bombed.

1:12     Human beings are self-creating so we're inside it. Can't see the outside. If you can begin to find the inner surfaces it's like starting to see where you are. When you read Tom Raworth, his 'Proust from the bottom up', for example. How 'political' writing can be a distraction.

8:12     we arrive in Central America then leave and fly further south. It's like a video game. Civilization at four and five thousand metres. I'm very excited, it's like a vision. Back at home I find I have the game on one of my computers.

30:12    he's typing a short poem by Reznikoff. It's what the phrases will do with what's not in them that starts to interest him. What they do in relation to what's not stated by them. The curtains blow open at night. He must be typing in bed. The poem has something to do with armament.

4:1      something falls out of the sky. It looks like a lunar landing vehicle. I wait for the parachute which doesn't appear. What does land is a black box, made of cardboard, inside it there's a baby.

9:1      the brain: semi-independent circuits. Have to start by finding out what they're doing. 'I have been there': the event, the smell of it. What happened 300 years ago now through him. Makes you reconciled to dying. But what about the occasions he hadn't risen to? Sometimes when two or more brain-circuits are pushing to kick in, it's on a knife-edge. Like the knife Gonzalo Rojas used to throw into a wooden table, if it stuck in he knew he could write, and if not he knew it was no good trying. He left the room and went out.

10:1     my wife, another man, myself: she saying that I am not like Yeats. Me saying no, it's the other way round: he did not live like his poems.

7:2      'A fine thing held in the mind.' But not if the mind has collapsed.
             The neurotic looks but doesn't see. He's waiting for a place to appear where his lost inner world will find its equivalent, its home. But since there's no such place any more because it's the one that accompanied the first fixing. . . . he doesn't find what he's looking for.

12:2     Hugo has a collection of very old statues. He says this is a figure of Mercury. He was the first one able to see animals in the air.
             'All that is visible must grow beyond itself, extend into the realm of the invisible.'
             The corpse wrapped in black plastic, A writhing mass of worms, a writing. Stinking dead flesh, dark sodden leaves, rat holes in the potting shed, bored into dead earth. The plastic thicker than an ordinary rubbish bag. Like the plastic used for hay bales in winter. Will it return? Will you? I don't know your face. Once you came to a hotel bedroom where I had slept with a lover, soon after we met. You came near the bed. If you had come any closer I could not have stood it, my insides were in convulsion. You have not been back or have you been back many times in different forms, something massing in the trees at dusk, an insect oozing green blood? I don't know you but I guess you know me. But 'know' doesn't describe your rapid, knife-like entrances.

13:2     beware the compression of mind. Ishiguro's film with the abject butler (Anthony Hopkins), there's really nothing interesting there. Just a horrible fasination with the aura or aristocracy.
. . . and not seeing what he has chosen in what he suffers, he will not know when it is time to walk away, and will confuse different kinds of obstacle, the old and the new, the sadness he inherited and the one only he knew, the borders of his mind and the ones made by the talk he grew up with.

18:3     in Pollock's drip paintings there are no good and bad spaces, no centre of interest, no inside and outside, no up and down for sure, and no figure and background - though of course these are all constantly tending to form and the painting pushes against them.

19:3     '"the LIGHT of earth, which, for merely being LIGHT, is heaven." The development of a soul on earth was merely the successive visions of an eye peering out of the darkness.'

6:5      if anything 20 cm long or bigger (the breadth of two hands) is under surveillance nevertheless patches of brown bracken in winter and spring between silver birches and heather have not lost their glaze even if it is seen all the time from up there and there are no secret places left. I want to kiss the wide green leaves of a chestnut tree by the roadside, right now.

10:5     It's not the dead are unmourned . . . that's not the hole that's been made. It's the massive overcoding that's descended . . .

31:6     'One must experience the real unraveled void, the void that no longer has an organ.' (Artaud)

18:7     'The tired man . . . has gone back to understanding nothing.' Emergency knowledge not lost. 'We could not reach the final object of knowledge without the dissolution of knowledge, which aims to reduce its object to the condition of subordinated and managed things.' (Bataille) 'I am more interested in knowing than in knowledge.' (Chillida)

8:8      the message is happening at the wrong place inside him. Once it's started it goes on for a few hours, even days.

15:8     he's been invited to visit a shaman but in the confusion takes a boat on the Thames. There's another boat steered by a dog. He looks carefully in case it's a man dressed as a dog but no, it's a big Alsatian. He is steering it violently, nearly running into piers. Then the shaman comes, he has a brown face with patches of white.

16:8     voices outside the downstairs window in the morning: 'I can't think of anything that looks less like a grenade.' He kicks himself for leaving them on the windowsill, behind the curtains. The two explosive devices are small round tins with writing on them. They look like landmines. He quickly puts them in his pockets so as to drop them off the nearby bridge into the Thames. He can't find his socks, ok shoes without socks, but can't find them either, only a pair of high heel shoes.

3:9      the sound of the word Calatrava. The bridge span is half done. The beauty of it, her face when they made love, reach the other side. Replace the section of guilt.