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Philosophical Notebooks

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2008 :: Issue 3/Fall :: Philosophical Notebooks

A Day to Unword

Catherine Ednie

Negotiations with Language
November 11, 2006

Vague desire to study philosophy. A search for meaning. Then I remember I don’t believe in meaning. I believe in nouns. I could read a philosophy sprinkled liberally with nouns. And not abstract nouns either. Concrete.

November 14, 2006

I read it again and again and I still have no idea what he’s talking about. Just seems sad to me, but is that my idea or his?

November 20, 2006

Gallery. The word is elite.

December 19, 2006

I am interested in—

  • online poetries
  • blog as poem
  • applied poetry, particularly in the office
  • poet as one confronted with the unknowable, unspeakable meanings
  • primitive rhythms
  • experiments with art
  • how to make digital art look non-digital
  • splotches of watercolor (ink on top)
  • daily practice
  • gardening/writing intersection
  • spirituality/writing intersection

The poetry analysis, the poet as analyst

February 24, 2007

I am in search of some literature, I am looking for some lost literature, I am looking for some lost. There is no settling, no claiming I have found what I have not.

A need to relax the mind, heal the interaction. She is a poet. He is dressed in second-hand clothes. She resists friendship, the contaminant of it. He is studying in the hot, in the cold. She is working on images not words. He is dreaming of the garden. She is assembling her questions into a marble monument, he is handling rotten fruit and leaves.

March 30, 2007

Sometimes there is a certain wishing, to be feverish, isolated, and to die. Dogen used these words in positive ways. “‘Lost,’ ‘missed’ and ‘dead’ can mean complete experience of selflessness.” (p. 21)

April 6, 2007

I used to write to You, but the You has dissolved out of my life. Rinsed of starch, I’m limp, limp as a cuttle-fish, scuttling, color-shifting, many predators. Laying eggs and going off to die.

That’s strange.

Sad. Feeling tone—is pleasant. The feeling tone of sad is pleasant. Make it more.

Dogen’s pearl—dissolved. You can land on a metaphor and live there. Metaphor is like a planet. Furnished with your furniture, your fauna and your flora.

April 14, 2007

The memoir giving a consistent shape. The desire to be anti-memoir. The desire to be anti-craft. The desire to be antimacassar.

Stomachache. Did I say searching? Searching for a rhythm? Current, swimming against or with. Wet, water wet. Wet river, muddy. Feeling alone with it, in it. The embarrassment of my rivers series. No, I can’t. I long for the dry bed of lost rivers, Sarasvati. I have no hope. My standard life, a life that’s bled of hope. The philosophy that kills dreams and with them, disappointments, and what’s left—stomach stomach stomachache.

Some common words: fragile, frail. Some common vulnerabilities: fainting. Some common objects: robin, squirrel. Some common remnants, fragments. And some uncommon chipped up blue of robin’s egg.

April 15, 2007

Just to catalogue your options: details, details, sensory details, grace, the yen for grace, the absence, flaws or beauty or perfection, memories or dreams. Objects or abstractions. Happiest with objects, but they’re few and far between. And most are shabby. Mug of oolong tea—swampy, with no sweetener. The little aloe, fading in its shallow pot. The sensation of flaring from beside my eyes, a tiredness. There’s a mouse living in the kitchen.

April 16, 2007

I wish this could be warmer. Or more expressive somehow. I wish I wasn’t tempted by shit, and tales, and mentally ill. I wish I wasn’t haunted. And am I haunted after all? I feel like yes. I feel some burdens, but you know what—it’s no longer all that interesting.

I’m interested in the magical indigenous under the sound of rain.

Not a damn thing prepares you for the Albrecht Dürer rabbit made of bronze.
Or the sadness of chipped paint on windowsills.
There’s all this lifting eyes up, all this lifting eyes up necessary.
And this from someone not a particle religious.

April 17, 2007

New moon. New moon draws out subtle energies. New moon. This is the new moon night. I am supposed to tune in to that energy. oh your energy. Instead I’m resting in the flawed field, the field of fallow/fallen, the failed field, the coordinates are my face. I can’t describe this. I am alleluia.
I am eclipse. I am an-atta. I am not even approaching Sati. You have to watch out for me in my current state.

Too much news, too much nonsense approaching the big topics, too much story leis around our necks.

April 18, 2007

When I read the teachings, I want to write like a teacher.
There is no teacher. Water lily.
There is no teacher. Amaryllis.

How are we to have a moment where I contact you? Evening.

I let you alone. Left.

How is this to be done? Radical.

Fingerly grasping.

Fingerly typing.

Finger lily.

And then the showers. Raindrops are individuals tonight. Raindrops, say hello. I can’t make this up.

Using the word “imagination” like there was no alternative.

April 25, 2007

Been a long time. The project is red, as red as the buds. The questionnaire is purple. Disability and rescue. Caught between the acts. You could say caught but there is never any stasis. Rest in flux. The boredom of hostages. Involve your body, musculature, mind, and investigate. Investigate the virtues.

Simple. Simple. Simple. Sometimes your writing is so simple, you can’t do it, you’re stuck below the rungs of simple with your monkey-loving hands, reaching, reaching, fingerly grasping.

April 29, 2007

Play with the baby. The gratitude, the relaxation of no baby. The brutality of babies here at home. And how will they travel? And how do they know when to come home? And when to fold their little wings and settle down and when to roam? And what day must it be for questions to make arbitrary sense? And what day must it be to clear the question buildup, do some dusting, and serve sandwiches?

May 3, 2007

What she did not remark upon—the line breaks, the line breaks are wicked and insidious in that “poem” and point to fractures—consciousness not flexible but fractured cracking as I struggle to shift and separate, adapt

I’m ready to go home

May 5, 2007

I don’t want to be involved—I’m on the plane with you, I’m in the air, I’m living in the braided strands of synapses and emotions in your body—this is oppression—this is not freedom oh Pandavas

May 9, 2007

The journal “form.” Ha!

Here’s a secret: Karen Finley telling me the writing seemed like psychotic ranting, I should cut it back to one page. I felt like she had requested that I violate the “Form.”

May 15, 2007

Lost luxuries, lost goodbyes. Lost opportunity villages, lost forever. Lost and found. Once was lost. Now am found. Find a lot, lose a lot. Remember. The memory of forever. The memory of Rembrandt. The awfulness. The offing. The offertory. The the the How repetitive. Mind is cramped, contracted. How to land. Wanting to land on an object. Wanting to observe theory. Observe theory. Observing theory. Notheory. Nothery. Nothing.

The Amazon River. The big river, the small people. Adaptation.

Some things I don’t have room for. Titles. Organizational structures. Some things I have a talent for. Some men are women, some women are men. I have my own clients now. I’m managing the project. This is my practice. Practice management system. What is manageable, what is unmanageable. What is your sentence? Linda saying. Job interview. I will ask you a hard question. Your job is to ask the hard questions. Change management. This and that. When are we on the same page.

Com mun i ca tion
Se man tics

It’s not just semantics. I will blurt. I will micromanage. I will be an addict. I will repeat the question. I will get the job done. Please.

May 17, 2007

This is a false mystery. This is a place. This is an aftermath. This is a play. This is a break. This is a logical diagram. This is handwriting. This is an effort. This is the chirping of a loud bird. This is a GPS. This is too bad. This is a memory. This is garbage. This is unprecedented. This is a portrait. This is a holocaust. This is a small village. This is incurable. This is this. That is that.

May 23, 2007

You are privileged. This is a practice. I see my coworkers in their cars driving to work. I see them practicing. I see them wanting to be happy. I don’t see them composing. That’s how I enforce the differences.

May 28, 2007

Halting pages. Tumbling trembling. The -ing captures things as happening things. Alliteration. aligned with Dogen avoiding capitalization language forming sentences no declarative I declare, no comment Alleluia Amen this is how I end it

May 30, 2007

Well, this is a form of discovery. A forum. A process. Why do I make comparisons. She is struggling. She is struggling with the form. It is daunting. But what else is there?

June 5, 2007

It’s no good being critical of the animals. It’s no good estimating what is blogworthy. It’s no good trying to find the time. My norms are different.

Pace accelerated or slowed down, watching mind, allow for the irrational, allow for traveling socks, allow for hairdos, allow for walkie-talkies, long bones, commutes, the military. Allow for focus allow for data entry. Allow for exercise, clichés, and chatter of all kinds.

June 7, 2007

My language is restrained, restricted, business-like, falling back on some discovery rhythm only there the emptiness of sea.

June 16, 2007

there is the sweetest delicate salve

like flower scented

and it flows

it’s over all that

and the meaning—

June 28, 2007

unmitigated
today is no-sentence day
today is unword, a day to unword.
A little craft manifesto
A feisty little manifesto
A crafty little manifesto
A festival
Hello regret



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