Which knows her days are not numbered but ochre underneath and that she’s the philosopher working out whether that is really true or not. She’s always thinking about category mistakes and about their two camps, about their relevance for linguistics and computer science, about what makes them odd, about why the idea that they’re syntactically ill-formed is wrong but more promising than some might think, about why they’re not meaningless, about why Wittgenstein is wrong on this, about the role of presuppositions, about pragmatism and semantics, about dynamic semantic theories, about truth-value gaps, about exciting projects in analytic philosophy and why women and non-whites are unrepresented in philosophy. Go sleep that pipe … The number two is blue … The theory of relativity is eating breakfast … The boy which is on the table is tall … John ate that the world is round. Some of my opponents have objected that it is hard to imagine how the world could possibly settle whether two is green, or that if we insist on assigning a truth-value to ‘Two is green’ it’s hard to see this value as being anything but arbitrary. But even if we put aside my arguments and focus on our pre-theoretic intuitions, I find these worries quite surprising. After all, if God came to you and told you that ‘Two is green’ does have a truth-value and you have to bet which truth-value that is, I’m not sure that you would opt for ‘false’. This is a much easier question than what you would bet on if God asked you the parallel question about the continuum hypothesis! Let n be an arbitrary number. After all, each this — digitized, arrayed, and quantified, as if in a gallery of pronominal butterflies — tells us very little about its life, even though it’s animated every time we eye it. This dwells in the ephemeral; it passes. When not pinned down, it announces freedom from meaning and interpretation; it “designates, but keeps silent,” per Roland Barthes. So when we make this speak, from the depths of its massive archive, what is the terrible sound? “A loose golden shovel”, “wave treetops wave burnt particles wave sirens wave gray perfume”, “are we without desire mouthed Who are we in the presence”, “Recite Neruda in my thighs in my open mouth constellatory psalms”, “Penitenziagite! Watch out for the draco who cometh in futurum to gnaw your anima! Death is super nos! … Ha, ha, you like this negromanzia … Et anco jois m’es dols e plazer m’es dolors … Cave el diabolo! Semper lying in wait for me in some angulum to snap at my heels! And the resto is not worth merda. Amen. No?” Or perhaps you prefer “The Blob”. It just ate the doctor, Janie. I don’t think it can be killed, but at least we’ve got it stopped. Yeah, as long as the Antarctic stays cold. And yet the bodies of the wicked and the slothful fall on the hearts of others. Ah! come quickly! out there, beyond the night … shall we miss those eternal rewards? — What can I do? I understand what work is. This is too simple. And it is too hot. A black, E white, I red, O blue, U green, but you knew that, yo. Labial pesto — popeye less of a man / lizards better-equipped beefcake phosphated determinism carries to the Nth degree: how many of them are junkies? — aristocrats in pampers / voodooized hit list, preppies sink. Intellectuals learn to make their own beds; dent of insolvency / as a debris aficionado, plump unionism to advertise toy airplanes hanging from the ceiling — this is not the poetry project, wheelchair backpedaling into our prehistory as a drain — the lips will have to work over time. I mean, “My attention was first drawn to the Poinciana by a moving passage from Maria Sibylla Merian’s magnificent 1705 Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, wherein she recorded how the African slave and Indian populations in Surinam, a Dutch colony, used the seeds of this plant (which she called the flos pavonis or “peacock flower”) as an abortifacient: ‘The Indians, who are not treated well by their Dutch masters, use the seed to abort their children, so that the children will not become slaves like they are.’” I’m writing this all down in case I die. I’ve been having the feeling lately I’m going to die soon. I haven’t told anybody else. I don’t know who to tell. In my email drafts you’ll find a list of things I’d like to have be given to who if something does happen. I wish I knew an email to send it to besides just having it as a draft but I don’t so if no one finds this then I guess they’ll just do whatever they want with my stuff. It probably doesn’t matter, but maybe it does. Sometimes it’s like I get this feeling that something is above me in the sky. That something is coming down so hard and fast at my head from somewhere way beyond the earth, and has been traveling for longer than I even know to get here. I used to duck out of the way and cup my head and try to see it but now I’ll just freeze and wait for it to hit. Nothing ever happens, but then the feeling always comes again, and each time when it comes again it’s like it’s closer now, and bigger now. I can’t imagine how much closer or bigger it needs to get before it’s here. It’s only aimed just right at me. When I’m inside the feeling comes on in the opposite direction. It’s like there’s this point deep down between my ribs, a sharp low numb that’s easily ignorable but also keeps getting wider through my chest. It’s black and tingles and seems to have things also there inside it, like tendrils that connect back to wherever it begins. Maybe it begins at the same point the thing that seems from overhead did. I know the color black contains all colors. I can still walk around like nothing’s in there when it happens and be looking normal on the outside but something’s in there, and it’s alive. Then it’s gone. Last time I could not feel either of my arms or right down beneath my waist where my pubic bone begins and up my neck meat near my chin. I don’t know what will happen when it spreads across my brain. I wonder if the blackness has a password, and can I guess it. Anyway, what I’m saying is if I die, which I think I might, and might be soon, please get on coldegg.com and post a status update saying that I’ve died and that I saw it coming and that I’m okay with it and, well, and yet it is not a history paining. To replicate. To go to the morgue. To study everything to make it as precise as possible. For all of his efforts to be accurate. Going to the trial. As you said going to the morgue. Amputated arms and limbs. A mixture of the real and the unreal. Man and man. Man and nature. It’s about feeling. It’s about the physical body. A terrible despair. Apex of hope. Flag down that distant ship. A crescendo of optimism. Look at the bodies. A receding diagonal. Studying older events and making it contemporary. The death of uh. You know very emotional. Use of uh. Beyond that the crescent moon! Oh it’s transhistorical. The cosmos even beyond earth! If there’s any optimism, it is the faintest crescent. The possibility of rebirth but spring will come! Bleak twilight. The cycles of the moon. I focus on the moon here. Yeah the moon. Very hash. More than the other guy. ACAB. All across the nation, women were saying this to their respective banana-suited men. Outside, the black sky started snowing its white concepts. And if the slug-faced gods decline to breathe our air, so be it! The air won’t pine for them. It’s not so bad in the lower atmosphere; we like the quiet, but when the old ones love you, they are lions roaring, they are helmets of fiberglass, jetliners’ contrails quilting the sky, like the ceiling of an inverted room, like the skin of a blue and white mattress. BECAUSE MY NUDITY ALONE NEVER CARRIED ME, BECAUSE THE PRESSURE OF CORPSES IS THE ONLY THING THAT MAKES ME WRITE, BECAUSE MY WAR CRY BREAKS THE WINDOW OF MY FACE AND A TIDE OF DOWN / TEARS / BLOODY CUM SWIRLS AMID THE AUDIENCE, FRESH FROM A CLOUD IN THE MAKING, BECAUSE THE DEAD FRIENDS I WROTE WITH SWOOP IN, DISSIPATING AND DREAMING THE BOOK ANEW, BECAUSE THIS PRAYER IS MY ONLY STAR-TIPPED ARROW, A HALO OF WIRE FLESHED OUT IN BROWN, I RITUALIZE MY GRIEF IN GARB AND SCARS. I SOLICIT THE CRIES OF OTHERS ONCE MORE. I DECK MYSELF OUT WITHIN – AND POINT MY BEAK AGAINST – THE ACCELERATING ECOCIDE AND VOIDED IMAGINATION.
[Note: Sources: JBR; Richard Marshall, and Ofra Magidor, quoted in Marshall’s “category mistakes: Richard Marshall interviews Ofra Magidor”, at 3:AM Magazine; Joe Milutis, “the quiddities”, at Triple Canopy 11; LaTasha N Nevada Diggs, Fred Moten, Metta Sáma, Umberto Eco, quoted in LaTasha N Nevada Diggs, TwERK; Evelyn Reilly, Styrofoam; Arthur Rimbaud, Bruce Andrews, quoted in Brian Kim Stefans, “The Alchemy of the World”, at Journal of Poetics Research, Sept 014; JBR; Londa Schiebinger, quoted in “imp9363f: ‘My attention was first drawn …”, at A Fiery Flying Roule, 21 Oct 014; Blake Butler, “Death Update”, quoted in Dennis Cooper, “Spotlight on .... Blake Butler 300,000,000 (2014)”, at DC’s, 21 Oct 014; Sandra Simonds, “Remnants of Original Space (Notes)”, at Charm a Sacred Nun, 21 Oct 014; image embedded in Molly Crabapple, “Photo”, at Demographic of One, 21 Oct 014 (ACAB = All Cop[per]s Are Bastards); Sarah V. Schweig, “Her Dalliances”, at Everyday Genius, 21 Oct 014; Paul Vermeersch, Don’t Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something, quoted in “Diego Báez on Paul Vermeersch”, at Lemon Hound, 21 Oct 014; Lucas de Lima, “Why I Have To Become Ave Maria”, at Montevidayo, 20 Oct 014]