4.16.2008

I live in a climate,
so why is what I want to know what's unchanging?

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Job Snippets

matress sales associate
truck driver? truck driver?

see swim city
sea swim mart
stein mart
the best / rest haven
free lotion free towl beach towel $6.99

hometown
"back of your hand"

here, at the mercy of
books and ratings, critics and snoops

a statue of a fish
on a pedestal...

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letters and words that "take the shape of great mountains"

the poor screamingof the rat -- he or she suffered -- I put it "out of its misery" with an oar too late. Before I got out of bed, "bedclothes" carefully tucked up, not dangling, I wanted to make sure there was one rat, and it was trapped. I plugged in the lamp (switch doesn't work), put on slippers and winter coat and landlady's flashlight, sweeping the way to the oar with light, locating the poor, undead rat, killing it, and using the oar and plastic bag to pick it up, take it to the trash

Victor
V

certain statements about physical entites were now impossible
conflict scenarios limit presentation of complex
lampoon the musings
Sevres figuring
clergy embraced Darwin, not so problematic as critical and historical interpretation of texts

infallability and what it means in nature
science
"natural science" being philosophy
unnatural

names on landscape
(place)
tired of the road
not in love with its end
artificial = gated
cul de sac planned
"bad feng shui"

4.15.2008

where am I?
where is that ficking rat? jumped from the lanai, the LAN-fucking-I, though the window opening above the sink where I was washing a dish, scampered over the cold cook top, jumped down & took off
grey, white underbelloy, strong tail, not large, maybe five inch body)

oh, no one can help me sleep
the intimate outdoors
since I have been turning to Music & Poetry and Scansion and Translation entries in the Princeton Encyclopedia for teaching, I wonder, too -- there is very little agreement on scoring poetry, mostly because scoring post-dates poetry. But, it seems it was originally *for* poetry, and then got picked up for music...

this, for me, has little to do with the line break, tho; I'm trying to clear out a little corner where many of my poems are *not* free verse, nor are they *new form*, but some sort of *free poetry* with no *verse* involved, or, perhaps, some sort of relation to music which is not as lyric/verse...

4.13.2008

each line is a lie

there are sins of omission, like this line
and I omitted my comission on my taxes
I fudged the calories in my food notebook
and I let my belt out a notch
I have two pair of the exact same model levis in different sizes
and some platform shoes which make me seem thinner / taller

I can spell, and do, and mislead;
I staged our house by putting ALL our books in storage
we don't read, but have the whole 20 volume set of moby dick
by heart
reposting a fascinating Alan Sondheim quote to poetics -- I kept becos I didn't have time to read, and lo, today read and find my name in it

notes (final) for NSF workshop on literature and programming

http://www.alansondheim.org/nsf2.mp4 (large but worth it, an example
of the recent work w/ sync sound - to be played at the beginning of
the talk - apologies for bad compression, but wanted to keep the file somewhat within reach) (hopefully)

I'll try to keep this short -

i.

I want to generalize writing and coding as _inscription,_ and emphasize
that the world as we know it is already inscribed, encoded and decoded.
The lifeworld isn't analogic and/or mute; it's discrete and presencing.
It's discrete because we deal with symbols in order to communicate; we're
sending signs or tokens back and forth, very rarely the physical objects
of our desire.

One way of thinking about this is in terms of _filtering._ The usual model
of information, transmitter through receiver (with stuff of all sorts in
the middle channel) implies that there is a form of coherency and, if not
comprehension, at least "mutual orientation of cognitive domains," between
sender and receiver. I'd argue that this orientation occurs through
filtering which is always present, fuzzy, and possessing a political
economy of its own (think of Pribram's "retinal knowledge" for example,
the neural processing that occurs in the retina before signals are sent
from the eye to the brain).

Filtering isn't active or passive, inscribed or inscribing, and informa-
tion itself is non-existent, nothing, a form of particulate matter with an
ontology derived from organisms and apparatus.

Once we start (or end) here, "creative" writing splits; on one hand it
becomes _wryting_ - that's spelled with a "y" -a state of material
transformation, transmission, and reception; and on the other, it becomes
malleable, a spew interpreted as symbols. Here is the moment of creative
freedom which also splits - on one hand into or through unbounded, rule-
less 'creative' writing, drawn from an organism's interior - and on the
other, a fuzzy collocation of coding, languages, kludges, protocols, drawn
equally from interior impulse and external restraints (economic, etc.) or
goals that may be transformed in the process of inscription.

(I want to note that in the work I'm doing here at the Virtual Environ-
ments Laboratory, I've been exploring visual configurations or inscrip-
tions, configurations in which spaces, avatars, and objects interact in
uncanny ways, simultaneously malleable and protocol-driven:

Working within the visual and time-based register, static and dynamic
processes blur into one another. We can temporally code a tableau, moving
performers during slow-scan in much the same manner as characters appear-
ing at both ends of a panoramic photograph. We can also move them in terms
of depth, and we can create an interactive diorama in which the viewer
enters and meanders, reconstructing the original sequence of events. We
can also combine a tableau with encoded and restructured motion-capture
behaviors, using avatars or mannequins circulating among the diorama
elements, as "tourists" among ruins - in this manner there are several
interlocking layers of interpretation, the viewer in the midst of them.

With the aid of 3-dimensional laser scanning, we can present abject ele-
ments as if they were interior projections of the "tourists" themselves,
and it's not far from this that the potential for a 4-dimensional reading
or interpreting (seeing, witnessing) of 3-dimensional object _interiors_
occurs. The result is a 5-dimensional manifold as cultural object,
cultural abject. The possibilities for exploration are enormous here, a
kind of pure escapism of dialog, narrative, arousal, creation and
annihilation, in which ultimately nothing happens, no one gets hurt.

So this leads to another direction I'll just mention briefly - thinking of
creative writing as a kind of inscribing in any medium at all. We can then
talk about creative inscription, creative coding, whatever, emphasizing a
"new media" approach to all of this, rather than thinking of electronic
literature, e-literature, interactive writing, etc.)

To misquote the physicist David Finkelstein, one might consider program-
ming as fucking with/in a universe of abstracted ontologies, and creative
writing as masturbation-fantasy, moving just about anywhere, anywhen. Both,
however, have inscription and filtering in common and neither presents or is
pure 'presence' within the world. On the other hands, both meander among
rules, although with differing obeisance, and both have, at their core, a
freedom that is as absolute as anything gets.

How can this be useful pedagogically? In terms of creative writing, the
answer is, I believe, to think of texts as both intentional, cohering, and
as material objects which are always already filtered; this leads to
thinking about filtering and different forms of filtering as creative
writing practice. In terms of programming, not being a programmer (but
working with programmers), I'm not sure; I'd argue that, for an outsider,
filtering appears at the interstices or liminal spaces between program and
framework (inputs, outputs, interfaces, hardware (in the traditional
sense, and in the sense of information-laden substance), and so forth).
And I'd want to look at the phenomenological horizons of programming, not
only through this filtering, but also within programs and programming in
general: Where is the programmer in the midst of her subroutine? And where
is the freedom then/there?

I do want to note one final thing here - that I'm placing too much empha-
sis on specificity, the discrete. One of the directions I've been explor-
ing at the VEL is to consider the _abject,_ which remains indeterminate
and close th analogic substance - something "gooey," not "GUI," for
example. It's here that we humans can explore the world which refuses
discrete curtailment, which abjures communication.

ii.

Some parallels between poetry and code (very underdeveloped section)

1. Both treat language as a material with "additional," even surplus,
structure in relation to presumably normative prose. In other words,
poetry works with tropes such as rhyme, rhythm, "resonance," metaphor,
metonymy, etc. - all the devices of rhetoric that appear linguistic
"material" - acoustic or page/screen/etc. - on a meta- or abject- level,
just as codework works with protocols, elements extraneous to the surface
meaning, but inextricably entangled with it.
2. Both are "writerly" texts in the sense that, in order to read them,
additional work (meta, interiority) is required that's not required of
standard prose.
3. One might say that standard prose possesses subtexts in the sense of
"underlying meanings" that encompass paragraphs, chapters, entire works -
while the subtexts of codework and poetry are also on the level of letters,
words, sentences, and so forth. I remember the Mirror of Composition saying
that "A poem is a sentence with flavour." (rasa). That applies.
4. On a practical level, the communities of practitioners intersect -
Vincent Cerf has poetry in the RFC, there are Perl poems, and there are
poets who work through concepts of programming, such as Catherine Daly.