¢ Ark Codex 0:3:31: The omelet unscrambles & sucks back into the scrotal shell. The bush doctor fills the cavities with chili-saltpeter (NaNO3), arming teeth as ammunition. There’s noise in «explosion» backwards, an x-ray of an igloo. We treat the maize silo as a black box—plus, captivating not knowing... we the living have the data to recreate each instance if need be, but we have to start with a point—a regional queen. The smell of urine on pine needles triggers a clean spark, torqued on a granite & formica piano, burning from the origin.
¢ «A thought contains the possibility of the situation of which it is the thought.»—Wittgenstein
¢ «████s’RE: ███ █████» or «████ is ███ ████»? By ███████ ████████, a.ka. █████ w/██████████ & ████. (██ ████ ███ ████████.)
¢ i'll read The Loss Library and Other Unfinished Stories by Ivan Vladislavić based on the title & cover alone, and David Winters review in 3AM: «Behind any book lies another, unwritten book which itself encompasses every book, whether written or unwritten. All of our books are already ‘lost’ insofar as writing a book reduces its unwritten magnitude. In other words, to write a book is to remove it from the loss library.»
¢ Incision making & stamping (for the above Ark Codex Rome launch this sunday).
¢ «Curators were able to retrieve the documents inside the bodhisattva’s abdomen, but the pages inside the head will likely never be removed, since it would require damaging the face of the sculpture.»
¢ «SI SEDES NON IS» [a quasi-palindrome inscription on the magic portal in piazza Vittorio that says «if you sit you don't go» & if you read it backwards (SI NON SEDES IS) it says «if you don't sit you go».]
¢ «According to the “Global-first” topological approach to visual perception, the first step in object representation is the extraction of topological properties, particularly the determination of whether the object has a hole or not. Further, other studies have shown that the presence of closure enjoys some advantages during conscious visual perception, suggesting that closure can be rapidly recognized by the visual system as a simple or primitive property.»—from Advantage of Hole Stimulus in Rivalry Competition in PLoS
¢ ... and here i was this whole time thinking the «Hippocratic Oath» was something you took to make you immune to claims of hypocrisy.
¢ Me ma go tell me wash a lil' much force before to picket funeral... «blank stare» me arse, think twice pining millet fer «FIAT allele» be. Nether miked fer public consumption to fortress. In other news: «The brain, it seems, does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life; in each case, the same neurological regions are stimulated.»
¢ «Whatever hurt the most created a severe deficit of information, a hole so deep that it had its own gravity, and memory would build into its structure and light, filling the hole so rapidly as all the bricks and invitations fell toward it.»—Ken Baumann, from The Sky Went Red While He Was Inside.
¢ Figured out last night if i held my breath i could float, but needed to do it indoors otherwise i would float out of the atmosphere. I could scamper around upside-down on the ceiling until i let my breath out & floated back down. Guess that means i need to lighten up on the beans before bed.
¢ Stasera in Trastevere, l'inaugurazione di opere di Elisabetta Diamanti, a Stamperia del Tevere:
¢ In between writing History of the Imagination & Land of the Snow Men, Norman Lock checks himself into "The Sleep Institute" where he is visited by the likes of Gordon Lish (to kick off Sleeping Fish Xi).
¢ I came to Pasolini through his films but only now getting around to his poetry, which is equally as good. His Roman Poems have a different vibe altogether than his films, capturing more the true nature of Italians (circa 1950-60s)—the working stiffs, the poverty & especially the self-ignorant virility of the Italian male psyche.
¢ Even though it seems i've heard him read or have read most of the individual stories here & there, only now read & enjoyed Brian Evenson's Fugue State collection.
¢ «Here is a print object that reinvents the possibilities of what is truly still a young and heavily malleable form: a thing you could stare at forever and still find new in.»—Blake Butler writes about Ark Codex ±0 & interviews me for VICE.
¢ Clearing dead growth, tilling soil, sowing seeds & boiling bones (for artichoke risotto). A productive compost day.
¢ If you fall off facebook does anybody hear it fart?
¢ Priest came by to bless our house. Whilst i was holding back the barking dog we're dog-sitting i apologized for not being catholic. If our house gets struck by lightning so be it.
¢ The ten second clip (0:15—0:25) of Tony Allen's 'Elewon Po' is the best ten seconds of any song. Someone sample it & turn it into something else.
¢ While waiting for a table at dinner i had to go to the bathroom & wanted privacy so i went across the street & found some high school gym with strange squat toilets. i took off my pants so i wouldn't make a mess & was squatting there & next thing i knew it was the next day, bright & sunny, & i didn't even remember falling asleep without dinner.
¢ Home sweet Rome. Unbattening the hatches.
¢ 0:3:5: From our p.o.v. there exists hideous progeny sequenced from sockeye salmon, where «sockeye» is a homophonic translation of suk-kegh (sθə́qəy’), meaning «red fish» in the language of the indigenous people before us. Fire engines are an arbitrary lifestyle choice. All of this makes sense knowing the interrogation comes after the fact. No questions asked. All we had to demonstrate was a valid passport with at least 1 blank page. In lieu of a drug test we had our eyes checked (at various depths beneath the ice).
¢ «And we've been here all the time, real fixations, hidden deep in the furor—what we do is secret.»—Darby Crash
¢ Ark Codex ±0 launched at Collab w/Tempers. Thanks to all that came out.
¢ Before even launching the 0th Ark Codex i'm already thinking of the sequel (Arcodex i: a natural history?) perhaps triggered by a dream last night: «H.E.x tied a white mummy to his feet & jumped into a cenote down in Yucatán. It all happened in slow motion giving us time to think. H.E.x—dressed in all black (a mime?)—performed this act thinking he'd trick us into thinking it was his suicide, but the powers that be considered it murder on account of the unidentified mummy that tagged along. The unID'd mummy was in our exact proportions—a white shadow of the body that jumped, though from our point of view the mummy was the body leading the way, with 12 feet of slack helical rope dangling between, a slow free-fall barely grazing a protruding overhang dripping with stalagmites. The landing was not exactly clean—the unID'd mummy splashed into the aqua-blue water but H.E.x landed on some partially submerged boulders (by design?). Neither body was recovered—the only record of the event was surveillance camera (the presence of which H.E.x undboutedly was aware of) footage.»
¢ Of note in Chelsea Galleries at the moment: Tom Friedman, Kay Rosen & Terry Winters. This by Friedman—the white noise static on an old TV meticulously constructed (if you look real close) using pixelated hand-painted tiles:
¢ Ark Codex ±0 first launch party went down at Lolita bar, thanks to all that came.
¢ Watched j teach a class at Columbia with a «live human infant» for demonstrative purposes. Shuttled books & our stuff back & forth, shifting, from Harlem to LES—better situated to launch the Ark. And Ark Codex delivered the news to Robert Lopez for his No news today.
¢ Tender inked & bloody belly. Also fractalized anchor on my shoulder & an «∞» tied into right wrist.
¢ The more you understand what people are saying the less interesting they are.
¢ 118th & Adam Clayton Powell Jr. On the plane read Jamestown by Matthew Sharpe... it was OK—helped pass the time of the transatlantic flight & sort of relevant in that it's a sort of post-apocalypic (the airplane leading to the world-as-we-know-it's demise) retelling of the Jamestown story, with a campy Mad Max/Escape from NY twist (Brooklyn at war with Manhattan).
¢ The Ark saileth forth for Gotham...
¢ [to be sung on the day when the boat of Ra saileth]: «Ye who were in the forms of geese, your navel strings are on the earth. The animals are set upon the earth... in the form of fish.» & [words to be said by the steward of the keeper of the seal]: «...I have not depressed the pointer of the balance. I have not caried away the milk from the mouths of children. I have not driven the cattle away from their pastures. I have not snared the geese in the goose-pens of the gods. I have not caught fish with bait made of the bodies of the same kind of fish. I have not stopped water when it should flow...»—The Egyptian Book Of The Dead
¢ «Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.»—André Gide
¢ Speaking of Tom Friedman—here's a slice of Everything ('92-'95) [wherein he wrote every word in the dictionary on one sheet of paper]:
¢ Saw some shit on a pedestal in a museum, made me want to take one & there was nowhere else to go except behind the glass with the other shit (a sort of diorama for shit). Could've been because i was subjected to seeing the Steve McCurry exhibit at MACRO last night. This pedestaled shit was not as special as say Tom Friedman's speck of shit, but just ordinary bad shit.
¢ «Dice la nonna che la vita degli adulti comincia con una bugia. L'adolescenza, per quanto la riguarda, è solo un'invenzione borghese. C'è un età dai segreti innocui, ma quelli cadono come i denti da latte, e i segreti che crescono dopo sono minati da una carie inconfessabile. Sesso. Perciò ecco dimostrato il suo teorema: la vita degli adulti è arte del mentire.»—Paolo Cognetti [Una cosa piccola che sta per esplodere]
¢ «Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.»—André Gide
¢ Read Urien's Voyage by André Gide—few others can do better in philosophically transporting you to the ideal of an exotic place.
¢ Discovered cheap way to send books to Rome from the U.S.—send to bogus address with my address as the return so it gets returned undelivered... this is how i first laid eyes on the actual book object of Sister Stop Breathing.
¢ In anticipation of the Ark Codex ±0 launch, original pages from the book are now available (to those in the U.S., until March 1) for $100/ea (includes a copy of the book).
¢ We were living in a cave with a thriving ecosystem—big red salamanders & wet algae & bugs. Then i noticed the frogs were a bit lame. Then noticed that our bed was floating. The water level was rising before my eyes. I barely got out of one room before it flooded but i was trapped in another room with the water rising higher than the entrance so the only way out was to go underwater with the torrent of water gushing out the mouth of the cave. I woke up & was sleeping in public. There was no flood yet, but people were panicking like they were expecting one.
¢ It seems Ark Codex ±0 is on Amazon at 25% off—it says pre-order but i think they should have it by now.
¢ Paulie Walnuts: Amazing thing about snakes is that they reproduce spontaneously.
¢ «"Assembler of souls" is the name of the ferry-boat. "Those who make the hair to bristle" is the name of the oars. "Sert" ("Goad") is the name of the hold. "Steering straight in the middle" is the name of the rudder; likewise, [the boat] is a type of my being borne onward in the lake.»—The Egyptian Book Of The Dead: The Papyrus Of Ani
¢ Rome blanketed in snow again....time elapsed since last accumulating snow: 7 days. Time before that: 25 years. Enjoy your climate change.
¢ «Another recent study raises the possibility that we are all born with a capacity for sensory crosstalk that diminishes as we get older and our neural networks are streamlined for greater efficiency. Nabokov also believed that we are all born synaesthetes, but because science hadn’t yet elaborated the concept of neuroplasticity, he blamed the loss of the gift on “stupid parents” telling their kids, “It’s all nonsense. An A isn’t black, a B isn’t brown. Don’t be absurd.”»—Inside the Mind of a Synaesthete
¢ 0:2:10: This is how we come to reset the origin & let 0 liquidate itself. The words are inscribed in «orbitalic» typeface on musk ox bones. We suck the marrow from the mallets & cure them in brine. The ox bones become a seed-rod to wind the scroll—any «language» must include instructions on how to use it embedded within itself & a contingency rollback SOS. As you unwind you need remind yourself with each word what the word before means. Our existence hinges on this yet it’s nothing we can grasp.
¢ I read a review, in Italian, of an Italian translation of a book of mine & the reviewer added in all these extra details about me, like what hospital i was born in, etc. I had no idea how he knew all this private information & felt a bit compromised, so i wrote a review of the review to send to the same magazine.
¢ ... not that The Castle has much to do with Florence or Rome, though it was snowing throughout the entire book as it strangely was in Rome & the oppressive & often absurd bureaucracy that K. is up against is reminiscent of Italy (yet another strike today). Per Luigi Barzini: «The Italian words are, on the contrary, as common as bread and cheese. They occur in everyday conversation. To begin with, sistemare means to defeat nature. Italians sistemano mountain torrents, marshy land, wild animals, spoiled children and unruly populations. 'Ti sistemo io' is a much abused threat. It means, 'I will curb your rebellious instincts'. The words are also often used in the sense of 'conquest of security'. La sistemazione, or, more frequently, una sistemazione, any kind of sistemazione, is the dream of most Italians. It does not necessarily signify hard work, responsibility, good wages and the possibility of getting ahead, but often nothing more than a mediocre but durable position, protected from unforeseen events, with a predictable career, some moral authority, and a pension at the end.» Precisely what K. is futilely battling against in The Castle.
¢ It's been years since i've read Kafka—i forgot how arresting his writing is. Finished The Castle on the train to & from Florence, another of his unfinished novels that he didn't want published, but «burned unread»—this one ending mid-sentence: «She held a trembling hand out to K. and made him sit down beside her, she spoke with an effort, it was an effort to understand her, but what she said
¢ Up 'til 4 a.m. for an accidental butt touchdown on an illegal .ru streaming site—totally worth it, classic NYC.
¢ Left town as it was coming down—returned 2 days later in the aftermath of Rome's snow crisis 2012:
¢ As close to a sex scene as you'll get out of Kafka (from The Castle): «There they lay, though not as abandoned as they had been that night. She was in search of something and he was in search of something, enraged, pulling faces, burrowing into each other's breasts they searched, and their hugging and their heaving bodies brought them no oblivion but reminded them of their duty to search, the way dogs scratch desperately in the earth they scratched at each other and in helpless disappointment, still pursuing final bliss, now and again swept their tongues over each other's faces. Only weariness quietened them and made them grateful to each other.»
¢ Not a good idea to read Kafka while waiting for the dental hygienist. Questi romani sono brutali, ma approfondita, meticolosi. I usually close my eyes during these indignities & try to think of a happy place, but i just had to open them to see if what was happening corresponded to what i was feeling. Sure enough, she was trying to climb into my mouth, her face inches from mine, half-straddling me, her gloved hands prying, my head pressed against her bosom for leverage. I never did get her name. And now i have gaps in my teeth i never knew existed & a hoodie soaked in blood & calcified water.
¢ «Fuit errare. Quare erant hic.»—nemo in particulari
¢ 0:2:1: This very currency is reverse-engineered after thawing & reassignment. H.E. materializes on the «heads» side of the coin re(as)sembling Darwin, yet H.E. is not a unique individual but an arbitrarily assigned unit. A particular coin is exchanged for a tooth—placed under a suet pillow in the oyster bed (still in the diorama), stapled down under chickenwire. «An eye for an eye»—the sticky pos-it note says: «Root canal is the diagnosis». All «tails» sides (even) by definition contradict odd sides by putting trust in a «po8».
¢ Communicative article, especially in regards to web-based communications & social networks, on Larval Subjects, on Niklas Luhman's autopoietic systems theory (that societies consist entirely of communications): «In keeping with the non-teleological orientation of autopoietic theory, for Luhmann communication has no goal beyond producing more communication so as to continue the existence of the social system. In other words, unlike theorists such as Habermas where communication is directed towards an aim such as consensus, finding truth, justice, etc., for Luhmann communication only communicates to communicate. Nothing more, nothing less. And here we must recall that for Luhmann it’s not people that communicate—we might very well have all these admirable goals—but rather it’s only communications that communicate.»
¢ Cover designed for Burning City: Poems of Metropolitan Modernity, an outstanding anthology of modernist/avant-garde poetry from 1910-1939, put together by Jed Rasula, Tim Conley & the fine folks at Action Books:
¢ «These stories don’t proceed so much as they grow coral—submerged as they are in the poisoned solvent of aching body odor, unfriendly bodily fluids, and featureless junk food—not arcing but groping themselves underwater before coming up for air at the end.»—Greg Gerke reviewing Lutz's Divorcer for The Review of Contemporary Fiction.
¢ «Pisthetaerus: By words the mind is winged.»—Aristophanes [Birds]
¢ «... I woke up and wondered where I was, and why, there were cockle shells under my shirt and the smell of baked walnuts tangled in my hair, I woke and wondered what had become of my friends and how were my enemies, I wept for such wondering, my tears ran tongueless down my temples to season my unturned mind, ...»—Vanessa Place, Dies: A Sentence
¢ Stocking up on bird's milk & poison darts for the 10-day transport strike. Planting elephant grass on the roof. You never know. Fisherman are arriving in Rome from all over Italy wearing life jackets. 5 pages from Ark Codex ±0 in Gobbet.
¢ «We don't really create an idea, we just catch them, like fish. No chef ever takes credit for making the fish. It's just preparing the fish. So you get an idea & it is like a seed. And in your mind the idea is seen & felt. And it explodes like it's got electricity & light connected to it. And it has all the images & the feelings & it's like in an instant you know the idea.»—David Lynch.
¢ Video object for the ARK CODEX ±0 book obj:
¢ Was arrested from sleep this morning by the sensation the bed was falling, so strong that i woke up gripping the sides of it. My head has been spinning ever since, especially if i lay it horizontally on its side. I guess this is called vertigo. I think it had something to do with that cruise ship, imagining what that must've been like. Now i'm afraid of going to sleep for fear of waking up that way again.
¢ «This is no place to be addicted to another place»—X. Why censor yourself & why is everyone saying they are going to places they are not going? Where is where we're going with this. Under the code is space. «There are no signs. There are only differences between signs.» & more on Percival Everett, Amos Tutuola & that Babyfucker.
¢ This is no place for a conversation. Some of us actually still read. The «dominant aesthetic» becomes neither. A _orld without the letter W imagined by splicing together two Vs.
¢ Stop stopping, tripping into lifeboats. Smashing bottles of bubbly on bowsprits. Leftover enchiladas. My better half revisiting Sussex. This weeks @Sweden tweets brought to you by «your average lesbian truck driver». Police found a ticket for «The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo» in the dead man's wallet. What if I take my problem to the United Nations?
¢ Ark Codex ±0 is being inked. Just FTP'ed it to the printer & i'm a bit sad, washing the bloody ink from my hands. Publishing a book is also in a sense halting its evolution, killing it. It's like i've been in a dark forest hunting an unidentified animal for the past 3 years, observing its habits, living with it, journaling its every move & now i've shot it & taxidermied it, presenting it to the world with the vain & mistaken notion that this dead mounted head will give you the idea of how this animal lived.
¢ 4 im[p]ages from Ark Codex ±0 in the new Dark Sky.
¢ Once upon a time the 2-byte hook: «emit a rope echo» left 8 double-stranded coils dangling sideways from the ark’s ceiling.
¢ Woke up with Laurie Anderson in my head: «Put your hands over your eyes. Jump out of the plane. There is no pilot. You are not alone. Standby. This is the time. And this is the record of the time.». & speaking of, here's a double album she did with William Burroughs & John Giorno up on UBU: You're the Guy I Want To Share My Money With. & speaking of John Giorno, here he is Sleeping for Andy Warhol.
¢ Been sitting this gimpy OCD horn dog for the past week, has a thing for dominating the pillow he sleeps on.
¢ 0:1:13: Sin E. Apellido (a.k.a. collective H.E. (Homo Erectus)) lathers in squid ink & leopard seal lard then hangs the leaves by grappling hooks centered at origin (0, 0) of the hippodrome. «Suicide» you might say if we'd died but cold is only an abstraction—the retardation of molecular motion, in a nutshell. In addition to being self-inflicted (your own «hideous progeny»), for this ark to be a control testament it must be severed of skipper. No hypochondria or anchors or flags (except for helical representations or tattoos).
¢ Blast from the past that never got due credit: Bunnydrums:
¢ We could say (in hindsight) «reassemble the ghost-bush ribbing in the shape of a hull» & «stretch tight the ox hide» then «rub with pine tar & pitch»—but déjà vu recursively launches the bathwater before to be.
¢ i tagged along with j on another one of her work trips last night, only she was some sort of forensic scientist & we were at an ecological crime scene—a mix between a frozen lake & a vast salt fat. Flash to a montage sequence (background to the crimes committed) of mafioso food systems people whacking their competitors—a happy vegetable monger riding his loaded bike & being run off the road by thugs in a speeding car & there was another vendor who was covered with firecrackers & they lit him on fire in a sustained explosion. Flash back to the frozen salt lake where we searched for evidence. I kept finding all these frozen detached legs of goats & pigs, standing upright, frozen in place, with the rest of the bodies missing. Flash to the hotel they put us up at. We had an incredible view of the ocean from our balcony—the ocean was raised hundreds of feet above land such that the shore was a waterfall. In solving the crime, j & her colleagues considered it to be a "person-oriented" crime, but i tried to convince her to take an "object-oriented" approach, as dictated to me by these telepathic crows.
¢ A mimic fish mimicking a mimic octopus mimicking a mimic fish. And also a dog's seeing eye dog. [thx Deron]
¢ Happy birthday/suicide, dad (78/31). To Italians, Jan 6 is the day of epiphany & last night the witch Befana came down the chimney to leave candy (or coal) for the kids. She even sweeps the floors with her broom. & you don't leave a glass of milk for her, but a glass of wine. This morning on the news we saw a bunch of Befana's & they were all riding Harley's. That's how they roll here.
¢ Sorry Josh Cohen, this humble gentile doesn’t have the wits for Witz. What i got from it (slogging through the 200-250 pages) had flashes of brilliance, but i just don’t have enough background knowledge of Jewish script- & cult-ure. Too many other books in the world.
¢ A failed cross-breeding experiment (between a monkfish & a parrot) that didn't quite make the final cut for Ark Codex ±0:
¢ Around 4 or more corners or corner pieces… an online show curated by Jacob Fabricius, brought to you by Nero Magazine. Here's an excerpt, Untitled by Alfred Jaar:
¢ This is not to say we are not fond of 12—12 being the square root of 144 (the cumulative number of leaves mizzened on the masts).
¢ Just missed the dude whose speedo came off being pulled into the rescue boat, but this is how Romans roll on New Year's:
¢ All units of time are arbitrary & anthropomorphic except the year & the day. The Egyptians contrived the base-12 hour/minute/second system because when they counted knuckles with their thumbs they got 12, but when i count (on my left hand) i get 13.
2009 daily ARKhives
2008 daily ARKhives
2007 daily ARKhives
2006 daily ARKhives
2005 daily ARKhives