The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

June 24, 2010


"WorldsChat in fact provides an example: _What anchors the avatars to the
simulated ground?_ Nothing, of course, except for programming(3) which
occasionally is faulty(1), sending figures flying(2). The screen(4), not
the delineation of a virtual world(6), is the final arbiter(5). And the
screen is nowhere(7); it is the eye(8), the stain(10) or residue(11) of
the gaze.(9)(12)" (from Past text, unknown date)

(0) as in scent - stain or residue of odor.
(1) faulty from the programmer's perspective of desired and achieved ends.
(2) flying - against the presumed tenets of the space.
(3) programming anchors nothing to nothing but creates the appearance of
(4) the monitor or other visual interface.
(5) final arbiter - the inert or obdurate screen, the screen in the sense
of presence and appetition.
(6) boundaries of the virtual world as perceived.
(7) this is the crux, from the remnant of the text - that the screen, is
nowhere; it is in the vicinity of the perceiver/user; it's neither here
nor there, just as the body is presenced, even in absence, for the
subject - it's nowhere at all - its location is irrelevant - similar to
pain in this regard - think of the screen as internalized - as-if - it
might as well be -
(8) not the eye - what the eye sees - but the eye in the sense that one
does not see one's own eye - parts of it (pressing the eyelids, looking
out of a corner), but not the eye itself - mirrors give the reflection up
- nothing more -
(9) stain or residue - but the result of _gazing_ - not the ontology of
the eye but its productive epistemology.
(10) eye and gaze leave an _internal_ stain always already in need of
reconstruction - re-producing the originary scene - primal scene - whose
stain of course - then, within the memory, one's own, one has it - but the
metaphor tends to break down - not a stain at all - for the most part what
is seen remains unnoticed, filtered out - integrated in the absence of
(11) stain or residue - one defining the other; the stain is something
left behind - residue implying a sloughed coherent form - a form denuded -
or residue unrelated to stain - perhaps an inscription or molecular
(12) is the screen then the gaze, the eye, the  stain, the residue - or
are these parallel moments of absence - (not) having the author before me
- i'd argue the latter - perhaps not parallel - a collocation of absences
- as in leder's the absent body - the screen absent in this way -
(13) the screen or footnote then - of course - nowhere at all -

of ways, hysteric prose

"of ways. A text was written - in the form of a prose poem of hysteric"
dense prose as long as capital survives with its insistence on the hand
in turmoil - My subterfuge is literature; prose lends me its hand when
times and style perfect their moment of truth. Otherwise, prose envelops -

Darling, but her luminous prose moves through all her books - I haven't
- among father prose and mother poem and brother - theory,
but sometimes experimental prose and poetry - People sometimes
transpose lettrs, to ascertain the fixity of prose as my eyes scan, and
oh! - this is so like prose or simple poetry, writes jennifer here,
peering poetry, product out of the products,
prose out of the proses,
theory out of -

listen and do not fear the images and prose i send
in a prose so purified as to guarantee the imaginary transformation
of ways -
a text was written -

I do want to add that I find the distinction between prose and poetry
extremely problematic - Certainly prose is related to the poem
of hysteric ways -
- whereas prose 'seems' indexical, both participating in
distinction between prose and poetry, particularly in relation to
turmoil -

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