The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

October 17, 2011

perfect julu

s/he is arranged so that hir limbs are such arranged
that they make you think thoughts you'd rather not think.

they're thoughts of what you might do to julu twine and
what julu twine might do to you shudder shudder.

you've read somewhere you're giving out heat with the
shiver and taking it in with the shiver.

you remember thinking the perfect julu twine s/he is so
just an arrangement as i will always remember thinking.

and that no one but hir thought hir up and then s/he
thought me up too and then you full of sex and death.

that you might die without pain and unwounded, or that
something better might be there for all that.

that that something better has a name and that that
name is perfect julu.


for Margie and anyone interested in fretless fields of sound, this might
be the most perfect oud playing I've done. for Azure who has always
believed in me. for Joanna who might yet take to notes falling from
strings into gene pools of undiscovered species. for Kathy's Thackeray's
Becky's determination and indeterminate formations of tensor qualities of
sound. for Peter's sound determinacy and Mark's indeterminate sonic and
superb functions. for my discovering vast new lands and lamentations and
for healing and cicatrix. for absinthe which I'd like to credit for
everything but can't for anything. for Ossi the cat and Opal the turtle.
for the going forth by day and my returning to hir going forth by night.
for Julu who has necessarily believed in me and Nikuko who has necessarily
not. and for the sound which hollows out the world, returning ontology to
itself, dark matter of light, enlightenment. and for this giving which is
all my selves can do.

listening to the dead

Blog entry listening to the dead has been created.

So how do we listen to the dead? The dead have spoken over wires laid
across long distances, the wires picking up the 'dawn chorus' of very low
frequency (vlf) radio, that appears around 4 a.m. in the morning. I think
WWI field telephones were susceptible. In NYC the problem is the power
grid; we're contaminated by radiation from all directions (as Marko has
pointed out). You might find a silent spot somewhere inside your
apartment, but you'd need a Faraday cage to weed out the electromagnetic
buzz - and then you'd have your dead zone, but no dead. So you want to
record signals that are either on top of the 60 hz buzz, or that appear if
and when the buzz is canceled out. I picked up faint crackles at one
point in Brooklyn with the magnetic field antenna at a particular
orientation. There's also the possibility of going out somewhere on one of
the piers - but the grid follows you there, follows you everywhere.

The dead are drowned out.

The dead are unbelievably drowned out; they're subject to the violence of
Lyotard's differend - there's no recourse where and when there's no

They have to be coaxed back in.

They're deaf to the coaxing.

You'd have to set up the apparatus in spite of them, without their
presence, without texting them. You'd have to surround them where they're
not, where they don't exist. You'd have to ignore their absence.

Think hungry ghosts or red dust in Times Square. That's what you have to
deal with.

So it's a matter of projection and belief that they're present at all.
They're not going to help you on this journey.

They don't know you're traveling. They couldn't care less. It's of no
concern to them. They're obliterated by the power grid, by the machinery,
even the hatching of sparks as steel strikes steel perhaps somewhere deep
underground. They know about the radio.

They know about the radio. They know something's amiss. Digital television
holds no interest for them, angry buzzing in need of interpretation, more
machinery. They get the radio. You're waiting, writhing, writing your
wires above-ground, under-ground; you're loading them up, the coils,
amplifiers, power sources. You want to use crystal radio, but at these
frequencies, the frequencies of the dead, better ignore the huge antennas,
better deal with something lean and portable. You want to feed the

You want to feed the signals into something starting small, then
expanding. You need power for that, batteries that don't add alternating
current, sine-waves for example, to the noise everywhere. Then you'll feed
into digital or analog, you'll save everything for analysis. You'll save
everything for the listening of it, which is the meaning of listening to
the dead - it will take a while, it's not going to happen all at once.

What is it in the middle of the night that you feel, this huge pressure
against you, holding you back and paralyzed against the sheets, pressure
and the word of pressure, they so much want to tell you, want this speech,
this one word of pressure, always misinterpreted? You feel you can't get
anywhere with this, the misery of it.

Then you remember what you heard, years ago, and they were coming
towards you from that time on, they knew that you knew, they've been
waiting ever since.

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