The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

April 21, 2012

the Instrument of music in ground of the room

for Jackson Moore

the Instrument sits there in the middle of the room.
it sits on the side of the room.
the Instrument is immobile, delicate, obdurate.
it's like a body, the Instrument.
it's like the flesh, it meanders, it returns.
it is the sound of someone and the sound of someone's sound.
it is the sound of community, lineage, wood, stone, steel, silk.
the Instrument plays the flesh and the body, it is out of the way.
it is out of the way because it is in the way, always otherwise.
the Instrument is elsewhere, inaudible, murmuring earth.
it is always virtual and is never virtual, it is tethered.
the Instrument is tethered to coordinates, to practice.
the Instrument is tethered to the motions of the body.
to the motions of the fingers, mouth, lips, tongue, arms, hands.
to the voice, with which it begins, with which it ends.
the Instrument tends towards damage, virtuosity, materiality.
one tends the Instrument, a living being tending an other.
recalling stewardship, the instrument.
the cries of the hardware layer, application layer, no difference.
undifferentiated, the earth recalls itself.
overlooked, its sound carries, radio, television, net, ether.
it breathes the ether, inconceivable, non-existent, no difference.
the Instrument returns the instrumental.
in the corner of the room one huddles, the misery of death,
the misery of tending, the misery of stewardship, the misery of
Instruments, the misery of networks, of protocols, of suites,
the misery of nomads -
- the eternal misery of the earth, the escape from earth,
the escape from death, the escape from miseries, wandering,
escaping -
buried in the network, all of human culture, abjection keep out!
the Instrument is dirty, my muscles are fatigued,
pay me for my labor, pay me for my Instrument, my tending,
pay me for my stewardship - here is the secret -
the Instrument has no parts -
the Instrument has no exchange and therefore no exchange value -
and therefore no protocols, no networks, no television, radio,
no net, no ether - the Instrument falls with a thud -
the nomad falls with a thud -
- sit there at the side of the room -
- at the corner or vertex of the room -
- somewhere on the ground or floor of the room -
- somewhere slaughter begins, in rooms like this one -
- somewhere nothing remains, oh the animals are all dead -
- the plants are all dead - there are still debates -
- lands to be determined - it's all in the Imaginary -
- it's all there - it stays after us - it dies with us -
- networks and netsplits - cracks and rootkits -
- in the body of the Instrument - in the root-body -
- in the root - in the abjection-root and the death-root -
- in the tending-root and the shepherding root -
- in the temperature root and the humidity root -
- in the root of the sun by night and the moon by day -
- cracks in the sounding board, strings rustling, snapping
or strings snapping, rustling, sounding board memories
or fingerboard wear or the sound of a string loosening,
loosening in the middle of the night, other strings
resonant in unison, other strings murmuring, whispering
there goes one of us, we shall not see hir like again,
someday it will be our turn, someday we too, loosening,
the memory of the Instrument loosening, so many fingers!
so many hands, notes, songs!, so many songs! one among
many, many among one, these coordinates, I will carry
this forth, these addressings, direct and indirect, I
will carve this memory, this Instrument, in stone by the
side of the room, in earth by the sky of the room, in
code by the wall of the room, I will carve, I will
continue to carve, constant I will continue to carve,
in the floor by the side of the sky near the ground of
the wall by the corner of the vertex near the sky of
the side of the wall, near the wall, or the side of the
sky, that's it!, near the side of the sky, that's it!,
that's it!, exactly -

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