The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

July 19, 2013


- As for me, I had at first imagined that cinders where there, not
here but there, as a story to be told: cinder, this old gray word,
this dusty theme of humanity, the immemorial image had decomposed
from within, a metaphor or metonymy of itself, such is the destiny
of every cinder, separated, consumed like a cinder of cinders. Who
would still dare run the risk of a poem of the cinder?

(Derrida, trans. Ned Lukacher)

I cannot make out, to my satisfaction, the iconography of the
frontispiece to the 1929 Vilna Haggadah which I have discussed
elsewhere, to the extent of appealing to some within the Rabinnic
community. Fear circulates among those present at the Seder, order
is disrupted. The margins of the book appear burnt, the margins of
the image roughly drawn out. To have found this in the sterility
of Salt Lake City, the Haggadah which has continued to haunt me:
in my reading it's a transformation of my work, the virtual world
circulations of deities re/constructed as hysterical symptoms
incapable of beginning or ending, fecund with incohering parts,
other particulate matter. Likewise the repetition and automation
of codework; it's the machine in them that is speaking (somewhat
from Sartre); I am absolved; I continue towards death; the writing
goes nowhere at all; what is born, is borne, is already still, is
stilled, it's the machine in them that's dreaming -

ness, smell of piss, cum, mucus. Cut the earth burned to cinder,
cold ash
ash burns. cinders burn. coals burn
ash burns. cinders burn. coals burn
ration; there is little separation between the self and the cinder,
           the treatise of innumerable cinders, and
memories of trains - and tongs caught up, and monsters, dragon's
scales, dragons, the world burnt in a fortnight, in a day,
           the fourth night, the last
ash burns. cinders burn. coals burn
star half-way burnt, burned-out, and dead earlier and before, 1914
star half-way burnt, burned-out, and dead earlier and before, 1939
ash burns. cinders burn. coals burn, and tongs
and tongs, caught up, and monsters, emblems and signs

the music does that, stains, curls, atrophies, i give you residue
as difficult as any i can make of it, that is, music pushed to the
limit as time runs out, nothing, no time for baking bread. so the
last note is that which becomes the first, but it's the one i
don't hear, leaving, it's what's spoken in imminence immediately
after my death, the air flows and settles, breathing stops, quiet,
then wailing, cries. it circles back to the beginning, the cinder,
which is substance, neither part nor whole, neither abject nor
hole, dividing same into same, fissured, but always the absence of

or the memory of the absence of memory

i will not be there

i will not be there

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