words written in the week of
August 11th to August 17th
in previous years.
This was 8 months, 22 days ago

has it really been a month?

so much has happened. so much life, so much change, so much, so much, so much, so much.

right now: I sit in the yard of a dear friend's house, having witnessed their family for a week. here it is, these arcing lives. here it is.


I was in the desert. and before that, I was at the conference. and after that, I was witnessing O and M's lives change. and then after that, I was at the retreat. and before that, I was driving. and before that, I was sleeping with a cat. and before that, I was in the hogan, walking around with those dogs. and before that, I was climbing a mountain. and after that, I was holding a strong determination, feeling and falling into a knee. and before that, I was walking along a path, pulling myself up by a chain, through angels' landing. and before that, I was leaning over a railing, and even moving beyond it, to look over the edge of a vast canyon, canyonlands. and then after that, I was sleeping in the middle of nowhere, a lot of middle of nowhere. and then before that, the v_____ o_ t__ g___.

there is a before that, and an after that. myriad memories enter my mind. should I have documented them better? do I remember? is this for the future, or the present? all of these things enter and exit my mind. what I did is I fed my psyche, I dipped into it; I allowed, allowed, allowed, allowed, what needed to emerge to emerge.


do I hold onto these memories so that a future self might enjoy them? or so that my present self might understand them? or do I just let it all sink in? me, a sponge cake sitting in no-longer-iced cream, soaked through and through with me? am I here? am I here? am I here?



what emerges are so many simple truths, so many clear answers, where the answers are obvious but difficult. if you sleep well, you feel better. or: hiking is a practice, a continual moment, with the occasional strong view. the practice is where it emerges - a practice of being.

there is magic here.

the magic is of the moment.

what I know, I know strongly and surely, and find difficulty in communicating. some truths are not communicatable but only experienced. the path is the path; the hiking trail is knowledge, but to hike is an experience, and to follow it is the practice, and to persist is through determination. experience allows a wisdom.


I am brimming. and also a person. also the same person I have always been; also a different person. I am different because I am really starting to realize that I am the person that I have always been. I am the same person because realizing that I am the same person is a different act. to be who I am already is a question of discovery, not of invention; of following, not of thinking; of allowing the psyche to emerge.


what is at stake is a life, and a way of living a life, and of finding one's self. it's an archeology that was never necessary; it's about settling still so that the body can float to the surface, the level of water tracing gentle sinous curves following the cheek, the neck, the shoulder blade. I mean this so sincerely that I am willing to stake my entire life on it, to be serious about it; serious about the act of becoming, about witnessing, about examining this thing that each of us seems to be doing, in whatever ways we find. plants growing, I'd like to say.

I am trying to say something concrete, here; if this is poetic then it also involves budgets, careers, salaries, social dynamics, skills, macroeconomics, families, biological clocks, attachment theories, intergenerational trauma, pleasure industries, mechanics of the criteria of success, and so on, and so on. we live in no other society but this one, the one we happen to be in at this moment, heterogeneously shaped and distributed, different and varied everywhere --

what I want to talk about is this, this thing, this thing that we're all made of, the fabric of being, the operating system, the paper that we're writing these words on; I want to lift this between index and thumb, gently rub in circles, talk about this texture. do you fold it in half? rip it into small pieces? play paper-mache? collage? do you see, this thing, this thing, this thing, this thing, this thing?

where I am im my life I cannot help but breathe this in. this is the nature of my being. this is how I am constituted. this is what is at stake. nothing less. nothing less than a way of being is at stake.

do you see, I want to say; do you see? do you see this thing? do you see this thing we're doing, that we're made out of? you go to a concert; something happens there. you go on a trip; something happens during. but this thing, this Thing we're doing; do you see it? do you? do you?


maybe another way to say is that I am so grateful. so excited. so happy and glad and relieved that this is where I am. this is all scary, and terrifying, to be honest; what might be next? what might emerge? I don't know, to be honest; my life will take the shape that it will, but I will find it; I will discover it; I will let it emerge.


under the stones, the desert; beyond the buildings, the sky. a summer full of ad-venture, full of solitude, full of friends.

so many lessons in this summer. I drove across the country, and watched as the map dissolved into the territory. met people holding their lives, landscapes holding stories. travel as ritual. navigation as a practice of listening to the self. a way of being beyond intellect or emotion. allowing, noticing, learning.


these days I am filled with gratitude. it turns out that a traumatically hurtful experience two years ago was one of the best things to have ever have happened to me. who would have thought? but so these things go; so you step back a bit, watch the curvature of your life make intricate shapes that make sense in retrospect.

perhaps all that I'll say is about the importance of truth-seeking, both solo and together. in my experience, a truth is something that allows, or even encourages speaking directly to another. what is being said? what is understood? can we talk about it? if communication isn't open, then what's happening isn't about truth, but about something else entirely. often, instead, it's about power.


where I am now is that things are a-crackling; electricity in the air. amidst this is a life, life as usual; amidst this life as usual is the crackling electricity of a life, any life, manifesting into being. I do the same things; I go to bed, I wake up, I eat, I take a shit or pee. I am me. but I also see what's at stake, for a moment; felt into the magma underneath this mantle, this delicate and sinewy way of being that floats us; the inadvertent sanghas we constitute just by trying in the best ways we know how. what's at stake is clear; it's indescribable, but tastes a little bit like a nine-volt battery, or sounds like the inquisitive tone of a child who has just learned how to ask questions. you know, you know, you know, you know?

so: hello, hello, hello. we are all walking each other home. beyond the career, the job, the 'community', the scene, the intellect, is a field. as Rumi says: out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.

This was 4 years, 8 months, 21 days ago

Flights are special spaces, white noise roaring in your ears, a specific location designated for your body, food and drinks provided on a timetable, a shared schedule for lighting readjusting a collective circadian rhythm for a few hundred people. In the midst of the structured flight there is contemplation, wonder, thought. I am in an interstitial space. In theory, the screen says, I am above Siberia, or Greenland, or Idaho, or California. In theory, below the cloud carpet is a wholly non-abstract place. But right now, this is all there is, special spaces, timeless moments, where the clock is all shaken, stopped, fast forwarded. On the plane, I am another.

What does it mean to get older? What is the term for ‘being the age at which your parents had you as a child’? I listen to 이랑, hear her sing about change, her emotions becoming richer and complex with age, while her ability to share them equally diminishes and shrinks. What does it mean to hold universes and lifetimes within, so that your inner world becomes a society, and the conflicts you see between people in your outer world become visible as conflicts between entities in your inner world?

Where is the edge of conflict? When you see the wake of a larger ship passing by, when do you turn into the wake, push into the wave? When do you surf, coasting on the wave, finding a shared moment between you and the wave? When do you belong, hold, push, share?

Maybe a lesson I want to engage in more is the practice of pushing into things, turning into the wake, submerging myself, getting ready to be unearthed and upended, entering turmoil, braving the storm, but without a desire to surf, nor to surrender, nor to fight. There are other ways to live in the ocean that aren't about giving into its waves, or collaborating with them, or fighting them. Sometimes, the ocean is what it is, and you build wave breakers, sand bars, create piers, land formations, boats. The ocean is respected, understood, not blamed. It will be what it is. Are we against it, or for it? Does it matter?

Neither ‘rolling with it’, nor ‘rebellion’, nor ‘acclimation’. Maybe this is what happens when you watch dear friends break up, and hold your care for both of them while also respecting the depth of their anguish, sadness, and anger.

When this flight lands, I think, I will do this, and that. Maybe I’m always on a flight. Maybe I’m always landing, and taking off. Maybe the ecological world inside of me is developed enough to release the ocean from my blame against it; maybe I have grown to accept its intensity and storm surges and calm beaches alike; maybe I respect the depth of its tempest while I hold my care for it, hold my care for myself. Maybe this is what it’s like to get older — to find myself holding ecologies inside of my body, whether I like it or not, full of microcosms, closed worlds, open worlds, universes, teeming with interactions and life. Gently poked with a needle, solar systems, ecologies, coral reefs tumble out of my skin onto the ground, gushing and pooling out. Ecologies of emotions model my understanding and non-understanding of social personal familiar friend relationships in ways I do not understand and cannot articulate.

Above this all, occasionally I take a flight above my own earth and ecology, take a moment to breathe, adjust my seatbelt, and look down onto the ground. So, I think, this is my earth. This is the ground. Look how my city looks! Look how that river looks! How can something so familiar look so strange?

That’s what flight travel is like.

This was 8 years, 8 months, 29 days ago

could it be, could it be. could it be that I could spend two weeks in a place and not write anything here about travel, about anything like that, and could snap my fingers and be back in new york as if nothing happened?

how could this be?


visceral sensations I can rattle off, a little bit. the distinctive smell of bathrooms, the color of polished concrete aggregate, reminds me of my father's school, and growing up while wandering its halls. some atmosphere of work.

I can't explain further. I am immensely tired.


trust in one's processes. follow your patterns. improvise. play and play. critical hesitation only leads to paralysis.

the ability to look at something and tease it apart is only necessary afterwards, in a kind of self-reflexive ('oh, look where we arrived!'). use criticality for joy, not criticism.


I am excited and happy and yearning for the future.

This was 11 years, 8 months, 23 days ago

if there's anything I've learned this summer it's that there are no answers, never any answers, only a bunch of questions, a bunch of unknown unknowns, and a bunch of composed, confident answers, with bitten lip and fierce eyebrow in tow. never any guiding rulesets, just a series of routines calcified and ossified into commandments, carved into stone. formerly playdoh, now stone.

what to do now? at any given point? when everything is malleable and formable and changable? when you dangle space in your hand and twirl it in your fingers; when the possibilities are visceral, realizeable, and soon-to-be-realized, in the absence of the initial constraint, replaced with the freedom of creation, there is only self-restraint, understanding, concern, balance, bold dashes forwards, a biting-of-the-lip.

swinging one way, this manifests as: self-doubt, hesitation, frustration, unconcern.
swinging the other way, this manifests as: excitement at one's own presence, to bring-into-being to create in one's image the world.

note to self: when my head hurts because there is no answer, because I must juggle a handful of factors in one hand to figure out the problem; because there is no grand elegant pure-math Q.E.D solution but just a series of incremental adjustments, guesses, movements ------- this moment of boxed-in pondering is the little sliver of the moment at which design happens, really, the field in which there are no answers, just not-answers, and thus the infinite field of answers.

This was 12 years, 8 months, 25 days ago

it is late, or early, as in 3:16am late/early. suddenly a loudspeaker crackles, and then the muezzin calls out the adhan, prayers emanating from the minaret across the valley.

yesterday I wrote:
"it is everywhere. the sound bounces off of surfaces, valleys, buildings, and so all I hear is a cascade of prayers, layering over each other, allah becoming all-all-ah-all-ah-all-all-ah, reverberating and repeating. it is night, after all, but after morning, and I imagine people praying towards mecca, eating and starting their fast. reverberating sounds. it is wonderful, wonderful."

here I am, here I am, here I am. arabic entering my mouth through the eyes, rolling around on my tongue, syllables enunciated. salaam alaikum I say, and I nod, and this is what it's like, a landscape of nods, eye contacts.

two days ago I bumped into someone on the street, a pretty solid shoulder shove, and the guy was this burly dude, not a bro but more like a dude, like I-am-a-dude-who-owns-dumbbells-at-home-kind-of-dude. after I regained my balance I turned instantly to raise my hand in apology, and there he was with apologetic eyebrows and an instant sorry, asif, ana asif, and then we turned and continued, all with the rhythm of a town-that-grew-into-a-city, this is ramallah, and this is palestine.

today the two belgian dudes left from our guesthouse, J and L, to bike to Jerusalem. I had said goodbye to them earlier, but luck of lucks, as I was walking down the street I saw them biking, and I waved bye, yelled bye, and I had this image of both of them turning around waving, the bicycles wiggling a bit in the dusk, back light blinking, and I suddenly appreciated their spirit even more, this sort of focused energy, good-natured presence, wild positivity.

and there's another adhan! another one. ringing out. I will miss these I know, the way that they provide a backdrop, like a more reverent television in the background -- and I mean that in the best way, the most positive way. the way that it is nice to have someone's company while working, the way that the radio, when on, provides this nice stability, as if to prove that the world is still turning, still moving. the presence of a river continually flowing.

it's like this to me: somewhere out there, somewhere is praying to their god, waking up, praying, fasting, living life. but you see: this is a living thing, like a living breathing thing, and some people fast for ramadan and some people don't, some people cover their heads and some people wear tank tops, some people smoke, swear, some people do not. there is flexibility. this is a living country, after all. having come here and being here right now, I feel the elasticity and stretchiness that only a living place can have, the way that bread dough is elastic from the gluten and yeast, living microbes wriggling around and essentially making this all anew, anew.

This was 12 years, 9 months ago

5 days in palestine, so far.

1st: entry, discussion
2nd: neighboring villages around ramallah
3rd: trip to jerusalem
4th: trip to hebron
5th: trip to deir ghassanah.


quick. it's been quick, and startling, the speed at which space and place becomes here. I am looking out windows of a bus going places. my eyes are squinting at this harsh sun. I am on the top of buildings, looking out onto valleys, seeing green-lit minaret towers and hearing the adhan, the call to prayer echo out onto the valley at sundown. orange suns, orange moons.

but does this sound too exotic? worry not, because it isn't. everything suddenly has swooped into the realm of the mundane, as in mundus, as in earthy: earthy and normal and natural. it's not what I expected, but being here is not so much a travel experience as it is a rapid acclimation to the quiet rhythm and timbre of living; there are walks at night, there are cell phone calls, the necessity of coffee in the morning, someone's trip to the dentist, drunken rooftop revelry. there is the image of an empty room with a ticking clock, the sun shining in sideways into a car, heads leaning away to sleep in unison, quietude and exhaustion as the day reaches an end.

infrastructure? of course, details of infrastructure poke out, punctum-esque, create little moments of displacement -- except that that too has disappeared, and here we are, on a street. I am crossing the street as if I were in Bangalore. I am talking to people as if I were in Russia. people are enthusiastic and welcoming and I am trying to gobble up arabic words and pronunciation and numbers. words we make. people we meet.

and then there's the politics of this all, the what-do-I-think-is-right, the how-do-I-decide question, and it is hard because everything is political. I mean - everything was already political beforehand, but in this case everything is even more so political, laden, understood. there are nuances and undercurrents. in the midst of this I keep on asking: what do I think? what would I do if I were the leader of this country? how would I feel if I were in this position, or that position?

and I think of a nationalistic Korean thirteen-year-old-boy. he walks around kicking foreign cars because they're foreign. where did he come from and where did he go.

This was 13 years, 8 months, 24 days ago

Walking out of work, just having listened to wonderful stories about an older new york, just having had peals of laughter peel out of my mouth, I walk east towards Chinatown. It is Friday and the strains of dream-rock guitar echo in my ears and it is light out and I am standing on a street corner looking at a park looking at street skateboarders, impromptu basketball games, high-school goths, cosplayers.

All the while, I am missing something. I have this taste in my mouth as if I am missing something, some crucial piece of knowledge. Instead of figuring this out I will shake my head and get my cans of massaman curry, coconut milk, packages of tamarind, then will make my way uptown to take the train downtown, in a daze. Having-forgotten-something. Having-left-something-behind.


Eventually I will make my way home having forgotten that I had forgotten something, having-forgotten-forgetting, and all I will have is an aftertaste of car exhaust and restaurant kitchen-range smoke on these streets that takes me elsewhere. Puts me there, thinking about here. Here here here here here here here here here here here here here here here here.

And now it is Later, and I come home and go for a bike ride and a jog and a bike ride, and at one point I take off my earphones, and there is nothing but the sound of crickets and cicadas, and the air is cool, and between the trees you can see the yellow windows of apartment buildings everywhere. On the way to Prospect Park I pass rows of restaurants with tables outside, people talking and silverware clinking against plates, and suddenly: heart pulls, aches, strains. On my way home I bike and I swerve and these streets are so familiar, and I get home, and I park, walk inside.

I turn on something by carsick cars, as loud as I can. No-one's home but Casper, but she yowls and smiles and she rubs herself against my legs and I sit down and she comes and presses her head against my hand, says hi. Hi, Casper. And I'm sitting there, Casper pressing against the side of my back, slowly nudging her head in circles against my hand, and I'm looking at the lamp upstairs and the way it illuminates the tree next to it, and I hear the strains of an emphatic guitar and an enthusiastic voice come up from downstairs, and I realize it's been a year since I moved in here,

and all of a sudden I miss Brooklyn, I miss having my own time, I miss not being ragged with projects. I miss feeling the time pass through my fingers and being okay with it. I want to not have to go to work after work. I want to have at least, at least, two hours of my own time, for myself, every day. I want to go to a show after work, once a week, maybe, where a friend's playing, and smile and dance and sway with a drink in my hand and afterwards wander outside on dark streets and look up at dim stars and smile with friends and laugh without a care, right at that moment, without feeling guilty about work. I would like to throw my bike on the grass and fling myself on my back, arms outstretched, and close my eyes and not have to think about anything for an hour, half an hour, two precious minutes.

This was 13 years, 8 months, 27 days ago

I touch down here, rush upstairs to departures, stuff my bag into a storage locker, go to the lower level, take the keisei skyliner to ueno, take the tokyo metro to shibuya, walk around. the city.

the streets are: full of people walking home, groups of friends saying goodbye on a tuesday night. I feel very lonely, a salmon swimming upstream, wading in the opposite direction. around the station there are: people smoking, beautiful bikes with colnago frames locked up with pencil-thin wire locks, buildings with giant displays, japanese kids my age walking around, twenty-four hours fast food restaurants, cabs not instantly recognizable (to me) as cabs, yakitori joints. amidst this all the sky is dark and the lit buildings are carving a negative space out of the sky. everyone crosses this intersection at the same time, floods these streets. I get a sense of incredible inclusiveness around this all, and a corresponding exclusiveness on my part, and I feel very much like a single cell unit drifting around these flows, looking at things. this is what happens in a complex city with high buildings (like new york), perhaps, in a city with recognizable traits of infrastructure (like seoul), with familiar strains of cultural expression: ad formats, speech intonations, some of these things like Korea but not quite at all.

in the morning, I leave my dark little internet-cafe cubicle, the sounds of a pachinko-slot machine ringing in my ears. go out walking in the early morning air, take the first subway train going east out of shibuya along with everyone else, also bleary-eyed, also with disheveled hair. on the way to tsukiji fish market I take a shortcut, get lost on purpose, find myself on purpose. by the time I walk to the fish market it is 5:30 am, gazed past cities of styrofoam boxes, fish still wriggling on ice, tuna auctions, auctioned tuna being sliced with bandsaws, rivulets of blood streaming between cobblestones, into drains.

sushi dai has a line as always, but I only wait for about half an hour. finally I step in and sit alone, next to the other fifteen people there, and the same three sushi chefs are there, as they were last year, and the year before that, and probably the years before that. I order omakase, and with my pace, listening to my tongue, I place each piece in my mouth and chew slowly and deliberately. I am glad; I know I am blessed.

after that I step out and wander around ginza, its shops all closed and still sleeping, department stores with their eyelids shut. it is barely 7am. I take the subway to ueno, and at the last moment I divert my footsteps into vacant market alleyways and end up near a tiny temple. maps everywhere say that there's a lake here, but when I lift my eyes all I can see are rows and rows of green growing from out of the lake; a school of sluggish, sleepy koi, and a temple over there, over there. some people practicing, stretching, talking.

on the train back to the airport, I nearly fall asleep. I wake up, we're there. the airport dance: I take the elevator upstairs, walk to the lockers, open the locker, get my bag, walk to a line, stand in a line, check my bag, stand in a line for security, go through security without taking off my shoes, stand in a line, go through customs, walk to my gate, buy something with the rest of my yen. at the last moment I decide to take a shower, though. it's been thirteen hours since I first landed in narita, and I slide a 500 yen coin onto the counter with a smile and I am shown a tiny room with a plastic shower, and in the shower I feel hot water run down my hair and onto my back and think about the anti-displacement that is soon to come, the sense of having-always-been-here that will no doubt flood back in. 'as if it were all a dream.'

and I worry about that, not about being-back-here itself (not at all) but about the-feeling-that-I-was-always-back-here, I think about what happens when I lose some sort of sense of movement, I think about not always being conscious of my body, I think about not always thinking about where I am going, I think about always being comfortable in my skin, I think about the days and months and years slipping by until I am then-looking-back-to-now, and I think about this (while biting my lip). but but but but it's a thought that's also a comfort because I also think that to think about this, actively, is to ward these things away. and so as long as I am thinking about the possibility of not thinking about these things I am okay, kept buoyant, floating on clouds, air, wings, the angle of attack, the bernoulli principle, the idea of the bernoulli principle, the airplane's trust in that the turbine's forward thrust will result in a corresponding lift (if I do this then you will do that, yes?), and I think that's actually quite beautiful, wonderful, the way more things should be, could be.


there was this moment on the train from irkutsk to ulaanbataar when I was so very happy, so very ecstatic and happy. the windows were down and in the dusky distance you could see faraway clouds raining on faraway mountains, and the sun was setting behind that, and the sky was clear and everything in the air was so fresh, with vague whiffs of engine smoke drifting in almost like stray strains of perfume, but the air itself smelled like green, green grass and the trees were waving by, everything blurred sideways like a gerhard richter painting. I was alone that night in a cabin all by myself, and I closed the door and turned off the light and opened my window and felt the wind brush in as I went to sleep. once in a while opposing trains would pass our train, which meant that suddenly the ongoing rhythm of the train would be broken by this thunderous cataclysmic roar, lights and sound and fury, and the cabin would light up in a scattered strobing mix of shadows and glints-off-of-metal, and the sound and light of it would be so so visceral, piercing my eyelids even when my eyes were closed. and then everything would be over, as soon as it had started.

and then if you went out into the dark hallway because you couldn't sleep, everyone else was also there, leaning out of the window, gazing into the distance, quieted into contemplation by the rocking motion of the train and the sudden change of landscape and the expanse of sky and the enormity of all the clouds. watching the sun set. I was so very content, so very content and happy just to be there, to be there and going somewhere. I would have been content had the train broken down and stopped; I would have been content had we been going faster. I was just content to be there, moving.

I haven't and hadn't had that in a bit, such fully-fledged contentedness, such warmth, and now it is no longer available right now except as an abstract memory, it is not possible right now, having come back. all I can do is to think about it and to smile and to swallow hard and to try to forget it, until the next time I am able to travel like that, to take that same trip again, hopefully, sometime in the future. right now all I can do is to look out the window for the curve in the bend coming ahead and have my hair whipped around in the wind. so that is what I will do.

thirty minutes away from jay eff kay, thirty minutes away from a home. here's to hoping that the routines don't just fall into place but that they drop down, slightly mis-aligned, de-calibrated, un-synchronized, making something anew, maybe maybe maybe hopefully.

This was 13 years, 8 months, 28 days ago

myself awake."

here's to the last leg of movement: near-homeless nights in tokyo, morning sushi in tsukiji.

pavement, sonic youth, carsick cars, toro y moi, magnetic fields. tide me over, please.

This was 13 years, 8 months, 29 days ago

back to korea.

I am here, I am the lightest I have ever been. my hair is the longest it's ever been.

I am in limbo. I am confused. I am confused partially because I am so here. do you know what I mean? I am so here right now, and although I got here hardly 36 hours ago it's as if I've been here forever, and I don't like that right now. I was there, then. I am here, now. one day there was this dusty dusty day in irkutsk, where I was wandering around that small city so aimlessly, doing nothing. staring at a wall of ice cream ads. sitting in front of a fountain. and now I am here and it is as if nothing ever happened.

if I am so enamored by this phenomenon it is because it is so visceral.


there are some things I have decided: it's easy to want a home, it's easy to want to be negative, cynical, it's easy to slip away into internet-routines of thought-absence. it's okay to give myself away. it's okay to have some sense of loss of self. it's better than to always be on the positive side of things. it's okay to want to count on myself but it's also good to believe in others. and also a healthy disrespect for everything I count as absolutely necessary, is key.


earlier today my friend S asked me that morality dilemma: "if you were on a life raft, and had to save one of two things: a person you didn't know, or a legendary 'masterpiece' work of art, who would you save?" and in a flash of inspiration I asked her back: "if you were the person floating in the water about to die, and the person on the raft asked for your advice, saying 'who should I save: you, or the masterpiece?', what would you say?"

and suddenly as she opened her mouth I knew my own answer: it was me, myself, me, I would say, "me, me, ME, ME" with increasing urgency, "this is me, me, I want to live, forget this work of art, I would like to say me, me, fish me out from this water, let's go live, let's go walk and run, stay up all night and pour my head onto paper, I'll leave the city, go travel the world", and that's what I thought about on the way home, listening to rather ripped (sonic youth), reading about melanie klein and wilhelm reich on wikipedia, rocking on my heels, watching seoul slide by.

(and still there is this ____ in my ____)

This was 14 years, 8 months, 23 days ago

The best part of the construction phase of buildings is, in my opinion, the stage where the structure of the building is set up, and and lights are hung up on each floor for construction purposes, the building turning into a lantern of sorts. But more than a lantern, the building's like a pastiche of the buildings that surround it, especially in manhattan, gridded incandescent bulbs mimicking the interplay and pseudorandom modulation of windows lit on and off that is so characteristic of these high rectangular buildings (demographics concerning race class age occupation life habits and etc etc scrunched up and flattened into this facade almost legible as a pattern or a script).

In the case of this building under construction it's all lights, there are no walls, and it's as if you're seeing straight through to what would be the undiluted heart and spirit of a building fully populated and alive. I imagine a wall moving into place at the finishing moment of construction, blocking views, closing off lights. This is the archetypal state of all-lights-on that maybe not its citizens but the building itself aspires to achieve, all-homes-habited, inhabitedness, lovedness. And so maybe at the start of its life each construction starts off so full, so noticed and worked on, but as time passes the wild vigor and excitement of newness mellows out as the building disappears (and its abnormally clean exterior finds some rainstreaks, practices its patina) and becomes absorbed in Benjamin's state of distraction, learns to smile serenely, waits to pass time by. Burning fire and lightbulbs are for an unfinished youth, it thinks. Meanwhile, a 22-year-old boy sits on a rooftop across the east river and stares at this youthful burning building, thinks of a poem, watches the cars drifting along FDR drive, hears himself move.

This was 14 years, 8 months, 28 days ago

(I haven't written anything since July 17th?? It seems like an eternity has passed.)


synced iphone to computer. accidentally removed all of the notes I had for an year thanks to itunes. I think of that apollo 13 scene of a wedding ring swirling down into a bathtub drain that I saw when I was probably about 10. cherished ideas that I had in: iceland, korea, japan, new york, cambridge, san francisco, and everywhere here and there jotted down briefly and now never recovered, little dipolar metaphorical bits of 0 and 1 flipping back and forth parity checked and error-correctioned for. and then: the massive ramifications of a tickbox upending this small civilization of moss-overgrown and loved bits of data and turning over a new leaf, churning things into the order of a clean slate, a starkly pristine loam. the only way to get past this gentle feeling of having forgotten precious things is to grit teeth and move on. there will always be new things to forget--


what a whirlwind! architectural thinking brings everything up to a massive scale, oceanic waves, tidal movements, tectonic plates embracing, and so on. an influx of people, interested and thus interesting. if you hear a deep rumble from underneath the ground and you've always wondered what that cellar door was it was the machinery with its picturesque deep red glow moving, clicking into place, and archaic cogwheels meant to be (or at least believing that they're meant to be) starting to move towards determined destinations.

already it's all sliding past, quickly, some specter of a moment. bottle tossings and floors crashed on, things like that. the sway of a cab ride, twice, and the numerous mottled shadows of trees underneath streetlamps in the quiet (and maybe too quiet) light of a somerville street. wild jumping ups and photographs and things like that. and so on and so on.

if there's a thing to all of this, like a Thing, then it's that cdisco was the first initial point on a series of dots launching towards the right and towards the arrow of the axis underneath that says 'time(t)' (whether units are in months or years or decades, who knows). where these points go I think I know, but let's do the linear regression or the cubic or polynomial or whatever. watch the simplistic and altogether elegantly continuous and consistent lines of mathematical constraint intertwine and harmonize with the jagged edges generated from the interplay of the presence and absence of data point, data point, data point. little rough triangles on either side of this regression line, dancing over and underneath, from this point to that point.


there are dark rooms with thunderstormings going on, and quiet streets with cars and joggers passing by. I am in a funny place. I am keeping quiet.


one night written waiting for the L train and then the G train, at union square, on the iphone:

Guy steps out of a DVD porn store having fulfilled his intent; door chime now chirps goodbye as I see destination in his steps and the strands of a leather whip, freshly bought, swinging in his hand. Something about the combination of car keys in hand and the freshness of the blue of the jeans this guy is wearing makes this all so domestic all of a sudden. It's not that whips aren't initially domestic, or that the experience here is about 'stretching my boundaries' -- it's that something about his step and the sway of the leather tendrils bring the whip to an absolute point of mundaneness, literally mundus in the Latin, like the worldly dirt things acquire after you've bought them and handled them, preciousness falling off with every heartthreatening drop to the ground, until soon the fetishized product comes to you as less of a presence and more of a quiet little creature kneeling in the southwest and dustiest corner of your desk drawer that you got a few years ago, something to come and touch you as utterly simple. 'Lost its luster' maybe, but much more than that.

These are not metaphors for people or relationships or something like that, at least not now, but direct and maybe too literal examples of what-does-happen and happen to objects, physical things that get the shine stripped from them and approach you on a much more intensely functional level; or if you don't use them that often then on an intensely formal level. The rounded base of mugs or electric toothbrush chargers coming rapidly at you, tonight. Phones dropped and skitteredly tossed across tables, eons away from the carefully photographed renderings on their original packaging. The weathered and not altogether unattractive patina of buildings moving against architectural renderings, full of a strange stark geometry and cleanliness, ordered chaos.

And so this materialization or visceral tangible sense of the loss of this shine comes to me with this newly bought whip -- the purpose in his step and the directness with which he opens the driver's door of a car parked on the street (and on 14th street at that, with emergency blinkers on) all translating into some sort of gesture that I cannot yet decide whether it is crushingly simple and stark and almost heartless in its lack of desire for the object itself and for the eventual use of the object -- or whether I should be overjoyed for this liberation, fetish objects removed from fetishistic objectification (ba dum ching), objects just any other objects like another on a democratic and unilateral level. And then I cannot decide so I keep on walking, and then he enters and becomes a silhouette in a darkened car, and then as I walk I imagine the phlegmy cough of a car engine starting up somewhere behind me, and then his car's just another vehicle on the street, the stream.


silence for three or four days sounds like a clean crisp cold salad of baby spinach, arugula, some cucumber with just a brisk and brief upending (tilting, rather) of the olive oil nozzle over the bowl, a few turns of the wooden pepper grinder, and a small pinch of salt.


buildings as mostly optical? I have this image of a mirage-like building, flow and circulation guided only by the optical guidance of corridors, the double date of twin walls and ceiling-floors, and in addition the quiet solo addition of a few elevator buttons here or there, little circles drawn around points of intersection. throughout the passageway of a building your finger presses a button or your hand gently opens a doorknob but other then that all other interaction is with your feet and with your eyes. call it a certain solipsism but applied to vision -- we introduce optical solipsism maybe, the chief curator of an architectural experience, relying on the foundations of architectural convention and the belief in these canonical foundations.


I have shoes. I have a bag and a suitcase and a sublet. I have a cellphone with internet and email on it. I have a laptop. I have a p.o. box.

This was 15 years, 8 months, 21 days ago


This was 15 years, 8 months, 26 days ago

just started reading the order of things. after subsequent sessions of picking up and putting down mm, pv, jr, finally got around to starting tonight. read the famed 'chinese encyclopedia' preface, and was surprised and generally enthused to realize that things made sense, words fucking slid into places and made themselves available, lucid, clear, sharp, snappable.

and then and then there's always the counter-fear I harbor lately: says who, according to what, established on what basis. to what degree have I bought into another discourse arguing for another order?

any which way I look at this it's hard to critique these bases of this basis-challenging discourse; mathematics come in flavors depending on their axioms -- non-euclidean geometry, etc, empirical science established on the basis of repeatability (isn't deduction established on induction?). an argument against these foundations as arbitrary and fluid seems unchallengeable. not that arbitrarity necessarily equals futility, a-utility, or even authority.

and with this sense of unchallengability comes my kneejerk questioning, paranoia of even the certainty of uncertainty. what is it that pushes me towards this miasma? I think I understand more of foucault's definition of a heterotopia -- at least more than explained than his essay: that is, a space in which these pre-established 'thresholds' assumed to be transparent and natural becomes visible and also breaks down, turns opaque and permeable. ranciere's notion of politics and art as harboring specific distributions of the sensible and challenging the pre-eminent distribution probably runs in this same vein, seeing as both foucault and ranciere had althusser as a mentor. this miasmatic, nauseating and "sick" status as described as foucault (although this may be sarcasm/criticism against a system of logic that deems everything outside of its borders alien and chaotic -- we'll see), is this really necessary? I don't mean 'who says there isn't an origin?' but rather 'what force makes us assert that there is no solid origin'? or more importantly, by convincing myself that this is a problem of distributions and segregations and delineations, what proper meta-moral meta-physical meta-logical conclusion was foucault driving himself towards to? "let's find out the truth about how there is no truth"?

I can imagine foucault, surging on the wave of structuralism, writing something entirely anew, being fresh and awake in 1966.

clearly I need to read more, and I will.