I don’t like the taste of these words this morning—they give me no pleasure. How can I expect you to attend if I have such little faith myself? Yesterday I called you “reader-viewer-listener-feeler” (I named you and called to you (for help)) and you may think that this was some clever conceit echoing, rippling, from the title of this blog, where the hyphens stitch the words together and the braces hold them apart. But instead I hyphenate your name because I don’t know who you are (any more). I said we enjoyed ourselves but I merely reflected my fun and games onto you. You and I became lost in a sound game of vowels. We (I take you along with me whether you (or I) like it or not) played a little with punctuation too…
The drip, drip, drip of the ellipses were closed down by the full stop. Truth to tell, I don’t know where this is going. The only truth is the not knowing (knot nowing). I need tricks to play to gather words to this page but my mind seems as blank as this dank, still November morning. We say it is one of those days that can’t be bothered as even by the middle of the day we would struggle to say that it has got light. I digress. What I will do today is hang some words out and see what they catch. These words could be a bait or a feed or maybe they will be like the gamekeeper’s foe strung up on the fence as a warning. This is no warning though—the moles can’t see their kin up there. Those corpses are there to say that the gamekeeper is doing his job.
It is the same with these words and I. The words are rotten and decomposing but they show somebody that I am doing my job (faire le métier?). The words stink but I will add more—I will unceremoniously pierce their flesh, fur, feathers as I impale them on the barbed wire of the composing line. The words feel no pain for they are dead already but they will become wretched, bony and angular. Dead words? Not dead…but not alive either. Did they even exist until now? That last “now” for instance (which is now joined by this new now (these new nows))—where did it come from? I know what “now” means at present I can also read that now may derive from some form of new as we trace its origin back through languages which cover much of the world (German, Greek, Sanskrit, Latin, and so on). A well-travelled word this now. But is that now my now? As I write more and more the distance between that now and I increases. But did you see the slight shifts (the sleights) as the adverbal now turned conjunctive for a brief moment? Maybe, in the future, now will become adjectival; that would be so now!
Sew now, across the paragraph gap. A slender thread. A tender tread. A narrow trod. A slight trace. Apparently that space between these blocks of text does not have a name—it is a “space between paragraphs”. But not a space, surely it is a deep breath, which is no space at all. And the spaces between the words, are they there to give less workfortheeyetodo?1 These traditionally white spaces are full of possibility, as much as the words that form them in fact. Herenow on this page the white is a trompe l’oeil of course balancing perfectly its ingredients of red, green and blue. Balancing perfectly? Who do I fool? They are not three glasses on a tray but instead three intensities pulsing imperceptibly…a conjuring trick in plain sight (in plane site).
Pull on the hawsers! This vessel is adrift and the cargo is in danger. We need those words as we knead these. This has become hopeless now. Are you talking to me? Pull through the burrowed words! We need their help more than ever but don’t let anybody there hear. The hawsers will snag on the smooth roughness of the pixels but no matter.
1. workfortheeyetodo was “a book-space organised by Simon Cutts, Maggie Smith and Erica Van Horn” begun in London in 1992. See here for more information: http://www.thecentreofattention.org/dgwork.html