Friday, January 06, 2017

Lesson TWENTY-TWO : Flip-book


Nonlinear.  Discontinuous.  
Collage-like.  An assemblage.  
As is already more than self-evident.
-- David Markson, Vanishing Point

Not much more than the time I pretend to do something.  Really just shower, get dressed to start trembling.  This mammal, so far beyond its capacity.  Not quite able to construct a person.  If I take the train no one is left.  But even before that.

     A flip-book of monsters, I have in mind.  How I loved those as a child!  Making monsters came naturally.  The head of an eagle, a bear’s torso, jockey shorts, and the legs of a flamingo!
     I’m going to be regarded as a genius after my death.  It’s just this intermediate period that’s hard.
     Of the 8 Worldly Dharmas, which are to be abandoned, one is fear of insignificance.  Usually it’s translated as ill-repute, but the former seems a far better translation, particularly nowadays.
     The knowledge that Zsa Zsa Gabor spent at least the last 5 of her 99 years in a state of profound dementia, fed by a tube in her stomach, unable to hear, speak, or see, with no awareness of what she had been, with no idea she had been famous.
     Aware of the desire to fall even further out of the world.  I would especially like to go a number of months without ever once seeing the news.  I would like important people to die without my knowing.  Is this wish ethically defensible?  I would have to be doing something important.  What is the chance of my ever doing something important during the entire remainder of my life?  (It’d have to be inadvertent, obviously.)  But if I am reliably negligible, does it matter if I read the news?  I would especially like to spend many weeks turning the Bible-thin pages of The Library of America, copying out sentences, and making diligent use of the cloth bookmark.  I believe it is all right to revel in the canon.  The canon remains almost entirely unknown. 
     A genius of average intelligence -- or just slightly below.  Who saw because he could not help seeing, who said because he could not help saying.  A teller of the very most obvious secrets, known by pets and by house plants, known even by people flying in airplanes overhead.  As a successfully-extruded member of my family, I can attest that it is the very most obvious secrets, which absolutely everyone knows, that get you in trouble.  Also, as for my fame, I ought to avoid undue excitement, as we are at the very end of us, oh tragedy, such relief, and civilization will survive me only just very slightly.  Therefore: I write for posterity.  All 12 minutes of it. 

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