The Politics of Aesthetics Jacques Rancière translated by Gabriel Rockhill.

The 'fictionality' specific to the aesthetic age is consequently distributed between two poles: the potential of meaning inherent in everything silent and the proliferation of modes of speech and levels of meaning.

The real must be fictionalized in order to be thought.

Politics and art, like forms of knowledge, construct 'fictions', that is to say material rearrangements of signs and images, relationships between what is seen and what is said, between what is done and what can be done.
Reminds me of the work of Nicole Brossard on fictions du réel and theory.

And so for day 1929

Insertion versus Incitement

You said, "He doesn't need to ask questions." He was a senior manager going into a facilitated session with a number of experts in an area that he is not an expert in. So I pondered what you said and thought of it as being anti-intellectual. Upon further reflection I saw differing theories of change competing. I tend to favour the open-ended questioning that brings people to consider options and by consensus arrive at a course of action. The leader incites. The no-questions-asked approach is one of insertion. A strong message is conveyed and in some cases imposed. In short, the leader preaches.

Mary Daly would have had a field day characterizing it as dick-tation.

I tend to favour the optative over the imperative. Except when I'm reading John Preston I Once Had a Master

And so for day 1928

The Ends of Being and Books

Paved paradise, put up a parking lot - Joni Mitchell

Books had opened in childhood imaginations of other lives in which the idea of our own lives dwelling took on depths and heights, colors and figures, a new ground beyond self or personality in the idea of Man. But this prescribed thing was different, books became materials for examinations. English Literature with its reading lists, its established texts, its inquisitions, was to map our compulsory path in what had seemed before an open country. Work by work, author by author, the right roads were paved and marked, the important sights were emphasized, the civic improvements were pointed out where the human spirit had successfully been converted to serve the self-respect of civil men and the doubtful, impulsively created areas were deplored.

If we, in turn, could be taught to appreciate, to evaluate as we read and to cultivate our sensibilities in the ground of other men's passions, to taste and to regulate, to establish the new thing in the marketplace, we were to win some standing in the ranks of college graduates, and educated middle class, urbane and professional, as our parents had done before us.
Robert Duncan The H.D. Book "We" and "us" achieved too easily — all that paved territory of tradition was a wide vista for those of us from a different class — to be fair, Duncan may not be including the reader in that "us" but simply his classmates. Still the dichotomy rankles.

It is in the pluralism of men that I locate the quotidian work that opens up the micro-spaces of "doubtful, impulsively created areas". And I say "men" because that is where my desire tends. There is a hint there in Duncan "in the ground of other men's passions." Not in some idea of a capitalized Man.

And so for day 1927

Sartorial Markers

Like a master class in Bourdieu's Distinction

Gilbert, who noted the contrast with the true Washington style, in which evening clothes were as dowdy as the equivalent daytime dress, either because the important people weren't rich or were politically motivated to look frazzled, was sorry his own clothes were perfect and new. He knew that for people of position in Washington, evening clothes were working clothes, and therefore, both the men's and the women's tended to be sensible, unmemorable, and slightly worn.
Judith Martin. Gilbert

And so for day 1926

On the Hob

Nigel Slater Eat: The little book of fast food

Unlike opening the oven door, grabbing a tea towel and sliding out the baking dish, you simply have to lift the lid and you are immediately in touch with your food. This is the food whose smell fills our kitchen as we cook. It brings us to the table. The joy of stirring a dish while we drink and chat with those we are feeding. Cooking on the hob allows us to get closer to our cooking than roasting or baking. It allows us a sniff, a peep, a stir, a taste. The very best sort of hands-on cooking.
Disguised as nouns, it's the verbs that create the magic: sniff, peep, stir, taste.

And so for day 1925

After Yates

Our version, not quite accepting the syllable count …

Porcupine dying
Tobacco accepting
Quill decorating
She prefaces a number of poems
To a non-native that cosmic precedent, haikai, offers a medium through which to imagine and attempt to express the poetic evocations of native voices not presumptively, not as appropriation or traspassing [sic], but as validly as an harmonic echo reverberating for all times, reaching all places.
which leads to
dying porcupine
accepts tobacco for quills__
bridal moccasins!
Evelyn Catharine Yates. Karumi Moon: Probing Ancient and Modern Haiku

We pick up the gerund and make it present the steps as out of time in a type of synchrony: dying, accepting, decorating.

And so for day 1924


Marie Howe What the Living Do "A Certain Light"


He was all bones and skin, no tissue to absorb the medicine.
He couldn't walk unless two people held him.


then only in pain again — but wakened.
So wakened that late that night in one of those still blue moments

that were a kind of paradise, he finally opened his eyes wide,
and the room filled with a certain light we thought we'd never see again.

Look at you two, he said. And we did.
And Joe said, Look at you.                And John said. How do I look?

And Joe said, Handsome.
A gaze clinched.

And so for day 1923

The Walk

John Edgar Wideman. Hiding Place.

The character misses the trolley. Forced to walk he turns the event into an aesthetic moment.

Nothing for it now but to walk. He had to walk that night and in the darkness over his head the cable swayed and sang long after the trolley had disappeared. He had to walk cause that's all there was to it. And still no ride of his own so he's still walking. Nothing to it. Either right or left, either up Homewood or down Homewood, walking his hip walk, making something out of the way he is walking since there is nothing else to do, no place to go so he makes something of the going, lets them see him moving in his own down way, his stylized walk which nobody could walk better if they had some place to go.
The prose has its own gait. Its own down way.

And so for day 1922

latex of our lives

Kaushalya Bannerji
A New Rememberanc
(Toronto: TSAR, 1993)


What to say when a friend
becomes a corpse>


And what life is this?
The constant vigilance or weariness.
The latex of our lives
stretched to snapping.
There is a head note: "I wrote this poem in an attempt to come to terms with the sense of loss and homophobia that can surround the lesbian and gay communities when we are so often confronted with AIDS-related deaths."

I hear in this image all the pent up frustration of trying to get safe sex messages out in the face of attempts to muzzle the plain speaking.

And so for day 1921

Reading Howe

The Kingdom of Ordinary Time "Reading Ovid" Marie Howe

The thing about the Greeks and Romans is that
   at least mythologically,

they could get mad. If the man broke your heart, if he
   fucked your sister speechless

then real true hell broke loose:
   “You know that stew you just ate for dinner, honey?—

It was your son.”
   That’s Ovid for you.

A guy who knows how to tell a story about people who
   really don’t believe in the Golden Rule.

Sometimes I fantasize saying to the man I married, “You know
   that hamburger you just

gobbled down with relish and mustard? It was
   your truck.”
And it continues though I must admit with such a strong opening one loses the appetite to carry on *sigh* but it is worth reading Howe to see what she makes of this opening and by poem's end the reader is expected to ponder the words of Jesus about the kingdom of heaven being within you. Not sure how a reader can digest it. Somehow after the beginning one would rather cook than eat.

And so for day 1920