“…it is clear that we must trust in what is difficult; everything alive trusts in it, everything in nature grows and defends itself any way it can and is spontaneously itself, tries to be itself at all costs and against all opposition. We know little, but that we must trust in what is difficult is a certainty that will never abandon us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be one more reason for us to do it.”
(Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young poet, The Seventh Letter, May 14th , 1904, Rome)
“Ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple ‘I must’, then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.”
(Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young poet, The First Letter, Feb 17th , 1903, Paris)
It is night-time.
It is winter.
It is cold.
It is difficult.
It is hard.
It is driving you crazy.
It is good.
It is for the good.
It is difficult for the good.
It is a difficult time for the good.
You will be fine.
As long as you keep your eyes open no harm will be done to you.
Be around friends.
Be in big cities.
Be in the country side.
Be attracted and attractive.
Be yourself and not yourself.
Be the different characters of yourself.
Be a literary hero.
Be a movie star.
Be reading books.
Be walking in the forest.
Be riding the bike.
Be and be not-be.
Be someone who cares.
Be a man.
Be a woman.
Be a child.
Be in equanimity.
This poem demands a final ‘Be’ standing alone at the end but I wont do that.
this poem wants to
What has not been said?
There must be something that has not been said.
How can we connect that to Postmodernism?
She is on her fours,
I am above her.
She is below me.
She is blowing me.
I am being blown.
I am being blown from below.
I am being blown from below by a beautiful blonde.
I am being blown from below by a beautiful blonde with big breasts.
Her breasts are dangling in front of me.
I look at them.
They are big.
They belong to a beautiful blonde with big breasts.
I take them in my mouth.
I suck on them.
She sucks on me.
We both suck each other.
We suck and suck and suck.
Then we fuck and go to sleep.
The following is a reconstruction of an email exchange between VerySmallKitchen and Ohad Ben Shimon in response to the above post, which took place Dec 3-4 2011.
OHAD: i have been wanting to write something erotic after reading bataille’ story of the eye for the first time. im aware that it doesnt quite pass by my usual subject matters or ‘style’.
what made the last section definite for me is that it is not at all about desire or the sexual act but only about the one long sentence where i felt like coming up with a lot of words starting with the letter ‘b’ – being blown by a beautiful blonde with big breasts and that that would echo somehow the verb/wish – ‘be’ from the first section, so to have some kind of ‘coded’ message. and in relation to poetry and photography…that they should also just be in the sense that a poem wants to be and a photograph/image wants to be..
i guess im ‘building on’/trusting the contingency of language..in form and in essence in the sense that contingency is something applicable to propositions and i see art as a proposition. maybe that is the necessary link we need in order to come back to our original question – what is the relation between art practice and writing..
VerySmallKitchen: One characteristic of texts that position themselves between art practice and writing seems to be an immersion in the possibilities of a form or genre which is simultaneously a utilisation of its possibilities/effects and a commentary upon those –
Ohad: i do consider all of this discourse as one which is on a meta level yes definitely. i think the kind of poetry i am most interested in is ars poetics and i guess that im interested in connecting poetry as the highest form of literature to a possible highest form of visual art, perhaps that would be painting or some other form of image-language (beeld-taal in dutch)? so im dealing here with comparing these two systems, the system of language to the system of art via a meta connection, yes.
VerySmallKitchen: But these multiple levels of (self-) awareness are not necessarily shared or even identified by a reader. Perhaps that explains texts that require performance or discussion to be “completed” in some way, either as “afters” or by inviting notions of script and conversation into their own page forms –
Ohad: (thinking out loud) is an incomplete text one that does not have con-text? do we need a text to have a ‘con’ in order to justify it or can it just be without having an antagonist to ‘fight’ against? a preposition (con) to complete the proposition? does a text need a context in order to be self-aware? does its self-awareness require a context in order to be comprehended? does a text need to be comprehended?
maybe this is a quality that we can borrow from visual art which does not necessarily require to be comprehended in order to be enjoyed..maybe such is the form of the ‘artistic’ text? maybe con-text as such is something we can start to imagine doing without. i mean this in the sense that everything is context. everything is going against the text. that is why it wants to be, to be on its own, to exist on its own terms (like the reference by rilke) to exist.
the text is the protagonist and the con-text is the antagonist. maybe that is the duel of literature..that is the pity i find in story of the eye by bataille.. it is followed by an unnecessary ( in my opinion) contemplation by roland barthes and susan sontag who will creep their way into whatever interesting text is out there..
… i think a good way to deal with this is indeed through performance, especially as regarding to voice, and the sound the text and reader make whilst reading it – indeed a more physical form. perhaps that is the reason for all the explicit physicality, stereo-typical sexual representation, i.e the politics of representation at the end. the politics of representation here is in fact a politics of repression in which the voice is being repressed by an all encompassing Über-con-text.
… some final thoughts about things standing on their own..perhaps we are attempting here a challenge to what is believed to be unachievable in contemporary art..an object standing on it own..a self contained object..
VerySmallKitchen: But despite all these processes/ideas the post still concludes with a stereotypical heterosexual male sexual fantasy/ porn image-
Ohad: what is a classic porn image/ male fantasy? im sure there are million different kinds of fantasies. why are we forced to think that there is one iconic, original, solid male fantasy. the nature of fantasy itself is in the multitude not the singular..dreams and fantasies are lucid. maybe we are dealing with challenging the classic definition of a male fantasy?
maybe the ‘pornographic’ section at the end is dealing with the deconstruction of the original/monolithic text/male fantasy as such? maybe that is where porn and poetry meet..? i guess you are right in pointing out that we do have some gender issue on our hands. how to deal with that? maybe in the next post?
VerySmallKitchen: Thinking about blog traffic I was considering the relations of our ideas on language and art practice to “beautiful blonde big breasts sucks” as google search terms… should this be part of our concern?
Ohad: the google search terms is part of our inquiry i believe. google is the all encompassing context which the texts we are dealing with today take their oxygen/raison de etre from.