The following are three sections of Ohad Ben Shimon’s 2 blue cups on two different corners of the table, forthcoming from VerySmallKitchen Books in June 2013.
the morning is an event
my narrative capabilities are destroyed
all I can do is describe what I see
making connections is hard these days
nothing seems to fit into one coherent whole
fragments of a reality
and you are in the middle
you move around
close and far
you are the writer
attaching your words to objects
in hope that one day it will make sense to someone
and the ends come closer
they arrive faster
once you used to start something
and it took you a while to get there
nowadays you start
and it ends
many people running
they seem like they can steal my laptop
rain on the ground
some guy is smoking a big joint
the tram lines run
we just finished our performance
it was nice
elegance says one street sign
r&b says another
an orange umbrella
a strong smell of weed coming out of a coffeeshop
a burger king
someone says ‘money’
more plastic bags
a guy with a coat looking at my laptop and bags
2 guys laughing
a few girls throw some redbull cans into a garbage can
a guy in a rickshaw
a theater building with the sign ‘macbeth’ on it
below it another sign says ‘to see or not to see’
2 spanish guys with cotton hats saying ‘amsterdam’
with a black coat on a brown bench
another rickshaw guy passes
some guy says bye to a girl
to work around things
to shift them
to replace one with another
to exchange values
re re re
to rest some place
to let it rest
to change your ways
to come back to them
to change again
to create sockets
pockets of air
reaches a high point and a low point
somehow somewhere sometime
you always find yourself back on the saddle
it’s never really gone
what has gone are layers of times
somehow somewhat peeled off by their own movement
and you imagine a place
where all these changes take place
whilst at the same time not really taking place
the internet and the computer
are helpful for that illusionary space
it’s there and not there
it allows you to dream
it harbors your imaginary right and wrong doings
by presenting an ordered software and hardware
to renegotiate your own order
your own mechanism
the state of your affairs
the never ending
yet always already ending
life that you are living today
and the next day
and the next
whatever energy is left in you
make it happen
reach that land
it is there waiting for you
you called for it to appear
you will become
you will become
The following dialogue was conducted between VerySmallKitchen and Ohad Ben Shimon during the writing of the book:
VSK: I wrote some questions for you today – about the book, the book to be, the book as it is, the book as it is being imagined, will be and won’t…. where does a book begin and where does it end?
OHAD: i think a book begins at the point when all other plans don’t seem to work out.. funny as it is, the strongest form of self expression is actually the last one we think of…perhaps we don’t allow ourselves that freedom. once we feel entitled we create a title. a ‘book’. it ends when someone forces you to end it. and that brings on a new restriction to once again search for that freedom, perhaps in the form of a new book.
VSK: Do some experiences look wrong on the page or perhaps “too right”?
OHAD: i try to see all experiences as part of this thing we call life and in that sense always ‘right’. what’s in the book is not the experience. it’s just the transformation of that experience into an artistic form, in this case text. so in a way all the experiences look wrong on the page as they don’t represent exactly the experience. the only true or ‘right’ experience in the book and on the page is the one the reader is having, because for him or her it is the first time they have the experience of reading such things.
VSK: What else does a list do?
OHAD: i’m thinking here actually of a list as a registration of desire. of things you want. so a list can create desire in the mind of the reader. now the question is a desire for what.
VSK: Does writing encourage fidelity or fiction?
OHAD: i believe you can’t run away from your own writing. in that sense it has always been a form of fidelity for me, even when it’s introduced as fiction. the reader will always find your blind spot whilst reading or you will eventually find it given sufficient time.
VSK: Is a notated day different to a not notated day?
OHAD: not really. i see breathing, walking, swimming, eating, basically many everyday actions as forms of writing if they’re on some page or not.
VSK: When do you read this in the future?
OHAD: in mornings.
VSK: When do details affirm and when do they erase?
OHAD: it’s an exchange. they affirm their own presence. the presence of the detail. but at that same very moment they erase the whole. that’s why i can’t really get my head around them. they are slippery creatures.
VSK: How does the text function as gift?
OHAD: it’s wrapped. in the same unexplainable material that life itself is wrapped in. it requires the reader to unwrap it.
VSK: How does the text function as instruction?
OHAD: maybe it’s an instruction to keep my eyes open. perhaps in the form of note to self.
VSK: Is it some sort of record that is breaking?
OHAD: yes it’s a record that is breaking but the record itself remains intact. what is being broken is language. it’s in a constant state of self annihilation. the text is at once a living organism in the sense that it has a breaking force and at the same time it is a residue or cinder.
VSK: Aren’t you really just trying out a form of magic?
OHAD: only if this form of magic has some kind of thera-poetic power like the word abracadabra.
VSK: Does the writing imagine you or someone else?
OHAD: of course. the image-nation.
Ohad Ben Shimon’s 2 Blue Cups on 2 Different Corners of the Table is forthcoming from VerySmallKitchen in June 2013.
For more about Ohad’s work see here. His VSK Residency posts are here.