For Robert Gibbons

Today I want to celebrate. Because I promised. I promised Robert a heap of words to go with his 62 years. But what words? While vacuum-cleaning the apartment, I’m thinking of entanglement. Robert likes entanglement. It’s lucky that my Miele machine won’t go beyond time. Robert likes time in all shapes and sizes. I’m efficient. I pick up Robert’s latest book, and read the poem “The Aesthetics of the Fragment.” Miele makes a noise in the background. Robert likes fragments. He also knows that I like fragments. At this point I’m trying to resist the temptation to write about myself. I’m writing a new book of poetry. The title is In Cite. In the new book I cite. Robert says: “I thought about the thesis, the aesthetics of the fragment. It has a lot to do with our innate refusal to see any object in some way other than inherently whole, at the same time cultivating a fondness for that which is missing, that which is consubstantial to the ruin.” In hindsight, we don’t get to choose whom we cite. They choose us. Should I throw in some Lacan? – “Desire is always inscribed in and mediated by language.” But Robert likes Kristeva: “significance is inherent in the human body.” I have three books on my table: Beyond Time, Epistemology: 5 Questions, and Becoming beside Ourselves. They all have math in them. Which should I cite more from? I count: eeny, meeny, miny, moe. I stop after the 62nd attempt. I need to know nothing. I just desire desire. The displaced “it.” Today we’ll call “it” champagne. To you.


Bent said…
Like you, our mutual friend Glenn Gould, who knew enough about music to prefer Bach, enjoyed the sound of vacuum cleaners - a sound he felt enriched his enjoyment of Mozart tremendously... He also knew a thing or two about systems, noise and negations:

"The trouble begins when we start to be so impressed by the strategies of our systematized thought that we forget that it does relate to an obverse, that it is hewn from negation, that it is but very small security against the void of negation which surrounds it. And when that happens, when we forget these things, all sorts of mechanical failures begin to disrupt the functions of the human personality. When people who practice an art like music become captives of those positive assumptions of system, when they forget to credit that happening against negation which system is, and when they become disrespectful of the immensity of negation compared to system – then they put themselves out of reach of that replenishment of invention upon which creative ideas depend, because invention is, in fact, a
cautious dipping into the negation that lies outside system from a position firmly ensconced in system."

Our other mutual friend, Robert, knows how to always put himself within reach of that replenishment of invention upon which creative ideas depend...

To all of you!

Popular Posts