Monday, April 25, 2011


Hestra, the holy sheep, is having babies. This is why I couldn't find it out and about on the premise near the place I was vacationing over Easter. As I approached the enclosed stable rooms, however, I heard a familiar sound growing increasingly louder. Beh, beh, beh! “Hestra,” I shouted myself, and almost fell on my nose in the dirt as I stumbled towards the gate. Hestra saw me coming and almost jumped out of the shed – big belly or no belly. Such joyful sight. Hestra was over the moon and was already enticing all the other mothers and their babies to welcome me in the sun.

“Oh my,” I said to her, “so you've missed me?”
“I missed you too.”
“Beh, Beh.”
“I'm so glad they haven't turned you into salami.”
“Beh, beh, beh.”
“And how is it going in the kids department?”
“So they keep you at it?”
“Beh. Beh.”
“Well, better that than dead meat.”
“Beh, beh, beh.”
“This way we get to still see each other.”
“Beh, beh, beh, beh.”

It goes like this with me and Hestra, and it's always a grand pleasure to communicate with her. But this time, as I was also moving towards the opposite barn to see what the moo cows were doing aligning themselves with a lot of interest in my direction, I heard the whole bleating choir behind me. “Beh, beh, beeeeh, beeeeh, beh, beh, beeeeh, beeeeh.” “All right, all right, I'll come back right now," I had to say, just to calm down Hestra and the sisters. But Hestra wanted to make sure I was going nowhere. She was half ways out on my side, and I wondered what I should do, catch it, or let it catch me. You never quite know with sheep. My sister was astonished at such excitement, and all she could say was this: “by Jove, I understand that you want to come and see this sheep every year, and if I didn't know you any better, I'd swear you'd make the Swedish boy an offer he can't refuse and sell you the whole goddamn farm, the runic stone included.” I said to her: “maybe you don't know me any better.” “Beh,” said Hestra, and I could tell that this one sheep was worth more than a whole world. At least it made me sure of one thing: that if I won't hack it as an academic, I'll excel sublimely in the sheep business.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I’m reading Rachel Pollack’s novel Temporary Agency and while listening to the sublime Nima ben David’s playing on one of my favorite instruments, the bass viola da gamba, I stop at Rachel’s epigraph for Part Two from Euripides: “I pray that love may never come to me with murderous intent, in rhythms measureless and wild.” Nima stretches her fingers on the neck of the instrument in an impossible way, weaving her touch with the vibrations from her bowing in such a way that I feel penetrated in both my vision and my gut. This instantly reminds me of Rachel’s other book: The Body of the Goddess in which she uses this epigraph from Judith Guest’s Miss Manners for one of her chapters: “Ways of doing things may be new, things to be done are generally not.” The bass goes very low on four strings at this point and I hide quickly in Euripides’s prayer. I search for the word of my passion. In Euripides’s time, the Greeks never wrote obituaries. They posed only one question: did the dead have a passion? The text escapes through the soundscape, and a gate opens.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


What people do behind our backs can be quite astonishing. But lucky for us if we like surprises – or signs. Signs are everywhere all the time – as some good masters have pointed out – and if we bother to think about ‘what it might all mean,’ we may be able to construe some narratives that are anything but boring. The veracity of these narratives is not the most interesting – sometimes knowing what we know is already more than enough, and if we should need proof, all we need to do is wait a little. Proof of the known unknown usually has a way of coming to us all by itself. Now, Derrida’s ghost is over me – blessed be his specter. It’s only been a few days ago that I was talking about him in a public forum, and yet now it looks like he wants to be even more forcefully resurrected. But, as befitting a grand master, he does it meta-style, circular-style, and roundabout-style, by imploding himself, as it were, in another text about me, so to speak. Which is to say that he has just managed to haunt the writer Gordon Lish, who once wrote about one ”Gordon Lish” and the death of his wife in his book Epigraph – on which I wrote myself in an old article, and in which I called on Derrida. Now, Lish, being haunted because Derrida calls back on me, has dug up this article of mine and re-published it himself HERE, thus fully resurrecting it along with pics which he stole from my website. Great move. And great pics. The whole affair reminded me of this great line of Jacques’: “When I have nothing to do in a public place, I photograph myself and with few exceptions burn myself” (Postcard, 37). Now I wonder how this applies to virtual public places. I go ask the cards. My old article compels me to do so, as it’s all about divination and hermetic traditions – though not so overtly stated. I was more cautious in those days. – I’m sure I’ll get an honest and straight answer – I always do. If not on what Derrida wants from me, then surely on how to own up to my own ghost.