How Are They For

Month: October, 2012

But then again,

looking out over Nablus from the kitchen window, remembering it’s my turn to do the dishes, thinking about what I’m going to do later today and tomorrow, about girls and movies and my friends, people just… Live. We can’t act with confidence and purpose like they do in the movies, no one’s written us full of purpose and directionfulness, convinced us of the one true good and the one true evil, of the steps that need to be taken, we have no crystal hanging around our neck that vibrates pink when trolls are near, we’re taxic. We gravitate toward things that feel nice, away from things that feel bad. This global perspective of evilness doesn’t happen on a human scale. We just live our lives and hope that what little we are will be enough to get us to the day we die, with anything to show for ourselves.

It’s not “hopelessness,” really, or even “apathy;” it’s just what we do. Someone has to do the dishes, and I wonder if there are going to be any pretty girls at the halloween party. I look to the horizons only occasionally, gathering myself around myself like melting clay trying to keep from becoming a puddle formulating a long list of all the ways that my life can be extinguished 1.head split 2. lungs ruptured 3. eyes melted 4. heart broken 5.



Ineffectual light given off by a small flashlight: objects whose functions are diffused and approaching uselessness but functioning yet. What are the necessities for death, what must happen to the body for it to cease to function? It is not necessary for the skin to break, not necessary for the eyes to pop, not necessary for the insides to melt and dribble out of us, what are the ways that we can die, a detailed list:

1. By falling from a great height onto our head, crushing the skull, crushing the brain matter which is excessively sensate to the weathers and pressures of the air.
2. By becoming stabbed through the heart, the heart, though surrounded by liquid, is dry as sand. In puncturing it, filling it with our liquid it loses its functionality.
3. How do poisons work? I have a pre-acceptance of poison, of vials and tiny liquids that swallowed into me will cause my death but no understand of how that is possible. How can a small amount of liquid enter into my body and result into my death?

Essays on 3.1
The liquid is magnetized, entering into the bloodstream it draws the metals of our blood to itself and causes a closure, a blockage.

The liquid is a solution of broken glass, in passing through the veins and arteries, it slices and cuts and unties the ribbons of our blood canals into long wet strings. Our body becomes diffuse with blood.

The liquid is aluminum it rushes to our fingertips and there it turns our fingers into like lightening rod, drawing electricity from everything we touch into our body until we decide to touch ourselves, creating a close circuit of electricity that burns us.

Electricity fills the sky, radiance fills the sky, cloud fills the sky all in a seeming complete opposition to the garbage that sits on the earth. Chairs and dust and square buildings, the sun sets in a kingdom of ceaseless unviewable motion, challenging our understanding of before and after, a ceaseless honeying.

“Lie down and I will pour honey into your eyes.”

“But will that not damage me? Will that not make my eyes sticky and unworking?”

“You have stringented a definition of what you are fixed and whole. My desire is to show you that in brokenness also you can become a kind of whole. Your eyes broken and filled with honey will see nothing yet-

courtesy DS
photo courtesy DS

I have no problems with Israel. Israel will always be there, will always be an evil.There will always be similar evils. My problem is with Palestine. My problem is with this city, Nablus, filled with peace and families of bread makers and shoe fixers and fruit sellers and brick makers that continues and subsists in this quasi-peace, while around it Israel dismantles, disenfranchises and “disappears” the Palestinian people.

My problem is with people here who celebrate ineffectual, violent martyrdom, pictures of young men with guns, dressed in camouflage (you can see how scared they are in how bravely they stand). My problem is with hookah smoking and cigarette smoking and young men who choose to allow this occupation to slowly kill their people and allow images pictures of Palestine to continue to disseminate around the world, villainizing the brown man. My frustration is with Palestine and their peace.

If Palestine is going to care about their land, then they cannot go on allowing Israel to feed them a false sense of security while they strategically seize the rest of the country surrounding the big cities, avoiding a final confrontation as long as possible. Nablus is not a city, it is as huge refugee camp, for all the people who have been scared out of the smaller cities and towns, surrounded by settlers.

If you truly believe in something, you need to be willing to fight for it. Need to be willing to die for it, and I know it’s easy for me to say that as a foreigner and “whatever,” but my point is simple: either fight the occupation or do not complain about it. The solution for the occupation must come from the Palestinians and must come in the form of cohesion and singularity, it must come from a united people dedicated and finally decided to stand for their cause. DS said today, “things need to get worse before they can get better,” and there is nothing more applicable to the situation here. Nablus is the epitome of peace. All day long from somewhere a monotone “Happy Birthday” rings off some ice cream truck, filling the entire city with apathy. Young men walk through the streets hand in hand, laughing. People eat ice cream and falafel and children play soccer and paint murals about coexistence. It is a true peace. People are growing and loving, having children and making a little bit of money and marrying each other. It is life, continuing. And this evil thing, the occupation, lurks all around this city. 18 year old Israeli men with guns stand all along the highway, segregated busstops, settlements that surround and constrict little villages. Olive trees lit on fire, hummers humming up and down all the mountains. This irony, this touching point is what needs to be made sense of.

The Palestinians of the cities need to stop allowing themselves to be pacified and act in cohesion. Where is it? Where is the resistance movement? Where is the group of 25 year old kids who’ve read malcolm x and nelson mendela and gandhi and das kapital in translation who are disseminating literature all over the city, printing words of revolution? Organizing the counter movement to the risk of their lives? To end this occupation, the Palestinians must be willing to die for their cause. Die in peace. They cannot act in violence because they will be villainized. They must resist with peace, with their voices. Where is that? Where is the gathering of 10,000 Palestinians before a great sound system where young people speak truths, where cameras point and the Israelis are allowed to become the villains? I have no problem with Israel, I have a problem with the apathy and fear of the Palestinians. And the answers are sensible:

“Israel feeds us, what happens when we fight them? We don’t have the resources to fight.”

“They have more guns, they will kill us.”

“Things are peaceful now, why seek to create problems?”

Things need to get worse before they get better. BECAUSE things are peaceful, the occupation is not a humanitarian controversy, and so will not get the global aid and attention it needs. Once Palestinians stand up and become organized and begin to speak with huge voices and create film and video and audio that sells itself, powers will Need to act. The solution must come from Palestine. It must come from organization, dissemination, Word. Where is the Word? Where is the spoken word of freedom, the decision to be free? Individuals martyr themselves, but it will not be an individual that saves the Palestinian people, it will be the Palestinian people. Palestine must martyr itself. The entire People must be willing to die, but NOT be willing to kill. They must be organized, they must speak. Palestine must occupy Israel. The fruit sellers must bring fruit and the bread sellers must bring bread and the shoe makers must mend shoes and the Palestinian people need to relinquish all ties of ownership and become as one people marching. Walking in a simple statement: “we are people as you are people please this must not go on anymore.” This un-baked cookie of a war, warm in someplaces, cold in the center, has been going on for 60 years. SIXTY YEARS.

It so easy to feel hopeless; Israel and the Palestinian Authority do a good job of creating an environment of peaceful hopelessness. But it needs to be broken from. Where is that group of young men who start writing and printing and inspiring people to listen? Who organize events and words spoken, who decide to take this battle on their own terms, not just waiting until Israel finally decides to exterminate the nation of Palestine?

The answer is simple: Palestine must wake up, and fight with peace.

My anger is at Palestine for allowing themselves to be occupied. I understand it’s complicated when you think about it politically and economically and socially and geographically and religiously and in terms of the weather and the rate at which things speed up and slow down, the melting points of metals, but it SHOULDN’T be complicated to a young Palestinian man. It should be simple: Israel, stop doing what you’re doing. Palestine, start doing what should be doing.

I am unsure if it’s reasonable or unreasonable to be angry at the shebabs… I think I just want to see revolution

magnetisms i am

I have been talking a lot about Voice in my classes, about the importance of it. “There is no solution to the occupation,” but we try anyway– We wake up and try, that’s all we can do. It’s human, etc..

If a wound (and killing) has touched you, be sure a similar wound (and killing) has touched the others. And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns, that Allah may test those who believe and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allah likes not the Zalimun.

We spoke about love and hate for Palestine, and everyone in class had a story about saying goodbye to someone they knew would be giving themselves to the cause, brothers and uncles and fathers who left to become martyrs. It’s a Thing, you know what I mean? Like christmas trees or kites or 4-way stop signs. It’s an artifact, an item of life here, a thing that people do or make that is almost as magic, that does not come from evidence. You cannot deduce kites from what you know about life, just as you cannot deduce martyrs from what you know about life. Ornaments, objects that hang on life, details that are hyper specific and hyper localized and have a quality of magic.

Iblis (Satan) said: “I am not the one to prostrate myself to a human being, whom You created from dried clay of altered mud.

Easy to make anything look evil, easy to make anything look good; perspective– “it’s easier to hate than to love,” again just words, political, rhetorical. Qualities of truth separate from truth;

And from among His Signs are the night and the day, the sun and the moon. Prostrate yourselves not to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allah who created them, if you (really) worship Him.

The words that populate this life, the things that people know and couldn’t imagine. The things we do and believe, the colors that attract us, the things we do to our bodies, to people around us, the names we call each other, the things we have words for the things we must search to describe, our physical moments and requirements, our reasonings and the things we choose to allow, how buildings are filled with rooms and cities are filled with buildings and rooms are filled with people and people are filled with cities… Wondering at science and at god, the words we use, unbending at the elbows feeling a pressure and hearing a pop, telling people by the sound of their footsteps.

We maintain… the empirical reality of space in regard to all possible external experience, although we must admit its transcendental ideality; in other words, that it is nothing, so soon as we withdraw the condition upon which the possibility of all experience depends and look upon space as something that belongs to things in themselves.

It would be so much easier not to try; the answer will either come in a book of infinite pages or in a single letter; over and over: the occupation must be wrong: what does its subsistence mean?: As things are vs. As things appear.

There is a thing called love, there is a story of a woman whose sons have all killed themselves in Israel, it is possible to make paper and wood fly in large wind, we all have eyes.

Thought, action. I have this really exciting image of these spontaneous meetings. Where people will come with their faces and bodies wrapped, their voices transformed to stand in front of a crowd and speak huge honesties, poetries, descriptions of the sounds of their body. We tend toward untruthing ourselves around others, playing roles and “being somebody else” somehow. We certainly are not so simple as to “be a certain thing” and “not a certain other thing,” yet we all have this idea inside of us of “who we really are,” and certain people bring that person out. What exactly is that process?

Darkness invades the dreams of the glassblower.

What is this thing we do, creating fiction? A rejection of life its incomprehensibility, an incomprehensibility we create ourselves, kites and blowjobs, stories without physics, soon means never, picking a thing up and throwing it, the things our bodies do, the artifacts that hang around us. The objects. Everything is unendingly complicated, everything is unendingly simple. How can both of those be so true? It, for me, unravels the idea of “truth,” that everything and nothing can be true, it seems to me to suggest that this thing we’ve come to call “truth” is a perversion… Just trying to get laid, bro. Just trying to get laid.

slowly it pours

beautiful brown boy with eyelashes that tangle with wishes like whispers that buzz on you. You collect broken glass in plastic bottles, and in the night you dream them together, a great glass horse that will take you away with the rising of the sun with wishes like whispers you still believe that you can fall asleep and wake up someplace completely else.

Man with no legs with your hands wrapped around my ankles you say, “I still believe the sun might not come out, that I might wake up tomorrow no longer a broken man, but a machine of the ocean made of gas and fearful of the light, I will eat color. And the mermaids will worship in my passing as grains of dust in great wind I will be the fleeting orgasm of the ocean.”

Crippled old lady picking at the walls with her nails, trying to build her skin anew you listen to the sounds that are stuck in between those spaces, in the woods and plasters and concretes, the sounds that the walls keep for itself not letting pass through to the listeners on the otherside. The wall you pick at now is filled with only the final seconds of a man’s orgasm, ameed has made love to his wife exactly every two weeks for 7 years, all other sounds pass the squeakings and chirpings and talkings, things falling and step takings yelling at children but that final groan and grunt and drop the wall has kept for itself. Crippled old lady picking at the walls with your nails, licking the plaster and sticking it to your bones for lack of skin covered in ameed’s final sound

The sky above this city is empty. Like all things unpresent that are felt, homesicknesses and absent people, this city has above it a great negative space and I wonder everyday somehow at it. How it does not become filled with wires and balloons and taller buildings, it seems unhuman to let the great bowl of nablus’s sky go unfilled with shit and filth, wires and pipes trying to suffocate this city there will come a day when we live in cloud and like great sick breaths, we will ferment; I listened to a bee dying in a can of coke today, buzzing and buzzing, brushing up against the sides getting syrup on its wings eventually it slowed and the aluminum humming ended all at once with a sound unlike all the sounds that characterized the bee’s life. A stop and a wet click; Do all things end in specific sound, cut short an end sound;

Is there hate in the world to battle against the love or is there love in the world to battle against the hate? Again, all these questions are phrased wrong, necessarily wrong. They come together, hate is a love as love is a hate, you cannot love something without hating something else. You cannot believe something without disbelieving something else my muscles are great pink electric slugs that live in my bones. They do my bidding. We do things. To life, we do things to the space around us, we put labels on things and try to make sense of our feelings and thoughts, we build and create and live and die and struggle and love and in certain perspectives we squalor in filth, we shit and get piss on ourselves, we beat our friends and forget our dreams and become boring and uninteresting and easily distracted, forgetting what it was like to be a child ceaselessly curious about everything and in other perspectives we are quietly beautiful, handing customers candy over counters with your hands, smiling and looking at strangers, pausing a moment before stepping into your home filled with children and husbands filled with love and excitement to be apart of life and in other perspectives we build walls around people, we make them necklaces of concrete and pierce their flesh with chains of barbed wire and leave stains on its earth and boys with guns at all its holes. In perspective, everything changes yet we tend constantly and unendingly toward making it simple, toward a single perspective toward a black and a white and a right and a wrong and that’s why falling in love is so great. Because your perspective becomes hyper localized, no longer looking for meaning and searching for answers you are as a newborn baby again hungry for food and thirsty for milk and lonely for touch, you don’t need to see all the passing trees their bark and leaves there is only a vibrating feeling inside of you that is god;

hungry for food and thirsty for milk and lonely for touch, really though, why do we stop dreaming? Why do we give up, lose faith in our legs and bodies, why do we stop dreaming becoming curious of the horizons walking toward purple and green heat storms, a desire to be in and apart of everything. A high school question, a 20 year old question, but I ask it again and again, all I want in life is to speak to move and speak and speak to little children whose bodies are the keys of god their fingers the perfect size for prying into the cracks of the earth, their bodies small enough to go forgotten pushed into the dark spaces opening doors where the air speaks its hunger, no longer drinking tears off our cheeks and semen off our stomachs in silence, but loud and demanding, sucking the juice through our pores the air eats in that place.

Wishes like whispers though soft are heard by someone somewhere, right? Hope, belief, better to ask the questions that have no answers or to find answers for the questions that do? Neither better neither worse, believing both sides, recognizing the absence of an answer

By means of the external sense (a property of the mind), we represent to ourselves objects as without us, and these all in space… The internal sense, by means of which the mind contemplates itself or its internal state, gives, indeed, no intuition of the soul as an object; yet there is nevertheless a determinate form, under which alone the contemplation of our internal state is possible.

My feelings, my thoughts, my magnetisms. I am inadequate to make sense of myself. I am not enough

as its fundamental task

I asked him to ask her how she felt and they all laughed at me, drawing exes in the air in front of them, “boy boy yes girl girl yes boy girl no,” a boy can’t ask a girl how she feels and I laughed and wondered at the romance; we dance around the question where I’m from wishing for motions like in books, falling in love with the eyes (with just the eyes!) and a deeper knowing a not-needing-to-ask-because I see it in her eyes and she sees it in mine but instead a back and forth of needing to know boy girl no what does she feel–I see where she’s been papercut into being from the book of god, the delicate lines of her fingers that must have taken ages, the long gentle cut of her hips that had to be done in one snip and the frayed edges that are her hair where she was ripped at last from that book and held up to the great eye flapping in the wind, “she will do,” then brought to the great lips and blown down to land flat into the world crying waiting to grow into what she was papercut, but there is a thing within her and her paper is a haphazard reflection of the crayon wax that fills her, those colors come to the surface and leak through and briefly I will see a green smudge on her arms or some red in her air… It’s why we look into the eyes or fear to look into the eyes because the eyes are not made of paper like the rest of us they are made of glass, and though we are filled with darkness, if you stare hard enough you can see the waxes that make her the crayon juice that her crumpled body wraps around not waiting and I said to ahmed, “don’t you want to wrap your hand around her and crumple her, indent the grooves and prints of your hands on her body and force the crayon to leak through, force the wax to come spilling through the spaces between your fingers, not to shred her or ruin her outsides but to pop out each of her perfect glass eyes and swallow them whole and shake her until she is empty of herself– and he said, “teacher I fall asleep dreaming every night of love but have no name for love only the images that are given to me, what does it feel like to force her wax through your fingers, to see her as she really is?”

Ah but we are paper also, ahmed, how easily we forget that when you reach to crumple you too crumple and the harder you push the more your folds fold into her folds looking for a place where her wax and your wax can melt into each other; “teacher, I fall asleep dreaming every night–

I keep hearing the word “hope” here. And can’t help but wonder at it, how we are a system of logics and evidences and are from the moment of our birth drinking in our surroundings and consciously and unconsciously coming to decisions about everything we see, how weights function, how surfaces function, tape and staples and hats and pen caps, we know these things to be a thing and to do a thing and we use these knowings of pen caps and tiny wheels and wires stapled to walls to operate. Not many of us break very frequently from our personal, perfect system of expectations, seeing the sky for the clouds or the dirt for the road, but all of us hope and most of us imagine. Despite our ability and evolutionary habitude to day through the world, week through the months, and month through the years we all of us close our eyes before we sleep and draw pictures that are not. “We are defeated by Israel but we are not without hope,” a thing in the face of all sense and all evidence there are men with only one leg here I hear weeping every morning wishing somehow that sleeping into slip and coming back would change everything, that the world would be different complete, that he would have two legs and trees would grow down from the sky and all buildings would be broken and toppled but for the windows which still hang in the air, he hangs at my legs when I pass trying to sell me watches but what he says really, “I wish every night when I sleep that when I wake everything will be new, every night I pray, which is a kind of hoping on my knees, and wish of things that are not for everything that is not” We are filled with objects of science and sense, evidences that construct us and life slowly forces more and more things into us that make sense, but there are also evidences of senselessness, objects collapsing unexpectedly under our weight and girls falling in love with us and strangers giving us gifts, things that are rare that lead us to think and hope all call those things god: the things that cannot be, the are against a lifetime of evidence, leaves falling in reverse and cats that speak in tongues, reaching to lean on a wall and falling through into the space between trapped somehow brief moments all of us when we shake our head and, for a second, have to remind ourselves that we are. Those moments are god, those moments are hope, that we will wake up stronger, that tomorrow will be different, that the next day will be better, that the world will be anew, as children who are not as logged with evidence can still believe that if they try hard enough they can fly or make a pen levitate because the evidences aren’t stacked against them and they are yet filled with god’s wax but slowly it pours out of us, drops from the bottoms of our feet and in our tears and in vomit and shit and semen, it leaves us until. We are all papercut from sky 

what we eat but

i’m realizing what my great problem is, what is making it hard to sleep, what is making my head hurt: I know it’s complicated, but I wish I didn’t.

I wish I could believe in something simple: Palestine is right, Israel is wrong. But, I cannot. I cannot take words for granted, and I cannot take for granted people.

Yet despite knowing, really understanding how complicated, unsimple everything is, I also somehow recognize something that seems simple: what israel is doing is “wrong.” I shouldn’t have put wrong in quotes, it betrays my cowardice but I am a coward.

How can there be a solution for a problem that cannot be defined? A solution without definitions is worthless. I want to believe in a simple question and a simple answer, but I do not know how without stopping myself from thinking. Does that mean that thinking is wrong, that it is a waste of time? That thinking only keeps people from doing?

There is a wrong here, but in trying to define that wrong it all comes apart. St. Augustine says something similar in the confessions somewhere, how we can “know” an idea perfectly and confidently (I think his example is love) but the second we are asked to describe it, it begins to mean nothing.

How not to see both sides?, fitzgerald: “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.” (courtesy of LD)

All the same ideas in all the smartest people over and over, how everything is beyond understanding how there can be no answers yet how must try yet there is good that is done and there is suffering that is. Reconciling. How to–?

I want, with every piece of my being, to believe in something, some answer.

Said, Orientalism:

Can one divide human reality, as indeed human reality seems to be genuinely divided, into clearly different cultures, histories, traditions, societies, even races, and survive the consequences humanly? By surviving the consequences humanly, I mean to ask whether there is any way of avoiding the hostility expressed by the division…

He opens concretely, speaking about sciences of peoples but then can’t help but falling over and over words like “imagination” and “arbitrary,”

It is perfectly possible to argue that some distinctive objects are made by the mind, and that these objects, while appearing to exist objectively, have only a fictional reality. A group of people living on a few acres of land will set up boundaries between their land and its immediate surroundings and the territory beyond, which they call “the land of the barbarians.” In other words, this universal practice of designating in one’s mind a familiar space which is “ours” and an unfamiliar space beyond “ours” which is “theirs” is a way of making geographical distinctions that can be entirely arbitrary. I use the word “arbitrary” here because imaginative geography of the “our land-barbarian land” variety does not require that the barbarians acknowledge the distinction. It is enough for “us” to set up these boundaries in our own minds; “they” become “they” accordingly, and both their territory and their mentality are designated as different from “ours.” To a certain extent modern and primitive societies seem thus to derive a sense of their identities negatively.

There is no objective right or wrong, only the doings of man.

We need not decide here whether This kind of imaginative knowledge infuses history and geography, or whether some way it overrides them. Let us just say for the time being that it is there as something more than what appears to be merely positive knowledge.

I don’t know what my intention is, quoting passages of orientalism that are sticking out to me.

Not for nothing did Islam come to symbolize terror, devastation, the demonic, hordes of hated barbarians. For Europe, Islam was a lasting trauma. Until the end of the seventeenth century the “Ottoman peril” lurked alongside Europe to represent for the whole of Christian civilization a constant danger, and in time European civilization incorporated that peril and its lore, its great events,

There is something wrong here, settlers on hills, evils. But it is not every israeli that hates every palestinian.

That the conflict has not yet been settled, after so many years, is evidence of its complexity. The problem again is where to start though. I do not want to hide behind complexity, claiming no side being too afraid to be wrong.

In listening too closely to Said, I think I risk falling into presumptions that fundament his thinking: that the powers that control matter, that the money and medias that are the West, the Controllers, matter. I want to believe that: there is an imbalance but only in a certain dialect of what power is, a dialect and definition of power that I do not hold with. It is always that I feel as if I am tending toward god. Every time I feel as if I am getting closer to a true answer, I also feel as if I am moving closer to an Allah figure; this cannot be a coincidence. Words and sciences in our world only have truth and objectivity within their own respective frameworks; but there is a thing that must be right through all things, regardless of facts.

Philosophically, then, the kind of language, thought, and vision that I have been calling Orientalism very generally is a form of radical realism; anyone employing Orientalism, which is the habit for dealing with questions, objects, qualities, and regions deemed Oriental, will designate, name, point to, fix what he is talking or thinking about with a word or phrase, which then is considered either to have acquired, or more simply to be, reality.

Basic concepts determine the way in which we get an understanding beforehand of the area of a subject-matter underlying all the objects a science takes as its theme… Only after the area itself has been explored beforehand in a corresponding manner do these concepts become genuinely demonstrated and grounded… Basically, all ontology… remains blind and perverted from its ownmost aim, if it has not first adequately clarified the meaning of Being, and conceived this clarification as its fundamental task H10-11, Being and Time

They all seem to say similar stuff.

I want to believe in a right here, but my problem is that “belief” and “right” are figments, illusions.

What I don’t understand then is: are the settlements surrounding yanoun figments? Are busstops only for israelis illusions? They are symptoms of a sickness. What is that sickness?

throw rocks yell and steal

On a long drive home last night, hills and streets in dark but for headlights, we passed a broken car that faced the road on the right. Broken I knew it for its shredded metals and pushing out springs and sprockets the sky a gas that touched the world at the horizon sticky. In shattered plastics and dark blues and dark browns, I saw two late teenager boys leaning on each other and I could barely make them out for their bodies that looked like the remains of old car but I saw the sparkle slit of two of their eyes: in the darkness in a broken car they lean on each other and watch the road and see each other only by occasion by passing headlight and I wanted so badly for them to be in love. How the lines blend here, when it’s not gay and straight but a hopeless love, “one night we’ll come out here and we’ll get stuck. the car will take us in and we will become as broken glass,” “then I am glad that I choose not to come alone.” It’s somehow different to touch a person than to touch a stone or to feel the wind, to be allowed into somebody, onto somebody our coveted skins and our coveted eyes the ways we jerk to protect ourselves head retreating into shoulder blades and hands as shields but to allow yourself to be touched

A long conversation about belief and unbelief. I am filled with hypocrisies, saying one thing and then saying completely the opposite yet I somehow believe them both, I am disattached from myself. Yet I think I believe to be as constants: that there must be hate, evil, oppression, profit, and that we are all of us filled with a capacity to love and a capacity to hate and the qualities of our lives, though seeming different, are yet somehow exactly the same.

But to add: I think also that there must be love, good, courage, hope and where perhaps I might have said, “the world is somehow ruled by evil,” I think I would also as willingly say now: that the world is ruled by good [ but that it is somehow our nature to focus on the bad ]. For every ounce, inch, pound, ray of bad there must be its exact opposite in good. That, I think I do, at my core, believe. As in a kind of god, moreso than I believe perhaps in gravity or the sun’s rising, I believe that we are all made of, though varying, similar amounts of good and bad, and that the overall qualities of our lives are, though varying, similarly pleasurable and painful.

But, confronted with these ideas, I realize how childish they are. To say, “oh, well we’re fucked anyway,” leads to nonproductivity, to mire in subjectivities leads to melting walls and stationary motions, becoming as washing machines mulling and dripping and filling with soap to limited ends. To say, “that he has less is but an illusion fabricated by the misplacement of our values and a detachment from what we Really Are” shames the starving and the dying.

It is neither right nor wrong, it only is. We do good and we do bad and we balance and we feel unjustice and we fight it. I do not think it is wrong to protect the weak, to feed the starving because doing so is somehow “not really doing anything.” I think that we do as we are necessarily meant to do, and it is our nature to fight, our being to fight, our heart to fight, our human to fight. So: this conflict. Yanoun was a small village surrounded by mountains at the top of which were israeli settlers. They drove through the village in armored cars and burned olive trees every once in a while. I didn’t see any in person while I was there, but I was told that some villagers who had begun to pick trees closer to the settlements had been asked by the IDF to please leave. There is a clear injustice here. A clear childishness. A clear what the fuck are you doing how can you be so entitled to anything… There is something wrong here in this country, something sick and maligned and a question over and over: if the world knew, would it change anything?

–I contend: nothing has ever changed. That there is oppression and hurt and pain as there was oppression and hurt and pain, that there is love and hope as there was love and hope. That we fight symptoms, we try to make things better because that is our nature as people, but that it is somehow, “necessarily,” impossible to make anything better. Things are in a perfect equilibrium and will always be. We do away with slavery here but replace it with a deep imbalance in global economic powers and a worldly hate of the black man and slaves in other countries, hidden away from the prying eyes of “justice,” problems do not disappear, they only disappear from sight, stains that aren’t washed but turned upside down so people stop complaining because we don’t want the prblems to go away, we just don’t want to see them —

The news is fads, and we see what we want to see, short bits of violence elsewhere, but not too much detail, then onto the next story. Does the news make us complacent or is the news a mirror of our complacency, catering to what we want, iPhone 5 and xbox 4? Are these things given to us because they are what the Powers That Be want us to have or because they are what we want. The answer is like all answers gray: we are given what we want but what we want has been shaped and influenced by the people who give, such that they are always in a position to give. We, as people, do not really want to End World Hunger or Stop The Occupation, we want to be distracted… But I am slipping into subjectivities maybe.

Can things be reduced to human scale, can human scale be extended to things? Can you think about israel and palestine as two people fighting? Can–

Too many questions and too many thoughts. How do people hate, what does it mean to “hate israel.” to hate the prime minister, to hate all its peoples, to hate its policies, to hate what it’s doing. Again somehow this unending broken bit : that it makes sense to say “I hate israel,” yet in taking the idea apart, it begins to mean nothing. There is a thing called israel and there is a feeling called hate. Hating causes, hating effects, hating forces, hating things that do not exist.

Things that exst vs. things that do not exist. How can this conversation ever take form? Yet somehow it is easy to say, “you think about things that do not exist, I choose to think about things that are. It seems a waste of time to do otherwise.”

In thinking back on the things I think I believe about averaged goodnesses and evils and loves perpetual, the conversation turns to apathy. I am not apathetic. My inability to attribute any truth to anything, my inability to believe anything, fight for anything does not make me want to be still, it drives me to keep trying harder and harder. Because I know that things are beyond definition and that there are no solutions because words like “definition” and “solution” are illusions, it becomes about the search. I know: that I am. I know that I am a surface and that I pleasure and pain… and I’ve said this before. So I go from that. I speak and climb and work and learn, “but you’re not helping anybody, you’re not changing anything,” I don’t know how to answer that. I believe, fundamentally, that things cannot be changed, but I also believe that that doesn’t matter: that we live life in human terms and human terms means doing. How to change then.

There is an evil here, there must be. People packed behind walls and choked with smoke, being profited upon, a war that is not for an ends but for a means: a war that makes money that continues because israel benefits not because, perhaps, that israel wants to win. People are dying and being bombed and being ignored. How can this be anything but evil, and how can I say, “yes but if we were to pick up each person and turn him on his side and pour into a great glass his good and his bad, his pleasure and his pain and compare it to anybody elses’ glasses filled with goods and bads, pleasures and pains, it would all really come out the same.” It’s inhuman and childish and breeds… What. How can I believe something but also believe that it ought to have no consequence in life. What IS this thing: these seeming truths global and huge, consequences of too much knowledge and too much information, confidence in things so big they bear upon nothing.

And then I begin to lash out, we must fight yet it is hopeless to fight yet the world is filled with an equal amount of hope? I said last night that every novel and work of music or painting is a failed attempt at finding answers, that life is in the pursuit of the answers we know we cannot achieve that– What? Scissors in hand I cut at myself to reveal my organs to light pulsing my face a pool of liquids tears and salivas and her with her perfect tiny hands, “can you feel this?,” are we a surface of feeling only or can the lungs be actually touched, the intestines unbelievable surfaces of pleasure, our body hiding on the inside Perfect Spots so good we shit ourselves covered in goosebumps, “that’s it right there,” What is this: and how does it factor into hate and love and bus stops for israelis and busstops for palestinians, people with guns asking you please to leave, but those are my trees no of course not please leave and shepherds with their daughters who fill you with honey thick standing beneath the olive tree used and comfortable with the feeling of olives falling on her head but looking up to smile and blink away the dust. A man and his flock, his wife and her children and their trees, “not she is mine and I am hers, but we are ours,” iPhone 5. How can there be good in the world when there is also iPhone 5?

The world is filled with equal parts good and evil, hope and hopelessness, etc., and no human problem can be solved because it is necessary for us to hurt in order to feel good, though things might change, it is only the illusion of change accidented by our inability to see things in a scope larger than our eyes, but we should still wake up everyday and learn and teach and do art and love because that is what it means to be human.

“Go fuck yourself, raghav.”

A catalogue of good things, pictures and favorite things and maybe that’s–

Answers, trying so hard but still doing not wanting to get rooted living beneath a cloud of mush and impossible questions, a thin rope around my neck. Money money money… worthless yet worthed. FUCK .

And then there’s love, something so good. Right. But it goes and comes and it’s smoke, fills you and makes you see only so far then clears and the air is sweeter for it but– Biologies and psychologies, how we move in space sticking to the sides of rooms, putting food in our mouths swallowing and emptying and love as a smoke eating the skin off of a peach and pressing up against strangers, feeling his hardon through his jeans, blushing hand in hand eye in eye broken car parts or broken dust and finding joy and love in a valley surrounded by watchers with guns with money: “it needs to change,” but does it but doesn’t it what’s wrong with you you spoiled shit, of course it needs to change but what about seeing the good which is just as quantiful, that’s there in blue eyes and eyelashes so long they tangle and she can’t open here eyes again until she undoes the strands with her hands, smiling up into falling dust and olives, “listen you fucking idiot, just stop it, hardons through jeans and eyes in eye in loving passing headlights and sleepy choosing to forget, napping through the pain and the occupation right after dark when the world is still a little warm freshly dark and waking up finding places to hide

Then it all comes back to: ok so we’re fucked either way but we fight, so what’s the answer. How does this end, how do we make peace here how do we stop the fighting. And the rules are fucked–What’s happening here is a violation of every law the world has ever made, is evidence that humanity goes in cycles, that our attempts at fixing things are bandages that if israel can occupy palestine the way that israel is currently occupying palestine, that there is a deep and unbelieving hate, that the earth is made not of earth and ores, precious and sparkling in darkness but filled with a gas like a great balloon waiting to pop and fart through space but i keep getting distracted by nothing.

Do we break the walls? Do we take up arms? Do we kill do we love? Do we make sense or do we try to elimate ourselves from the dialogue and language that the world currently speaks in, a tongue of broken labels. Do the people of the world boycott together, express distate, vote? Government does things yet it does nothing– Or, it does exactly as it is meant to do, regardless of who sits on top. It fixes problems that need fixing, but leaves the rest.

Do we break the walls do we take up arms who do I kill give me his picture. Who do I love tell me where he lives. People need to hate in order to love. People need to hate in order to love. There can only be peace in war, hope in unhope, love and hate and love as a smoke that holds you so thick and passes the air stale and eyes wet for it wanting for it a body of biologies that are tied to things greater and heaviest and ideas and knowledges and spaces needings and eatings and drippings from the sky that wet everything and precum hardon jeans waiting fuck who do I kill, a desire to change to make better an anger at injustice where are these things sitting, like parrots on my shoulders or like dissolving vinegar in my bloodstream, where in my body is my anger, where does it pulse, I want to see it look at it and pick at it with tweezers streets filled with people that walk and know each other and can’t know each other and men covered and women covered and corners filled with orange light that fights night and hate, and love. And what we focus on and how can I know what to do–but it’s easy, you choose a thing to fight and fight it but even in choosing a thing it’s impossible impossible, “you’re heavy for me.” “Yeah,” “do you think they’ll see us they’ll find us?” “the lights are on, they know we’re here, that won’t change,” “but won’t they leave, why do they carry guns,” “olive rain and dust caked and we subsist through time. I am the same thing that I was, and yet we are somehow physically completely different we are what we eat but something is, ‘and all the other boys try to chase me

I agree and disagree with all things
I agree and disagree with all things
I agree and disagree with all things


I leave for a village called Yanoun tomorrow for 6 days. The village, surrounded by Israeli settlements only knows peace when there is a foreigner present because the settlements do not dare attack a foreigner. At night, the settlements, on hills around Yanoun, shine spotlights on the village, during the day they throw rocks, yell, steal, shoot guns and break things.

who what where–

open and exposed

Inaccessed to the science of magic, children are born here undecided for. Cripples and men with heads that hang to one side, people who are not symmetrical with one eye larger than the other, misshapen growths and hanging tongues. The cities of the East are populated with the broken, you heard it here first. When children are wet slid and dropped into air without voice to cry or brain to love. They populate this city, limping memorized roads scaffolded with bits of wood and plastic and metal, tiny buildings that threaten to topple that families strengthen with rivets and bolts trying to substitute a missing of humanity with an adding of bits. Human constructions, suits of misgivings.

In the temporary absence of physical violence in this city, they shoot fireworks to celebrate, explosions that fill the entire city with sound from above, a physical recreation reappropriation of fear. Taking the symbols and feelings of remembered fears and turning them into loves, every meal begins with the family yelling until they either vomit or cough blood, marriages are actually executions where men and women are hanged smiling, hand in hand, the picking of olives is only done by children who have not eaten, forced to monkey from branch to branch starving. Never again will they be afraid of death or pain or hunger, in making death and sorrow meaningful, important parts of their daily ritual, they can never be hurt again.

And the retarted gawk. And the alley cats gawk and the city fills with wind at night, special mechanisms on doors and objects to keep them from being flown away, everyone indoors and listening to the winds passing, searching for anything to take away with it. Forgotten children and bits of scraps blown noone knows where. During the season of picking olives (now), the settlers come down from their homes on the mountains to throw rocks and shoot bullets and yell hate. It’s so confusing and so full of sense at the same time, we all need reasons to hate to help to justify our love, but I can’t help but think it a little childish, you know? It’s hard to believe that adults could be so covetous and entitled of anything, you know? And again, I want to hate back, it’s so easy, “just leave us alone.” “Why does america hate the arab world?” “I just like happy, that’s it.” But there is hate on both sides, and the winds that everynight come through this place of dust to carry away the retarted forgotten outdoors come from someplace and go to someplace.

I watched two children tape sticks and wires together to make a long pole, stories high, at the end of which was a ribbon, “it is a message to god, reminding him that we are.” I made that up. But I bet it’s happened someplace. Pulling smoke into me, transsexual desires to elope, we are each only one person, and the real question: has anyone “really” changed anything? Complicated, to say that there is a thing that is “really” and that everything else is symptomatic, aesthetic, vestigial. That before or after cars, there is a “real” that is unchanged. That before or after Martin Luther King Jr., there is a “real” that is unchanged. That real seems to me: hunger, thirst, and the desire to fuck. Unchanged since the beginning of man, but maybe somehow disjointed in starvation and abnormal sexualities, transssexual desires to be beaten to death.

How can one people hate another people? In being safe but conscious of unsafety, am I responsible?

bricks and stones

We are gravity without having to believe in it; my internal and external spatial understanding all comes from an all-ready-understanding that things sit on the ground, that I am a being of surfaces and though a room might be filled with space I will grow and stick only to the bottom. I spent a dream’s night in a city where everyone wore everything they were on the outside, masks and collections of objects, bits of glass fitted with pulsing lights and long patterned scarves burned on both sides, little collections that were chocolate wrappers and tiny plastic toys, the severed wings of birds and these objects would fall away forgotten but be picked up by someone else, tiny hands shooting out from giant orbs of object ripping leaves from trees and handfulling dust, people took from each other and pulled into themselves and certain objects, the extra very special objects they pulled all the way into their centers, a compact heart of: perfectly square broken glass, rubber bands that never lose their stretching–

How to write for everyone? How to write for anyone but the rich? Or is that wrong, to assume that only kids and people with the time and resources to read read? Only the rich read, only the white read–how can I write for palestine when I do not speak its language, when I talk about ripped flesh, does all flesh scab the same way? But a misnomer, a red herring, to think it possible to write for everyone with the same words–“kids are uncreative,” or — “It’s a binary scale, every girl is either a 1 or a 0,” “she could get fucked”–

My want snags on old technology, machines that are made of movement, violent rubbers and metals and plastics, buttons that can be pushed harder a sense of function and our machines are internaled, skinned and muscled over though we breathe we do not see our lungs breathing, machines today have come to resemble people, smooth surfaces and tiny internal chemistries of stillness and darkness but old cars and old bread mixing machines and old ovens are outward-laden, heavy with apparati, spinning bands and riveted gears and motion that moves motion that moves motion that makes light and sound that is not its purpose. Machines that have sensable byproducts that are somehow the products themselves, huge sound and movement, “My name nazar. I like happy.” Learning and teaching, and I was told, “though you might do what you love, that will only make you happy. Things need to change,” but what needs to change? Again, change and solution and problem, they are all the wrong words for a fabric of life that does not have a beginning a middle and an end, that is a ceaseless slipping. Selfishness and traveling and not being responsible for my family,

Every book and photo and drawing is an attempt, a failed attempt at making sense; A good teacher teaches you what you don’t realize you don’t know. Only white people read books, right? Only rich white people read books, right? Only rich white people travel, right? A cityscape of light, old people limping through life threatening to finally have given up, like old technologies their veins and organs becoming visible, their pulsing beating metals and plastics showing through, eye sockets emptying of eye and flesh and bone chipping away to reveal the corroded remains of pulsing brain, and on his surface of decay, the lines of the stars can be made out, flaked flesh dotted with brown blood like nebulae and thick shadow-throwing veins like constellations, words spoken by the sky read in death. Old cars and old people and old technologies that were built, that were permeable and visible, reasons.

“Yawning with your mouth closed, a rushing of wind, a tearing of the eyes. It’s like that, you know. You know. And somehow what we are, is weakness. In idolizing presidents and superheroes and main characters, we never hear of how they shit, how they brush their teeth, how they sometimes trip on uneven surfaces, how their skin dusts away, how their hair falls out, how some of their teeth aren’t as white as the others, how they’ve been meaning to shave their pubes for a while but just haven’t gotten around to it; they are exactly everything that is not human, the consequences of physical life, the shitting and pissing and chewing. We are ashamed of our physicality and idealize the set of things that are else. When writing and showing people, we write their feelings their hearts their triumphs, their internal failures, but never their bodies, a preoccupation with everything about us that is not our body, computers and profiles and a collection of our tastes and friends and circles, and every girl is either a 1 or a 0, it’s fuckin’ binary scale you know? Either you wanna get it in or you don’t.” Man, who are these people who talk and voice themselves, people like me filled with words falling from their mouths like overboiled oatmeal–but see! How culturally specific my similes are. But how else to speak than by the things I know, overboiled oatmeal what the fuck is that.

For example, this universal identity of the apperception of the manifold given in intuition contains a synthesis of representations and is possible only by means of the consciousness of this synthesis. For the empirical consciousness which accompanies different representations is in itself fragmentary and disunited, and without relation to the identity of the subject. This relation, then, does not exist because I accompany every representation with consciousness, but because I join one representation to another, and am conscious of the synthesis of them.
– kant, the first critique, ss12

A desire to kill, a desire to conserve life, a fisting clench, my name nazar i like happy; we cover and protect the things we love, conserve them, as women in scarves too soft to touch, presents to unwrap after years of waiting slowly hair crispy with sweat and the smell of moths’ balls, her eyes closed terrified never touched before, a life of covering up and preserving and now finally opened and exposed to the air, mortal she starts to go bad.