THE DEVICE "inside a designation there are people permanently startled to bear it, the not-me against sociology" Denise Riley "By representing a trait as mutual a coin certainly does lead us into debt, but this coin, which the debtor accepts as existence, has been struck in the likeness of one's soul by the indestructible Imperium." Debbie My premise is simple. All method is a demonstration of history.* All change is substitution. "Yesterday was a new day." "We are enraptured," the stage-direction says. And why should we not live near the beauti ful streets, have and like the meaning of our pleasure and its measurement? But let us leave aside the question of the material dream, not out of tact, not from the need to figuratively dim inish the little drama of sensitive expenditure, but in order to get familiar with the civic minimum. Longueurs of desperate truancy name an idea about the "un governable" world. Yet here I am not extending the maudlin phantasy of limits. Sure, a person will have -- at their own admission -- and penultimate before the marvellous environment -- real material romance. Today I want to address those of terrifying enthusiasms and meaning's ordinary jobs -- those for whom both origins and limits repeatedly fail. Oh ardent transgressors whose walls are also my own what country, good friends, what forest, what language, is not now smothered by our sobs? Or I could pose the matter otherwise. What are the terms of our complicity? We cannot definitively know, for reasons of faulty appearance and mis managed debt. Our apparent sameness leads elsewhere than to cause or origin. Nor do we want to simply reverse the narrative, placing a cultural organ at an ethical height from which "we" devolve, plying our giddy nostalgia for the fragment. (I was thinking here of certain aesthetics, but the remark could apply equally to to the fetishized archive or the lust for ruins.) Is it (perhaps) necessary to substitute for the causal genealogies the more ductile span of rhetoric? Though I am, after all, trained only in the subtleties of management, and it's as an administrator, no, an administrative assistant, that I offer to our community this nod for all who are intertwined with centres or the idea of "oneself." I should be more precise. It is as if history dilates the body, to pertain to the audacity of some moral oblation. "One, two, three, four, five, six." Consider the idea of transgression: its efficacy has been absorbed by the feculent marketability of the skin -- or should I say nostalgic fantasies of the skin -- for who is not irritated by the docile rotations of memory and hope? The affective passage of displacement sheds strata of experiment, intensity and guilt. This detritus functions as a govern able material identity. The corpus itself, if I may risk such dis cretion, remains technical rather than found ational, and for this we can be glad. Frankly, even our genders stutter and choke. Please believe that I myself claim no innocence from vigorous paroxysms of excretion: I pine for the body's nice parataxis, the heart's inestimable syntax and the good grace of your gaze. But here my enunciative platform borrows a diction from judicial surfaces, which are also points of rest. I shall offer a short allegory: Imagine that a symptom is consigned to a little known region where it acquires a fey materiality with relations of obscurity, habits of transgression, and half-effaced myths of limitless frontier. The symptom takes on the historical function of a hero, who may purchase for himself a plasticity imagined as geography because it is visible. Perhaps this geography is accompanied by a people to whom he makes the irreparable gift of his unique sensation of affective and political loss. Then he feels compelled to move to the next recognizable description, befriended by his aura of destiny. Or he may act differently. He may dovetail with compromise, with all that is conserved in interiority, all that is simply plural, the suspect frailties of lack, in order to be kind. He may translate all that he cannot permit and uncover arcane explanations for his deferred relation to the present. he may call these dreams -- of broken ramparts, walls and limits -- romance or syntax or rubble. And what difference? Good citizens reproduce the traumas of memory and trangression, thus guaranteeing a futurity for Rome's citation. I walk myself towards the fantasy of the Imperium. I call to my sensitive friends in the streets: We're complicity's monuments and the city is seriously quaint! I believe that our complicity, like paternity's absurd dream, regulates the tacit expression of history's absorbtive convulsions. It is a gate in the ancient style, a node where two spatial dispensations compete for the iterability of an image and its intent. We should pause at this gate and research our emotive conventions so that affect itself extroverts to articulate the commerce in margins. Otherwise the romance between primitive outskirts and the Imperium stands preserved by the formal spectres of linguistic materiality, fragmentation and doubt. As for the nature of my loves -- I do not wish to enter into that discussion.** * To corroborate my use of the emptied term "history," I refer the reader to Barscheit's stylesheet, "A Drifting Fable" -- in particular, item five: "Style is history's diction; that is to say, style flaunts simultaneously the syntax of futurity and history, leaning into the fast light of obsolescence." (The Berkeley Horse, 1994) Certainly, in this instance, the defining statement could be inverted to read: Diction is history's stylus." ** In this argument, repeatedly I refer to the binary topology of origins and limits, where origins are partial, fragmented and traumatized phantasies of personal and cultural loss, and limits are radical frontiers of social and aesthetic risk, or heroic agency. Each of these two tropes functions as an analogy of the other. The silent space internal, and dynamic, to this mirroring structure, I call complicity. I consider how the analogical relation of these two spatial dispensations defers the appearance and analysis of their historical interdependancy. I would like to work at the crux of this mutual refraction, in order to excavate the rhetorical culture of complicity. That is, I want to write a poem that could enact a shift in the site of materialist practice, a shift from the mythically doubled parameters of outlawed frontiers and abjected origins, to power's dank interior, the tacit imbrication of our affective conventions with the imperium. Since I have accepted this platform, I feel I should do no less.
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