[march 01, 2004 - i could drink a case of you...]on the way to the office: wish i could have stayed with x this morning. i met her mother and her ten year old brother yesterday, which was cool. "i dreamed of 747s over geometric farms" didn't manage to do all the things i had intended to do over the weekend. started a sort of brain storming on cohen. ended up with sentences such as: for cohen's bodies love and pain differ in kind, not in intensity.
had a strange dream tonight: i was at a jeweler and there were all these show-cases made of glass and in it were necklaces and earrings and bracelets and i was picking a ring for x, only that they did not have the kind that i was looking for: they were all big and multi-colored and oversized and i just wanted a plain classy ring.
talked to cedric on the phone for an hour which lifted my gloomy mood.
[march 2, 2004 - "woanders ist halt nicht bielefeld"]met with princess superstar and a couple of her friends yesterday night to celebrate her final thesis. x joined us later. cedric told me on the phone that s. (his boss and professor for german literature) had asked him what kind of a seminar he wanted to offer next term. and he thought aloud and said: maybe a theory seminar - a survey about literary theory. and s. said: well, i don't think that this will work. and she told him that the students at the university of o. (where she is working and where cedric will be working as well next semester) are not interested in theory at all. "there are a lot of students who will become teachers" he said to me "and they don't want to hear anything about theory!" he told me that he had been a little disappointed because he would have loved to do a theory seminar and s. had comforted him and told him that he would have to get used to the idea that the students at o. are 'different'. she summarized it in the memorable sentence: "woanders ist halt nicht bielefeld!"
i'm still scanning cohen poems. hope that i will finish with the spice box of earth today. i'm alone at the office. nobody's here. blaine is working down the corridor.
[march 4, 2004 - if you want me you can find me left of center wondering about you]i think it says quite a lot about the state of the nation that they want to elect a financial politician president. in a fit of clear-sightedness that he is lacking most other times gerhard has suggested to nominate a professor for politics as next president. but she probably will not have a chance in the national assembly.
in other news: isn't it great when you stumble over these little miracles of every-day-life? i was shopping today and i discovered a product that x had told me about the other week: instant pen cake dough. you just add milk and off you go :o) great! i' a sucker for pen cakes!
i'm sitting in the underground on my way to x. it's almost ten at night and this evening i've been working on improving the 200 lurkers cover. i changed the back cover by replacing linda with dahlia. i altered the image of thomas' daughter: it is slightly out of focus now except for her face. i also changed it from color to brown/white and these two effects make it look like it was an old photography.
[march 5, 2004 - i could drink a case of you]the nights seem to be too short. i could stay in bed for years. i'm on my way to the office. do you know how you can recognize a really good song? when it is changing. what do i mean by that? well, take for example the orchestral version of "a case of you": it is shimmering in a different way than it had been a week ago. first i thought that the best part was the line "part of you pours out of me / in these lines from time to time" then i thought that it was the instrumental intro, and now i think that the 'brightest' part of the song is the chorus, or more specifically, when she's singing "a case of you", this "case" is so great because she drops in the melody although she's staying on the same note. so that's why people say that a good song is like a gem because when you hold it against the light and turn it in your fingers it will sparkle and shimmer always differently and in various fashion.
blah, blah! in the meantime it's almost five in the evening and i haven't managed half of the stuff i wanted to do today. shame on me. i'm off x's place now. we'll probably go to the movies tonight and later we might meet princess superstar and her new prince :o)
ordered thousand plateaus and deleuze's bacon book for 45 euros today. sigh. did i mention that in the class that the princess is a substitute teacher for in her spare time there's a boy who is the grandnephew of francis bacon? now THAT's a real claim to fame! here's some cohen related stuff i still need to ponder about: saint, stain, sin, pain, sacred, scared, scarred.
[march 6, 2004 - the dreams came in like needy children / tugging at my sleeve / i said: i have no way of feeding you / so leave]saturday evening. listening to the self titled Indigo Girls cd. so great: just two guitars and two voices and a great melody. started to sing along while i was doing the dishes feeling a burning desire to pick up my guitar and sing and have a second voice, a second guitar and a second hope that songs are worth the time you need to write and play them. i'm missing making music. i really, really do.
yesterday night x and i went to see "lost in translation" - pretty good film. afterwards we went to a bar and met katharina, a friend of hers and - tata! - princess superstar and her prince. it was very nice. i feared that the whole situation might turn out to be a little awkward, because we met him for the first time, but it was very relaxed and very nice, actually.
when i woke up this morning x was still sleeping, lying next to me, her hair all over the pillow, her mouth slightly opened and her lips had the color of the bedcovers. from time to time her closed lids flickered from the rapid movements of her eyes: silver fishes swiftly disturbing the calm surface of a lake, painting patterns and diving into the dark again. and i had almost woken her to tell her how happy i was to lie next to her and watch her sleep when she suddenly moved her arm while dreaming and hit me in the face.
when i got home thomas had left a message on the answering machine: "call me back" he said in a low, sad voice. my heart doubled its speed: i thought i had lost my job or something. but when he answered the phone he just wanted to to look for a book in the library. so we exchanged news and i told him the we've been seeing "lost in translation" and he said: "yes, pretty good film! we saw "21 grams" the other night because princess superstar had recommended it last week. what she hadn't told us was that the film is about a man who loses his young wife and two small daughters in a car accident - which was not good, not good..." and i said: "what!? you identify with a guy who loses his family in a car crash but you do NOT identify with bill muray playing a middle aged man in his midlife-crisis who almost starts an affair with woman half his age?!??"
most recent freud hiding place: hanging in the lamp under the ceiling.
[later]started to read linda hutcheon's book on cohen. i do hope that it's a pretty common thing to come to a point when you explore the secondary literature of a topic of your choice when you think: "fuck! this text says all i wanted to say! there's nothing left to say for me! everything i could write is just superfluous repetition!"
[march 7, 2004 - and i will not be a pawn for the Prince of Darkness any longer]sunday morning, half past ten: it's gray and rainy outside. yesterday night i decided that i'd do some sports this morning and run through the park. that's why i am writing now. earlier this week bernd, my colleague, said that he has started to go running for oneandahalf hour every other day. he said that it was really fun and that he had a lot of ideas for his articles and habilitation. and i said: you have? and he said: yes! and he said that he didn't have a walk man when he is running and so i thought that i might try this today as well: go running without the music, just listen to what's going on inside and what kind of ideas will pop up. so i will put on my sneakers and move. at least physically.
you know what i like to do every now and then? i check the entries of the same day days of the two past years. like this morning when i read what i had put down on march 7 in 2002 and 2003. pretty interesting. and pretty disturbing because the person who had written these entries seemed to be so far away.
plan for today: go running, take a shower, get a cup of coffee, continue reading the hutcheon book on cohen, despair, prepare something to eat in the evening because x will come over tonight. hm, i definitely have to do some best of indigo girls compilation! also i still have to order my cds alphabetically. sometimes it takes hours until i've found a cd that i'm looking for. boy, i just realize that i keep writing down every ever so trivial thing that comes to my mind just to keep me from going outside and sweat...
[later]here's what popped into my head while i was running along the muddy parkway, kicking off barking dogs, breathing like a steam engine and basically cursing every step i had to make:
[march 9, 2004 - carry me away, under the water into your mind...]just a couple of lines. sunday night x and i ordered my cds alphabetically. yesterday night we played scrabble and x won. by a hundred points. the other day she was thinking aloud whether she should choose unica zürn as her new ma thesis topic. compiled a best of indigo girls double cd for bernd and me. i'm missing the singing. i'm at home now. x is at her place. it feels strange to know that i will spend the night without her. and it feels strange that this feels strange.
[march 10, 2004 - put your troubles behind you / put your love in my hands]yesterday morning someone was giving away flyers at the albertus-magnus platz, the square right in front of the university. he was approaching everyone who went to or came from the building and waved with the paper. and it said:
[march 13, 2004 - i've been chasing ghosts, and i don't like it]woke up this morning with a big, fat headache. actually i don't ever really have any hangovers - but this morning i do. so i fell back into bed and to sleep again. woke up at twelve. after i had pushed away the curtains to let some more light in i looked through my cd collection and i decided for a cd that bernd had given me a year ago and that i hadn't listened to yet: "k's choice". and when the first song started i instantly knew that i would like the songs, if not love them, even before the voice started, just from the drums and the bass and the guitars i realized the i should have listened to the cd earlier and simultaneously - or actually a couple of seconds later after the female voice had started - there also was this sharp pain, you know, the "i want to get there, i want to do this" feeling, a kind of bitter longing. sorry, big words for a small, personal ache. but it is cancerously gnawing at my heart.
i guess it had started yesterday night already. thomas, princess superstar, achim and i went to see a full length movie that a couple of students had made . they had filmed parts of it in our and thomas' office. they had made the film with no money: just one camera and everybody who worked on it did it for free. and although most of the actors had acted for the first time and the director had never made a film before it was better, fresher, funnier and more entertaining than most crap you get to see on television. and when it was over i instantly thought: i want to get there, i want to do this!
and then this morning when those songs were playing that i wished i had written i asked myself: what's the problem? why don't you just DO it? and i came up with several answers. and obviously the most important reason is the dissertation. as long as i have this writer's block i cannot do anything else. i will not find the concentration, the peace of mind, the energy, the everything to write, compose, run, draw, fire, record, sing, shout, express as long as this big black cloud is lurking in my head. i have wasted the last ten years with watching too much tv, with hanging around too much, with drinking coffee too much, with doing nothing too much, with filling pages of a silly journal. and this is such a difficult thing to say because i don't regret a single second of this wasted time. still it had been time others would have used. time others would have turned into something: into a songs or a career or a film. i could have done both: with a little more discipline i could have written this fucking dissertation AND have found the time to do other things. parallel lives.
i don't know. complaining won't help. but i need to decide what i want to do. whether i want to give in to it or to repress it or just to say: okay, obviously someone or something doesn't want you to write songs so why don't you just accept this and do the things you REALLY need to do. to keep your job. to earn a living. to survive.
i think the ultimate failure and the ultimate disappointment has been that the idea of writing the dissertation has - for some reason - never turned into something that made me think: i want to be there, i want to do this.
[march 15, 2004 - you're not sexy, you can't heal but i wonder do you feel the need to cry: i'moutofhere!"]found this ad in a university magazine and thought: 'well, that's neat! got to show this to the talking heads' it's monday night. alone in my room. headphones on. music achingly beautiful. my guitar is leaning against the sofa. tried to play a couple of notes this afternoon but my finger moved over the strings awkwardly. i have to practice more! the other week when i was on the way to x's place i suddenly felt the strong desire to sing something to her :o) right now i'm listening to a live recording of "pilgrimage": suzanne has been playing it earlier this week in the cathedral of milan. "pilgrimage" is the best song that has ever been written. it is the best song ever. they have played it with just two guitars and bass. and it sounds awesome. and i sounds as if there's water in the sound as if there's a rushing and foaming and waves breaking upon a shore within the sound, crashing among the pillars of the cathedral and it hurts it hurts. and even though she's singing on her own i can hear all the great background voices in my head and i can feel the tension that is unbearable when the chorus is repeated in the end while the verse is still playing and the two voices are mixing with melodies that contradict each other and yet form a unity. it's like being pulled somewhere, like being torn apart.
the above photo was taken inside the cathedral of milan by someone from the undertow. the tiny little person you can make out is bill masters, guitarist. the two light flashes are reflections of suzanne's guitar and mike's bass. it must habe been an incredible concert! she also played songs such as "rusted pipe", "wooden horse" and "night vision", songs that she hardly ever played live before!
missing x now. wishing there was a way to transmit feelings and intesities just by a touch, just by a word. how could i ever describe what music can do? how could i ever translate these intensities from me to you and back again? how could i ever make you see what it feels like when a white star is bursting through my stomach, glowing and burning in a cruel light and in a tender light and turning everything inside into gray ash as if everything i have been could be blown to pieces by the softest tone and the slightest whisper. and it needs to get outside. and it hurts. but with a beautiful pain. like when you're screaming the last chorus of "headcrash" from the top of your lungs while daniel is beating down on the toms and reiner is trashing on the bass and every syllable is for you and every breath is an aching and a reassurance of your body. sometimes i am afraid that i will never feel this again.
it's past midnight. it's past many things. past the time that i could call you and listen to your breathing. past the time that i could make a different decision. past the time that i felt secure and protected. there's something inside and it frightens me because it won't keep still. "help me, because i can't stop being overjoyed" paula said. a scar is what happens when a song is made flesh.
[march 16, 2004 - to love you / is to live / my ideal diary]on my way from work to x: i'm sweating. suddenly spring has happened and i'm still wearing my furred winter coat. it's been a pretty successful day at the office. not in terms of my dissertation, though. or maybe it has! tomas suggested that we (cedric, tara, bernd and me) initiate a 'network': a group of scientists dealing with a similar topic, working towards a mutual aim: a conference or publication. such a network can be sponsored by the german research foundation. our topic will be body:materiality. naturally. and we sort of founded the whole thing today. i hope that everything i will do in connection with this network will also be usable for my diss. now we will have to see who could join the network as well.
[march 17, 2004 - the sun is blinding, dizzy golden dancing green]thomas has just spoiled my good mood thoroughly! we were sitting in the sun in front of the university and we were talking about the network and he said: "what about soandso?" and i had feared this question. cedric and i had already talked about soandso and whether we should ask her to join the network. and we both thought that we rather might not ask her, because she is a bit ... hm ... uncanny. so thomas said: "she has applied for graduate programms at eight american universities and now she's trying to make up her mind whether to go to stanford or to harvard! to be accepted for a graduate program in harvard and stanford! that's...really, that's just great!" thank you thomas! sorry that i'm no genius! i guess he wanted to motivate me - but it had quite the contrary effect.
now, here's an enthusiastic reaction to a 200 lurkers cd:
The cd arrived here yesterday, in perfect condition!interesting and relaxing? a polite way to say weird and boring :o) well, who cares. got k's choice "favorite adventure" in my head all afternoon long...
I have listened to it once so far, and I found the music to be interesting & relaxing.
[march 19, 2004 - multiply life by the power of two]hey! that's cool! the "x-files of music" have been added to the "museum of hoaxes" at http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/ :o)))) what else is there to report. nothing much aside from unperiodical fits of panic about you-know-what. x is visiting her family over the week end. princess superstar is visiting her family as well because an uncle of her died the other week. two persons of the staff of the english seminar have died this month :o(
my two deleuze books have arrived today. last night i seriously considered getting rid of my tv set. it just steals too much of my time. and i am not disciplined enough to simply switch it off. i keep sitting there, being glued to it like a rabbit in the headlights, and i switch the channels even if nothing's on. i could read a book instead, write a song, visit a friend, update the diary, write a novel, finish the hollow earth cd, write my dissertation. and instead i'm just starring at the moving images as if i'd see them for the first time.
very strange: so much has happened lately and i can report so little about it. princess superstar has started a relationship with her prince which would be worth commenting on as well as the ups and downs of blaine's not-so-new relationship. and not to speak about my own amorous adventures. but writing about them would be too private: and this is another proof that this online journal is not really a journal but a heavily censored and fictive thing.
[march 21, 2004 - you're so busy these days...]hollow earthed seriously all day yesterday and today. now the "chronology" is finished. at least structurally. fuck, there's still so much to do until the entire cd-rom will be finished. unfortunately my pc is starting to act in weird ways. it keeps crashing and the monitor freezes for no particular reason. i hope that this will pass.
played some guitar this afternoon. started to read a book by elisabeth grosz on bodies. might be helpful. x has a new laptop and she will come over tonight. oh yes, i've rearranged the index page of 200lurkers.com :o) and now i'm going to call back cedric.
[march 24, 2004 -oh boy. i've been sitting here for nine hours now. my eyes are burning. hollow earthed, networked, did this and that and thomas was here as well. he's got to write a review of that zizek book on deleuze and he's had the idea of counting all the questionmarks in the book (a total of 534 by the way). or rather: he got nina to count them. his claim is that zizek is writing obsessively in questions. to cheer up nina a little (who was counting questionmarks page after page for three hours) i made a little fake cover.
jesus - i'm too tired to write. sorry, but it has really been a busy day. i'm off to x now. tomorrow more work: got to correct exam essays. puke! actually this is bernd's job this semester but he's at a conference, so i'm the poor chap who's got to do it. i haven't even read the novel yet. got to do this tonight.
[march 28, 2004 – before my well runs dry i'm going round round round the bend and fill it up again]i'm sorry! but there's been a reason for the long silence: my computer has caught a virus or bug – it keeps crashing every other minute! at first i was desperate and thought: MY GOD! PLEASE SPARE ME! but then i thought that buying a new pc might be quite a good idea. after all my computer is over four years old, which is – in computer age – about 70 or 80. so i have been surfing the web a little with the ibook and found a rather interesting offer of a big computer store. there's one last hope: i'll try to download an anti-virus program tomorrow at work. and if it can't fix the problem i will have to get a new pc.
a couple of days ago i found the new indigo girls cd in my bag. when i was packing my things to get home i spotted it at the bottom of my bag – and i had not the slightest idea how it could have gotten there. i called x and asked her (because we had met that day at work) and she said with a dead-pan voice: "indigo girls cd? i have no idea what you're talking about!" later she admitted it. after i had found a witness: i called princess superstar who spent that evening with her prince and i said: " what do you say when i say 'indigo girls'?" and she was startled and answered "indigo girls?" and in the background i hear her prince say: "that's a band!" and i was sort of relieved that the princess is together with someone who puts on john cale for dinner and knows who the indigo girls are. and then i told the princess that i had found the cd and asked her whether she knew if x. had put it there and the princess just said: "no comment, i don't say anything!"
so that's what i have been listening to the past days: all that we let in by the indigo girls. pretty good! great artwork and some of the songs are ig-classics already. seems like i'll have to do an updated version of the ig-best of ;o)
written on friday night:
it' starting again. on my way to x. friday night: "tether". schweineorgel galore. so loud that it drowns any other sounds from the underground, from the people, from the cars. it's starting again. a seizure and a sparkling skin, foaming, burning, hurting as if you had cut your finger on a sharp piece of paper. a fast, fine, long cut along the vertical length of my body "can we bring it together? can we call from the mountain to the valley below?" parting me in two, into one and other, fake other, hardly visible. i know i will stand in front of you again again again, unable to communicate, unable to verbalize. "will it bring us together? will we call from the mountain to the valley below?" i want drums again ahead of me and a bass in my belly, a distorted guitar by my side. together. in one soundproof room.
i spent most of the past days with x. only few things in my life felt so right. the other day she was sitting slightly in front of me on the sofa, watching tv. i looked at her for a long time and she was unaware that i was studying her face instead of the film on the screen: and the uncontrolled, unconscious movements of her eyes and her lips when she was smiling about a funny scene made it look like she had – for a moment – forgotten herself, had put down guard and sorrow and history. totally fixed onto the moment and the movement something appeared in her eyes that must be there in her dreams as well, only then i have no chance of getting a glimpse of it because her eyes are closed. you know, sometimes a song is so beautiful that you wish it had a body so you could touch it, hold it, embrace it, kiss it. and i can find so much that i find in songs in x, in her movements, in her looks, in the way she smells and the strange longings that pull me towards her like music sometimes seems pulls me someplace that i can't locate and can't describe. and can't reach.
so anyway, we've spent the past days together which means that i didn't do any work. instead we've been cooking, going to a party, walking around in the sun in the park and downtown, having a coffee in street cafés, playing scrabble, sleeping into the afternoon. i wish there was a way to integrate thinking about cohen into all the above mentioned activities... because i really, really have a bad conscience now! let's be honest: my job-future looks pretty bleak and the only chance to improve it is to work hard and concentrated and seriously. i'm alone now but i realize that even now i can't really concentrate because my thoughts are constantly swerving into x's direction. oh well, at least i will have someone to blame when i'm without a job :o))))
okay, a few job related thoughts: this morning i realized that most of cohen's albums have strange titles: songs of lc, songs from a room, live songs, songs of love and hate, recent songs, ten new songs. notice anything? and this pretty much matches the fact that the titles of his poems are reflecting this obsession with "songs" or rather with labeling: i have counted all the terms that specifically refer to a literary form in is titles (such as: "song", "elegy", "ballad", "prayer", "poem", "letter") and the result has been astounding: in his first volume of poetry he uses 15 such terms, in his second 12, in his third 7, his fourth doesn't have titles, in his fifth there are 3 and in his last none at all. i'm not quite sure what this will tell us: probably that he is loosening more and more from a kind of formal and literary tradition? okay, this is empirical literary science, not really the thing you want to do, but it thought that it was kind of remarkable.
[march 31, 2004 - ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh...]listened to nora jones' "sunrise" on repeat for hours. nice song. perfect summer song, actually. worked more on cohen, corrected term papers, spent time with x, hollow earthed. my pc is beyond repair. ordered a new one plus a new soundcard. it has a front panel :o) i hope that the new pc will arrive in a few days. today thomas asked whether i make any progress writing my diss and i said: "hm, actually: no!" and i thought about it and this is really true. but i don't want to complain. i did, however, today when we were walking across the square in front of the university to have a coffee: achim, nina, thomas and i. and thomas asked me: "how is it going?" and i said: "i had a wonderful dream tonight: i dreamed that i was desperate and didn't really know what to do and you said that i shouldn't worry and that everything will turn out alright in the end..." he looked at me from the side and exclaimed: "HA! keep dreaming!" later on in the office i suddenly realized that i made a mistake and said aloud: "i'm such an idiot!" and thomas (who was sitting behind me) said "yep!" i told him to get out his dictionary and look up the word "motivation". he said that it wouldn't exist in his dictionary. later that day he said that he had read deleuze's entire 360 pages of difference and repetition yesterday. we all were stunned, gazing at him open mouthed and he just said: "it's normal, isn't it?" it would take ME an entire month of extremely concentrated work to get through the entire book!
anyway, everybody's left, it's ten past five and the afternoon sun is
shining into the office. nora jones is singing "sunrise" on repeat and
it's summer. almost. i will get a new computer soon plus a professional
sound-card (although i must not start thinking what a professional soundcard
is good for if i don't have the time and energy to write and record any
songs) and x (who is working in the library above) will come down any minute
and we'll drive to her place, cook, cuddle and enjoy the beautiful evening.
the other night, when she was already in bed in her apartment and i was
getting ready to go to bed in my apartment at the other end of the town
i was putting on her t-shirt that she'd been wearing when she had spent
the night at my place. and then she called to say goodnight and asked me:
"guess whose t-shirt i'm wearing?" the other morning when i was getting
dressed i put on paula's yankton college t-shirt. then i booted my pc and
guess who had mailed?? unfortunately things are not going quite so well
for paula. however there's good news! she has published three poems in
a magazine! by the way, got an enmail at the 200 lurkers address that said:
"Cool sound! You remind me of Radiohead with a little bit of Semisonic
added to the mix." :o)