[april 1, 2003 - ]boy, i'm soooo pissed!!!!!! those fuckers at the university of o. have withheld information concerning the job that cedric had applied for and now they've made it impossible for him to get it. argh!
in other news: i'm having headaches all day, don't know why, i didn't even drink yesterday night. thomas did not turn up today, i guess he will stop by tomorrow. i'm going to meet catherine tonight. found another new chord pattern yesterday night. maybe i can couple it with the one i already have. had lunch with eva today. found a couple of articles and secondary literature on cohen which is good.
hm, sometimes suzyv is really cute: she forwarded a mail from glynn (her partner and sound-technician) about a gig to the list: complete with his e-signature including his private phonenumbers and mailaddresses :o)
[april 2, 2003 - She'll say I told you to go up the stairs And now my night's ruined I'm going home God bless whisky]yo! great specialphilippplanning last night: just when i was on the way to catherine's place it started to rain cats & dogs and a storm broke loose and the temperature dropped by 20° - guess this swing of the weather was responsible for my headaches yesterday. i clothed for summer and i don't even have a warm sweater here in cologne so i turned around and looked for shelter in the office. so instead of talking with catherine face to face i called her up and we had a conversation on the telephone. but we will meet next week instead.
thomas just called: he is back at home and will come by this afternoon, which means that i will probably stay another day in cologne and return tomorrow instead of tonight. and when i passed blaine's office the other minute i heard some laughter so i opened the door and he and tina were just inventing new names for the people in the gender studies department because they had come across an article by one "john champagne" and thought that it would be mighty stylish to rename themselves and their colleagues into tina tequila, blaine bloody mary, conny de coco, astrid spumante, beate baccardi, monika most. i would be "philipe freixenet" they decided. i have found a couple of articles on cohen today in the library and on the net :o))))) the bibliography is growing! which is good: it's something to show to thomas and it's something that gives me the feeling of having accomplished something and besides it is not really hard "brain" work. "mark on my shoulder that won't go away the chain will accompany me down till i'm laughing on the ground god bless whisky"
[later]i'm at the station, just having had a coffee with thomas - he won't be in tomorrow so i'll get home today. he came in from his 5 months absence, taint & healthy looking & relaxed and after 10 minutes it seemed like he had left just yesterday. comforting that some things don't change - or change little. i'm tired. seeing myself in the mirror wishing i had someone to look at. badly - very, very badly. a strange feeling in my belly - mixture of nervousness & the feeling of the quietness you're left with after you've returned from a two week trip with all your best friends and you're suddenly alone in your flat. the silence. italian pop music in this italian café. words i don't understand. why bother? parole, amore, felicita, libera. then on the platform: i'm turning on the md player and "the only living boy in ny" starts: "tom, get your plane right on time" - and yes, it's only now that i realize how much it had fitted thomas' departure. you see: tom - thomas. get it? tom is short for thomas. hey let your honesty shine, shine, shine now LIKE IT SHINES ON ME. sublime night sky. my lyrics lie. you're not here - you are nowhere near being here. the pigeon shit is running down the dirty glass roof of the train station like rain drops. who would have thought that i'd wake up in a leonard cohen song one day? a herd of awesome, big, scary animals is moving across the twilight horizon like rain clouds. half of the time we're gone but we don't know where we don't know where. the feeling of pure, unadulterated aloneness seizes me. ich will ein gegenüber. in this train. in my room. tomorrow and now. moving through model cities with little toy cars and little plastic people that won't move. i'm beautiful - it's just that nobody's here to see it. and here i am: on the weather report. i got out the ny cd. i printed the cover in cologne and the room that linda is entering seems so vast. there's this blurred picture on the wall next to her and you can't really see what's on it but to me it looks like an angel. the wooden boards are creaking. the room is so comfortably messy that is has a warm + comforting air: heaps of books are piled on the baroque shelf unordered, the sofa is pointing into the room and the mirror is cracked. the figure in the doorway is frozen, static and blurred. almost a shadow. why would you want to take such a picture of yourself when you know that you're going to die soon? stupid question. a line by suzanne comes to my mind: "solitude stands in the doorway, i'm struck once again by her black silhouette by her long cool stare and her silence." the crack runs through the mirror like circles cross the water when you throw a stone into the lake. or like a spiral. a vortex. the bust on the shelf has closed eyes and sad lips. SHINE SHINE SHINE NOW and it makes my skin sparkle like a bottle of mineral water that you shake and then open; it is foaming over my body and from the outside it must look like i'm out of focus for a second, like i'm blurred against the sharp contours of the train car, the seats, the windows, the other passengers, my shapes and silhouette washed out like linda in her self-portrait without self. and then i remember something that thomas had said on the way to the station: i told him about that freud action figure which tara had found and which we had almost asked him to order had he stayed longer in the states and he said: "yeah, i've seen a picture of it ... somewhere ..." and then i wondered for a minute just where he might have seen that picture but then i thought: nay! if he reads the online journal he had fired me a long time ago and he would have made a lot more allusions telling me that nobody has gotten his ph d yet for journal writing... the only living boy on this train, the only living boy on this train. raindrops on the windowpane being pressed horizontally across the mirrorlike security glass and it reminds me of when i was little and we would drive to my aunt and uncle who lived an hour drive away and my sister and i were sitting on the back seat, in anticipation of meeting our cousin and playing games and having fun and cake and ice cream and when it rained while we were on the highway we singled out two drops that were running down the window and made a bet which one would reach the bottom first. don't know what to say: i'm missing you and it makes me shiver like the music does. ....h..e..r..e....i....a..m
[april 3, 2003 - wenn kunst von können käme hiesse es ja könst...]realized that there IS a different start to the day when you can step under the hot shower in the morning instead of washing your hair with cold water in the men's restroom. well, who would have thought THAT?! i've just burned the ny cd and i'm proof-listening to it right now to see whether there are any jumps or unwanted noises. it was astrid's birthday last week (she's one of blaine's colleagues) so i thought of making a cd for her just with songs about whales. because she's writing her dissertation on moby dick. so if you have any ideas for songs that are connected to whales, melville or limping captains then let me know! so far i have: of course all the obvious laurie anderson songs, "last great american whale" by lou reed, "billy bud" by morrissey, "jonah" by paul simon.
:o)))) thomas had mailed from the states a week ago that he will have office hours on monday 7th and he asked me to pin a list at his door for the students to put their names down. i did and wrote him a mail that i did. so when he was at the office yesterday he asked: "when were my office hours? friday or monday?" and i said: "on monday!" and he said "oh yes, of course!" and later that day he asked again: "my office hours were on friday, weren't they?" and we said: "on monday!" and today i got a mail from thomas: "hey flip! when are my office hours? friday or monday?" and to mail me he had hit the reply button of one of my previous mails and just one line below his question there was the quoted text from that previous mail: "hi thomas! i've pinned a list for your office hours for monday 7th, at your door!" it's a reassuring feeling to know that he is reading his mails so carefully ;o)
[april 4, 2003 - that line is the horizon we watch the wind and set the sail save ourselves when all omens point to fail point to fail point to fail...]i was searching on an old video-cassette for a film that i had taped and came across a one hour documentary on suzanne from 1996. i was hypnotized and watched it from beginning to end. i was enchanted. i was fascinated, i was dragged into the tv set, i was... in..l.o.v.e. what a woman. what a voice. what eyes. no big news today: overslept. i had forgotten to set the alarm clock so i woke up at eleven after ten hours of sleep and very, very weird dreams: i can't really remember anything except that i was a baby elephant. i went on a long walk to get some air. listened to the 200 lurkers songs and really liked them. today is one of those days where they sound okay. it will be different tomorrow but today i did not regret having send off the new york cd yesterday morning. talked to blaine on the phone. i will only see him again in two weeks time because he's on holiday in london. listening to mary chapin carpenter's "dead man walking" - great song: simple but beautiful guitar and an awesome melody and a voice that sounds like dark wood. harald schmidt has the same screen saver that i have. and probably 500 million other windows users... it's 0:45. i wanted to do so much today: write to catherine and paula. find a song of the month. read thomas' hollow earth article. all the things that can make a man believe in heaven... wondering where anybody is. being grateful that i'm so tired, that i know that sleep will come without problems, that cool fingers will wipe over my face soon, erasing the thoughts and the thoughts and the thoughts. a stupid dreaming. without aim or gravity. free of you, hopefully. refreshing non-being, breathing and beating but for no end. letting go of everything that will wait for me tomorrow morning, that will catch me and accompany me through the next day again. "god forgive us all" we have yet to learn to say
[april 5, 2003 - my sister says she never dreams at night, there are days when i know why. those possibilities within her sight...with no way of coming true cause some things just don't get through into this world although they try...]hm, so much for soothing dreams: i was with cedric & tara and somebody at a taping of harald schmidt's tv show - guess you can imagine how many strange, troubling and surreal scenes this setup has to offer... my sister and her friend took me shopping today because i wanted to buy trestles for my kitchen table (they have a car - i don't). we had built it ourselves when we were moving into our second flat. but it was never very stable: it had four legs that didn't really support the table top properly. so i decided to get trestles which would work better. and then i decided that i didn't really need the big tabletop in the kitchen and that i would exchange it with the smaller top in the study. besides the tabletop in the study had an ugly blue and the one in the kitchen had a warm, guitarlike wood. and since i use a tablecloth in the kitchen anyway i now have the small table in the kitchen and the big one in the study. which is a completely new working-feeling: more space. and brighter as well. and for this i spent almost all saturday afternoon. my sister and her friend told me that they want to have a baby. it's cold outside and stormy.
[april 6, 2003 - i was born the day i met you, lived a while when you loved me, died a little when we broke apart...]sundays that start with a sad song by lyle lovett are very peculiar... although right now i'm listening to that great smithereens song with suzanne on the backing vocals. the quote of the day is taken from that track. great. suzanne sounds on it as though she was 20. worked on the present for cedric. packed my things for cologne. met shortly with nadine. on monday i will see chatherine and on tuesday night eva and i are going to watch "the hours" - looking forward to that: paula recommended the movie to me in one of her last mails. sometimes you can make me happy so easily: every time i enter the study i'm thinking to myself: what a great idea it has been to put the kitchen table in the study! just prepared a big bowl o salad and while cutting the tomatoes i suddenly remembered that evening two years ago: we were standing on the small balcony of our flat on the third floor. it must have been autumn already, pretty close to the end of the relationship because i remember that she had started to smoke again. it was a warm evening and we were watching the people who were passing by below: the strollers and neighbors and customers of the small corner shop. there was music playing from inside the living room, probably a quiet song by lotion or pj harvey. the sun had not yet disappeared behind the roofs and the hills and the light was mild. but the thing i remember clearest was that i had a toy with which i was blowing soap bubbles from the balcony onto the street. and they were floating all the way down in slow motion onto the pavement. weigtless hollow pearls. as weightless and hollow as the way she looked at me from the side - i caught her look from the corner of my eyes and it was like a cold sound would ring through my body. i'm not feeling anything now that i write this. maybe that's a good sign? or maybe i'm just lying so i don't sound too melodramatic. no - there's not really any point to this. just thought i'd tell you.
[april 8, 2003 - ...she said: "boy you don't have to fight. come on home pretty baby. i'm open all night."]can't say much. downloaded a song yesterday night: suzanne vega and jack hardy sing a song by brian rose. a live cut from a ny city show. poor soundquality: just a guitar and the two voices, suzanne doing the lead melody. beautiful. hurting. it's like a letter from someboy that says: 'wish you were here'. wish you were here. fhrreb refvfrh irehfjf fnerjk. nnfhru fssd fjre, mmghre kfgp 4hhhsw 8rrrz qolsf iou bblouhr suhgrt gjrlkgt.bbbbrtugi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! giving up.
it's half past one in the morning. i've just returned from watching "the hours" : waht a strange experience. i didn't know that the music was by philip glass! and all through the film my mind kept wondering to two people who i knew had been watching the film as well or probably will. the virginia woolf character reminded me of paula. and when glass' overwhelming "metamorphosis II" started (you know, that piano piece that i had used for eliot's reading of prufrock) i almost started to tremble and i closed my eyes to hear just the music, the slow, grave tones from the piano that dropped from the screen like rain, the movie was raining upon me and within this shower the sudden thoughts about what she will think and remember when she sees and hears it. i know: the wrong questions at the wrong place at the wrong time. but then it has been a fucking miserable day. i cried my guts out this morning for god know what reason and i'm olny writing this bevcause the cocktaul knocked me off my feet and because of more missed chances tonight but then we were not alone and oh boy!! how stupid does THAT sound??? thinking and feeling sometimes falls down so close together. frightening. fucking day. but it's cedric's birthday today. so happy b-day, baby![later]
why can#t i just talk about things? why am i CONSTANTLY censoring myself? why can't i even not talk to people i feel so close to. maybe because i think it's stupid? maybe because i'm afraid they thinkn i'm silly. i don't know, i don't kniw. two o'clock almost. i wish there was a feeling-transmitter that could make you understand just by looking into my eyes. i don't want to explain - i can't explain. i wish i could make ypou understand. i wish i could erase that one moment, that one inevitable moment that repeats each week, each night, that one short moment of parting, of turning away and going home. alone. i need to sleep now.
[april 9, 2003 - low bridge! everybody down, low bridge]tired! not enough sleep. bright sunshine today. thomas' mood is bright and shiny as well. we talked about the exposé. he was reluctant. he said i should also consider the poetry and the music. i'm off to aachen with thomas and sahand today, as a matter of fact in half an hour so i've got to go now. more tomorrow.
[later]dear you. i'm sitting on the sofa - it's half past twelve at night. i'm at thomas' house : i'm staying in their winter garden attic. the roof & walls are made of glass, the floor of dark, golden wooden boards. there's a grand piano in the middle of the room. above me the moon and a cloudless sky. it's so beautiful. suzanne is singing. open all night. yes. free floating longing rising up into the sky, filling the space between star & star, all these lightyeardistances are not enough to hold all which is streaming, beaming, pulling me, dragging me, squeezing my mind & heart. i want to be where that voice is. metaphorically & literally. i was surprised how good it felt to spend the day with thomas - it was great to see his wife again. they started to talk to me about why i'm not going out with this person & whether i wasn't interested in that girl and why i didn't go out with my students. figure that! but it was cool - it felt right to discuss those things. it felt like i wanted to talk about it. i can't really express it properly. too much & too little words. wish my exposé had been more convincing. i did not convince thomas. dear you - it's later now, the moon has wandered a few feet over the glass roof. i'm still sending out things into space. i'm tired. share. yes, to share it. meine gedanken umspülen dich wie wasser einen weichen fels, der ins meer ragt. ich kann nur noch in kitschigkeiten denken. a sign for what? i want to write. i want to write or die. i want to write songs. that's the only thing that's really important. dear you, the voice, your voice, is healing & is hurting at the same time. as long as i will not be able to understand how this can be i will keep bleeding into space, the night, the page. kitschigkeiten. open all night.
[april 10, 2003 - ]it has snowed, it has rained, other day - freezingly cold, i'm on the way home. the last 24 hours have been a strange experience. whenever i have these clear moments when i can't repress the reality of the approximately 50 years that still lie ahead of me i get a panic. how to earn money. what kind of job will i have? at the university? i cannot picture this. then i'm pushing all that aside and try to concentrate on the music or the landscape that is passing by outside. lots of these small moments of drowning this morning. and then the other moments when i was sitting with thomas & his wife at the breakfast table and i felt completely relaxed and ... at home. yes. writing songs and getting people to hear them. it's nothing to you but it keeps me alive. it's so simple and plain...again. again. again.
[april 11, 2003 - burn this house! burn it blue...]it's cold in my room, the temperature dropped during the night. outside: people hurrying to work. when i woke up the confusion again about what to write when and where and WHY. wish i had a plan. i need a plan. plan for today: cedric & tara will come tonight and we will celebrate cedric's birthday, looking forward to that! perhaps i'll get hopelessly drunk :o))) perhaps i will flirt with the waitress. probably not. with my kind of luck we'll have a waiter, aynway. I said "I'm up to my neck in alligators-- Jaws gnashing at me! Each one trying to pull a piece away! Darlin', you can't slay These beasts of prey... Some bad dreams Even love can't erase" joni is always brilliant. the sun keeps shining for 5 minutes and then it disappears again. when i was with catherine on monday night we were sitting in her kitchen, talking about pen pals, or mail mates for that matter. and i realized again how much i would like to meet paula. in person, i mean. i was wondering how it would be like. would we have the same kind of humor? would we find anything to talk about? would there be a working conversation at all, in english i mean...
"and the night sky blooms with fire...."it's one at night. i'm just back from going out with tara and cedric. perfect evening. we went to the "tropical", a mexican bar and restaurant. i'm ptretty intoxicated now, i guess. hi hi. feels good, though. we did not only have great conversations about thomas, other people, the hollow earth, the war, american culture in general, cedrics birthday presents, psychoanalytic readings of medival literature and what thomas' wife thought about my former relationship but there was also a pretty attractive woman sitting across the room who [and here starts the pathetic, pubertic part of my little story] was actually smiling at me. the first time our looks met i thought it was a mistake or a reflection of the candles. but by the fourth time my heart made little, lively jumps. i don't think that this has happened ever before. what a great feeling!! "burn this night black and blue so cold in the morning so cold without you..." now i'm listening to that song from the "frida" soundtrack on repeat - it's good to be drunk. it feels good. it feel relaxed. i'm bracer. more courageaous, poured myself a martini [there is no other alcohol in the fridge] to enhance this feeling. it tastes like medicine. healing. "i burn midnight blue spread those wings...." i feel like i'm doing things automatically. like typing the password for the ftp connection and boy! i need more of this stuff! great! i'm just killing the martini bottle which was half full while simultaneaously writing a mail to e. headphones on my ears and that great song from the rida mopvie on repeat: burn this house burn it blue heart running unempty so LOST without .Y.O. U. boy, i've really killed the rest of the martini. much of the room is moving by no2w. better get to sleeo. BURB THIS HOSUE!!!!!!! BURN IT BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[april 12, 2003 - IT IS IMPORTANT TO ACT YOUR RIGHT TO PROCLAIM YOUR JOY!!!]yeah! "burb this hosue". jesus! can SOMEbody PLEASE keep me from drinking too much next time! my head has twice its regular size this morning. turning it around to quickly results in a second of stinging pain. i thought THAT was bad but then i read the mail i had sent off yesterday night in a condition of mental derangement. i keep perfecting the art of acting like a complete idiot! sorry! i wasn't quite myself. or too much so. ich hoffe, das gibt milderne umstände!! [later] just researched addresses of indie labels to send cds to. i'm not sure whether they are any good. also worked on the info. changed the text a little and now i can print everything next week and send it off. we'll see what will happen. my dream: thomas calls me and says that i don't have to write a dissertation: i'll get a job as his assistant for lifetime (mine, not his!) and i get as much time off to write songs as i need! "and by the way" he says "you don't have to go to any conference anymore if you don't want to. it's all bullshit anyway..." and after i've hung up blaine calls and tells me that there's a vacant flat in the house that he's living in. and then the phone rings again and it's the girl who accidentally smiled at me last night and she says: "hey, what about a drink tomorrow night?" and then the phone rings AGAIN and it's eva and she says that she's not pissed off with my behavior at all and whether i would like to come over for a midnight picnic the next time i'm in cologne and then the doorbell rings and it's a familiar face and a familiar voice that says: "after all this time, philipp! just thought i'd stop by and ask you whether you'd do some backing vocals on the new single. and hey! you're cd is pretty good, if you're ever looking for a producer give me a call. mike and i were thinking of having a beer downtown, would you like to join us??" too fantastic? too unrealistic? too much wishful thinking, you say?? hm, maybe. we'll see.
[later]ainsi va l'amour... so, i'm ready for bed: turned the sofa into a king size bed, wearing my pajama, brushed my teeth and washed my face. i'm not tired yet, though. think it's the perspective of waking up tomorrow and having to rework the exposé. also tomorrow afternoon: rehearsal. i made a cd today for sahar (thomas' wife) which will probably be called "sunbelievable!". she is pretty depressed about being back in germany from sunny california, so i put together a couple of tracks which might lighten her up a little: from david byrne to pj harvey and back over catherine wheel and don lennon.
[april 13, 2003 - i've pulled myself clear, i've pulled myself clear. in silence.]sunday. ten past ten. quiet and silent outside. i've been listening to pj harvey all day long. here's an imaginary mail to an imaginary person:
dear you,ten to eleven. the time is the only exact thing that i can tell. everything else escapes the words or the perception or the thoughts or the senses. i hope you are okay. i hope you've had a nice and sunny day. the piano in pj's song steps towards me in slow and regular quarter notes. almost like the tolling of a bell. almost like a heartbeat. i'm missing your heartbeat. see? - i'm doing it again...
i guess it's pretty tiresome to be confronted with the constant self pity and wailing of a person if you had thought that this person actually had a very different character. i have the impression that all the people around me have a lot of discipline, on various levels: for example work ethics. or emotionally. everybody can control themselves, they keep a certain distance and cold blood. i am the only one who isn't capable of keeping calm and settled, i'm celebrating with grande gestures every ridiculous feeling in a bombastic act of sickening self production and presentation. hysterical dramatization of a life which is actually plain boring and from the outside it must really be a nuisance. because it must seem like i was thinking that i am the only one who has troubles, sorrows and doubts, and everybody else was just happy.
the permanent talkingaboutmyself might have its reason in the fear that i'm not there at all, that i do not exist except in these narrations. i'm circling around myself as if in a vortex which doesn't have a center: it is empty. it does not exist except in the motion of the water. if this motion ceases, the vortex will disappear. it is only there structurally as a direction, a manic turning which isn't materiel as something that's authentic, genuine, supporting or even floating, as a kernel, an "i". it is like in moby dick:"Diving beneath the settling ship, the whale ran quivering along its keel; but turning under water, swiftly shot to the surface again [...] And now, concentric circles seized the lone boat itself, and all its crew, and each floating oar, and every lance pole, and spinning, animate and inanimate, all round and round in vortex, carried the smallest chip of the Pequod out of sight."the white whale - which is of course anderson's one white whale - has scattered the pequod with a single strike of his mighty fin and now the debris is sucked down in the vortex of his vanishing.
when i'm thinking about you, when you appear in my room late at night, sitting on my couch or leaning against the fridge in my kitchen with a glass of wine in your hand, then you're silent. you never say a word. you're just sitting there: listening or lost in thoughts, but you never talk. you take a pillow and you hold it behind crossed arms, you push away from the fridge to have a closer look at the pictures on the kitchen wall, you're nodding patiently. you don't say a word. and even though your lips are not moving you're softly singing the chorus of pj harvey's "horses" to yourself: I have pulled myself clear. I have pulled myself clear. I have pulled myself clear. Silent, I have pulled myself clear. you are always calm. reasonable. not cold, but cool. as if nothing could overpower you. yes, i think it's a question of being overpowered. this happens to me from time to time. in the course of a day. and sometimes i've got the feeling that i am the only one who is overpowered. and that is bad. because being overpowered means to be in need of other people because one can't deal with something or bear it or understand it or make sense of it. no matter what: the ugly or the beautiful. memories or big, yellow moons. solitude or philip glass' piano pieces. but if i'm the only one who is overpowered, if i am the only one who is in need of other people and i can't return this service then this is pretty bad in the long run. i will start to use up people, and i won't leave them enough room and i won't be able to give them back anything. maybe that is what has happened with my ex-girlfriend. although i have really tried! i have really, really tried to give her back SOMEthing.
you wrote: "there's no point in trying to have an honest conversation with you when you're sober". but "honest" means that there is some kind of truth, or a way that i "really" or "genuinely" think and feel. an "i" that is and that is not - like the vortex in moby dick - defined by its empty center, by its non being. an "i" that exists outside and independently of the utterance. an "i" that lies before the speaking, an "i" that talks and that does not vanish with the fading of the words. i don't know whether such an "i" exists. "i can barely touch my own self how could i touch someone else? i'm just an advertisement for a version of myself" david byrne is singing happily.
[april 14, 2003 - we just kind of lost our way...]sitting in the park in the sun. for the first time this year. the pond is shimmering in emerald green, the swans are cutting the semiprecious liquid effortlessly. groups of 18 year old girls with belly button free shirts and long, blonde hair., a forgotten pj harvey song on the md - on repeat. "this is kind of about you. this is kind of about me..." just read the introduction of scobie's book on cohen. brilliant! he argues that cohen celebrates the destruction of the self. and that cohen's saints are "a body without wish or will". which is of course a possible description for d&g's body without organs. why is it so bloody difficult to make the first step? i mean at one point in time i'll HAVE to start writing. nobody expects me to start with brilliancy, so why don't i just add word to word to word to see what will happen? they have cut down that big willow which used to stand by the pond. the spot looks naked now: homeless dragonflies are circling around the place where it used to be. i'll check out a flat tomorrow in cologne. i've received an offer today. 28 square meters, but unfortunately only one big room with a built in kitchen. what i really like about my flat here is, that the kitchen is a separate room, rather comfy and big even. but we'll see. the rent is cheap, which is important. and it's not too far outside the city. nicole will accompany tomorrow night, which is good. it's always better to have a second, independent impression. anyway. nadine will come by any moment and we'll have dinner.
[april 16. 2003 - stupid, don't you agree...?]"i'm obsessed with creating" i ended an email the other minute. strange days. sorry for not writing. it's summer in colgone - the flat is great, well not great but i'll take it if i get it. right now i'm sitting at some garden café of some bar at the big avenue at the university. actually i wanted to correct term papers - but the first one was so bad that i lost interest. sorry - i'm more or less out of words. have written long, long mails. trying to explain to e. and myself as well very basic structures and processes that work in me and around me. i've had three beers and not really anything decent to eat since lunch so i'm a little dizzy. it's tiresome and mühsam to search for words. why isn't there a more direct means of comunication? how am i supposed to put into words what i cannot put into words? an impossible expression...
fun with thomas. blaine's back from london. good conversations. cold fingers, though. tomorrow never dies. take me out to the ballgame. mr. bean. cold smoke. flaming lips, small black cars and guys called olli. "grace is always forgotten - but never forgiven" there will be a moon, there will be a thought, there will be a night. the tree behind me is moved by the mild wind and it touches my hair gently: unexpected tenderness of inanimate objects. how nice.
mark eitzel sings:
with your hand over your heart[april 17, 2003 - we'll float, take life as it comes, one day we'll float take life as it comes...]
and your boy scout face
you win a new merit badge
for a weakness for faith
for a love of strangers
for a love of dangers
that most people don't feel
because they don't really feel
they're like tables and chairs
they're like forks and knives
they're like planes and trains
hear'em bump in the night
and their souls aren't talking
they just wash up on the bank
and there their souls are beautiful
but finally start to stink
their souls aren't talking
and there are no choirs singing
it's just the pull of the ocean
not even freedom is ringing
it's just a river through Memphis
it's just a song by Led Zeppelin
you 'gotta a whole lotta love'
they want the sound of heaven
and that was all you could give them
that was all you could give them
for people who wouldn't be caught dead
to be seen really living
grace is always forgotten
but never forgiven
and I know all of this
because I'm just like them
I'm like some dirty old spy
outside the garden of Eden
they say that fear is a gift
well it kept me breathing
you thought I was busy
well I was just busy running
running from your beauty
some run from the devil
some from their own history
some run from their hopes
and some run to the sea
stupid don't you agree?
grace is always forgotten
but i's never forgiven
it's somewhat about 7ish in the evening, i'm on my way home from c. to b. and then right on to rehearsal without stop at home [i took the guitar i had in my office in c. because the pick ups had to be repaired in b. anyway]. sudden outburst. sun shining. it's been a great day with blaine. suzanne is singing: no cheap thrill. tomorrow: cedric & tara. it's a WONDERFUL life. you can have her (speaking now to o. who is sitting across the aisle - well, his kind of type at least) you can have her. just leave me this feeling of exploding inside out of joy (now) or sadness (tonight). and also leave me the words for it. maybe pain IS a gift. thinking now about "birth-day" and drowning in ancient metaphors. love made real and she's fucking more with me (and you too and you too) in those moments than she had ever been in Real life. fort|da. everything is falling together like the broken chord in kristin hersh's string version of "sundrops": right before the break, right before the last chorus starts. it's a perfect day, a perfect day, elise. a feeling that explodes into a thousand chiming colors. bombshell beauty.
[later]from the sublime to the ridiculous: when i was waiting for the underground a. (a friend of her) passed by who actually owns a small house on the countryside (so maybe she was visiting her? where does the underground go to? what time is it? could it be possible that she is driving to visit them???): so the old machinery got in gear at once and the thoughts started working, boiling the above paragraph down to one big ridiculous lie.
[april 18, 2003 - i've heard there's joy untold, lays open like a road in front of me...]i'm spending the night at cedric & tara's place. got to go now. more words tomorrow. or maybe just the mail i sent to paula today:
Subject: this is a line, this is a street, this is my hand
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2003 12:26:36 +0200
it's noon on good friday. the sun is shining brightly onto the streets and the pavement and the people passing by. i'm listening to atoms-dust, trying to figure out which poems to select for the seminar-reader. i wish i could include them all. you're just talking to suzyv: bring me out of this darkness. you have saved me many times. you have been a constant in my life for fourteen years throughout it all i was changing, edges blurring...
i tried all last week to explain to someone in many, many emails what the sadness of beauty does to me. how it throws me out of balance. how i need to articulate this unbalance in words or sounds or touches because otherwise some things would just overpower me. i struggled to explain this in what must have add up to 30k of plain text messages. then the other minute i opened ever outstretched and read "even-ing":
fire comes through this heart
and i beg it not to stop,
to keep the heat coming, yes,
out of the body,
to not be contained.
you have always already expressed my failures. you have always already de-scribed the involuntary silence that grows out of my small vision. you have always already clothed into words what i haven't even felt yet. you have a language for what i don't even have emotions for.
hope you are save. hope you are sound. take care!
[april 19, 2003 if you walk out on me i'm walking after you]i'm at tara & cedric's place. outside a storm is unleashing . i'm such an idiot. really. felt pretty strong the last months, tough. but seeing her name, her handwriting, her signature the other minute followed by a "+" sign and another name which i didn't look at anymore - might as well have been mine - i looked away and then it was like a fast-motion version of everything. now: red wine & gene and tara is smoking and humming along to the song. thinking about e, thinking about a lot of things. thoughts so crowded that i really wonder why they don'T fall out from the top of my head. baby, baby, aint it true im immortal when im with you.
[later]on the train back home - i'm drunk. tara & i opened a bottle of wine while cedric was packing. they're off to visit tara's parents over the holidays. your signature almost as vivid as the sound of your name. brrrrr. i'm cold, you make me feel cold. im scared baby, i wanna run. this worlds crazy, give me the gun! the pattern of the seat is dancing. the heating of the train is humming. you're humming. somewhere. nowhere. not here. not you. or she. or she. grace is always forgotten. "+". signifier coldness. dark outside. rain outside. music music music. god out there. somewhere. nowhere. not here. bind a point of view to this life. small child stumbling down the isle, big brown eyes. stops, looks at me. surprised. looks at me. big brown eyes. looks at me. stops breathing. looks at me. smiles. smiles. smiles. love means to look beyond the things you know. drive. please, drive, please, drive, please, drive, please PLEASE!! ever outstretched.
[later]i'm home now. paula wrote. sad words. sad words. sad words. trfjwkejr 5937 wierlwqkh iewru woi trembling all over, it's cold in here, just wishing myself into your arms just wishing myself into your arms just wishing myself into your arms. fuck
[april 21, 2003 - one day: we'll float...]eastermonday already. bad, bad dreams. the sun is shining, though. tomorrow classes will start again. i'm sitting in the park - correcting term papers. people lying on bright, colorful blankets, mostly couples (who i envy) or attractive mid 20s, sparsely clothed females (who i'm too shy to even glance at, not to mention to talk to). rather strong wind, though, turning the leaves of the scrapbook and chasing unbound pages all across the lawn. the smell of sun lotion is in the air and the world is filtered and framed by sunglass darkness: near summer experiences that will have been inscribed as burned skin by tomorrow. for some reason my head feels like exploding. shit. suddenly feeling like i was drunk. i drank almost a whole bottle of red wine yesterday night but that's no reason for my head to burst NOW!
[april 22, 2003 - igaveyoualltheloveigotigaveyoumorethanicouldgive - gaveyoulove - igaveyouallthatihadinsideandyoutookmylove - youtook - mylove - ikeepcrying - ikeeptryingforyou - there'snothinglike - youandi - baby]it's seven in the afternoon. i'm sitting in the office and the evening sun highlights the dirt on the windows. actually nicole had asked me to accompany her to a reading of a german author but somehow i wouldn't be fun to be with tonight. feel tired and sad. i just would spoil everybody's evening so i decided it would be better to stay "home" and work: correct term papers, listen to some music. i just wish i had my guitar. i took it to bielefeld the other week unfortunately. maybe i'll have a small snack later tonight. i don't know. you know how i can be when i'm groundlessly depressed. that's not a beautiful sight. i remember that new years eve in 1998 when i was bringing everybody down because i was brooding and ridiculously depressed. (the picture was taken half an hour after somebody and i had arrived. before, tara & cedric had been in a happy, joyfull mood) we were visiting cedric in cordingen who had a scholarship and was staying in a small village where arno schmidt used to live. it seems to be worlds ago and ages away now. we were still four then, doing long walks and discussing literature and music and the world and adoring thomas and planning and unplanning futures. there is this beautiful photo that i made of somebody, tara & cedric standing in the woods at a brook, and behind them the sky is on fire with the setting sun. cedric is holding tara in his arms and somebody is looking into the camera. it's important to realize that these things are not lost. they've just ended. that's a big difference. still i wish i had my guitar.
the seminar went well. 32 students turned up. we just discussed the preliminaries and then called it a day after 45 minutes. next week we'll REALLY start. i was nervous and excited, though. we got more term papers from last semester's course: plenty of work. the birds are singing madly. it's not a clear evening, though: long, semitransparent threads of clouds are covering the sun. hardly any wind and the trees green with spring.
[later]sirka just visited. it's half past eight now. still sade on repeat. ceci n'est pas un amour ordinaire.
[even later, 21:30]went to the cornershop and got myself something to eat: wavers and crackers. on the way back i wondered what would happen if i entered a bar, singled out someone, sat at the same table and simply said to her: "talk to me. just tell me your whole life. all night long. just talk to me." i wonder what would happen. i mean what COULD happen? the worst thing would be that she said: "get away, you freak!" i really wonder why i am always stopping short in front of those possibilities which seem unthinkable, undoable for me. but maybe they are not. maybe they are just very normal small crazy things that everybody does? that everybody should do? what keeps me from interfering with people? what keeps me from opening up to people? what keeps me from approaching people. i always want to be approached but i never make the step towards anybody. what am i afraid of? rejection? and where does this fear come from? i am very strange.
[another hour later...]sirka just called. she stumbled over a flyer on her way home advertising a flat in sülz (the part of the city in which the university is located), 35 squaremeters for 380 euros. maybe i should check it out just in case i won't get the other apartment... still wish i had my guitar. still wishing more but you know me good enough by now to guess what. paula wrote about "the terror of beauty". she hit the nail on the head! more paula quotes as i'm reading through her book looking for poems to put in the seminar reader:
"i pull the berries from your hair
and put them in your hands, ever outstreched.
the house collapses, my head is the world
a glass ball with a leaden lining.
i'm lost in leaves,
chilling, chilled to a dull."
[april 23, 2003 - now suzanne takes your hand and she leads you to the river...]i'm just home and realized that the updated version of 04|03 that i did this morning is still on the pc in cologne. blast! i had written down a long paragraph about a strange dream that i've had last night. you'll have to wait till next monday to read it now, sorry! anyway, here's what i've written on the train:
[later: 45 minutes to b.]write. wrrrrite. writtte. right. wright. flight. writeeee. fight. write. fight. write. fight. write. fight. float. float. words are too slow, though. as soon as you have put a certain distance between you and people what else can you do? doing words. making words is the wrong expression: you do them. foxy brown is our conductor tonight, checking the tickets, casting tarentino directed looks onto every passenger. darkness outside. neon inside, reflected a thousand times in the windows. a screaming comes across the sky. i want to travel towards, not away from something, someone. this voyage is nothing but a prolonged parting. a line by blumfeld comes to my train rattled mind: "was mach ich bloss an dieser stelle, an der ich längst noch nicht zu mir gekommen bin. wo ich mich kreuz und quer zerstreue. in alle himmelsrichtungen denk ich mich dauernd zu dir hin..." THERE IS VIOLENCE IN MY MIND. concerned dogs were strolling down the promenade when we sat on the wall, letting our legs swing down languidly, seagulls were crying and whenever a ship passed by the waves rolled upon the shore crowned by white foam. i didn't even dare to look at her too often. or too much. or too intensive. there was one moment of silence: people walked by in our back, birds flew by, the river changed constantly and suddenly i had this question on my tongue, i already heard myself speaking it out: "what are you thinking?" but for some reason i didn't say it because it seemed to be such an intimate question, such a personal question that sounded almost like a touch felt. in front of us the postcard skyline: cathedral with setting sun, framed by bridges and the rhine. too beautiful to be true. just like you. too beautiful to be with me now. just like you. i'm getting pathetic again. and you know that you can trust her for you've touched her perfect body with your mind...
[april 24, 2003 - i am friend to the undertow, i take you in, i don't let go and now i have you...]guess who's lying in the park correcting term papers? i got a small shock this morning. i mean i knew that this would eventually happen, but not so soon and suddenly: received an email from eric s. who is the moderator of undertow.
Subject: UNDERTOW IS MOVING!!! [This is the last message from this list!]i mean the tow has been a constant companion for five years now! and suddenly this morning all these voices that had been filling my mail box daily were silent. no new messages on server. depressing. so now i've got to subscribe to the message board. i'll miss the old undertow. schnief.
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2003 23:38:06 -0500
From: "Eric Szczerbinski" <Eric@xxxxx.com>
To: "Undertow" <email@example.com>
As part of the new SuzanneVega.com and Vega.net, we're moving Undertow from this discussion list to a message board.
Not to worry though - if you'd like to continue to send and receive posts to Undertow via email, that's one of the options that's available to you in the new forum.
Undertow has been online since the early 90's when it was hosted by a fellow named Stuart Myerburg at Emory University. In 1995, shortly after the first "Vega.net" was built, we moved the list to meer.net, where John Giannandrea has been administering it since. There are tens of thousands of visitors to SuzanneVega.com and Vega.net each year, but only a few hundred have been participating in this Undertow list. And within this group, only a handful are active participants. We hope this change will encourage more and better participation and interaction...
So.. Please surf over to:
Okay, that was the very last post to the Undertow mailing list! Suzanne has made the first post on the new boards..(see thread called WELCOME)...
See you on the new 'Tow!!
[later]i'm back from rehearsal. it was a little tiresome today because the songs did not fall into place. sometimes they do. sometimes they're just right. but tonight it was a little difficult. like we were in parallel universes that didn't run synchronically. so when i came back home i took a hot shower and washed away the rest of the sun lotion and the dust from from my skin, then rubbed myself with rose-oil and put on my pajama. now i'm smelling like a whole brothel but i'm feeling cozy and tired and happy in a stupid way. wine and water. bread and tomatoes. words and a dark, warm night outside. feel like snuggling. really: watching a classic movie, maybe witness for the prosecution or some like it hot, lie in a big, broad bed and snuggle. with someone. and a box of chocolates of course.
[april 25, 2003 - last year about this time we used to climb up in the branches... ]by the way, did it mention that i sent off nine demo cds yesterday? in other news: strange day. it's almost eleven at night. mood-o-meter is 3.1 and falling. i already miss the old undertow. it feels like someone has died. i could just write a couple of lines and send them out there, whether they made sense or not didn't matter: there were people out there who received them and who understood them. paula and fatima and bluey and k. and vlad and bob king and dave and uncwilly and josé and ray and sue and hugo and bruce and of course suzanne who read every single message. there isn't anything that can be compared to the realization that there actually WAS a way to communicate with suzanne just like that. whenever i felt like it i could have composed a mail and sent it to the tow and she would have read it.
ah, i don't know. actually i feel like making words and sending a mail to eva. but something in me objects to this plan. i have written way too many mails to her already and they were too much of a complaint with too much self pity and wailing. instead i should work harder on making a good impression, on presenting a tough and well composed image of myself.
i'm lonely. [<= so much for toughness...(addition april 26)]
[april 26, 2003 - i'm a new york city man, baby, say 'no' and that is that]place: café berlin. / time: 16:30 / music: unidentifiable ... correcting term papers and having a coffee. guess whom i met along the way? steve buscemi! he was driving down the street in his white mercedes benz. oh lord...! in front of me among the papers: latte macchiato: i'm enjoying observing how the white sugar crystals melt into the warm foam of the milk, how it is sinking into the fragile structure of a billion bubbles and then to take a spoonful of it and taste its sweet lightness on my tongue. it has stopped raining. strange air. too thick. green. fast forward sky and suicidal swallows shooting in-between houses and cars for whatever reason. my hands are trembling from the coffee. or the sugar. biergartentristesse: nasse lichterketten und die tische und bänke übersäht mit blättern und blüten die der regen abgeschossen hat. der bambusbusch wiegt sich unwirsch im wind und anscheinend scheint es dieses frühjahr hip zu sein, in alten, braunen adidas-trainingsanzugjacken mit jägermeister t-shirt und gestylter nicht-frisur rumzulaufen. aber das sieht wahrscheinlich nur aus, wenn man 20 ist. too old to be hip; too young to be cool. in 20 minuten werden die strassenlaternen angehen. ein bus fährt vorbei auf dem weg nach heepen. i'm homesick. auf dem männerklo ein 200 lurkers aufkleber: alles muss man selbst machen... the lurkers had a reason, a task. it didn't work. why bother writing songs anyway dachte ich so erst gestern noch. why bother when they won't work anyway. maybe because they're the most delicate, beautiful and sophisticated mode of expression? maybe because they simulate having achieved something? but how long does it make sense to continue doing something that does not do why you started doing it for in the first place?
leonard cohen: i'd really like to know what you expect from this album [99.9F°], but really deeply. do you think that this album will bring you the lover?but then the space & the sea is not 99.9F° and 200 lurkers are not suzanne vega. finishing my coffee. putting on my jacket. paying the check. opening the door. smelling the moist, warm air. starting the md player and the rif of "no cheap thrill" fills my head. starting to walk. down the street. i'll see you i'll call you i'll raise you but it's no cheap thrill, it will cost you, cost you, cost you anything you have to pay, and the song makes me move my lips to it silently, publicly, walking with the rhythm, the drums make my head spin, jerry hits the crash-cymbal and it moves through my body as if he had hit my heart and then the keyboards start whirling up in the chorus, getting higher and higher and higher I'LL MATCH YOU I'LL BET YOU I'LL PLAY YOU BUT IT'S NO CHEAP THRILL IT'LL COST YOU COST YOU COST YOU ANYTHING YOU HAVE TO PAY and something inside me implodes, just like that, right there on the sidewalk that's still wet from the rain, right there in front of the washing salon, right there at the crossing everything i am squeezed into the head of a pin like a cramp that seizes all of my body from the inside a black whole for a heart a white star for a mind.
suzanne vega: it's possible.
leonard cohen: do you think of it as a mating call? do you see this album as a mating call?
suzanne vega: why? do you see it that way?
leonard cohen: yes, yes I do.
suzanne vega: do i see it as a mating call? as a mating call?
leonard cohen: yes, i see this album as an exquisite, refined mating call of one of the most delicate and refined and concealed creatures on the scene. this is the mating call of concealment. this is how secrecy woos her lover. so, do you think that this album will bring you the lover which the album calls out for?
suzanne vega: yes.
leonard cohen: i do too.
[later]official telephone day today: talked to blaine on the phone for two hours and then to nadine and nicole for one hour each. felt like going out tonight but nobody's got time. to sit all alone in some bar is silly, isn't it. sent off another demo cd today. cedric said i should sent something to motor music, which is a rather big label, but who knows...
[april 27, 2003 - oh mum, the dreams are not so bad. it's just that there's so much to do and i'm tired of sleeping...]sunday morning, 7:59. woke up 2 times tonight:
suzanne posted another entry from her "road diary":
Subject: The Egg - Albany, NY - April 26, 2003YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS!! GUESS WHO'S COMING TO SUZANNE'S GIG ON JUNE 15?? THOMAS!!! he has just called (it's sunday, 10 am!) and told me that his brother wanted to see her and he asked thomas to join him and since he is "such a good brother" he will get tickets next week! dass ich DAS noch erleben darf!!
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2003 22:15:06 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Undertow Message Board" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Saturday April 26 2003 Albany
Grey rainy day up to Albany. Felt more November-ish than spring-like. Only half a house due to the Billy Joel/Elton John concert right next door. Mary Lou Lord opened. I didn't get to see her this time. Since she usually has an interesting dress sense, I asked the audience - what was she wearing? Low hip hugging jeans, with a sheer blouse and black bra. Billy told me. At least we weren't wearing the same thing! I did agonize a minute over my white hoodie with the sequins. Is this dignified stagewear, especially with the Converse sneakers that I am wearing this tour? But it went well enough...
I scolded the guys about trying to get the audience roused for Tom's Diner - when the room goes that quiet in between, don't even try to get them singing "do do do do" etc. Just leave it alone.
Last night in New Jersey was great! gorgeous beautiful venue - a church, and packed to the rafters. I sang a new song "Anniversary" - some people told me that their own anniversary was in September or their parents wedding anniversary was in September which was nice to hear....
I wish I could have spent more time in Anapolis ealier this week which is the type of town I love, with boats and water and fish. Usually I buy something at the pewter shop, but this time I didn't have the time. The gigs were good - neither were sold out, but good attendance none the less. I sang "Anniversary" for the second set, which got a great response.
A couple of things. One is -- I must squash these rumors that my mother is a jazz guitar player. She is NOT!! anything even LIKE a jazz guitar player. She is a computer systems analyst. When I said "My mother played jazz around the house" I meant she played jazz RECORDS! The program today at the Egg repeated this rumor. NO, no, no!
The other thing is that I guess Zev (Katz, our new-ish bass player) has settled into being comfortable on tour with us, since he broke out these whacky false teeth after the show in the dressing room. The weird thing is that Mike (Visceglia) also has false teeth and will break them out from time to time. Why do bass players do this? This is a mystery. He took them out when I looked at him - he said I reminded him of his wife. Oh dear.
[later]sie liebt mich. sie liebt mich nicht. von herzen. mit schmerzen. ein wenig. nein, gar nicht.
[later]golden sunday evening mixed with short, strong showers. while i'm writing this cedric called and now i'm going to fix me something to eat. have packed my things for tomorrow and looking forward to everybody. well, not much more to tell you, sorry. hasn't been the most exciting day of my life.
[april 29, 2003 - wishing it came crashing down, knowing that it never will]okay, first of all here's last week's dream that i forgot to upload:
[april 23, 2003 - "can you tell me where all the monuments are?" (i to charlotte roche when we were in rome in my dream tonight)]it's tuesday morning and i've had four hours of sleep. we went to a bar last night and i got pretty drunk. sometimes i really wonder what i want to proove to myself. or what i think will improve when i'm drunk. okay, i'm a little more open to do silly things but then i did not do any silly things yesterday night. although i think i might have if there had been the proper context. anyway, felt very weird yesterday night. when i arrived at the bar i was a little early and i had the text with me that we're going to discuss in class today and i wanted to prepare it but insted i turned the pages around and started to write: paula, i've just been walking through cologne. it's warm. it has been a streneous day. my eyes ache. i'm going to meet a couple of friends at a bar. to get there i've had to cross half the city. i decided to walk there. while i was passing all these people i have never seen before and i will never see again your voice on the walkman: "i can't get used to falling" i'm looking up into the sky that is lurking behind the roofs and walls like a promise. i'm thinking about you with a violence that i cannot account for. i'm making one step after the next. yet the sky is keeping still - it won't change. your words make my head explode. there is a feeling of extraordinarity in the air. like big things will happen. a death. a (re)solution. i'm scared. i'm fascinated. i'm afraid of my small heart. i hope you are okay. the air is yellow. the bar is empty. from my table in the corner i can see the world in front of the window happening. i'm not happening. i'm all quiet & composed, breathing softly, very at home within myself. the music rests on a single chord, a major maybe, just this one chord, pulsing. red curtains. graffitty on the walls. i'm missing the old undertow. "my heart ticks inside me like rain" every kind of nearness glides away like a camera being pulled out of focus. thrown back upon myself i'm looking up into the sky that's covered by a roof and try to think myself into the air, among the clouds.
very, very odd dreams: i was in rome for some unknown reason. i was there with nadine. it was an ugly city. lots of concrete buildings, dusty streets crowded with cars, the sun was hot and the fumes made us choke. we were standing at a crossing, nadine had her bike with her - and there was someone standing next to me who was pregnant and wore a hood over her head. this person suddenly started to stumble and grabbed my shoulder for support. it was charlotte roche, german tv presenter. now, i really like charlotte roche so i offered her my arm to cross the street without falling, which she accepted. suddenly nadine started to make a scene as if she was jealous: she screamed furiously, telling odd storries about how she and me had tried to get tickets for a theater show. however, charlotte and i just walked on, leaving nadine behind. we came to the harbor, which was more of an industrial setting than a beautiful romantic mediteranean harbor. "where are all the monuments? where is the beautiful city?" i asked her and she pointed landinwards and said: "downtown. the whole city is beautiful..." in the meantime it was suddenly clear that charlotte wanted to spend the entire day with me. she had changed slightly. she wasn't pregnant anymore and she had gotten shorter. when it got dark she started to tell me how much she enjoyed picking up men when she's travelling and spending the night with them and it was clear that she wanted me to accompany her to her hotel room. which i did. her long hair had changed into short her by then and her movements had become more and more awkward. we had to enter her hotel room by climbing onto the balcony. we passed beneath the windows of all the other rooms on the back on the hotel and the ground there was all made of sand that kept slipping away as soon as i stepped onto it: it didn't support my feet and i kept stumbling. finally we reached her room and climbed into it on a bed sheet that was hanging from the balcony. the room was ugly: a cheap hotel bedroom with a small bed and an old tv-set and ugly wall papers. by then i had realaized that charlotte roche had metamorphized into another tv-celebrity: kelly osbourne. and just before the dream started to become a vertiable nightmare the alarm clock was ringing. it was one of the most vivid and longest dreams i've had in months. from charlotte roche to kelly osborne, from the sublime to the ridiculous...
and here's what i wrote yesterday morning on the train:
on the way to c. started to read "pleasure of the text". depressing. i don't get a single sentence. "the brio of the text (without which, after all, there is no text) is its will to bliss: just where it exeeds demands, transcends the prattle, and whereby it attempts to overflow, to break through the constraint of adjectives - which are those doors of language through which the ideological and the imaginary come flowing in." what is this supposed to mean? what to make out of it? how to use it? how to forge significance out of it? and what's even more important: why do i cling to desires of meaning, an erotics of meaning almost when the text is about its loss, about ruptures and questions and questionings?? but still i'm deeply rooted in the mechanics of sense production, of capitalistic exploitation of the text for purposes. i wish i was in systems that would work in different ways. but somehow the academic reading, the academic discourse is STILL a discourse of significance, no matter how much barthes, derrida or deleuze you're reading: it all boils down to extract a meaning, a quote, a sense that you use, exchange for acceptance, for acknowledgement, for fame. i wish there was a way to put bliss back in, to free it from the private and carry it into the public. great - i'm hallucinating at 7:30 in the morning...
back to today:
"into the world of signs" you said. and of course that is exactly where i'm head-ing to: looking for any kernel of meaning, trying to read the world, asigning a meaning to every chance incident. what does this mean? what does that mean? what does the touching of two legs in a dark and smokey spot under the table mean? is it a sign? can i read it? can i decode it? can i translate it? is it a promise? is it a prediction? is it a boundary? i seem to be unable to simply enjoy the pleasure of a momentary material happening, of a probably random and insignificant event that has never been meant to be a signifer, that has never even been MEANT. i need to charge things up, semiotizing them. i don't have a poststructuralist heart. i want sense. and senses.
[much later]the clouds doing a gigantic becoming animal, stampeeding across the sky like herds of fluffly, infinitely heavy buffaloes. the water green and reflecting the world in 2-d. the sun long gone, only here by its reflection on a vapor trail of a plane that is smashed among the airy buffaloes. feeling burned out, unable to keep up the tension, the pressure that keeps my body inflated. lots of people, drumgroups, barbecues, runners, lovers smooching on the banks of the pond. i'm still in C. spending the evening in a park not far from the university. it's getting rather cold. think i'll head back to the office. have read blaine's article on "Ellen". respect! chapeau! cars with lights on. ducks finding their way across the water in the dark. i haven't felt this urge to run away for a long time. behind the clouds - almost hidden - : an amber colored infinity. to be there. to get there. the ducks are swimming in the flat image of that space, cutting it up, obscuring it with an intricate pattern of circles within circles that break through circles. the way the water moves. the terror of beauty. the weight of the words. i'm thinking about persons who embody my desire, singing signifiers for what i halucinate i need to be...what? happy? complete? having arrived? yes - there were moments when i felt like having arrived. i could never stay there. places that went by like seconds. a presence. a sharing of moments. and most importantly: a recognition. a rememberance. a signification and dignification. after all this time. my hands are trembling. not from the cold. the sky becomes unbearable. wishing it came crashing down, knowing that it never will.
bad news today: blaine told me en passant that eva intends to go to the university of giessen to work for ansgard nünning there and to write her dissertation.
[april 30, 2003 - darling, be there. bring me laugther. evermore.]phew! what a day. it's half past ten the night before labor day. i am just back home from cologne. here are some trainthoughts:
hi,"you want to send this to nicole?" he asked. i didn't answer, only added a word:
hope you're okay. here's what will NOT happen today:
"Phillip- schatz. ich hab mir einen plan für dich überlegt: wenn du nicht in eva verliebt bist,
dann laß sie ziehen. wenn aber doch, dann betrinke dich heute abend (und an besten machst du sie
auch besoffen...:-) und dann mußt du sie ganz viel zum lachen bringen und dann mußt du sie
nebenbei immer mal wieder berühren und wenn sie dann immernoch neben dir sitzen bleibt, dann
fragst du sie, ob sie noch mit dir alleine was trinken geht und wenn ja, dann ist eg alles klar...
na - wie hört sich das an? ich will morgen alles wissen! toi toi toi - nicole"
hi eva,he frowned.