On This Circuitry
There is the question about what, exactly, the increasingly cross-linked and riddled nature of this website is supposed to accomplish. Is it meant to mimic a kind of circuitry? The well-worn paths of a thousand thousand subterranean insects as they thread their way through what we conceive of as solid earth, terra firma, what we rest on—and make a mockery of that admittedly kind of half-assed if convenient idea?
Is it a series of individual threads designed to be seen—if rotated around an axis just right—to be a luminous cloud?
And what idea or writerly or thinkerly or human impulse does it serve or can it serve? Is it in service of an attempt to more clearly model truth by way of continued and thoughtful annotation? That's a nice idea, isn't it, that we can continue to revise our thoughts (though in practice, as some have noted, though I have claimed I would come back to some of these individual ideas I have not in practice done so (it turns out I don't constantly think about these ideas, sitting around and watching Law & Order or whatever revising what thoughts I have had and continue to have))? Or is it the product of an obsession, a profoundly useless one, the desire to add on to (and hence addle) my previous way of thinking about a subject?
Is it here for me? Or for the part of me that I am modeling? Or is it here for you? And how many of you are there? And how many of you do I imagine I am writing for (a question I had to field, unsuccessfully, at an interview at a small liberal arts college in Iowa several years back), if not for myself?
Or is it here as a kind of living epitaph for David Foster Wallace (you know it was only a matter of time before he emerged from the much-needed muck here), a pulsaing mass of epitaph that keeps growing its new brain parts to find their way back around a subject?
Is it important that I know? Is it important that I can articulate my thoughts on thought, that I can try to tease out what it is that I do by way of what I hope is art? That writers can speak up for themselves and say something useful, cogent, or important, or that makes them less worth our thoughts and time spend with their words?
It is still sixty-five degrees outside. It is March 4th, the year 2009. It is 11:17pm and I am out poolside by my house in Tucson, Arizona. As I am trying to think about these things the self-guided machine officially called a Kreepy Krawly (maybe a Kreepy Krawler, I think, now in the moment of invocation) is pulsating in the pool on its many trips around the surface of the pool in an attempt to keep it clean. It is stuck on the stairs. It is often stuck on the stairs. The problem of the neurotic, the over-thinker. It's easy to get stuck on the stairs, to not find the way to propel yourself beyond beyond to whatever is beyond (because in some ways there is no field beyond this field, no boundary past the boundary past the cottage where Mr. Millenbach is probably chopping something up in dreams of mine that persist these years beyond my childhood and its perpetually rising terrors.
The machine is like a Roomba, a machine that I also envy for its simplicity and evident cheerful labor. The neighbor's porch light is blue. The stars would be visible if not for the infrequent clouds and for the light emanating from the laptop and blowing out my vision. Sorry, vision. Sorry, stars. The sound of the Kreepy Krawly is kind of kreepy. I took some video a while ago of the motions of the water in the pool water around the pulsating hose.
There is no better word for it than pulsating. It sounds kind of like a machine gun. I am thankful for its efforts, its unthinking, unyielding attempt to clean the steps. It could go on forever here, if there is a forever here, a here forever. Both these things—all three of them in fact—are true. The past will continue with us, stay with us in here forever. We will continue to worry at it, to pick it up and pick its bits apart like scab from scab from whatever's underneath.
There is no place to go from here but here. There is no time except forever.
I see the machine is finally freed from its attempt at the steps. It sounds almost satisfied. It has churned something up, it thinks. Sometimes that is enough.