Monday, May 5, 2014

The Subharmonic Murmur of Black Tentacular Voids

*This post is inspired by a poem of unknown origin that has randomly been circulating on the internet.

A word such as “illumination” is a hard pill to swallow. Filled with its own deceit, as if the light will cast some knowledge on what may lie otherwise hidden. Why must we always characterize knowledge in terms of the light? As if light is such an illuminating thing, as if light doesn’t blind you when it casts its aggressive glare into your eyes, as if light will actually fix that fact that we don’t know, and indeed, cannot know the means of our own existence. As if light does not obscure the things in its way. Why do we think that light is the answer? It opens us up like petri dishes under some unholy eye, the creeping voyeuristic presence of surveillance that is always here, even when we are alone, even when we are cast in light, perhaps especially when we are cast in light.

Over and over I have heard of these special bacteria that live only in our elbow-pits, a billion cities in the crooks of our intimate bodies, maybe behind our knees, making foreign what I once perceived as home. There are unbounded infinities between me and the bodies that I interact with on a daily basis. Yet this presupposes that we exist without each other. So there are unbounded infinities between me and the bodies that I intra-act with on a daily basis. There are unbounded voids between me and this table, and it is the light that makes me think that I know it. But it is not of my world, and I know nothing of it. How does this table articulate itself to itself? In a totally inhuman, and perhaps even anti-human way, for its force pushes against me as I push against it, hard edges creating craters in my skin. Each atom communicates its exact qualities to the atom that lies beside it; they structure each other into hardness, denseness, into glossy shape and the color of tan striations.

“Illumination” is a word so obscuring that it doesn’t even have an antonym. Find it; I may be wrong.

The subharmonic murmur of black tentacular voids. Below the harmony of the heavenly spheres. Below as in less-than, below as in under, whispered into the cavern of unhearing ear. I should propose a word such as “inumbration,” and maybe even that is somewhat of a far call. Not to cast a shadow, with the positivity of the form of our immanent beings pushed out of the world in vertical potrusion, but rather to be thrown into shadows, to be placed into the dark. Not to shade or to darken, the word acting subjectively on non-agentic exteriors, but rather the subject becoming subjected to a radical non-being. This is the point of anti-knowing, where we may find revelation inumbrated to us. Find your not-your-self in this cloud of unknowing. Such voids reach out to grab us, a million mangled manicules malevolently marking us out even if we ignore their daily presence. Of course, we know the void is never a void, for its definition is made by something being in it, by something being thrown into the darkness.

-Isabel Stern

Image source
In The Dust of This Planet

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