Agent 00-summer is (well, was) an undertaking, that is, the document of a gambit, to smoke every cigarette as though it were the last.—Excuse the figure, which exchanges life for smoking, smoking for life (but by all means, see Strikes/Blows). The presentation of Agent 00-summer resembles that of The SYborg's Little Black Books (detailed in The SYborg mythos; see and cf. LBBIV and FRAGMENTum b: the little black book I-III). Alas, as They say, Agent 00-summer molted much earlier than expected; even—or especially—The SYborg trips and falls.
7/20 - 8/31. (I'll need your gun and badge.) Accelerated anticipation, if not panic, produces the force-pull of temporal gapping for the fervent diarist who lives through a modernist aporia? "The more radical the rejection of anything that came before, the greater the dependence on the past" (de Man). Guess who?
"On errands of life, these letters speed to death."
7/19. Now I have dreamt twice about an after-hours club that occupies a rural high school while still being in The City. In my first dream we walked for hours down a dark highway, hiding in the ditch when cars approached. In my second dream we waited in a parking lot surrounded by tall pines. Lot attendants made fun of us for having backpacks. A black import car covered in mud pulled up, and we ran to meet it. The driver told jokes about horrific drug overdoses. There were no seats in the car. After riding down a bumpy dirt road we arrived at a school built in the style of a cathedral. There was dancing in the hallways. The ceilings were so high that we couldn't find the bar. No one looked like they were enjoying themselves. I spent most of my time peering out the elaborately paneled windows. The baseball field lights were on, and the diamond was a dumping ground for bicycles. Out under these sports lights drunk people were having a water fight. I walked home through the pitch black woods, terrified.
The visual acuity of this repeated dream scene reminds me of a dream Chefrollet Jung reports in his Psychohammer Monologue. "I have a recurring dream," he writes, "in which I find a switch under the dashboard of the car I am driving. The switch forces all cars on the road within a certain radius to play what I am listening to at the same volume. Youths drive by and give me the horns." For you see, I have the same dream, only the switch is on my discman.
7/18. What do you know? Il y a an Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation which accepts applications for grants to conduct research on important aspects of alcohol consumption and its effects: "Deadlines for receipt of applications for the spring and fall meetings of the Medical and Behavioral/Social advisory councils are February 1 and September 1 respectively. Depending on the nature of the proposed research, the application will be considered by either council. Overall, the following areas are more directly related to the mission of the Foundation, and therefore, are of greater interest:
- Factors influencing transitions in drinking patterns and behavior,
- Effects of moderate use of alcohol on health and well-being,
- Mechanisms underlying the behavioral and biomedical effects of alcohol,
- Biobehavioral/interdisciplinary research on the etiology of alcohol misuse.
The Foundation does not encourage applications on treatment of the complications of advanced alcoholism. However, research involving treatment intended to elucidate the pathogenesis of alcohol-related problems will be considered," and so on.
7/17. free speech vs. an unspoken, but no less honorable, information circulation protocol, according to which this is absolutely unacceptable + free will vs. not predestination, but cold hard cash ...about face! and the figure will have been four, not three, as is commonly supposed: L.S./M.F.T. = loan-sharked SYborg maroons filterless tryst. Hm, The End of the Affair, indeed. We shall see...
All of these absurd equations and codes, he realizes, frame and contain an affective—what are they called? ah, yes—outpouring, which is not to say that in some sense The SYborg isn't always already a brisure, certainly. From time to time the break is the hinge.—How's that for sublimation? Sneakers, cigarettes, hairstyles: habits reified for retrospection; thus puns in the expression "to cut one's losses," not to mention a written performance thereof, dot dot dot period.
7/16. I got some—and I don't use this word lightly—dude blowing holes in my head for being a "downtown kid." Cough. I feel a rant rising up in my throat, and I'm going to hold it in, dude. No need to take the gloves off...well, OK, just let me say, for the third time, that you are definitely not going home with the bartender.
7/15. (Frydai's formula: noctambulism + good ol' gegenüber, in both syntactical positions + Notes from the sinking)
Over and against that of the WTC, the Empire, I ante the down-low prospect of the Pulaski Bridge, the west Queens-Brooklyn internuncial trajet. Parlez, parlez, ma mémoire. Bastille day gives way to a lovely evening, an LIC garden party with more than enough nutrition for The starving SYborg sucking a six-pack of Presidente and making its connection, swimming Manhattan Ave into Enid's and "speaking in telegraphs."
Check 1,2,3: mid-Pulaski sensory sphere—Greenpoint spread out at left, checker-striped towers visible from Chez Mes watching my back, and the looming masses of soulless Midtown rising studded with a million yellow eyes that you cannot see close—dimensioned by headphones: PDX's Bisy Backson (RIP): "And I am writing this from memory, still writing this from my memory; this could be fixed!" "This may well be a street sweeper's walk," I think while two sweeping streetwalkers diss my skinny legs to my face. "Skinny chicken? I prefer scrappy, ladies."
7/13. Tense inconsistency. Ah, but this week? The Call, relentless..."I'm rollin' down the stairs..." First OT née H's birthday party. Then we start with an afternoon at P.S.1, and as the sun dipped below the Manhattan skyline, O** and I make our way down to the LIC waterfront, cross the bridge onto Roosevelt Island, then made the tram-jump to Manhattan, crashing at last upon sofas at #***. Sunday serves up an eight hour stint at Coney Island—the full-on beach, swim, Wonder Wheel, Nathan's scenario; B will run home local: Hot Lava demonstrations for a full car. Monday, bloody Monday will seem to have involved a prodigious quantity of vodka and beer as the mode of perception for The Maltese Falcon, before, that is, resulting in table-top honky-tonks and scrapes and scraps and kitchen knives. Tuesday does not exist. Wednesday, hump day as They say, returns me to the scene of recent crimes, and also, O** and I worked our way down from Siberia to Sophie's, check on Eddy's tower, decide—the lucidity of intoxication—against climbing the Willy-B, and so instead, will accept the Gift of dawn from the walking deck, which bounces us up and down like a parent bouncing a child. (he writes, smiling through what may be tears)
7/8. I run a 10 p.m. pick-up maneuver along far west Spring and end up tarrying for a few minutes outside that tapas bar, and with cellular suits and skirts crowding the sidewalk, yet another song begins to form on my lips:
I'm a high-tone woman and I'm out on the town
I paid eight for my beer but you won't see me frown, no! because
(refrain) I'm a hiiigh-tooone woman, (shout:) high-tone! I'm a hiiigh-tooone woman, (shout:) high-tone!
As a high-tone woman I've got what it takes now
Buy me another beer (backup singers: duh, in a glass, dear) and I'll give you a shake, oh!
Of a stairmaster ass that's my only concern
well and the fat calories that I'll have to burn, ah! listen
I'm a high-tone woman so don't get me wrong dude
Tonight it's back to Jersey or the Upper East Side, yeah!
You can come along too if you're a high-tone man
'cept I'll need to see your bank statement and Hamptons, tan! because
7/6. "Here" "we" "go" "again": 'the coiled spring,' so typical of the early LBB.
7/4. I should not have tempted fate, as They say, by asking the question...something about appearance through a medium, something about the energy of deep Greenpoint, and yes, something about the answer at the bottom of a bottle of bourbon. Happy birthday, America, he thinks while accumulating a startling number of cuts and bruises related, somehow, to dumpsters and swings and photography. Hm. People as circuitry in a machine: loops and crossovers—patterns form, I think. Cf. A grand old Fourth...
7/3. "The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) request research grant applications to study the possible clinically significant effects that various psychotropic medications may have on the brain when administered during the developing phase that spans from birth to early adulthood. The purpose of this announcement is to spur new clinical and basic research on the possible impact of psychotropic pharmacotherapy on the developing brain..."
7/2. Perfection of atmospheric conditions: wandering days in which, without planning, I come across friends, friends of friends, acquaintances, people I recognize, people who recognize me. (When the sun shines, The City's sometimes smalltownness becomes apparent.) At Knitting Factory I am crushed by crowds and sounds (Praxis, too dense for this space), so I race uptown to be pressed by other weights: Robert Hood presides over the turntables like a shaman and with hands folded, bows to the audience upon completing an exceptional set of—what would you call it?—aggressive electronic music. And at the Cooper-Hewitt I am over-floored by David Small's Talmud Project, so I saunter over to The Park and nap for hours, waking only to nibble on taut green grapes.
The Fourth of July is on the immediate horizon, and it shows. Shows what? Or better, "what" appears by way of the Fourth?
6/29. Until next time, June! And, I should like to add, "Madame Bovary, c'est moi."
6/28. I hope you're keeping track, because I'm not...super spontaneous weekend beach excursion (see beaches) becomes protracted prologue for Pal Joey insanity, MadDog and I putting down a bottle and a half each then rolling on down the line, all the way down... Sweatshop labor protestors spice the cinematic experience but ultimately fail since they can only out-spectacle the spectacle (by all means, see EDGE OF THE LAST). I ignore my various bags for days, then find in a notebook: "a night of giving directions, substituting pace of stride for sexual activity. The SYborg, the anti-Friday"
6/23. This evening's matchup: I'm just a fireball: existence! vs. I'm just a boy: not much to do, speed metal vs. noise rap. Let's get ready to rumble! (Oh? both sides forfeit, but we're left with adolescent rituals nonetheless: "the cauldron's boiling, take your witching stance" (Karp).) Punk's gone inside, kid, and become part of the innerstagger, pace hazelrah. Don't sweat it; we can still rumble.
6/23. I'm getting a t-shirt that says, "I survived the night of the ugly and underage 2000." I started writing a song about it: "I'm young and ugly, and I'm out on the town, I'm twenty and ugly, but get me a shot of Yeger, and I'll be all-right-y, my obnoxious boyfriend flunked Intro Anthro, oh, but if you do a shot with me, it'll be OK, cuz I'm twenty and ugly, young and ugly, and I'm in your hood!" ...jonesin' for a BBQ... + good ol'Cincinnatus C., another avid journal keeper: "Alas, no one taught me this kind of chase, and the ancient inborn art of writing is long since forgotten—forgotten are the days when it needed no schooling, but ignited and blazed like a forest fire—today it seems just as incredible as the music that once used to be extracted from a monstrous pianoforte, music that would nimbly ripple or suddenly hack the world into great, gleaming blocks—I myself picture all this so clearly, but you are not I, and therein lies the irreparable calamity."
6/22. To the leftover rain dripping and tapping audibly on the sill I type out at last the question that has been doing laps in my head for two days: Is there an uncompromising compromise? Is it possible to make a compromise in an uncompromising way? For the addict, the non-renouncer par excellence (as AR would have it), this is perhaps the question, for non-renouncing is not advocating and cannot be reconciled to it.
6/20. the wee hours that aren't so wee. Unpacking my bag, in with the soaked bed sheet of the Duck Soup expedition I find two slips of yellow paper: 1) "free movies in Bryant Park as a weekly recreation of the logic of The Grid: congestion. Real estate. An off-scale model of Manhattan in human flesh. Synecdoche. New Yorkers, godzilla-like, lumber through the chaos of the shifting matrix, crushing hands and toes, cleaning up the architecture. The aptness of SJB's: face as gargoyle hung on the body." and 2) "119:12:40/ Cherry:1:40/ 6 to 3? to 5 to 15 to Un.Sq.W to 17 to Irving to 15 to 119 to U.S.E to 14 to B to M's/ Where's Mean L*****?/ Cat's Cradle to 9 to C/ Cat's Cradle to 6 to Cherry/ zags and zigs/ What the fuck is Puck Fairy?" Presumably Cat's Cradle means crossing back and forth midblock.
6/19. A fast-moving semi-truck warps the Williamsburg beneath my sneakers. The groaning of trestle, cable, balustrade, girder combines to form a sentence: "Ich war steif und kalt, ich war eine Brücke, über einem Abrund lag ich." How often Kafka's declaratives sound as questions! Your humanity is on the line. So it is that when The Inanimate places The Call, you accept the charges; softly now into the receiver, respond in kind: "Versunken in die Nacht. So wie man manchmal den Kopf senkt, um nachzudenken, so ganz versunken sein in die Nacht. Ringsum schlafen die Menschen" ("Nachts").
Among ex-PDX drinkers, explicit formulations of the task were revealed on the other side, die Kehreseite, the starlight of the Williamsburg receding into an a.m. mist. Insert hier der Gedankenstrich. LES, Northside, the watchword of the summer is, grievously, gentrification; or not...go ahead, motherfuckers! force me to dilate the field of my explorations.
Posting its journals online, unexpurgated, shifts the Haltung of The SYborg. Target acquisition. Do you sense the cross-hairs' shadow? The virulent SYborg is also The vigilant SYborg. "Warum wachst du? Einer muß wachen, heißt es. Einer muß da sein." Thus The SYborg astounds the Wachsamer Engel with its amperage "in saying its own irredeemable being-there, that is, in not imploring" (Cacciari).
6/18. Father's Day. Where's the sun? the BBQ? the free music today? Group of three overheard at friends' fantastic house party last night: "Who lives here?" "Do you know who lives here?" "No, I haven't seen anyone yet." "It's a bar." At The Bloodsucking Goat Bar, not to be confused with The Dumb Luck Bar, I dance (sic!) until the speakers crack and espouse scandalous theories on the intelligence of flesh. Later, after an extended game of Hot Lava Train (actually Hot Bile Train because of the one guy passed out with his head between his legs, flanked by grocery bags, encompassed by a yellow puddle; he fails to get off at the last stop, natürlich...yo-yo), I fall asleep before the opening credits, I think. This makes a lot of sense. Reconstruction difficulties. Youth's new material is too delicate for the Hammerstein (the B&Ts in the crowd don't help); Jim O'Rourke adds a fourth guitar, and I sail away on the end of 'nyc ghosts and flowers' with my eyes closed. Stage visuals, films of The Street reinforce the way in which this band is indissociable from The City. Walking to, standing through the whole gig, dancing in Brooklyn, junglegyming the L,—I can barely move my limbs today, Father's Day. It is time for a haircut.
6/17. Sitting in the a.m. AC blast, hunting for epithets for The SYborg: fifth wheel already; the alkaline alky; &c.
6/14. wee hours...not so much typing as pawing the keys...real time experiments..."Late for work again today someone's lying down on the job again will you people please stop jumping under my train ladies and gentlemen there will be a slight delay while we hose the blood away and the clock keeps ticking so I spend my evening wishing I never was born drinking toasts to that hood [?] with the hooves and the horns" (CSC). Airdrums keep me safe on Hester and Howard...new, more virulent SYborg (147KB wav) strain is beginning to reproduce, multiply. + p.m. On a "bad day" in The City you never know whether you are moving too fast or too slow. I choke on a Cookie crumb. Corpulent tourists throw themselves into my path. Checks bounce, back up and hit me in the nose. Uppity East Side dames stop without warning in order to answer their cell phones. A dog relieves himself on my shoe. A cab driver falls asleep on his horn.—I can't hear you! "Kids dressed up for basketball beat me in my head." CPU crashes twice. And he just talks and talks and talks, right through me.
6/12. found penned on a large post-it: "BBQ De-Virg. S.T. strange night/ SUNDAY!/ BBQ #2/ telephone, esp./ cell/ AS architecture?/ (extension, x 2 mediation?)" (sic passim) Thus the paradox of Agent 00-summer, document of the gambit and not its results. Summer takes pawn. Splendid. Now to deploy that "skip-space piece," only figure to fly, in an 'L' of course...knights in Brooklyn.
6/8. Remember David Bohm's Causality & Chance in Modern Physics? "Carrying the analysis further, we now note that because all of the infinity of factors determining what any given thing is are always changing with time, no such a thing can even remain identical with itself as time passes..."—Richie Hawtin spins live on my APT and takes me for a ride down Fifth Ave, but three hours later, by the time I have been to each and every shoe store on Broadway, from 23rd to Canal, have tried on a whopping total of one pair ("May I try on a pair of shoes?" nod "This pair?" nod, silence "Aren't you going to ask me what size?!"), have been unceasingly buffeted by The Street, my right foot listing thirty degrees when it hits the pavement because the heal foam has exploded, by the time I have, in short, failed even to see a pair of acceptable new kicks, Mr. Hawtin's subtleties are melted by the sun and the sweat and the noise of The Street. Only his redundancy and my fatigue remain. And this scrap from the last store: "Hey, did you notice that this store has all the same stuff as mine? in the same order!" Nothing for it but to get drunk and crash twice on a bicycle.
6/6. CPC à SYborg: "A 'grand illusion.' / This is how famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted envisioned Central Park: a rural idyll in the midst of a noisy city...a retreat where the city dweller could literally lose sight of the city itself...truly a grand illusion. / Thankfully, for all of us who love Central Park, Olmsted succeeded in transforming his vision into reality" (emphasis-SYborg, but the ellipses are CPC's). Ah, yes, The Park, the 'envisioned' space-place in which loss of sight amounts to illusion (now do we see The Park or un-see The City? canceling out its noise). Thankfully, we're told, it was possible to transform vision of an illusion 'into reality'—a real illusion? A different grand illusion made "reality," The City, envelopes another...oh! natch...but we're left wondering when we ever sight 'the city itself,' so as to lose it again in The Park, blind-spot for an urban sleight of hand. There is no reason to leave.
6/5. encore! 'Summertime and the livin's sleazy' (free outdoor jazz, sidewalk restaurant hangtime, cheap drinks) + more listening in: "We need to go back to that bar. It's clean..."
6/4. overheard re how many barbeques one has been to: "Does it count if you're invited and don't go?" "Whu!?! Is that a rhetorical question?" ...ah, summer, "Who would have thought?"
6/2. dawn: nothing quite like stumbling into people leaving your house when you're just coming home: broke
6/1. 10:somethingerother, p.m. of course. This time The Call is born by "wires," a telephonic-celephonic leap in the muggy air. I remember drinking at a bar with PK1, in PDX, almost four years ago!...after purchasing The Telephone Book at Powell's (by all means, see the recently archived BIBLIOPOLIS); tonight sentences from another of Ronell's books have been rattling loose in my skull..."The addict is a non-renouncer par excellence (one thinks of the way Goethe mastered renunciation); yet, however haunted or hounded, the addict nonetheless establishes a partial separation from an invading presence."
5/30. The old Savoy has been purchased and is in plastic surgery; judging from the mauve paint, the final results will be sickening. 8th, 9th, and 10th Avenues, between Port Authority and 50th, have lost their pop and hiss—their sketch. I marvel at a profusion of mediocre lounges which all resemble each other: street-to-ceiling glass door facades, curtains, wine colored wood, yawn. Three years ago I was doing shots in Jimmy's with a guy who had been chased down 43rd, from 10th to 8th, by a gang of men shouting violently about his wallet. He looked like he needed a drink, as They say in the movies, and I needed one too, since I had arrived only a few minutes before him, having myself just walked down that same stretch of 43rd.
5/29. Accompanying out-of-town friends through The City splits the scene, renews your seeing, perceiving It again for the first time, as if your friends, like alcohol, were vision gear lensing things unfamiliar.
Thus The SYborg's 'ever-incipient MPD' as an attempt to assume such vision gear repeatedly, that is, to internalize extension, prosthesis, through a proliferation of selves for whom the first time may be always.
5/28. water tower vistas and bottles of wine, southside bridge crossing and bar hopping. Weather pities the weekend, summer drummer clicking his sticks together, 1,2,3,4
5/23. (wee hours) Along the way with PK1...tonight's matchup: How To Live? vs. Am I Happy? Let's get ready to rumble! (But this questioning bout is ultimately fought out elsewhere, in thinking, in the time between heartbeats. Even Jesus, despite his rather hectic schedule ("Miracle on Tuesday? Hmmm. I'll pencil you in."), "often withdrew to lonely places and prayed" (Luke 5:16).)
5/19. "I need whiskey. I need style (237KB wav)," The SYborg sings along with Terry Allen, or alternately, "Get me out of this uptight midnight into some limelight." A seasonal and seasoned sensibility, and the desire for a special contradictoriness: glamour by way of barbeques, house parties, trips to the beach, and picnics in the park. And cheap drinks, and I do mean cheap.
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