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Karl Marx
 

                        AN JENNY

 

 

The night is raimented in melodies,

The intact sky bound with shining wishes 

            Trickle from the heavens down

            To earth and envelop our limbs,

With contemplative fist I fabricate

Out of this raiment a coat of wings,

            To fly the blessed long expanse

            Of clouds spread out to Jenny,

And find all lust and longing ended there

Where whispers drip from the sweetliest lips,

            The modicum a heart conceals

            Our gods pick to take root in,

And all her words become the universe

Of melodies to silence my heart in.

            “But when your breast beats louder,

            When sorrows fill the air

Or trauma, when too formidable love

Glisters in too enormous tears, and when

            Blood reds your unwilling cheek,

            Or heaven’s set forth in your eyes,

When all your inset deepest life itself

Entirely gives itself in and is lost there,

            The burden will not hold, shakes

            And tears its shackle, turned upon

Its head in the sway of dark appetite,

Drained overlong by wanting and heaving,

            When in the noble guise of dark

            Art transfigured by the force

of misery…” Then I like to fall down,

To put an enterprising word to you,

            That only I recognised you,

            Only I broke out in the same

Feverish fire, purblind deconvolution,

In a more despairing high arrangement

            The same force is pressed from my breast

            That melts you in delicious tears.

It was thus greatly written up as fate

By precursors by deeds and by our love,

            That profound sorrow disappears

            When it in the flame of oneness

Stands above us. Then I would like to pause

Dividing up the soul and breath with you,

            I would like to deliquesce on

            Your breast and turbulently sink

Into your soul in blessed unconsciousness,

To die with you and sigh my last air there.

 


Jean-Michel Espitallier
 

History of Amorous Discourse

 

—I love you.
—Me too.
—I know.
—I know that you know.
—I know that you know that I know that you know.
—And for my part I know that you know that I love you.
—I know that you know and you know that I know that you know that I know, and you know that I know that you know that I love you.
—I know that you know and you know that I know that you know that I know that you know that I love you, and I know that you know that I know that you know that I know that you know.
—And do you love it that I know?
—Yes, I love knowing that you know, I love it that you know that I know that you love me, I love knowing that you love me and I love knowing that you know.
—And for my part I love knowing that you know that I know that you love knowing that I love you.
—I know and I love loving knowing that you love knowing that you know that I know that you know that I love loving knowing that you know that I love it that you love me.
—I love knowing to love you.
—I love loving knowing that you know to love it that I know to love you.
—I love knowing that you love knowing that I know.
—And for my part I love loving that you love to know.
—I know that you love me and I love knowing that you know that I know.
—I love you.
—I know.
—I knew it.

 

  Here and There
      A translation of ‘Ici là-bas’

  1. The world is all that is there.
  2. The totality of the world is the totality of theres of the world minus one there that is here.
  3. Here is the sum of all the theres minus all the theres minus one.
  4. Seen from there, there will always be one there missing from the totality of theres of the world, and that missing there is here. So that one cannot conceive a universe comprised of there only. However, all that is not here does not exist.
  5.  From which it follows that all the theres which are at the same time not here do not exist here.
  6. And thus the world does not exist. Save here.
  7. “Look over there and see if I am there” is an order difficult to follow.
  8. All that is there never comes here, save if one should go there to look for it and remain there.
  9. The value of here varies according to here. “Doctor, I have a pain here” does not designate the same here as “here in Europe;” “here in Europe” includes “doctor, I have a pain here” if the pain and the doctor are both “here in Europe.” It follows that “doctor, I have a pain here” does not designate the same here as “here in Europe” even if “doctor, I have a pain here” should happen to be “here in Europe.” There exists therefore a relation of inclusion between many heres, since here is always included in a here larger than it.
  10. From which it will be deduced that each here consists of an infinity of heres all nested in each other like matryoshka dolls, even in Europe.
  11. This relation is not reciprocal (“here in Europe” includes “I have a pain here,” but “I have a pain here” does not include “here in Europe”).
  12. If he who has “a pain here” telephones from China for a doctor who is “in Europe,” here the relation between the two is a relation known as space-shifted telediagnostical, since “I have a pain here” is included in “here in Europe” and the doctor who happens to be “here in Europe” must diagnosticate the “pain here” that is not “here in Europe.”
  13. Two heres = 1 there who is not here + 1 here who is not there (except there).
  14. If for here there = there, for there here = there; but for there, there does not necessarily equal here.
  15. The thousands of theres which are there for other people over there do not exist for these other people over there who do not exist for here.
  16. The totality of other people over there corresponds to the totality of the potentials of here.
  17. One there never equals another, even if for here two distinct theres are indistinctly there.
  18. Each there is the there of all the other theres at once.
  19. The frontier between here and there is not very neat.
  20. The statement “I am there” is a logical impossibility, similar for example to the statements “He is on his period. That noise feels funny. The first time I went to New York it was in California. We have three only sons. I weigh 1.81 metres. I count them on the fingers of my hip. My mother is still a virgin. Open 24 hours until 10.30. I assassinated my sister’s only brother. 97% of the persons interrogated were alive. New timetables for the third half of the year. The Andrews twins are ten months older than each other. I have given the go-ahead for the big swim across America. He won the Tour de France of the Bouches-du-Rhône. The Austrian navy, it claims that you are shit.”
  21. Just one here for two there is a logical aberration. Or it is the war.


 

 


[Keston Sutherland is the author of Hot White Andy, Stress Position, The Stats on Infinity and other books of poetry, and of Stupefaction: a radical anatomy of phantoms (London: Seagull, 2011), a study of the use of idiots in the work of Karl Marx and in English poetry. He lives in Brighton and teaches English at the University of Sussex. ]

 

Copyright © 2011 by Keston Sutherland, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.