Stanley Fish Poked Me On Facebook

David Wolach

I may be pointing out the window
I may be pointing at the window
I may be pointing at the reflection the window produces
Maybe I am trying to reach the window to press on it
Maybe I am implying that I cannot reach the window to press on it and want someone else to press on it
Maybe I am pointing at you and am horribly inaccurate with my pointing
Maybe I am asking you to look at my finger
Maybe I am posing as Napoleon on the battlefield
Maybe I am trying to pick my nose and have forgotten how to pick my nose
Maybe I am extending my hand and finger because my hand and finger are comfortable in this position
Maybe I am asking you to listen to the way this whole thing sounds when I am holding this whole thing this way
Maybe I am reading the Blue Book and have developed a local hermeneutics of one
Maybe I am poking the air and saying to the air, hey, buddy, get your own T-shirt
Maybe I am counting slowly, beginning at "one," and holding my hand in a position not usually seen when counting slowly, beginning at "one."
Maybe I am preparing a grilled swiss cheese tuna and red pepper sandwich
Maybe I am preparing obituaries for people I've never met
Maybe I am stitching a wound I made when I was posing as Napoleon on the battlefield
Maybe I am rehearsing the eulogy of genius by recycling paper via gesture and longing
Maybe shiny new car smell and border insecurity about boarder security with thumb and forefinger
Maybe poetry is the dross of the inversion of pointing or seeming to point or, appearances
Maybe it was always that way in one quarantined sector or another
Maybe I am pointing out the sector left to be quarantined a sector to my left, or not
Maybe I am advertizing our new found friendship by regifting the remainder of mutual blood lusts
Maybe my hand just went up this way, my finger stuck out, and I am less certain about why this has happened, or how, than you are


On April 8th, 2008 from 4pm-6pm, give a choppy, though admirable lecture on Beckett and exile via the chop-chop cybernetic roll call auctioneering of Chris Mann's "For Headphones." Talk a little about virtual versus real exile, how both Beckett and Wittgenstein shared in common the blurring of the oftstated line between the (excuse me while I vomit) literary notion of exile (broadly defined) and that which you sometimes see on television, up to and including the expulsion (better than execution and rape!) of the civilians, as well as members of the SLA/SLM, of Darfur. Talk a bit about Augustine and Descartes, the stark contrast between their solipsism and the French Resistance. Talk a little about how language bends a little and how "For Headphones" captures a potential breakage someone, who, who the hell Said, yep said might be the emergent property of transnational nomadism and refugeeism powergrids being captured, captured like a photo or a second in a particle machine that captures particles for an infinitesimally tiny splinter of the old word, quaint now suppose, "time." Decide that you know very little about any of this. Take your lecture notes and systematically cut every 4th line, replacing that line with (alternating) passages from Perloff on Beckett's Stories and Texts for Nothing and Associated Press wires about the February attack on the northern village of Sibra. On the night of May 26th, 2008 (approx. 4am), turn over in bed and see the vague outline (lit only by the fucking moon) of your scribbles/translation stemming from aforementioned lecture. Notice that from an angle of about 25 degrees, situated upside down, these scribbles look fantastic. Become overwhelmed by a sudden feeling that all is right with the world. Acknowledge this feeling to be true. Since you are a solipsist. And you fail to recognize the dangers of aestheticizing politics despite all appearances of life experience at cocktail parties and occasional orgies. Later on, try to reproduce in InDesign what you saw that early morning in May. Frown at the limited capabilities of InDesign. That morning get poked by Billy Collins on Facebook. This reminds you of the feeling of being poked by others with whom you share nearly nothing. Nor want to share. Nor understand. By afternoon the sky is drywall and you nap because of it.

David (Michael) Wolach is professor of text arts, poetics, and new media at The Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington, and visiting professor in Bard College's Workshop In Language & Thinking. Author of Fractions of M (2008), The Transcendental Insect Reader (2008), and Acts of Art/Works of Violence (forth. 2009-10), Wolach's work, often collaborative, has recently appeared in or is forthcoming from publications such as Ekleksographia: An Imprint of Ahadada Books (Amy King, ed.), Bird Dog, Admit2, the lower half (Linh Dinh, ed.), Venereal Kittens, 5_Trope, Diode, CRIT, and Night Train. Wolach's multi-media work has been performed at venues such as Buffalo Poetics Series, The Stain of Poetry, The American Cybernetics Conference 2009, and PRESS: A Cross-Cultural Literary Conference. Wolach is also editor of Wheelhouse Magazine & Press.