TWOCLOSEWORDS: REFUSAL / REFUSAL
(It’s very common in horses.)
I was going to write Resistance / Resistance, but then I thought, No, every refusal has a fuse in it. A charge in the middle of every one of its bodies.
(In a room with a Berryman forehead overlooking it)
A figure is questioned. This is the third time the figure has exhibited a writing like this, that goes on like this, that exhausts many of the other figures in the room with a Berryman forehead overlooking it. Is it sustainable? Is it excessive?
One of the other figures is questioned. What was it like, reading the writing the figure has exhibited? It was an experience, the other figure replies.
A figure is questioned. How many more experiences will they have to go through? Is it productive?
The figure replies. The figure wants to figure a female trickster, to re-figure a deflated Baubo (the original dry nurse we know from Romeo & Juliet, night demon, goddess, servant, bearded lady) for the crowded that has gathered.
This is the figure of Baubo.
A figure is questioned. The problem with the trickster, the figure is told, is that it is always against something. The figure answers. Actually, the figure confirms and refuses. Exactly. But not at all true, says the figure. Baubo is the first figure to make Demeter’s grief over Persephone break. She does it by lifting her skirt unexpectedly. She does it by refusing to maintain mourning politely, by exposing it to explosion / humor / monstrosity, by refusing to see the power of women in this story be completely stripped to burn husk.
*(Thank You Elisabeth Workman for this entry in the Refusal / Refusal index)
“It is possible to imagine that, whatever change is, it results from this charged unmediated intuition in friction with events. In Kant’s words:
The light dove cleaving in free flight the thin air, whose resistance it feels, might imagine that her movements would be far more free and rapid in airless space. Just in the same way Plato, abandoning the world of sense because of the narrow limits it sets to the understanding, venture upon the wings of ideas beyond it, into the void space of pure intellect. He did not reflect that he made no progress by all his efforts; for he met with no resistance which might serve him for a support, as it were, whereon to rest, and on which he might apply his powers, in order to let the intellect acquire momentum for its progress.
I read Kant’s casting of resistance or contingency as rest or support, necessary to movement or change, as a minimalist fable about the sociality of intuition: Nothing is represented to and for the intuition which has not met with the sheer resistance and partial histories of unpredicatable bodies.What can this intuited space tell about the videowork? That seeing is a seeing-for the body’s inexperience? The video image pixillates resistance, as airy support or frictive rest. Interiority is for speculation, for sensual resistance, and is given to the seeing subject by that resistance.”
-”Perspectors/Melancholia,” Nilling, Lisa Robertson
This is a picture of a body refusing me. It is supposed to be mine.
I asked K on the phone, Am I being an exhibitionist / Am I exhibiting by including it? By being a revealing a little in the way of feeling it? K sent me a writing that revealed something to me about K. I cried some in the library while I read it. I pulled on my yellow hat to lower my face in case some or more continued to happen. A person in green headphones guffawed at something on the screen. She covered her mouth. We were erupting.
My body is a body making a noise instead of a sound inside of what’s supposed to be mine. Something unintelligible I’m listening to. Some air and liquid and blood is co-moving, and I’m lost or blinded temporarily around it. This is disquiet and discomfort in what is supposed to be mine. This is an invitation to re-figure my understanding. To invite it into a pattern I’ve already got going. To feel inexperienced. To feel a sensual resistance.
Last week on the phone, before I was aware that my body was refusing me, I admitted to feeling numb. I was troubled by it. I said, What’s happening to me? I’m not like this. I’m like one of those factories with the signs outside of it. 545 Days Since Last Numbness.
Now that my body has refused me, I don’t feel numb anymore. Now that my body has refused me, I’ve erupted some in a library. And I’m grateful for that. I feel hopeful, and I feel good in the rain. I place my yellow hat overtop my hair pile. I see a man picking mushrooms alongside the bike trail in the rain. I yell at him, I LOVE THAT YOU ARE DOING THAT. There are strawberries in my bag. Grapes. Apricots.
I don’t laugh at Astrology. I don’t laugh at the patterns in the sky unless I think about seeing a toilet flush / a tornado spin in the other direction for the first time and Werner Herzog narrating it while a moose licks the salt off him or the toilet / tornado. I laugh at the figures that attempt to silence. I am soft and fierce. That’s why I’m good at jokes. Jokes are my favorite way to refuse figures who attempt to silence.
When it’s Mercury Retrograde, Mercury refuses to move forward like an orbit should. It appears to have a backwards motion in the sky. The tornado is in the wrong hemisphere, flushing. When it’s Mercury Retrograde, communication, technology, plans (things that usher order and efficiency around) go haywire. The one that is happening now is supposed to be especially strong, especially havoc-y. My roommate is nervous. My body has refused me. What is a counteract? How does it edit and disrupt my attention?
M.I.A introduced a phrase that refuses another phrase.
YOU ALWAYS LIVE AGAIN.
M.I.A. is a female trickster.
The NFL is angry at her.
She ruined their big game by refusing to keep her finger down.
“NAnANNAnanaNANANANA,” she says as the teaser fades out.
Refusal as re-consideration as no interest in doing “the same shit” as AN INTEREST in: greatness, forces, powersharing, “bombs going off when I enter the room.”
This morning, I had breakfast in a room with powerful women. One of the powerful women sang William Blake to a tiger’s head on a stick. Its jaws snapped when you pulled a trigger. I walked outside to see one of the powerful women off to the airport. We saw a white pigeon. We saw a birdrat, an airlump refusing to blend in. We saw a white pigeon re-fusing to protect itself against the tiger heads on sticks. It’s a good sign, I said.