[NetBehaviour] obdurate youth

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Fri Feb 7 16:21:55 CET 2020

obdurate youth


it's always like this, i'm growing old and azure and i live alone
in this rickety old suite of rooms built around the time of my
great-grandfather, and like an old man with his memories, i'm an
old man with my memories, excuse me just heard the phone ringing,
wrong number again, i keep offering my credit card information
for a chance at a contest, i'll win something or other yet.
anyway i'm an old man with his memories, this is my cousin cathey
and myself on reynolds street in kingston pennsylvania, the
duplex has long since been torn down after yet another
susquehanna river flood, but we were long gone to a new home a
few blocks over, for a while there was an empty lot, i think. now
there's something there, i think. memories are like snapshots, as
sartre pointed out in psychology of imagination, they're really
not, they're more like reconstructions so we can say, a young man
with his memories, a teenager with her memories, someone who says
memories are all i have left, a refugee might say, everything was
taken away from me, and now i'm the parody you want, hold on,
i've just given my credit card number again, it was some sort of
contest. i seem to recall that i've entered this before, sometime
i'll win. war leads to an aporia, what constitutes memory, how to
separate the dead from the living, memories which can't be
untangled, which take any number of paths, being-there, being-not
-there, being anywhere but there, being someone else, what's
remembered is in-conceivable. we grow into islands of connections
fraying at the edges as the potential for communication grows
smaller and smaller, as others pass from us, as we will pass from
others. this short video clip, this still, how i remember them,
more than the images as catalyst, but being-there, as if a
reconstruction, but i know better myself. we all grow into
refugees of time, we all do that. and then our passing, and on
occasion someone saying, whatever happened to, and the answer an
uncanny silence, generations do that. but you, if you read this,
might look as well at the video segment, taken from a slightly
longer one, and the punctum, barthes' punctum, of the flags
perhaps or the dog called tippy, or the woman with me, louise,
as i remember her, who helped with my care and my sister's care
and later i think my brother's care. it's as if god held hir
breath, as if there were such, as if beyond these images, there
is dwelling in time, in the fabric of time, and no one knows
what might be about to happen, the hydrogen bomb, television,
the grateful dead, the real, over and over again, all we can
hope for, in our passing

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