Fugue Impromptu Theoretical

Flight from Flowers

In dream, a verse of a cheesy song I came up with on the toilet developed into a fugal exposition. Wherever I cry, flowers bloom––1Too many girls have misunderstood this. I only mean that I like to make art when feeling intensely. Well, maybe a little more…

revising and completing the shit tier harmonizing lyrics is left as an exercise for the wakeful reader

Fugue is flight. Die Kunst der Fuge. Wouldn’t we all like to know? Flight from fear? Flight from pain? Flight––from itself! From a motif recurring with variation. Transposed, translated, dilated, reversed, permuted in every which way.

“How like life!” I exclaim with just enough irony to deflect the painful accusations of cliché I somehow fear. Fleeing… just fast enough, by a little variation.

A flight from self as if there was a self. A self-made self, made “self” by its recurrence (with variation). There it is, and there it is again, until it becomes something.

神秀 says:


惠能 says:


Shenxiu btfo! As if he was taking himself too seriously. As if he really wanted to be the sixth patriarch. An imagined self, made real enough by desire to feel the pain of not existing, or of being lost. “At all times we must strive to polish it; and must not let dust collect”––implying a teleology. And a teleology from desire is most wretched. To confound fate and fetish: “this must be destined because this is best.” As if blind to the subject who can only say “best” while wanting “what’s best.” The basis of delusion.

“Fundamentally there is not a single thing.” Perhaps we do not need to go so far. But at least then there is nowhere for dust to collect. Or, there is nothing to desire, and nothing to impose (on). Because the imposed image will fade. The yidam is only a symbol. Because to induce is to violate, but the inviolable cycles will overcome you yet. So induced joy is inauspicious.

引兑 (yin dui), ཡི་དམ (yidam), and induce. Like yada yada yada. Like the smallest letter, י‎ (yod). As featured in the Gospel of Saint Matthew––”For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Iota (ι), a variation on yod. I, a variation on iota. 引兑,未光;来兑,凶––but, you’re kind of 凶 sometimes too… (🥺)

No, no. This is the stuff that really matters. It’s history! Much sturdier than nonsense. It is about tracing to a consensual reality. Because practically it is easier to agree on “this happened; this (event) is related to that; this is worth imitating; this is not,” than on a construction of abstractions on abstractions ad infinitum, where even relation is quite arbitrary, not to speak of value, or intent. At least the past is a better symbol of the present than whatever else.

To the girl who would always spin whenever I held her hand and said, “spin!”: thank you for always spinning. And to the girl who stopped talking to me forever more after I said, “it’s very painful to talk to you”: thank you for that too. How very simple! It is a sweet and savory ironic tension when I say something very reasonable but do not believe myself. I think they called it “narrative irony” in school, as long as I am supposed to be narrating. Well, here I am narrating after all. So there is your irony, s’il vous plaît.

Narrating as if something were writhing to be released. Yet, with restraint, subduing as if wrestling an animal with ropes. As if it’s bad to feel too much, or too intensely. To feel too good, and leave others behind. Or to feel too bad, as if teaching a child about insincerity. That kind of display.

Or wrestling as if narration were barbed wire, or something more dangerous yet. Because to be unskillful is to kill. Flight by following; to follow and vary, but not to destroy. To develop a theme without diluting or overpowering it, while effortfully maintaining an itself, so that there is something to follow. That kind of fugal accompaniment.

To exercise restraint, reminding us of why such lengths are taken about how the natural state is actually just right there. So much metaphor, about mistaking the moon pointed at for the finger pointing. Or a rope in the garden for a snake.

Is it really so difficult to let everything be just as it is? As if it were ugly to be the wrong thing. To be unprepared. As if we were always skillfully skirting around and avoiding a fundamentally ugly world. What are we afraid to show children, as if to profane them? Is it ugly to explode? Well, probably in fugue it would be. Yes, to the spectators, and especially to the performer who is familiar with past iterations in study and practice. So, we are performing…

Trying to put in a moral again. Trying to iterate on a theme. Trying to breach the ephemeral. To capture. To mean, as if meaning were not itself already a very restrictive intent. To accidentally make beauty subservient to theory and art. Even while playing, to show that we are at play.

Because to interpret already carries an intent that is too easy to project empathetically. Absurdity need not intend to be absurd. Nor need pattern intend its pattern. But a fugue is a fugue, and not everything is a fugue. Not everything flees from itself. Because we say so? Because we agree? But that “because” is an intent again; a theme too strong to ignore. A motif we cannot flee from. A formal constraint too strong.

No, I have not been reading James Joyce. No, not Ezra Pound either. Not any of them. Anyway, the original verse I came up with on the toilet:

No more flight from pain,

Cuz wherever I cry, flowers bloom.
Oh the colors!

And wherever I lie, signs of doom.
Hopeless lovers...

But, of course it cannot be about love. At least it cannot be about love always. I flee.


To a Cat

The cat sits on me all day, purring loudly.








Applied Impromptu

Pretending at Utopia, Tilting at Windmills

An Entrance into Reverie

In formless times I greatest feel the Need
To fit some Self to artificial Form.

A cast for freely floating seed allows
For better fruit than barren fields might bear.

But weary after Images of Growth,
Resolv’d to Pattern vaster than my Pow’r

I look to yonder City and behold,
A wretched cry, in wretched Waves repeats.

The lower sayeth (marvel she hath voice)
That Woe is daily piled on and on;

A stern rebuke, and voiced in fiercer tone
Than by his might the High is apt to hear.

Yet knowing we are We, and far from Good,
We grasp and grasp at better worlds of Mist.

Pretending at Utopia, we tilt
At Windmills form’d by ancient idol gods.

Forget Oneself as Human

Forget oneself as Human by one’s Speech;
Machine can speak in too alike a Voice.

Forget oneself as Human by one’s Works;
What works will Chaos not in Time erase?

Forget oneself as Human by one’s Place;
But look Above, Below and see the Same.

Forget oneself as Human by one’s Name;
A rose by any other name still With’rs.1This line is in perfect iambic pentameter and you can’t change my mind.

Transcendental Deconstruction

title note2I’ve read neither Kant nor Derrida but I have read Nick Land on Kant and the SEP page on Derrida. I’ve also watched part of several Derrida lectures on Youtube… Actually I did read “Monolingualism of the Other”

The Parts of Man combine to form the whole
Though nowhere may we find a Rigid break.

The Alchemist therefore delights to Break
To see what gods from Broken goods are born.3Yes this is a 傷物語 reference, aside from being a reference to radical constructivism a la Von Glasersfeld, Piaget, et al., and to evolutionary biology/psychology.

From Dust, and too from Learning comes the Man4both in biological and evolutionary time
Which nought may Solve but magic Alkahest.5a reference to the allure and strength of humanist essentialism, even mind-body dualism

But magic’s realm is Spirit and is Mind
Where Dissolution is no mighty Feat.

A golem’s crafted not from Flesh and Blood
But stone enchanted by a sim’lar Soul.

And marvel there’s no Special part of Man
That great Enchantments could not likely match.

Disparate Subjectivities

I saw a trillion Eyes in every way,
A trillion Mouths to voice their Wills and Plans

Which cross’d and tangled through a space too dense
For even Three’s wants fully to be met.6a reference mostly to 3 in Pythagorean mysticism and to the three body problem

The Good some Measured seemed so far away
From all their pain and Animal delight.

And many strove to care an empty care
Which maybe hid the terrible Sublime.

The trillion Eyes and Mouths were God as One,
Still good as Two; but Three I hid my face.7As Two, they might be yin and yang, or emptiness and form, or even good and evil. I do not know what they are as three; if I did I doubt I can speak of them.

On Building

Words can but Point a little bit beyond
The furthest yonder Limit of one’s Gaze.

And as the lower fickly turns her head,
He Points at various Separate trifling Things.

So if some impetus from God to build
Too sorely Overwhelms one’s fragile heart,

Start close, near what is Perfect, and expand
That what is built might not collapse Again.

Utopia is not a Leap away,
But several Steps, though some may seem as leaps.

Parallel Presentation

1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.8Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, KJV

it’s bad on purpose I promise it’s called “初心”

The law of Heaven is Dao
The law of Earth is Heaven
The law of Man is Earth
The law of Dao is Nature9自然 translates colloquially to “nature”, but could be literally translated as “self-apparent”

Applied Impromptu

A Dear Diary Moment

A dear diary moment
Now in the honesty that alcohol induces, feeling like I have to write. A story I tell myself in the absence of tears, to fill and justify that absence. “Constantly without to see the essence”, and what a disappointment. Inert white phlegm in place of the golden elixir—never yellowed nor reddened; just past melancholy, and feeling too much of nothing at all.

I hate myself in the presence of my college dormmates, but that me is too established for change. And now I’ll be leaving. In the first days, having assumed too much, my narrative of “enlightenment” and “understanding” and whatnot—LARPing as the cringiest witch-doctor, whom many believed for too long a while. Dragging, dragging, dragging them somewhere they don’t want to go.

Now in my sadness, opening to them in the most harmful way, seppuku opening my putrid intestines. “I think it’s sad because we have no ephemeral connection. I’ve always felt so spiritually distant. We’ve only been friends and stuff because we’re physically close, living together and all. So that’s why it’s especially sad, with nothing tying us together anymore once we are far apart. So you all are really permanently gone.”

And then, asked, in a final gesture? So what are you interested in? And my response, “Well, that’s the thing. It’s nothing specific, nothing topical. Not what but just the way I’m interested in things. I actually hate talking.”

“I enjoy wandering. I like doing stuff with people. I like happy people.” In a final gesture, explaining “It’s just, for example, wandering aimlessly along the highways in Shanghai, sleeping on the ground. Going blind to some conference with ‘radical counterintellectuals’, these are the kinds of things that are meaningful to me, that make my life fulfilling, while you guys are just trying to get through college and get a job or whatever. I feel like I’m dragging y’all somewhere you don’t want to be. It hurts.”

And then the same conversation shift as ever, back to the mundane, to the specifics of video games and anime. And they know now how I never mean anything I say, for it all feeling so base and pointless to me. For disdain and derision and all other pretentious things. Awkwardly, once upon a time joking, how I hate myself when I’m around them. Farming that for internet clout, blogging now.

Woe for narrative consistency. The feeling that nothing happened, making for the especially painful close. Talking and saying nothing. Feigned interests with excessive theory, just because I like people, the shell of people, disregarding whatever is inside. So I drank hoping to cry for them, feeling terribly sad indeed.

And now I feel better, but I didn’t cry. Woe for narrative consistency, for I don’t really feel “better” in a perfect way. I’m just detached from them. I don’t miss them as much as I want to, and I tell myself I’m just lying to myself, and convince myself by the tension in my chest. Though no tears come still though I’m as drunk as I’ll be.

And I told them this though I wanted to tell them how much I liked and loved them. And I hate this self all the more. A me now solidified in memories, a narrative I cannot right toward the perfection. Lead real not alchemical, cannot be transmuted to gold.

Nothing left, a hole in my past. No ephemeral connection. I wrote love letters to one just to feel something, memed myself into real love by that self-narrative reinforcement that lingers even now, and I really am sad, I say. But the tears don’t come, and these words try to fill the void I meant to fill by tears.

 A melancholy moment before I go off to sleep and the day cycles again as always, and I leave again the past that never was, and still makes no perfect sense however I plea and plea.