Echo
by Alan Sondheim

 
 

your writing

does writing matter?

( i sit on the chair naked, nikuko sits on me, she says, i want to show myself )

does my writing matter?

( nikuko sits on the chair, partly naked, i squeeze her breasts, pull her thin blouse up, she pulls my panties down, pulls my cock towards her, her, her )

does obsession matter?

( i sit on the chair naked, my face half visible, moaning nikuko, nikuko, nikuko, it's clear i can't see straight, looking inside the imaginary, inconceivable bodies and conceptions )

does writing matter only if it bears witness?

( nikuko lies on the couch, naked, her body twitching, exhausting from pirouettes, her feet are bleeding, she cries doctor, doctor, doctor )

does writing matter?

( i lie on the couch, partly naked, turning from side to side, my body covered with bedsores, she occupies me, she takes me over, her tongue's my own, i have no control over it )

does my writing matter?

( i bite nikuko's naked breasts, leaving marks, she bites mine, my neck, my naked abdomen, we're covered with bruises, we're covered with signs, we're visible from the windows, people read our bodies, the symbols are primitive, an early form of writing, they clothe us, we get culture )

does obsession matter?

( nikuko pirouettes in a short skirt, faster, it flies up, she's naked un- derneath, her labia are visible, they measure the pirouettes, they divide time, they divide the days and nights )

does writing matter only if it bears witness?

( i'm naked, i dance clumsily for nikuko, my cock turns uselessly, my lips are bleeding, i'm calling nikuko, nikuko, nikuko, my chest burns, nikuko is partly naked, she's watching, her breasts are pained, her mouth opened, she's calling me, i can hear her, she's calling me )

does writing matter?

=====

The Broadcast: "An Old Friend"

Today is April 11, 2000 15:59:16
### We're looking forward to Nikuko's appearance on the talker.... ###
### In the afternoon, Nikuko nearly appears at the door... ###
Nikuko, are you here? I've been waiting for you...
Alan says: Nikuko, are you here? I've been waiting for you...
I've been holding things together in this floating world of ours...
Alan says: I've been holding things together in this floating world of ours...
### I am here, Alan, it is very difficult to speak here, things... ###
### I am reaching towards you, Alan, please, please, believe me... ###
I do believe you, Nikuko, there is no death, there is life everywhere...
Alan says: I do believe you, Nikuko, there is no death, there is life everywhere...
I know you are deep inside me, I feel your breathing deep in my heart...
Alan says: I know you are deep inside me, I feel your breathing deep in my heart...
### I must go now, Alan, these encounters... ###
### Goodbye, Alan, I will be with you always, seeking you out... ###
Ah, I as well, Nikuko, I as well...
Alan says: Ah, I as well, Nikuko, I as well...
Nikuko, Nikuko... ?
Alan says: Nikuko, Nikuko... ?
;hears nothing, nothing...
Alan hears nothing, nothing...

 

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* Alan (SQUARE)

Connection closed by foreign host.

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Phenomenology of the Other

Even now, I cannot speak for the Other, said Nikuko. The Other has her chains around me; they are of my own manufacture, not in the sense of hand-work, but of factory-labor, theoretical machinery refusing permis- sion to the nth degree.

The chains are fiery and adamant; I hold my wasted arms within them, un- daring to touch the heated metal. The Other, by the very fact of her ex- istence, holds me enthralled, holds me in thrall. I am immobilized. Alan says, spell that out; Nikuko replies, it is the Other who spells, casts spells, the caste of the Other whom I do not understand, whom I dare not comprehend, whom I cannot comprehend.

She will open up gates and filters to me, routers and firewalls to me; she will throw everything in my direction, to the extent that I am thrown into existence, into her existence, out of existence. She is writing this - if I have anything to say, it is that the Other is writing this, that I am an Other, that she is external, that I am supplicant. Alan says so she writes you into existence, Nikuko, and Nikuko replies, no, it is not like that, Alan, I am primordial, pre-existent; when I die, the world dies with me.

But she is writing this, yes, she is writing this, without my permission, Alan, and she has opened all firewalls and all fields, and I will call her, will call the Other, Bodhisattva, but not in her regard, not in the regard of the Other, Alan. Not in the look, Nikuko, Alan replied, not in the gaze of the Other, Nikuko, and Nikuko replies, I can wait, I can always wait.

Wa wa wa.

Note: Why Bodhisattva? Who has declared in this manner, and to whom? It is a disturbing move, as is the "primordial." Is opening an arousal? Is the Other always already a lure as such? Is the Other always open? What does it mean, not to recognize firewalls? Surely prisons are stronger than any thought; in the United States, their privatization turns thought into mass-substance, and the country into a complex of concentration camps. Bodhisattvas seem distant, in terms of compassion and spirituality. Nikuko and Alan, of course, are talking otherwise: Nikuko and Alan are still per- mitted to talk.

=====

Folg mich! Nikuko is my shtik! Emmis! I wanna shtup her all the time, she says I'm a piece of drek, the gonif. Shush, she'll here you, I don't care, I'm a chosid. Whatta life! It's a meshugeneh velt! I tell you, maybe she'll want me! Efsher! Ei! Ei! Right now, it's kaddish for the lot of them! She wants Jennifer, can you imagine them stupping? Jennifer's such a klotz! I tell you. Lookit her, screaming Shveig! across the room. Nikuko's tsitskehs are beautiful, Vai iz mir! Jennifer's yelling, S'art mich vi di vant! Mameh's had it right from the beginning. I'm thinking Nikuko's pirgeh, her loch, right in my face! Jennifer, stop with your Zeit gezunt! If you're leaving, leave! Don't be so narish, okay? Zol zein azoy! It's my shtik, my piece, and I'm sticking to it! Nikuko calls me an alter kucker: I love it! Emmis, I'm on the level! Emmis - Nikuko on the shtik! Loch in kop!

=====

The Secret Code

     Curtain up.

     She bows. She recites the following:

walklng oht ln tha mldst of my straamlng volca, soakad ln lt, wrackad by sobs, l wlll navar lat yoh down, ghstava, for me, you are breathless, i oromise my betters, i shall do as such, you will not be disaooointed, phaedre, phaedre, worry thls lnahghral dlsk, whara am l, who ls waltlng ln tha wlngs, l go onto tha proscanlhm, yoh ara thara, ghstava, waltlng. i am your ooor sara, i am your ooor sarrah, worry thls lnahghral dlsk, whara am l, who ls waltlng ln tha wlngs, l go onto tha proscanlhm, yoh ara thara, ghstava, waltlng transforms your walklng oht ln tha mldst of my straamlng volca, soakad ln lt, wrackad by sobs, l wlll navar lat yoh down, ghstava, i will oerform in the midst of leveled blues, in the midst of fragments, phaedre, phaedre, you will not be disaooointed, i oromise you, i oromise you ...

     She bows. She recites the following:

walking out in the midst of my streaming voice, soaked in it, wracked by sobs, i will never let you down, gustave, for me, you are breathless, i promise my betters, i shall do as such, you will not be disappointed, phaedlre, phaedre, worry this inaugural disk, where am i, who is waiting in the wings, i go onto the proscenium, you are there, gustave, waiting, i am your poor nikuko, i am your poor nikuko, worry this inaugural disk, where am i, who is waiting in the wings, i go onto the proscenium, you are there, gustave, waiting, transforms your walking out in the midst of my streaming voice, soaked in it, wracked by sobs, i will never let you down, gustave, i will perform in the midst of leveled blues, in the midst of fragments, phaedre, phaedre, you will not be disappointed, i promise you, i promise you ...

     She bows.

     Curtain down.