Consider the category of desire that is the desire to make a stony expression break. Think of those humans who are attractive for the primary reason of how the presentation of their face and body is impenetrable or brooding or fierce or impassive with brooding fierceness. This category of desire is simple, slightly mechanistic : to penetrate the brooding, fierce, impassive, impenetrable presentation.

There are several ways to make a stony expression break. These include to enrage, to surprise, to humiliate, to sadden, and to give pleasure. The experts at impassive expression, however, are not so vulnerable to sadness, rage, or humiliation : it is precisely these expressions that they have practiced steel looks against over many years, testing their own faces always against their own afflictions. For every affliction they endure they might think « And how may I use this affliction to sharpen my appearance of impassivity ? » For what, they conclude, is a humiliation if the humiliator does not succeed in casting down the eyes downward ? And what is sadness with no tears ? Or rage with no flashing eyes ? Those humans who are attractive for the primary reason of the impenetrable presentation of their face are attractive for the rigor with which they self-cultivate their impenetrability. The experts at facial impassivity are the hard scientists of themselves.

Surprise, while effective at making the unbroken expression break, is difficult to achieve in this population. It takes practiced unpredictability to surprise the expert of the unrelentingly unmoved face. The surprised look, however, is a moment of intense satisfaction for those who have the occasion to witness it. In a stony face surprise is something like a rock slide––or if an exceptional example, as if a cliff face falls––and revealed by this fall is an entirely new landscape of unimaginable charm and elasticity, one that practically bounds with itself : meadows, flowers, small animals, clear lakes ruffled by soft breezes.

Of all the reasons to test against a hard face, to watch it express its own pleasure is the most compelling. Emily Dickinson described it : « It is a Vesuvian face. Had let its pleasure through. » It is no mistake that Dickinson imagined the « pleasure through » to be of the kind that could eviscerate cities. This expression of pleasure, when let through this kind of face, has no small effect : it is exactly, too, like Dickinson suggests in the same poem, the firing of a gun : whatever is a not-nothing is the not-nothing of this event, which is really undeniably something, like any form of explosion. To achieve a look of pleasure in a face which has practiced itself against expressing open delight is always an historic accomplishment in the history of desires and faces.

This desire––to delight the undelighted face––can compel an ambitious person to attempt to cause another pleasure for years. « Might I break open their face with pleasure ? » the ambitious appreciator of undoing impassive face asks, and failing, tries again, and failing, tries again, employing every weapon in the arsenal of interpersonal pleasures, until one day, if they are lucky, the pleasure in the unpleased face is revealed.

When the pleasure arrives (as if a gun shot, volcano, dynamited urban structure, star which has imploded) it is unsurprising if an entire city must be devastated into a monument of that very moment, all things frozen under ash, lovers curled together, infants in mothers’ arms, bathers eternally in baths––all necessarily sacrificed to memorialize a moment when she or he or they who often appears beyond pleasure displays, in his or her or their face, a look of it.

to effect a number of rapid changes on an already rapidly changing face

The impassive face has its rival : the face that can never hold still. The face is kinetic, elastic, morphologically indistinct, blooming like fractals, the curse of digital photographers and bio-informationists who must try to fix, in data, what is in its very form unfixable. This face provides an onrush of information which comes so quickly it almost evades processing : this face is prolific, a human comedy of feeling––any one hour of reading this face means one can read a Balzac’s worth of novels, also witness a projected record of the generic legacy of the human race (and beyond that, the pre-human ones), also witness an ardent record of feeling in a bathetic leaping from the grotesque to the precious to the sublime and whatever chimerical expression of feeling results from quick leaps from one feeling to the next : the grotesque-delicate, the thoughtful-enraged, the distracted-amused.

These are the faces, which, like the avant-garde literature, must at once create their own texts and their own theories of reading them. For what are these faces without a unique critical infrastructure newly invented to interpret them ? These are the faces easily mistaken for noise, like the sounds of traffic outside the window, so relentless it soon becomes what you can’t hear.

The highly sensitive flashing of these eyes might appear, without sufficiently developed methods of reading, random, aleatory, chaotic. At their extreme, and like any complex thing, such rapidly flashing and elastic and rapidly expressing faces might be mistaken for disorganized.

When they arrive without theory, these faces are a delight to those enthralled with enlightenment methods, who need a lot of things to categorize, who like to impose order, who are besot, like Fourier’s children, with the passion to sort small things into useful piles1. Not accidently, these faces are also of delight to sadists, those sub-sub-enlightenmentarians, who also never forget to bring with them a scalpel. For what could be of more delight to a sadist than a face that in a few minutes can write a dozen very clear books about exquisite and surprising varieties of pain ?

to resolve a face’s contradictions

Do not forget the face that looks like its opposite : the face of a cherubic CEO, or a villainous and sometimes demonic face on a person who it virtuous, or a languid face on a firebrand, or an angry face on a person who is mostly indifferent, or a stupid face on a very bright person, or an ugly face on en attractive person, or some combination of the above––a villainous stupid face on a bright and virtuous person, an ugly cherubic face on a sexy CEO. These faces present those who look upon them with a challenge of interpretation : should you believe the face, or should you believe the condition of personality under the face ? Or, if there is a third option, is any manner of belief about the face only in fact belief about a condition in which the face is opposite to itself ?

These faces are of particular desirability to the suspicious, like Platonists, or fans of the idea of false consciousness, or admirers of Freu. Such a desire-er of faces might want to wash off the accumulation of misleading fleshy evidence that is a person’s face, so as to reveal whatever kind of truer, demystified thing exists under it.

Similarly, these faces attract the humans who like to be righters of wrongs, fighters against injustices, exposers of truths, and seekers of remedies. If I am a mirror enough, the exposer of truth thinks to herself (making her habitual error of thought), the face itself will transform in response to the veracity of my reflection : what is virtuous, if I reflect it, will soon appear with virtue, what is evil will be revealed !

But among the reformers who like these faces, there is another sort of person who might gaze upon these faces with a different interest. These are the rough dialecticians, always looking for the contradiction. How interesting, they think, and what could it mean for history, that a face is wrong for itself in a time in which all is also so wrong. The animals sit forlorn or ride subways in city centers. The water has become poison. The old behave like the young, and the young are too worried to move. Pilotless weapons have the name of birds, so why shouldn’t faces, also, lead away from the facts ? To the lovers of the contradiction, these faces are a perfect account of our time : the poetry of the wrong.

I have often thought that the faces do not reveal the person but rather the conditions in which all things are the opposite of what they appear to be would become most interesting in a death mask. With the personality gone, would the face that was always untrue finally be made the truth ? And what do we do with a contradiction when its only resolution is that half the facts are removed ?

  1. Fourier believed that the perfect work for very young children was sorting peas : « The thing to be done is to separate the smallest peas for the sweetened ragout, the medium ones for the bacon ragout, and the largest for the soup. The child of thirty-five months first selects the little ones which are the most difficult to pick out ; she sends all the large and medium ones to the next hollow, where the child of thirty months shoves those that seem large to the third hollow, returns the little ones to the first, and drops the medium grains into the basket. The infant of twenty-five months, placed at the third hollow, has an easy task ; he returns some medium grains to the second, and gathers the large ones into his basket. »
Anne Boyer« Erotology III : Categories of Desires for Faces »A handbook of disappointed fate Ugly Duckling2019p. 90–97

Hier steht ein Gedicht ohne einen Helden.
In diesem Gedicht gibts keine Bäume. Kein Zimmer
zum Hineingehen und Schlafen ist hier in dem
Gedicht. Keine Farbe kannst du in diesem

Gedicht hier sehen. Keine Gefühle sind
in dem Gedicht. Nichts ist in diesem Gedicht
hier zum Anfassen. Es gibt keine Gerüche hier in
diesem Gedicht. Keiner braucht über einen Zaun

oder über eine Mauer in diesem Gedicht zu klettern.
Es gibt in diesem Gedicht hier nichts zu fühlen.
Das Gedicht hier kannst du nicht überziehen.
Es ist nicht aus Gummi. Kein weißer Schatten

ist in dem Gedicht hier. Kein Mensch kommt
hier in diesem Gedicht von einer Reise zurück.
Kein Mensch kommt in diesem Gedicht hier atemlos
die Treppe herauf. Das Gedicht hier macht keine

Versprechungen. In dem Gedicht stirbt auch keiner.
In diesem Gedicht spürst du keinen Hauch. Es gibt
keinen Laut der Freude in dem Gedicht hier. Kein
Mensch ist in dem Gedicht hier verzweifelt. Hier

in dem Gedicht ist es ganz still. Niemand
klagt in diesem Gedicht. Niemand redet hier
in dem Gedicht. Hier in diesem Gedicht schlagen
sich auch keine Arbeiter wund. Das Gedicht hier

steht einfach nur hier. Es enthält keine Schlüssel
zum Aufschließen von Türen. Es gibt keine Türen
in diesem Gedicht. Das Gedicht hier ist ohne
Musik. Es singt keiner in diesem Gedicht, und

keiner macht hier in diesem Gedicht jemanden
nach. Keiner schreit hier in dem Gedicht, flucht,
fickt, ißt und nimmt ein Rauschmittel. Es gibt in
diesem Gedicht keine bombastische Ausstattung

für dich. Das Gedicht hier geht nicht, liegt nicht,
schläft nicht, es kennt keinen Tag, es kennt keine
Nacht. Du brauchst hier in diesem Gedicht keine
Rechnungen zu bezahlen. Es gibt keinen Hausbesitzer

in dem Gedicht hier, der die Miete erhöht. Es gibt
keine Firmen in diesem Gedicht. Es gibt in dem
Gedicht keinen Staat Kalifornien. Es gibt kein
Oregano in dem Gedicht. In diesem Gedicht gibts

kein Meer. Du kannst in dem Gedicht hier nicht
schwimmen. Das Gedicht, das hier steht, enthält keine
Wärme, das Gedicht enthält keine Kälte. Das Gedicht
hier ist nicht schwarz, es hat keine Fenster und

kennt keine Angst. Das Gedicht hier zittert
nicht. Das Gedicht hier ist ohne Spiegel. In diesem
Gedicht gibts auch kein Spiegelei. Einen Supermarkt
gibt es hier in diesem Gedicht nicht. Das Gedicht,

das du hier liest, hat keine Titten und keine Fohse,
das Gedicht hier ist völlig körperlos. Keiner stöhnt
hier in dem Gedicht. Das Gedicht blutet nicht, es
verschweigt nichts, das Gedicht hat keine Regel,

das Gedicht ist kein Zitat, für keinen. Hier in
diesem Gedicht findet niemand einen Pfennig,
und hier in diesem Gedicht fährt kein Mensch mit
einem Auto. Keine Reifen quietschen um die Ecke.

In diesem Gedicht lutscht niemand zärtlich an
einem Schwanz. Es gibt hier in dem Gedicht keine
Lampen. Das Gedicht ist kein gelber Schal. Das
Gedicht, auf das du hier schaust, hustet nicht.

Hier in dem Gedicht kannst du nicht küssen.
Hier in diesem Gedicht wird auch nicht gepißt. Du
kannst mit diesem Gedicht nichts anfangen. Das
Gedicht besteht aus lauter Verneinungen. Die

Verneinungen in diesem Gedicht werden immer mehr.
Hier gibts keinen Kiff in dem Gedicht. In diesem
Gedicht lacht kein Mensch. Das Gedicht kennt keine
Arbeit. Niemand sieht in diesem Gedicht Fernsehen.

Das Gedicht trägt keine Uhr. Das Gedicht ist nicht
zeitlos. Es braucht soviel Zeit, wie du brauchst,
um das Gedicht hier zu lesen. Kein Wasserhahn
tropft in dem Gedicht hier, und keiner verlangt

in dem Gedicht hier nach Zigaretten. Hier das
Gedicht gibt kein Trinkgeld. Keine Toilette ist
hier in dem Gedicht. Es gibt keine Stadt in diesem Gedicht.
Hier in dem Gedicht wäscht keiner sich die

Füße. In die Schule zu gehen, ist hier in dem Gedicht
nicht nötig. In dem Gedicht leckt auch keiner eine
Möhse. Dein Geschlechtsteil richtet sich hier in
dem Gedicht nicht auf. Du kannst hier in dem Gedicht

dich nicht hinsetzen und denken. Das Gedicht hier
ist nicht der Staat. Es ist nicht die Gesellschaft.
Es ist kein Flipperautomat. Das Gedicht hier hat
keinen Hund. Mit diesem Gedicht kann sich keiner

identifizieren. Keine Polizisten fahren in diesem
Gedicht herum und suchen nach einem Bruch. Eine Kuh
liegt hier in diesem Gedicht nicht. Das Gedicht hier
ist nicht gedankenlos. Das Gedicht hier ist nicht

gedankenvoll. In dem Gedicht erscheint auch kein
Sommertag. Es ist niemals Dienstag in diesem Gedicht,
es gibt keinen Mittwoch in diesem Gedicht, es herrscht
nicht Freitag in diesem Gedicht und kein Donnerstag

fehlt in dem Gedicht hier. Es ist nicht Montag,
Samstag und Sonntag in hier dem Gedicht. Das Gedicht
hier ist nicht die Verneinung von Montag oder
Donnerstag. Das Gedicht hört hier einfach auf.

Rolf Dieter Brinkmann« Ein Gedicht »Künstliches Licht Reclam1994

des murs avec des signes moins chers nazis
soleil keine reklame
sie kommen ganz langsam
entre le grand autoroute
soleil crouton
dieses system
don’t get me wrong
soleil keine
ich fühle mich

Think of the way one person can make you feel, also the way that one person is only one. Why want that one person who is only, after all, one person, and why wake up longing for a person and fall asleep longing for the same person and who knows if anyone else in this is longing ? You don’t know if that one person is longing, too.

the over-determination of each thing unheld

That person who is only one person is just as over-determined as anything else unheld, over-determined like an angelic realm or the commune or whatever else you never get but really want. You hold their face in your face. You see how their face goes from one expression to the other. You imagine how you could make their face move between expressions. You imagine how if you held their face in your eyes how that face would look when held. You think about their face a lot and ask some questions of it : What would it look like if I touched it ? What would it look like if I did that thing to that person ? What would it look like if the person were doing that thing or another ?

the elasticity of surprise on the longed-for’s face

Remember what it looked like when that person was surprised by you ? You said something they didn’t expect. That it was unexpected delighted them from surprise, then you saw their face in immediacy and elasticity of surprise. They said, “You just did that surprising thing!” and their face was spread open by surprise. You were surprised by their surprise, and your face spread up open. Every one was immediate and elastic then. And remember the grimaces, the person’s face in anger ? Remember the dereliction and affection ? Remember the look on the face in pure vulnerable recipient of pleasure ? Remember the face with its crevices of intellectual effort ? Remember how you wanted to trace any crevice ? Remember the look of doggish desire ? Remember when you were in your pleasure, and you opened your eyes and looked at the person’s, too, and added it to your own ? Remember the look of that face in minor pain ? You remember that person’s frustration, to, and when you caused it, how the frustration slowly took the face and ossified it, how that person’s frustration when you caused it could be the opposite of that face’s surprise. This is one person, but these were so many different faces, then.

the thousand fictions

These one persons are so many different ones, and even if the one person has never been your lover you can still remember all of your love in its precise iteration and all of it in different measures combined, and if that person hasn’t been your lover yet or for whatever reason never will be, you can make a thousand fictions of when they were. You can think of the time you haven’t but did deny the person pleasure. You can think of that time you haven’t given but did give pleasure freely as if you were just a radiator or the sun. You can think of that person’s face when you made that person weep from your own cruelty or sadness. You can think of the time with that one person a thousand times or ten thousand even if none of it has been yet or will, for whatever reason, be.

the precise method

How do you long ? Like you do. There’s the person’s face in the morning, and then again at night. The person is there in dreams sometimes : you can think in your dreams “we will walk through this city” and the city is endless and like every other city until you wake up. You can imagine saying “let’s be as innocent as animals or children” and in this meaning “let’s hold each other’s faces in our faces and eyes and pretend to suffer none of the destruction inherent in this”. The day is made of alternating terror of having that person with you in some way or not having that person with you in some way, the terror of their interest or non-interest, the terror of asymmetrical or symmetrical desire. Pulling out of the terror, you make some plans to pull out of the terror, to fracture idealization or make the person more precise but increased exposure never actually results in decreased idealization like you plan.

longing as cosmopolitanism

So you can swear you think the one-ness of this one person feels really special right now, and in most hours you would swear to their specialness, but in fact it isn’t even that person and never limited like that. Sometimes it is one, sometimes it is another, sometimes it is a future-oriented longing, sometimes a nostalgic one, sometimes it is a generalized they-ness, sometimes a him-ness or her-ness, the way all the people of past longing combine with those of the present longing. This is like sometimes how you are in a city you used to live in or one you have visited a lot. Then sometimes you feel like you are in all cities at once, or that all cities are basically just one, or that you are driving or walking in a city that makes each city the same like the dream city you have the one-person in. So, too, your longing has both an enlarging and flattening effect : now that you have been alive for some time, it’s clear all this longing is a kind of cosmopolitanism. This is the longing that is not in actual relationship but outside of it. That is when it is longing in the state of the general but not in the specifics of one-on-one bodily negotiation. You hold a face in your eyes a lot and say “I am a citizen of longing for that one person”, but what you really mean is that you are a citizen of longing for the world.

Anne Boyer« Erotology »A handbook of disappointed fate Ugly Duckling Press2019p. 81–85 amour exclusivité

On pense, on craint, quand on prépare un bœuf bourguignon, de ne pas vraiment cuisiner un bœuf bourguignon, quand on écrit de la poésie (vers, champs, blocs, ou lignes, ou phrases, ou propositions) de ne pas être en train d’en écrire, quand on fait un film, de ne pas être suffisamment dans le cinéma – ou trop, ce qui revient au même, la posture consistant à vouloir à tout prix se situer dans la Nouvelle Cuisine, l’Anti-Poésie, ou le Non-Cinéma, produit des effets identiques, puisqu’elle présente l’assignation à un lieu, et l’obligation conséquente qu’aurait ce qu’on fait d’y entrer, ou de ne pas désirer y être, comme un impératif. Ce n’est pas un problème de savoir ou de maîtrise technique, mais le désir, soutenu par l’exclusion qui cerne ce dont on s’exclut, de rejoindre le point d’ancrage, l’horizon rêvé où l’on fait du vrai bœuf bourguignon, de la poésie, du cinéma – ceux qui sortent, à reculons ou excités du cinéma / de la poésie, les refondent, mais ceux qui s’y sentent et le revendiquent ne font pas mieux, en les maintenant bien inaliénables, privés.

Nathalie Quintane, Mortinsteinck


« Objects I see in this water (EDIT : cum) stain : Do you still see things like you did in clouds when you were younger ?« 1

Bonjours. Cet épisode porte sur l’épisode précédent. Depuis lui, j’ai eu 30 ans et deux fois suis monté sur scène : une fois pour faire rire par absence de dramaturgie, une autre fois pour faire chier par absence de dramaturgie. Ça n’est ni une chose ni une chose dont je suis fier, mais le temps écoulé en substance depuis l’été dernier a – comme le post de forum reproduit ci-dessus et cousu depuis juin dans la doublure de ma veste – instamment posé la question si je voyais toujours, ayant eu 30 ans, des choses comme j’en voyais plus jeune dans les nuages du ciel ou dans le sperme des draps.

La langue allemande enseigne

  • qu’on peut poser la question si… (die Frage ob…) sans passer par de savoir si…2
  • qu’on doit faire attention à ne pas être dupe d’elles quand on parle des choses, celles qu’on voit comme celles qu’on croit voir, celles perçues comme celles conçues, parce qu’elles circulent sous deux formes, deux sens, moins binaires que bifrontes : le Ding (un informe dardé : pierre, gland, chat, chien – toute configuration de la matière animée comme inanimée) et la Sache (une belle et authentique question : une dramatique de gland, un débat sur chat, l’affaire pierre, le souci chien – à chaque fois tout un plat).

Il semble évident que la plupart d’entre nous voit la plupart du temps dans tout – ses cieux comme ses draps – toute une production plutôt que du produit produit. C’est que tous nous dramatisons. Tous faisons de gros, gros efforts de dramaturgie pour ne pas nous cantonner à la vue mais accéder à la vision.

On aurait tort de croire que nos efforts de dramaturgie se réduisent aux moments où, monde des mondes, self des selfs, cœur des cœurs et cervelle des cervelles, on s’offre tout son soul sur scène à la grabouille d’un parterre d’yeux verjutés de chiance ou de rire.

Marseille : rires. (Accéder aux autres plats)

Pour se laisser faire indolent de la dramaturgie, il suffit d’un plan ; de même pour se mettre à faire impérieux de la dramaturgie, il suffit d’un espace travaillé par le regard comme fond : cieux, draps, page blanche, scène de théâtre effectivement. Il suffit d’avoir saisi, dans la grabouille d’un mur, d’un ciel, d’un tissu, d’une sauce de salade, ou dans le bordel de déterminations historiques qui saturent la page blanche et la scène, un ensemble et de s’y tenir, plutôt que de s’en tenir à la vue d’un hétéroclite profus.Continuer