This is the last full balnk [blank?] page left.
Re-reading, I note the entries only ghost chronological order. Not only have I filled up all the free pages, but all the half and quarter pages left around the poems or at the ends of other entries. A few places where my handwriting is fairly large, I can write between lines. I’ll have to do a lot more writing in the margins. Maybe I’ll try writing cross-ways over pages filled up already.
Sometimes I cannot tell who wrote what. That is upsetting. With some sections, I can remember the place and time I wrote them, but have no memory of the incidents described. Similarly, other sections refur to things i recall happening to me, but kn~~e~~/o/w just as well I never wrote out. Then there are pages that, today, I interpreted them another at the last re-reading.
Most annoying is when I recall an entry, go hunting through, and ~~not find it~~ find it or half of it not there: I’ve read some pages so many times they’re pulled loose from the wire spiral.
By the head of the bed, on a table near a tensor lamp, books were piled irregularly:
A bunch on the Hell’s Angels: Thompson, and Reynolds/McClure; four cheaply bound, two-dollar paperbacks: Angels on Wheels, and Weekends in Hell, a True Story of the Angels as told by Millicent Brash—he read the first paragraph of ill-lined type, shook his head, and put it down. A book called Bike Bitch was apparently the sequel to (same cover/different author) Bike Bastard. Under that was The Poems of Rimbaud, with English at the bottom of the pages; then a paperback Selected Letters of Keats; next, Dickey’s Deliverance; a green, hard-cover book of logs and trigonometric functions, place held by a white enamel, circular slide rule. There was sundry science fiction by Russ (something called The Female Man), Zelazny, and Disch. The last book he picked up had a purple and gold reproduction of a Leonor Fini for cover: Evil Companions. He opened it in the middle, read from the top left-hand page to the bottom of the right, closed it, frowning, went to the bamboo, and pushed it aside.
Now part of what, from my marginal position, I see as the problem is the idea of anybody’s having to fight the fragmentation and multicultural diversity of the world, not to mention outright oppression, by constructing something so rigid as an identity, an identity in which there has to be a fixed and immobile core, a core that is structured to hold inviolate such complete biological fantasy as race—whether white or black.
I’m much more comfortable with, at least as a provisional analysis, one of James Baldwin’s last rhetorical strategies, which he proposed in the preface of his collected nonfiction, The Price of the Ticket. There Baldwin wrote that it suddenly struck him that there were no white people—that is to say, “whiteness,” as it indicated a race, was purely an anxiety fantasy to which certain people had been trained immediately to leap (and, Baldwin realized, felt wholly inadequate to make that leap) whenever they encountered certain other people whom they coded as black or nonwhite. In short, “white” is just something you, Mark Dery, have been socially convinced you are, out of a kind of knee-jerk fear, whenever you happen to glance in my—or indeed, Greg’s, or any other nonwhite person’s—direction. Realizing this gave Baldwin an extraordinary sense of power. To the extent that such a sense can empower analytical insight, it may be one we can all use.
Institutions believe in collecting, expanding, and art being an international language. They are colonizing tools.
(Only people with nothing to fear see the idea of a completely connected world as unequivocally good.)