The Presence In Absence
Poetry is not made of words.
I can say it’s January when
it’s August. I can say, “The scent
of wisteria on the second floor
of my grandmother’s house
with the door open onto the porch
in Petaluma,” while I’m living
an hour’s drive from the Mexican
border town of Ojinaga.
It is possible to be with someone
who is gone. Like the silence which
continues here in the desert while
the night train passes through Marfa
louder and louder, like the dogs whining
and barking after the train is gone.
Linda Gregg (2006)
“Your memory is a monster; you forget—it doesn’t. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you—and summons them to your recall with a will of its own. You think you have a memory, but it has you.”
— John Irving, from A Prayer for Owen Meany (William Morrow, 1989)
Body without organs
Two important examples of the body without organs relate to eggs. As a bird egg develops, it is nothing but the jumbling about of protein gradients, which have varying intensities and have no apparent structure; for Deleuze and Guattari, a bird egg represents life "before the formation of the strata", since changes in the qualitative elements of the egg will emerge as a changed organism. Relatedly, in the Dogon culture, there is a belief in an egg that encompasses the universe. The universe is then an "intensive spatium" (an intensive interior), similar to a bird egg. According to Deleuze and Guattari, the Dogon egg was crossed with several zig-zagging lines of vibration, changing its shape as it developed.
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
— Henry David Thoreau
“Can you ever separate doing good from the expectation of reciprocity, public acclaim, self-esteem, or the promise of paradise?” — Robert M. Sapolsky, Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst