TOUCHING FEELING MOON

NEW MOON IN TAURUS

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First, a few brief announcements:

  1. I’m co-teaching a workshop with my dear friend, the astrologer Colin Bedell (aka QueerCosmos) about Mercury / Mercury Retrograde. It’s on zoom via Unplug Meditation on May 22nd. We have a blast together and we have different approaches to astrology, so I think this workshop will be quite cool. Details and sign up here.

  2. Michael Newton and I just released the first issue of our new digital magazine, ASPHALTE w/ really amazing contributors — art, music scores, poems, etc. You can read the first issue here. IG: @asphalte.magazine


    As I write this, the moon is nearly new in the sign of Taurus, moon inching closer to the sun. They’re beside each other, almost touching when I look at the glyph chart.

    If the new moon were part of a book, it would maybe be the introduction, clues about what’s going to happen contained in the first few pages, moments of a lunar cycle. In the introduction to Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s collection of essays Touching Feeling, she writes: “Among the forms of stubbornness this book embodies (yes, I’m a Taurus), one of the most obvious is its fixation on a small number of theoretical texts….”

    I like her Taurus confession, and that she speaks of “forms of stubbornness” that a book can “embody.” Taurus, a fixed earth sign, is a kind of container or a form….

    “FORM,” writes Anne Dufourmantelle, “is not a static given; it is that by which variation becomes visible; it is the frame of the image that traverses the same landscape over and over again, ceaselessly."

    Repetition and difference, visible variation, a frame which traverses, the new moon in Taurus. Who or what is knocking on the door? Which frame? Whose? What variation becomes visible as the moon repeats the cycle each month, cruising through the same degrees differently?

    Back to Eve Sedgwick’s introduction to Touching Feeling, where she writes that the book is less interested in “beyond” or “beneath.” Instead: BESIDE: “Beside is an interesting proposition also because there’s nothing very dualistic about it…” and beside “comprises a range of desiring, identifying, representing, repelling….”

    Astrology is also a spatializing discipline — a generative clue, a textured pom pom that’s easy to forget if we’re thinking of the cosmos as (only) internal, psychological, or pointing to some world beyond or beneath this one. The houses and the signs exist beside one another, variations in light and texture.

    And on the new moon, the sun and the moon are BESIDE one another, the moon darkened by the sun’s rays. And as vaccines continue to roll out, we will be beside one another, differently spaced.

    In the ancient astrological texts, the moon is said to be “exalted” i.e. lifted on high in the sign of Taurus. This doesn’t mean anything “good” or “bad” about the Taurus moon’d person or moment. But: it offers sweet information about the astrological moon itself, how it likes to be notated and housed, what textures it might have an affinity for.

    The moon is extra lunar today because exaltations and falls are both said to be of a lunar nature, so: given to change, flux, flow, touching-feeling, slippage. It’s not: exalted = good and fall = bad. More like: exaltations and falls are different moments in the same texture. They’re always becoming each other. Depends on the frame, speed, ride, light. When we get beside the moon instead of claiming it as ours, we can maybe see it better, its surface marks which tell a whole story about endurance and light and recording. As it moons around us.

    What’s around us? What’s around the moon? What repeats and in repeating, makes variations? The moon is the record of the time, the textured body of itself. The moon is the moon!

    yrs,

    Emmalea


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impossible saints

interstitial experience

“The story of my life is the story of my books.” — Pasolini, in an interview:

Thinking lately about what R.D. Laing has called “the politics of experience” and also how Western thinking has often split theorizing and practicing, researching and living. And how poetry, an interstitial mode, often exists in the gap — not to fill it but to engender new possibilities. I’m reading Saints of the Impossible: Bataille, Weil, and the Politics of the Sacred, which bridges gaps and shows overlaps between two of my favorite thinkers-doers-mystics.

So, what is a saint? According to the above book: “Saints are beings who, instead of trying to crystallize the abstract essence of courage or justice in yet another theory, enact courage and justice in real-life situations and inspire others to do likewise. Saints offer not airy discourse but their own flesh, a “saintly corporeality,” risks in the service of the other.” (xxi) Bataille, Weil, and various other thinkers have a way of becoming-writing. Bataille thinks of all of his work as communication. The body as a zone of/for writing, which is always corporeal and airy, of this world and whatever other world. I like this idea of the corporality of the saint. We often give mystical experience to the realm of the clouds —disembodied as opposed to thinking flesh. How do we make ourselves writing? Live out our research? Study our experiences/experience what we study? The materiality of the saint.

Saint: “a person defined as virtuous or holy.”

Impossible: “unworkable” “out of the question” “beyond the bounds of possibility.”

Where do we position ourselves in relation to writings, selves? What is sacred to us? How do we inhabit our own corporealities and write into, from, around them?

o o o o o o o o

ghostest ghosts

Been writing an essay for a while now on disappearance, desire, and digital ghosting. I can’t talk about ghosts without thinking of Derrida’s Specters of Marx and also how most people I know have been ghosted. In her essay “Shakespeare Ghosting Derrida,” Helene Cixous writes one of my favorite ghostly sentences, reminding us that o might be the most spectral letter:

“One cannot imagine anything more ghostly. The Ghostest ghost, the lostest ghost, o, o, o, o, oblivion, oblivion. Without farewell.”

No farewells, just a series of loops…..

Here are some stills from an interview with Jacques Derrida in the 1983 film Ghost Dance:

FABRIC OF THE WORLD

seized by forces / Taurus season

Art.cloud is a sporadic newsletter and blog. Please feel free to share. For more about me and my work, go here. To support this work, please subscribe. It really helps. Thank you for reading.

The below missive is quite personal, whatever that means — it’s about the ground, falling, seizures, and spring.


“I enter at a skewed angle, through the fissures, the slight difference.” - Rosmarie Waldrop, The Ground is the Only Figure

Cigarette butts, half-eaten orange ice cream, one or two drying worms, fresh yellow spray paint are among the things I noticed on the ground as I walked around last night.

Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Uranus are the planets currently in Taurus. Confetti on the ground-sky. We’re a few days post-full moon in Scorpio — something about aftermath, residue, debris, looking at the ground like: what just happened? Or confetti as a forecast, like when Wings of Desire switches from black and white to technicolor. First, he falls from the sky and lands on the ground.

I’ve had a curiouser relationship with the ground ever since I began ending up there. It’s been a long time but it’s hard to shake. It used to happen a lot, and then barely ever, and then a little, then a lot, then barely ever. I’d wake up, usually on the ground or at a skewed angle attempting to lift myself up or be lifted up — sometimes alone, sometimes with strangers or friends or loves who seemed like strangers. Only: I didn’t know the word for stranger or friend or relative or self or ground.

The ground moves and/or we move it. We may fall, slip, slide, enter at a skewed angle and so see ground differently, Taurus season. A synonym for ground is earth. Taurus season is earth, the middle of it — the part of a season where it grounds, stuff springing up from the ground. Should we fall, we can only hope to land on something pillowy. Or to be caught. A hook — a chance encounter which suspends us midair, the hand of a coworker or friend or slice of air. Ground: the solid surface of the earth. How to regard ground, to give ground its due, in a world that’s into going up, devices we constantly have to upgrade? More, faster, higher, outer space, saved to the cloud, upgrading, getting to the next level, leveling up, upward mobility. We know more about outer space than the bottom of the ocean.

Years ago, instead of ending up on the subway floor, a kind stranger intercepted my fall and waited with me on the bench where moments earlier I waited for the subway after work. They held my hand, though I couldn’t name the word hand. We were underground on the F/G platform in Brooklyn but we could’ve been on Mars or the ocean floor. The question what is your name? spins into something foreign, dispersing as it turns. And the words — delinked — are felt as the words and not as whatever they’re attempting to describe.

SELF —> this page could not be found. The professionals call these grand mal seizures or tonic-clonic seizures or those big dramatic ones you see in movies, although more than feeling like part of my identity, these moments, of which I’ve had many, reveal how slippery this notion of the self is, how sometimes the ground is the only figure and you’re melting into it, also a ground, a figureground, a self and other, a selfother.

The ground of an astrological chart is the place from where we cast it. Astrology happens from the geocentric perspective, planets situated around what we cast as our location, a kind of poetics of place. It’s easy to forget earth in the astrological chart, cause we’re on it. But it’s there, the fabric of the chart/sky.

In Ghosts of My Life Mark Fisher writes about Joy Division and speaks briefly of the lead singer, Ian Curtis’s epilepsy: “…seeing in seizures little deaths…which offer terrifying but exhilarating releases from identity…” Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control” is apparently about a girl Ian Curtis knew who suffered from violent seizures but it’s always also felt to me like his alter ego, his seizing self — which is also the selfother who appears on stage which seems to dance Curtis into another zone. To watch him dance is to witness a kind of frenetic abduction. It’s icyhot and discomforting, much like these moments when I’ve ended up on the ground — sometimes with a lip split or an arm fallen from its socket, other times just me and the weird wired streets of New York or wherever.

We’re just off the full moon in Scorpio. Scorpio and Taurus — opposite signs, are versions of each other. Scorpio is under Taurus and Taurus under scorpio, the visible and the invisible. Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote: “Visible and mobile, my body is a thing among things; it’s caught in the fabric of the world, and its cohesion is that of a thing. But, because it moves itself and sees, it holds things in a circle around itself.”

THE WORLD’S FABRIC, Taurus season. Things the body holds in a circle around itself, planets around a sun, etc. A temperature change, a shift in the value of light, too. The sometimes-visible thread running through us as it performs stillness. Taurus is ruled by the planet Venus — an intensity beyond utility. How to figure a planet as a planet instead of a tool in our toolbox fallen from orbit?

yrs,

Emmalea

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