There was, for a while, an empty silence between them: a vacuum where words once were. It was then that Mrs. Peurdoux noticed Rulfo was exceptionally handsome, that the bones in his face were well-crafted, and had grown into their proper places. They carried a weight of a deep, dull sadness: his eyes were tired and careful — in anguish and at peace, he looked from his hands to the window, where seagulls could be seen circling in the fog. And then.

"I made love for the first time in two years," he said. Mrs. Peurdoux continued to watch him, briefly becoming involved with the steady movement in his fingers, which have been victims to nautical stress. They were of a grace only fishermen could attain. And underneath his skin was the laborious smell of the sea: at first overpowering, then calm, like waves succeeding a storm, like sinking stones.

"What was it like? As you remembered it?" 

"Better. Shadows swallowing shadows."

"Was — or is — this partner of importance to you?"

He reflected upon her question with a kind of patience for himself. He let it settle, let it burn out slowly over his mind. “— We went for a walk just after, late in the evening. We sat for a while on a bench just off the shore, under a low-hanging willow. I remember the shrub brushing over her shoulder, I remember watching her as she closed her eyes. I remember a love like that — it’s a love that eats up the world. And here I am, stepping into its cotton mouth.”

Some fragments for [final project] a poem

She stands there by the open window, her body frosted;
she hums lightly of the sun who has passed,
she sheds a single tear and gravity loosens itself upon the Earth.

I see you, Lord.
I see your weary head drawn down by the burden of your pain;
I notice your hands are like my own, your misery as mine —
an unlit candle falls upon its side.

I am your son, your daughter — my names arise between your
burdened lips: Agnes, Damien … Have you seen the struggle in my
bodies? Have you noticed the way I make each of my separate
parts bend and then break?

A black dog approaches. To it I give myself; it is myself I disown, in
your heavenly name.
       Forgive me.

A baptized child, risen again for a new body, a new name — I forget
all that I have known for you.

Where is the house of the Lord? Is it in you, in me? Where does my 
search begin?

A shadow to my shadow, entering your heavenly Earth, like blood 
burying itself.

"I woke up not knowing if I had ever fallen asleep. I felt for a moment that night had only passed within an extended blink — I blinked in and out of a dream. — I’m still tired; I’m always tired."

"What was this dream of yours?"

"I watched myself die. Run over by a car. But it was as if I were outside of my body, already dead — re-watching my death unfold, watching my body spill over the pavement like glass shattering upon glass."

A pause. The doctor remained still, sitting across from him, for a moment, and almost inappropriately considering herself his friend. She too remembered a similar dream, though it was she who ran over another, feeling the car bounce grotesquely as the bones of a man she couldn’t remember fully split and tore away beneath the wheels.

"Do you worry about your nightmares? Are you afraid that if you do fall asleep, these dreams will haunt you?” Steadily, she held her pen against paper, awaiting his reply. 

"I cannot escape them," he exhaled. "— are you afraid of death, Mrs. Peurdoux?"

She lingered on his voice, absorbing the question, almost as if she had asked herself. “Death is not a matter of fear — it is a matter of acceptance.”

"Do you accept that you will die?"

She questioned whether or not she should answer, but the words fled from her lips like a prayer: “I accept that we will all die. If one fears death, it is because one has failed to recognize that death is our only release from life, which is a state of tension. It is something that sleep cannot reach, though the same can be said of our dreams. Accepting them is a way in which we may avoid worsening them. Our enemy until death is denial.”

If You Leave: Album Review. Daughter. 2013.

Filled to the brim with haunting and addictive vocals, powerfully dynamic drums and guitars, and Daughter’s signature moody electro-folk, If You Leave’s ten track album captures loneliness, out-of-body mélodrame, and a lingering melancholia. A musical sensation that attacks then leaves healed. 


Elena Tonra’s voice does this for me: she quietly inhabits a part of my mind of which I was never aware, she stays floating, transparent and whole, for only a few minutes per song, and relaxes me; she is the consummation of lyrical artistry and vocal dominance. To her I raise my glass. 

However, as with most of the band’s work, the drums and guitars cannot go unnoticed. Igor Haefeli, the band’s guitarist is perhaps one of the greatest electro-folk guitarists in the indie music industry. I do not say this lightly, because with all that I have heard, Haefeli’s control of sound inspires me. There are only a handful of bands whose guitarists can perfect the lusty softness of simple chords. Dry the River and Isbells come to mind here. 

Furthermore, if Haefeli’s guitar and Tonra’s voice do not do enough, our man on drums — supporting the depressive vocals and guitar — is Remi Aguilella. On the tracks in which he is present, he is present. You could not drown out his presence if you tried. His playing establishes the conviction for the songs’ themes. His drums make the audience entirely aware of the track as a whole.

Take away any of these musicians and you do not have Daughter. Daughter is made undivided with this musical trinity, each individual acting fully to become one part in a three-pieced entity. 

If You Leave has reminded me that musical and lyrical finesse is a matter of talent and of a determination to give listeners personal and intimate accounts of a solemn existence. Daughter, in this album particularly, has expressed an entirely human phenomenon: sorrow. And has done it well — has done it in a way that I will cherish as an artistic narration on the human spirit. 

Untitled (2.15.14)

There’s a ghost in this room,
and it knows my name,
my habits.

Listens in on me when
I talk to myself — tries to interject,
but is interrupted by his own silence.

Feels my prayers in whatever
heart he has left; the pieces
that survive take me in,
swallow me whole.

Grown accustomed to the moths
beneath my bed, and even visits them
when I’m gone:

knows their names, their habits,
listens in on them,
and swallows them whole.

Surely, the sea is not aware of her own strength, surely it is by her laborious, gray hands that I must die. How else should I allow myself to go? No — only by being tossed into the deep, voiceless beneath the fog, only in that quiet dim.

She offers among her waves the big sleep which I need: tonight I will dream of her returning and the sorrows of her changing face.

"I woke up not knowing if I had ever fallen asleep. I felt for a moment that night had only passed within an extended blink — I blinked in and out of a dream. — I’m still tired; I’m always tired."

"What was this dream of yours?"

"I watched myself die. Run over by a car. But it was as if I were outside of my body, already dead — re-watching my death unfold, watching my body spill over the pavement like glass shattering upon glass."

A pause. The doctor remained still, sitting across from him, for a moment, and almost inappropriately considering herself his friend. She too remembered a similar dream, though it was she who ran over another, feeling the car bounce grotesquely as the bones of a man she couldn’t remember fully split and tore away beneath the wheels.

"Do you worry about your nightmares? Are you afraid that if you do fall asleep, these dreams will haunt you?” Steadily, she held her pen against paper, awaiting his reply. 

"I cannot escape them," he exhaled. "— are you afraid of death, Mrs. Peurdoux?"

She lingered on his voice, absorbing the question, almost as if she had asked herself. “Death is not a matter of fear — it is a matter of acceptance.”

"Do you accept that you will die?"

She questioned whether or not she should answer, but the words fled from her lips like a prayer: “I accept that we will all die. If one fears death, it is because one has failed to recognize that death is our only release from life, which is a state of tension. It is something that sleep cannot reach, though the same can be said of our dreams. Accepting them is a way in which we may avoid worsening them. Our enemy until death is denial.”

There was, for a while, an empty silence between them: a vacuum where words once were. It was then that Mrs. Peurdoux noticed Rulfo was exceptionally handsome, that the bones in his face were well-crafted, and had grown into their proper places. They carried a weight of a deep, dull sadness: his eyes were tired and careful — in anguish and at peace, he looked from his hands to the window, where seagulls could be seen circling in the fog. And then.

"I made love for the first time in two years," he said. Mrs. Peurdoux continued to watch him, briefly becoming involved with the steady movement in his fingers, which have been victims to nautical stress. They were of a grace only fishermen could attain. And underneath his skin was the laborious smell of the sea: at first overpowering, then calm, like waves succeeding a storm, like sinking stones.

"What was it like? As you remembered it?" 

"Better. Shadows swallowing shadows."

"Was — or is — this partner of importance to you?"

He reflected upon her question with a kind of patience for himself. He let it settle, let it burn out slowly over his mind. “— We went for a walk just after, late in the evening. We sat for a while on a bench just off the shore, under a low-hanging willow. I remember the shrub brushing over her shoulder, I remember watching her as she closed her eyes. I remember a love like that — it’s a love that eats up the world. And here I am, stepping into its cotton mouth.”

When I made space for words, I made space for all things;
and I acquired, on some trip South, a lust for Warmth
and her quiet sorrows. She lifted slowly her curled fingers
towards me, branches of our yesteryears and clouds
plucked from Apollo’s back pocket. She promised oceans,
wonderful oceans, brimming with the teary-eyed dreams
of the Gods. She promised the Wind and his smooth
caresses; belly-fulls of drunken air, cool stuff, heated
marmalade. I visited her home here and again, leaving
my dusty shoes at her front steps. And with her carpets
made from the lukewarm melancholy of her father and
mother — their lifelong wishes accompanied by a soft
look in their daughter’s eyes, there, spread out against
the floor like spilled grains of sand, and sticking to 
the sole of one’s foot like careful insects, enjoying
what sweet carnival ride they’ve been rewarded —
I made my journey with gentle heel and toe. She
called me into her kitchen and upon the tables rested
golden plants, offerings from the West, her soul-proud
sister; and flowers of blue, gifts from her soft-spoken
brother, East. I lingered above those flowers for a few
moments before gliding without any aim in particular
to the room next-door. Upon the walls, family photographs,
colored in with yellows and oranges, smelling of
generations past and gone, faded rainbows
into misty night air. And more images of the 
lazy-looked family, their cool feet sitting on each
other’s laps, and their smiles, halfway to somewhere,
and sugary. Before leaving, she told me the story
of North, and of his collected face; she told me
of the moments sad and low, and reminded herself
of her love. She mentioned something — “he was —”
but I could not hear; she had whispered, almost as
if she had been alone. I left her, kissing her upon
her milky cheek. Then, brushing the underside of my feet
and putting on my shoes, I realized I may never 
return: How cruel love is, and how sweet.
I left a dream in that house, and parts of myself;
perhaps she will place them in a vase or hang
them on her walls, so that I might be saved
from being forgotten.

Three Days After the Summer Solstice

In our direction the sea outstretched its quiet hands
as the sky above whispered some lighted melody, coming
and going, both together, and soft upon our parted lips.

VI
  1. Sometimes I am angry. Not of an anger that passes quickly with struggle or tears, but of a frustrating anger which burns and lingers. Sometimes I am lost in the heat of madness, and those near me singe their love upon my hands and face.
  2. Sometimes I am jealous. It is an envy which fights to understand itself, and can’t. They look at her, and my skin begins to hurt, begins to smoke with uncertainty.
  3. Sometimes I am unkind. My words spill over like rising tides to drown the shore. I am quick to think of that which will hurt most, and it does.
  4. Sometimes I am afraid. Fear visits frequently, and stays for days at a time, pulling me down into bed so that I may rest.
  5. But no longer am I angry, or jealous, unkind, or afraid. I am awake. I am a man of faith — of faith in myself. And I will walk this earth with hands open.
  6. I will, I will.
Possibilism(, a rough sketch of a thought under construction)

Possibilism: The Possible Self

  1. Introduction

The only truth there is belongs to me, and that is that I am a possibility. All other possibilities diverge from and converge upon my possibility-in-the-world, and since I cannot share the possibility of another, i.e. since I cannot share the absolute and undiluted experience and perception of another, I am bound infinitely to myself, always tied to my and only my consciousness, which is itself only possible. My consciousness results from the knowing and not-knowing, from the recognizing and not-recognizing that I am, even if I am not. This if to which I refer epitomizes my possibility-of-being. I arrived at this possibility-of-being by reflecting upon the phenomenological and ontological hypotheses of Merleau-Ponty and his predecessors. I have even considered Hume’s deeply criticized “bundle theory” in which an object is nothing but its properties.

Furthermore, what possibilism attempts to address is the apparent struggle between the “conscious” person and his or her own being. It attempts to remedy the gap between the words “I” and “am.” Therefore, the questions of focus for possibilism are first and foremost:

(a) if I am, what, how, and why am I?

I’ve started reading Rand’s The Romantic Manifesto, and it’s interesting, how she considers art to be a matter of man’s consciousness, his way of “confirming or denying the efficacy” of his consciousness, “according to whether an art work supports or negates his own fundamental view of reality.” She considers art to be a “concretization” of metaphysics, that it brings man’s concepts to the perceptual level of his consciousness and allows him to grasp them directly. I like this thought. Art is the model-builder, she says, art is re-creation.

She didn’t believe in God, and neither do I, so I think art is also a way for us to reconcile this struggle for divinity and our possibility of being. Therefore, I believe, by involving your conscious mind with artistic or aesthetic movement, you actualize the self which interprets man’s condition of existence.

Moreover, I’ve been really fixated on this thing known as Stendhal syndrome — a legitimate medical condition — where a person can be so moved by a work of art that they are driven to tears; they can pass out from coming into conscious contact with an aesthetic piece. It’s fascinating. 

On Possibilist Movement

The future, past, and present are only possibilities insofar as they cannot be determined completely as truths of time, since we can only anticipate that the future may happen, that the past may have happened, and that the present could  be happening. It is therefore impossible to claim “I am present” or “I exist now” because all movement (thought and action) occurs through time, not within it. We are limited to saying that the future, past, and present are possible truths because of time. I can demonstrate this thought by simply reinforcing the term movement. Imagine what the world does even when you are not aware of it. It moves, and so do you. There cannot be a determined future, past, or present because these are simply matters of our linguistic deadlock. Summarily, you are movement: you are born from movement, and die into it — because of it, for it. 

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