What We Worked For

Dear Bernardo,

This Patagonian chef I am watching on Netflix is talking about how we have to learn to communicate with the world again. He served up some potatoes and it just now occurred to me: not knowing how to communicate with the world and potatoes. Beyond ‘language’ of language. The heavy starch of a sadness that can power and is fetishized in movies about American education.

What are we working for, Bernardo? Hopefully one ton of potato spilled over steam cured linen. Family and friends ask me how I like my new job and I say ‘It’s ok.’ I say ‘Yeah, I like it.’ I say ‘Benefits.’ I say ‘Yeah, it’s ok.’ I shrug it off and my sadness (but not my potato sadness) betrays the enthusiasm of professionalism. The question is the small offering of social norm and pattern in a repetition of little conversations that I know waste my life minute by minute, and the question is the most important confrontation. Repetition as the true weight of our days.

To be good at learning. To be adaptable to created systems of human lives. I am not comforted by my abilities to know and implement. I have a degree in English literature with which I was allowed three years in relinquishment and poetry, poetry. This education of electric current that wants us to be always part of the circuit. It’s not that these educations betray us for the time that follows the time of learning, it’s that the world betrays our knowledge an even more so that it betrays our lack.

At my job of benefits. My job involves technology coding understandings of financial transaction—all of which I know almost nothing about. I recognize the patterns and static and funnel all together into a product a product I barely understand even in the bloodwork of a system I am supplying my own life to, minute by minute.

I feel most real when at work I do not understand what it is that has been given to me for a working. When all of the sudden I could lose it all. Could let the moneyed zeros and ones sing like a translation of who I wanted to be when I was seventeen. So close I can look but I can’t taste it. Can reach but I’ll never have it. An unforgotten ode to being Untouchable. Something. To be.

I want to talk to my self the way you have been talking to yourself. Quality of the talking not necessarily of what is said.

<EXAMPLE>Potatoes rice and bread. Real potatoes cut in between. Dear Shithead Seventeen, I am festered in. If I had told you then of poetry poetry you would barely have believed it. I read The Book Of Disquiet over and over and one day I will reach the end of disquiet understanding nothing as whole and only to begin begin a gain begin in.</EXAMPLE>

I have some choice words attached to my body that my body tries to carry away like disease. This is how I learn a gain to communicate with the world and the bodies take it away away.

Bernardo, it’s like this. The most important confrontation is not enlightenment but the repeated break the numbing the noise that interrupts my nerves my nerves that are so used to feeling that the only way to communicate with feeling / the way to learn again to communicate / with feeling / is to interrupt feeling /break/ repeat/ repeat/ <EXAMPLE>Dear Shithead, There is nothing profound in what I am saying this is a letter and not enlightenment. Dear Shithead, This is numbing noise. Dear Shithead, I didn’t get these tattoos for anyone else but you. Dear Shithead, I fail so often at cooking potatoes. Dear Shithead, I feel that I barely know aesthetic. Dear Shithead, Someone called this a hobby. Dear Shithead, It is. Dear Shithead, It isn’t. Dear Shithead, The roadside graveyards pass and we escape repeating. Dear Shithead, What is work? Dear Shithead, I am both alive and dead and you are both alive and dead and are we working?</EXAMPLE>

Bernardo, this is a complicated message. For one, I am distrustful of poetry as it pertains to my body. Not my body as image but as of action and drought. The enemy of good hash browns is water contained. Perhaps poetry is a thing to expel over and over again otherwise I swell and am lewd and not nearer to myself. Perhaps it is better to kill dichotomy. Perhaps echo is the enemy of repetition and noise.

Bernardo, I love you but so far you cling to your work as material. The ledgers keep you alive and I can’t stand the monotony. I love you and I don’t know how to believe you but I believe you anyway though I don’t know how this all will end.

<EXAMPLE>Dear Shithead, you almost bought a guitar today because of what you love and how you can’t commit to it. This is a letter to no one. You play a song that is never going to be written. I turn on Netflix and eat Ohio summer corn it’s beautiful starch-ridden pure. </EXAMPLE>

This is a letter. It is easily loud light and closed.




Dear C,

I wrote a letter to Bernardo Soares, which is really a letter to Fernando Pessoa, really a letter to my encounter with some essence of Pessoa in the way I can understand Pessoa limited but open, really a letter to myself my younger self as I encounter myself now and poetry poetry Against Me! binge watching cooking arts shows Gertrude Stein. Perhaps really a letter to you and N.

My sadness (as in the one that is mine that has been mine all my life, aware of it or not, like a bucket that doesn’t hold anything) my sadness is so often of being so far away. As I am separated by distances and times I am so far from everything seemingly ad infinitum. I carry the bucket and it carries only itself the way it is meant to. That seems like it is a job.

I received this letter to Bernardo in all its unfinished duty. I read it as I wrote it and wrote it as it was being read. I am reading Poetry and Repetition by Krystyna Mazur and it is nothing less than a fresh wound. It makes me feel open. It inflects a problem in me that feels like it has been there for some time (why do I feel such shame in certain instances of lack: having not read Derrida or Deleuze, at least in any meaningful lasting way?).

Mazur says “repetition results in writing which denies authority to the writer” because repetition is “inherently anti-linear and anti-hierarchical” and “such “writing without authority” is essentially “unfinished.”” Which is to say, how many more buckets can I write into that will hold nothing until I am full? What is the unsayable ‘it’ in the phrase “What are we working for”?

One kind of work that I tell my family and friends is “going OK” allows mainly for things that will be finished. Things that are closed. As in stasis. Not noise-type static. I can do closed things.

I was searching for a book on amazon.com and was offered a deal on products branded with the phrase “I’D RATHER BE NILLING.” Which closed thing should I get you and N? The t-shirt, the stainless steel water bottle, or the travel coffee mug?

Another work is what we do for each other. A gain of repetition open and we are the breaks. A gifted bucket that walks in all its blind honesty unfinished.