from “Dear Alain”
I want to meet you very badly and write you love poems. I want to know where you put love in your schema; if you believe in it. Did you ever read Zamyatin’s “We”? It’s what Orwell based 1984 on. He got kicked out of Russia before it was Bolshevik. But Zamyatin foretold a world where everything was algebra and the only thing to wake up the creativity, the poetry pole you juxtapose against math, the Dionysius to your linear Apollo, well let’s just say Dionysius didn’t dance without Venus. Do you think Venus exists? You must believe in the ***, the undefined, the ***, the poetry that beds the data when it’s young and vomiting on the floor, before it grows into a tall and strong polynomial chain. You said you did. Back to that Hardt guy, he ended up talking about love too and I think that’s where his career ended. Nobody wants to listen to the mushy stuff. But I gotta tell you, my friend Chad B said it best: “I don’t care if you are the tiny-ist, whiney-ist, most pampered cheerleader or the hood-est, hard-est most jock football player, everybody got somebody put em fetal in the kitchen make em bat shit crazy.” Is this the constant in the incompleteness theorem? Desire? I hate that word. What about capital L Love? Should I just ask somebody to write me a prescription and forget about it?
I’m sick from being serious. I’m sick of this fucking shit. Speaking to you on your terms in your vocabulary requires a tired precision I loathe. I like monkeys and raspberries and autumn squash cooked for one hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit with a glaze of two tablespoons butter, agave nectar and dijon mustard. Lightly speckled with pepper. I don’t mean the cooking channel. I mean John Coltrain for Lovers on repeat because it’s Sunday, the holiday of the sun regime from 300 BC, where the thrones met the saints and the prophets. I mean the Roman Emperors bent the Christian details to gain the wealth of the people’s love of astrologers. The first empirical data. These days Pfizer does a six week trial and we call it truth but 700 years the Sumerians documented the position of Saturn and the price of wheat and it’s habernacky to us. What on earth do you put faith in my dear? I would say beyond earth but I presume you are a dialectical materialist like your good Marxist politics. As my dear French father said, “you think you are an atheist, but everyone has faith in something, be it electricity or that god does not exist.” That might be slightly holistic for your set theory which holistically avoids the holistic, but I’ll gladly hear the counter example. Where was your tipping point for belief? I suppose it was years of thought, but there must be a fall off the seesaw you want to tell me about.
I wonder, why a doctrine? Even if you win History, that unattainable virgin, you’ll spend eternity with the maggots, the fact-mongerers typing away at your flesh. I suppose you don’t mind contributing to humanity, just a bone left, a truism in the end. But would it have been any different otherwise? Personally, I’m leaving only ashes. Burnt pages. Not deconstruction. Pure flame. You philosophers are made of metal, but I am earth water fire. The triskelion. Horned and abandoned. Who wants the power of the name if it is only to claim your own bullseye? Already got it plenty, darts, doin just fine.
Well it’s sassy time tonight, yes, agreed. Your logic’s got me all bunched like a rolled sleeve. It’s fine enough on its own, but against my wrinkles and veins and memories something else has to course against the grain. There’s so many of you, arguing your details since the beginning of time, screw it, I want a literary song. Unwind the arguments because I was never that great at compartments, and when I was, it didn’t get me laid. Philosophy is all moral consequence and politics, real time. Miserably. Your set theory has no “I”, so Houdini!, but subject object event gets back to the sun eventually. You hide in math. I hide in the moon. And I only ask you this, if e to the negative two pi i contains all the numbers we have never seen but that make the circle, the financial world and the imaginary realm all come together to equal one, then you must believe in things we cannot see or touch or feel but only believe.
All the artists I know know this: closest thing I’ve got to reason is the voice in my head. None of us can see that. Here’s the voice in my head. Here it is. I made it prettier for you but it’s what I think. I guess the difference between you and me is that I only trade my voice with you. Maybe you spent all those years making your voice for everyone, as round and flat and true as everything. Oh, a metaphor about our work. I just wish I could hear your voice. The one in your head.
My father told me my project to write you love letters was creepy. I said, imagination and hope are elements as real as the table before your eyes! Imagine!
A la prochaine, Kati
Katy Bohinc is a poet and digital media strategist for the Democratic Party of China. She co-edits COYDUP, a poetry pamphlet dedicated to hand-to-hand distribution at and around Occupy events with Meg Ronan. Work has recently appeared in Armed Cell & Poor Claudia. The poems here & more selections from Dear Alain, love letters of a poet to a philosopher, are forthcoming from Summer BF Press soon. She has a background in math, comp lit, DC, China, France & Buenos Aires. She lives in Manhattan.