Eye of the Story

The Evergreen State College

Author: kirjef24

An absurd idea I had J. Kirby

Five Dolla Holla, All ages between 3-5 Rave!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Little vandals the all of them. Wearing over sized nightshirts from dad, gifts from japan, with anime characters bigger than they little brothers and sisters striking poses in front and back,  sleeves to their wrists and tails way past their knees. Barefoot or sporting gellies, the some got on LA gears and crazy cartoon wristwatches. One kids got on an apron saying “Wu Tang is for the children!” in bright white ODB font. Binkies galore! Glow in the dark face paint: A chameleon, a ninja turtle, oh my god! a skeleton, a stormtrooper and many rhinestoned fairy looking little tricksters. Some kids got pig tails, somes heads infested by tornadoes, or just covered with a carved out gourd.

Jessica, ravename: Jellypop, her hands gyrate invisible butterflies forth to frolic in the laser beams shot from the ceiling. She blows kisses and neighs her neck like a giddy baby horse. Jellypop is popping off, her cares straight gelatinous.

Billy, ravename: BopBopRandelpheeny. has his hands pressed together over his hand in the shape of a of spaceships nose. He’s pumping his calves and shhkvshsvssshshshing his mouth. The up and down chug of his body and the spittle flying out his face signal liftoff. Kid screams and lets loose across the room like a missed-the-gnot balloon.

Wendy, ravename: WaWa. Fuck bones, this girl must be 100% water. Liquid dancing like a motherfucker clutching clear sacs, tiny punctures spewing crystal snakes of wonder. WaWa the boneless, embraces the aesthetic of the zooted goose neck.

Sammy, ravename: ShashaShodid. Kids been house dancing since he was 1.3, in months that a little over 15 practically 16. Kid lifts his long-tee to reveal neon green sweatpants under the spell of the heel toe and the hingeless knee. This kid is king-shit. Look at him spin and flip that burgerking crown.







J. Kirby Week 7 Journal Post: Creative Flow Induction

My Town! My Town is under siege! My town! Its claim to any decency has been slaughtered! Slaughtered by a pack of puss drooling vermin, snakebitten personages who seek to rile the goodness of me and my neighbors. Ragmen! Men that toil in rags. They pillage our trash piles in search of smelly trinkets. For what? For what else than to proliferate smelliness, of course. These slack-jaws, these crippled roosters, guffawing hideously with jaundiced wide-eyed gleams at the sight of a shit stained smock to huff, to wrap around their bile socked throats. I can smell the breath of the one nearest me now: that’s how bad it’s gotten: here in my study, writing this bleak and sorrowful wail for a return to decency, I cant even rid the stench of their toothless, open mouth breaths from my poor, scrunched up nose. Those jackals! Those flesh stealing skeletons! Those banshee caped elongated toads!

Assemble the legion! Furl your brows in the name of god and all that isn’t smelly. Light your incense-torches and coat your pitchforks in lavender oil, cedar, in whatever doesn’t smell like the yellow, flaky toe of one of these wretches. I call out to all that are left with a home and any dignity that we rid ourselves of this terrible band of diseased remora. I am only posting this because I am quite positive none of them can read. I call for a town meeting at Andrew’s Gnoll tomorrow(Friday) the 13th. I promise I will be there at the forefront chanting for our right to take back what is ours:

I saw one just the other day, at the crest of dawn, digging through my trash. That vermin, that despicable scrap-sucker. I watched him peel from the dinge an old rusted colander I’d thrown out. That fiend! He pulled out that colander and sauntered on his throbbing heels over to my neighbors house where he tried to sell it. I was so horrified I nearly went out and gave him a good deal of harsh business, but then that’d have been only stooping to their level—to think I could limit myself to actually conversing with one of these turds. Luckily, after he’d left and the stench-cloud that leaked from his arse had dissipated, I marched right over to my neighbor and gave him a piece of the truth—That those ragman deserve nothing but our spit, and then I spit on his path, from which the emaciated badger had left.

I can’t help but see them on my way to the market. Droves and droves of those scabby stilt-legs pilfering through the dump. I saw one wearing a lampshade as hat! That filth. There is one, a truly vile specimen who I think the others look up to. I see the others giving him nothing but nods, cheers whistles and smiles and hearty slaps on the back that kick up dust. That old dirty bastard is some deranged craftsman, a sick in the head “artist” (HA! More like autist) who clamps together egg beaters with tin cans and old teddies to create demonic dolls that he passes out to the leprous children or sells to uncouth tourists. What has our town become that our most popular souvenirs are capes made of pee-dribbled knickers or rattles full of shattered tin. That ghastly man wears a necklace made of dogs teeth for crying out loud. Not long ago I was late(I may have spent a little long looking at watch chains) and tried cutting through the alley between Sally’s bridal and Mantee’s boat supply when I nearly ran into one these hooligan’s creations: a vast spider web of tossed out fishing line, stretching accrost the alley from the street to the roofs, with a lace-scrap white spider in the upper left corner whose eyes were trampled blue corsages. That filthy trickster. I nearly ran right into that nasty web of trash. I reached back with my cane in a fit of lust to slash it down, but just then I heard one of those diseases scuttling about in the dumpster, so I hightailed it out of there. That will be the first and only time I thank one of those rank cadavers; I don’t know where I’d be if I had dirtied up my favorite cane lashing down that sickening web but I really do hope someone has had the sober mind to tear it down.

And now it’s really gotten to be too much.

J. Kirby Dialogue on Syzygy

-Take a syzygy for instance

-A what?

-A syzygy. It’s when three celestial bodies line up. Like when there’s a solar or lunar eclipse—that’s a syzygy between the Sun, the Moon and Earth. Conceptually you could draw a straight line through all three. That’s a syzygy, a linear conjunction of three celestial bodies. It actually has meaning in many fields beyond astronomy but that’s the one I’m most familiar with.

-O.K. Syzygy. But what does that have to do with your “problem of the other?”

-Umm, let me see. Take the syzygal conjunction of the Earth and the Sun with the moon in between the two. This would be an extreme example of the specific other problem I’m getting at, but basically what I am interested in is the absence created by the moon’s interference with the space between the Earth and the Sun. Actually, let’s pretend that we have two suns, one at each end of an invisible line with Earth-like planet directly in the middle of the two. Following me?

-Yeah, two Sun’s facing each other with an Earth in the middle of them.

-Ok, good. So it doesn’t necessarily matter where the placement of the Earth in between the two is. All I’m concerned about is its representation of absence. As in, there is a shadow cast upon the face of each Sun, and at the same time the Earth either fully or partially blacks out the other Sun. So how this relates to the problem of the other is that the idea of a person, be it your lover, your friend, or just some stranger asking you directions are a Sun at the opposite end of a syzygy where your idea of that person, the image of that person, and most importantly the language that they speak, intermingles with their image, idea and language to create an alien world in between the two of you which becomes nothing but a shadow, which is worst when you are in direct alignment with one another.

-Wait, what!? I mean I get what you’re saying conceptually. At least I think. But I really think your over thinking things here. I mean I don’t know if you should read more philosophy or just stop reading philosophy because I think things are a little simpler than all this crap. Why can’t I just take you for who you are?

-Because, who I am is a man of Ideas, of metaphors. You are a man of things and actions, probably more of a man than I could hope to be. But the simple point of the matter is that you’re proving my point. Sure you can feel things for me, you can have emotional resonation like compassion, and you can see yourself in me. But you cannot be me. And once you come to that conclusion, you come to the ultimate paradox, that being that there is nothing to be but your own unique self. But your self is created by interaction with everything that is not you, everything that you can only relate to by deception or adherence to false dogmas and ideas, or at best the resonation of emotion which some call God. But after one see’s these for their deceptive and metaphorical nature, what then are you left to relate to other than absence, other than the shadow that exists in between you and everything else?

-Shit, man. Can you just shut the fuck up and I’ll buy you some ice cream.

J.R. Kirby “Diversion Written In the Key of My Project”

A sobbing gentleman, amidst ruby-red stalks of jungle grass, can’t find his pocket watch. He has a shiny black cane and a fine-checkered suit but the wind is blowing rudely, the sun is falling, and he wants the time exactly. More importantly, he wants the sentimental object which keeps it.

A tall boy in boots—nothing much else— falls out of a window in the nearby black house. He only falls a few feet as it’s a one story home, of a mixed baroque and futuristic style: the only house built by a one armed pederast name Dwindle Markesh, better known for his epic poems on the various symbolisms and interpretations of the “teeny-tiny crevasse.” But before his notoriety as a shithead poet, Dwindle was known, by a very unfortunate few, as the architect of this silly, incongruent and completely fangled, triangular-pyramid that is painted black; its singular window long known to throw various entities through its portal, all of which deserved it. The window is, and always will be, absolved by its height. Nonetheless, the boy has fallen unconscious, which is not a serendipitous event—portent being that he expresses himself in an entirely exhausting and obnoxious manner, both in vocalization and gesture—but in fact a choice, most assuredly due to his coddling as a child and to his weak and frail transfixion with evading any and all manifestations of will. Demeaning of his being aside, a most interesting specification of his personage is that of a gold pocket-watch wrapped tightly like a choker around his skinny neck. Indeed, everything here is a bit odd, but at least the defenestrated tall boy has something that belongs to our gentleman, whom shall now proceed as protagonist.

                Then, through the scarlet reeds crept forth the oddest character yet, startling the poor disheveled gentleman out of his sniveling and turning his face wonder-torn, much like the glare of hyperventilating babies swooning as they catch their breath. But no disturbance, no matter even ones this absurd, could reverse his sadness. and so he readdressed his hands with ever louder sobs, ever more violent gasps. His sadness being truly remarkable, considering the terrible and garish appearance of his new company: It looked like a deflated fat person dyed purple, with a jagged metallic stitching following the line of the spine—most likely composed of warm jelly, due to the ghastly forms propensity to sway. The head?… is a lamp-shade shaped, ragged composition of clashing mushiness and shimmering sharp edges, glossed over to evoke a great queerness by their textural paralleling of mutated and melted organic fleshiness seemingly of fused species and specimen swirled together by some thing’s emotionally-retarded imagination. Within this purged facial image was what mock the look of large human eyes, but they’re sewn shut. There are some sort of ears, but they are pointed and upside-down, very asymmetrical and tattered. The grotesqueness is further embellished by a lack of any representation of a mouth except for a gash-like hole of dead emptiness that lies obliquely beneath a badly sewn on, very much Anglo-Saxon, crumpled nose that flares in and out fiercely, to the rhythm of English syllables that sound sloshed and spattered: like all voices that come from a mouth with more cheek than tongue. It was most definitely a humonculus assembled by a very twisted and malcontented alchemist and this is what the gross creature echoed from his fluttering nostrils:

I burn sage in my gullet. Deep inside myself sage burns because I am nothing but an unfortunate victim of myself. My ribs are well charred but protected. My stomach acid is coated with smoke, but I can live off the fat of the land for my inner demonic squalor-ringing bells are socked with the purifying remedy of sage well burnt. 

At least that is what he wanted to say…

Jeffrey Kirby–Analysis of Do The Right Thing

Spike Lee’s Subversion of the Fade-out Kiss

 In the final scene of Do the Right Thing there is a standoff between the two main characters. Mookie, come to claim his salary for the week, approaches Sal with head in hands out front of his burnt down pizzeria—the lesser of two major casualties in the films riotous climax. This scene is remarkable for a number of reasons but I would like to focus on the matter of reconciliation. As James Baldwin states in The Devil Find’s Work: “…the obligatory, fade-out kiss, in the classic American film, did not really speak of love, and, still less, of sex: it spoke of reconciliation, of all things now becoming possible. It was a device desperately needed among a people for whom so much had to be made possible.” In the end of Do the Right Thing the possibilities have run short, a black man has been murdered by the police, the community is in turmoil and mourning, Mookie wants his money, and the outlook for Sal is rather bleak. Ultimately this scene expresses the sense of loss, not only in the possibilities between the two men involved but a loss of the potential expansion of consciousness the film hints at before breaking all hope of any tangible reconciliation.  

                Mookie approaches Sal with certain defiance. Mookie is fed up. Remarkably, he has played the role of mediator in between racial tension throughout the film up until this point. This role is not only backed by his actions within the script: playing it cool to calm down Buggin Out or in his patience and understanding when dealing with the racism of Pino; but is also a part of his established identity: he is the father to the child of his Puerto Rican lover, Tina, and he works at an Italian owned pizzeria. This social flexibility and crossing over racial boundaries makes the symbolism of the Jackie Robinson jersey he wears in the first half of the film particularly poignant. But most importantly, above all: Mookie is black—as we are reminded when he crosses the street(away from where he was standing next to Sal and his sons) back onto the side of the black folks before retrieving a garbage can to throw through the pizzerias window and incite a riot. This climactic course of action taken by Mookie, along with other building tensions, is partially in response to being let down by Sal. Ironically, for the film’s second act, Mookie has changed out of his Jackie Robinson jersey and is now wearing the team jersey of Sal’s pizzeria. But in the end the boundary, and whose side is whose, has been reset. There is no doubt a feeling of betrayal felt by Mookie toward Sal, be it due to Sal’s “over-friendliness” with Jade, his boiling over and yelling nigger, or his failure to show sympathy for Radio Raheem. So, when Mookie approaches Sal to get what he is owed, he does it defiantly and proudly as a black man.

                On the other side, Sal is a man broken. His sense of identity has burned to the ground. And not unlike Mookie, his sense of identity was rooted in his particular ethnicity, but he made his life serving food to black people. He made a place for himself within the community, which, before the riot, would seem to mark a progression towards breaking racial boundaries. However, it is the brutal truth of the film to remind the world that racial boundaries and relations are not so simple. Also, we cannot forget that in the heat of the moment Sal did show his very human flaw to express racism.

                It is the building potential of these two characters, and the earnestness both in the writing of the characters, and the actors who portray them throughout their trajectory through the film that make their final meeting so powerful. There are two pieces in particular that I would like to highlight about the final scene. First, is the absurdity in the throwing of the money back and forth at each other. The movement and gesturing in and of itself, the violent tossing of a material object that has little to no weight and bounces off a chest or shoulder with no marked effect, is ridiculous. However, money is important, and both Mookie and Sal subsist off of it. Spike Lee no doubt is playing off this absurdity of contrivance. The essence or unique and true character of a thing being completely subverted by its invented or imagined representation within a particular system. How does one reconcile the differences between two alienated parties when the lines of separation are so well defined? So well defined is the separation or difference that this becomes the standard of definition for the thing itself. You have a black and white man who have become defined by their color.

More importantly, I want to speak to the part in the meeting right after the exchange of money. I think here, the emotion and performance by Danny Aiello is important to the emotion of the situation. In his asking Mookie what is he going to do? And, is he sick? There is a feeble attempt, a grasping of sorts to reach into and through the redefined barriers the tension has caused. It is an attempt to reclaim the identity that the two share, that being their humanity. This hope is quickly dispelled by the defiance of Mookie. For it one is reminded that he is black, he has stayed black as Buggin Out pleaded him to do. As a black man his defiance is necessary, and I would argue that as a black man he did do the right thing in his defiance in the face of Sal’s racism. But this doesn’t reduce the absurdity and distance that has been recreated between the two characters. The damage has been done. There can be no reconciliation. The possibilities “desperately needed among a people for whom so much had to be made possible,”  are tragically swept aside for the linearity of difference.

In his essay Errantry and Exile, Edouard Glissant states: “…the will to identity, which is, after all, nothing other than the search for a freedom within particular surroundings” In Do the Right Thingthe will to identity, and its potential for freedom, has lost to the tyranny of racism. It doesn’t matter if the differences are imagined or contrived. The consequences of the situation are very real for the characters involved. The particular surroundings which Mookie and Sal find themselves, in the end, have been violently reduced to the totalitarianism of black versus white.

Jeffrey Kirby- Reading of Sebald

Why did Sebald title his work The Rings of Saturn

                In the epigraph there is a scientific definition of the rings of (the planet) Saturn. The theory states that the rings of Saturn are the fragments of a former moon, disintegrated by tidal force. In other words, an invisible power (gravity) led to the moon’s dissolution, thus creating an all-together new identity as a circle or ring. The relationship here, is ripe for metaphoric reaping. For what more is Sebald doing in Rings of Saturn than cataloguing the insistence of man to manipulate the mortality of forms through his preponderance of ideas. The rings of Saturn is a novel about the epiphenomenon of corporal existence, that is the disease (or wellspring for those inclined toward self-deception or God) of human consciousness and its infectious proliferation within the objective world. Or, a less nihilistic thesis could be something like: The Rings of Saturn is a novel about the triumphs and tribulations of the human being, and his or her necessity (possibly due to a priori affliction) to fictionalize his or her existence in the face of incessant ceasing. What follows is an example of the aforementioned infection and/or fictionalization, commonly referred to as metaphor, here unfolded for the further enrichment of our literary minds.

                Let us take the idea of Saturn and allow ourselves to manipulate it with our imaginations. Now I’m asking you to play the part of poet here. So if you’re a scientist, with an insufferable insouciance to categorize, dissect and cauterize, may I offer you my shallowest of apologies, for the following trajectory is one that leaps. So then, the planet Saturn. A liquid, gaseous, and flittering being, whose very existence itself rests on its movement and whose vast expanse and gravity more than makes up for its instability. Saturn is the human mind. Next, let us imagine the rings of Saturn. A disintegrated oneness, whose essence is indiscernible, lost to the procession of what could be trillions of particulars in endless cycle.  Saturn’s rings are the world. And just like the world, Saturn’s rings, although stemming from a singularity, are definable only by the relationship of its constituent parts, of which, as a particular system, the planet Saturn itself is also part. Thus, Saturn is dependent on its rings and vice versa, as just the same can be said for the mind and the world. And just as the relationship of the human mind, within a body, is a singular entity stuck in the middle of an endless and inescapable cycle of particles coming and going but ultimately staying the same, so is the relationship between Saturn and its rings. But could the rings of Saturn exist without Saturn? Could the world exist without the mind? Or perhaps a more interesting question is this: Within the confines of the given metaphor, that being Saturn as mind and Saturn’s rings as the world, could we not flip the identities of the two, that being Saturn as the world and Saturn’s rings as the mind, and still have a metaphor of no less power or meaning?  Furthermore, what if neither Saturn nor its rings were victims of cycle? What if Saturn, trapped as it is within its rings, gained consciousness, not dissimilar to humanities, and wished for linearity, for the subsistence of a singular point or line? Perhaps this is the question that Sebald is grappling with: humanity’s need, inherent or not, to formulate practicality and linearity within a system which is only flux, endless becoming. Perhaps the human being ought to be, or simply is, a rebel: Cause and effect his weaponry, dreams his auxiliary, and memory, simultaneously his panacea and bacteria against an endless onslaught of wounds, in the fight to become…

Jeffrey Kirby Journal 1 A short response to J.B.

 “The church and the theater are carried within us…out of our need and out of an impulse more mysterious than our desire.” What could Baldwin mean when he says “an impulse more mysterious than our desire.” What mysterious impulse is this? First of all, perhaps we should find  a definition for desire. 

Desire- The fact or condition of desiring; that feeling or emotion which is directed to the attainment or possession of some object from which pleasure or satisfaction is expected; longing, craving; a particular instance of this feeling, a wish. (Oxford)

Aww yes, how could I forget. Desire is tied to the material, tethered to change and ultimately to death. Desire is enslaved to time. As soon as I have a desire for something, as soon as that desire lives within in me, so too, does death. Desire, may itself reign in the altars of the metaphysical art worlds, but it itself must have an object, and any object is subject to change. And really, although I have no affinity toward scientists, I’m sure a rogue biologist or two could very succinctly, yet methodically remind us of our desire’s baseness.

But what manner of metaphysician, who, from what brotherhood of mystics, could teach us what Baldwin means when he writes about this “impulse more mysterious than our desire.” I don’t think there is any necessity for esoteric consultation. I think that this impulse is very simple. I think it has to do with relation, and just as we have a need, and a desire to acquire and use things in this life, we also have a deeper need to transcend those things. In other words, we have a necessity to balance life with death. Simpler still: we have a necessity to create meaning. The best way to create meaning is through metaphor. Metaphor is nothing but creating a richness of relationship, between two things that betray difference. Let’s say that one day, I went to the store and bought some apples. On my way home from the store I see a homeless man and I give him one of the apples I bought. Then I go home and watch some television until my girlfriend comes home. Now my girlfriend is all like, “Whaddup?” and I’m like, “Aw, not shit really. Just chillin’. Went and bought some apples though, if you want one.” But goddamnit! I forgot that I only bought two apples. And my girlfriend sucks! So after explaining the situation to her, she freaks out and is all like, “Why’d you lie to me about the apples! Fuck a homeless raw no love!”(she’s really wound up). What my girlfriend is failing to understand is that I have enriched my life by following an idea, an idea that is eternal. I gave that man the apple because of the idea that there is a life force which transcends us. I would guess that my girlfriend is pessimistically thinking that she, the homeless guy, and I are simply stuck in each of our bodies, and thus only cruel manifestations enslaved to our desires. My girlfriend is short-sighted and selfish. And she’s hungry, both literally and figuratively.

                What I am trying to say is that we choose how to look at, interpret and interact with the world. There are countless narratives we can adhere to, countless narratives well developed and otherwise, some worthwhile, some not, but these narratives are someone or something else’s narrative. That is where the story comes in. To create a story is in the hands of the individual. The narrative is that I went to the store, bought some apples, gave one to a homeless guy and then went back home. But the reason for why I gave the apples away is where the richness of the story lies. I gave the apples away because we exist on a plane with a plethora of categorizations and boundaries, like wealth and poverty, want and need; but I gave the apples away because there exists, in between the lines of these limitations, the glance of that homeless man. And we all know that homeless men have crazy ass eyes. That’s because the nodes and weird pink and red tendrils that tie his eyes to the brain in his head are the same goddamn nerves as mine, and they’re going to be the same as the children I should or should not have with my jerk of girlfriend. The relationship between the “I” and the other, the rift that exists between the two, is why human beings need religion and art. It is the “need more mysterious than our desire.”

© 2023 Eye of the Story
The Evergreen State College
Olympia, Washington

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