Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Slavery (more legacies of)

More Legacies of Slavery

Slavery was (is) so much like what has happened (is) happening with credit now --to credit and to citizens. Credit card companies own (most) of us. Every day, my inboxes fill with offers to provide me with credit scores, and/or additional cards. Switch! (I'm encouraged).

To speed up shopping, link a card to your account, tap and go! Meanwhile, those at the top are getting richer and richer, and those at the bottom seem to get poorer and poorer, resulting in a vanishing middle class. The gap between the top and the bottom is widening --I hope you like what you're born into, because moving out of one designation and entering another will be difficult (at best).

As I write this, I'm recalling when (some, not all) women got the right to vote --not as impressive to me, perhaps because of (some of) slavery's legacy: seemed just right for women, from that tradition, as women (from that tradition) had always worked --after all, slavery was an (economic) path to getting labor done --an economic path with racial barometers and barriers.

For enjoyment, I read When They Were Girls; the they included Clara Barton and, a personal favorite: Susan B. Anthony. Perhaps because of my father's pale coloring, that book was magical to me, anything that applied to him, I figured (still do) also applied to me, but I was wrong (still wrong) about that. I failed to understand that Susan might not be working on my behalf. She (in pictures I'd seen) and my father were a similar color --they looked the same.
I come from a household in which my mother and father always worked, so it was not strange to me to be left at home, alone, while adults worked --no matter the job, I was left to my own devices, usually reading and writing till my parents returned. I started writing at age six. The legal right for women to vote was granted in my mother's country (also mine) in 1920, via the nineteenth amendment to the US constitution. But as a woman of color, she had to wait longer to exercise that right. Slavery, in essence, was extended (even to now --in many ways). Post-reconstruction America, was not a hospitable place for the variety of citizens (still true, especially if animals are included --it's their planet, too) that lived here, then and that live here now.

Please read more about the USA's history of low tolerance for racial equality here: (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2957.html). Read more about some of the history of black exclusion from home ownership via exclusion from bank loans here: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortgage_discrimination).

--such reading can help to change a mind (such as mine) about affirmative action (which has probably) helped me, and is probably still helping me: as I think about policies based on (or rooted in) medical discrimination, especially against those with physical and/or mental abnormalities and/or anomalies. While not at the bottom, I don't believe (except for perhaps in remembering --no more mental math team for me, I guess!)
I am not at the bottom, either. I can still both teach and write, but with more compassion for those excluded from these ranks. I am a better person (seems better to me) because of what I've survived, and the ways in which this survival is manifesting itself. (--would be better, perhaps, if not for the banks.)

I do feel enslaved to banks --and to credit card companies (who really own me). My car is mine, however, paid for in its entirety (but, being a 2004 Nissan, the car does require maintenance, that I must pay for --often with a credit card, so until that amount is paid off, I suppose I don't really own my car --and as balances get too low for the lien holders, I get offers to go into more debt, possibilities of reverse mortgages, etc. (now that the house is nearly paid for) and a general lack of empowerment for me who is not a corporate leader, who owns no valuable stock, and who is not invited to the meetings where decisions are made. I pass nothing on any sides of tables (but I do have to report injuries, --my prior medical conditions-- when asked by companies about to make some decisions I'll have to try to live with --oh my numbered days!)

There was a time after slavery ended when blacks still had no rights, still lived without any real ownership of their lives, couldn't make legal decisions that would be upheld wherever they went --even within the country, south to north, east to west, etc. (Still a problem for the bi/multiracial and the gays & lesbians in various parts of the world.) Religions have made acceptance more difficult, not easier. It seems logical, for instance, to construct a brown Jesus. Would He not be the color that people from that part of the world tend to be? Our recent enemies from Iran and Iraq? Brown --a dominant skin tone (darker than my own father). The most violent forms of aggression against minorities seem to have ended or seem to be ending. There will, likely as long as there are people, be pockets of violence filled with people who take out their fears and animosities on others. An end of aggression is not upon us, despite turning the other cheek. It seems likely that lynching was an outcome of an end of a terrible system that persisted in the new (not really that new) world longer than anywhere else --and now enslaves us all.

My maternal grandfather was murdered, perhaps lynched --this isn't talked about much; hardly ever mentioned. His absence has been felt; however. He is enigmatic; a person of imagination, not memory. And he is one of my antecedents. --I came here by way of shadow and absence-- Incredibly shadowy --as a lynched figure would have to be.

I am beholden to companies with lots of money, bank wads (--I know that Nene is rich, but I don't know Nene--), the ones really responsible for my having the stuff I consider mine (could be stolen at anytime --hope not, however). Some of it, I've had so long I no longer fear a corporation taking repossession of it (again: could be stolen at any rime, but then wouldn't be mine tom worry about theft might help get me off the grid where none of this would matter, including blogs and websites --where servers are maintained by others, including the corporation --what I consider my work depends on them).

The house (in need of repair), provided I can hold onto my job for (at least) another five years, will be ours (I've been married almost 40 years) --no more mortgage then! Some (all Jehovah's Witnesses) of my friends --one of whom would have made a superb French teacher, were not supposed to go to college because the world was supposed to end before their graduation --in the eighties. But the world is still here for now --I don't know for sure how long--who does; even those who claim to know have based this knowledge on human perception --which remains problematic.

For how much longer, no one can say with certainty (--this planet is as vulnerable as any other cosmic object); and right on Earth, we've got climate change and its effects (poor polar bears), those wayward asteroids and possibly a return of a comet that took out the dinosaurs (the Earth does indeed have some craters. Click on this link for a list, each item of which is also clickable: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_impact_craters_on_Earth). It shows, what I believe from what I was taught and what I've been exposed to (what I haven't been exposed to has not had an opportunity to influence me, but if LFT is correct, then such opportunities might have a chance to occur before what we believe is here --according to unreliable human perception-- is gone).

Of course, we are capable of annihilating ourselves (hydraulic fracturing may assist with a process of annihilation --but may not-- contribute to an ultimate demise that seems rather definite to me. I doubt that humanity will last forever (Limited Fork Theory is all about strategies of doubting; connections could be made in doubt as well as in affirmation). So far, lasting forever has not been a tendency of any terrestrial inhabitants --why would it/should it be different for humanity? For human beings? I don't think that we are special, no more so than anything else alive. Aren't we just parts of other species in a long chain of life? Chain is significant, I hope, calling to (some) minds those chain gangs --and a song by Sam Cooke, released on an album: Wonderful World --an album where the rights belong to (Cooke's first single for RCA):

The Corporation.

Clicking on this link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chain_Gang_(song)) will take you to more info about the song. There are, of course, other songs about chains, but the focus is on the song named.
Click on this link (http://gerryspence.wordpress.com/category/corporate-slavery/) to read more about how we are corporate slaves --slavery that is a part of, it seems, citizenry (in this democracy --built-in slavery, built-in like appliances also made by corporations. One of the flaws of democracy, that many of us think of a form of (political --to differentiate it, as much as possible, further from religious) salvation. Our money does say: in God we trust.


Quite an insidious system. You never own your little agricultural plot; takes an incredibly long time to buy off your family. You're encouraged to plant, plow, harvest, but progress is difficult (at best) to measure. This link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharecropping takes you to more about sharecropping as Wikipedia reports it (I like how Wikipedia is an aggregate, relying on the knowledge and accountability of users --I see no reason not to trust this user-based system of info dissemination --I've been taught to trust the Bible and encyclopedias --Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, but one that constantly accepts info as info become available; it self-corrects, and expands, grows as humanity grows, --is as trustworthy as humanity is-- Wikipedia bifurcates, is a bit of LFT in action). Cotton enters here (again): the touch and feel. The fabric of our lives. Please visit http://www.lex97.com and watch the T-shirt skeletons movie, on the website: lex97 and on YouTube: the forkergirl channel.

- Posted using BlogPress from my Limited Forked iPad


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hello, Thank you for joining me on a trip to: The Library of Failed Tastes Where We Read Jorge Luis Borges as an Ice Cream Cone that Gives Shape to Pinheads who Want to Be Heroic

Untitled Document

We are quite fortunate to have such a library.

You may sleep here. Under these blankets, it seems there are only nursing
camels; what protrudes to be humps of transformation expand and contract like wooly lungs, the mounds of respiration. This is sacred now, because of problems with air, fear of taking a breath yet having to because the respiratory system is slow to change compared to the need for it to change.

Those who come here crave the tactile, these old pages flake upon contact with our fingers. As if we process tobacco, believe in native trades again too late.

I don't know that depending on speciation will get us here, but were we camels, we would not be who we are now; we can remember a future we make of dromedary; hope (why shouldn't a camel have a turn at being savior outside deserts?), but the future won't need to resurrect us if it plans on going somewhere better which is how we got our dromedary destiny. There are books about this, but mostly abstracts.

Perhaps you are familiar with the

universe; that is an indeterminate number of galleries in the Library of Babel; perhaps you know of it and other
exquisite failures, many of which are also poetry. Failures I interject now, mindful that anything happening that is noticed is as interjection, arriving at oblique angles, able to disrupt so as to cause notice after which the event, transcribed into symbols and alphabet of memory, merges into pages of time and existence, and the infinity, always infinite continues to be infinite though now is made of more pieces so is a larger infinity though the hands involved are those of

Jorge Luis Borges, for whom I imagine an ancient beast of typewriter, paper eating-insects with mandibles carved into the shapes of the characters, especially (I am attracted to this one) the ruined smile of tilde, insects that the writer feeds by typing The Book of Sand, the insects biting the words into the paper. It is quite beautiful really (a replacement revelation for the much older one on Patmos that is so famous it no longer works for me), except perhaps for the fastening of the insects (at the thorax) to the typebars, leaving their legs free to conduct only the music of frustration and desperation, music easy for some to not hear, but that music, even if beautiful, as suffering can be in how it perfects some (many of the Patmos-committed) for salvation, establishes worthiness, is christlike and beneficial, is SOP in nonviolent protest, is a dignity of aging and degrading infinitely in some infinite systems, in some galleries of the library.

Here is some further more complex beauty: that music of captive insect frustration and desperation, that invisible sonic milk:

(milk for being of tortured necessity, as when birth occurs as rebellion against circumstance, when there are hostages of human inability to figure out what to do with variety so overwhelming in its apparent endlessness, a slap in the face of the conformity that more easily could support the bland harmony of consensus); that sonic milk is overcome by using manicure scissors that have a blunt rather bulbous tip somewhat like the tip of mouth of a bottlenose dolphin that can also be made to perform —there are books about this in the Library of Babel is inside The Book of Sand (I will try to explain as I give this

Book of Sand
to you), but nowhere in this motel-provided Gideon's Bible something entirely unacceptable to me, so the shortcomings of the Bible are obvious, and persist in translation after translation. But it reflects the knowledge of the circumstances of its writing, including point of view, and maybe, as I have, you’ve had enough history lessons. The Library of Babel inside The Book of Sand must constantly remake itself. That is the advantage of its substance, the sand is easily reconfigurable, the biblical dunes of it like unsuccessful dromedary humps shift, move (alive with insect alphabets), so all information is dynamic, and has memory so can return, only for a limited time, to a prior configuration for comparative studies and both healthy and unhealthy forms of nostalgia.

I’m sorry to have said all this without first saying hello, but I’m so eager to give you this
Secret Books before it turns all to sand for another reconfiguration. And I want something of this exchange in this motel (somewhere in either forms of space, cyberspace, through a trail of IP addresses leading to, ultimately, a location [unnamed deliberately] where this would be banned, and physical space where we spiral along in the arm of galaxy whose central engine might be a supermassive black hole: a form of quantum quicksand) to appear not quite legal yet be thoroughly ethical. Hello. Take it. My hands are cupped around it as if I prevent something from flying away and in the act of prevention experience a mildly abrasive pleasure as insect wings vibrate and scrape my palms, erasing one fortune and replacing it with another, each replacement increasingly more accurate as time takes me closer to inevitability. In my hands, the words bitten into paper are insects themselves, have grown from eggs deposited in the bites when Borges typed because, and have hatched winged with an epidemic of possibilities. Nothing infects the library more, and when the sand hatches, perhaps it will be clearer that somehow the library already contains all books written and all books to be written, it is a library of all possibilities of alphabet inside
The Book of Sand. Embedded in the alphabet is the possibility for all words, all sentences, all books; a matter of configuration and adjustment —that’s all. That’s why I give in this one book (translated from Borges’ Spanish by Andrew Hurley) every book. The Bible has but 66, impressive to some, but only 66. And it is bound. What I give you is unbound. Unfettered. Look at this page of it that is also an ant farm habitat in The Secret Books, a photographic translation of The Book of Sand and other
Borges; writings by Sean Kernan (look quickly; I do not have permission other than necessity to give you any but a limited [what they all are in a truth this library understands] look, a limited exposure): Also look at

Eileen Joy; teaches, has taught such work also.

from Amazon, this:

I would have cut out the words, and used them all as fruit to attach to branches of miniature trees (alternate display mode for insect collections) I would have made out of the pale beige paper backgrounds returned to pulp in a cheap blender (so that the paper would look as if I’d chewed it [my inner insects active from so much reading] to extract the juice of information, a diet of a potential for poetry present in alternate arrangements of words that chewing itself might accidentally and temporarily locate). Surely this is connection to wasps whose books are hives, whose library is a corner of my garage.

Sean Kernan - The Secret Books

I caution you that in the infinity of the Library of Babel inside
The Book of Sand, every language is encountered; pages and pages, volumes and volumes in the language of the Voynich Manuscript of which what I’ve written here is a failed translation. Some purpose (the portion that approaches an unattainable noble elevation) of metaphor has been to teach appreciation of failure, the joy of the blessed inexactitude that is translation, the little useful mutations that occur in approximation, sponsoring evolutions. Let's say that
a model of this universe; is as a series of umbrellas opening inside another, stretching, elongating this universe into, what amounts to, a series of universes. Let's imagine an opener --perhaps you (why not?) --or forkergirl, if you prefer (or even if you don't --could be that forkergirl spends her time opening umbrellas) as when she imagines universes; as places to go.

The first place that I could go to alone was the

library; when I was seven and still in the city into which I was born. I thought of the building on Superior Avenue as a book itself monster book whose windows were compound eyes and whose ornate door was a mouth. It wanted to consume. As do books. Mutual consumption of reader and reading material. Don’t be deceived even by forms of books whose volume seems measurable. A certain number of pages, deceitful numbers doing their job, pitiful as it is in infinities where much numbering is cosmetic, for you may turn to any page even when pages are apparently finite —and how that finite number of pages is experienced may be infinite also. The materiality of pages seems determined, yet over time will degrade: pages will become as sand, as fodder for hourglasses, my Pretty. That too is translation. Even on presumably static pages: words that move; my ideas open them, twist them, unfold them (sometimes in a scene from The Silence of the Lambs; where I too am crime-busting entomologist) and continue unfolding what has been unfolded, the page able to accommodate eruptions of additional story-mass, extended continental ant farms where, on some of them, quicksand emerges.

This happened even with the Bible. I couldn’t keep other books out. Right in the middle of
David and Goliath
David and Goliath were passages about the Princess and the Goblin, the Princess and the Pea. And while the ark was afloat, there were mermaids and dolphins becoming interchangeable silhouettes in moonlight that kept writing fictions inside gospels. Glorious fictions including the most glorious: Borges’ ficciones.

What I really give you is the Book of Quicksand. I hope that in accepting it, you’ll be sucked into its endlessness where I am. The sandstorms are pure seduction. I’ve not experienced quicksand other than observing it in Tarzan movies and in books where lines of text become segments of vines easily entangled with Harold’s purple crayon line

(Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson;) and all other veins and arteries. A haven of
blood-suckers. I spent the night once in Virginia in the sitting room of a bed and breakfast house with only books and more than fifty, it seemed, eastern blood-sucking conenoses as bibliography and footnotes. They (related to this one from amazingdata.com) came in through the compound-eyed windows that I couldn’t close. Not to mention the tantalizing scant movements of gauze curtains of lashes. You won’t drown in this quicksand except in imagination, so don’t construct a drowning scenario if you don’t want to drown, but construct it well if you do. Quicksand offers an apparent change in volume by messing with solidity, spreading out colloidal welcome mats in a warping of solidity in which the Book of Quicksand becomes a shuttle into and out of arrangements of infinities (possibilities) of the Library of Babel inside it.

Every word, every letter is a
a trapdoor;. Every idea is quicksand.

And a hot desert, sooner or later, with all that sand, has access to the most heaven.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I'm Still Here

Whitney's gone, but I'm still here
(hoping to take advantage of this gift)

(--maybe the world needed or wanted Whitney more --
but she is gone, and I remain to do what I can --but I can't sing as she did, certainly not at the peak of her career in the 80's and early 90's, but perhaps I'll do what I can --what more or else?  I expect to fall short, human that I am without choice or argument).

Whitney's gone

(but I'm not, not that our lives should be conflated;
I would/will disappear without fanfare or even notice beyond my family & employer, maybe a few friends from neighborhoods where I've lived; a handful of doctors who may still wonder a bit exactly who I am/was).

What should I do with this  extra time that is mine
--not that I really believe that I have extra time;
I don't think my time on earth has lengthened; I don't think that suddenly I have skills previously lacking, but I can see (a little) more of my son --I hope at least another 20 years though the world may be gone, and I may have entered another dimension presently (though not necessarily forever) inaccessible from here.  Perhaps climate changes will make the planet inhospitable to life as humanity has known it and has come to expect it (with some religious-based differences).

Will there be enough food and and clean, fresh water?
Something that has led to me has been here since life on Earth began, so I may have descendants who will struggle  to survive (along with all other lifeforms), but the easy ride (fortunately, humanity did not have to share this world with dinosaurs, but recent work suggests --pretty much confirms for me-- that birds are descendants of dinosaurs and that some of these past  lizards may have been feathered --the male t-Rex may have been quite a bit more familial --caring, involved with rearing young
t-rexes, etc. He may have stayed with the nest, protecting it, decorating it, etc).  He may have been one of the early gardeners.

I don't know what kind of gardener Whitney was (or in more time would have become).

I am not (never have been) noted for my gardening.
(image from Amazon) --I do have a piece in Colors of Nature, p. 743: Tarsenna's Defiance Garden in which I Love to Spit.

I did receive a small plot to care for long ago as part of the Moses Cleaveland school gardening program).  My mother has performed more admirably with plants; she deserves an award from me (my father is no longer here to award her personally, but she believes she'll be reunited with him --and with all others who have departed
--including  Whitney, Tarsenna, and the dinosaurs).