Linda Marie Walker on Body and Voice--Four Cries: Two

To Cry One

"But what had come to pass was something like the falling of a ceiling, of a thin crust of thought. A separation, a strange petrifaction had suddenly ended. 'Lucienne.' Yes, the happening had the simplicity of a cry, a cry uttered as one falls into some unsuspected cavern. So suddenly did I come again to the idea of Lucienne that I felt it like a fall"(Romains, 385).

The abject, for this I, is the cry, a sign that the process of coming-and-going - the movement in-and-out, the process and the movement, not the ingested or the excreted, not the opposition between inside and outside - is the matter [i] wishes to be cherished. It's that which is implemental then, that enables/creates disgust, and the border/edge (that is not a beginning), that place where repetition is, and is matter. Must be. Desire in the movement of the bowel, the release of the bladder, the convulsions of the throat, the churning of the stomach, the throbbing of the head, the burning of the eyes, the ringing of the ears, the cramping of the legs, laughter, the reach/retch of the voice ... I am in my repetition. Movement ensures an overflow, inward and outward. I am doomed to/by the beating of my heart, and the pulsing of my blood. ("The blood that differentiates men from women is the blood that sustains, indeed nourishes, both sexes. It marks an unspeakable debt: the debt of life and existence that both the individual and culture owe to the mother and the maternal body but can never acknowledge let alone repay"(Grosz, 113). I am inside cycles (or circles - I goes in circles), and I am rhythmically reminded of my repetitious self, which relishes the relentless opportunity to say, again, to be regular. To cry the regular inside I. The cry against the law which wants ever more order, that wants worse: to overwrite my own rhythm with its rituals: oh I am such a ... and the cry of my order must be repeated (this is [i] at work) to even mark faintly the body of the social. Socializing as it does, rejoicing in its dance, dancing on the flesh, sounding so nice, so right, so in time, so, so, it's such a lovely party. The space of the body, as we know, is colonized. "Culture in general functions as such only by the expulsion of ... social and personal horror at our own materiality and finitude. The material, imaginary space returns unpredictably in dreams, phobias, psychoses and in forms of writing. The time of abjection is a spasmic unmarked continual present, a time of timelessness, which is itself (timelessly) preserved in or as the unconscious"(Grosz, 113).

"This begins on a dark night" is in this/my body, having arrived on the outside, it's now a place somewhere inside, and is faintly locatable through words, it's a movement of I, as [i] (a fragment) that reflects and dissipates itself, is subject to itself, is the subject of another subject (as it fractures) (is not an object, is not (yet) objectified, finite, dead), it's a aspect of I: "This 'I' is the key to a position within discourse"(Grosz, 115). It's a very small aspect of I, [i] thinks. Yet. This [i] is imagined. It's proper (& polite) too, having been socialized (written up-on), but insists, still, on its cry, from the position of its own (contorted) gaze (in the mirrored body): it is diseased (incensed) with forensic letters.

Sometimes, so it seems/sew it seams (and the tendency to play beckons): [i] Thisbeginsonadarknight. Always sometimes, never always. I express [i] with text, I tells who [i] am, makes [i] up with letters, one word after/beside another, who [i] am sometimes: Syntax Equals The Body Structure (bp nichol, mentioned in Tracing The Paths, ed. Roy Miki, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1988, 11). "In the form of a thought-sentence, the germ of the fragment comes to you anywhere: in the café, on the train, talking to a friend (it arises laterally to what [s]he says or what I say); then you take out your notebook, to jot down not a 'thought' but something like a strike, what would once have been called a 'turn'"(R. Barthes, Roland Barthes on Roland Barthes, tr. Richard Howard, N.Y.: Noonday, 1989, 94).

Yes, I know, I go on a bit ([i] scratch away at the stone wall, teeth clenched during the drugged sleep, aching jaw, eventually repairs are needed), this is the matter of the leak, or the flow, through the wound or the puncture, the substance of the cry. The manner in which the textualized body, never appearing literally texted, makes some mark on the world in a form, other than its own, other than with real flesh, blood, bone. It marks the world in the same way that it has been marked: by the law of a symbolic, language. And it can do this with love rather than violence, [i] think. Or is any engraving, whether knowledge, punishment, or control, onto the body, violent. Where is the edge/border (but not the beginning) of the body as fiction: the body stands, a building of order, a gathering of texts, a process of definition. The fact, then, of never-ending inscription, of troublesome indefinability. What can not be con-formed is response - the cry (as resistance). The demand of the story. This, the demand, and that, the defining. This & that, an eye for an eye.

Bodies become engravings and maps through the instrumentation or code of the everyday: "In this regard, clothes themselves can pass as the instruments thanks to which a social law secures bodies and its members, ruling and drilling them by changes in fashion as in military manoeuvres. Like a corset, the motor car also moulds bodies and conforms them to a postural model. It is an orthopaedic or orthopractical instrument ("When a pedestrian puts on his car he increases his bulk about thirty times."( G. Baker, and B. Funaro (eds.) Parking, N.Y: Reinhold, 1958, 2). Foods selected by folklore and sold in the markets equally model bodies by nourishing them; they impose on them a form, a tonicity which is as good as an identity card. In their own way, glasses, a cigarette, shoes and the like, touch up the physical 'portrait' Where is the limit of the machinery by which a society represents itself through living beings and makes them its representatives. Where does the disciplinary apparatus stop which displaces and chastises, adds and removes within these bodies pliable under the instrumentation of so many laws? Strictly speaking, they only become bodies by the conformation to these codes. For where and when is there any part of the body which is not written, reworked, cultivated, identified by the tools of a social symbolics? Perhaps, at the furthest frontier of these tireless writings, or piercing them through with holes, there is only the cry: it escapes, it escapes them. From the first cry to the last, something other bursts through with it; something which would be the body's difference, in turn in-fans and ill-bred, intolerable in the child, the woman possessed, the madman or the sick - a lack of 'tone', like the howling of the baby in Jeanne Dielman or that of the vice-consul in India Song" (M. de Certeau, Tools for body writing, in Flesh, tr. Paul Foss and Meaghan Morris, Broadway: Intervention, 1988, 10).

Oh, I am so I am so oh so I am oh so so oh so am I so am oh so oh I am so so so oh so pleased so am I oh so am I so oh am so so so so am oh & oh so oh oh I am so breathless oh so oh so I am oh so oh I am so & so & so glad so oh oh oh I am so oh so I am so oh so oh so am I so am I oh so am I oh I am so so & so am I oh oh so am I oh so I am I am so so oh I am so warm so so so I am so warm and pleased and so tired and little sprays of water from the fountain in the wind on a cold day when the wind blows hard and the sprays fan out onto faces and the small drops freeze on the lips in the wind on the way home usually late just on dark with barely a soul in sight except for those cold others on their way home too just before the light goes forever in the sky amongst the grey clouds with one or two planes leaving in the distance between the buildings in the early night as the wind spreads the water from the simple fountain very fine just as if on the shore in a storm and the little buds of water(s) taste almost yellow.

Inscription, its addition and its subtraction, is "an immense task of 'machining' bodies to make them spell out an order"(de Certeau, 11). It makes "bodies tell the code"(de Certeau, 11) Text 'machines' are seductive, and credible, their narratives recitable, and recounted with desire and will by bodies: bodies become signs. I am swayed, something makes sense, I am even delighted, can feel a trembling, a relief (I am comforted by yes): "(to) finally pass from this opaque and dissipated flesh, from this exorbitant and turbid life, to the limpidity of a word - to become a fragment of language, a single name, readable by others, citable "(de Certeau, 11) The body texted, language embodied, to be a recognized self, via passion for the institution (of everything): "opposed to this passion to become a sign is only the cry, departure or ecstasy, rebellion or flight of that which in the body escapes the law of the named."(de Certeau, 11)