[Jandek] Manhattan Tuesday

26 nofxfonofx at gmail.com
Sat Sep 6 04:41:38 PDT 2008

Part One (1.1)
All the phone rings are alarming
It doesn't matter
I can't escape the weight of these days
Nothing is special
No bad things
Even good things
But it's a swamp I'm stuck in
And the boggy crevices and the steep banks
And all the difficult terrain
So why do I want to signal to time
Why do I need to smash in the brain
I don't know
It keeps on and I watch the scope of the periphery
Hoping I don't have to do anything
Because I'm not up to it
Or for that matter
Not up to nothing as well
Take my mind
Take my life and give me yours
Even success is not success
Even failure is not failure
There's just this empty time I must persevere through
And what is at the other end of the moment
As if it mattered right now
Little joy pockets are hardly enough
I support the stretch of time
Keep busy of course
Struggle to survive of course
Whatever takes your idea of the abyss and postpones it
Because the unbearable state of affairs is unsustainable
You don't have to do anything
It's obvious I suppose
Jump into the fire and then respond to that place

Part Two (1.2)
How can I go on when I know
Unless I create activities
The overwhelming sense of hopelessness infuses me
And I can't see a reason to continue
It's always been this way
And I knew about it as soon as I could reflect and understand
Sometimes it's hard to create activities
The sadness deters my sense of adventure
Why bother
I know what it is
The working of life masks the utter nothingness that really is
Men go gladly to the glory of battle
On the cusp of knowing its plight
Or join with the fighters
But I can't fight no longer
I don't recognize the battle
I can't join with the fighters
It's all so useless
Why do it
Why do anything
It's always the, put one foot in front of the other
And carry on
Self-inflicted stimulation is the deathbed
Life is on the other side
The side I don't know
Investigate, calculate, contemplate
Where does it go but off and away
We are moved by our own indulgence
The contrivance of a bothered soul
Don't have time
Find a way to get past time
Mark a future spot
And just get past that time
Make the spots painful so there's
A perceived reward
On the other side
It's the way of life for all who can reflect
The moment cannot be surpassed without deft discipline
The natural instincts must be broken
The tendencies deflected
I don't attempt to prove things
React with indifference as bombarded by the world
Objects moving
Perception rebounding
God knows the use
Keep me in the coma
Why do I come out to mention things
Why describe the still air
Do I think I'll make a friend
Does someone need a fuse ignited
Question not the question
Force myself to breathe
Sit lonely in the twilight
And beg for a pulse
Yes, still here
What else
If you come at me with a weapon
I wouldn't know it
I have to go with you there
Conjure up a violent means to the end
Crazy dumb thoughts
Afternoon of insensitivity
Gratitude for the passing of time
Perhaps anon some life returns
The landscape changes
Dead things rot and become betrampled
Seeds sprout
It all continues
An aging mind wants none of it
Close the lights early
I don't want to see
Sitting on the balcony
Standing in the foyer
Head in hands
Why am I so empty
Ah, the proverbial question reappears
The quandary, the communion with the back side of life
Living long and living deep
I didn't see relativity
But I don't mind
I don't mind
There's a kind of numbness that I know

Part Three (1.3)
It seems I've been depressed all my life
I remember once when I was about eleven years old
On a summer day
I was aware of the nothingness of life
I said to my mother, there's nothing to do
She said, just go outside, you'll find something to do
So I went outside and did things
Now it seems there is more to do inside than outside
But still there's nothing to do
We simply manufacture circumstances that create a necessity to do something
Except for the procurement of basic comfort as a human being
Aside from manufactured circumstances
And the resultant required activity regarding them
Well, what is there
The play of the mind
The exercise of the body
Simply escapes from the basic reality of life's nothingness
It doesn't appear we humans are happy
We're just in situations that force us to act
The contemplation of beauty, is it enough
To build a fire and simply watch it
Why jump into the folly of the human mainstream
It seems no use
Onward we go
Condescending to expend the energy of our own being
The construction and deconstruction of a life
And still there's nothing
Well, just go outside
The elements will teach you to respond

Part Four (2.1)
Just don't care
Can't get up a reason to do anything
Too early to drink
Sun too strong
Started to go someplace
Had to come back
Just turn around
Thought of it at the start
Pushed myself
Staring out the window
No expression
Must have seen things
It's the highway
Just a dead mental pervasive feeling
Like no feeling
Like no want
Just, well, heavy
Don't want to hurt
Don't want anything
It's no use
Just lie low
Wait for tomorrow's nothing
They have hope, those creators
No creation here
Record a falling erection
The edifice of me
I don't care
Can't get up a care
I can put on a face
Learned that somewhere
But I can't let them have me
God, how worse that can be
Depression is consoling
At least it's mine
I can be a slave to depression
But at least it's mine
The scary world of losing control is far worse
No reason to be, is something I know
There's no overpowering outside force
I don't excuse myself
Well, I don't care
I don't want to care
It seems alien
Oh sure, there's beauty
I remember that
It's quiet here
No moving things
The motivation of lower beings
The shadows laying
It's just nothing's interesting
The only interesting thing is nothing
That's all I want
I care about nothing

Part Five (2.2)
Another day of not knowing
Not knowing what it's about or what to do
There's nothing to do
Is it just go outside and you'll find something to do
It appears we make the things to do
Life has been made so simple to survive
We create objectives that seem dubious in value
If we didn't accumulate things around us
We wouldn't have to think about them
Or do anything with them
So is it stare at the wall and see God
Is that simply another invention of what to do
What makes for happiness
I suppose most people find themselves in a need to produce
To accomplish basic necessities
The purchase of food and habitation
The education of children
So because these basic things don't cause me to be driven thoughtless
Bent on the animal instinct
Or befuddled with group concern
I can't die to the why that looms in my consciousness
Is it that I can't create
Or do I see the falling of making something of nothing
Because it is nothing
Maybe it's creator died
Man can have his needs so easily met
Because his superior intelligence has created efficiency
OK but what now
What does one who doesn't care do
And does he take steps to force himself to deal with the results of those steps
What's so great about beauty, nature
Sometimes feeling so physically good is depressing
If I don't do anything
It's all despair
And I want to die
Do I know too much or not enough
Going on and on and on and on beyond
Far beyond what is needed
Is that success
Why do I stay here and ask what for
If I don't want to do that
What is there to do

Part Six (2.3)
Have I always been this driven
I wonder
It's just when I stop the clock and notice
I see a body moving fast
With things to do
And I wonder to myself
Watching me move
Could I always be here and watch
It's not been my experience
Things are often so unconscious
I was going on dreaming
One night when I slept
But what to do today makes me
Think about me more often
And I catch myself running fast
And I ask why
Is it the exercise
It matters less
I know I'll continue
But I forget who I am
Taking orders, delivering things
I finally found the place
It's a move away from that reverses the drive
The energy gained
The sight of the clear basic environments
I wonder

Part Seven (2.4)
Given the gravity
It's the same chair
Slide into the spot
Gleam off the polished stone
Carved metal cast
It's all weeping outside
The observation of a slow day
Taken away, the catapult
Springboard to the next thought
All indexed
The slow steps of orderly pursuit
The unfolding execution
The small parts of the day spent not remembering
Everything is next
Quantity does not exist
We forgot to count
Crammed in a canister
All the powder contained
Great gains of consciousness
Whoever thought it would be like this
Such an even keel
Constant, controlled
The happiness of well being
Bloom the once-time annual
Capture the essence
The train must leave without me
I stand and fail to move
Wistful sad revelation
It's not necessary to continue
Trying to find something lost
Trying to find something new
You have all you want
The worship of God
Undirected by a plan
It's a glorious meander
Creamy days
Dreamy ways
The only way to compensate
Is to float into yes
Fear was the other door
The chance is freely given
Open it up
Thank you for the courage
I didn't die with the wrong bets
They just made me know
You as you appeared
Like the still breeze
I said to myself, aha
So this is what I'm living for
I didn't know it was so comfortable
All the clock watching adolescence
When will it be over so I can be free
Freedom is your loving glance
Your light dark warm chill
The feel of you through my body
The magic your embrace bestows

"To date, Jandek's released twenty-nine albums. That's the equivalent
of a tree falling in the forest- twenty nine times."
Irwin Chusid

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