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The Cave and the Marketplace

Last week I finished writing Chapter 6 (out of eight) of Hylozoic, and now I’m writing a “thought experiment” story about infinity for an anthology about infinity for an academic publisher.

[Note the three-eyed skull in a Mission street-poster outside Atlas Cafe for a band called “Psychedelic Horseshi*t”.]

My working title is “The Aktuals.” In German, “actual infinite” is “aktual-unendlich,” and I plan to refer to my transfinite beings as Aktuals, thus the title.

I’d like the story that does for infinity what Flatland does for the fourth dimension. My story will begin with the discovery that we share our world with transfinite beings, followed by the realization that we ourselves are transfinite (or can become transfinite) and a dramatic exfoliation of the consequences.

I’m right at the tricky part that comes after the gerneralized B. S. and before the actual writing — the hard-to-explain transition where the muse comes to see me and I get an actual story.

Looking for input from the world right now. We spent the night in Berkeley after the concert, then killed the day in Berkeley and the Mission, going to a friend’s wedding Sat eve near Borderlands Books. My fans out, seining for visions.

The curry and coconut udon with grilled chicken soup at Noodle Theory.

I did my concert with Roy Whelden’s group last night, the music was lovely, and the projector was strong.

I served as the transducer crystal, connecting the sound to the video. It was a little tricky for me, keeping up with the changes. Like skiing steeply downhill in an unfamiliar videogame. And of course CAPOW, which never crashes, crashed a few times due to “demo effect,” but I was able to recover quickly each time.

I got to meet Karen Clark in the flesh, taller than expected, the woman who sang my words, “Oh man, we are in heaven, for sure, for sure.” Great to see her.

Combing the images of the weekend. The Asian students’ food court in the night off Telegraph Ave; the Bekeley bums screaming curses at me.

Looking out the window of the Durant Hotel this morning, pondering the odd twitching motions of the lower limbs that humans use to move themselves through space (they call it “walking.”)

The sunlight on the pastel walls near the Atlas Cafe in the Mission.

Sat in Ritual Roasters Coffee Shop later on. Some of the framed art on display consists of memoir-fragments hand-written black on white and framed. The closest talks about padding out on a surfboard at Ocean Beach for the first time in a long time. “I almost cried it felt so good.” And I’m like, yeah, I understand. And I’m thinking that in Kyoto I wouldn’t be able to read the writing, and if I could read it, the spot mentioned would mean nothing to me. It’s nice to be where I know what’s going on.

In Modern Times Books on Valencia street, I read a comic by the amazing Jim Woodring comic, “The Lute String, Part I,” in the latest issue of Mome, that shifts POV into a higher world with an elephant god (Ganesh?), and the elephant dances through starry space, leaving a multi-layer trail. One layer of the trail is our ordinary reality, Mom and Dad and the kids; another is a cloud of Hindu deities. Equally unlikely and strange.

Closing the book and looking up I see a guy, his head, he’s behind a bookcase, and I’m thinking how remarkable to be incarnated here, among the humans. I bought this issue of Mome for further study; above is the frame I’m talkin’ about. (In case you don’t know, “mome” means “far from home,” as in “the mome raths did outgrabe,” meaning, “the lost animals-somewhat-like-pigs made a noise like a bellow and a sneeze” —see Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass). I had raths in my novel Freeware, too.

I can think like a mome rath and outgrabe my infinity story now. Joy. I’m glad to be off the road and done with the PR push for Postsingular. My legs hurt. Out of the marketplace and back in the cave.

4 Responses to “The Cave and the Marketplace”

  1. Ian Holmes Says:

    Oh man, I cannot BELIEVE that you were giving that concert in the College Ave Presbyterian Church on Friday and we walked RIGHT BY there, wondering about the buzz that surrounded the place, but a little too hungry to actually go inside. I should definitely check your blog more frequently! It’s hard to get out to concerts and booksignings and such with a 2-year-old, but please do keep posting them up here. Maybe one day I’ll get to one of them…

  2. Gamma Says:

    hey thanx fer the good blog – over here across the big pond – the Guardian have had a listing of a 1000 Albums to Hear Before you Die – it includes alot of VARIOUS — no Mothers…

    just a bitch

    or something what next a 1000 books to read?

  3. Keith Talent Says:

    Is the German aktual-unendlich akin to Aristotle’s notion of actual infiinity (as constrasted with merely potential infinity)? Sounds like you have an interesting premise for a story there, I’d be interested to hear how the Aktuals’ perception differs from finite beings.

  4. rs Says:

    it might be interesting to explore some sort of duality between the transfinite aktuals and finite humans. maybe it turns out we are a projection of a thought of an aktual. Maybe aktual fill up space and time and get cramped and tired of bumping into each other and so the project down to space-time to chill.

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