Final Thoughts

Kathy Acker’s visceral use of language leans into poetic technique of rhyme:

The distance between the sumptuous and the desperate feels slim in our land of consumption and prosperity. What we lack in community we make up for in the accumulation of stuff—and the time spent caring for these objects. “The excess of appetite we call greed is actually a form of despair,” Adam Phillips writes in On Balance. “It is not that appetite is excessive; it is that our fear of frustration is excessive.” Our excesses offer the best trail of crumbs and clues “to our poverty, and our best way of concealing it from ourselves.” To add more words, to create an excessive accumulation of word-things, doesn’t give the impression of luxury so much as reveal the obsession with paucity in modern life. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s gorgeous descriptions rendered us feeling poorer somehow. Think about lush object enumerations and lists as a strategy to write loneliness, to reveal it in characterization without having to declare it.


And to quote Maurice Blanchot, whose own silences still haunt his texts:

“To write is to let fascination rule language. It is to stay in touch, through language, in language, with the absolute milieu where the thing becomes image again, where the image, instead of alluding to some particular feature, becomes an allusion to the featureless, and instead of a form drawn upon absence, the opaque, empty opening onto that which is when there is no more world, when there is no world yet.”

This is an argument towards fascination—towards the strangest argument you can make on paper in the shape of a story, a scene, a life, a dream.