Ken Edwards, Seven pieces from a book with no name
Things we thought are not connected can in fact be converted to each other. For example matter is equivalent to energy. And energy can be reduced to the material objects that we desire. Human desire defaults to human error. And error is transformed into an orrery of intricate design. But the orangery that we wander through in delight soon decays to an abandoned lot. And the abandoned place emerges through a series of tunnels and wormholes to become multi-dimensional manifolds. Many of these morph into human shapes shuddering. Those shadowy apes turn into the apex of the heart. And a heartbeat changes subtly to the tapping of a drum through a complex of long corridors. But the corridors lead nowhere they metamorphose into cosmic strings left over from the early universe. Then strings give way to brass that sings aloud. The song is rendered as a series of complex and imaginary numbers. A number substitutes for a name. Your name is called but you do not recognise it and eventually it evolves into random syllables. The phonemes shift to a series of vibrations. This fibrous mass regenerates as the pages of a book. The book has no name and its text which appears to be meaningless transmutes into iconic characters. Cartoon characters hover above a precipice and are transfigured into abstract coloured shapes that dance. The dance is remade as an image woven into a rug. The pattern resolves to a face you recognise. And the face of your loved one takes the nature of an abandoned vessel somewhere on a high ocean.
Somebody is reading this text. Therefore it exists.
Well there’s a thing. There’s something to think about. Did you ever imagine such a thing? There’s a whole thing here. What a thing to see. Would you credit it? That really is something. It’s something to behold. There’s something in it. Something you could never have imagined. But did you imagine it? Perhaps you did perhaps it was something in your imagination. Did this thing exist? Did it really exist? The thing is it was there and now it isn’t. It was there and now it’s gone. The thing is there was something there and it was really something but it’s not there any more.
History of a thought
What is the history of thought? This is too hard a question. Try again. What is the history of a thought? Even more difficult. A thought is elusive. We know that much. Where did it come from? Unknown. A thought cannot be grasped. Its progress cannot be tracked with any certainty. Its genesis is therefore even less certain than its present status. What was there before the thought? If there was nothing how then did the thought originate? How could it originate? And what thereafter? How does the thought persist? Who is doing the thinking? How can we address this question? There is a narrative to a thought but it is too hard to capture. It mutates too quickly. It moves at the speed of thought. Tracking it is tricky even when it maintains its coherence. But what if it lost coherence? What if it went elsewhere? What if it became distorted and therefore entered the realm of dream or even nightmare? And what if it were then taken up and acted upon? That doesn’t bear thinking about. But everything must run its course. Let us suppose therefore that before too long the thought is gone. It has vanished. Does the thinker then persist? Who is it who thought and then ceased thinking and does the thinker continue to exist after the thought has run its course? But has the thought really finished? Is it complete has it reached its terminus its estuary its final horizon? What has become of it? And if on the other hand still incomplete if without resolution then does the thought have a future and who will think it through? What is its future? We don’t know. So we are no wiser. We don’t even know that. This requires further thought. It’s time to think again.
That’s it. What it is. That’s what it is what it can be it is. What is it? That’s what it is. What it is to be. What it is is to be. It is a name. It is to be a name. What can it be? Is what it is. And to be that. But there is no name. There is no name for it. No name for that. No name. That is if you need a name. That is if you need but what need is there? Is there and that’s it. Is there. There is no need. You are there. You are there where it is. Just where it is. Where it is and what. Where is it? There it is. That’s where it is. That’s where you are. You are where it is where it all is. What it is what it all is is where you are. This is it. This is what it is. This is what you are. You are where you are and what you are. That is where it is and what it is. It’s the same thing. Where it all is and what it all is that is where you are and all you are. Where it all can be and what it all can be that is all you can be. But just to be. That is all. Just to be that is all. To be and what it can be. What it can be to be. That’s all it is. That’s all there is to it. All that you can be is what it is. That’s all. It is to be. Is that all? Is that all there is? To be it. To be. That’s all there is. All there is. All there is is there. Is that it? Don’t be frightened.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. And breathe out. Take it in. And let it out. Take it in. And let it out. Take it in take care. And let it all out. Take it in just take it in and take a break. And let it all come out just let it let it all come out. Take it all just take it take it all just take it all in. And let it out let it all out let it all come out. Take care take it in just take it all in just take it in and take a break. And let it out let it all come out it has to come out let it out. Take it in just take it all in just take care to take it all in just take it all just take it just take it all in then take a break. And let it out let it all out let it all come out it has to come out it’s in there and it has to come out it has to come out somehow so just let it. Take care now just take care to just take it take care to take it in take care to just take it all in now this is the moment and take a break this is the moment. And gently start to let it out to let it out gently let it out with plenty of time the time is now to let it all out it’s all in there and it’s going to come out. Now this is the moment to take it in this is the right moment to take it in and take it all in and this is what happens in the moment in the right moment. And it’s going to come out now it is now that it’s out there it’s out there out in the world now out in the world now out of this world and the time is now. So this is the right time to make a move and to move and to move to take everything in so everything comes in at the right moment with the right momentum. And out in the world the world moves it’s moving now you can see how it is how it is now the clouds on the horizon how they are moving outwards how they are moving. So it moves in and in as the time is right and in and in and in time so everything moves in and it all moves in with the right momentum but there is no other. And back it goes with movement it has movement now the clouds on the horizon and the shadows of the clouds on the horizon as they move and move out of this world and move back and across the landscape moving out and back in the movement they have. There it is now it comes in when the time is right when they have plenty of time when they are sat on the lawn they are taking it all in the music is coming in from afar the music the sounds are coming into their ears and the time is right. And this gives it shape it takes the shape of the landscape that moves under the clouds you can see the landscape in motion now it has momentum it has no other shape but the shape its momentum gives it it is the momentum that gives it shape. Because the time is right there is no other time and it is right they are right to sit on the lawn in a circle and they are taking it all in and they find inspiration in it for that’s what it is it’s like a circle it is a circle. And the shape is the momentum the shape gives momentum and the momentum gives shape in the landscape under the clouds it takes shape the landscape in this moment that occurs. Because they are sitting in a circle or a half circle in the late sun in the waning sunshine they are taking it all in the music is coming in to their ears the music is a circle and they are half listening to the music which is an inspiration. And the landscape is a moment that occurs it takes shape it is gone it shapes and is gone its shape is a moment in time it is and was it was and is no more it responds and respires. It’s like a circle it is a circle the music is a circle that is open they listen in the open they open their ears in a circle it’s like a circle the music is inspiring it’s like a circle it is an open book. And in a moment it’s gone the moment has gone it takes shape and respires and the flame creeps in in the waning sun as it goes down the flame takes shape and it flares. It is a circle it’s an open circle the music is a circle it is an open book you can go all round it and the circle surrounds it it is a circle of fire. And it respires and catches the flame catches in a moment it is a process of respiration it catches fire and takes and takes shape and takes and takes back. Then the fire takes hold the music is burning the books are burning in a circle of flame an open circle an open book in the fire that surrounds it. And takes and takes takes it back into the back where the shapes are where the human shapes are shuddering and they catch fire the bodies catch fire the human bodies are moving as they catch fire. So the fire moves into the open where the music the bodies the books are where they move and catch where they catch fire in a heartbeat two heartbeats three heartbeats four heartbeats. And so they are consumed the human shapes that shudder and move in the middle of four heartbeats they shout out loud in fear and joy. Then fear and joy consume them their bodies go up and down they shout in the midst of burning as the heartbeats race they shout the names of those they love. And love consumes them in the midst of it all all that burning they are burning creatures they are creatures of habit they are consumed by love as they burn so they burn so they do. Then fear and joy and bodies burning they are burning they shout the names. And burning creatures burn they are burning away and so they do. All the bodies will burn away and shout the names as they burn away. And so they do they burn and burn until there is nothing left and it comes to an end. They do it again and again once in every four heartbeats again and again they shout the names a million times two million times three million times four million. And soon it will come to an end even now it’s coming to an end. The names they shout the names and soon the names are all that is left. And soon it will all be done and everything begins again. The names they call and soon the names they burn. And that’s it you’re nearly done. The names the burning names. And holding and burning and nearly done. Five hundred million times six hundred million. And soon and holding. Shouting the name of love. And holding and you’re done that’s it you’re done. Do it seven hundred million times and you’re done. And that’s it you’re done.
He saw something. It was something and it was in her. In her there was a little smile. It was sudden and then it went. She danced and she smiled. There it went. There was dancing. She danced and he danced and she saw him. He was dancing too. Suddenly she saw him. He was running because it was late. He jumped the barrier and she saw him jumping. There was laughter. He saw her laughing. She laughed as he jumped. Then he laughed. There was something in it. There was recognition that was all. It was accomplished. It didn’t take long. He saw something and she saw something it was something in her and something in him and it was the same thing. Many years passed. He still saw something in her and she in him. It was the same thing.
Shearsman Books will publish a book with no name by Ken Edwards in October 2016