David Herrle interviews Megan Volpert about ORDER SUTRA

published by Lame House Press, 2015
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What is honor?  A word…Air. – Falstaff, Henry IV 

Comedian Steven Wright has a bit in which he prefaces a silly song by saying “This next song doesn’t go something like this, it goes exactly like this.” Contrarily, Megan Volpert, author of the new chapbook, Order Sutra, seems to always say “This next song doesn’t go something like this, it doesn’t go anything like this.” Thanks to her appreciation for Deconstructive/Post-Structuralist thinking, she delights in language-bending, shuffling signifiers and signifieds like a card sharp, and contributing to philosophical rupture and decentering. Megan’s benevolent sneers and silly giggles at what many consider to be ultimately non-transcendental language might be summed up in Karl Schlegel’s words from Athenaeum: “Truly, it would frighten you if the entire world seriously became comprehensible, as you demand it.” 

It also complies with the laughter and dance dear Nietzsche prescribed in place of either a sick seriousness in the face of illusory truths or the gloominess of realizing that the once awe-striking mountain disappoints us once we’ve climbed it. That is a primary thing he admired in the Greeks: their being “superficial – out of profundity.” I think this is where Deconstruction and such can flourish responsibly, without spirit-slaying nihilism: daring to dissect language, convention, tradition, abstraction, cultural norms and societal sacred cows while also rejoicing in the inevitability and necessity of language’s signs and even chimeras, maturely understanding the worth of some constructs instead of tearing down every time-tested Bastille with reckless glee or spite. After all, it was Jacques Derrida who said that “the experience of a ‘deconstruction’…begins by paying homage to that which, to those whom, it ‘takes on.’” In spite of my overall contempt for Rousseau, a passage from his Essay on the Origin of Languages is apt here: “[T]he dreams of a bad night are given to us as philosophy. You will say that I too am a dreamer; I admit it, but I do what others fail to do, I give my dreams as dreams, and leave the reader to discover whether there is anything in them which may prove useful to those who are awake.” 

“[L]anguage is so limited compared to what we think and feel that we are obliged to lie, words themselves are lies,” says Jorge Borges, who is a key factor in Volpert’s Order Sutra, incidentally. I think it’s telling that in his “Borges and I” this confused conclusion is reached: “I am not sure which of us it is that’s writing this page…I am doomed – utterly and inevitably – to oblivion.” It’s the same self-doubt that David Hume came to. Literary theorist Paul de Man claimed to defend literature, but many think his doubtful readings threatened it. The “This is not a pipe” of Magritte’s Treachery of Images leads Michel Foucault farther astray than the artist intended, I think, so that in his study of the famous “calligram” Foucault concludes that “the ‘pipe’…has utterly vanished…Nowhere is there a pipe.” It’s not that the center cannot hold; there was no center to begin with. The elephant in the room is the realization that there is no elephant in the room. How did Orson Welles describe stylistic filmmaker Antonioni? “An architect of empty boxes.”

Foucault, who is more radical than Derrida (and Lacan, who saw the signified as having a value in itself, as a representation of the repression of the signified), rejects any primal, truly coherent signs and faults the belief in them as fatal to interpretation, and Ferdinand de Saussure, father of “binary opposition” and such, casts doubt on the existence of an actual supra-structural signified. All things trapped in arbitrary language are signs swirling in an ocean of signs, without locus or transcendence. Only expert (or Volpert) swimmers should dare to dive into these waters lest they drown, for, as Manfred Frank put it, “to question the legitimacy of rationality means nothing less than to place the authority whose name granted legitimacy under suspicion.” My favorite Stoic, Epictetus, said that “propositions that are true and evident are necessarily made use of even by those who contradict them.” Add to this what might be my favorite deconstruction of Deconstruction, a passage from C.S. Lewis’ undervalued The Abolition of Man:

But you cannot go on “explaining away” forever: you will find that you have explained explanation itself away. You cannot go on “seeing through” things forever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it…It is no use trying to “see through” first principles. If you see through everything, then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To “see through” all things is the same as not to see. 

“One does not deconstruct simply by progressing, without risks,” warns Derrida. “One must always reaffirm something of the part in order to avoid a relapse into something worse.” He also said that philosophy kills itself with its own weapons. Extreme Deconstruction easily leads to a kind of destruction, and it has the power to annihilate even precious metaphors and similes. (Consider Mallarme: “I cancel the word ‘like’ from the dictionary.”) Obliteration of language is shown by 2001: A Space Odyssey’s H.A.L., who seems more human than his somnolent human cohorts, until Dave “murders” him by shutting down his synthetic brain and his speech degenerates into childish singing and finally pre-lingual infancy. This, of course, is echoed in the demonic gibberish of a dying and insane Jack Torrance at the end of The Shining. Eventually we come to the end of language and the bottomless fall into oblivion. 

Slavoj Zizek talks of a “blind spot” that prevents us from ever seeing reality as a whole, since that blind spot is where we are included in reality, but, as Renato Pugglioli says, “poetry and language conspire to transcend the world of the senses, to attain a superreality which is at once a sublimation and a negation of human and terrestrial reality.” Yeah, so what? Such grandness comes with the game. And, for the most part, the game keeps a lot of us from becoming gibbering – or infinitely typing – monkeys. (I carry a flask of logocentrism in my pocket, just in case.)


My first major exposure to Volpert’s exploration of this stuff came from her Desense of Nonfense (BlazeVOX Books, 2009), which, of course, brings to mind G.K. Chesterton’s “Defence [sic] of Nonsense,” an essay in The Defendant that basically praises the nonsensical path as an escape into a freer world (not in Dada’s rather sinister style but rather in that of the fairy tale or Lewis Carroll) and “the huge and undecipherable unreason of [Creation].” In a review I called Volpert’s Desense “both a pie in the face and a skewer,” and I still think that’s a perfect way to describe her philosophically/linguistically charged work and her strong humor. For example, I’m particularly impressed by the structure of Order Sutra’s “included in the present classification,” which features word groupings that amble along in alliterative alphabetical order while maintaining a coherent incoherence: from “Autism and Asperger’s always appreciate better brain command, control” to “Xanaxing yesterday’s younger years, your zoo Zeused.” Turning Xanax and Zeus into verbs alone deserves applause. 

Also, Volpert’s strongest strength may be her focus on or specialization in a chosen subject, coupled with a deft ability to present “heavy” material in palatable prose-poems, to use a weak term. My own essayish prose often masquerades as free-verse and tends to be aphoristic, and I think that’s a big reason why I enjoy how Volpert writes, for her pieces can be classified as bite-size essays rather than over-filling four-course intellectual meals. 

This charming chapbook (I have number 27 out of only 100 printed copies) is primarily inspired by the preface of Foucault’s Order of Things, in which he recalls the personal upheaval caused by Borges’ fictional Chinese encyclopedia, the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. Volpert’s poem titles are exact lines from Borges’ bizarre taxonomical list: those that belong to the Emperor, embalmed ones, those that are trained, suckling pigs, mermaids, fabulous ones, stray dogs, those included in the present classification, those that tremble as if they were mad, innumerable ones, those drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, others, those that have just broken a flower vase, those that from a long way off look like flies. Borges as a rupturing elemental in a tenuously ordered world is obvious in Foucault’s dramatic account:

This book arose out of a passage in Borges, out of the laughter that shattered all the familiar landmarks of my thought…breaking up all the ordered surfaces and all the planes with which we are accustomed to tame the wild profusion of existing things, and continuing long afterwards to disturb and threaten with collapse our age-old distinction between the Same and the Other.

When I asked for an electronic copy of the stamped title and “logo” on the chap’s cover, Megan revealed that “because the chap is handmade and stamped, pics of the cover don’t do any justice to the 3D element.” So, even this access problem, this failure of rendering, adds to the whole theme of language’s limitations.

Literary and philosophical theories feed each other overall, and the wonderful richness of discourse is best juggled by performers like the author of Order Sutra, those who seem to smile at what would perplex and even terrify the mass, if the mass decided to finally tune in. Rather than a straight review of this chapbook, I opted to interview its author so that we can take a rocket ride with a wider, wilder view.

In the interview she defends a respect for form over content, repelling a lot of the thrusts of my monologue-ish questions – which results in a near-hostility for the whole nature of interview, undercutting it, as if the interviewer has too much ado about knowing and should, rather, only skate across the icy surface of an artist’s presentation, leaving the water and fish and Lord knows what else underneath alone. But, just like shit, content happens, intentionally or not. That’s part of the overall beauty of criticism and philosophy, the world of swirling symbols that fascinated Swedenborg, Blake and countless others.




David: The subtitle of Order Sutra is “Confirming everything’s probably under control.” Aside from its Dr. Strangelove/Catch-22 vibe, can this be considered a lampoon of logic? I agree with G.K. Chesterton’s belief that logic is as good for “griffins and basilisks as about sheep and pigs,” that logic doesn’t necessarily lead to truth. Nietzsche said that logic has an illogical basis, and he advised realists that their “sobriety contains a secret and inextinguishable drunkenness.” The turbulent human soul certainly confounds logic forever. “On pretty promises quietly rely” is one of the best lines in the book. You could just as well have written “premises” instead of “promises.” What do you think of logic? Explain the book’s title and subtitle.

I agree with Chesterton because logic is a form, not a content. Nietzsche is a VIP on the list of dead people I’d like to see at my dinner table. No comment on the presupposition of a human soul, though I will vouch for a turbulence.

You’ve got my secret tagline and actual tagline there. The stamp on the title page says “confirming everything’s under control” for a couple of reasons. One, every time I’m trapped in a situation with a bunch of other clueless people, they look to me for answers. This has been happening since I was a kid. It’s a flattering responsibility. The thing to do when it’s handed to you is to confirm that everything’s under control, to assure people you’re going to do your best. Two, the quiet meanness of radical uncertainty must be hilarious. We have no reason to believe everything is under control. If that’s not funny, we’re toast. So I tried to highlight it.

The original draft did say “premises” instead of “promises”! I only changed it to wobble the vowel sounds for a quick second, but I’m glad you heard the other word caught in a strong undertow there. The line you refer to as a subtitle is very attached to my personal brand–the embossing stamp we used to make it doubles as my personal stationery-maker–but “on pretty promises quietly rely” is really the thesis statement and ultimate tonal note for what this book is about. It’s what you’d put on the t-shirt–in a font that speaks to the hissing, venomous quality of the idea.

To borrow from Ani DiFranco, I think “every tool is a weapon, if you hold it right.” That’s logic’s essential nature. The title points at the repetitive prayer of the sutra, a faith that at least on its face seems contrary to logic. Order, as a primary symptom of logic, is everywhere in language. So the title hints at a blend of these approaches to communication, the divine dailiness of the thought patterns implicit in our languages.


From your “tame”: “The flower did not possess most of the properties of a flower. I made it out of pipe cleaners…This flower was a sturdy thing that had no concern for sun or water…I had no need for the flowers called real.” This reminds me of Jorge Borges’ “The Other Tiger” poem and Magritte’s The Treachery of Images painting, which depicts a pipe and includes the koan-like text “This is not a pipe.” These two works play with art and reality. From “The Other Tiger”:

…the tiger addressed in my poem
Is a shadowy beast, a tiger of symbols…
A string of laboured tropes that have no life…
But by the act of giving it a name…
It becomes a fiction, not a living beast…

…Yet nonetheless some force keeps driving me
In this vague, unreasonable and ancient quest,
And I go on pursuing through the hours
The other tiger, the one not found in verse.

Borges posits a huge chasm between art and real life. “[T]he moment I write about the tiger, the tiger isn’t the tiger, he becomes a set of words in the poem,” he told Richard Burgin in an interview. Burgin: “You’ll always be trying to capture the tiger.” Borges: “Yes, because the tiger will always be…” Burgin: “…outside of art.” Your thoughts? Is it fine, especially in our age of virtuality, to prefer a fake flower to a real one?

I’ve been pretty near to getting a tattoo of The Treachery of Images a couple of times. “The Other Tiger” beats the same path as John Yau’s “830 Fireplace Road,” which I’ve talked about before. But to keep to your Borges example, I’m super interested in the “always be trying to capture” impulse part, and not particularly keen on art versus life, inside versus outside, fake versus real. I wrote a book about Warhol, you know? Why should we care about the content on either side of the dichotomy? It’s the reaching across the dichotomy, the form of or the act of bridging two things. That I like to investigate.

So that’s the answer your question, but for my money, the main thing about “tame” to focus on is the heavily Victorian diction and syntax. This book showcases a wide variety of kinds of English. I’d be unforgivably remiss not to include a slice of dusty old white sensibility in a museum of Englishes. And to classify it as tame. I think it’s fine in our age of virtuality to prefer fake or real flowers, but it’s marginally smarter just to prefer flowers generally.


“having just broken the water pitcher,” which is structured both like a Mad Lib and a document with suggestive, silly redactions, ends with two grade-A clichés, which dovetails with how you ended a piece called “et cetera”: “and and and, but there it is.” Oh, the insipidity! Often, a loss for words boils down to a barren bromide, a weak or desperate attempt to force terms into space that belongs to the ellipsis. “that from a long way off look like flies,” the final – and cleverest – piece in the book, features Morse and binary code. Its closing line, the binary code’s translation, “What hath language wrought?” (cleverly playing on the first thing Sam Morse ever telegraphed back in the 1840s: “What hath God wrought?”), also is the closing line of the entire book. The page that follows is blank, and I can’t help but wonder if it’s meant as the actual final piece, an answer to the question, no word being the last word. Please enlighten us. Or confuse us further. Or both.

You believe I have everything under control, huh? Right down to inserting a final blank page as a special message for your contemplation? Thanks! I told the publisher, Gina Myers, about precisely this phenomenon, where readers give me 100% credit for every aspect of the book right down to its entire design. She was a little worried that some of the square holes we cut in the front cover had imprecise edges. We sat there and did them by hand together in her kitchen, and I said, “Gina, don’t worry. Because no matter what mistakes I make, my readers credit me with intentionality.” It such a beautiful goddamn blessing. Honestly, I’m lucky my readers are smart, and I’m lucky they work hard to dig into whatever I’m giving them. But I have to crawl humbly back to the hilarity of it when I get interview questions about whether the blank page in the back matter was deliberately put there by me or not.

This isn’t my first back matter controversy, either! My ongoing publisher with Sibling Rivalry Press, Bryan Borland, will vouch for me on this. Somewhere in the edits for the This assignment is so gay anthology, our wires got crossed and I sent him back a copy of the manuscript that still had a giant “blank page – do not cut” watermark across it once all the back matter was already loaded in. Fortunately it shook itself out before the printing, but that’s the level of intent people tend to attach to my work. Truly, it makes me feel like a fucking mastermind. Like Paul Auster or something. I have typos and do occasionally moronic things just like everyone else (including Paul Auster).

“Et cetera” is about the anxiety that is supposed to be alleviated by order. But Hunter Thompson ran for Sheriff in Aspen in 1970, right? “And and and” did anybody feel less anxious because of his ability to impose order? I appreciate so much that the audience for my work credits me with such a profound degree of control over my communications. But I’m basically running a “Thompson for Sheriff” campaign.


Art as commentary on art, language as commentary on language. The fun never ends. The fourth wall has been knocked down; everything is discourse. Oorah! As Renato Pugglioli pointed out, poetry has become “idea-thing” more than “sound-sense.” The first piece in Order Sutra, “belonging to the emperor,” opens with these striking lines: “I love ideas. I am furious and love furiously. This makes my ideas furious. I furiously love my furious ideas.” What are your pet ideas? I assume that you dig Foucault, Chomsky and the like, but who are your other pet writers, literary theorists, philosophers? During research or just for fun, are you a dabbler or a deep-sea diver? What do you think of contemporary self-conscious art?

Poggioli said that at least fifty years ago, likely more, and here we still are. I don’t know if this book should even be referred to as poetry. My native non-fictional tendencies are turning into like a giant whack-a-mole game or something now, just popping up in every creative impulse I have toward a blank page, and I feel like everything I’ve been doing lately is some kind of essay work. This book is flash essay, maybe. And it also pays tremendous attention to “sound-sense,” even just in your sample quote, so if poetry isn’t about that anymore, there’s another reason it’s unwise to classify this book as poetry. I did a good job reverse-engineering that conclusion just now, huh? Logic!

I save dabbling for guitar. My readers expect a deep dive and I do my best on that score. My mind is naturally inclined to it, I think. When I look back at my first two or three books of things I really did think of as poems, I see them now as these enormously unwieldy redactions of essays on language. Like I wrote a doctoral dissertation on linguistics and then selectively highlighted a bunch of buzzwords that boiled down to become the full text. I don’t regret the abstractness of the early stuff, but now I like to fill in the blanks and reach a few more people with many of the same ideas I’ve had for a long time.

But you probably just want me to drop a list on you, huh? OK, here’s a bunch of what my summer included. Dead: Roland Barthes, Mikhail Bakhtin, Aristophanes, George Harrison, Susan Sontag, Alexander Pope (with a hat-tip to JS van Buskirk). Alive: Wayne Koestenbaum, Tom Petty, Peter Sloterdijk, Fran Lebowitz, Anthony Bourdain, Michelle Orange. I can definitely confirm that some of those alive people may or may not be making “contemporary self-conscious art.” And like me, they do not really give a fuck what you call it.


David: Here are highlights from “sirens,” my favorite piece in Order Sutra:

The world is made of icebergs. Inside each is a tiny splinter slowly tearing the entire thing apart, and
the racing of this hairline crack makes a noise meant for just one person. That noise is irresistible. It
compels the person meant to hear it into a pilgrimage toward the sound. Therefore, I am going to
Graceland. If the sound fades as I get nearer, perhaps I will turn instead toward Asbury Park.
Sometimes one reaches the sound only to realize it has been misheard, that it was not a fissure singing
in some block of ice. It was a hurricane. You are not meant to crash upon it. It is meant to crash upon
you. Perhaps you are the iceberg, wetly built by a steady onslaught of hurricanes that frost against the
creeping alertness to what is cold.

Your iceberg and its weird Siren call remind me of the white whale’s elusiveness and obscurity, the thrill of the chase and the ironic failure of incomplete discovery in Melville’s Moby-Dick, a book that, like Shakespeare’s stuff, contains everything. Didn’t Ishmael describe the craving of the craving involved in the futile pursuit of jouissance, or the self’s basic inscrutability, when he said the following? “The more I consider [the whale’s] mighty tail, the more I do deplore my inability to express it…Dissect him how I may, then, I but go skin deep; I know him not, and never will…I say he has no face.” Moby-Dick crashed upon enraged Ahab though Ahab sought to crash upon him. Think of Luke Skywalker training with Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, when he decapitates the apparition of Darth Vader and sees his own face behind the despised mask. Am I all wet? Please tell us more about “sirens.”


That piece name-checks the cities associated with Springsteen and Elvis. But then the Elvis bit is actually about Paul Simon, directly copying his “I’m going to Graceland.” Going to Graceland is pretty much the same as chasing the white whale. And there’s a lot of slaying of the father a la Skywalker laced through those metaphors. They’re all a grim pilgrimage, for those crazy few who’re bent on getting healed no matter the cost in the meantime. The more I thought about Simon’s take on it, the more I began to see it as a siren’s song, straight out of Greek mythology. You may be hurtling toward your doom, but hell, you’re doomed if you just stand around here anyway. Might as well fall prey to the sirens.

For me, all of Greek myth is somehow set in a place with warm temperatures. When I try deliberately to think about some of my favorite myths taking place in the freezing cold, that just doesn’t do it for me. But think of all the stories of a grim pilgrimage that do take place in the cold. Liam Neeson made an action movie out of that, you know? Perhaps because of my fascination with logic, I get classified as cold a lot more often than I get classified as hot. So I drew upon my own sense of longing, referencing the music that spoke to me in a way that evoked those feelings, and then threaded it through the image of an iceberg.

Then there’s the big turn right at the end with a little bit of (form alert) who’s-on-first type reversal. I think whenever the stakes in your life are truly high and there’s a lot on the table, it can shake down 50-50 right up until the last second a lot of times. We live in a state of suspense vis-a-vis the future, thanks to our form of time. And we might be doomed or we might be saved. You have to live in the face of that. I think this kind of uncertainty has a theme song, and it’s the song of sirens.


In “belonging to the Emperor” you write “I love the idea of contradiction.” Right on, sister. However, to be honest, thanks to my hetero why-curiosity, I thought Is there much contradiction in the physical part of a gay relationship? I assumed that same-sex affection must be an erotic mirroring rather than complements in tension. In James Baldwin’s lovely Another Country bisexual Vivaldo thinks after sleeping with another man: “How strange it felt, this violent muscle…so like his own, but belonging to another! And this chest, this belly, these legs, were like his…It was…like making love in the midst of mirrors…” Joyce McDougall contradicted Judith Butler’s psychoanalytical concern about gay folks lacking an Oedipal conflict in her point that “there is also the homosexual oedipal drama which also implies a double aim, that of having exclusive possession of the same-sex parent and that of being the parent of the opposite sex.”

More Another Country: “[T]his masculinity was defined, and made powerful, by something which was not masculine. But it was not feminine, either, and something in Vivaldo resisted the word androgynous…But, as most women are not gentle, nor most men strong, it was a face which suggested, resonantly, in the depths the truth about our natures.” Of course, there’s Virginia Woolf’s wonderful Orlando, in which male Orlando turns into a female: “Different though the sexes are, they intermix.” Similarly, in an interview we did several years ago you said, “Like all things, I think femininity and masculinity are distinctive up to a certain point, at which point distinction itself as a mode of understanding collapses.” The free jazz of human bodiness fascinates me – which isn’t to downplay peculiar, poignant male-female interplay. Your thoughts on contradiction, gender and sexuality? Do you have a metaphysic of your nature as a lesbian?

I find your question barely connected to Order Sutra, but that doesn’t mean I won’t answer it. Also, let me point out that I seldom identify as a lesbian. To people that understand what the hell I’m talking about, I identify as queer. “Lesbian” is a label I’ll toss out just to give your grandmother something she might be able to digest. I try to assert my difference using whatever type of English the audience is most likely to comprehend. I don’t have a metaphysic on my nature because having one doesn’t make it any easier to live day to day. So I’m agnostic about being a queer. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like to look in the mirror though. Again, your concern for content is beside the point. Contradiction is a form. Gender is a form. Sexuality is a form. Fill them up with whatever content you want.

Contradiction as a form appears often in Order Sutra. Gender and sexuality, much less so. It seems clear that language can be encoded with masculine or feminine or queer or straight markers. Passive versus active voice in the syntax, particular diction choices about words that men will only use in the company of each other, etc. The “embalmed” piece, which is probably my own favorite in the book, is meant to be inflected robotically. When I read it for an audience, I approximate the smartphone Siri voice. People spend a lot of time on the gendered or sexualizing content of a text, but why not spend the same amount of time on its form? Is contradiction an inherently masculine formation of logic, for example? The voice of that piece does sound extremely masculine, even without knowing the speaker is an emperor. Even without the content of the words. In the end, what I said a few years ago still sounds totally correct: “distinction as a mode of understanding itself collapses.”


“frenzied” involves criticism of hostility toward the Other and satirizes the often myopic notion of true civilization, the utopian Bodysnatcher mentality: “The women are frenzied. The homosexuals are frenzied…You are one of us now. Therefore, you are not frenzied.” While the implications are obvious, please tell us more about the piece. Do you think a more honest discourse and genuine harmony (not utopian, for all utopias are dystopias) can be achieved now that sexuality and gender issues are so prevalent, mainstream and mighty today?

It’s a “waiting for the barbarians” thing, which is about both Cavafy and Nietzsche. This is written in the minor key of irate bosses – a little more honest than it’d like to be, and definitely not interested in harmony. It’s a piece that blue collar folks will laugh about, because they’ll recognize these noises. The voice of this text is holding a clipboard and checking your work, and it’s annoying. But it’s also annoyed. It thinks you’re the dumb one and it has no self-awareness outside of saving its own skin under company policy. It’s faux benevolent and it reeks of marketing.

I’m only a dabbler in guitar, so I know relatively little about harmony. A lot of people find me genuine–too much so. My seeming ability to be genuine may run contrary to any ability to achieve harmony. Though the particulars of gender or sexuality may be proliferating through the courts and televisions, I see no end of otherizing. We rely upon it far too much as a form. I mean, even think about how I’ve structured my response to your questions. I’ve been constantly dismissing your urge to analyze content, privileging instead some idea of functions that purport to be “whatever is outside of content.” To readers of the interview at this point, you’re likely coming across as “frenzied.”

Ah, shit…did I just step into your fantasy that I have everything here under control? You belong to the emperor now, son! Ha ha. Let us please always arrive at a joke together. There’s your fucking harmony. That’s the absolute best humanity can do. Order Sutra is full of jokes, I hope. Some more doomy than others, I hope.


Let’s return to “belonging to the emperor” again. I can’t shake the “I am furious and love furiously” line. So perfect. I’ve found that the deepest, bluest melancholy splits open and spills out a furious love, an indiscriminate joy. There must be something to this, right? Despite all the false forms and illusions, there is love, isn’t there? Well, what the hell is it? And where does it come from?

I don’t know where love comes from, but love is indeed existent. And I know where all existences try to go: language.