The Overflow

It’s been a while since I wrote anything for the blog–any time I’ve been able to step beyond the confines of minor depression, I’ve been caught up in an article I’m writing about tattooing, faciality, the limits of the self and processes of signification. It’s an ekphrastic piece for a compilation that may never see the light of day, and I’m drawing on Nazi imagery along with French poststructuralism and it’s been a bit of a mad project, so far. But one that’s also immensely exciting. It’s making the small steps back to ‘normalcy’ just a little easier.

It’s a sparkling constellation of ideas and tangents: Deleuze and Guattari, bodily faces and surfaces, bloodletting, BDSM, sadism and masochism, willingness and the will, Nietzsche (maybe), Derrida (definitely), the tympan, the overflow, the Vitruvian water clock, the swastika, the claws of the Reichsadler, the tattooing needle.

Here’s a fragment, which I don’t think will make the final draft, that gives you a hint of what I’m gabbling about:

Inviting the outside in, via the tattoo gun. And letting the inside out. So that it is no longer just the surface that is ‘in touch with reality and its objects’, but also the blood. Our life-blood, that metaphor for everything that keeps us animated, moving along a trajectory out from our bodies, out into the world and into a relation that breaks down the boundary between self and world.

Today I also got my hands on a book for another of my projects, the new poetry chapbook I’m trying to write. It’s one of those great ideas that I just can’t seem to kick into reality. I want to write it. I know what I want to write. But the writing isn’t happening. Still, I’m looking forward to reading Hélène Cixous’ Hemlock to see whether it pushes me onto the right trajectory.

Yes, I’m on a Francophile kick. As usual.


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