Prose · Alphabet City · 1997, No. 6, pages 92–97 · Photo: Bigert & Bergström, »Loop,« installation, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (1995)
Now hear this. This is me. Come here. It is me. The recycler. I am here. Come hear. This is me. Ah it is saying things like this that force your focus. The things that happen twice eh. Hear this here then. And hear it good. I am the resayer. I am the redoer. I am that second-to-none second mover. I sap sentences. Oh I do. After the mouthing and its airing the act and what ensues I zap them. I do them good. I peruse and pursue. Then I store it all. The said. I restore it. Sentencing it to the ward for words waiting to be redone. The bidding bucket the call bin the big and bulky voice pen. Call it what you will. This heap committed to respeech. Nothing too insignificant for me oh no. All is fine it really is. Well it is. I am in the hubbub racket. Doing rehub. Oh but I am. I retrieve. In the searing second of a standstill or in some load of time. It does not matter. Charting the outskirts of orality or testing the stealth relays for vocal dust. Or elsewhere. Somewhere. No it does not matter. I get to get to it. Somewhere. Elsewhere. Always. That is me. The recycler. I check. compile. Pile. And collect. Storing it all so that when it has been said and gone it may be said again and on from there on and on. Into nowhere I say it. Countdown recreation. Say it into nowhere I do and out and gone. It is a vocation like any other. It is mine. I am the againer. Slap the world any way it flaps back. I say. Turn the dial past zero it is back to one. Or so I say. So I slap the word. And it flaps back. I turn its dial past zero. And it is back to one. I slap and zap it I do until next time it must be said and slapped to be gone and gone again then back. When now is no longer but said and gone I say it again then I must lay it on. It is my thing. I am the retriever. I am the redoer. Yes then I say it over and on using the mouth now laying it on here I say it over there and gone. My againmouth. Slap. Flap. I do. One zero one and so on. For I am the reuser. I am the recharger. I am the second-to-none second mover. And the said must be resaid I say. That is my trade. I do rehub. Well. I said that. At times I admit I tend to tell the mouth to do the job for me I tend to tell it to resay it all by itself again and time again I tell it do so that it is gone again. That tends to be when I am tired. Too tired for words know what I mean. I tend to tell it to do so I admit telling it to say so to be gone again. I do. On and gone I say. I admit. When I am tired I tend to. But mind I can need some help. With all this zero-one stuff and what not. And I know a mouth when I hear one. It is not an easy thing to do the doing I am doing. Oh no. Nor is telling the mouth to say the said again an easy thing to do it is not. No way. No it is not. It is wearing. Well it is. Still. Ah nothing. Well. Still once my mouth once it will be ready very ready indeed ready to find a way on its own into what is vanished and gone in order to resay it itself. Without my saying so you know. That will be sometime coming none too soon I must say. That is my mouth I will say then. That is it. Saying it along its way so to say. Sashaying it and learning it to cope with all that respeech. A slow sullen show it may be or a swift sway and away. But just wait and see I tend to say. That is my way. Just to wait and see. Or so I say. It may fumble a mumble the way a wino will his willess key. Or snake its way into the saying like a fast fuse lit with menace. Its manners will be many its ways will wary. But that just goes to show. So when I have said the said away I tend to turn to the mouth tend to turn to tell whether it is ready to say from now on whether it is ready again to say it all itself. And it seems to begin to be. Yeah it seems to begin to be. That is my mouth I say. It is I will say. That is my mouth. What with doing that stuff to the said itself. My againmouth. Now this will help. Sure will. Grand. For once the said is said and done away with you should not think it is over and done with oh no. That is when it begins to get real. Reel real. That is when I well we come in. To do our thing. Me and my mouth. It is our job we say. The said having been said away we will resay the said-away. For you should not think no you should not think you could shape an escape once the said is gone and no longer on but away. That is not the case. No very much not it is not. Uhn-uhn. Little words litter the air. Everywhere. Cling kick sting stick. They do. Oh they loiter. So we must do our thing. And do it good. Me the recycler and Mr. Mouth the maintainer. What an act. We will strip the air of its thin worn wear. Scrubbing off that wary tissue. Removing webs still stuck to the vent in which they dally-ho did do their talk-travel. Uh huh. Sifting through layers of ether for scrubs of saying. All these specks of speak. Or getting the remnants of repeat out of the lung exhaust the way you clean a pipe or clean a throat. Sometimes there may be a bump and the said will spring at you like an air bag. Other times glosses will be so glib and glossy you will slip the slope down to their oily coil of slime. But no matter oh no. It must all be gathered and made use of again. Imagine. All that snick-snackety waste. For it may irridate everything in its immediate area with toxic prolixity. Toxic. If-you-know-what-I-mean. I am talking toxic. Without us the air would be too said up it would. Too toxed up for sure to boot. Rush loom mushrooming large. Or. Well. Some such. So we will go in and do our thing. Mr. Mouth and I. We will make the air usable again. I am the recycler. He is the maintainer. We say it is our job. For it is a job to do. We say the air is here to stay we say. He and I. He with his word ward waiting in that maintainer. And I sporting the spinning gear of resaying. Quite the pair we are. Oh yes. Quite we are. Do not get me wrong mind. There is no other way. Making the saying an escape through which the said could vanish into the world would be interminable labor. It may seem it would not be maybe but it would be interminable would be and it is. It is the air you see. The word is in the world and saying the said away is interminable for the air turns it always returns. This way or that. Always does you know. Return it will always return when it has had its turn to be said into existence. No matter what. So shaping some escape will not do. No way. Better to strip the ether of its coat. Make it usable again we say. That is our thing. We are the removers redoers sound surrounders well we are. When some said has been said away say I will sift it sampling the air I will and tell Mr. Mouth to store it. I will say store it again Mr. Mouth I will say so that again it may be put to use. It will be back again soon oh sure so well. Then again it will not be. And again it will be. But mind such is the equation. It is all pneumatics. Zeroes and ones. And this is our job. No point then no point no to try to get away with saying the said away you would not get away with it you would not if you wanted to. The world is not in the word nah-nah but the word is in the world. For it is in the air. You may think that saying the said again will do believing that again it will not be. It will not do. It cannot be it that it cannot be. All there is you see all there is and will be are spherical shades shuffling their vacuity to and fro. Like worn down slippers. Lung trash trotting about. It is legion. Again and again there they will be. Interim quiddities doing their bit of re-being. That is all there is to be. The resaids. Oh the ether revenants. Or you may think the mouth some nullity ward. A perishing parish or a hall hollow as a halo. Having no said oh no just being in its saying. Well right you are. It sort of is and sort of it is meant to be. For such is its situation. But you see. It is all in the air anyway. It is all in the air. The mouth may mouthe your voice nul and void indeed. Zero-summing it empty. Zap. Zilch. Nothing. Just some vocal dust or airy ash. Fine. And at last you may say. Silence you will think. Now silence. Oh how sweet. Sighless. Will it is not and is not meant to be. The said is still stuck to the air see. Yes it is indeed. It is in the air. Stuck like fickle flies in transparent glue. Saying does that see. It sticks the said to the air. It is all there. In cracks in bubbles of plaster and rust in webs of minuscule derelict matter. The debris of diction. Lingo litter. For the mouth is no empty cabinet oh no nor a cabin never visited. But a transit terminal dock sluice stuck thick with resaids. Hardly any white walls there then but rather gray. In all rather gray. All well very rather gray they are. Some mental metallic say. Speech spoil coating the tiles of talk the way tarry smoke will walls. This is where the specters of speech roam yes room well in other words roam. This is where they are. All the ghost loved ones. The resaids. In nowhereland they are. Sentenced to air. In that gray ether dome they are and are on again if I may say. Here. Now. In nowhere. So Mr. Mouth and I we will do our job. I am the recycler. He is the maintainer. He stores the said and I do er the air brushing. It is my job to treat it so that said and gone we may say the said on from there on and on. I fix the air and he will say the said away. And when it has been said and gone and resaid as gone I will let some other stuff come on. The paler air perhaps with a pellicle the color of contusions. Or the worn and soiled one stiff like an old sock. Some airs are sluggish like a thug’s thuds of thick rubber whereas others are all over you know all over like loops of loose suspender. But it will come. The air and that speech spoil. It will come to us to be remade and remixed. And once all is said there is to say it is to be resaid again it is. (A saying that has it all.) For the resaids they must be said too oh they must. And then the re-resaids. It is all zeroes and ones anyway. And well so see we have much to do Mr. Mouth and I. Gone are the days we spent speechless under the clouds of the sky. Long gone is the sweet stillness with hooch at hand perhaps oh yes or the odd spleenic splendor grabbing the spine stabbing the side. Gone are those days all days long gone. And the nights too. Oh yes. No time no more. Now I run this waste disposal treat. A permanent vacation in vacancy. No time no here no more. So welcome. Welcome then to the speech scum recycle unit. The lingo litter plant. This is it. In Nowhereland. You may take a look and say your peace. Or you may take a loop and say your pace. Well. It is all here anyway is it not what you say is all said here and done so. Yes. Ah there are some real resaids here indeed there are. Check out the rapid repeats for example reeling through their reruns like lonely rats their rickety races. Or monitor the reverberations as they wobble their way through invisible flow charts like the iodine flash of a lighthouse combing through the night. Or take in the echoes bouncing against silence with pinball shiftiness. Migratory circuits make-shift mazes words bruising the air. Oh no no one not one resaid is missing. None. But eh a word of caution before you pass on. Here you too are only in terms of the speed with which you advance and which you drink in like oxygen. It will become the element in which you live and which is you. Nothing else matters. Pace is all. That air. Even if you would not be on tin canned energy you will move in it no longer as some pure and present noun no no you will not but as a nexus of adjectives you will. Oh yeah but it is swell anyway is it not. It is. All said it is swell to be so well after all. Remixed. Re-aired. Way to go it is. Nowhere so much as here and now and nowhere. Uh hum. Consider the situation. In the spooler you lose the power to express yourself in a continuous manner as you would properly either by confirming to the coherence of some logical discourse through the succession of this intemporal time that belongs to a recharger at work meeting out things like identity and nominal unity or by yielding to the uninterrupted movement of say well say of writing. Fine. This may not make you very happy. Still in compensation you may believe now and then that you have gained the power to express yourself intermittently and even the power to give expression to intermittence. Nor may this make you very happy. But it will keep you going on. Neither happy nor unhappy but neutral. Neutral. Think. Put in neutral and running. So it goes. So you must think. It will keep you going on it will. Put some pressure on that flat air slabbed against your vocal wires and you will see. You will hear the said humming in there like celluloid running its limber course through some limbo projector. That is you here you hear. So it does seem does it not that well gusts of air may become personalized. Does it not. It does. Or at least some such in as much as much is such here. What gives then. Well. The sense no sensation of resaying is no longer one of moving forward on and on and over and on as much as having the path reeled back sort of mounted on some giant piece of scenery. That is it. Yeah sort of like that it is. This is the loop you may pool for life. The vivacity spooler. Welcome. You are in rehub you are. And this is what we do when we do what we do. Mr. Mouth and I. We fix things up so that the you that is you may continue and ensue. You need a fast mutation say or a substitute. That is fine. We do that. It is a thing we do. Or better still you may think you want to relocate. That we do too. This is a dimensionless organism after all you know like the wind’s. Its malleable material can be molded pretty well. But it is restless very much restless it is. A living concern that can know no rest oh no. Nowhere no here. Or some such. Zeroes and ones at any rate. That is the point. You stick to it. For this is the mission this is the transmission this is the rickety rest we produce. Real reel realty. I am the recycler and this is Mr. Mouth. Welcome. Welcome here. We will say you on. You are here now you hear. In air it is fair in nowhere.
Recycled bits of text, all emphasized, have been taken from: A. R. Ammons, Garbage (New York: Norton & Company, 1993); John Ashbery, “The System,” in Three Poems (New York: Viking Books, 1973); John Banville, Ghosts (New York: Knopf, 1993); Samuel Beckett, “A Piece of Monologue,” in Rockaby and Other Short Pieces (New York: Grove Press, 1980); Maurice Blanchot, The Infinite Conversation, trans. Susan Hanson (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993); John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, ed. Peter H. Nidditch (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975); Peace, Love, and Pitbulls, “Das Neue Konzept” and “War in My Livin’ Room,” on Red Sonic Underwear (Play It Again Sam Records, 1994); and Will Self, “The North London Book of the Dead,” in The Quantity Theory of Insanity (London: Bloomsbury, 1991), as well as My Idea of Fun (London: Bloomsbury, 1993).
Bigert & Bergström