Friday, April 08, 2005

Michael Ives: The External Combustion Engine

(courtesy of pas au-delà)

The source of these insights must lie somewhere in my legs, for it most often occurs while walking that I will be brought to a sudden halt by the enormities visited on conscious existence. These enormities, these villanies of the natural order, though they outstrip the mind by their size and sheer pervasiveness, are to the legs perspicuous enough to bring them to a staggering and complete halt. Even my legs, unheavily cabled as they are, little more than poorly bundled twigs, during the warmer months the object of persistent ridicule among women, even these eczematous hobbling stilts--with what sensitivities they are endowed! I would not be the least surprised if it were in some tendon of the ankle that the thinking substance were located, if it were discovered that, lo these many years, an ankle tendon had, out of modesty and patriotic devotion, been funneling intelligence to the cortical zeppelin, than an unassuming tendon deep within the ankle or wrist had proved Athenian to the Mede of invading sense data. Often, as I say, these closet ministers, my legs, will draw me to a sudden, stupified halt, seized by the realization that, in the end, I have no idea who or what I am. 'In the end--' what could that possibly mean? What end? There is no end. There is no such end, and yet the lemming slash bondservant slash under-educated musculature of the mouth finds these meaningless tags irresistible.

-Michael Ives, The External Combustion Engine

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