From: "Alan Sondheim"

To: "tom bell"

Subject: sending it below; if it's unreadable, will send attachment

Date: Sunday, January 14, 2001 12:01 AM

Cancer death and mourning

On March 16, 2000, my mother died of cancer. From September 1999 until March 1, 2000, I was virtual writer-in-residence for the trAce, an on- line writing community. During this period, up through and after her death, I wrote an extended meditation, broken up into smaller texts, on cancer and death. Some of this was in the diary I kept for trAce.


incidence of 'cancer' in recent files ah:0 am:0 an:0 ap:1 ba:0 bb:0 cc:1 dd:1 ee:1 ff:0 gg:0 hh:1 ii:0 jj:1 jk:0 jl:0 jm:1 jn:0 jo:0 jp:0 jq:1 jr:0 js:0 jt:0 ju:0 jv:0 jw:0 jx:0 jy:0 ka:0 kb:2 kc:0 kd:0 ke:0 kf:0 kg:0 kh:0 ki:0 kj:0 kk:0 kl:0 km:0 kn:0 ko:1 kp:3 kq:1 kr:2 ks:0 kt:0 ku:0 kv:0 kw:0 kx:1 ky:0 kz:0 la:0 lb:0 lc:6 ld:36 oc- tober, and hope le:0 lf:0 lg:0 lh:0 li:17 march, and death lj:3 lk:2 ll:1 lm:0 ln:0 lo:0 lp:0 lq:0 lr:1


face there are facial scrubbings, sloughed skin, foetal membranes ,,

drawn down over nose and mouth, palls over eyes, burst bubbles,

waters, afterbirths, miscarriages, thinned to blown egg-white

consistency ,,

*/ what makes you yearn for me for me for me

breathing through albumen, caught against glues held taut across the

ears, lymph-tympana, silked, almost sweet and globular ,,

stumped arms, legs moist and glistening, phantom flailed limbs soaked

in mucous ,, */ i so do do do want to understand to understand

understanding through the throat, black bile, bruised abdomens,

cauterizations ,,

yellowed scars, dipthongs and pallid scabs, little stories on

distended skins ,,

*/ i see those boys boys boys

boys and their milky legs, boys and their milky legs ,,

swollen salivary glands, mouth dribbles whitened against pale

contusions, marks of non-memory, dried tears, fleshed-peeled from torn

corners of tumescent eyes ,,

mumblings beneath surfaces, through the nostrils, what, nothing,

what, what ,,

girls' blood, clotted tastes suffused on paler skin, ruptured dreams

gone long ways back ,,

coming broken to you, i, i, i, i am sick of that letter, of any

letter, of any ,,

*/ does it bother you that letter of any, or a father or a mother?

of you, what a bother ,,

closed up remnants, edged with juices, designs and vomits ,,

and and brocades, and a long way back ,,

and and and drenched clothes, and a longer way ,,

and a way and a longer way ,,

*/ you mentioned that letter of any letter of any?

back back back ,,

and can you elaborate on that and look at me?



II. Thu Sep 9 01:23:04 EDT 1999 Only God creates the transcendence for truth. This always already pushes the stack back; what requires absolution procures it in relation to the Mother. Thu Sep 9 01:23:55 EDT 1999 Transcendence is a condition of abandonment, indeed, of the abandoned - so says Clar. Thu Sep 9 01:24:32 EDT 1999 Clar adds, abandonment among a population of refugees is equivalent as true Abandonment to God. To leave the Trappings of Our Life according to Buddha, to cross borders, inconceivable transgressions: such are the Reincarnated themselves. Thu Sep 9 01:25:48 EDT 1999 Clar says, within the new Carapace, there is the Ward of Our Soules; the converted leave their Implements behind. Beyond is the Way of God, which is the Way of Vast Abandonment. Thu Sep 9 01:26:36 EDT 1999 Even to breath, Clar says, requires no presence of the Lord, who is a distraction. Thu Sep 9 01:26:58 EDT 1999 Mind focuses beyond Godhead, who is already with parts, breaking the Fast of Transcendence. Abandonment must be total, eyes crossed, legs and arms spread, wheel and gyre. Clar says, the way to the truth which is perfect Refuge and perfect Refugee. When the borders are drawn, erased in earth, sand, water, sky, wind, storm. Thu Sep 9 01:28:10 EDT 1999 No debris, nothing but what is trodden underfoot. Thu Sep 9 01:29:10 EDT 1999 There are no fallen; who falls, is abandoned, Clar says, and such abandonment is the finality of the search for truth. The Way is the Wayside. The Way is the Wayside, Clar says, against the advice of Buddha, God, her own dear conscience. Clar says the Wayside deflects or derails the truth, which is what in all facticity, it is. Thu Sep 9 01:30:20 EDT 1999 Clar says, I have nothing more to tell you, what you have already known. Thu Sep 9 01:33:31 EDT 1999 Thu Sep 9 01:33:31 EDT 1999

I. Thu Sep 9 01:23:04 EDT 1999 Writing, Clar says, is the debris left behind, the Subject of Abandonment, the pole or locus. Such, Clar reflects, those who are Called, are Culled. Thu Sep 9 01:30:39 EDT 1999 The culling or the called, refuge and refugee, abandoned and abandonment and abandoning, the way and the wayside, says Clar, to murmur these is to murmur the truth from the corner of the eye, the thought just beyond recognition, the voice barely understood, and come in the midst of the night. Thu Sep 9 01:32:58 EDT 1999


the yield

give a name to your illness, give a name to your illness

people we know and love are dying

this people we know and love are dying speeds endlessly through the body -

their bones collapsing under harsh suns before us, the day which spreads

across the table of dawn or dusk

cancers spread like pools of artificial life across desperate thought

cancer spreads like pools of artificial life across desperate thought

people we know and love are dying

they are dying with scans and with probes

they are dying with injections and superjections

and catastrophic radiations and molecular re-coordinatings

cancers spread like pools of artificial life across desperate thought

their bones collapsing under harsh suns before me, the day which spreads

before the table of dawn or dusk? probes here, ourselves, ourselves

are you properly compiling cancers spread like pools of artificial life

across desperate thought?

decoupled life on the horizon of white-noise annihilation-window

your body is mined and saturated; your body is a hole; your body is mine;

your body is a cancer

your body is a cancer, is a hole, is mine;

your body is penetrated, probed, mined and saturated;

your body is penetrated, reorganized

for 0 days, i have names for you and me

and it has taken you just 5.617 minutes turning in the very act of dying


people we know and love are dying.

the new computer will remain crying in the store in the new box.

the happy party will occur in another city very much alone.

we will walk in one room and smile, return to another and cry.

our mouths are open to the spears of the sun.

we are illumined, our cells crashing uselessly into organ after organ.

illuminations happen on the threshold of being.

we are called to being: our illuminations.

for an instant before the darkness: our illuminations.

for an instant with pen poised: our illuminations.

with the radiative luminescence of the bones: our illuminations.

what the dissimilar flux of molecules: our illuminations.

the threshold of stones is forgotten; the portal is forgotten.

people we know and love are dying. for 0 days, the very beginning of the name.

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