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the moment of absurd transcendental mundanity

Text: the moment of absurd transcendental mundanity

This poem is inspired by, and a remix of, Tim Dodds'
'Transcendental Style and the Poetics of Tsai Ming-liang'
. It only use words found in Tim's essay.


Jarod Rapfogel wrote.
When? What?
…no answer.
The dialogue gives meaning to the silence.
“We know nothing” but
Overwhelming physicality:
Clammy, cramped, and tactile.
Motionless moments:
The solitude, loneliness and absurdity of life.
frying onions, drinking water, opening a window.
contemplated, prepared for, carried out in their entirety.

What Time is it?
the eternal present.
the aimless, self-sufficient eternal now. frozen time.
fill in the time by way of aimless repetitions.

What Time is it?
the void
that gives form to the bodily movements of the characters.
the world outside… a sloping wall of red seats…
forever strange and unfamiliar.
forever between comedy and despair.
fill in the time banging a watch against the metal railing to test its durability.

the way of aimless repetitions.

An intellectual process, too great to be fully registered and understood by human faculties and understanding. Unknowable. Unbound. That which lies beyond human experience or understanding. A mysterious quality that surpasses our understanding.

strip a sound of its acoustics,
a view of life stripped of all meaning
no reverberation.
expressionless moments of
contemplative silence and stillness
resonate within us long after we have seen them

the spinning water wheel,
a liquid with physical characteristics.
Shiang-chyi drinks bottled water
in her hotel as if for the first time.
the throaty sounds of Shiang-chyi drinking water.
gulps down water.
the water is trickling down our own throats.
the human condition of not knowing. aimless repetitions.
Intriguing. Mundane. Motionless moments.

What Time is it?
(improvise and interpret)
The dialogue gives meaning to the silence.
“We know nothing”




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  • Anonymous's picture

    11.05.08 — Tim Dodds

    Fantastic Don, I love

    Fantastic Don, I love it.

    /linked from original essay! :D

    In fact, I think that this remix is a much more valid and true reflection on What Time is it There? than any essay could ever be. Tsai Ming-liang's films seem to be haunted by the ghosts of the absurdist movement, and your poem captures this wonderfully.

    In the context of Pool, your remix is also very telling indeed; that our first (or one of our first) true remixes is a poetic remix of an essay, and not a musical remix of another audio work, or something we would most commonly associate with the word 'remix'...