Things called parasite
[Written in response to Parasites: Fragments of the Non-
Human, by Antti Salminen, CTheory.net, Dec 18, 2012.
Salminen is editor of niin & nain, the FinnishSwedish
journal of philosophy.]
Writing about writing is a parasitical act. As acts of writing
are parasites on spoken language as human language a(sub/
meta)leech on material consciousness. i am a poet we fix on
hook into suck out juices from Life. as a tapeworm in our own
bowels (brains feel like bowels also) This process descends into
the darkest root & rot of chemical earth, the giantBody selfserve
cafeteria upon which everything alive here feeds. As a parasite.
This essay is awesome in this sense: it seeks to reveal something
to utter something essentially awful/aweful about the nature of
Life. we are a chaingang of leeches sustained (& defined) by
this universal crime. i.e. life
The chaingang of Being is palindromic, it goes both directions.
Perspective is everything, i.e. ride the escalator look both up &
down. Humans see lowly/lowlier forms as parasitical on higher
(ultimately Us). In the real world we are parasites on the huge
entity, the planetary body, but also on all the subterranean forms
we tend to despise. Or fear for their alien hideousness. This
essay says: Voila: c’est moi! but retains the sublingual shudder
of such recognition.
it’s not just a literary trope we are the horror
yet as (civilized) humans can successfully conceal this sine
qua non aspect/attribute of our glorious memoir subtitled we
are hideous. Parasites – fragments of the nonhuman presents
thereby as an uncanny voice, of the wholly alien yet feels so
familiar. things found in the presence of medieval dabblings
branded obscene as forbidden(alchemy, witchcraft). Visceral
sounds, some language some have been reaching for, each in a
secreted basement like digging into a wall or floor that could
open up into Hell, &/or monsters, &/or the only way out.
we are hideous if recognition is escape
As statement of political strategy after politics & language
experiment beyond the end of writing, it says:
‘The experimental must allow itself to be experimented
on by admitting that it is in the process of becoming
something that it does not know.’
There is beauty in this, and something very scary.
‘These metamorphoses may be lethal, but never unnatural.
The nature of parasites cannot be returned to survival.’
In current context of world extremis demonstrating itself, with
every way out a terminal wound also, metahuman technologies
& every real attempt at sub/metawriting (transwriting, in
desperately conscious trance) changes, will change the beloved
writing change the beloved world radically: it cant be helped.
it must be & it will never be the same. No return. Every vital
experiment is an opening to irreversible degradation (it’s
already been tried with the body open opening to every/any
possibility, with results in death, epiphany, commercial/media
cooptation, stale redundant merchandise that no longer thrills
illuminates anything). But in this essay, we are shown this
is precisely & only the only possible strategy for extension
into a future. The risk of being(acknowledging)ourselves as
parasites; knowing it is not a pretty or referred thing to be;
definitively, i.e., a necessity.
this requires the courage of a worm a bug a disease
to keep on going
Whatever I am saying about Parasites is of course a travesty
of it: it is a Poem in itself, which should not be explained.
Nor should my mind parasite on its author’s mind in poem,
it feels uncomfortable & cheap to do so....however, as a
nominal social/economic career parasite forever, & also
parasiting like all writers eating into & sucking away at the
brainjuices & fibers of all the great writers one can burrow
into (to learn, to feed, like any dumpster diver) – what else
can I do? My words are redundant, duh. Parasites is a Poem
about itself, also a very canny strategic paradigm for political
survival on FutureEarth, which is here now. Only for the
brave, transego, who love something beyond us as our only
face left in a mirror which must be shattered into a door.
Things called parasite, like things called Beauty, are
always in the historic eye of a beholder.
The uncanny (&political) beauty of the earth is that
every living thing in its primal state is an innocent (i.e.
happy) leech, earnest in our usage. None of us functions
subjectively in shame or apology for this condition. We
all believe we are essentials, doing our job, the lowliest
syphilitic bacteria to the Pope in his little redsatin slippers.
Any ‘parasitical’ function is a linguistic observation made
by a human species proned in our usual arrogant OCD
toward righteous definition.
(An assigned name that puts things in their place.)
In overpowering systems of global Dominance, which
fling the designation around casually, in contempt of
anything that makes them itch...being named a Parasite
is being disfigured with a ShameBrand. Economic &/
cultural parasites can know how a Worm aBug feels, but
the human bug of Kafka feels the human shame of the
loaded definition. No real parasite suffers this: in its
function it knows it contributes its sine qua non part to
the whole. Otherwise, why would it exist?
‘....Taphrina seen on ostrich fern...tormentil or downy
birch...nematodes in hares & rabbits...waterbears....’
And tapeworms in adorable children, emaciating them
from the inside, & hideous viruses tumors pollutions
increasingly populating our species with ghastly faces
epidemic to us. It is not a beautiful (to us) lifestyle, or
defined as a noble one, a designated pursuit of the best
& brightest. Nothing left but the night:
‘....the only true revolution is a revolution of life, and
the only true revolution of life is made from the inside,
with patient suddenness in the flesh of the experience
lines like this are shivers of that recognition
Aspire to be creatures of the night. Lines like this already
recognized as eroticVampiric, but Parasites does not slink
shiver thru sexily illusioned futures. Actual undergrounds
crawl with worms & corpsethings undergoing vast lewd
changes. But it is not as spectators at a horror flick, but as
the despised real creatures of this parasitical function that
we (some of us) must learn to become. That last quoted
line makes me shudder, in its beauty. Because it is also
true. Parasites of the chthonicSublime, eating from/inside
the aweful Material epiphany. Underground politics, the
only serious future writing: be a despicable bug a worm a
lowly lethal cannibal virus. Cringe if it enhances but do
yr job is important. we also serve.....
© barbara mor nov 13, 2012