Renee Gladman

from The Eleven


i made a shape by placing a figure inside a word and pushing the word off the page, so that in my mind and in the mind of anyone reading that page, anyone who knew the language in which I was writing, a picture of living would emerge that had a time and a place and objects different from the world of the body writing or reading that page, and this picture could play and pause at will; although not separate from the body writing in that familiar world, where a cup of tea was growing cold. The picture was dependent on the body but, unlike the world in which the body typed, the picture could play and pause and could itself be divided into further pictures. I sat down with the objective of pushing words off the page and bringing a picture into being and doing this for a number of hours in a row, for a number of days, all accumulating into a number of months, perhaps amounting to years, such that this became a picture in which was embedded many other pictures and that gave off a dimensional feeling, even though these pictures belonged to my thinking and were nestled in my mind, which like every- thing else in thought was not like a pot you could pour water into and heat up but rather was like seeing a pot and having a living vision of all the actions therein. You made a space that gathered all the possible pictures accreted through all the pushing of words off the page, and many times called the shape novel and a few times essay. I set the cup down. I pushed the words I set the cup down off the page, then picked up the cup and set it down. I drank from the cup, though I didn’t remember this until I’d read the act on the page, my reading having become a picture of a body standing at a window with cars parking below. But it wasn’t long that I was in this body thinking about the cup at my mouth or other things the body needed when I realized that all the cars parking were doing so all at the same time, and this was strange. It never happened this way. You never had a moment where every car on one street was parking at once; you never had a street where all the cars had been gone then returned all at once, all wanting to park and all finding a space to park and parking at the same time as all the others. Wherever it was that I was standing provided me a vantage point in which the information that I gathered was becoming a problem for the picture that held me. I had to grab another picture and append it to this one, so that I didn’t get stuck, perpetually sipping from that cup and looking over cars behaving bizarrely.