eros/ion by mIEKAL aND and Maria Damon

December 29, 2008

by Lily Robert-Foley

This piece of writing is loosely based on an experience reading the book shaped rendition of a hypertext poem by mIEKAL aND and Maria Damon called Eros/ion. The hypertext of eros/ion can be found here: http://english.umn.edu/joglars/erosion/

erosion_thumb


The other night, drunk, the back seat of a speeding car, the outside, the kaleidoscopic hue of drunk at night. I turned to my roommate and good friend,

“When you have a memory of a routine, do you think that it’s one moment that has become a synecdoche of a series of moments, or an amalgamation of an indeterminate number of moments consolidated into one memory?”

Over the past couple of months I have been working on a project transcribing memories from an old and over love affair. I’ve realized in the process that even my most distinct and precise memories are subject to eros/ion, for instance, I remember the bathroom of the apartment where I lost my virginity (or gained my non-virginity as it occurs to me now is a better expression). I have a fresh vision nearly as vivid as reality. I have the undeniably sensual experience of physical presence, as fully as I am on this train, as full as the creak of the train against the steel tracks, the irritating red head on her cell phone, the pod shaped windows, the dull sheen of the train lights on the navy seats.

But I set out to write my memory of the bathroom that now only exists in my memory and I find there has been a curious eros/ion of its features. What color were the tiles? The shower curtain? The walls? What was the shape of the sink? The form of the toilet flusher? My memory has no smell, no taste, no detailed or distinct images. And yet it hits me with the visual and sensual force of the present. It is as though the memory has the power to evoke the feeling of experience, but it has none of its substance.

[…]

Eros/ion shares subject matter with my project that has been on-my-mind of late. The two poets, mIEKAL aND and Maria Damon set about write (transcribe?) memories from respective past lovers. The title of the work, “eros/ion” is multiple, its significations splaying out in directions like a frayed rope. One, it is unavailable whether the erosion refers to the effects of time upon memory, the effects of memory upon experience, or the effects of writing upon memory, experience, time.

Writing itself is an act of memory, but as we write sometimes it enables us to forget: now recorded, stowed away somewhere beyond me. Certainly culture writes collectively in order to be able to forget. Or to enact the two fold practice of remembering in order to forget. And it is likewise through writing that we discover our forgetting. I’m suddenly there again, in the bathroom where I gained the absence of my virginity, so full it’s present, and yet my pen stumbles of the paper, my descriptors lack the specificity of reality.

In any event, it is clear to me that writing changes memory. It rebirths it, distorts it, gives it new presence, and also calls up the unperceived changes that time, the weather, the friction of the wind, has levered against its surface, it’s hard rock landscape. We go back to a land we haven’t visited for many years and we find we have to make a new map.

experience the hypertext eros/ion here: http://english.umn.edu/joglars/erosion/

or order the book here: http://www.lulu.com/content/1569733

read another review of Eros/ion here: http://ntamo.blogspot.com/2007/12/maria-damon-miekal-and-erosion.html,

more books by the authors here: http://xexoxial.org/

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