walking-and-talking-#6Ben Bennett as heard/documented by C. Mehrl Bennett:
CMB notes are written in both first and third person while watching and/or listening to a section of Ben’s YouTube video project, Walking and Talking, which you can also watch and/or listen to by clicking here: Walking and Talking #6:
I shouldn’t worry about worrying about something.
If there is humor then I want it to arise completely naturally out of the process of being sincere.
I’m empty of things to say. I don’t have anything to say. I’m trying to keep my mouth and vocal chords moving in order to form words in the English language.
It’s not necessary to bring about newness, especially not in an un-natural concerted effortful way.
It’s never the same experience over and over even if you do the same thing.
I’m not really trying to be boring either, I’m just trying to continue talking, that’s all.
I have some trust in this process of walking and talking that keeps me doing it, even though in many moments I don’t exactly feel pleasant or…. (continues talking about an idea he heard from someone else, in that art does not have to be socially valuable or entertaining, and he identifies with that, but now is he ‘mimicking’ that idea?)
‘cultural capital’ – then thinks “what do I really mean by that or am I just trying to sound smart?”
adopting certain sentiments or ideas or life styles (attitudes or practices) that would make me appear to be a more valuable person in some way or another… or maybe to make me seem like a better person in some way or another. … with an eye to what the people around me value. the people that I associate the most with in real life have values and lifestyles that differ from the majority of the people in my larger surrounding culture. a smaller, slightly more dissident circle)
you can notice more subtle changes (when you do the same thing over and over again) than if you do something different all the time.
Is there even an authentic me to begin with at all? ‘no’ in regards to ’cause and effect’… ‘I’ am no more than all the causes and circumstances that I’ve interacted with in my life. no new perspectives than the last time he made walking and talking a couple days ago, but he still wants to do this, that boredom is part of his engagement and a pressure (challenge) to work harder despite the absence of external stimuli. I’m not sure if you were excepting boredom, that it would continue to be boredom.
walking increases his physical energy = capacity to focus and to keep talking, not worried about his performance, desires to put effort into this and make it a good experience for me and for you.
being able to intentionally talk with the same inflection (assertively), where I’m almost yelling… then wonders what his ‘natural’ inflection would be? performance means speaking in a certain way on purpose. seeing two people on bicycles made him lose his focus, but feeling generally satisfied with the rate of talking and the subject matter and feeling his physical energy level as being sufficient to keep on like this for awhile so wants to take the opportunity to focus in on what he’s saying, but to be expressing ‘nothing’ clearly. Doesn’t want it to carry meaning that is actually stimulating thought, but to convey ’emptiness’, but doesn’t want to convey any kind of ideas (which would include ’emptiness’)
when I said the word ‘awareness’ i felt a little self-consciousness — relates his exposure to Buddhist and new age spiritual teachers or articles advocating mindfulness — maybe he wants to avoid talking about that sort of thing and keep repeating it and making more of it. there’s plenty of that information out there “You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a guy who’s advocating mindfulness and awareness’
RE: ‘immediately’ let these things go, noticing calmer, less assertiveness inflection vs. motivational, moving forward, working hard, high energy talking. (notices decayed mushroom) Deliberately changing his inflection resulted in feeling more calm and happy. ‘pushing himself’ felt fine too, and one mood is not necessarily better than another mood. Being involved in his mental and emotional state and the way that he’s talking– that makes him feel engaged with what he’s doing. Then acknowledges audience involvement in what he’s doing right now. pushing self to be more revealing of everything that he’s thinking and be highly involved with talking. RE: ‘walking’ part, it’s pretty automatic and facilitates his focus on talking. The pleasant weather outside makes an ideal circumstance to dig in deeply and investigate how his words are formed, how he’s forming sentences, and observing his mind as he’s talking and notice how much he’s premeditating what he’s saying.
Is actual happiness a physical sensation? He decides Not – according to his furrowed brow but then thinks there must be some form of happiness on a higher level that comes from the satisfaction of accomplishing something. Is the distinction between his happiness and consternation or anger even necessary? Wants to try to stop relating those emotions and have a different kind of expression of the way that he’s actually feeling.
– Notices large turtle – shows us on video. “a little treat, short little break away from the work of paying attention to words, to keep us motivated and going.”
He sees his physical, mental, and emotional states as all being related to each other, if not being the same, and wants to describe the sensations he’s feeling in his body. In the middle of his torso, on the right side, in his back, is a feeling of the muscles contracting, only enough to alert him to their presence, and so he adjusted his posture a little more upright … doesn’t know why exactly he did that, except remembering being told to keep posture straight… seems ‘generally like a good thing to do’. He is noticing his feet and the subtle difference of the feeling of the ground through the sole of his shoe, such as gravel. He tries to relax his forehead every time he notices his furrowed brow. – Notices the feeling on his back of his back pack as just a slight discomfort (carrying water this time). Takes ‘neutrality’ as an opportunity to observe things without filtering his thoughts through positive or negative emotions.
– Notices swarms of red bugs (also appeared in the last video) on different posts.
He feels a twinge of sadness at feeling ‘neutrality’, still desiring to feel happier than he feels and thinks of past happiness and the prospect of perhaps never feeling that happy again.
– Notices huge squashed bug. tomato horn worm or luna moth caterpillar but not sure.
Describing his own neutrality as a lack of suffering or pain but also the absence of happiness. Maybe he wasn’t exactly feeling happiness before? He describes happiness as a physiological, emotional joy that makes one smile genuinely and enters one from outside rather than working to generate it oneself, which might negate it in some way. He sees his future = less intense, small doses of that happiness. Circumstances of that past happiness also involved a tremendous amount of pain and suffering, and not sure he can have one without the other, and it seems like if he ever feels ecstasy, that at some point he’s going to have to feel intense pain and suffering. If he tried to regulate into neutrality, less intense on both ends, then does it really matter? He feels sad about this, not neutral. The area around his heart, the bottom of his breast plate, draws his attention towards it = feeling sadness or longing. It’s calling for resolution of some sort but he doesn’t know what to do to achieve more equilibrium. He has faith in process of continuing to live and that the area around his heart will feel better, a fullness, effortless joy coming in from outside. He tries to remember when he’s feeling sad or negative that perhaps he’s storing up emotional capital that he can cash in on, in the future, for positive feelings.
RE: this video, feels novel as opposed to previous videos. He sees a value to what he’s been saying, as it’s a sincere and candid expression of his experience, resulting in some form of connection. He feels vulnerable right now, in that he’s being as honest as he can in a way that’s not referencing outside causation, but simply describing what he feels right now. His neutral emotional state and steady energy level is conducive to expressing his emotions clearly. (long pause) Thinking about what to start saying next. Feeling an attachment towards his way of expression, in retrospect, an emotional tone, judged it in a good way.
– Notices elderberry-like plant with spiky stem, could it be ‘Devils walking stick plant’ which is related to ginseng? It has compound pinnate leaves.
He wonders if the preliminary feeling of getting choked up (crying), affected his voice in any noticeable way? Maybe had some effect. This video’s emotions came out as a result of his controlled focus on talking, and he did not become attached to that emotional state, still feels fine about how the video is going right now. Wants not to direct his way of talking, but let it just happen in a way of ‘discovery’. Continues to walk on the paved trail instead of ‘enchanting’ woods trail so the realm of discovery is more focused on what he’s actually saying rather than letting it spill out into the outside world. Drinks some water. Filters his tap water with a process of reverse osmosis. Seaweed added for minerals and lemon makes it refreshing, and backpack no longer on his back also feels refreshing = ‘gross level’ topics, but still wants to be aware of more subtle experiences happening underneath those ‘gross level’ topics.
– Notices frog in area where he noticed frogs before. Good video shot of it. – Notices jewel weed and squeezes pods, spring loaded with seeds. “Bam!” “…feels like a wriggling salamander. Popped a duzie!” “It exploded with the force of two tons of dynamite!” ..He spoke of his nihilistic brushing past frugmentice(sic?) grass, feeling mild apathy towards the grass.. maybe his feeling of longing caused him to yearn for the physical contact with the frugmentice grass, the same with the jewel weed pod bursting… plant companionship, not quite the same as human companionship “Let me tell ‘ya!”
Is there a danger of blaming his emotions on his circumstances rather than exercising his agency in directing of his emotions towards a more productive mode of being and more positive thoughts? The more broad goal is to not feel suffering in his self. …or maybe to look at that suffering directly and pick it apart to see if he finds directives about what to do. Not to bury them in some sensation like eating ice cream.
– Notices mild smile in person he passed. This gave him a small talk expression “Oh it’s such a nice day out today” though he did not say it aloud to her. “Hello” or “Hi” or “Beautiful day out today” seemed possible but he’s trying to stay faithful to you, the viewer. But he didn’t honestly really feel like exchanging pleasantries. Has thoughts of looking forward to turning around and finishing this video, maybe from having congested sinuses from allergies. Reading, internet, or eating food would distract him from those allergic reactions, plus he could blow his nose in private.
Walking and Talking puts distance between him and distractions like eating, internet, etc. but forces himself to deal with his experiences in a way that is socially acceptable to the viewer, but he can’t use the viewer as a kind of experience to avoid unpleasant feelings or stimulus. He observes and expresses his thoughts as opposed to ‘complaining’ to someone who might respond with sympathetic feedback. He only has his own mind there, not ours, and must use his mind to direct his thoughts in a constructive manner. If he were only thinking to his self instead of talking to the video camera, it might be less productive towards having a good experience.
He sees this video in a constructive light with a possible social utility, though not immediately recognizable as such, though he does value social utility. His own experience isn’t totally separate from the thought of ‘helping people’, because that heightens his own experience. But he is uncomfortable with even thinking about that, as that is a distraction from the actual content and process. He hopes this ideas passes soon. Feeling positive and slightly happy, though body still feels a little heavy, though it doesn’t interfere with his focus on talking.
Memory of previous videos where his train of thought was continuous and flowing and being expressed in rising levels as opposed to the present being expressed differently as a flatter straighter line, [but also the same?]. Level jumping occurring within phrases of sentences, a self-reflexive process that might be contrived but only half-consciously. … just letting it happen. A question of agency is always present.
– Tastes some sour grapes. “What should I say now?” is always the question, but repetition of that phrase is not honest but an automatic expression. Judging himself as self-centered/vain in these expressions but imagines an alternative creative process that involves an external factor or limitation on his own personal emotions that gives a broader and more objective view and draws less attention to the creator himself and so has more social value/integrity.
– Notices a mother yelling in anger at her child, who is crying. Wondering if he should’ve intervened, though fears his ability to skillfully deal with that anger or redirect the anger without getting emotionally involved himself, to the point where he can’t help because of his feelings of pain. He wants her to express her compassion in communicating her desire for her child to be safe, rather than punishing him with her anger. Also he doesn’t know the child’s pattern of behavior and maybe the mother knows best and the child’s behavior warrants such anger. But that anger didn’t seem to be helping the situation as the kid can’t reason out the situation when he’s so upset. He sees it as socially abhorrent for him to intervene, but would like to talk to his friend, Sam, some more about it, as he’s more skilled and experienced at dealing with that sort of thing. Though he may never do interventions in those situations while focusing on his video, as there’s an ethical dilemma with filming such an intervention and making it public due to ‘invasion of privacy’.
– Going back to discomfort with expressing himself vs. objectivity, and so placing certain parameters on creative or visual work. “Confining structures” to reign in human emotions are an expression in its self, and he sees a value in that. The other side is to focus in on emotions without limitations and treat it as an extended process, enabling ‘discovery’ in that four hours of time in the video. Narrowing his talking down to a self-reflexive process is freeing, and is a parameter in its self – using self as a generative engine.
(long pause) …alters the way that he perceives himself at least during those four hours… feels de-personalized. Slight sadness triggered by autumn coming on – describes natural surroundings as past their apex, leaves starting to fall. He has thoughts about death, like the terrifying experience of extreme cold. Becomes mad at self for saying something insightful about life and death. Prefers to be distracted by little turtles on log in stream, until they jump into the water.
He’s trying to avoid ‘content’ (meaning subject matter, not contentment) in his expressed thoughts? …though he then sees his expressions as filler or cheap ploys that let him avoid being fully accountable for what he says, so he can be uninvolved and free to behave in unproductive ways himself, letting the process take care of itself.
– Notices that different sized turtles hang out with others the same size. Judges his expression, “Itty bitty turtles”, as descriptive of a clinging affection, as it is a cute or infantile description. Does that introduce a preference that isn’t really necessary or helpful? Notices bigger adult turtles, and a guilt of not expressing affection equally. Still, he doesn’t want to have a pet turtle, name it, and cry a lot when it dies. Thinks about ending the video to avoid a ‘lackluster’ ending, but still has trust in the process of going to 4 hours, even if his energy level wanes towards the end. Feeling hips, feet, and back, slight pressure in his head, equilibrium drifting towards being more quiet, so will exert more effort and will-power to speak until the end of the video. The process of talking without knowing what to say is something he has to accept. He remembers expressing thoughts which take multiple sentences and could be complex thoughts, even though he thinks he doesn’t know what he’s going to say ahead of time. Wants to join two or three complex thoughts together:
1. Disequilibrium, tiredness, so will exert more effort and will power to speak until the end of the video so he can feel satisfaction at reaching his goal.
2. He remembers expressing thoughts which take multiple sentences and could be complex thoughts, even though he thinks he doesn’t know what he’s going to say ahead of time.
3. He might have been observing himself a little more closely while relaying that thought, and could be the general structure of that train of thought was all in his head as a rough draft when he began to express it in words. Rapidly choosing options and forks in the road and specific verbiage as he’s laying out that thought.
– Notices Japanese knotweed with blue seeds, which he’s never seen before, and then notices blue on the nearby wall. Wondering if someone sprayed herbicide on it, since it’s considered an invasive plant. He will look at it again in the future to see if it’s withered and dead. – Notices turtle with moss on its back, a carp, and a road cone in the water.
Looking for the chance to zone out and let his thoughts run wild, as he feels exhausted by constantly monitoring his thoughts. Maybe he will observe his mental state after the video is over. . Saying that aloud may act as a kind of reminder for when he turns off the video. The viewer may feel a similar type of fatigue with paying attention to his stream of thoughts. Will he continue to think verbally, or more just perceiving, or engage in unproductive rumination? RE: rumination, turning a thought over and over in your head, feeling angry or sad, etc.
Desiring other people not to rely on him for answers but to exercise their own agency and problem solving abilities and so making a mutually engaging experience. So his invitation to ‘thought exercises’ is making him feel a little more engaged with his interaction with the audience. Noticing his furrowed brow as related to bright sun, and does that physical action make him more likely to feel ‘consternation’? He feels humored that ‘furrowed brow’ = ‘consternation’ in his mind. He remembers walking past a person sitting in front of a coffee shop in a sweatshirt that says ‘karma’. He’s not sure if that woman was wearing a sweatshirt that says ‘karma’. (Actually I don’t think he caught her in the video, as I went back & looked.) Said he’s been trying to point the camera upwards and not at the ground, though he hasn’t been focused on the video image in this episode, aside from turtles, frogs, certain plants, or that huge flattened caterpillar, as he’s been very focused on what he’s been saying. He’s thinking you may have been bored with the video aspect, but wanting to pay attention to the audio aspect. Imagines disinterest in the viewer after he suggested other activity while just listening to audio. He felt a pull towards rest and silence and then he put aside negative thoughts about viewer’s disinterest. Feeling anticipation or anxiety being mirrored by audience RE: what will he say next? …and himself mirroring that back, with a blossoming interest in that thought, giving him a nice feeling if only for a few seconds, letting his focus on talking slack a little bit. Wondering if these feelings were fabricated after the fact, with a desire to have something to talk about? Then he has thoughts about ‘Walking and Talking‘ process not having any esthetic qualities associated with art or music or poetry, then it immediately became a positive judgment… as not existing in the world in any other form, at least that he’s aware of.
– Notices a road cone on its side with electric power lines going into the bottom (“Like an electric road cone…that’s just kind of like joking”… video ends)

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Cassia-Harder-and-CMB-at-Black-Forest-Inn-Day-2-MinneDada84

Dual qua-lia anna estalia quasio rennnnnn….. rennnnnnnn….. rennnnnnnnnnnn….
Deo knee-lia anna estalia quatro rennnnnn….. rennnnnnnn….. rennnnnnnnnnnn….
Finley tu-lia anna estalia qwen roh rennnnnn….. rennnnnnnn….. rennnnnnnnnnnn….
Keno fah-lia dewey estalia quince o’ rennnnnn….. rennnnnnnn….. rennnnnnnnnnnn….

Shayno felia dewey estalia stoppa this rennnnnn….. rennnnnnnn….. rennnnnnnnnnnn….
Dewey Stalia quinoa twins go rennnnnn….. rennnnnnnn….. rennnnnnnnnnnn….
Give me DaDa oh kalia kissy my rennnnnn….. rennnnnnnn….. rennnnnnnnnnnn….
Feel no hoolio donna estalia tears for rennnnnn….. rennnnnnnn….. rennnnnnnnnnnn….

Who’s your dahlia golly ‘oh booty o’ rennnnnn….. rennnnnnnn….. rennnnnnnnnnnn….
What’s the folly of donna estalia soup o’ rennnnnn….. rennnnnnnn….. rennnnnnnnnnn….
Why’s my hoolio kalia kissing my rennnnnn….. rennnnnnnn….. rennnnnnnnnnnn….
Where’s that anna estalia kilo o’ beer oh rennnnnn….. rennnnnnnn….. rennnnnnnnnnn….

Above stanzas translated from LATIN into ENGLISH by GOOGLE TRANSLATOR —

Two-reaching arms of osteoporosis demanded rennnnnn rennnnnnnn ….. …. ….. rennnnnnnnnnnn
God’s knee-reaching arms osteoporosis four rennnnnn rennnnnnnn ….. …. ….. rennnnnnnnnnnn
Finley art-reaching arms osteoporosis qwen Roh rennnnnn rennnnnnnn ….. …. ….. rennnnnnnnnnnn
Keno fah-reaching Dewey osteoporosis quince O rennnnnn rennnnnnnn ….. …. ….. rennnnnnnnnnnn

Shayna felia Dewey osteoporosis stoups this rennnnnn rennnnnnnn ….. …. ….. rennnnnnnnnnnn
Dewey twins go stale husbandry rennnnnn rennnnnnnn ….. …. ….. rennnnnnnnnnnn
Dada give me, oh my kissy Kalia rennnnnn rennnnnnnn ….. …. ….. rennnnnnnnnnnn
Feel no tears for osteoporosis hoolio grant rennnnnn rennnnnnnn ….. …. ….. rennnnnnnnnnnn

Who’s your dahlia golly ‘booty oh oh’ rennnnnn rennnnnnnn ….. …. ….. rennnnnnnnnnnn
What’s the folly of grant osteoporosis soup o ‘rennnnnn rennnnnnnn ….. …. ….. rennnnnnnnnnnn
Kalia’s why my hoolio kissing my rennnnnn rennnnnnnn ….. …. ….. rennnnnnnnnnnn
Where’s that Anna kilo of osteoporosis o ‘beer ….. oh rennnnnn rennnnnnnn ….. rennnnnnnnnnnn

 

C. Mehrl Bennett 8/16/2017

animated poemAnimated version on YouTube

YouTube video by Jim Andrews – About the software ‘Alpha Null 3.0’ which he used to create this, Jim says, “The text is Mehrl’s and so is the vispo that fills the text. I created this nib specially for her work.”

I.

A

Bellissimo

Buffoon

Took to

Picking up

Ka Ka …

Ask a cow

 

II.

Real late in 2016

…possibly midnight,

This buffoon turned into

The opposite essence

of Da Da…

An Orange

Beast Incorporated

 

III.

Lacking any sense of CAUTION

It increasingly caressed then

Shredded to DEATH

All the kittens, mittens, and

Gloves in the

Wood paneled

Cloak room

 

IV.

All that remains now

In my memory of this

Nightmare is

Little Bo-peep

Wearing a

Gas

Mask

 

C Mehrl Bennett 2/13/2017 – 7/24/2017

C. Mehrl Bennett squirrel greyed

Squirrels are like rats in that they forage and build nests

However, squirrels live in trees and rats are under foot

               But who am I to judge?

 

I am just another creature like a squirrel or a rat

We also forage and build out nests, fornicate

               and reproduce, nurture our offspring

 

As a mere creature of this larger universe

These overhead and underfoot beings

               seem AMAZING to me

 

Humans, all you seers and thinkers, doers and polluters

Stop and ask: What effect do we have on our environment?

               Long live the squirrel and the rat!

 

C. Mehrl Bennett 2017

Created for the SQUIRREL MAILART CALL, which anyone can send to:

Connie Jean, PO BOX 32032-0381, Cocoa Beach, FL 32932-0381

CONDUIT

Posted: July 1, 2017 in poetry, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

String IT

Enter IT

Letter IT

Finger IT

 

Saddle IT

Solder IT

Slather IT

Squash IT

 

Birth IT

Baste IT

Worry IT

Cover IT

 

Drink to IT

Tootle IT

Squint at IT

Mingle IT

 

Hum the IT

Tickle IT

Shout at IT

Noodle IT

 

Out the IT

Dust IT

Poke the IT

Leave IT

 

by C. Mehrl Bennett

July 1, 2017

it

whistling-trie

Performance notes: Enlist a partner or more to improvise on a slide whistle or whistle with his/her lips while you read this poem, titled “The Whistler”:

The Whistler

whistling

whistling,

The Whistler

whistles

Whistle.

whistling,

whistling

whistling,

The Whistler

The Whistler’s whistle,

whistles

The Whistler

the whistling

whistling to,

whistling,

The Whistler

whistling

The Whistler

whistled,

whistle.

whistled

whistle

Whistle

whistle

whistling

whistler.

The Whistler

The Whistler

whistles

whistles

The Whistler.

The Whistler

The Whistler’s

the Whistler

The Whistler

The Whistler

The Whistler

The Whistler

The Whistler

The Whistler

The Whistler

The Whistler

The Whistler

The Whistler

The Whistler

the whistling

The Whistler

The Whistler

a whistler.

whistling.

The Whistler’s

whistling

The Whistler

whistle

The Whistler

whistling

whistling

The Whistler’s

whistling

whistling

The Whistler

whistled

The Whistler

whistling

The Whistler

whistling

The Whistler

The Whistler

The Whistler

The Whistler

The Whistler

whistling

whistling

The Whistler’s

The Whistler

whistling

whistler.

The Whistler’s

whistles

whistling

The Whistler

whistle:

whistling,

whistling

whistling

whistle

The Whistler’s

The Whistler

The Whistler whistles.

The Whistler’s

The Whistler

The Whistler

whistling

The Whistler

whistle

whistle

Excerpted from a feature story about The Whistler by Eric Severn,

found at the Portland Phoenix online website. The original story was posted March 2, 2016, and I listed these excerpts on June 10, 2017

– C. Mehrl Bennett

T-shirt image viewJMB & MM purple background

Above photos are a thumbnail back view of shirt and a large image of the front of the shirt! The designs on this black vispo T-shirt are collaborations by Musicmaster and John M. Bennett, done by passing the image/words back and forth via snail mail – one of the collaborative processes often used in MAIL ART.

Zazzle Site Source: Collaborative Vispo T-Shirt

If you wonder what all the fuss is about MAIL ART, let Musicmaster (aka Thomas M. Cassidy of Minneapolis, MN) fill you in during this video interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOewE81L85w