The Apocalypse Project

(This has not been tested. This is ‘just writing.’)

  1. An apocalypse is a revelation, an unveiling.
  2. Joseph Donahue writes that apocalypse is “a literature of complete yet coded protest against worldly domination structures.”
  3. No one will need to have written before—in fact, the Project gears itself towards those not initiated into writerly subcultures. If one has been ensconced in writerly culture, knowledge will have to be unlearned.
  4. The Project should be in no particular place, no center, no retreat cottage out in the woods.
  5. No patrons, no benefactors.
  6. What do we find in each other’s eyes? In each other’s voices? In our hammering away at a keyboard, finger to letter? The feel of a pen in our hands when words are crossed out, the sound of the strikethrough?
  7. When we die, we cease to be able to write. At some point, we will write and read our last words. The horizon is finite. It is difficult to remember this.
  8. This involves seeing clearly (discernment) and then acting upon it (volition).
  9. Anathema: personal “development” and “fulfillment” as the end goal.
  10. The core group of the Project is the Meeting.
  11. The Meeting can take place anywhere.
  12. Ideally each Meeting should include 5-10 members, called Participants.
  13. A regular Meeting Place and time should be decided upon. Every other week is encouraged.
  14. The Meeting should have some of the trappings of a writing workshop, but it is not a writing workshop. On the outside, it will look like a combination of a writing workshop, a cell, and a support group for neoliberalism.
  15. Every Meeting should begin with food, drink and socialization.
  16. Next in the Meeting each Participant spends a couple of minutes talking about what they have seen/discerned in the last two weeks: anxieties, triumphs, expectations thwarted, feelings of helplessness, etc. as it relates to the social fabric that all Participants find themselves in, that of late capitalism and a neoliberal surveillance state.
  17. The rest of the Participants should listen attentively and give support when needed and asked for.
  18. There is no fixed self.
  19. There is only the illusion of self brought about by our interrelations with other people and our interactions with their desires.
  20. Creating an apocalyptic work is akin to creating a living organism.
  21. Capitalism thrives on its own constant death and resurrection. Every crisis is an opportunity for capitalism’s advance.
  22. The goal is to have the living organism of the apocalyptic text live, die and resurrect alongside capitalism.
  23. After the interpersonal sharing in the Meeting, the Participants should each read aloud the works they have worked on since the last Meeting.
  24. The work should be of an apocalypse.
  25. There is no critique of Participants’ work inside the Meeting.
  26. The Meeting should avoid the use of medical terminology for cultural malaise.
  27. The Participants should be localvores. There should never be national or international Meetings. The expenditure of air fuel is not worth it. Every writing conference which involves wan poems of personal expression have on their pages the exhaust fumes of 747s.
  28. The apocalypses between the Participants should be that of a Chain: able to be linked together, but able to live apart, like the Participants themselves.
  29. Each Participant’s apocalypse should unfurl the limitations of the conceivable.
  30. Verse drives concentration. Prose drives.
  31. The texts should be unacceptably open.
  32. After the reading of works, Participants look for opportunities to stitch the various works together.
  33. The works should scroll together.
  34. At the same time, the works should act as a complex, a compound organism.
  35. If any dues are to be collected, they should be solely from the Participants to buy snacks, and/or to publish the works on a regular basis, whether that be in print or in a shared space such as online, streetlamps, etc.
  36. The work should only be published under the Meeting’s name and location. At most, only first names should be acknowledged.
  37. It is unclear what will be unveiled from the Project. But its meaning will shift within the fabric of capitalism until a rupture becomes evident.
  38. The Participants write out the future catastrophe into the present; if all goes dark in the future, it must go dark for us while there is still light.
  39. If the darkness grows stronger—on account of our species’ inability to see—then this Project will allow us to see the darkness before its reckoning.

 

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