Book of Forgetting

by stephen hastings-king

A Book of Forgetting is made using procedures.  It is the doing and its residuum.


To make your own, obtain a book with blank pages.  Collect materials; postcards, photographs, magazines.  Make rules to determine what you do with them.  Write things down.  Make other rules to determine whether you write in the book or on pieces of paper.


What the rules are does not matter so long as they are rules.




Like anyone who makes a book of forgetting, I write on the pieces of paper that the rules allow.


Sometimes I write about where I am:


The light that flashes from the television monitor is full of skaters hitting railings. It is a shower of breaking bones.  But the volume is off so that does not concern me. I listen to a dance track. The structure chews through itself.  I forget each thing as soon as it happens. This music is optimized pleasure. 


Other times I write things that are quite grand:


Knowing is the arbitrary coordination of anecdotes.  Even when it corresponds to the world problems of method undermine it. Any knowing about knowing is a theoretical statement, a register of generalization combined with construction problems characteristic of any statement.  Knowing about knowing is both the spinning wheel and the stick that moves toward its spokes.




When I fill a piece of paper I burn it.  Sentences that are ash are the same as every other.  


In the book some pages are blank and others have images or words. The procedures say where and how I smear the ash on them. 




If I ever fill the book of forgetting,  I will bury it outside like a pet whose grave I do not mark so that it starts out a place and by degrees becomes an around there somewhere.