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Friday, November 30, 2018

BOLANO 2666 My Reading of the Number

Words Written in Blood should not be read but learnt by HEART.- NIETZSCHE

Everyone reviewing this book bores me. As Bolano has said writing is like being a detective and reading is being a detective.


666 is the MARK of The BEAST.
 And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, 
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? - Yeats

Newton's Law of Gravitation came to him about 1666, when he was twenty-four. ...in those days I was in the prime of my age for invention, and minded mathematics and philosophy more than at any time since.

Bolano planned his great masterpiece for awhile before he wrote it.  2666 was being finished up when Bolano was forty-eight, just double Newton's age and 1000 years later as a date. Bolano was dying and died just before finishing it but the book we have is just about exactly the way he indicated it be finished. 

2666 - 1666 = 1000 a nice number eh.

2666 divided by 2 = 1333 a prime number which is nice but not serious. 

A REAL Mathematician writing about REAL mathematics

And this is where I happened to find the Newton quote. IMO this is what Bolano means by being a reading detective. The problem with the date exists in all reviews. So I had stored the problem in my head and here I found my reading without searching. Also on pages 64-65 Hardy compares his essay as trying to do for Mathematics what Bradley did in an incredibly long and complex book, which is one of two reasons I bought the book. Actually the third reason is that I have a "bank account" at my favorite local bookstore BOOKMARX in SpringfieldMO. 

Appearances in Bolano talk are SEMBLANCES about which he has much to say

Bradley was the great influence on T.S. Eliot when he was a philosophy student at Cambridge. Hardy was there also.

The Wasteland

The Cocktail Party
When two people who know they do not understand each other
Breed children whom they do not understand
And who will never understand them.

Can we just say there is no love.

Since Bolano was a poet most of his life and turned to fiction after he was married and to leave an inheritance to his family, we know for sure he knew Eliot the great poet of the twentieth century. So surely Bolano also knew F. H. Bradley as his primary influence and we pick this up in all the inclusions of SEMBLANCES Bolano discusses for us. That is, the world is composed of appearances, of semblances. One tears away the veil of appearance - semblance - and the next layer of appearance appears, and so on.

Exceptional edition I chose because Wyndham Lewis writes an essay on Eliot. He was a great influence on Marshall McLuhan and I have been waiting for the universe to present me with his writing somewhere, sometime, and it appeared so that is how I got to Bradley and was pleased that Hardy revered him also. He has been lost in the folds of philosophy where another Foucauldian wants to dig him out. 

Extra also in this collection and another McLuhan influence I. A. Richards with another wonderful essay to match Lewis's one. This book with a portrait of Eliot.

Not as good IMO but a portrait of Eliot by Wyndham Lewis on the cover.  Peter Ackroyd editor.

So I was just out of this detective play when I started 2666. I have a default in my mind on Foucault and anything else I am wondering about.  I only read Hardy after Bolano for the math part and was astonished. Bolano playing with Newton and himself. One young, one dying young captured by imagination. Is this true? I have no idea but I like it and I bet Bolano would have been charmed.

Bolano likes playing with numbers: 

The book was Rafael Dieste's Testamento geometrico published in 1975. (One copy at Amazon for just under $1000!) Amalfitano will take clothespins, hang it on his clothesline in his backyard to turn it into a Duchamp of his own. It is divided into three parts: On the front flap , the reader was informed that the Testamento geometrico was really three books, "each independent, but functionally correlated by the sweep of the whole," and then it said "this work representing the final distillation of Dieste's reflections and research on Space, the notion of which is involved in any methodical discussion of the fundamentals of Geometry." At that moment, Amalfitano thought he remembered that Rafael Dieste was a poet.

This time the advance he sent Archimboldi was bigger than any previous advance, in fact so large that Martha, the secretary, before mailing the check to Cologne, brought it into Mr. Bubis's office and asked (not once but twice) whether the sum was correct, to which Mr. Bubis answered yes, it was, or it wasn't, what did it matter, a sum, he thought when he was alone again, is always approximate, there is no such thing as a correct sum, only the Nazis and teachers of elementary mathematics believed in correct sums, only sectarians, madmen, tax collectors (God rot them), numerologists who read one's fortune for next to nothing believed in correct sums. Scientists, meanwhile, knew that all numbers were only approximate. Great physicists, great mathematicians,  great chemists, and publishers knew that one was always feeling one's way in the dark.(p. 823)

...Archimboldi told her he was looking for literary publishing houses that were still active. The librarian said she could help. For while she rummaged through some papers and then she made a phone call. When this was done she handed Archimboldi a list of twenty publishing houses, the same as the number of days he'd spent typing his novel, which was surely a good sign. (p. 792)

All the critics and reviewers cite 2666 from this passage in Amulet:

I followed them: I saw them go down Bucareli to Reforma with a spring in their step and then cross Reforma without waiting for the lights to change, their long hair blowing in the excess wind that funnels down Reforma at that hour of the night, turning it into a transparent tube or an elongated lung exhaling the city's imaginary breath. Then we walked down the Avenida Guerrero; they weren't stepping so lightly any more, and I wasn't feeling too enthusiastic either. Guerrero, at that time of night, is more like a cemetery than an avenue, not a cemetery in 1974 or in 1968, or 1975, but a cemetery in the year 2666, a forgotten cemetery under the eyelid of a corpse or an unborn child, bathed in the dispassionate fluids of an eye that tried so hard to forget one particular thing that it ended up forgetting everything else. (p.897)

What a sad paradox, thought Amalfitano. Now even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze paths into the unknown. ...but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and moral wounds and stench. (p.896)

And then there is the title. That enigmatic number, 2666-a date, really - that functions as a vanishing point around which the different parts of the novel fall into place. Without this vanishing point, the perspective of the whole would be lopsided, incomplete, suspended in nothingness. (p. 896)

The Gravitational Law pulls The Crimes underneath towards the Center of the World. Towards the VOID that can never be filled. 
Toward WOMAN.

You have to listen to women. You should never ignore a woman's fears.(p. 348)

Bolano indicates the existence in the work of a "hidden center," concealed beneath what might be considered the novel's "physical center." There is reason to think that this physical center is the city of Santa Teresa, faithful reflection of Ciudad Juarez, on the Mexican-U.S. border. There the five parts of the novel ultimately converge; there the crimes are committed that comprise its spectacular backdrop (and that are said by one of the novel's characters to contain "the secret of the world"). As for the "hidden center"...might it not represent 2666 itself, the date upon which the whole novel rests? (p.896)

The forgotten cemetery is the forgotten gardens in the last pages where the descendant of Furst Pukler tells Archimboldi his story?

Friday, November 23, 2018

Auschwitz: A Heterotopia Space - A Reading Through Primo Levi

Words written in blood should not be read but learnt by heart. - Nietzsche

Auschwitz: A Heterotopia Space
A close reading of Primo Levi’s Survival In Auschwitz

Words written in blood are not to be read but learnt by heart. - Nietzsche

We are in fact convinced that no human experience is without meaning or unworthy of analysis, and that fundamental values, even if they are not positive, can be deduced from this particular world which we are describing.(p.87)

We would also like to consider that the Lager was pre-eminently a gigantic biological and social experiment. (p.87)

Anyone who has studied and been trained in statistics and experimental design who reads this from Levi, can see he is correct. Once you see it you can’t unsee it.

In my opinion Auschwitz - the Queen of the camps -  is a brilliant design for this experiment. Thousands of individuals, differing in age, condition, origin, language, culture and customs, are enclosed within barbed wire: there they live a regular, controlled life which is identical for all and inadequate to all needs, and which is more rigorous than any experimenter could have set up to establish what is essential and what adventitious to the conduct of the human animal in the struggle for life. (p.87)

Levi interprets: We believe, rather, that the only conclusion to be drawn is that in the face of driving necessity and physical disabilities many social habits and instincts are reduced to silence. (p.87) Levi goes on to speak of the Saved and the Drowned. Within the social these extremes are curtailed. Not excessive strength nor excessive weakness but in the Lager there are no curbs at all. There is no morality there, no good and no evil because there is no law in the Lager.

But in the Lager things are different: here the struggle to survive is without respite, because everyone is desperately and ferociously alone. If some Null Achtzehn vacillates, he will find no one to extend a helping hand; on the contrary, someone will knock him aside, because it is in no one’s interest that there will be one more musselman* dragging himself to work every day;

*This word Musselmann, I do not know why, was used by the old ones of the camp to describe the weak, the inept, those doomed to selection.(p.88) Viktor Frankl uses it in his Man’s Search For Meaning about his time in the Lager. Frankl was an existentialist psychiatrist, whose reading of the camps is existential. Levi’s reading is scientific and is more distant; he is also an observer as well as a slave.My reading of this word from Frankl first was its resonance with moslem and muslim..So I am reading it through Lacan and Francoise Dolto’s clinical work in Dominique as an unconscious hatred of the Other surfacing in this nickname. And Levi associates to the Other:

In the recipe book #SplendidSoups I found where mussemann (musselman) came from! It is a curry that is MUSLIM! A muslim curry! So calling the walking dead musselmann because he looked yellow and because of the prejudice of the Jews against Muslims was an intuitive association of mine and a correct one.

Many people - many nations - can find themselves holding, more or less wittingly, that ‘every stranger is an enemy’. For the most part this conviction lies deep down like some latent infection; it betrays itself only in random, disconnected acts, and does not lie at the base of a system of reason. But when this does come about, when the unspoken dogma becomes the major premise in a syllogism, then, at the end of the chain, there is the Lager. Here is the product of a conception of the world carried rigorously to its logical conclusion; so long as the conception subsists, the conclusion remains to threaten us.

The story of the death camps should be understood by everyone as a sinister alarm-signal. (p.9)

...and if someone, by a miracle of savage patience and cunning, finds a new method of avoiding the hardest work, a new art which yields him an ounce of bread, he will try to keep his method secret, and he will be esteemed and respected for this, and will derive from it an exclusive , personal benefit; he will become stronger and so will be feared, and who is feared is, ipso facto, a candidate for survival. (p.88)

Reading this last sentence through Foucault and his method of genealogy we see the bare beginnings of capitalism beginning in barter. Or with these Jewish slaves, is it a condition of the capitalistic social and economic culture they arrived from in all parts of Europe? Would indigenous people unexposed to capitalism but only to barter have behaved the same? Did the women behave this way in their confinement? At any rate the male Jews that survived, survived in a number of ways not different - except in extremes - from ordinary capitalist behavior. Only far more vicious and evil. To steal a bowl from a slave meant that he could get no soup until he got another. The only way for him to get another was to trade his bread ration for the bowl. He is starving, and this is his only choice. No one will lend him theirs even after finishing. And the slave must carry all his puny belongings with him wherever he goes or they will be stolen by another slave. This loss of one bowl of soup can easily result in a pound of flesh lost, which could lead to death.

Lacan says that with God present everything is permitted. With no God nothing is permitted. In the arbitrary environment of the Lager which prohibits all from any spontaneous, natural personal gesture. Only what is ordered is to be said, gestured, or done. An example:

Driven by thirst, I eyed a fine icicle outside the window, within hand’s reach, I opened the window and broke off the icicle but at once a large, heavy guard prowling outside brutally snatched it away from me. Warum? I asked him in my poor German. Hier ist kein warum (there is no why here), he replied, pushing me inside with a shove. (p.29)

The explanation is repugnant but simple: in this place everything is forbidden, not for hidden reasons, but because the camp has been created for that purpose. (p.29) And this is filling the definition of a Heterotopic Space as Foucault has conceptualized it.

This is also what Lacan means by The Big Other.

Levi rarely if at all uses the word inmate - he will in referring to the seriously ill at the end - for the Jews in the camps. Instead he always refers to them and himself as slaves. He is the only one I’ve read in this literature of the Holocaust who is that linguistically careful. Did translators not want to use slave/Jew together? The English translations use inmate. Quite a difference in meaning and resonance.

This is a controlled experiment composed of huge numbers of subjects. His title is Survival In Auschwitz. What does it take to survive the ultimate in human degradation on the road to death? It is micro fascism as Foucault has taught us to see. The minute everyday crushing of human response in every movement, gesture, word. The destruction of all rituals of social and civilized life, when everything is forbidden. So what is left? Homo Sacer - Bare Man - survival without living. Hobbes: Life was short and brutal.

What is it about the musselmen who are the walking dead? Frankl will say that at some point the man decided he no longer wanted to live and in a few days it became obvious. Shortly afterwards he was selected.

There is a memory I have from my reading and my impression is that it came from the book, This Way For The Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen. Borowski describes a transport that has just come in. As it unloads its human cargo he sees a beautiful young woman who stands in the doorway the moment before she will step down to the platform where the selections are being made. She tucks in her blouse and he notes that she is not disheveled, her hair appears combed, her clothes neat. She stops, looks and sees the slaves who are gathering the suitcases and immediately understands what awaits her, what her future will be. She goes right away to the line of the old, the sick, the mothers, the children and joins them. An instant knowing and refusal to participate in surviving like that. Of becoming that. The walking dead.

How varied their reasons for wanting to die? Knowing that to survive they must join in being thieves, preying on the new ones before they can size the situation up, becoming what one must become to survive. Maybe they just said no, no more of this. They were the huge majority in the camps, doomed to die or choosing to die. The first ones arriving in the camps did not experience the walking dead until they became them. They will notice them turning yellow in their faces and comment on them. The later arrivals see them on arrival and see their future. This is planned of course, the first scene of terror awaiting the new arrivals.

This is invisible violence. They are also a sign which can be read in a number of ways by the new ones. They have information that the originals did not have. A choice lays before them. They may shudder and then attempt to not let it happen to them or to give up immediately. To resist they will have to be willing to take on behaviors that will help them survive, but only if they are lucky and determined.

Levi describes the three types of survival methods. I will only consider the Jews here:
  1. The most traveled road , … is the Prominenz - Prominent. The Kapos, cooks, et al. The Jewish prominents form a sad and notable human phenomenon. In them converge present, past and atavistic sufferings, and the tradition of hostility towards the stranger makes of them monsters of asociality and insensitivity. (p.91) This man will displace and scapegoat on all those under him. If he doesn’t then they will appoint someone who will.

We are aware that this is very distant from the picture that is usually given of the oppressed who unite, if not in resistance, at least in suffering. We do not deny that this may be possible when oppression does not pass a certain limit, or perhaps when the oppressor, through inexperience or magnanimity, tolerates or favours it. . But we state that in our days, in all countries in which a foreign people have set foot as invaders, an analogous position of rivalry and hatred among the subjected has been brought about; and this, like many other human characteristics, could be experienced in the Lager in the light of particularly cruel evidence. (p.91)
  1. ...there is a vast category of prisoners, not initially favored by fate, who fight merely with their own strength to survive. One has to fight against the current; to battle every day and every hour against exhaustion, hunger, cold, and the resulting inertia; to resist enemies and have no pity for rivals; to sharpen one’s wits, build up one’s patience, strengthen one’s will power. Or else, to throttle all dignity and kill all conscience, to climb down into the arena as a beast against other beasts, to let oneself be guided by those unsuspected subterranean forces which sustain families and individuals in cruel times. (p.92)
  2. Elias the dwarf is in the third category. He is stronger, resourceful, sly,  and he thrives. Because he is insane. He is the most adaptable, the human type most suited  to this way of living. On the outside he will be confined to the fringes...in a prison or lunatic asylum. But here in the Lager there are no criminals or madmen; no criminals because there is no moral law to contravene, no madmen because we are wholly devoid of free will, as our every action is, in time and place, the only conceivable one.  ...Elias, as far as we could judge from outside, and as far as the phrase can have  meaning was probably a happy person. For those who have no sound inner resources, for those who do not know how to draw from their own consciences sufficient force to cling to life, the only road to salvation leads to Elias:  to insanity and to deceitful bestiality. All the other roads are dead ends. (p.98)

Levi will go on to tell us of Henri, who on the other hand, is eminently civilized and sane, and possesses a complete and organic theory on the ways to survive in Lager. He is  only twenty-two, he is extremely intelligent, speaks French, German, English and Russian,  has an excellent scientific and classical culture. According to Henri’s theory, there are three methods open to man to escape extermination which still allow him to retain the name of man: organization, pity and theft. He himself practices all three. (p.98)

The Soviet Union and Israel refused to publish his writings on Auschwitz. Israel received masses of survivors. People who had done what they did to survive. There is no way to unknow what you did and did to others to get any slight advantage that would enable you to survive. These people composed a huge demographic in Israel, their rage and guilt was fed to their children and grandchildren. Evil trickles down unto the seventh generation. God is conservative in this estimate. The Palestinians are enduring this displacement today, this Identification with the Aggressor. In Israel there were so very many. Those who entered the diaspora were absorbed and without political power to do the same.

Tadeusz Borowski. This Way For the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen
Francoise Dolto. Dominique: Analysis of an Adolescent
Viktor Frankl. Man’s Search for Meaning
Michel Foucault. The Order of Things
Jacques Lacan. Ecrits.
Primo Levi. Survival In Auschwitz
Nietzsche. Thus Spake Zarathustra

Thursday, November 08, 2018


This is the most readable and accessible one.
This is difficult and deconstructs Freud's Oedipus Complex for little girls.
Some Examples of What Irigaray Says
All page numbers are from the Octopus Edition of 5 novels.

They never talked about Sarah. It was as if they shared a single relationship to Avery's wife, like children who are able to share a toy they no longer care for. Leclerc said, "Well, she's got that son of yours to keep her company......Leclerc was proud of knowing it was a son and not a a daughter. 
(p. 398)

She left the room, Woodford watching her. He took his pipe from his mouth and grinned. Avery knew he was going to say something about sleeping with Carol and suddenly he'd had enough.

Did your wife make that cup, Bruce? he asked quickly. I hear she's quite a potter.
Made the saucer as well, he said. He began talking about the classes she went to, the amusing way it had caught on in Wimbledon, how his wife was tickled to death. (p. 411)

It is a place of old faces and young bodies; of young faces and old bodies; where voices are raised to drown the silence, and glasses to drown the loneliness; it is the place where the searchers meet, finding no one but each other and the comfort of a shared pain; where the tired watchful eyes have no horizon to observe. It is their battlefield still; if there is love, they find it here in one another, shyly like adolescents, thinking all the time of other people. (p.445)

Avery was already familiar, during his short association with the department, with the phenomenon of organic motivation; with operations which had no discernible genesis and no conclusion, which formed part of an unending pattern of activity until they ceased to have any further identity; with that progress of fruitless courtships which, in the aggregate, passed for an active love life. (479)

He liked to talk to Avery. He talked about his women or the war. He assumed - it was irritating for Avery, but nothing more - -that a man in his middle thirties, whether married or not, led an intense and varied love life. Later in the evening when the two of them had put on their coats and hurried to the pub at the end of the road, he would lean his elbows on the small table, thrust his bright face forward and relate the smallest detail of his exploits, his hand beside his chin, his slim fingertips rapidly parting and closing in unconscious imitation of his mouth. It was not vanity which made him thus but friendship. These betrayals and confessions, whether truth or fantasy, were the simple coinage of their intimacy....

Avery came to know Leiser's face with an accuracy no longer related to memory. (Here we have the MALE GAZE Lacan discusses)He noticed how its features seemed structurally to alter shape according to his mood, how when he was tired or depressed at the end of a long day the skin on his cheekbones was drawn upwards rather than down, and the corners of his eyes and mouth rose tautly so that his expression was at once more Slav and less familiar. (p. 493)

I wouldn't mind a bit of what Fred's having, Johnson said with a snigger. He played a shot; a white ball dropped dutifully into its hold. Poles are dead randy. Go up anything, a Pole will. Specially Fred, he's a real terror. He's got the walk.
Are you that way, Jack?
When I'm in the mood. I wouldn't mind a little bit now, as a matter of fact.
They played a couple of shots, each lost in an alcoholic euphoria of erotic fancy. 

...Here's to Fred, Avery said.
To Fred. On the nest. And bloody good luck to him....
I dont know how he'll manage the B2, Johnson murmured. He's got a long way to go....
Fred. He's a lovely boy. Here: do you know this bloke Woodford, the one who picked me up?
Of course. He'll be coming down next week.
Met his wife at all, Babs? She was a girl, she was; give it to anyone.....
They drank ; that joke went astray. 
She used to go with the amin bloke, Jimmy Gorton..... (p. 499)

Is he getting frisky? Sometimes they want a girl about now. (p. 506)

A certain hilarity infected the briefing that morning. Johnson made a joke about not photographing the Oxford Constabulary by mistake; Leiser laughed richly and even Haldane allowed himself a wan smile. It was the end of of term; the boys were going home.
The exercise was a success. Johnson was pleased; Avery enthusiastic; Leiser manifestly delighted. They had made two faultless transmissions, ....at eight o'clock they assembled for dinner wearing their best suits. a special menu had been arranged. Haldane had presented the rest of his burgundy; toasts were made; there was talk of an annual reunion in years to come.  Leiser looked very smart in a dark blue suit and a pale tie of watered silk. (p. 507)

Too many sweets on the plane, that's your trouble, that's your trouble. Johnson winked at Avery. I saw you giving that air hostess a look. You shouldn't do it, Fred, you know, you'll break her heart.  He frowned round the table in mock disapproval. He really looked her over, you know. a proper tip-to-toe job. (p. 518)

Leiser smiled. It was the best ever, that week, John. It's funny, isn't it: we spend all our time chasing girls, and it's the men that matter; just the men.

You're one of us, Fred. You always were; all the time your card was there, you were one of us. We dont forget. (p. 530) 

When we met him he was a man without love. Do you know what love is? I'll tel you; it is whatever you can still betray. We ourselves live without it in our profession. We dont force people to do things for us. We let them discover love. And, of course leiser did, didn't he? He married us for money, so to speak, and left us for love.
Avery said quickly, What do you mean for money? 
I mean whatever we gave to him, Love is what he gave to us.

When he saw those letters, drawn out in Jack's neat, post-office hand, tears of gratitude started to his eyes. He never told me, he thought, he never told me he'd done it. Jack was all right, after all. Jack, the captain and young John; what a team to work for, he thought; a man could go through life and never meet a set of blokes like that. (p.546)

That Budapest thing, Leclerc continued, raising his voice, partly in enthusiasm and partly to dispel the atmosphere of intimacy which suddenly threatened them... (p. 558)

Avery spoke for the first time. You cant leave him out there all alone.His voice was flat. (p. 562)

Love. Yes, love! Not yours, Haldane, mine. Smiley's right! You made me do it for you, made me love him! It wasn't in you anymore! I brought him to you, I kept him in your house, made him dance to the music of your bloody war! i piped for him, but there's no breath in me now. He's Peter Pan's last victim, Haldane, the last one, the last love; the last music gone.

Avery had buried his face in his hands.(p. 563)

Avery was sobbing like a child. No one heeded him. (p.564)

ZIZEK tells us that the future is already here. It comes in fragments and we can embrace that which we want to preserve or ignore at our peril what we do not wish to come about. The LGW was published in 1963 soon after LeCarre wrote The Spy Who Came In From the Cold gave Carre the financial success he needed to quit M15 or whatever it was called then. He himself was vulnerable at this time, an alcoholic and a marriage tottering. He was writing in words of blood. 

Irigaray tells this to us. That male homosexual erotic power rules the world. Why the fact that gay men cannot be tolerated to upset this applecart of world rule. And heterosexual sex is the MASK that conceals it. Gay men are hated because they have broken the rule and have become commodities up for sexual exchange. Just like women. Men unconscious of their homosexuality are masking it with macho behavior and heterosexual sexual preferences. In this case they denigrate women when they are together talking about women. This is misogyny that we recognize without understanding it. Women are excluded but now have been invited in on the periphery of the limit, but they will never really be part of the good ol' boys clubs. It is clear that Carre knows very well what is going on among them erotically, but tells us very subtly. He is implying. When I get to Bolano the subtle telling disappears.

Irigaray also is writing in BLOOD. With the 1974 publication of SPECULUM the Lacanians kicked her out of psychoanalytic practice, expelled her from The Freud School and banished her from her teaching at the University of Vincennes which she helped to found. Three Lacanians were on the board evaluating her proposal for classes the following semester. This is how you get MURDERED in the academic profession. Clearly she was seen as VERY DANGEROUS. They were correct by the way. She is.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Poems on Reading Le Carre's Looking Glass War and Kenner on Eliot

They sent off their lamb
Leaving it to 
Survive in wilderness.
Prey of the machine, the State
This Boy Club playing Hide and Seek for REAL.

Spies like women
Are commodities. 
Interchangeable in an unchanging exchange.
Wearing down, wearing out.
Because they breathe.
Here, have some more he said 
passing the plate.

How many years 
Did they wait for me to die?
Sharing a bedroom
With her growing larger
To take my place
And was that how come I came to grow and live?
When did they know
She also was a mistake?
That they were a mistake?

Soon we all will be mostly gone.
The last generation of Depression Babies.
A small demographic
With a childhood in war years
No lust for things
That hadn't been dreamed of yet
To turn into cheap coins
That were no longer
Beautifully engraved silver flowing images
That we carefully exchanged
Not wanting to part
With cherished loveliness
To obtain what we thought was less.

Eliot: The Cocktail Party:

Two people who know that they do not understand each other
Breeding children whom they do not understand
And who will never understand them.