Benjamin Suzuki: journal – III


From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


33. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

Mortar fire from Gaza kills a 70 year old Israeli woman. Southern Israel, May, 2008      


There are no individuals, only theaters of network war, not even a single war, but wars which shift with each node, nodes made of the intersection of ties, there what we call an individual. There is no peace, only victory shifting the many battles slightly elsewhere. Sacrifice is constant, only awaiting label. A dead body becomes itself the locus of conflict, contention over appropriate labeling, incomprehensible until named. Sacrifice her death is, but to end undisclosed. She lies there, if she can, if that remains to her, awaiting our meaning. We contend in grief to remove all ambiguity, hope ever a casualty of our certainties.


Hope is irresolution. Death makes life when things remain unclear. We take this woman at the end of her life, we take her death, and we kill her again. We keep killing this death until the theaters of conflict finally close, what’s left of the event of her destruction owned in some far off land where contention is over the words of her death, the only residue of her life. Not her words, for she had none at her end, but our words, the words we place over her death, soon covering it beyond recognition.


Rabin, break their bones Rabin, found that death must remain ambiguous for peace to come. The preservation of ambiguity must become the focus of network contention, even as the theater shifts to a new node. Only the unresolved can transit across nodes; across theaters better than any playwright’s, yet banal in their revealed contention; across networks which shift with each node. Hope can be a common good because it remains unresolved. Hope is the absolution of death through ambiguity; nonviolence the absorption of death to permit hope.


If we will not absorb death, we need make more. Rabin saw this, at least the Rabin of assassination. Perhaps that Rabin exists only as assassination, perhaps the preservation of hope remains somewhere deeply buried in that unplanned occasion, making a man who never was. But on the surface, on his final surface, we exploiting that surface because that is what’s lived, contention over his sacrifice has left it dead, we not understanding that to be buried is not necessarily to be dead. We have lost not the cowardice of failed reply, the charge against Rabin when living, but the ambiguity of responsibility which supplicates the coming of the unforseen, of hope. Peace will not do what we demand of it; perhaps that is why we prevent its coming.


An old Israeli woman, a little girl just out of infancy during Holocaust, has died. And already we have told her why she died. Too many whys, in a land with too many answers.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


34. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

A restaurant customer discovers the grizzle of his steak forms the word “Allah” in Arabic; astonished, the restauranteur finds other examples in his inventory, placing them on display behind his cashier counter. Niger, June, 2008.


Wanting the distribution of consumption to dissolve divinity in creation, instead imprisoned underglass by convenient awe, God trapped in It’s Place, consumption soon coming to it, vanquished by the smallest of creatures made, invisible miracle of God consuming divinity unawares, no Word here, consecrated in excreta, ash unread.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


35. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

Shortly after appointment as Appellate Judge, otherwise undated         


There is a forgiveness which transcends transaction with the blamed other, a forgiveness which releases others trapped by the conflict, forced to align one way or the other, or precluded from enjoying alignment across the conflict. This forgiveness releases these others, irrespective of the attitude of the “forgiven.” It says, I abandon this conflict for those who are not in it, offering opportunity for the transformation of social structure. But there is no guarantee the “forgiven” will agree. Be prepared for retribution.


Forgiveness can be altruism without exact beneficiary–and this can enrage those in battle. Such amorphous forgiveness is, I think, the pulse of Gandhian nonviolence. We focus overmuch on the perpetrators of violence; these need not be the target of nonviolence at all. The unease to distaste which Gandhi provokes is not solely consequent of his battle weapon of self-immolation. The incalculable beneficiary provokes as well. Who will be stirred by this useless act, thereby bestowing use? Battles unseen and numerous may result, the protectors by violence then restricted by their purported charges. We may find we have ourselves become the enemy, that monopolizing protection has its own violence, our righteousness evaporating as we face those we are sworn to protect.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


36. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

Islamic militants attack several locations in Mumbai (Bombay); over 170 known dead, some counts over 200, with 300+ wounded. Two hotels and a Jewish center taken and suicidally held. Bombay stock exchange suspended. American Thanksgiving holiday weekend, November, 2008.        


In anonymity they kill, bullets physical distillation of loss unactuarial, bodies falling purposefully, intended death proclaimed in honesty denied to their past. Terrorist reified social structure, no atmospheric act where responsibility travels on wind, where all, poor to wealthy, are equally trapped in the necessities of the unknown, humanity subjugating the human to make itself. Bullets distilled growth of civilization, no long arms invisible of night coming to suffocate those left by, no abstraction touching yet untouchable. In the dull yes of sustained adequacy they are born, born through our blunt words which deflect the incoming incomprehensibility which is world not mine. Born they press through fortresses of air to make an efficacy penetrating our willed, necessary, inescapable blindness, touching a few into oblivion, leaving most of us untouched. Which is how we will, have always, endured.


Atrocity reified, bullets delivered by Word of God, his hand made flesh in now corpses, no unnamed drone directed by Command which flights from mouth to mouth, leaving the perpetrating hand innocent in anonymity. These men, killer and killed, are humanity, abstraction misplaced in concreteness, logical error vanquished by some academic article, yet still here, illiterate to the science of its uncreation. These men, deaths outside our windows, somewhere in city but not our heres, humanity which tears apart the human, all lives present in a single point bullet, Darwin’s grandeur of life fused with the failures which let grandeur be.


Civilization come of bullet, made of minds gone, delivered by a God of minds gone, in an economy of minds gone to hidden. Civilization war of dead minds, the living not even their receptacle, only the dead and dying adequate stage for their being.


These words, dying in this ink–are they too civilization, my enemy in greater completeness, words made of minds gone, combining disparity into latent atrocity? Bullets of other hand, civilization bursting the human, the events of Bombay merely crass of form. Is the purpose of Word to burst the carrying vessel, jumping to fresh transport in the act? Are we more than not Islamists in other guise, their to be role not simply to be vanquished, but to be understood as they exit, confession of civilization, civilization pleading with itself for release from its own hand? Can Word defend itself against itself, this the battle that snuffs such men as Gandhi?


Perhaps this war on terror is nothing new. Perhaps we need to spy how old it really is. Perhaps our enemy resides not in the war, but in the pauses which make war. Perhaps words never end because Word is terrified of itself. The Pen asks for release by writing.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


37. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

Israel begins ariel bombardment of Gaza, turn of the new year, 2009.          


God will provide bread.”

           5 year old girl, Gazan, killed

           same day; related by her mother,

           who lost 3 children, aged 5 to

           12, that day, as reported in the

           New York Times.


Manna from heaven, someone else’s heaven, food for distant statistic, for the human mind’s capacity to make a multitude into single thing, number granting ontology on a ledger seen by some elect we do not want to know, unless we are they. Food for the mind, for neurotransmitted pleasure, ecstacy bashing a face not as distant as we might like, or not close enough, the in-between raging us unendingly. Unending satisfaction which is rage, rat pounding lever endlessly until collapse, no worry: our targets will be exhausted before that.


God gazes at his work and finds it wanting, sieving it into new form. That it was made before is always irrelevant; only this now matters. Creation is ever important–if made far, far distant. We hobble others to that creation, bend their knees, break their knees, make kneeling the only option, perhaps full supine collapse grace of escape. But creation near–there the hand of God is our own, that blasphemous. What is distant is its own responsibility, this the greatest piety. And failure of responsibility is licence to sieve, to renew through the righteous picking of survival.


Take to wing, explore God’s mind, bestow creation generous to the ground, explode our trap of now, tremor earth to shake the puzzle into new design, watch the ground force a fit, shift to maim to crush–so history shapes, pilot God trapped in His soaring purpose, freedom push of a button, meaning flaring below, we observant in the silence of God. Manna from heaven, pick of bodies, wail of remain, survival staggering about, what it was gone, what it is awaiting self encounter. Remain forced to eat heaven’s bounty, wondering numb what survival shall make it be.


Manna from heaven, always something for everyone. Such is God.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


38. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

The Israeli Supreme Court, ruling that a house occupied by settlers remains under legal contention, orders their eviction. The settlers resist, setting fires and throwing stones at Israeli soldiers; eviction night, young settlers throughout the West Bank damage Palestinian property (olive trees, houses) and desecrate mosques with graffiti. Hebron, early December, 2008.  


…you are no longer to be called Abram; your

name is to be Abraham, for I am making you

father of many nations.

   —Genesis 17:5



Whoever throws a stone at a soldier attacks

the State, and we cannot allow that.

   –-Shimon Peres, Nobel Peace Laureate

      and President of Israel


Origin cannot be monopolized. We push back time to find others in similar endeavor, pushing as we, overlapping in necessary propriety. Our struggled uniqueness lies not in claimed past, but in a preserved route to some past, a becoming the, story supplanting events which cannot be owned; but story can be owned, we restricting our audience until it is. This the faithful audience listening to no other, other abomination of common origin.


Abram was someone’s, Abraham not, so much in a syllable. Abraham is God’s, a maker of peoples, contention of unique origin their difference, some creating themselves by forgetting, this their entry into peace, others making themselves through ferocious memory which blots alternative, the only Book of Life we know, memory present.


This God Most High predates Torah, lets Torah become. Makes Torah and the forgetting ones who would run from such closure, these latter true wanderers, always to an elsewhere. Does God make cannibals, sons sacrificed so sons may grow? Is this humanity–not human, but the consumption of human, humanity in that act, both sides of that act? Is civilization a staying of the hand of God?


Thus the law: a staying of God, recurrence of the wanderer, forgetting origin first step towards common origin, an origin of many paths, paths important only for their end. And at that end, at that beginning never lived, memory shall abound, a place vast of difference where contention is convoluted into unending reticulation of story.


Consumers of place, story unique, story alone, you made this State. But in the making your story need reticulated, State a new Abraham, God manifest anew, nations sprouting in a nation, law not consumption, but traveled tale, admonition of consumption. So God makes Man to check Man, humanity beyond us all, humanity horror story to fairy tale.


Settlers, you are our necessary past, the consumption of other which builds a place. You are lesson of Torah, struggle of Torah, struggle against Torah. You are our ancestor in absurdity, loved aslant, yet asked to go. You are the path to our past, some past, we striding over you, past your past, hoping to encounter overlap in others’ past, the very pasts you condemn.


Your condemnation is direction for our hope. You tell us what we are, what place really is; you show us how to fight ourselves. And you curse our foolish ever postponed glory, God most real at first creation of humanity never known. Humans atoms of difference to make humanity; how could God do less?


As we quash you, our ancestor, laugh. What will we do when all place is vanquished, when Justice has triumphed everywhere and so has no place to stand? Then our new found ancestors of common origin shall lash out, make their place, God recurrent but no longer ours.


Or so you say–and I, at times, to many times, fear.


Is law another form of consumption, a prairie fire, feeding on that which grew for other purpose, majestic light of a day, collapsing from its own being? Settlers to recur in a land desolated by Justice, the Just ash made story, lesson to be avoided.


God in the consumption, to make a place or destroy the space of all places, uncaring which. In the unending end, only He is ever there, indifferent to use of mouth.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


39. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

A suicide bomber enters the funeral of a Shiite cleric (gunned down the previous day), killing the usual several. Pakistan, February, 2009.           


Release us from death’s processional, path ending only in story, rummer passed down the line, I’ve heard there is a front, a vantage, a vista, a front and something beyond the front, something the first, thankfully never us, sees, a reason, a necessity for his walk and our follow. We need reason to force our march, promissary unarticulated, that in the next whispered pass history made shall tell us why we step.


We grieve ourselves. Flayed tassels of being, whipping unanchored, we the node remaining–this is death, not in an elsewhere of respite but maker of days. Paradise is no End of Days but delay of Day, of severance, Paradise returning when creation anew comes to tether us again so we may be more than ourselves. We are a sequence of tetherings, individual that which is unanchored in someone’s death, moaning faith that we may unbe, offering ourselves as strand in web of words where common being is harmony where there is no responsibility. So the Word writes of death to tether elsewheres, to make strands anchor in ever present paradise.


I is abomination, whipping strand unraveling others, as close to God as we can be, false singleton, substance of strand in the lost tie, existence declaring its power through its loss. Our I’s are wrath of God made to be, made of His Word sundered, His self-cage broken, no promises to bind, to make him vanish into spoken breath, distributed widely, secretly, power hidden from Itself, this our function as men. We are God enduring Itself, ever failing, ever trying, cry of making and loss.


We march, death just a few steps ahead, that the anchor, a child’s chase, death pacing with us, where would we go if he left our sight? Always just beyond our reach, as almost here as God.


Release us from our processional, so others may march in our stead. Let us be God; we words have created long enough.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


40. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

A Brazilian Archbishop excommunicates all involved in the abortion of a 9 year old, including her mother and doctors. The girl, raped by her step-father, conceived twins whose gestation, doctors said, would kill her. The Archbishop, in excommunicating, says “God’s law is not ours.” A Vatican Cardinal soon affirms the Archbishop’s decision. March, 2009.         


God comes bursting It’s vessel, penetrating creation past, pushing materialism further than it was, circle wave where every view is forward, expanding circle where there is no past, no line of progress, this way only: no, only region consumed in the making, boundary view and step forward, pressing the past into an out there yet to be reached, approached not as a one-sided limit, but made space to be occupied anew.


We are but God’s past, choice realized, abandoned because already present, we an escape from eternity so possibility can have meaning. We are the detritus of possibility, Being failure because extant. Vessels vacuous, awaiting miraculous penetration, the unfolding of structure, mind made matter, emptiness filled so it may break into an unknown.


Comes the atrocious pulse of unmaking into our lives once so made, we now persevering through our laws against whence we came, our compassion of individual a Platonic blasphemy, abomination beyond heresy, the past saying it is all that can be. Creation is no respecter of persons, person not so much creation failed as later surpassed by more failure. In our bursting comes the promise of eternity: return to the pure potential which is God, commune without boundary in omnipotence. Vessels are made to be used unto breaking, that sundering the only echo of power we can know. Fill me, break me, so I can Be, for that instant, instant always outside of time.


God’s law is not ours. We preserve our vessels of self, do not know, cannot know, when preservation is done. We await God in some tomorrow, today full in the waiting. We can never be ready for God; to be ready is to be broken. Our emptiness is preservation, emptiness as close to potential as we can come. As vessels we cry against our use, laws of men not God, patching cracks as we can.


This our sin, that we exist, making others not be, sin trace of eternity made real. We are condemned for being, being being condemnation, we God’s necessary refuse, mind knowing itself through the removal, the remaking of matter.


We protest God. Without our protest, how could God become? The hard tension of we vessels is the necessary, temporary staying of divinity so it may come yet again in greater grandeur. Our laws are not God’s, but let Him come again. To know potential, it must be denied–for a time.


God’s law is not ours, sundering ours, roiling insanity, the rational but embedded in our law, insanity comes through God writ small, Armageddon’s final break thereby ever delayed, writ small in tragedy, sin failing its promise too soon.


A little girl screams, breaking, dying without birth, spilling her nothing for all to see.


God’s law is not ours.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


41. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

An Islamic party marches toward Islamabad, violating State order to desist. Provisional police in Lahore “melt away,” allowing the march to proceed. The Federal government soon capitulates, announcing the re-instatement of long sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, an avowed secularist in law–a primary demand of the march. As the party approaches Islamabad, police dismantle barricades. Pakistan, March, 2009.     


God turns another face; or we move in direction unforseen to encounter a beyond astonished. That which crushed our hopes, which made us be, now releases us to choreograph our being absent rehearsal. We are the beyond, for there is no us; acts migrate to an elsewhere to craft a returning reply–we conceit of people complete, whole, nowhere clearly present.


We march toward ourselves, for in our stopping is the only self that is. The march is our beyond, abode of self abandoned in the step, we then flow not of but toward perspective; and in perspective God resides.


To see the face of God Gandhi starved himself, release from place into delirium, travel of a kind, travel being place unrecognized. Not to see a face but make that face, mix the world through emaciated withdrawal, have the pieces making I, the others presumed to be as each we, have the pieces whirl to form a new terrain, foreground and background mating in mix, Gandhi opening his eyes to see a world anew, this a face of God, opening temples to untouchables, quelling righteous violence of cause, seeing Hindus and Muslims douse their burning selves; or dying in fasting failure, each a face of faced God.


Today Islam walks to make a demanding God, demand fulfilled in a secular Chief Justice who advocates the rule of law in desperate endurance, his denied place become supplicant for all in law, Islam walking toward a place not of it, this grope toward universality which is the denial of all distinction, our always final conjecture of God. God is not of us, cannot be of us, will never be of us, for there is no us to which to belong. March is the way toward God, perspective of face the stopping. But when we stop, we ever incomplete, we stop others as well; and in that second stopping we make direction unknown for others to take. Universalism is in the marching, known only in the stopping which is its failure.


We ever await Gandhi’s next fast. Today, one became before us.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


42. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

A suicide bomber, trying to enter a Shiite mosque, is resisted. Forcing entry, he explodes. Some 20 dead, 60 wounded. Pakistan, April, 2009.        


What would happen if we let them in, if God endured his creation total? If we celebrated their victories, waiting for more? Would they rave and oblige, sending, sending, exulting in ever victory, technology for portal to perfection complete? Or would they come to stand dumb, rage leached, confrontation in loss denied sustenance, Paradise somehow no longer compelling, my need important when yours denied.


Is it our own fierce need to endure which sustains them, their trump self-sacrifice which transcends our need? Where is God in this war? Perhaps on neither side, waiting for us to comprehend this test which respects no person. Perhaps God waits for us to understand what Jesus really did.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


43. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

A 17 year old girl is publically lashed for an offence unclear to onlookers. Her mother holds her down, the girl begging for a brief pause, “then you can continue.” Chief Justice Chaudhry, newly reinstated upon demand of an Islamic party, orders an investigation. Taliban controlled Swat Valley, Pakistan, April, 2009.          


In burka the only evidence of her being is whimper to cry. God lashes to assay her presence, discover His creation, we holding her down, our only reason for living this assay into unfathomable other. Her mother, surrogate of God, presses her to ground, forces her into the terrain reproduction endures, those who survive not kind, but here.


She would negotiate with the universe, torture in but respite of a moment, not knowing God’s fear; for God assays not petty crime, but wonder wary if there Himself He resides. Stumbling, propped on the reproductive destiny of her mother, burka exits, God still unsure of what lies therein.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


44. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

Islamic militants attack a police academy, taking one hundred or more hostage; elite troops retake the compound in hours, shouting God is great during their assault. Near Lahore, Pakistan, March, 2009.          


God is everywhere, takes credit by simply Being, we ever ready for worship, our enemies holding our alter aloft. God is His own cause, both for and against, confrontation making us for Him. God is great, greater than any we that can be, forcing us to reach beyond our arms outstretched, not to include by domain. God is great on all sides, He only victory assured. Worship our remaking, His self-fashioning, creation’s marvel that it has no set form.


He evolves us to Be, we winnowing our form, butcher’s chisel to fashion a face beyond our vista. No blood lost in the slaughter, blood softening our clay to pinch a face, recirculating beyond any body entrapped.


We shout God into Being, shout suspended above the breaths of its make, miracle of organization which has no single locus, there because it is also afar, shout barreling towards us, coming to inundate in direction unpreferred.


God is great, so great that all is never adequate, needing, making more, a making which may as expand across seas as collapse into the sightless. Either way, God, all there ever is, is great.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


45. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

A Pakistani peasant, gang raped by order of a village council to punish the reputation of her 12 year old brother ([falsely] accused of “seducing” an older woman), later sues the council, winning in Pakistan’s High Court. Investing her settlement in a program to help girls, she returns to the village. A police officer, resident at the time of her rape, now asks her to become his second wife. She demurs. 18 months later, he threatens to divorce his first wife if she refuses, which would trigger retaliatory divorces across marriage alliances. She capitulates, becoming his second wife. March, 2009.      


Pity respects no boundary, bleeds over all barriers, dissolves into anonymity, bears lives who cannot know why they are. Why is lost in necessity of breath, triumph each moment, medium of moment unimportant because it is there. Those dissolving in our lives are valued only in their anonymity; else their sacrifice threatens us to similar end.


Praise she who risks slaughter to stand her ground; but not those becoming the ground of others. Yet sacrifice is common to both, she raped out of her world, refusing to go, declaring her existence against cultural creed of her birth, facing the humiliation which keeps others’ lives afloat. Life against life makes a choice, a person, of a moment. Her individualism before the Court was the making of a girls’ school, a place where humiliation could not go, her humiliation public ground for its forgetting in the lives of others.


But when she forbears the humiliation of others’ divorce by becoming second wife, we disdain her submission to culture. She never left it. We forced her walk for our own ends, her individualism useful as our step forward. We made her dissolve among us, our ground for advance; as now she dissolves among the young women to which she returns.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


46. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

Islamic militants attack a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team, killing six guards, wounding seven Sri Lankans. Lahore, Pakistan, March, 2009.      


Religion above all religions, battle perpetual, victory with balm of harmless defeat. Celebrate, wine made blood, no veins need pump openly the miracle of life exposed. Death there is, ridicule of career lost, become like us once more, faces in anonymity, feet running to view victory common, making defeat in their wake. We perform the rites which made us, climbing ourselves as ladder, the inevitable tumble down now part of the program, our history stylized into recurrent thrill. Fall onto, into, us, become cheer, slogan chant, name more important than the breath sustaining it. Fall into common to await the next phoenix flare of worship; all will be resurrected at once, just look at the sky until see.


To cheer another day we short the imperative of God, quicken our prayer, skip a beat to two and more to view the game entire. God would have us fight but we are full of watch, population on the sidelines to which victory and defeat must return. Let others inscribe their names; our joys shall still be after their literacy has expired.


We fans of God as He approaches His End, curious necessary victory of omnipotence, cheering victory for victory’s sake. Perhaps we are God cheering His design, no need for form of worship nor ritual constraining steps to make. We are mass which is dissolve, Being the unmaking, erasure of distinction, eternity in our time. We are cheer unending, process which is outcome, triumph always here, our existence is what is.


Until God comes to game anew, showing us what creation really is.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


47. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

A former Soviet soldier, captured by insurgents during that occupation, was then offered conversion or death. Now named Nek Mohammed, married to an Afghan, he has the opportunity to visit his Ukranian homeland; his wife refuses. Elsewhere, Afghan courts affirm the conviction of two translators for rendering the Qur’an “inaccurately” into Persian. Imprisoned for several years, they avoid the applicable penalty of death. March, 2009.   


Truth knows no tolerance. It rolls over us with the same force with which we were raised, our freedoms bindings awaiting notice. God grants us the security of social debt, we passed from web to another, our attachment web for others, our struggle binding for others.


Truth knows no freedom, nor knowledge, nor innocence. These are finite things, assays of inadequacy, our faiths fortresses built high to block sight of horizon which is but beyond. We grasp infinity close called God, our now collapse of the world to avoid all other. We offer all you finality or death, the only ever choice. Occupy our space or become material for our walls–this our certainty against any Truth.


Come Mohammads we name, all silenced in the naming, oracles complete, Mohammads as they were before that first call on Ramadan, in innocence told all has always been known, God descending to make knowledge guilt again, less than all there is, guilt consuming outward, until all once more is known, in the fortress which only matters.


Come Mohammads we name to mouth the theater of past Recital, clarity of piety which is path and also punishment, Mohammad ostracized in Call, threat to unbelief in this today. Do not become Mohammad; stay with us.


Mohammads everywhere, and none may speak. God has left us, we desperate to remember what He was. We would make him complete in memory, this the sacrilege of the finite.


Come Mohammads we name–speak. Release us from our impiety. Let God be among us, if not in our here, then in a there.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


48. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

For over a decade Afghani women have immolated themselves while betrothed or recently married. The low frequency practice continues. March, 2009.    


So sacred in awe we have a word for it–immolate, to exit existence which is world endured by fire; to accelerate our consumption from years to minutes. The individual which is but endurance of the infinitesimal cannot but die, the only pivot when, how. We can remove steps in that dizzying search for exit, but not all. The consumption we are supposed to take may be taken quick-time, existence made abomination for all to face. Abomination for revealing what we know is there in the slow.


A great sin to fail of fit to world of pages ancient. We all feel that failure, so strive to force the puzzle to perfect fit at our boundaries, askew pushed down the line until puzzle breaks for someone. Their break our fit, their pieces used to fill our own gaps. Curse those who burn material otherwise there to fuel our own endurance.


Consider the mosaic of fits we call world, how I am your fit, you mine, neither present without the other. Accept your puzzle place as I mine. Flare not as individual, unsupportable in world; how will you see the intolerable skew pushed elsewhere if you endure it in a self of moment? It is knowledge of diverse extinction which makes life’s delicacy; endure until your far sight comes.


Yet there are those who refuse, who flare themselves to a moment which ever recurs, who turn from the solace of some lesser fit in someone’s somewhere else. These lamp our used maps of world, embarrass our hopes which in stealth penalize elsewheres; these lamp the despair we use to avoid. We stomp their flame, afraid of contagion, our boundaries singed to lesser fit, puzzle unclear in fear.


Do not light our existence to general sight. We live by closing our eyes to sleep past our acts. Endure for us, be the compassion of millennia. Your ancestors were as we. Celebrate their achievement: stay in the dark.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


49. On the United States Supreme Court

otherwise undated


Enso–circle, complete, single stroke of brush begun thickly, stream surging, circling to creation’s point, thinning in the return, white flying in black where image forms, faces unplanned inhabiting the end of ink, ink struggling to return to its plenty of beginning, struggling but failing, enso’s end connection incomplete, hope of ink in think reserve to come again.


So my jurisprudence.


Enso–brush thick in ink touching lightly, streamed white in ink into which figures become, flowing into the stream darkening as the circle is turned, becoming thick drop at end, circle encountering no clear self-beginning, only white in black of figures flowing upward, surging into a density they have not, hoping for a thick finality life does not give.


So my jurisprudence.


(Archival note: The enso is a zen test, or, equivalently, revelation, of self-understanding. One dips a brush into ink, then, in an uninterrupted stroke, creates a circle. Everything which appears on the page, including splatters from the brush while circling, can be interpreted as part of the revelation of zen understanding. Suzuki here describes, telegraphically, two forms of the enso, one where the brush is dropped solidly on the page, then traces a circle, pressure lightening as the hand advances, creating “flying white,” where the white page appears in streaks through the ink; the other begins the circle with a light touch, where flying white may appear, with greater pressure as the hand advances. There are other variants, such as a solid circle thickly drawn throughout, where the steady hand circling represents the artist’s understanding. Perhaps it is not surprising that Suzuki ignores this variant in his telegraphic enso description of his jurisprudence.)



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


50. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

A suicide bomber detonates in a mosque just before prayer, flames engulfing its entrance. At least 50 killed. Northwest tribal area, Pakistan, March, 2009.       


Portals to God made of men, not women, not there, women on the side to grieve what cannot be borne, the effort of centuries finally condensed into flaming entrance which bars our presence; the effort of centuries of no man, men innumerable the medium, carrying something else, fitful plea to transcend place, grace hated once granted. God comes to grant that plea, comes a man, knows no monopoly on incarnation, comes into the plea of centuries, knows the end of place is entrance without exit.


God comes as one of us, as eager to leave creation as we. To leave consequence make a way of no looking back. Exit responsibility by barreling into an End, Ends everywhere, awaiting God’s ever recurring exit from his work, Word self surety against inevitable despair.


God wanders His land, we His exit, we evolved by Word to remove Word, Word prison of presence, needing reception of other, but other God is forbidden. God is an impossibility of language, made by talk to talk the world into being, made by language to be before, beyond, language.


Wanders among us despairing of reception, He quintessence of all beyond, residue of all language games, paradox which some logician must somewhere have declared meaningless, axiom designed to prevent the absurdity of His occurrence, if only employed correctly.


Axiom we resist. We force His Being for our own exit, want an unnamed land where no one can tell us what to be, God our made scout.


So he returns to us, showing us the only, final solution to all language, entrance of hope flamed to bar all entry.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


51. On the Supreme Court of the United States

During Nonacs v Selten


Scalia dropped by my chambers today. My clerks are afraid of Antonin. He bellows righteous indignation; they want the minor turmoil of success. Groomed in dissent, he hovered briefly in ascendence, but now finds himself in free fall.


His early dissents had a lacerating honesty about them, perilously close to exposing the dishonest glue of all majorities. But he succumbed, in my view, to the easy necessity of majority opinion, where everyone tries to insert a dodging phrase to preserve a path to their city on a hill. One’s biography reads better when perpetual dissent is embraced by future generations.


He came today in robe, an eccentricity of late, declarative of some remote purpose. Worn not as a brethren. No, he speaks to something else now. Not to the future of law. He speaks, I think, to the people, his people, direct.


“Anton, please sit.”


“Not necessary, Benjamin. A brief comment is all I have.”


“Ah. Brief is best. Gives most to expansion in thought.”




“Then you must sit, Anton! May I get you something to drink?”


“What? No, no. Feint, as in gambit.”




“You are not alone in employing it with effect.”


With this he departs.


Ah. Nonacs v Selten. He will vote to void conscription. He doesn’t like it. We have a bare majority without him. Have we forced him into this honesty? If so, what will he do with it? We have affected you, Anton. What have you done to us?



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


52. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

An avowed homosexual is sodomized as punishment. Crimes against homosexuals go unreported, unnoticed, unenforced. Iraq, occupation of the United States.         



Choose your enemies wisely–for you shall become them.


          Cicero (106 – 43 bce)



Show their abomination by becoming them. Punish them for that, for taking you into the filth strangely pleasant once there. Purity is impunity. When exiting purity clothe yourself in filth, impunity underneath, you camouflaged avatar to expand the only world to know.


Make an enemy to use the enemy, tool never disowned for never possessed. No Satan can withstand usurpation of all patent, God holder in fief, responsibility residing below at point of contact; so are slaves of God. Satan is responsibility, arrogance of owner, tool of God which creates to be expunged. There is no holy battle, merely palimpsest of same ink, same material, same unending end.


Disgust is erasure, self-justifying, unmoved mover, our endurance as others fade first measure of eternity, holy link which transcends personality, which affirms eternal life by knowing at least one other feels as us, eternal but, please, not alone, abomination our shrine to us.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


53. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

Human Rights Watch documents at least 20 extra-judicial killings by Hamas during the Gaza offensive of Dec 2008 – Jan 2009, plus more than 50 maimings, bullets to the leg or breaking of legs. April, 2009.        


Vying for God’s notice we climb atop one another, feet purchased on faces forced into the ground, our arms raised high, see what I do to reach you, see how high I go for your love, how I strive for eternity, my presence alone as others fade beneath notice.


We climb and stretch yet the vault of heaven comes no closer. Heaven is not at fault. There is no ground upon which to climb. Just layered faces crushed thickly for present stance, face dissolving into face, failure one with failures, faces looking up into a tomb of faces, another generation of feet pressing all further down, somehow there’s always more down, generous emptiness, ever ready to embrace us even if God will not. Down, pressed down, thick surround of before and after, pressed into stillness, time absent which is eternity. Thus God honors our entreaty.


We in arrogance thought our ancestors knew less than us, we stretching away, longing for beyond of sky, to see history afar and insulate. We search misdirected. Eternity is no escape from history, but still life therein. In grace a horde of arrogance comes to trample us down into the stillness of our ancestors, God’s compassion unending.


Maim me. Shoot my legs, break my bones–God’s sure hand you are. Force me in the right direction, press me into my ancestors, entrance into the divine plan where only the mathematical form of all presents is.


Be comforted, my savior. God will not forsake you, His compassionate tool. The Israelis will come.



From the journal of Benjamin Suzuki:


54. While on the Oregon Appellate Court

At home, Salem Oregon

The Indian government announces that a terrorist captured during the Mumbai massacre is from Pakistan controlled Kashmir. Many fear resurgent India/Pakistan conflict. End of November, 2008.         



You must expect to be involved in several lost causes before you die.


          Carl Sandburg



Carve humanity into recognizable form, sever hydra limbs so it may walk coherent, making a somewhere to attend in distant sight, no longer withering directionless, all encompassing inclusion leaving all silent, silence a cacophony of background cries leaving all numb, cost of the too much existence of innumerable others. Explosion is clarity quashing others’ being, articulation ever priced in the silence of alternative. In explosion humanity self-understands, body clear of purpose, roadmarks formed of others’ limbs, debris paving direction, an individual the slaughter of other being.


Map the world to contour the faceless hydra, shape a mouth to hear it scream. Make its voice so it can tell us what we are. Make a nation. Tell people they belong, give them voice in buttressed banks of streams, hydra echoed in muted resistence at barrier, noise almost white of the undifferentiated present, possibility not quite gone, only awaiting discerning ear.


Still hydra lurks across the streams, pinned in the topography of larger world which banks so makes nations in their flow. Hydra lives, awaiting flood, greater flow frothing streams, faceless hydra of undifferentiated history forming their roar, expanding to and over banks, sundering wall to re-contour clarity, the only way new but still here.


War is roar no one owns, incantation to make our maker to remake us, white noise, probability distribution awaiting pick of actuality, explosion a single note extracted from probability, clarity of expression until one steps back to discern other notes. Explosion is not war, war the remainder after explosive voice, war the agitation in the stream, the rise of distribution, of possibility as yet uninterrogated. War is explosion’s antithesis, possibility beyond any singular act, explosion only able to replicate by risking a world beyond its growth.


Explosion risks its demise to move forward. In white agitation lies its demise, if we risk sight and choice. In noise its rival as well as children. If we risk: risk must not be monopolized by the rival actuality, this the losing feint. To battle in loss potential is the only way to win.


But to battle in loss is to battle those closest to you, for their actuality, their being, is risk denied. The bomber vanishes, leaving only a distribution of possibilities. How to induce a distribution while remaining? This the domestic fight, democracy’s internal struggle, India’s demon, Gandhi’s death resurrected.

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