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Ceremony: Apoems

Mike Templeton

There are two orders of the event:


That which simply occurs; this has its origins in at least some degree of deliberation, but it has nothing about that is ordered or pre-scribed. It is not written in advance. This order of event depends entirely on spontaneity and improvisation; it entails risk and may be still-born or proliferate. There is no way to predict the viability of this order of event. The success or failure of the event is determined after the fact according to criteria which do not and cannot emerge and become known except by the collective experience of the event. This event takes place within a singular experience of time, although we may come to learn that it took place along with simultaneous singular experiences of time. This is to say that these spontaneous and improvised actions and moments may have origins in more formal and scripted segments of time. These do not discount the spontaneous and improvised dimensions. Rather, it makes them potentially dangerous.

The second order event unfolds by design; it is fully scripted, and the script forecloses the possibility of the unknown. This order of event has nothing of the spontaneous, and improvisation is non-existent. The experience of the event coincides exactly with the event. If there is any satisfaction to be gained from this order of event, it is the satisfaction of coinciding with it. It is the experience of having experienced, and it is clean and sterile. This order of event pre-exists and offers a future to be filed into a past while it eliminates the need for a present. It offers easy access that eliminates repetition as it situates us in generality.


What occurs will be written. The future can only read the past and there is no need to fill in or search for what is established between. Whatever this is — this in-between (one scarcely ever marked it or re-marked it) — is emptiness itself. Absence. It is always to come, even as the future will always have looked back on something entirely other than what is to come.

Unless... there is a way to trap, to arrest what is to come so that the future will forever consist of what was to come. The past, written but no longer read because it now serves as the language of the future. The future can only ever exist in that lifeless and frozen tense of what will have been.


Where once we came for a language that came before words, we engaged and were engaged by pure forces. We encounter both nature and history as that which simply occurs. Nothing needed the status of a phenomenon. The perception of molecular intensities lent themselves to those who would write — write to fill the spaces that would become absences and thus give us a past to be read in the future. In this way we remained plural without falling into generality.

To make this all predictable required the isolation and capture of one variable. Create a stand-in for the only feature that could never be present. And create a process whereby the stand-in could be presented endlessly, infinitely. We would never again have access to the future, and soon enough, we forgot it altogether.

Mike Templeton can be found on Instagram as @mtempleton63 and on Twitter as @Templeton1963


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