This iteration of "ter Braak" speaks out of a political need to stay private, a "contra-literary" need to establish a defiant anonymity, and a private, personal need to function from discreet "subjectivities." Not to be altogether confused with the genuinely original Dutch critic M. ter Braak, who chose a brave, self-determined form of physical termination in 1940, just days before the Nazis were coming to fetch him for resistance against their regime. This iteration believes, or hopes, that if both the reader and the author are thoroughly subtracted from the proverbial equation, possibly a different (or at least differently satisfying) writing can be actualized.
I know a fellow who got in a big U-Haul Truck packed with 17 years of "California" and actually drove almost his entire existence and his whole cat Frankie O'Hara back to western New York in 1999, not necessarily to study under Robert Creeley at SUNY Buffalo and get his Ph.D union card, but maybe to work as a golf pro for a couple of years. He ended up relocating quite precisely in the exact spot from which he had escaped 20-plus years earlier when he had previously removed his body from the suffocating parochialism of small towns and gone off to college in Florida, then to graduate school in hippy wine country Sonoma County, CA. Indeed, he ended up right back where he had begun becoming aware of where he was (in cultural time and space) and how much his perspective could change what he saw outside and how much others' perspectives from outside may altogether obscure what one sees inside or out as well as inside-out. He ended up right back in a fucking factory, surely exactly what he had most assuredly and, he had been convinced for several years, permanently left behind, thoroughly abandoned, thoroughly and distinctly turned away from, for his entire adult life. Wowie!
He's been there for ten years. Works in a cubicle, possibly Cubicle 22. He's still not sure what's his number. Hasn't figured OUT how precisely he would locate the exact latitudes and longitudes of such endlessly tropical brown, grey, light grey, dark gray, medium grey, dark gray twists of local color and universal nexuses he's been designated yet. Much to be said for functioning as a fully expatriated non-Nationalisticalist who GOT IT early in late teens, that is, how many nine lives a Rosy Crucifixionist, a “Ghandi with a penis," or any other cosmodemonic and really quite angelic beat_read free spirit in a completely invisible set of mindsets can bring to a workplace and subculture. First of all, well, the "mirrors" that one dull manager after another surrounds us with, Sir, they will indeed force us to become invisible, as they cannot reflect very much, if anything, that is truly real about one's own true light. They can reflect back merely what they are capable of seeing and understanding, and it's far removed from any borders of their own sanity defenses. At the same time, those very limits prescribed by such mirrors force the reflection object to manifest even greater or more concrete inner subjectivities, for the reflection object, himself (in this case), does nonetheless repeatedly feel the holes in his own several mirrors formed by relentless attacks on a dignity that refuses such monstrous alienation and degradation.
Fortunately, any body and his or her sisters can keep a small writing tablet in a private pocket and scribble potentially public notes to reconstruct every concrete block, stain, sheen, spot, and crevice of material, physical objects nobody sees and feels when locked in the far toilet stall at the south end of some Romanticist’s Stalag 17 but here more aptly, simply named Building 17 for twenty minute intervals. There, the whole world is literally within arms' reach and no supervisors can look over somebody's shoulder to espy whether anybody is revising the eight poorly written and ill-edited "Software Installation Procedures" said supervisor gives done subordinate to revise because said supervisor, lacking even rudimentary writing skills, cannot write them himself/herself; it just takes too much time or too much patience, and best of all said supervisor’s done subordinate works with those operating systems and applications on a daily basis, and bestest of all, done subordinate actually taught 50-100 sections of Freshman Composition in a previous career that was much more flexible in terms of self-determination, even determining when it's time to take a powder and make an inventory of the toilet paper dispensors all said and done back in Building 17 or Stalag 17, either/or.
Factotum-22 also gains great freedom in an 8-5 (or every other week 7-5) Information Technology "day job" in the factory by embedding somebody’s writing even more securely right under the company's nosiness. Quite in matter of fact directly assigned to create and edit documents, including web pages, for the company's Auditing Systems, it's really a quite, quiet, and small matter, via the immaculate invisibility of transparent fonts, to blend into the more obscure documents all kinds of poming too dense and impenetrable for even the Language writers to appreciate, much less recognize as "Poming." Of course, yes, surely it's written in all manners and forms of computer and networking jargon and behind the surface appearance of ostensibly technical data of the HTML pages that render yet something else altogether, underneath there, in little pockets of "Comment tags" neatly or haphazardly encoded in java scripts and the eighth or ninth page of the crew's cascading style sheets, there it is, an entire playground nearly permanently inscribed right beside the company's bottom line legers and legal documents, yet essentially eternally invisible. There one can register remarkably crude, direct, and quite challenging chess-game-long logics and logistically superior attacks on the government that the company owns and on the actually relatively few underwhelmingly conscious executives in the company who control that ownership or find such ownership, unwittingly or criminally, gratifying. And nobody will ever know that it's even there unless they really, really must, and then Factotum-22 may well reveal it to them eagerly and gladly, but for now, it's just relaxing and sleeping there, pretending to be comatose, as it probably needs to stay there awhile.
But this is all terribly smarmy and phony. Let's be real! The workplace can be tirelessly, genuinely alienating for writers, but so what? Who are they, anyhow, some spoiled bunch of buffoons who've inherited not only wealth but some kind of delusion that "the World" (for "the World," choose from your own abilities to make and create such a concept," Reader-X) owes them "a Living." No law against what goes on inside one's mind, though, and if one has to steal away to the waterclosets like any other average Joe/Lulu, Sir -- to jot things down or otherwise reflect on what one really thinks meaningful -- so be it. If one has one's work done, and if one can in fact "multi-task" quite well, and most writers/"dreamers" have taught themselves to daydream since Kindergarten, what's wrong with writing a book or two or three on the so-called “company's time” that is left over from THE COMPANY'S TIME SAVED because one has gotten one's "work" done with greater efficiency and speed and conscientiousness than the professional and accomplished delegators alluded to above can muster and for which they get "the big bucks" though they DO little more than assign unloved win-win labor to their subordinates. Yeah, maybe it's a factory, sure, it is, but even Persig observed that one can begin with a brick in the wall and travel light-years and eons and galaxies without straying from that initial, nominal 10 mm mortar joint which circumscribes such lush English bond between Capital and Wobbly-head. And pomers just "talk to walls," anyways, usually walls that reflect blank slates, but that the pomer wants to turn into a big house of mirrors in order to feel secure and happy in life.