Essays on the Comic Book
The following is excerpted from the selection from Leslie Scalapino’s Essays on the Comic Book that first appeared in Conjunctions:15.

(Each of the lines or paragraphs is one of the frames of the comic
    The crowd marks the split between themselves and experience.
    They construct all the buildings to be the same.
    That’s a different way of regarding; so the man whose function
it is to drive the bus doesn’t know where he’s going or seem to
                                       as it is before
    Not using the mind—which then occurs outside the frames of
the comic book after—as the bus driver from the civilization with-
out order though it is repressed
    I was out in the cornfields, the sky—and people would pull
alongside shouting obscenities saying to go back where one’d come
    What is the relation of action—someone’s—to the unfolding of phenomena?
    The farm boys coming up alongside with obscenities out in the
    Wavering alongside and if one says they’re from there, their
exploding feeling insulted.
    Which is really funny.
    Just say back to them they’re from there and they erupt.
    At a streetlight, out in the fields—out in nowhere—and they
waver there alongside shouting.
                                       then feel hurt in public
from what had been before.
    One cannot expect to be a bum.
    The reverse of that—which is before
    where people used to lie in the train stations
                                       and now they have to have a ticket
    Not using the mind—is contemplating—in the comic book.
    The newspapers have created the impression of disjointed expe-
riences. But I don’t read them.
                                       anyway, we’re not in these experiences
is the impression created by the newspapers which
do not allow us to make connections
    Not having historical experience—is the comic book as the form
of the serial novel. Though popularly we’re supposed to be in
them—this is a deprivation created by the newspapers themselves.
    The moon is in the day sky, now out in the cornfields—rather
than in the civilization which does not have order, though it is
    The farm boys hanging wavering floating at the crossroad—
alongside, shouting obscenities.
    are from the ordered civilization where the bum lying has died
in the subway station.
as such they’re not in experiences—as the reverse image of the
deprivation created by the newspapers.
    The serial—but then being before it
    And afterwards there’s only that
    They are out by the fields
    These boys were shouting, maybe because they’re together—
wavering hanging leaning out coming alongside.
    I feel depressed—I’m tired of being made fun of.
    Farm boys who’re just youths floating leaning out
    People standing like the cattle in the sea—waist deep, standing
                                       on grass
being invalidated and nothing
is the reverse image of the ordered civilization
and one is calm

Leslie Scalapino’s books include Zither and Autobiography (Wesleyan) and Dahlia's Iris—Secret Autobiography and Fiction (a novel from FC2).