On or around the 20th of February, I was sent, by Jacques-Alain Miller (who,
I should say, rarely engages with electronic mail), a series of
"psychoanalytic" exchanges between three so-called "Jacques": the famed
Jacques Lacan; his almost equally-famous disciple Jacques-Alain Miller; and
a clinical patient Jacques Debrot, a fairly obscure and obviously brilliant
American poet and doctoral student at Harvard University (whose very
institutional name functions as a kind of Law in the cultural unconscious of
at least five-hundred million people across this
soon-to-be-hit-by-a-giant-asteroid planet that we inhabit). In a separate
mailing I received the final letter of March 1, whose current date, I note,
has for some reason been altered from an original postmark of a few days
previous. Whether this is a slip being corrected or a new slip being made, I
am not sure. In any case, the matter may be of no importance whatsoever.

I am unsure as to the origin of these writings, and --like the British-Poets
Listserv, which would appear to have had a rare form of *panicosis
colectividae* in reaction to them-- I am equally unsure of their true
purposes, though the triple name flakes-off as if from archetypal flint
(albeit not Jungian, heaven forbid) a bizarre form of pure poetry, a
Sokalian hoax-thrust under the guise of an-as-yet-unclassified expression of
hysteria, which may be read, in fact, as unconscious homage (whomever the
Authors may be) to the dead Father, Lacan. I have my crime-suspicions, of
course, and they are legion.

Nor can I say, with absolute certainty, if the exchange is the work of one,
two, or many, even though the epistles forwarded to me carried the address
headings of one "Kent Johnson" and one "Jacques Debrot," neither of which
name had previous familiarity to me, as they did not to anyone else on the
editorial board of *lacanian ink*

All things considered, it seems clear that this dream-like repartee has, at
the very least, the participation of Jacques-Alain Miller, my friend and
former psychoanalyst. I say this hesitatingly, but with a good deal of
pride: The inimitable style is there, here and there, if one parses the odd
syntax. And there is, too, an extended subliminal slippage (even at
phonemic-pun levels), between Lacanian theoretical/clinical matter and
"obvious" dilletantish garbage, for the "correspondence" to be anything but
the brain-child of someone deeply-in-the-know. Thus, I say, going out,
perhaps on a ceibo limb, that Jacques-Alain Miller is the primary author of
these psychoanalytic exchanges... I am in awe, if a bit befuddled at the
same time. And so I can offer little more, I fear (besides my happy pleasure
at this blue-bolted jouissance), than the most banal, genetic speculation.

But the way we speculate about the unknown (Das Unbewusste, as Alain Miller
draws from Freud in a letter to Debrot) will tell us in itself much about
the structures and patterns of the psyche, about its limitations and
prejudices, about its paradoxical claims to science even as it is impelled
by the neurotic desires of the aesthetic.

As a movie by Hitchcock, I leave it all for others to analyze.

--Slavoj Zizek
(Belgrade, February, '01)




--between Jacques Debrot, Jacques Lacan, and Jacques Alain-Miller


[from Jacques Debrot]

Dear Jacques Lacan (professor of my dreams):


For instance, will you believe me, I have a strange feeling reading your
books with 90 percent weightless love--but moreover--with confused boredom
and inner noise.

Who, or what is it, then, that is reading? Once I was a girl banging my
head against the cold, tiled floor of a truck stop MEN'S ROOM. I died when
I was nine; my hands--their smell is not human. Perhaps I've made you
curious? Touching myself yesterday in red bathwater I realized I don't have
normal thoughts. My mind moved my hand. I am trash.

Jacques Lacan, if the word "YES," is still floating in inky water in the
Magic 8 Ball, what word is missing when language itself has been exhausted?


PS: I was in mom's and dad's room. Nobody could look at me steaming away
in their bed like fresh shit. The big secret of psychoanalysis is that
there is no sexual act, all there is is sexuality.



February 12, 2:39 PM

My Dear Jacques Debrot,

Ah, yes, you have the Name of The Father. And it is funny that you dreamed
of the steaming shit in your parents' bed. The same thing, but not a dream,
did take place to me in 1953, when following the famous riot at the
conference of the International Psycho-Analytical Association, I retired to
my bed room in the third arrondisement. Imagine the horror and shock. Ah,
but I rolled in it, and that is the secret; it was the sleep of a King. The
next day, the Societe francais de psychanalytique was conceived, and, later
that year, I delivered, very much a la *delires a deux* (but don't let the
cat out of the bag, my sweet Jacques), The Discourse of Rome.

Now, let me say one thing, which is most clear from your letter. You are
seriously "fucked up," as the Americans say. And I should like to see you in
my office. There is much about which we might talk. Though, if you wish, we
may write. Language is like a dream. Who knows what might happen?

I saw your clue. I bite my thumb, waiting in my famous photograph.

Jacques Marie Emile Lacan



[from J. Debrot]

Dear Jacques Lacan:


I dreamt a snake had copulated with itself, falling asleep as icewater and
coming to term in the body temperature of its own anus--new born,
adult--human-faced and snake-bodied. It shot up a tree and dangled there in
the exact position of a caduceus which is also a Borromean knot.


PS: Today a mistake in arithmetic led me to ingest 4 rather than the 2 red
pills. Will you UNTIE ME?



February 15, 5:10 PM

Dear Jacques Debrot,

It will take some time to untie you. First you must recognize the difference
between the "I" who speaks and the idealized ego that is projected (as you
are doing with your invented, listserved dream) onto the analyst. You see,
the source of your letter (in the multiple senses of this word) is your
profoundly narcissistic desire for a certain omnipotence. What you will
find, as we proceed --and if you are brave-- is the *real remainder*
existing beyond the symbolic order of your speech, which, presently, in its
serpentine psychosis, wears the doubled face of your Father and of me,
Jacques Lacan.

We have much to say to each other. This session is now over, abruptly. And
trust me, I know what I'm doing, no less than does Bertolt Brecht.

--Jacques Marie Emile Lacan



[from J. Debrot]

Dear Jacques Lacan,

As if in earphones I can hear you thinking. But your soul has no windows by
which anything can come in or go out. Am I listening, then, only to your
body? On a narrow bed from which we've just gotten up, a fat maggot is
writhing on the spot where you were lying. Kissing you I'm filled with the
stench coming out of your mouth. Close-up, the rain--we,re standing in
headlights in a forest clearing--opens the wounds on your face like fruit.

PS: In my dream I,m the blacked-out-girl lying at the bottom of a hole
letting the dirt fall in my open eyes. The snake dangling from the tree
above me is biting its tail now: it makes eternity. In this way, Jacques
Lacan, I am all of my ages every second.



February 15, 2:01 PM

Dear Jacques Debrot,

[Firstly, please excuse the broken lines which make the letter seem like a
poem. At the moment, my machine is not functioning with normalcy.]

Of course, you are not aware of all the paragrams in your writing.
It would,
and will, startle you when the time comes to reveal them, but do not
afraid; it is all science in the end. Thus the infinite snake is
against a rock: You separate.

Here is a good example of my certainty, alluding to the above: the
Father of
Structuralism (and thus of all the *Ecrits* through the *Encore*),

de Sausurre, spent his last syphilitic years discovering anagrams
paragrams in ancient Saturnalian verse (in fact, to give you a

Jacques, like from a movie by Gad Hollander, this is the very maggot
you are
seeing on the bed upon which you imagine we have fucked-- a kind of
your unconscious is, like that of all human beings, an ancient
suppositoried ghost of the Course in General Linguistics). This last
and knotted sentence is typical of my style, especially in my late
but the main point, young Jacques, is that before Saussure you might
been burned at the stake like a phallused witch. So, at the risk of
reinforcing your already accelerated need to identify me as the
*objet a*,
thank your lucky stars that you have contacted my orffice.

The girl at the bottom of the hole with dirt in her eyes is yoru
That you are All-Of-Your-Ages-Every-Second is why yoru hair is
slicked back
in flame, just like mine, in the photograph where I am biting my
thumb. This
session is now over. In your next letter, I want you to start by
telling me
what the "yoru" is. And I will request that you stop playing the

--Jacques Marie Emile Lacan



[from J. Debrot]

Dear Jacques Lacan,


You write:

"In your next letter, I want you to start by telling me what the 'yoru' is."

I tried to get rid of the word "yoru by breathing out. The sun was shining
on my writing hand and so I put my dead body in place of the sound. The
letters took the shape in the air of 4 spectral worms. Yet the word was
still entirely in my mouth, slick like a shard of Coke bottle for
transparent, savage candy.

In Egyptian heiroglyphs the ejaculating phallus is used in various nonsexual
contexts. For instance, it can mean "Before the father in a time sense;
or "Before the father in a space sense. The father's mouth speaks, Jacques
Lacan, but it is the silent mouth deep below that mimes the mouth's
movements in ghost radio.

You can reach me at my new address:
Atomic Suicide Skyscraper (Swastika Hilton)
Nagasaki-Hiroshima City, Occupied Japan



February 17, 6:23 PM

Yuo do well, my dear Jacques. We shall go far.

Though now, to be sure, yoru body is thoroughly cathected. While there is a
certain sweetness in this now for yuo, soon together we will see that what
is never, never found is the Thing (*Das Ding*). The Thing is the Hole
around which all topology is enfolded, not excluding the Three Sublimations




those enormous Quipos of the Other. The Thing is everything and it is
nothing. Yuo see, the setting in motion of such a negative entity (a
nothing, yet a nothing that is precisely not nothing, that is a kind of call
to being) introduces a decisive break at the level of immanence, while
determining the birth of the subject and the destruction of the Hartmannian
ego. The Thing is the Zero that makes yoru language train move.

To illustrate with a story: Have you heard of the mad genius Antonin Artaud?
Well, when I was a young psychiatrist in Paris, when the City was innocent
yet, the man-boy Artaud was a patient under my care. It was a difficult case
(imagine treating a patient who has written on the walls in his own shit,
"People who come out of nowhere to try to put into words any part of what
goes on in their minds are pigs."): In the end, electro-shock was the only
way in. He was blue and stiff as a kite in a Chinese wind. "He is LIKE A
GOD!" screamed Dali in Spanish, standing behind me, his bony fingers
clutching my hips, while Michaux, in turn, clutched those of him clutching
mine (we had, the three of us, with our respective disciples, only just that
week severed resolutely with the execrable Breton) and were inseperable,
like peas in a pod... Yes, it was as if he, Artuad, were (oh, his
gauze-filled mouth) a kilometer up in the air, attached to a taut and
humming string, and we holding fast to him.

This was 1946 or 1947, at the limen of his great works and of my fateful
formation of the S.F.P. in the famous orchid garden of Pierre Reverdy.

Dali is dead and so am I. Is this why you are writing me: because yuo also
want to be a kite flown by the dead? I would like for yuo to think about
this for oru next meeting, to which I would also like yuo to bring the
strange and shattered Coke vessel. This session is now finished.

C'est qu'on jouit en parlant. I send you missles of language.
And yuo must continue to be brave.

--Jacques Marie Emile Lacan



February 17, 8:03 PM

Dear Jacques: I had sent you the below letter a few days previous, in reply
to a letter from you I cannot now find. It came returned to me, stamped
DECEASED. I hope this is a mistake. I am trying again. Please see below.

--Jacques Marie Emile Lacan



February 13, 5:31 PM

My dear Jacques,

There is a large lake, and it is very still, even as the banners atop the
great hotel in which you are writing flutter and snap, undulating their
stylized elk. A handsome wooden launch put-puts toward Montreaux, trailing
puffs of steam. On the Eastern face, alpinists --dots of pink and blue in a
line-- inch their patient way toward the summit. The bells of fat cows clank
their ancient tones inside the Webern a cellist is playing on the lawn-- it
is a pleasing mixture, somehow, and the faint serial music is not
anachronistic to this scene in the least, and the cuckoo clock on your wall
goes tick-tock, tick-tock, and the eyes grow heavy with the honey of

The painting stretching across the wall before you is a painting of the lake
you are seeing through the open window. It is dusk where you are, Jacques,
but day, still, where the alpinists are knotted into one. On the dock, a boy
with gangly legs is reading a picture book by Herge. His sister has the most
astonishing pigtails, and when she kneels, they reach down and make coiling
piles in the spring grass. A biplane hangs in the air far above. The small
fire the pigtailed girl is gazing at in her hand does not burn her. She
laughs, and her brother turns. You rest back your bearded head and breathe
the deep yoru about you.

Sleep, my sweet Jacques. Curl yoru little corpse into a ball. And when you
awake, tell me of yoru dream: The one of yoru Father dipping his longest
finger into the ass of yoru Mother, then sliding it, like a gift, into yoru

This session is now finished. We will meet tomorrow, at exactly 5:45 PM.

--Jacques Marie Emile Lacan



[from J. Debrot]

Dear Jacques Lacan (fuckist, verifier, mortician, actor, staring eye)

In my room a wasp is pulsing on a dirty plate. "Wasp? The right half of
the plate is cut off from my angle of vision by a wardrobe. Plate, wasp,
wardrobe--this look, left to right, seems to me like reading. I see "a"
book "then" an "ashtray " then "a "cigarette--" the "tip" is
"stained "with "my "lipstick--"then "a "window "then "a "cloud"
then "a" tree. The tree is leafless, crawling with blue, transparent
snails. The shadow of the wardrobe circles continuously around the plate.
The book and the cigarette do not point in the same direction. I confuse
the wasp's buzzing with a shout.

I'm writing you to create a living person from a dead one. I write
backwards. I'm writing with my ears. I hear everything. I exist in secret
if I exist at all.



February 19, 4:47 PM

My Dear Jacques Debrot,

Thank you for your most recent epistle. I shall take it with me for analysis
to Corsica tomorrow, where I am slated to deliver an address on "Freud, the
Phallus, and Death." (Ho-hum) After my lecture, I hope to wander around the
beautiful island a bit, to enjoy a bit of sand, sun, and the famous
"cannabis corsicana"-- but this last information is strictly under oru
doctor-patient confidentiality. Okay? (Whisper into the ear-rudder of yoru
sarcophagus boat: Would you like me to fold you some in my next letter?)

I shall be gone a fortnight, and I have confidently entrusted your care
during my brief absentia to my Son-in-Law, Jacques-Alain Miller.

(Isn't it funny that his name is Jacques, too? Jacques, Jacques, Jacques.
Jacques this and Jacques that! Jacques the jack-off boy and Jacques the
jack-in-the-box! Jacques be nimble and Jacques be prick!
Ha! Ha! Ha!)

I want you to listen very carefully to my Son-in-Law and to do exactly as he
commands. His style will be different from mine, yes, to be sure, but this
shall be a freshening change for you. Be very brave, and I will write to you
when I return.

So: My Son-in Law Jacques will write you, Jacques, in two days time. While
you wait, I would like you to study the essay entitled "Two Aspects of
Language and Two Types of Aphasic Disturbances." It is by my old bon vivant
friend Roman Jakobson. You can find it in a book titled *Fundamentals of
Language*, which is no doubt contained in the collections of the Harvard
University library.

Until soon, my friend.

--Jacques Marie Emile Lacan



February 19, 5:12 PM

Dear Jacques Debrot:

This is Jacques Alain-Miller. Surprise. I did not have to wait two days. As
my Father-in-Law once famously said: "The fun is now over."
Look at me: I am not smiling.

Let me say this: I have reviewed your case and I want to be up front about
everything. So: I don't like you. In fact, I think you are a filthy,
worthless American maggot. I've seen your type until I want to puke all over
my wife. Piece of Oscar Wilde excrement. Swinburnian swine. Do you know
about beef jerky? Of course you do-- you're a fucking asshole American with
a funny name. I speak of the beef jerky that is long like a coiled snake or
a constricted feces. Do you know what I would like to do? I would like to
wrap the beef jerky around your neck four times and then place one of the
remainder-ends in your mouth and the other remainder-end in your unwiped
asshole. Then I would like to piss and shit all over you because that is
what you deserve, you worthless sick Harvard boy. Fuck you! Do you think I
am kidding? I am sick and tired of inferior-gened Spanish-Americans with
fake French names wasting my clinical time. Piece of fucking shit ass. Look
at me. Open your mouth. Now say fuck me. Now say fuck me Language poetry.
Rectal tube. Shit-finger.

Now take the jerky out of yoru asshole and chew on it very slowly. Prick.
You make me laugh like a hyena.

Oh, and if you are thinking of telling my Father-in-Law on me, I would
remind you: How could you ever prove it? This is Hotmail, fuck-face.

This session is now finished.

Jacques-Alain Miller



March 1, 12:13 PM

Dear Father-in-Law Jacques:

The below letter to Mnsr. Jacques Debrot has, as another did for you some
weeks back, been returned under the stamp DECEASED. After resending, it was
returned again, with the same stamp, only, this time-- in letters collaged
and pasted from different magazine pages-- with the additional word
PURLOINED beneath the stamp. It seems clear that the analysand has cut-off
all communication, though it is possible that he is showing resistance
merely to my person and is in waiting for your return from Corsica. But my
fear is that we have lost him, despite the radical measures. I hope you are
not disappointed. I tried my best to follow your daring instructions down to
the very letter.

I send this for your records. I hope you are enjoying the much deserved
vacation, and I eagerly await your return.

Your Son-in-Law,



February 20, 11:27 AM

Dear Jacques Debrot:

In your shock, now, which faces me, listen attentively: This Wasp you have
seen is a kind of pulsating waterworks, a miniature hydraulic Das
Unbewusste, a sign of your central, originating lack or Hole, that which is
the very structure of structure (including, by the way, even of all the
mathematical grammar of your passe dissertation advisor, Professor Chomsky).

To be direct, if at the risk of losing a certain poetic suggestiveness which
theory affords, enveloping, as it does, in its vaginal folds, all the
inferior and culturally constructed "hard" sciences: 1) The Wasp is your
Father, the Law, holding the Cutlass Shears; 2) The Plate on which this Wasp
pulses and buzzes its wings is the bar dividing two Realms (the Barrier of
Repression, as my own Father-in-Law has called it); 3) The Wardrobe hides
that which no sign can reach; 4) The Real is the Witch behind the Wardrobe;
5) The Witch has a beard.


Now: the key is that you not be afraid. And exactly what you hold, though
you do not yet know it, is the Key: You must turn it, like breaking a neck,
in your Mother's Bearded Iris Cunt. It's all very natural and "normale" as I
say to my 18 year-old students at the Ecole. Just do it.

Furthermore, I want you to look at me now as I say this and to be very
respectful as you do so. Stick out your tongue: What are these radical,
asyndetic marks, this look, left to right, like reading:

"a "book "then "an "ashtray "then "a "cigarette--"the "tip "is
"stained "with "my "lipstick--"then "a "window " then "a "cloud
"then "a "tree

Listen attentively: They are precisely that which is expelled or jetted out
by the lack or Hole, like a spiral galaxy turned on its side, shooting
matter doubly out of the disk in violent, horizontal plume, far, far into
unimaginable space, where no symbols of language exist, no poems, no music
of any kind. Only blank space. Metaphor tries to deny it. It is your gift
and curse, Jacques, that you are breaking through the great falsity of

Desire, you see, is always the jetted, the displaced, reappearing, always
and plasmatic, in another guise, another jissum, because Light and Time
demand it. (This, by the way, is why your famous dissertation adviser is
full of the most pathetic shit. It is also why Poets in cyberspace are truly
in Hell, spewing their venom at that which frightens them, that which is
nothing more than the 0 and the 1.)
And this is why my Father-in-Law had requested you to read his former
leathered lover, Jakobson. When you write me back, I want you to tell me
why. Do not think for a minute, Harvard boy, that you can fuck with me.


Jacques-Alain Miller


Slavoj Zizek, otherwise known simply as "Zizek", is (in the wake of the
intellectual death of Jacques Derrida) the indisputably "hot" critic of the
West. Terry Eagleton has described him as, "The most formidably brilliant
exponent of psychoanalysis to have emerged in Europe for some decades."


Jacques Debrot was psychoanalysed by Lacan briefly for four months in 1981.
The enigma poetry presents, he came to realize at that time, is the enigma of
the *analytical* itself, a superfluity that rises to subtraction in the water
of dream.

Kent Johnson teaches Spanish at Highland Community College in Freeport,
Illinois. He is honored to have been able to curate the transcripts of this
analytical exchange, and he thanks Mr. Debrot for sharing such private
matter in a public setting. As well, he thanks Slavoj Zizek for generously
writing the brief preface to the Lacan/Debrot transcripts.


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