Lipton’s Journal/February 7, 1955/490

From Project Mailer

So, if my premise is granted for the sake of the argument, the essential nature of the human is to be bisexual, unorgiastic (not impotent) but tumescent, and the nature of society is to impose upon the essential being of man and woman’s perpetual limber dick, the social form of the One—one is either potent or impotent—and looked at from the eyes of a Martian, the form of orgiastic potency of the unisexual is one of separate broken states of total erection and potency and total lack-of-erection and impotency. In the simple sheer sexual sense, a man who is capable of sitting at his desk and making decisions while his penis rests comfortably quietly and smally in the pocket of his pants is impotent at that moment.

Naturally, this is merely society’s view of it, the form from which it dominates and shapes matter and indeed is the only way society can understand it. (A very subtle but important nuance here is that form can only understand matter through the eyes of form—I am bequeathing sup-intelligence to form.) Matter can only understand form through its emotions. (Matter here stands for mind-and-body, er.) Hence, matter’s understanding of form is always as the one who grants and the one who denies. One’s mother implants upon the infant’s sensate matter[1] the first emotional apperception of form. And indeed for the artist, his unconscious sup-conception of form (for as I’ve said before—at every layer of the unconscious the sup exists in its sibling relationship to its appropriate er) directs him to proceed or to desist.

(Which is why too tight a form strangles the ambitious novelist—so much material he wished to disgorge and leave as his petrifaction, his mark (Reik,[2] piss in one hole) is denied by the sup-form which declares it unassimilable, dangerous, and wasteful. In this sense, work-blocks like impotence are expressions of trench warfare between sup and er—the form simply cannot dispose, allow, or understand the matter which is seeking issue. It demands a lower, cruder, or a higher, more private expression.)


  1. Mailer explores the infant-mother relationship with verve and humor in “Book of the First-Born.”
  2. An American psychologist, Theodore Reik (1888-1969) was an early and brilliant acolyte of Freud.