Friday, June 22, 2018

A man who seeks his soul in his body
has forgotten
that he did not lose it there.

He will not find in his own flesh
what he lost
between it and another's.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Only the image
interests us,
though people seduce
us and things
contradict us
incessantly.

The image exists
between things,
emerges among people.
The image becomes
what it is and is
what it becomes.

Wisdom is not
the foundation
of knowledge,
but its limit.

Love is not
the dominion
of power,
but its center.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

His Penelope was not Flaubert,
his sentence was the paragraph—
sought composure in his prose, and
found distraction in his poems.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

One wants to keep one's history
as articulate as one's world.

Everything we see and do disturbs
or recovers this composure.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Disheartened, and his mind
lost, his talent dissipated.

His desires were unmoored,
his beliefs, unhinged,

and his thoughts wandered.
Every feeling now was fleeting,

uncommitted to word, or deed,
unvoiced, disengaged.

He had no courage here, and
nothing piqued his curiosity.

All could be or not be, happen
or not happen. He would watch.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Freedom is to desire
as the limit to belief.

The heart desires to be free.
The mind believes in limits.

My body keeps it together.
My soul suffers the strain.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Our leaders "derive
their just powers
from the consent
of the governed."

Our scholars derive
true knowledge
from the content
of their inquiries.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Through intuitions
objects are known
immediately.

Through institution
subjects are mastered
immediately.

medium (n.) "substance
through which
something is conveyed."

Intuition and institution
are the media
of immediacy.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Order is not made
in the mind, but
it is found there.

Sincerity is not born
in the heart, but
it resides there.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Science makes
and arranges
pictures of facts
in logical space.

Philosophy sharpens
the image
by clarifying
our concepts.

Politics makes
and arranges
pictures of acts
in pathetic time.

Poetry sharpens
the image
by intensifying
our emotions.

________

Language shapes
conceptual space,
the logic of the inter-
relation of objects.

Language drives
emotional time,
the pathos of the dis-
position of subjects.

The image is not
in the mind alone.

It is in the eye
and in the hand,

in the ear
and on the tongue.

The image is
of the flesh,

on the surface, in
the appearance.

The image, too, is
in the heart.

Use poetry
to extricate yourself
from history.

Use philosophy
to detach yourself
from the world.

Seek precision:
the intense emotion,
the clear concept.

Friday, June 08, 2018

The hand
moves
the pencil
over the surface of
the page
before the appearance of
the line
is sensed by
the eye.

The line
becomes
a figure
to the mind.
To the heart?
A phantasm
that is
the word.

A phantasm
of desire—
the sentence—
in belief,
a figure.

This is my body.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

We figure things out.
We fantasize about people.
We imagine ourselves
in situations.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Figure, Image, Phantasm

[Some notes on reading Barthes' interview with Brochier, "A Great Rhetorician of Erotic Figures," (The Grain of the Voice, pp. 252-257)]

"As for Fourier, he is obviously a combiner of passions..."

Needless to say, there are also combiners of reasons.

"...the phantasm is a scenario in which the subject situates himself in terms of his desire. This very simple definition is quite suitable for scenes—one passes easily from scenario to scene."

Let's say that the figure is a scene in which the object is situated as thing in terms of belief. (Note the "objectivity" of this formula: the subject drops out completely and leaves what Wittgenstein called "the reality coordinated with it".)

From the figure, we derive our concepts. From the phantasm, we derive our emotions.

The image is the pivot. Through it, one passes easily from phantasm to figure, from scenario to scene.

"I find myself wanting to recreate or find pivot-points in my own poems," said Tony Tost once: "a pivot from image to aphorism, from emotion to trivia." It's something like that.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Poetry is
to imagination
what
philosophy is
to imagination.

_______

Erratum:

Poetry is not
to imagination
what
philosophy is
to imagination.

Rather,

Imagination is
to poetry
what
imagination is
to philosophy.

Poetry
intensifies
the image
emotionally.

Philosophy
clarifies
the image
conceptually.

Imagination facilitates
their presentations.
(The image is easy.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Imagination is
the subtle bridge
that joins
the five senses to
the five motives,

the shore
of timeless wisdom
to the living ocean
of love.

Monday, May 28, 2018

There's no way
to be sure,
but we aim
to please.

(Cf. May 17, 2018.)

Is anything

more disturbing
than

the ability
to

make someone
happy

on purpose?

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Evidence is to knowledge
as office to power.

"appearance from which inferences
may be drawn," "ground for belief,"
from ex "out, out of, fully"
and videre "to see".


"a post to which certain duties
are attached," literally "work-doing,"
from ops, "power, might, abundance, means"
and facere "to make, to do".


We seek a science
based on evidence
and a policy
bounded by office.

We want a ground
on which to believe.
We want desire
tied to a post.

So do not ask your leaders
for evidence-based policy.
Keep them office-bound,
mindful of their duty.

Friday, May 25, 2018

In a story things happen.
Some of them get done. Some just do.
Some of them are seen. Some aren't.

The meaning of the events in a story
often depends on who does them
and who sees them, or doesn't.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

He was prone
to formalism
in his remarks,
which left an emptiness,
a space,
in his imagination.
In time,
he would be fulfilled
by his strophes
as contentment
washed over him.

The first light
falls

to the eye,
the mind,

coordinating

the heart
with the hand,

lifting
the last weight.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

An action or event
(something you do,
something that happens)
is good
if it makes you better
as a person,
evil
if it makes you worse.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

To gain power
we must forgo
some pleasure.

To gain knowledge
we must accept
uncertainty.

Pleasure belongs
to the powerless
as certainty belongs
to the ignorant.

For pleasure must
be sought
where you are vulnerable,
and certainty
will come only
like a light in darkness.

What you may know
of this is in
another's power.