Monday, February 17, 2020

Ideology is the appearance of ethnopathy in institutions.
Autopathy is the surface of ontology in intuition.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

The mistake is to think
about society. We're meant to
feel the people we are with.

Once made, the error
compounds. Emotion yields
to conceptual rigor,

incorrigible, passion
hides, bides its time, erupts
into the space of reason.

Now we experience
the material world, naked
before the very thing

we had so long believed
ourselves too rational to desire.
Hilarity ensues.

Friday, February 14, 2020

How is poetry possible?
How is philosophy necessary?

What can we feel?
What must we think?

Write the emotion,
write the concept, down.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

"...all beauty is in the long run only fineness of truth..." (Walter Pater, Appreciations, p. 10)

"Justice is fairness." (John Rawls)

Justice is equity.
Truth is accuracy.
Beauty is precision.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Concepts are to space
as emotions to time.


conceptual frames,
emotional lapses.

Monday, February 03, 2020

Wisdom is not
a competence,
as love is not
          a suspicion.

Philosophy is the love
of wisdom.

Poetry is the hatred
of language.

There are lies
so subtle
you need poems
to expose.

There are iniquities
so brazen
you need philosophy
to accept.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

"Man is not a rational animal, he's a dull-witted animal who loves to torture. ... Poetry, by giving dignity and utterance to our distress, enables us to hope, makes compassion reasonable." (Irving Layton, 1959, foreword to A Red Carpet for the Sun, reprinted in Engagements, p. 83)

Note: reason : common sense :: passion : compassion.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

The philosopher studies

The poet masters

We know of their work
through their failures.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

In science,
a fact
must be verified.

In politics,
an act
must be justified.

Philosophy does not
speak the truth. It
sheds light into darkness.

Poetry doesn't tell
us what is just. It
tells us where it hurts.

(Cf. "The Cramp")

Friday, January 24, 2020

The truth is discovered
in perception.
It does not decide.

Justice can't make discoveries.
It is decided
                       in action.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Observation is to knowledge as negotiation, to power.

"What is it?" is a scientific question.
"Who are we?" is a political question.

We observe things in search of truth.
We negotiate with people for justice.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020


"It's raining."
This is an observation.

"Let's dance."
This is a negotiation.

Cf. Quine 1993.

Friday, January 17, 2020

A man is a boy
who has come of age.

A boy is a child
who is to be a man.

A child is a being
who is newly born.

A being is open
to becoming old.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Your receptivity to poetry.
Your capacity for philosophy.
Your facility with words.

the intuition
under an institution
rules adrift on waves

See also, "A Drift" and "Getting my Own Drift"

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Philosophy seeks a clear thought.
Poetry seeks an intense feeling.

Both aim to be precise.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

I've long sought the pangrammatical analogue for "rationality". For reason, it's passion. For logic, it's pathos. Reasonable, passionate. Logical, yes, pathetic. But what's on the other side of "rational"?

I owe the answer to Louis C.K. Rationality is to knowledge as hilarity, to power. Philosophy is rational as poetry is hilarious. Wittgenstein hoped that his thoughts might "shed some light into one mind or another"; Pound described poetry as "an art to make light the heart of man". Indeed, "the very existence of poetry should make you laugh," said Kenneth Koch, "what is it all about, what is it all for?"

As for philosophy ... It makes you think, doesn't it?

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The effect, caused,
yields a fact, which,
seen, is thought.

The affect, as is its wont,
yields to an act, which,
when done, is felt.

In this sense, the fact
is the cause of thought.
Thus motivated, the act
is the habit of feeling.

Concepts thwart causes
and let us think again.
Emotions break habits
and let us feel once more.

Emotions articulate
the habit and the affect, as
concepts articulate
the cause and the effect.

Images cut at the joints
between the fact and the act:
emotions push them through;
concepts hold them close.

We take what we're given—
the morality of what is done,
the etiology of what is seen—
and make our way forward.

Friday, December 27, 2019

A philosophy of intuition.

A poetry of institution.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Power limits knowledge,
sometimes a healthy discipline.

Knowledge releases power,
which is often how we learn.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Find wisdom
without losing compassion.

Find love
without losing your mind.

Some seek
to discover truth
and find themselves
exposing lies.

Honest ignorance
to the side,
there are coverups
and fabrications.

Some things, made,
are unmade just by
looking. Others
must be dismantled.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

We seek truth
and gain knowledge.

We seek justice
and seize power.

Put into words

what you have seen
what you have done

what you think
what you feel.

Make a picture

of the facts
of your acts

the concept
the emotion.

Use your imagination.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Forgive your parents as you would have your children forgive you.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Some understand
the statement
but refuse to obey
the command.

Some obey
the command
but fail to understand
the statement.

Friday, December 13, 2019

To understand but
not forgive

is like

obeying and
not partaking.