Saturday, November 10, 2018

It was a matter of some delicacy.
He wanted to smash the system
without hurting anyone.

Poem Ending with a Line from Rilke

The scholar teaches.

The reader is allowed to think
that our problem is ignorance.
"If only we had known this sooner,
we wouldn't be in this mess."

The scholar accepts our thanks.

Poets and philosophers don't teach,
they entreat, they instruct.
"Look in your heart, man! For the
love of God, make up your mind!"

The reader is on his own.

The poet doesn't make you feel
but shows you how to do it better.
The philosopher doesn't make you
think, but shows you what it is.

The scholar is kind and gentle.

"There's nothing you could have
done. You didn't know. It is
complicated and there is no time."
Scholars teach and leave us be.

Poets and philosophers are cruel.

"Look around you! Don't you see?
Get a hold of yourself! Why do you
live to say this thing's to do?"
They point and scold. They laugh.

Scholars assert and deny.

They tell us what is so and
offer proof. Always assuring us
it took their whole intelligence,
an entire life, to understand.

Philosopher just pass remarks,
and poets turn a phrase,

all allusion and innuendo,
all allegation and insinuation.
You know what you have done.
You remember what you've seen.

"You must change your life."

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Why is there something
rather than nothing?
Consider the options.

If the mind and heart
were perfectly balanced
there'd be nothing.

If the mind were always still
and the heart, ever steady,
there'd be nothing.

But stir the mind, friends;
make the heart jump. Now,
that is something.

Some mornings, the fog
is so thick
one wants to call the weather company
and ask them
when service will be restored.

The poet must invoke
the things that make us feel
and make us feel them better.

The philosopher must recall
the people who make us think
and make us think better of them.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Precise concepts
afford us
clear thoughts.

Precise emotions
afford us
intense feelings.

The poet seeks
the aspect of things
that affords us
pleasure. This beauty
too, of course,
must bear our pain.

In philosophy, beauty
grants us certainty.
People apprehend it
but only, understand,
where doubt is found
and borne as well.

The poet tells you how
not what
he feels.

The philosopher doesn't tell you what
he thinks
but how.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

From the poet's point of view
the social sciences
obscure the subject
they desire to know

while their belief in masters
violate the object
of a material politics
in the grip of philosophy.

Philosophers see all of this
as a natural consequence
of subjective ambiguity
and the ignorance of feeling

while the power of thought
determines the objective
cultural implications of
what poetry does.

Friday, November 02, 2018


This is one tree
that is the case.

This tree is a singular
fact, not a thing.

This tree is determined
by a fact, and by its being
one fact.

For the singularity of a fact
what it is a case of
and also
what it's not a case of.

This fact in logical space
is a tree.

This tree identifies a fact.

Anything else (this table,
for example) can be the case
or not the case
while this (the tree)
remains the same.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Our passions
stir the mind
as our reasons
break the heart.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Be honest when
you express your thoughts, but,
when you express your feelings,
please, be decent.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Is a melody
a motor image,
like a picture is
a sensory image?

Is the myth
to the song
like logic
to the story?

Is the rhythm
of time
like the fabric
of space?

The beat
in the music,
the view
of the scene.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Do not invest all your faith
in science, nor all our hope
in politics. Use your imagination.

Make yourself a picture of
the facts. Form an image of
the act. Do it yourself.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Sometimes your hope
must be greater
than their promises.

Sometimes your faith
must be stronger
than the evidence.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Sometimes there are reasons for violence,
as a passion, sometimes, demands obscurity.

Reasons themselves do not hurt us,
Nor do passions alone benight us.

But sometimes violence conveys a thought.
And sometimes obscurity reveals a feeling.

Violence undoes us, sometimes on purpose.
Obscurity un-sees, sometimes intentionally.

But it can be reasonable to cause another pain.
One can passionately leave an object in the dark.

See also: "Obscurity and Violence"

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


The first bond,
the one to the other,
the self to the thing,
forgotten now,
in biography,
in history,
in biology,
in cosmology,
of light and dark,
of life and death,
of friend and foe,
of hope and fear,
the origin of all
of time and space,
of heart and mind...

Or is it perhaps
the first break?

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Speak of facts
Speak of acts
with decency.

As honesty is
an immediate rightness
in the presentation
of facts,

so decency is
an immediate rightness
in the presentation
of acts.

Untrue statements
can be made honestly.
Unjust commands
can be issued with decency.

Honesty is not truth, but
it lets the truth be seen.
Decency is not justice, but
it lets justice be done.

Just say what you see
and do as you say.
Present the image as it is
in imagination.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Wittgenstein said, "We make ourselves pictures of the facts." Williams said that pictures "live by their power to escape illusion." Shakespeare said that the artist holds, "as it were, a mirror" up to our natures.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Concepts don't limit imagination;
they allow us to imagine limits.

Emotions don't liberate imagination;
they compel us to imagine freedom.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Before you can
the statement
you must imagine
the fact.

Having understood,
you must
make up your mind.

What do you believe?

Before you can
the command
you must imagine
the act.

Having obeyed,
you must
open your heart.

What do you desire?

is not belief
just as
is not desire.

Merely understanding
the statement
is like merely obeying
the command.

You must bring
your beliefs
to bear upon
the statement.

You must bring
you desires
down upon
the command.

What do you think
of the facts?
How does the act
make you feel?

Do not content yourself
with mere understanding,
with mere obedience;
demand reasons also
to believe, a passion
to desire.

Use your imagination.
Make up your mind.
Open your heart.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Where is the love we have lost to power?
Where is the power we have lost to indignation?


For love is to power
as wisdom, to knowledge.

And information is to knowledge
as indignation is to power.

There is a limit to what we
can take. The shape we're in.

That which provokes us.
That which informs us.

The sometimes overwhelming
anger. The flash of light.

For insight is to knowledge
as outrage to power.

Friday, September 14, 2018

"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"

Where is the love we have lost to power?
Where is the power we have lost to outrage?

Friday, August 10, 2018

...a gathering
in the clearing.

Think of someone,
feel something.
Repeat, like laces.

Standing is to knowledge what
breathing is to power.
Hold your breath and stare
at something, then someone.
Imagine. See what I mean?

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Existence is to being as inspiration is to becoming.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Begin with the image.
It is easy. It can be
seen without strain,
done without effort.

Either peel one
off an appearance,
or stick one
onto a surface.

Imagine seeing
or imagine doing

Make a picture
of a fact, or an act.
Think about it. Feel it.
Use your imagination.