Thursday, December 03, 2020

The body coordinates
the hand and eye,
                 imagination,
the heart and mind.

_______
See also "The image interpolates..."

Sunday, November 29, 2020

"Literature is equipment for living."
Kenneth Burke

An education consists in the arrangement of lenses and levers around an individual. It establishes the perspective from which we view the world and the apparatus through which we make our history. It lays out the manifold paths through which all light comes to us, and all weight bears upon us. It focuses our thinking and locates our feeling. It establishes the place we inhabit. It engenders the way we proceed.

The eye is a lens,
the arm, a lever.

To the focus of vision,
the body joins
a locus of motion,

a perspective, to
an apparatus.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

A poem has a subject,
      some private sorrow or
      distant woman,
but it is not about her
and is not involved
in anybody's grief.
Not even yours, dear reader,
who are so smugly certain
      that she won't come back.
The poem doesn't touch you.
It just lays out
      the private distance
      between men and women
and their broken hearts.

Likewise, though philosophy sometimes has an object, it is neither here nor there. You don't care about a solitary thing. It's the thinghood of the thing, its likeness to every other blasted thing, that draws your metaphysic in. But not hers. "If you've seen one thing, you've seen them all," she said. I have been of two minds about her ever since.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

A poem extricates itself
from history, frees its subject
from the policies
that govern her face.

A philosophy implicates itself
in the world, binds its object
to the sciences
that study her smile.

Those who demand a culture to
nurture their natural
creativity and curiosity
must grant a place for those who
cultivate their innate
ambition and avarice.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Between existence and institution,
the body stands.

Between inspiration and intuition,
the body breathes.

Between the nuance and the act,
the body stares.

Between the impulse and the fact,
the body falls.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

We are distracted.
We are pulled apart
by our reasons and passions,
our concepts and emotions straining
at the joints
of imagination.

We gather these images
in the arts. Marshaling
our thoughts and feelings,
our beliefs and our desires,
we get it together.
We find our composure.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

"Ideology is the 'faith' of progressives. Conservative 'ideology' is always religion." Discuss.

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Belief is
to knowledge
as desire
to power.

Hunches are
to wisdom
as crushes
to love.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

All knowledge is objective:
it refers to something.

All power is subjective:
it defers to someone.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Objects are things
construed as possibitities,
as facts that may be,
ways they might be seen.

Subjects are people
delegated as necessities,
as acts that must happen,
deeds that must be done.

Concepts determine the ways
things can be seen
(even if they go unnoticed.)

Emotions determine the deeds
people must do
(even if they lack the courage.)

Objects are what you must think
of things, like it
or not. Thus, they are understood
or misunderstood.

Subjects are what people feel
they may become, whatever
they believe. They obey
or disobey accordingly.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

We see the world—
the things in it.

But history is done.
All those people!

Sunday, October 11, 2020

The universe is a distribution
of light
        and weight,
of shimmering pleasures
and awkward burdens.

We carry them, and ourselves,
graciously, sometimes
        clumsily.
Enthralled, forgiving,
we carry each other.

Friday, October 09, 2020

"It" is
to philosophy

as

"you" are
to poetry.

But note:

Philosophy clarifies
how you think.

And poetry intensifies
how it feels.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Prose is language taken for granted.
Verse is language turned for pleasure.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Sometimes, we can't repress what reason affords us. Sometimes, we must.

Sometimes, we can't afford
to repress a passion. Sometimes,
we can't afford not to.

Friday, October 02, 2020

The hero is no hypocrite.
He courts the danger openly.
When he falls, the coward
must not say,"I told you so."

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The aphorism plumbs a depth it cannot fathom. It hangs its light in darkness.

If you feel like the whole world
is against you,
then your real enemy
is probably your own self.

If you think all of history
must be denounced,
remember your friends,
your place among your people.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Thursday, September 10, 2020

We live among people
who haven't yet forgotten
what we have done.

If only I could remember
what I have become,
            what it is they see.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Likeness, Imagination

         Art's the joint
between science and
politics, like beauty,
between truth and
justice, like experience,
between belief and
desire, like the image
between the thought
         and the feeling.

Poetry is like music.
You'll often find that the
composer isn't the best
performer of the work.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

When it rains
I water the plants
in the window.

It seems the least
I can do.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The mind is smarter
but the heart is stronger.

For all that the mind knows
the heart holds the power.

The lucid mind, friends.
But the beating heart.

If it were a contest,
it would long be over.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Light is the shortest path
between two points.
Massless, unrestrained,
all virtue and motion,
it longs for nothing.
It thinks it's already there.

Walking takes longer,
driven by hunger,
heavy with memory.
So much passion.
So many reasons.
It's better to travel light.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Everything belongs to existence.
Everyone longs for inspiration.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Philosophy, like poetry,
seeks an extraordinary precision
in ordinary language.
Sometimes, in frustration,
it invents a new jargon.
Sometimes in desperation,
and sometimes out of pity,
the vernacular adopts it.