Saturday, May 23, 2020

Some struggle and learn.
Others suffer and learn.
The poet struggles and suffers
and doesn't learn a thing,
except that to live is to labor
in ignorance and longing.

Monday, May 11, 2020

"...to which I attribute the empire of passion and dreams..." (Mallarmé)

Reason is
to experience

as passion,
to an empire.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Doubt comes
from fear,
which tears
   the mind
      in two.

      Hope
   is of unknown
origin.

Monday, May 04, 2020

BM: Why do you want to get your ideas in order?
EP: For my poem.
XX: Why do you refuse to accept reality?
YY: It's my philosophy.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Study your existence
to become
good at being.

To be good at
becoming,
heed your inspiration.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Words aren't just the names
of concepts. Emotions
            give them personality.

Wisdom is the object as it is
            and its subject too.
Love isn't just a feeling
but a state of mind.

We use the names of things
            to think about them.
And some names break our hearts.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

It is not their righteousness
                    that gets you.
It's their intensity.

It's not their truthfulness
but their clarity
                    that holds you.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Philosophy thinks
the structure of our intuitions,
                    tries to understand
the wisdom of the statement.

Its goal is not truth
                    but clarity.

Poetry feels
the texture of our institutions,
                    tries to obey
the love in the command.

It seeks intensity,
                    not justice.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

"A wisdom beyond concepts."

"A love without emotion."

The ability to think conceptually

is like

the obligation
to feel
emotion.

Monday, April 20, 2020

It is tempting to suppose that philosophy is a theory of language, while poetry is a practice. The philosopher is driven to understand what the poet is bound to obey—the Word.

Is doubt
to philosophy
as praise
to poetry?

Sunday, April 19, 2020

The poet's desire
destroys
neither the world
nor the self,

just as

the philosopher's beliefs
leave
both our history
and our things

alone.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

"True knowledge" is a pleonasm.
If it is knowledge, not merely
belief, then it is true.

What then of "just power"?
Is power, not merely desire,
but desire justly felt?

At the heart of knowing is the ability to imagine a fact.

The obligation
to imagine
an act

becomes
the mind
of power.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

They say his kindness lay
in keeping to himself,
            in holding
his contempt at bay.

Thus, a half truth covered
            a broken whole.
He held himself together,
and he was getting old.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Kant's object was the thing,
Heidegger's subject, existence.
We cannot know the true names
of things. But Dasein's pronouns
are personal,
        "in each case,
                always already,
                        mine."

Sunday, April 12, 2020

To lose a friend
is tragic.
To cling to one
is farcical.

To see a friend
without fear
of loss or shame
is glorious.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

One woman taught me
how to scoop out
an avocado, another,
how to singe
the curry. One woman
taught me how to
bake. I think of them
when I cook. I loved
them all, including
the one who plucked dead
leaves from the basil
plant in the window I
still forget to water.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

A poem may begin with an idea
and arrive at a feeling,
or begin with a feeling,
and arrive at an idea,

but it must never begin
and end with an idea,
nor be satisfied
with feeling all alone.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Thinghood remains
in our ignorance of things,
their opacity.

Personality is a lack
of mastery over our selves,
our temerity.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The philosopher helps us
to decide
what to believe,

the poet,
to discover
who to desire.

It is dishonest
to make someone believe
something you think
is not true.

It is indecent
to make someone desire
something you feel
is not right.

And to prevent someone
from believing,
from desiring,
what you think is true,
what you feel good about?

This, too, is dishonest.
Indecent. Be kinder.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Art is too important to be left to the virtuous.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

If you cannot understand it
don't believe it.
Don't desire it.
if you will not obey it.

Begin with
understanding
and obedience.

Proceed to your beliefs,
with honesty;
with decency,
proceed to your desires.

Balance your discoveries
and your decisions;
maintain your clarity and
your intensity.

Know things
according to their measure.
"Master thyself
then others shall ye bear."

Friday, March 20, 2020

Solitude* is to knowledge
as friendship, to power.

_______
*Not, as I had previously suggested, loneliness.