Wednesday, October 16, 2019

"If you want to know me," I said,
"you must believe me;
if you want to believe me,
you must understand me;
and to understand me
you must use your imagination."

"If you want to master me," she answered,
"you must desire me;
if you want to desire me,
you must obey me;
and to obey me... well,
let me use your imagination."

Monday, October 14, 2019

The hardest thing
isn't always the most difficult,
just as the easiest
is not necessarily the lightest.

The heaviest burden
is not always the darkest,
nor is gravity,
always a serious business.

Sometimes the fool
just falls on his stupid ass,
and makes short work,
let's say, of your long face.

Monday, October 07, 2019

If you want to capture
the emotion,
you must not express
the feeling.

When you tell someone
how you feel,
they try to understand
what you mean.

It's no use pretending
you don't care
or feel something else.
Meaning is use.

Of friends, it is said,
"We lost touch."
I have lost the feeling
in my hands.
"He lost the use of his
legs," we say.
I'm touched. It's just a
feeling. What's the use?

Saturday, October 05, 2019

I'm going to try my hand
at poetry, to write words
that feel right. I'll try not
to care what you think.

It's possible that we had not considered
the downside. But I think you knew
what was about to take place here
and went in with a sense of adventure.

the world
of things
that are

the history
of people
to come

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

allow us to
as objects.

demand that we
as subjects.

Monday, September 30, 2019



Sunday, September 29, 2019

Satisfaction is to desire as justification, to belief. We may "want to believe" something (we may desire to hold something true) but in the absence of justification the belief will be irrational. Likewise, we may "think we need" something (we may believe we have a right to it) but as the desire is frustrated our passion for it wanes.

We are, ultimately, justified or satisfied, disappointed or frustrated, by experience. We cherish our beliefs, we sustain our desires, according to what we see around us and what we're able to do.

Of course, some desires are inextinguishable, some beliefs incorrigible. We may be frustrated in our pursuit of them and never let them go. We may be forever disappointed by the evidence of our senses and yet continue to believe. One must marvel at our stubbornness sometimes—our loyalty, our bigotry.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


The difference between ethos
and pathos is not emotion
but duration.

The difference between logos
and phallus is not conception
but erection.

Friday, September 20, 2019

The writer examines
his broken craft, gathers
the pieces, thumbs
their joints and hinges.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Hang it all, Gertrude Stein,
nothing is really "inaccrochable";

Sunday, September 08, 2019

To be wise about something is to think it has no need of you. Or, rather, wisdom is the thought that "it is what it is", sufficient unto itself. This can be taken to extremes, to be sure. You might realize that you're not needed at all. The euphoria of wisdom, we might say, is the thought that literally everything is going to be okay. You come back to the world when you feel that things might not be as they seem, and something has to be done. You find your place again.

Philosophy elucidates our thinking.
As a branch of literature, it is the art of writing concepts down.

Poetry intensifies our feeling.
As a branch of literature, it is the art of writing emotions down.

Monday, September 02, 2019

To be in love with someone is to feel you need them in order to be yourself. Or rather, love is the feeling that without the other you can't become who you are supposed to be. Of course, your love may be doomed. Many loves are not to be. The misery of lost love is, literally, the feeling that you can't become who you are. To "get over it" is to accept that you're not who you thought you were. This frees you to pursue others—other others and other selves.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Philosophy normalizes the empirical.

Poetry experiences the norm.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

The poet waits
for inspiration.

The philosopher dwells
upon existence.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Philosophy is normative: it tells us
what we're doing right
when we use a concept correctly,
what we're good at when know a thing.

Poetry is empirical: it tells us
what we're really seeing
when an emotion grips us, tightly,
whose power we are subject to.

We can distinguish lyrical poetry,
simple emotional notation,
from the epic, a poem containing
history, a diagram of power,

just as we can tell a syllogism,
a mere conceptual notation,
from a phenomenology of the spirit,
a world picture of the known.

Friday, August 16, 2019

There is only one thing
that ever happens.
It keeps happening.
Thank God.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Sunday, August 11, 2019

One loves her choices,
her tastes, and that she has some interest
in satisfying them.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

In the beginning, it is said, there was
the deed. Indeed, a fact is but a deed
that's done. And a deed, in fact,
is but an act that's seen and told.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

All this has been here
for a long time, and
many are now assembled
in this small space.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Machines are media:

lens, eye, focus,
lever, arm, pivot.

The wheel is real,
The circle, ideal.

Drum, ear, beat,
whip, skin, flog:

"Faith is immediate."

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The weight of ordinary objects,
the light of orderly subjects.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Friday, July 12, 2019

Best perhaps sometimes
not to understand
and yet to obey
somewhere certainly true.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Imagination intervenes
between thought and feeling.
Imagination intercedes
between the cynic and the fool.

It makes the move
available to sensation,
finds sense
beneath the motivation.

Imagination lifts
the melancholy fit.
Imagination stills
the foolish start.

The Analogy of Melancholy

Unchecked, unhinged,

reason leads
to melancholy,
passion, out
through folly.

For the pleasure
of thinking,
the pure feeling
of certainty,

passion brings
reason brings us
to despair,

senseless, unmoved.