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.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Believe, conscious
of your desires.

Desire, in possession
of your beliefs.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Love is as much about power
as wisdom is about knowledge.

And as little.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Friday, December 06, 2019

Scholars compose themselves after the fact.
Leaders compose themselves before the act.

Friday, November 29, 2019

The philosopher starts with a fluid, moving force and tries to seize it formally.
The poet starts with a stable form and arranges images to indicate the forces it directs.

We think of perception
as our interaction with light.

We feel our actions
as an apperception of weight.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

What happens to your soul when you die?
God takes care of it.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

The birth of the body.
The origin of the world.
The suffering of the soul.
The progress of history.
The death of the body.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Art is entirely about precision.
It cuts at the joints of experience.
Or it tries to.
We ignore it at our peril.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Cowardice weakens
the heart,

as insipidity rots
the mind.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Courage is to the heart
as sapience
to the mind.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The progress of history demands
the suffering of the body;
the suffering of the body retraces
the origin of the world.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The progress of history.
The origin of the world.

Friday, November 15, 2019

A poem isn't
just wrong.
It's intense.

A philosophy isn't just
It's clear.