Saturday, December 29, 2018

"The arts," said Ezra Pound, "provide data for ethics." It would have been more precise to say "capta". The arts show us how we are "taken" with experience. They do not merely enthrall. They show us how we are enthralled. This is what it means when a poet tells us "how he feels". Not, you will notice, what he feels, or even who he is, but how the feeling gets done. How it feels to be governed. What Wyndham Lewis called "the art of being ruled".

Thursday, December 27, 2018

A poem arranges feelings
to present an emotion.

Philosophy arranges thoughts
to present a concept.

To make you think and feel
they evoke images.

The thoughts and feelings,
the images, are not

the point. They're there
only to clarify

the concept, to intensify
the emotion.

The feelings themselves
are harmless.

The thoughts as such
are trivial.

They're all in your mind
and heart. Imaginary.


It must be added that my poems aren't really poems. What feelings are arranged? What images are evoked? They look superficially like poems, but only because it keeps things orderly. Nor is what is happening here more than a shadow of philosophy. It's merely a thought of thinking, a concept of concepts. You, dear reader, are doing all the work. You have to imagine it. Poets and philosophers (real ones) make you better at it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Politicians make the rules
that govern us, they decide
which acts are just,
how they're to be done,
and who may do them.

Poets write emotions
down, as paradigms
for the expression of desire,
studies in the art
of being ruled.

Scientists find the laws
that govern things, discover
which facts are true,
how to see them,
and what you're seeing.

Philosophers write concepts
down, as paradigms
for the expression of belief,
studies in the art
of being wrong.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Freedom is to desire what
discipline is to belief.

All desire desires to be free;
all belief believes in learning.

(Explication here.)

Monday, December 17, 2018

Hard times
for an honest man.
Empty spaces
for a decent one.

Art recovers the beauty that remains between the truth and the justice we have accomplished. Another way to put it: art seeks happiness in the space between our honesty and our decency. That is why art is always being accused of indecency and dishonesty.

(More here.)

"Suicide is a temporary solution ... The real, interesting challenge is to solve the problem within the context of remaining alive." (Woody Allen, cf. Leonard Cohen.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Wittgenstein compared the depth of philosophy with the depth of a grammatical joke.

Cummings used burlesque as a paradigm for poetry. "Would you hit a woman with a child?" He'd ask. "No, I'd hit her with a brick." He said he was "abnormally fond of the precision which creates movement."

Now, stillness is to philosophy what movement is to poetry. Both, however, are fond of precision.

The philosopher stills the mind to reach a very precise depth. The poet moves the heart...

What is to poetry as depth, to philosophy?

Let's think it through. Depth is a spatial category. And space is to philosophy as time, to poetry. Philosophical language shows us precisely where we are, gives us the locale. Poetic language sets the tempo, lays down precisely when it is. What is to time as depth is to space?

The poet moves the heart
precisely to a beat.

In the stillness
of philosophy

(The philosopher
stills the mind
to a precise depth.)

The mind scans
the motion
of the poem.

Now brace yourself for the etymological punchline: 'scansion (n.), 1670s, "action of marking off of verse in metric feet," from Late Latin scansionem (nominative scansio), in classical Latin, "act of climbing," noun of action from past participle stem of scandere "to climb" (see scan (v.)). From 1650s in English in literal sense of "action of climbing up".'

Wittgenstein's ladder is a poem.

Friday, December 07, 2018

In poetry (specifically, love poetry), escape vivacity is the minimum life force needed for a free woman to escape from the "mysterious carriage" of a man's body that conceals the defects of his mind.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Indecency interrupts
our institutions, as
dishonesty undermines
our intuitions, but

justice sometimes demands
a disruption of order.
Truth sometimes requires
we overturn the doctrine.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Emotions are
the fine grain
of social relations,
moral fibers,
the texture of time.

Concepts are
the grid lines
of material position,
causal nexuses,
the structure of space.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The singer and
his song,

the joiner and his
wooden box.

The writer
and his pain:

his misery
his insufferable

of the craft.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Think of the problem
as one of

satisfying your desires
challenging your beliefs.

Concepts establish the thing
in experience, construct the object
of knowledge. They provide

the structure of understanding,
the appearance of contingency.

Emotions situate the person
in experience, fashion the subject
of power. They afford us

the texture of obedience,
the surface of resistance.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The poet imagines
an ideal history
of love and freedom.

The philosopher imagines
the real world
of wisdom and limits.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

An ideal world
is as imaginary
as the real history.

Philosophy struggles against
the reification of essence
as poetry struggles against
the emergence of personality.

In the failures of philosophy
the sciences find their objects.
In the failures of poetry
the polity rules its subjects.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Is all pain
a difficulty
in breathing?

Is the dark
merely hard to
stand in?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Thus, the light,
the air:

an opening in space,
a breach in time,

a fleeting thought,
a feeling, merely.

But bring the concept,
the emotion,

to prop it up,
to hold it open.

The dust in the beam,
the cool draft,

the distant voices
of the searchers.

They have another day
to find you now.

Darkness is to the mind
as pain to the heart.

All this obfuscation and
all this violence require

concepts to steady us,
emotions to let us breathe.

Darkness and pain are real.
So is the light, the air.

Friday, November 16, 2018

When it is dark,
I think of your eyes.

I feel your hands
where it hurts.

Who is to blame
for believing in things

that people desire?
What is at stake?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

"Logic should be the theory of science." (Bolzano)
Pathos is the practice of politics.

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 faith
must be stronger
than the evidence.

Sometimes your hope
must be greater
than their promises.

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.

Friday, June 22, 2018

A man who seeks his soul in his body
has forgotten
that he did not lose it there.

He will not find in his own flesh
what he lost
between it and another's.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Only the image
interests us,
though people seduce
us and things
contradict us

The image exists
between things,
emerges among people.
The image becomes
what it is and is
what it becomes.

Wisdom is not
the foundation
of knowledge,
but its limit.

Love is not
the dominion
of power,
but its center.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

His Penelope was not Flaubert,
his sentence was the paragraph—
sought composure in his prose, and
found distraction in his poems.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

One wants to keep one's history
as articulate as one's world.

Everything we see and do disturbs
or recovers this composure.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Disheartened, and his mind
lost, his talent dissipated.

His desires were unmoored,
his beliefs, unhinged,

and his thoughts wandered.
Every feeling now was fleeting,

uncommitted to word, or deed,
unvoiced, disengaged.

He had no courage here, and
nothing piqued his curiosity.

All could be or not be, happen
or not happen. He would watch.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Freedom is to desire
as the limit to belief.

The heart desires to be free.
The mind believes in limits.

My body keeps it together.
My soul suffers the strain.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Our leaders "derive
their just powers
from the consent
of the governed."

Our scholars derive
true knowledge
from the content
of their inquiries.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Through intuitions
objects are known

Through institution
subjects are mastered

medium (n.) "substance
through which
something is conveyed."

Intuition and institution
are the media
of immediacy.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Order is not made
in the mind, but
it is found there.

Sincerity is not born
in the heart, but
it resides there.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Science makes
and arranges
pictures of facts
in logical space.

Philosophy sharpens
the image
by clarifying
our concepts.

Politics makes
and arranges
pictures of acts
in pathetic time.

Poetry sharpens
the image
by intensifying
our emotions.


Language shapes
conceptual space,
the logic of the inter-
relation of objects.

Language drives
emotional time,
the pathos of the dis-
position of subjects.

The image is not
in the mind alone.

It is in the eye
and in the hand,

in the ear
and on the tongue.

The image is
of the flesh,

on the surface, in
the appearance.

The image, too, is
in the heart.

Use poetry
to extricate yourself
from history.

Use philosophy
to detach yourself
from the world.

Seek precision:
the intense emotion,
the clear concept.

Friday, June 08, 2018

The hand
the pencil
over the surface of
the page
before the appearance of
the line
is sensed by
the eye.

The line
a figure
to the mind.
To the heart?
A phantasm
that is
the word.

A phantasm
of desire—
the sentence—
in belief,
a figure.

This is my body.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

We figure things out.
We fantasize about people.
We imagine ourselves
in situations.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Figure, Image, Phantasm

[Some notes on reading Barthes' interview with Brochier, "A Great Rhetorician of Erotic Figures," (The Grain of the Voice, pp. 252-257)]

"As for Fourier, he is obviously a combiner of passions..."

Needless to say, there are also combiners of reasons.

"...the phantasm is a scenario in which the subject situates himself in terms of his desire. This very simple definition is quite suitable for scenes—one passes easily from scenario to scene."

Let's say that the figure is a scene in which the object is situated as thing in terms of belief. (Note the "objectivity" of this formula: the subject drops out completely and leaves what Wittgenstein called "the reality coordinated with it".)

From the figure, we derive our concepts. From the phantasm, we derive our emotions.

The image is the pivot. Through it, one passes easily from phantasm to figure, from scenario to scene.

"I find myself wanting to recreate or find pivot-points in my own poems," said Tony Tost once: "a pivot from image to aphorism, from emotion to trivia." It's something like that.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Poetry is
to imagination
philosophy is
to imagination.



Poetry is not
to imagination
philosophy is
to imagination.


Imagination is
to poetry
imagination is
to philosophy.

the image

the image

Imagination facilitates
their presentations.
(The image is easy.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Imagination is
the subtle bridge
that joins
the five senses to
the five motives,

the shore
of timeless wisdom
to the living ocean
of love.

Monday, May 28, 2018

There's no way
to be sure,
but we aim
to please.

(Cf. May 17, 2018.)

Is anything

more disturbing

the ability

make someone

on purpose?

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Evidence is to knowledge
as office to power.

"appearance from which inferences
may be drawn," "ground for belief,"
from ex "out, out of, fully"
and videre "to see".

"a post to which certain duties
are attached," literally "work-doing,"
from ops, "power, might, abundance, means"
and facere "to make, to do".

We seek a science
based on evidence
and a policy
bounded by office.

We want a ground
on which to believe.
We want desire
tied to a post.

So do not ask your leaders
for evidence-based policy.
Keep them office-bound,
mindful of their duty.

Friday, May 25, 2018

In a story things happen.
Some of them get done. Some just do.
Some of them are seen. Some aren't.

The meaning of the events in a story
often depends on who does them
and who sees them, or doesn't.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

He was prone
to formalism
in his remarks,
which left an emptiness,
a space,
in his imagination.
In time,
he would be fulfilled
by his strophes
as contentment
washed over him.

The first light

to the eye,
the mind,


the heart
with the hand,

the last weight.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

An action or event
(something you do,
something that happens)
is good
if it makes you better
as a person,
if it makes you worse.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

To gain power
we must forgo
some pleasure.

To gain knowledge
we must accept

Pleasure belongs
to the powerless
as certainty belongs
to the ignorant.

For pleasure must
be sought
where you are vulnerable,
and certainty
will come only
like a light in darkness.

What you may know
of this is in
another's power.

is the freedom
of desire.

is the limit
of belief.

At the center
of our knowing
we find wisdom.

At the edge
of our mastery
we find love.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Hearts, like minds,
can be open or closed,
can open and close.

Like minds, hearts
can be changed.

Friday, May 11, 2018

It is no more
(and no less)
to think
you are wise
than to feel
you are
in love.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

"Think before you act."
Feel before the fact.

Before you act,
consider the facts.
Before you believe,
consult your desires.


Facts constrain the possibility of action.
Feelings reflect our sense of the possible.
A belief implies a field of possibilities.
Our beliefs make us feel some things
are possible and others are impossible.
Our desires, then, have a vested interest
in the state of our beliefs. Respect it.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

One day he resolved
to compose his poetry on the outside
of his philosophy.

The light was bad.
The guitar was out of tune.
And she was drunk.

He watched her dance,
tightened the strings,
and trimmed the wick.

In this image—
its flicker and tension
and stagger and sway—
he holds her.

Bowling is the opposite of drawing.

In the stillness of his mind,
even the courtyard's cherry tree
blossomed as a mere idea of itself,
until the petals fell to the ground
through the windless air.

The poet sings
of experience,
of how to feel it
when it happens.

And where it falls?
And how to think
on the experience?
Call a philosopher.

Monday, May 07, 2018

But the mind
itself, lost,
must be found.

And the heart
itself, alone,
must belong.

While the soul
abides, waiting,
in the body.

The mind
"What?" it asks.

The heart
"Who?" it begs.

"How?" falls
to the body.
to the soul.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

The true belief,
the beautiful image,
the just desire.

The sound mind,
the healthy body,
the strong heart.

The better reason,
the purer soul,
the deeper passion.

Friday, May 04, 2018

I have come to understand it now,
but I still can't bring myself to obey.

"Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow..."

Between the concept
and the emotion,
slips the image.

Between your reasons
and your passion
find your suffering.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

We experience knowledge conceptually.
We experience power emotionally.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

There is an orthodoxy,
but also an orthothymia.
There's a right way of thinking
and a right way of feeling.

May your concepts and emotions
guide your imagination
beyond the acceptable opinion,
the appropriate sentiment.

Philosophers teach us how to think.
Poets teach us how to feel.
Scientists tell us what to believe.
Politicians tell us who to desire.

Desires show us how to be free.
Beliefs show us how we are bounded.
Our feelings become who we are.
Our thinking is what it is.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

How does it feel to think?
Like making a picture of the facts.
How do we think of feelings?
By making pictures of the act.

How a thought
feels is
the image—
how feelings
become thoughts.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Inquiring minds,
governed hearts.

How people
imagine things.

Monday, April 23, 2018

How does the soul work?
It abides in the body.

To see
what the facts are


who the acts become
in deed.

Reason tends
to the stillness
of the mind.

Passion stirs
in the motion
of the heart.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

In an argument
your reasons

Under an obligation
your passions

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Reason is
to argument

as passion
to obligation,

as that
which shines

to that
which binds.

Friday, April 13, 2018

"Literature is news that STAYS news." (Ezra Pound)
Journalism is literature that FAILS daily.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Schooling is to knowledge as banking to money. There are good arguments for public and private systems, i.e., for organizing them as utilities or companies. Even both. It's the public-private so-called "partnerships" that should frighten us. They reek of moral hazard.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Imagine knowing "only"
how we are thrown into existence,
how Molly loved Leopold,
how Marcel loved Albertine,
how Quixote loved Dulcinea,
how Hamlet loved his mother,
how meaning is use.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Feeling is to action as thought is to perception.

You think you see.
You feel you must.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

My mind
in the love
of wisdom.

My heart
the wisdom of

My body
fucks and

My soul,
to keep it
all together,

Sunday, March 11, 2018

I am not a socialist. I harbor no particular animosity towards workers; I just don't see their labor as the only source of value in our culture. Invention and organization can as easily entitle one to control of the means of production as the sweat of one's brow. Let ownership pass to those who are best able to capitalize on our labors and desires, to leverage our collective gains in efficiency.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Morality is
to love
as causality
to wisdom.

An ill-tempered desire
to justify,
A misplaced belief
in explanation.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Knowledge is a dynamic relation between a socially embedded state of affairs and a materially embodied state of mind.

Power is a static

within changing,
materially embodied


a socially embedded
change of heart.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Dark Sieve

The self divides the soul,
articulates your faith
into discrete beliefs and
temerarious desire.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The soul is an article of faith.
It is neither an object of belief
nor the subject of desire.
It joins the two immediately.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A poet is an unhappy being whose heart is torn by secret sufferings, but whose lips are so strangely formed that when the sighs and the cries escape them, they sound like beautiful music... and then people crowd about the poet and say to him: "Sing for us soon again;" that is as much as to say: "May new sufferings torment your soul." (Søren Kierkegaard)

Suffering separates our reasons from our passions in imagination.
Reason makes a picture of this suffering. Passion makes a melody.

To imagine the difference between reason and passion is to suffer.
Composure draws them together, sings their harmony.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

From the Tracatus Pathetico-Poeticus

"Melody is the most artificial thing in music." (Boris de Schloezer, via Ezra Pound)

2.1 We hum melodies of our acts to ourselves.

2.11 The melody presents the acts in pathetic time (le temps pathétique), the inspiration and desolation of holistic acts.
2.12 The melody is a siren of ideality.
2.13 The totality of the melody corresponds to the subject of the melody.
2.14 The melody comprises the totality that is actually imposed on us in various ways.
2.15 That the totality of the melody is imposed on us in various ways, represents that people impose on us in various ways. This multiplicity in the totality of the melody is called its texture, and the necessity of this texture provides the function of the representation of the melody.
2.16 In order to be a melody an act must differ in a significant way from what it sings.
2.17 How the melody must depart from ideality in order to be able to represent it after its manner -- justly or unjustly -- is its representative function.
2.18 How every melody, of whatever function, must depart from ideality in order to be able to represent it at all -- justly or unjustly -- is the functional pathos of the Ideal, that is, the function of ideality.
2.19 Melodic pathos is the song of history.

3 The melodic pathos of the act is the feeling.

7 Whereof we cannot sing, thereof we must dance.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

I am not an ideologue. It is not that I don't have ideas or hold ideals. Ask me what truths I believe and what justice I desire and I will happily answer. But don't ask me what orthodoxy or heresy of the moment I subscribe to. I don't.

Friday, February 02, 2018

For Ezra

Did you lose your center fighting the world,
or did you, perhaps, lose the world
finding your center?


There are sides of a woman
that only men find funny.
There is beauty in women
that only men can appreciate.

There is a species of pain
that only a woman can inflict
and only a man can feel. Let us
keep these things between us.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

I am not an atheist. I have no compelling argument for the existence of God, but I can't shake the sense that my soul is only "mine" to lose. I believe my essential being depends (forever) on the moral quality of my actions. I feel God's judgment upon them.

Friday, January 26, 2018

"Literature is news that stays news." (E.P.)
News is literature that fails (as literature).

Friday, January 19, 2018

Deference is to power
as reference, to knowledge.

Science tells you what it is—
politics, who's to come.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The remark is to the philosopher
as the strophe, to the poet.
One passes what the other turns —
the aspect, the angle of an image.

But there is nothing in philosophy
as composed and finished as the poem.
There is no unit of work done,
just bits and pieces of the seen.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Three things you might try:
Make up your mind.
Have a change of heart.
Use your imagination.

Political ambition seeks power.
Scientific curiosity seeks knowledge.

(It is possible that the terms "political ambition" and "scientific curiosity" are pleonasms. All curiosity may, in a sense, be "scientific", and all ambition may, in a sense, be "political". Or we may say that even apolitical ambition (like that of the athlete or artist) seeks a kind of power, and even unscientific curiosity (like that of the lover, or, again, the artist) seeks a kind of knowledge.)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Wisdom is the stillness of the mind
in which things are what they are.

Love is the movement of the heart
through which we become ourselves.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Literature maintains the connection between language and imagination.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

"Matter," said Schopenhauer, "is the objective correlative of pure understanding."

The social, I add, is the subjective disposition of brute obedience.*

Thus, matter is the objective correlative of the subjective disposition of society.

Marx may have been on to something.

*The subject is to the object as passion is to reason. Obedience is to understanding, as the social is to the material. Relations are to positions as knowledge to power.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Variation on a Theme by Robert Brandom

We are distinguished by capacities
as broadly affective as cognitive.
Our transactions with other things,
and especially with each other,
mean something to us
in a special and characteristic sense—
they have an emotional context, we obey them
in one way rather than another
even when we do not understand them.

My strategy identifies us as passionate beings,
not merely reasonable ones. Reasonable beings
who are passionately becoming, perhaps.
Passion is as nothing to the beasts of the field.
We are the ones on whom passions are binding,
subject to the peculiar force of the greater passion.

See here for the source and some explications.