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.