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

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
neither the world
nor the self,

just as

the philosopher's beliefs
both our history
and our things


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

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,

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.