Thursday, June 25, 2020

The philosopher makes a vocation
of reason. The poet, of passion.

One must suspend belief in order
to think, the other, desire,

in order to feel. One seeks clarity in
the concept, the other, intensity in

the emotion. Both are called to suffer
the terrible precision of the craft.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Dressed as a servant
she'd go down to the sea

as if to return a stone
the land once stole.

In the moonlight, she'd let
her garment fall, and step

into the soft, black waves,
her servitude complete.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Cordial feelings. Mental thoughts.

Mental states. Cordial moves.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

A Totality for Adults

with apologies to Raoul Vaneigem

"A basic social arrangement in modern society is that the individual tends to sleep, play and work in different places with different co-participants, under different authorities, and without an over-all rational plan. The central feature of total institutions can be described as a breakdown of the barriers ordinarily separating these three spheres of life." (Erving Goffman)

"How do you react to our slogan 'Total Everybody Always'? Have you at last understood that your miserable failure as an individual is proof that you pursue a lost cause?" (Cyril Connolly)

The modern arrangement, we might say, institutes a kind of social immediacy. It gives us different roles in different spheres, and in order to play them we merely have to show up there. This gives us a here and now, unconcerned, for the moment, with everywhere and everyone else. Our words and actions mean something to the others that are present; their effectiveness does not depend on those who are absent.

Our social media, as the name suggests, undo this immediacy, breaking down the ordinary barriers and making our significance in one sphere of life contingent on our actions in the others. For all intents and purposes, we now sleep, work, and play in the same place. "We live in a society," as the saying goes. While we're still physically situated in time and space, we are always "virtually" connected to the same people, subject to the same authority, following the same plan. Total Everybody Always.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Poetry is the art of freeing your emotions from your opinions — philosophy, of concepts from caprice.

Biographical Sex

"Biology is not destiny. But it is half of it." (Norman Mailer)

Gender is the way
we have sex.
It is an element
of style, the way we

carry our selves.
My pronouns are "I/me"
in the autobiography
of my biology.

Sex engenders
the difficulty
of being a man,
of being a woman.

Your body is your
problem to solve.
To be human is
to become a man

or a woman. And everyone
fails in some way,
always on their own terms.
Sex isn't everything.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Knowledge is to power
as intelligence,
                   to allegiance.

In your composure you find
you are as articulate
about your power as you are
about your knowledge.

Begin with the silence
of your ignorance,
of your impotence.

Now find in your mind
an honest belief, in your
heart, a decent desire.
Hold them forth together.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Pictures are to the world
as epochs, to history.

Hence, a "world picture"
a "historical epoch".

"The Age of the World Picture" (Heidegger)
"The age demanded an image" (Pound)

We look for pictures.
We grab the handle.

(Epoch - epi-ekhein:
something to hold onto?)

A picture of it all.
A handle on it.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

The trouble with wisdom
is that everyone already gets it.
Wise words are never new.
We feel foolish hearing them.

Now, the trouble with love...