Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Everything belongs to existence.
Everyone longs for inspiration.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Philosophy, like poetry,
seeks an extraordinary precision
in ordinary language.
Sometimes, in frustration,
it invents a new jargon.
Sometimes in desperation,
and sometimes out of pity,
the vernacular adopts it.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

When reality finally sank in
he had run out of ideas.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Robertson, Paterson

"The effects we call 'poetic' occur when speech is made under two conditions: urgency and shortness of time. When the former is 'inspiration' and the latter is 'form', the result is the cultural convention known as 'the poem'." (Don Paterson, The Poem, p. 12)

"Here my use of the word poem parts from the conventions of aesthetic autonomy that have resulted from commodity culture’s limits and heroisms, to propose that the poem is the shapely urgency that emerges in language whenever the subject’s desiring vernacular innovates its receivers. The poem is the speech of citizenship." (Lisa Robertson, "Prosody of the Citizen")

Update (15/7/20): I had originally cropped and arranged these quotations differently, putting Robertson first, and leaving out her departure from "the conventions of aesthetic autonomy". I was emphasising the affinities between the poets as I saw them. I think those affinities are real, but by eliding the tension between them, I think I went too far, distorting Robertson's meaning. The juxtaposition still gives me hope, however.

Saturday, July 11, 2020


Your heart has had enough
long before your liver
and your kidneys tap out.

You lose your mind
before your sight
and hearing go.

That explains the drinking,
the loud music,
the antic disposition.

It does not explain
the addled brain
or the broken heart.

These things take time.
They destroy you slowly
from the inside,

and all around you
the pain and pleasure
circle round,

an administration of
bruises and memories, like
your breath on my skin.

Monday, July 06, 2020

These things will fall apart.
Do not dismantle your self.

Be as articulate about who you master
as you are about what you know.