Sunday, November 29, 2020

"Literature is equipment for living."
Kenneth Burke

An education consists in the arrangement of lenses and levers around an individual. It establishes the perspective from which we view the world and the apparatus through which we make our history. It lays out the manifold paths through which all light comes to us, and all weight bears upon us. It focuses our thinking and locates our feeling. It establishes the place we inhabit. It engenders the way we proceed.

The eye is a lens,
the arm, a lever.

To the focus of vision,
the body joins
a locus of motion,

a perspective, to
an apparatus.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

A poem has a subject,
      some private sorrow or
      distant woman,
but it is not about her
and is not involved
in anybody's grief.
Not even yours, dear reader,
who are so smugly certain
      that she won't come back.
The poem doesn't touch you.
It just lays out
      the private distance
      between men and women
and their broken hearts.

Likewise, though philosophy sometimes has an object, it is neither here nor there. You don't care about a solitary thing. It's the thinghood of the thing, its likeness to every other blasted thing, that draws your metaphysic in. But not hers. "If you've seen one thing, you've seen them all," she said. I have been of two minds about her ever since.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

A poem extricates itself
from history, frees its subject
from the policies
that govern her face.

A philosophy implicates itself
in the world, binds its object
to the sciences
that study her smile.

Those who demand a culture to
nurture their natural
creativity and curiosity
must grant a place for those who
cultivate their innate
ambition and avarice.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Between existence and institution,
the body stands.

Between inspiration and intuition,
the body breathes.

Between the nuance and the act,
the body stares.

Between the impulse and the fact,
the body falls.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

We are distracted.
We are pulled apart
by our reasons and passions,
our concepts and emotions straining
at the joints
of imagination.

We gather these images
in the arts. Marshaling
our thoughts and feelings,
our beliefs and our desires,
we get it together.
We find our composure.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

"Ideology is the 'faith' of progressives. Conservative 'ideology' is always religion." Discuss.

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Belief is
to knowledge
as desire
to power.

Hunches are
to wisdom
as crushes
to love.