Saturday, October 31, 2009


barry mcguire's eve of destruction and judith durham singing a world of our own ... how lovely and fierce it was to be 19 in 1965 ... one by one we cast restrictions behind us ... glorious to have the wisdom the fathers lost because they were old and outmoded ... a kind of holiness to have a destiny ... a kind of certainty to be new and without experience ... without tradition to be the cornerstone for a new tradition ... but there's no use now trying to close the book on way back then as if we were the conclusion to their argument ... you can't justify the ignorance and folly of the past in its future ... so you can't explain it ... you can't even describe it ... but oddly enough you can hear it ... you can listen to the speeches or read the history and with a little imagination hear the voices ... perhaps the easiest way is to listen to the music ... the more you do that with attention the more completely you recover the soul of the intention ... you feel the original tension in it ... the intensity ... by being in tense with it ... you take its past and future and make them present


if it's between that and error let it snap but if it's between that and truth let it stay forever ... that's the power of a transcendental ... in particular the objects of faith hope and charity are truth beauty and goodness ... you can always count on those three sisters as long as the other two are in attendance whenever you pursue the third ... the truth is lovely ... it clears the mind and simplifies the soul ... it deals with the ugly and the bad but only to remove them or it is not the truth ... the good is the dominant sister most insistent on her rights and the hardest to escape or forget ... she evokes a smile however ... however grim it might be ... it's the third sister of course who remains most elusive of the three ... she must come upon us by surprise but makes it appear in her innocence that we have taken her by surprise ... the truthful rigors of logic the beneficial salve of correction she's just not interested ... not just now ... her interest is entirely in you though she looks demurely down ... she may look away but she always beckons ... she disappears but you smile hopefully

Friday, October 30, 2009


when I got a 76 on the biology regents I thought I was point wealthy ... a full eleven more than I needed ... and I haven't learned much in all the years that have passed since then ... so you'll understand when I say I'm confused about species ... is it a logical or a biological concept ... if the second does it provide feedback biofeedback to uphold and update its definition ... what does the stamp say on its ID ... what diploma does it hold to show it's an adult a full-grown species ready to stand on its own ... I was told it had to do as so much else in this world seems to do with sex ... or to be more precise the ability to reproduce more of its kind and none of any other ... is this where we come in ... is the confusion coincident with birth control and cloning ... or are they just another expression of the same desire ... the sorcerer's apprentice hard at study with his formulae in narrow lines that begin to curve ... a feather here a claw there ... change a few variables change a few numbers ... put in a snout put in some bristles ... look how we make the species tremble

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


if I could get past the first person I don't mean to get caught up in the second ... I mean only to mention the power of the third ... the mind-stripping power of the objective ... it can't strip the person from the mind can it ... but it can strip the mind from the person in the deepest sense simply that it seems to ... for the mind I mean here is the one taken up by appearances ... and before I get into a fight no I don't mean just measurable ones ... but I do mean just appearances ... which once they become familiar send us all kinds of invitation ... to define them to play with them to see they can be played with ... because they respond ... they open up ... they reveal and they educate us which true education there is nothing we enjoy more ... for in contemplation of their truth we lose ouselves ... or are stripped of the self-conscious mind ... and become happy ... hours over the stamp collection or studying ants mapping the stars reading fiction and history memorizing poetry ... see we say how the time does fly ... just because we no longer make it ... even to measure by

Monday, October 26, 2009


every time you lose your temper do you have a qualifying and then consenting conference first ... if even so quickly you have the time for just the one internal yes before you hurry off to the explosion ... so simple a calculation ... always a variation of heavy is heavier than light ... and those clever instances of such was not the case are saved for lifetimes and generations of wonder and regret ... not touching however the supreme case of otherwise ... when all the mind and all of matter both are turned upside down inside out and reality itself given a new direction ... what's losing your temper then to such a tempest as that ... where's the decisiveness of jerking down the wheel the sharp spin the about face when all faces are turned whether they will or not ... here an auditor might scurry forth yes yes for ends but it's means we need to know ... where is your humility if you cannot bow perhaps smile and agree though sometimes you may be given the grace as well to argue that in this end is all our beginning now matter how we each start

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


god damn the devil to hell seemed at first a fitting pronouncement at the close of a shitty saturday morning ... that is a morning whose peak fresh moment was covered in shit ... no mystery or metaphor here ... I mean just a sick cat likely to die ... but she wouldn't be sick and she wouldn't die if not for what the devil had done ... come in among us like that and spoil the inheritance ... the thing I can remember about the devil at the moment of his creation he said no and not like you or me his no had to stick forever ... you and I we get to play with our no as it were accidentally ... for him it was considered deliberate complete ... now if we buy his argument in any one of its forms we buy that same conclusion and how can it fail to be forever ... you may say that's what death does ... it puts an end to all those accidents ... what we're left with is essential ... essentially yes essentially no ... a jointure back to his first word ... the first to put god and damn together ... the first lie ... the first murder a suicide ... to which even we may assent ... so no ... not god damns but the devil

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


follow the spirit ... it's that simple ... no it's not ... given that form it only says this is the problem of discernment ... we only bring it to your notice ... we say nothing about how to solve it ... concerning that solution wouldn't the first clause be to add the word holy ... in a sense of course that is the solution ... but not in the sense we all agree what we mean by holy ... there for example the madman and the saint may wholly disagree ... and the disagreement between the fanatic and the patriot must call forth whole libraries in support of each side ... some will not admit the use of the word at all ... others say this is because should they do just that admit the word once thereafter indeed they must admit all ... holy is not wise or powerful though wisdom and power attend ... nor is it simply innocence or simplicity itself ... it's a word or title that requires a pedigree and a certificate of some sort ... it has authority and it must show it ... it cannot come in the middle of the night and take you without warrant ... its genus is authority and its specific difference is love

Thursday, October 15, 2009


why only three hours hanging ... were those hours companions to the days ... one to die two to descend three to rise ... take the middle hour ... was it to fall ... to lose the life of the body and the spirit ... was it the mind only that stepped into hell and what did it do there ... was the hell of it the mind racing not being able to bear the complex or the simple ... or a phantom-limb earless-ear deception hearing a cacophony of voices ... was memory a confused plague ... was understanding a terrifying failure ... or was the mind of the dead man cradled in the crook of death's elbow coming again to life waking up in the midst of hell and the heart of triumph ... whose cry human or divine scoured the reaches of time ... was it the one rebuilding creation and the other leading it back ... as they will be heard in history were they first heard in hell ... the voice of god and the voice of man ... how was it the core of hell didn't crack apart and the call to despair dam itself up ... or are they just slow in coming ... the thunder in the wake of the lightning ... the two voices now one

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


the books the games the TV shows what have I left from them now but the love of a good idea ... take the wargame ... you and your opponent are building a mosaic from the ground up chronologically ... a battle a campaign a war ... this mosaic runs up both sides of the wall is the wall until by the top there are two pictures ... one side triumphant the other defeated ... with the laying of each brick the dice must be rolled to settle the inevitable dispute ... each side wants the brick the one they both must share that will best promote the story its picture is telling ... and no matter how well one side does no matter how clear the story it tells ... it still must roll the dice and accept the consequences according to the rules ... the best games tell a coherent story on both sides of the wall till at the top while one side plants a flag the other is lost in a cloud ... but neither player is humiliated because neither side was debased ... hence the word game to modulate the term war ... but still war ... civilized ... death deleted ... in tribute to ... in honor of ... war

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


may we call falsehood a failure in identity or analogy ... and say gnosticism is a failure of the first sort ... for we are neither god nor gods ... and anarchy is an example of the second kind ... things are connected all the way up to excellence of purpose ... the first storms the heights then turns the guns around on the reinforcements coming up behind ... each bullet killing another upstart's ambition ... singing on its way mine mine mine ... the second has a living map of the universe spread out on a table conveniently before it and upon which it scatters its seed ... but seed designed to sprout weeds ... colorful sometimes luxuriant but always meant to block the line of sight from A to B never mind A to Z ... many gods collapse into one lonely false god me ... or the roof falls in ... the wind works its way down the walls till the last unified moment of meaning ... the final atom ... is sucked into the dark night of chance and I've lost my way and nothing anymore is like anything else ... I can't tell the difference in the end between too much identity and not enough analogy ... there's little of me left either way

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I have two friends ... one of them reads between ten and twenty books at the same time most all of them nonfiction ... the other reads one book at a time ... they both read the same number of books each year ... in fact they read the same books each year ... the multibook reader the polybibliophile has been my close you may say my intimate friend for over six decades ... I've never met the other ... my close friend detests the thought he must be a dilettante down to the dilettantish spelling of the word ... my other friend whom I love for the sake of my first friend tries to keep that poor fellow from the worst consequences of the charge ... which are internal to the vice if vice it be ... but for all I can see he has failed completely ... my promiscuous friend keeper of the harem of books wanders from room to room as it were ... opens each door onto a landscape peculiar to each thought that brought him to the room ... touches her light hair ... kisses the skin of her shoulder ... inhales the fragrance of her discourse ... and is lost in her ambient sunshine ... in her sad toilsome ways ... how can the other ... my friend Alio ... save him

Saturday, October 10, 2009


pointing to the forehead first and then to the chest ... all right ... but why to the shoulders ... that the force of creation should be first of all intelligent ... that the son of this creation should become a man that he might feel the weight of morality ... that the head and the heart should form an axis round which action should evolve makes sense ... but why point to each shoulder ... is it because the shoulders bear the weight of the full pail and the full shovel ... that they bear the yoke and the lash ... or that they strain against the enemy line and fulcrum the launch of the javelin and the stab of the spear above it ... or is it something else ... something beyond that rod between the head and the heart so neatly after all put in a box and then in the ground ... something like thinking out of the box but not thinking or feeling ... that is they're pointing not to the shoulders but to the shoulders as a pivot for something other than the arms ... something that you'd expect out of the box ... something we cannot see but will lift us again and finally out of the box and above it all ... meaning by all this world and by above it of course by wings

Thursday, October 08, 2009


what separates us not you and me but us and it for want of a better word is wonder ... almost like ancient souls we've heard each other's story repeatedly over the ages ... when it comes to telling stories and listening to them there is no gap between us ... but between us and this thing not our thing there is a gulf ... you and I may not always agree ... we may not even like each other ... but we understand what we're doing ... this thing for want of a better word this aspect of the thing we never will understand ... to this we may agree to such an extent that it's the basis of all our other agreements ... it's certainly the basis of our shared good humor ..I think it's in the easy flow of the blood in a rebound or rippleback as we find ourselves legs stretched out rumps sunk in the sand and the swell going back out to sea laughing ... always arms back heads sunk between the shoulders laughing ... now I don't mean the awesome final thing ... I don't pretend to know what laughter then would mean ... no I'm just saying the thing is too big ... there never was a thought to cut it down to size

Thursday, October 01, 2009


if the priest 5,000 years ago put his hands together up in the air what world was he appealing to ... if a scientist punches in a new coordinate or a sharper focus what's he doing by way of appeal that reminds one of the priest ... what place in time or thought admits us but will not admit we mean too much ... not at least as far as it's concerned ... this is a public space without the quiet empty time at night ... here alone the soul cannot think itself alone ... here the community of observant participation is self-evident ... here the focus of the crowd is too natural to assume ... to think of it is to lose it ... is to shift it to something else ... to itself to the crowd to the individual ... it never is done for this reason because it never can be done and continue as it is ... no ... here the crowd or the individual doesn't count ... it's not the focus that we attend but by it through it as if it weren't there ... as if we weren't there ... simply because the object of our focus fills up all the space and gives us all the logical air we can manage to breathe and breathless hold in ... as forgetful we watch the thing we came to see