Wednesday, March 31, 2010


July 18, 2008


was he someone sent in custody to the gallows ... sent in the custody of a priest and expected to show up on time ... what then would be the particulars of the conversation they had on their way ... do we have enough time to stop for coffee or should we get there early ... is there no chance of another appeal ... is the channel to the governor for commutation still open ... or will this way in truth suit me to the end ... it does have a competent insistent tone this call to come to the end ... indeed I take it at its own value and have no thought for defiance ... if only a little for just a slight delay ... but I own that may be just another distraction pulling me back or to the side ... while I do admit the way forward is clear and very straight just now ... I would not even ask for a little nap and that alone is unusual ... I have a sense of the time when I am no longer ever tired ... I have a sense of the platform stout before it opens ... and I am grateful for the sense of ceremony where not just the limb of any tree would do ... but I would ask you just one question ... am I expected ... and the priest hat off said yes


if I start doing something significantly new ... saving instead of spending ... getting up early rather than going to bed late ... staying sober going straight giving up inspiration spiritual company and comfort ... instead of just talking of it theoretically ... and do so some amount of time unheard of before in the record of my usual habits ... what would be the chances ... being beat back say all the times before ... what would be the chances it all came naturally ... that I began saving because I loved to write a bigger number each month ... that I got up early because the sun's light lifted me up ... and went to bed early because the night now only made me sleepy ... what if I put the bottles away and didn't miss them ... smoked the last batch and left the window open to let the night and the air send me peaceful dreams ... and was in sleep and in peace because a new baseline had been set down ... a new way of life set before me ... and I could no more avoid it than stop walking or stop thinking ... for this new way was a way of thinking and walking with more and better such than ever before

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


but to be and to be more of it the suggestion is that's one thing ... and how can that be true ... it can't be this one thing be and then be more of it ... why not ... what would the more be unless it was ... no matter what we want as long as we want it we must be ... what can more do to being ... what can it add ... whatever it is it still is ... oh you can add all the predicates you want and say you don't have ... but you're just piling on words and you know you're too late ... before you had your first subject you had this little verb ... before the first name this little touch of being was waiting for it ... and waiting for what ... why waiting for it to be ... and for everything else that follows ... that's why each morning when you wake up early or late you get the sense that you too were just waiting ... now the place to do this waiting is for us a place of great mystery ... and is of course a thing of great affair ... this waiting to be ... and the other side of the door from being ... where we do it ... and from which apparently we take nothing back with us ... and the odd thing is it doesn't seem to hurt us ... as long as once again we get our turn to be ... that's all we want


if only one thing were necessary could it not at the same time appear to be very complicated appearing as it must everywhere and all the time ... for want of a better word let's call it being and say it does nothing else but be all the time and nothing else does that ... actually you get the impression it's so good at what it does it doesn't need anything else to do it ... not even time or space or matter itself ... it just is and there's nothing to compare with it ... but everything else must try for this is being itself without which nothing else is ... the simple cell organism pregnant to split into two wants more of it ... the amphibian on the edge of a spiral in a corner of the galaxy comes out of the dark mud to look into the sky at night wants what it sees ... more of the night and more of the sky ... the old man in the hospital bed struggling to breathe with each half breath wants to be just a little longer ... like the amphibian taking in a gulp of it ... like the amoeba moving to it ... each particle in orbit or out of it ... each thought near or far mistaken wants this one thing ... to be and to be more of it

Monday, March 29, 2010


this is something I can eat and drink to ... whose colors are bright that I can easily see ... whose sounds are clear that I can hear them clearly ... but most of all is up close that I can feel it strongly and I should give this up for what ... something you tell me ... something for me to think about ... and I will not argue the point on the road back as it were if you have a hundred and fifty thousand and I have only sixty ... if you have the numbers and the other symbols in just the right order to give you the bigger shield the bigger sword the bigger bomb ... then of course I want to listen ... and you tell me ... and I learn ... that you get these sentences from the power of discernment ... then I make it my constant study to tell the difference between A and B ... and still I am your student ... but when I go to my room at night ... when I forget the day that was and the day to come ... even as just before sleeping I step into the center of the truth ... the dynamo of discernment ... and find set in a grotto of the wall what ... not sound or sight or touch or feel but what ... this knowledge that what you say is right ... this truth ... that I might as well sit down ... for this is the thing that sets the sight and sound hereafter


to be human is to inherit the nexus between the universal and the particular ... to thirst for the first and be satisfied only with the second ... to feel the compulsion to follow the truth and do the best and sooner or later to turn from it casually with contempt ... it isn't a both and ... it's an either or ... not the easy cohabitation of mind and brain but the attempt of each to murder the other ... one with an excuse ... the other with a snarl ... this would be bad enough if it were kept at home and within the family but it will leave the house for the forum and the marketplace as if it were resolved and could go where it wanted ... to the higher levels of philosophy and political theory with a concealed weapon ... to the church and the temple with the stock and the stake ... and even to love and teenage romance to bring disease and abortion ... it isn't that I didn't see you or think of you but that I must suppress you ... I love you but I want the best for all of us which as I see it means to put you aside ... this I would not do if I could reason with you but in all the tides of the ocean I know you for a spike that won't bend or go under ... too pointed ever for that

Saturday, March 27, 2010


do you remember that splinter of society in the sixties who bent their heads down to ask the question who am I ... now four decades later a sliver still wants to know ... over those years we've come to admit the priority of another question ... before who there's a what ... well my soul answers with descartes I think ... and with james this fund of thought is what I am my experience ... how simple to say my soul the part of me that ponders over my experience ... and I for one would buy it ... for in my thought is all my concern ... what could I be beyond or without it ... put me in a funnel and keep me at the bottom of eternity ... the horror would come when I thought of it ... put me in a bubble and let me float through infinity ... the honor would come because it was in my thought ... isn't everything just information and aren't we best when we know the most ... perfection when the scope of the bubble and the highways inside are complete ... except ... what's true for me would be true for you and everyone else ... the object I know ... the subject I am ... how do I know you but by the spirit among us


you may laugh at new age new wavers but there are certainly circumstances under which that would be a mistake ... for they at the least know that after the body speaks and the mind has its say there is something left to be said by the spirit ... and the catholics know something when they speak of one spirit which above all the others is holy ... here's a category I only mean to say without which you are lost when you try to understand human nature ... when you scrub your sins away thirty or forty times a day ... when you will have that last drink when it's final now forty or fifty times in a row and all the years of your life in attendance behind them ... when you put one book down just to pick up another ... page after page till all the days of your life are turned out now gone now past your recall ... but that my hands tied her heart's strings back together again ... and all the words on all the pages in all the books written and printed had one point to make and made it all together ... there is a learning that purges and a wisdom that quiets the spirit of the soul


it's in the fashion to talk of ideas and their influence but not of spirits and their interaction ... ideas after all are incorrigible flirts with the ideal though they have but an abstract passion ... it's the spirit that has the real emotion ... without the spirit ideas even the idea of form are worse than static they're frozen ... without emotion and purpose and persons what do we have but instinct and effect stimulus and consequence ... still tending as all things must to completion ... if only the final map of all cause and effect and no one to read it ... a final summary of how all the universe went down and no one to tell it ... it's not clear to me you say that it had a beginning or will have an end ... much less an end in mind when it began ... and I agree ... how can it be clear when the end is never in sight ... when you reach out to touch her hair and it's only the flow of atoms in space ... when she turns in response it seems for a moment with purpose it's only to bring her electrons in order ... which is strange after all for what order can they have with no destination in mind ... what is electricity if there never is a spark

Friday, March 26, 2010


the wonder of a wholly different kind than the wonder of the incarnation is the wonder that the incarnation is disbelieved ... the wonder of the incarnation for us is that once we see it we want it as the most powerful and satisfying of all the reasons why ... the closest and most imtimate of all the true answers yes ... and it has the crucifixion ... it has suffering ... if it didn't we would all be a lie for each of us has suffered and knew it had a meaning though we could not tell what it meant to the last intonation ... and it has the resurrection ... without which the crucifixion has no meaning ... without which we who have each been crucified have no meaning ... not one of us but has been held back held down had power taken from us strength out pain and fear in and made to die sooner or later ... what a wonder then that we say it is not true ... how we say it however is clear ... to say it to kill the wonder of it we kill all wonder ... not the cat staring into the sky ... not the dog listening to the night wind ... nor the ape in the tree lokking across the savannah knows it more clearly than we ... all man is an animal only


god's in the details and the devil in distraction ... what good are the details how is god in them not obscured if the details are scattered and fighting each other ... if at any point on a spot inspection they cannot answer to their overall purpose ... if one set says for the glory of god and another set says for mine ... if one set says my glory is the glory of god god and I agree ... just now however we're talking about power my power to advance the glory of god by advancing the glory of mankind ... suppose a bell rang in the midst of discourse and discord calling all souls to attend to the beginning of time in the middle of history to the purpose of time in the midst of universal flight from the beginning of time ... and suppose some did attend and others said not just now ... some said the call is universal and unique and knows no real competition ... and the other group said the call is universal because it's made through me and a few others just now like me ... is unique because I my brothers and sisters we are unique ... and knows no competition because together we are all equal ... is there not in that reply the simple rebellion of pride and distraction

Thursday, March 25, 2010


we've heard perhaps we know that a good part of the calamities last century was due to species pride on the part of humanity ... but this pride no surprise was false ... consider nietzsche precursor and preacher to the century ... by the time he's gone things are not just wrong they've gone fatally ill two times ... he starts out with the metaphysical question is the will ontologically superior to the intellect ... does it have more being ... and then he geta sick ... syphillis first deranges then destroys him and the calm philosophical examination of the will suffers its first death ... in its last lingering illness and at the funeral this idea of the will is conceived in death and then spreads like a cancer ... bad idea goes on to meet bad idea and together they form a pact ... and because ideas have consequences and these are carcinogenic europe and the world are convulsed in sin and suffering ... the sin of pride false pride ... that god was dead and the will the human will the hero's will had come to take his place ... wrapped in a sheet put in a display by his sister nurse will incarnate stares into space

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


the antidote to anger is perspective ... no satisfaction without fulfillment ...there's an important distinction not only between what they say but also in why they've been said ... the first speaks to form the second to purpose ... the first wraps form round an aberration informs reforms it makes it conform to a more complex pattern than a point ... brings it into a system in which one thing anyway may be said ... there is a sense in which all the points in this larger field are valid are equal ... but to ask for satisfaction and fulfillment is to make no formal request ... here is something entirely different metaphysically unique I mean absolutely new ... let me say it another way ... there is a sense at least barring one or two minor factors they have absolutely nothing in common ... form and purpose ... they call to different things ... they're involved all their lives in their separate conversations ... most of all they are incomplete each in a wholly separate way ... they have a proclivity each for a wholly different object of desire ... for form searches for material and purpose calls out to persons ... I will not quibble and say they never meet ... of course not ... they do meet ... they meet at the center where they make a cross

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


pain fills the page so you cannot turn it to go on with the story ... till the words seem to say that for you this is the end of the story ... the whole story on this last page the end of it and all the parts that went before ... but if you couldn't close the book someone else took it away ... the pain was gone the story went on as if it hadn't been in the book ... as if it were back to living on its own ... and that would have been the time to forget about it about the book and the end of the story as if you had the power that is to do it ... but you find you've been outvoted the council has stepped in you're just the lame duck in the side office ... the new staff moving in ...a directive a mandate ... you now a man being moved to a purpose ... step by serial step you give your formal consent ... we'll give you five umbrellas or open-heart surgery give you a choice with the first option withdrawn ... who needed it anyway this is no more time for options no more thought for choices ... ask for a priest it will be an afterthought ... confess your sins ... all these years and they still don't amount to much ... they pale beside the penance and the bread on Holy Thursday

Monday, March 22, 2010


he's a funny lad they said carrying him ... let's try to get him to the end ... but first they had to put him down ... they were like the past and the future bound together by that causal bond that one must be just that much older than the other ... and so in drub monotony they might have continued arguing always if they forgot the boy sitting on the floor like a triangle in his ignorance and good will ... the boy they picked up again to carry because he gave them balance and direction both ... when one remembered his habits of attempted manipulation and the other wandered off in accusatory dreams it was the boy who got them back on track ... when one pretended to be essential the other tried for an accident ... the boy set them between the both ... destiny and romantic chaos ... formality and the freedom to be something else ... because between the two the boy was neither and both ... the one thing neither ever did measure up to ... and the one thing both of them had to be just in order to be ... and the thing was they both knew it ... knew that it was true ... while they carried him he was carrying them

Sunday, March 21, 2010


the gnostic pardon me for saying is deistic don't you think ... in some way He got up and went and we haven't seen Him since ... or at least that's our story and we're sticking to it ... on the surface ... down deep I don't think there's a one of us not constantly searching for Him surreptitiously ... it's not that we don't realize the advantage in our loss ... the freedom the possible freedom it gives us to experiment ... it's rather the worry it gives us of late ... how long do we get to be wrong ... what if being wrong does matter becomes a bad habit and has a bad end ... it's a look over your left shoulder suddenly kind of feeling ... what face were you expecting to face ready or not for the finale ... our premises permit of his return ... what will be the look on His face when He does ... and what do we do then shut up and lawyer up or just figure it's too late ... but now perhaps you shrug me off with shouts of Metaphysical Dribble or Dungeon Religion ... what's this you say all this only if there were one right answer and that one unforgiving ... and I too would be inclined not to worry ... only I hear it said the truth is logically unforgiving

Saturday, March 20, 2010


beating method in particular routine especially habit you would think would be substance ... more than the vagaries of style and wit you would think should be essence ... nonetheless there is a type of writer I confess some intimacy with the character likely to mistake the wrapping and the package and the thrill of opening them for the gift inside ... the book and the ease of its delivery and the colors on the cover for the argument or story inside ... to allow this confusion to set into a routine is to miss the message and soon enough set the book aside as having lost its interest ... this much is fairly obvious more subtle as in simply taking more time is to do the same to the truth of the argument or story once you've set the package and the book off to the side ... to set the truth up knowingly not admittedly as it were another idea or opinion taking its place with the others gone before on the same long shelf ... as if there were no book or thought word person or idea to stand out before all those others ... the really good ones with all that style and grace ... one word one book one idea one person to shut up all the others in the library of style

Friday, March 19, 2010


there are lots of ways to punch through these solipsistic sorrows ... each I suppose of haymaker potency ... but each of a different type ... I know four such methods of translation ... let me mention one ... see how lonely you might be in the middle of the night at your wide desk trying to figure out which universal made the most sense ... and never having done it suddenly asking yourself what the hell is it you've been doing all this time ... turning then to the walls of books that surround you you find you must agree ... nothing much ... how else otherwise to explain all the books but as the best of friends distilled to keep you company as you wait on failure ... failing to blaze a trail of your own you listen to the stories of those who have ... all the meantime still trying to tell the one of your own ... translation rejoining the stream of discourse ... the discourse of meaning ... what it means and what you mean to do about it ... what we have meant and have done about it ... the translation of universal to particular ... the translation of thought to action

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I'm lonely but don't pity me ... I'm working on the assumption we're all lonely and we can't all be pitiable ... and don't get me wrong I drop what I'm doing when a friend calls ... but friendship is not fulfilling odd as that may sound ... it's kind of like halffilling or maybe even two thirds but the act itself takes time and the arts of compromise and is wearing ... all things wear when they reach the limit of their time ... but there's something that doesn't take time and artiface ... that doesn't wear and isn't limited by time ... but it does fulfill ... and that's the thing the longing for which makes us all human and lonely ... wouldn't the next step be you might be willing to say all right forget everything else go out and get that one necessary thing ... and believe me many of us have tried ... taken our emotional investment to the bank of the one true thing ... but have found the doors closed with a sign in the corner saying go home ... and another further down saying I thought snidely get a life ... I am however inclined to agree since I trust the power of that great house to prohibit mindless grafitti ... we must get a life mustn't we

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


from birth to death is it not a simple struggle to survive ... but isn't that struggle based on an assumption that life is good enough to fight for ... and it's the loss of that assumption that signifies despair is that which follows ... but how worthy is the assumption ... how mistaken is the despair ... surely that will depend on how you word the assumption ... for example is it the only thing worth fighting for and if not how does it compare with the others ... or you might ask what do you mean by life ... will you fill in the form ... how long is it to last ... what elements must it include to succeed ... what do you mean by success ... how are we to treat the auditor when he arrives to inspect the accounts ... I mean suffering when it comes testing our resolve ... what does that resolve mean when it's quite clear the evidence shows every life form must die ... why these periodic takings of the account if not to remind us the book must close ... and why do we need such reminders ... is it that we're dense and would never think of death without them ... if so what is there about death that we should think of it

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


the reflection on the silver plastic seemed a light within ... a small blue white light ... how beautiful it was the heart of the crucified christ ... whoever could pray like that to make a point or strike a pose let him come to suffer ... who speaks of such a light in such a place may he come to temptation ... only to spread the good word ... what's all the flesh in the world wrapped round a point like that ... from africa and asia the new world and the old ... eve and her family even to the last family on the last evening ... flying through all the space of time to get to that point ... but don't you think it glided corkscrewed in and made a fine landing ... for there is no flesh without blood ... flesh everlasting if only the blood could keep to the course ... but you know the world and so do I ... the blood will not keep to the course ... it's stirred to the overlap ... stirred up as it's bundled down to the point ... if you go through this you must suffer ... if you had another way it would be beside the point missing the point all of us have in common

Monday, March 15, 2010


do you have it ... are you with it ... is more objective than you think ... it answers to the question Did you remember ... I'm thinking of you all the time I just never remember what you wanted ... this book made a greater impact on me than any other I just don't remember the title ... I tell you I tell you the truth but I forget to listen ... dementia dementia lord is it so simple ... for all our calculation judgment and understanding what's the meaning of it all if you can't remember ... there there in the streets of alexandria down carpenters lane that's the beginning of all that I've learned ... but do I remember in time to make a difference ... I tell you I'd describe everything minutely and honestly if you'd just turn me in that direction ... I was there just now though it happened half a century ago ... I'm here now to be here here after even as now and then here is the hereafter ... what's the quid for such a quo ... be still my adolescent heart the world is not as you feared illimitable ... have faith in the lord that you may remember

with thanks to Anne Rice for Out of Egypt

Sunday, March 14, 2010


that would be fun but most of it would be in the initial selection of the one hundred ... for the older they are the little more likely are they to change and what you select in the beginning is what you get in the end ...but if your selection is representative of the population at large you're going to get experts who don't agree ... not in ten weeks ten months or ten years ... and that means in any election rather than consensus what you'll get is faction ... rather than one stepping forward you could get a hundred and each likely to emphasize the points of his contention with the others if only to give them all something more to talk about ... but that they do form factions though fluid and temporary is not nothing ... though they argue endlessly there is something ... though they argue against reason they come to a point in common half in favor and half against ... from a hundred candidates they come down to two ... who turn and face the other ninety-eight ... who then turn and group themselves in order of importance ... from faction to party to party leaders ... but what are they looking at that got them started ... what is it that they have in common

Saturday, March 13, 2010


if you were having a party ... say a political party ... who would you invite ... how about experts on abortion and war and freedom of speech and on religion on drugs and addiction on poverty and wealth on health and disease ... collect about a hundred ... give them a salary ... feed and house them to a pip ... then let them run loose but give them each a vote ... start in january and call them in november for an election ... give them ten months that is to convince themselves ... meeting in committees that sit around diningroom tables and on sofas and in recliners in livingrooms and homemade libraries ... let them talk on the beach and in the mountains by the pool and on the lake ... let them determine their answers to the questions that will likely plague us these next fifty years by playing the amateur to each other's expert ... novice to the oracles ... let their questions and their answers none of them hard to understand be published to each other in reports ... let them form a shadow government ... get one step ahead

Friday, March 12, 2010


percept and precept is the difference between taken and taking ... whether an impression takes or you take a principle and adhere to it ... whether a pathway is cut among the old byways of your brain or you discover one outside yourself and determine to follow it ... each is an anagram of the other ... there's always something of the precept in every percept ... and of course a precept without any percept is deaf dumb and blind insensitive without feeling ... the one is an entry into this world the other an exit ... an ongoing introduction and upcoming farewell ... a gnostic graduation is something like what we all intend ... with each of us a degree in something like musicology ... each percept a note in the precept's score hurrying down the assembly line to join its fellows in the song ... each its assigned place amidst the ensemble ... here a color there a pang ... here a crash and there a swallow ... oh what a foul smell our iniquity does hang about us and what a sweet taste our deliverance in the mouth ... the word of truth ... to purify the air ... the meaning of the truth ... to stabilize our flight ... precept the flight plan ... ETA the eternity of salvation ... percept redeemed

Thursday, March 11, 2010


you know the truth ... we all know the truth ... that's not the problem ... the problem is why we don't admit it ... why do we turn from it spurn it pretend we don't know it ... there's just the one thing ... and no I don't mean to denigrate the other stuff ... no I mean at the top ... not where it counts I know the other stuff counts but where it begins to count ... where nothing else counts because there is no counting because there's only one thing ... when you put it that way I begin to see what you mean ... there is no memory because there is no past or future ... there is no acknowledgment of the truth because there is no knowledge neither subject nor predicate nor object neither knower nor known ... knowing this as you say we all do how could we not be confused ... knowing this how should we not all be destroyed ... if this one thing one thing only is real truly real must all else be not ... there is a wonder in it ... not that these distinctions these divisions survive but that we are the ones that take such pride in them when they do ... what's it to us or we to them that these lines for a while touch or don't if none of us is real ... nor an illusion for long ... if this one thing is not both generous and kind

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I'm still having trouble with the word understanding ... I still don't understand it ... when they say got it? I say no ... I know when I understand something because my mind stops telling me to ask questions ... and if it has to do with something to do I start doing it ... especially then I don't have time to stop and ask what just happened ... I'm already on the move ... and when later I try to remember what I did when I understood there's no space left between the attempt and the understanding for me to see anything ... the gap is seamless ... I know what my face must look like ... I've seen the look on other faces when suddenly a person understands ... but that of course is too late ... past the fact ... there seems to be no time allowed for the understanding to do its thing ... it's too quick to be fast ... an electron makes its quantum leap from orbit to orbit ... there it was now it's there ... with no time between the was and the now ... a leap of faith I'd say ... as soon as announced it's already done ... not I will believe ... I already do ... when did it happen ... sometime before I said I would ... I don't know when ... I once was blind but now I see

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


if god came down into the middle of our world ... into the middle of history ... into the middle of your life ... into the center of your consciousness right now ... what would you do ... how can you answer that question with only this amount of information ... wouldn't you first need to know how ... they say see paris and die ... no no there is an older saying and truer ... see god and die ... who could survive his absolute presence ... unless it was mitigated ... unless it was moderated ... which brings us to the question how ... the answer is quick and easy ... modified to fit the mode of our nature ... not just that we may see god and survive ... but that we may survive to a purpose ... which is to express god's self-revelation to us ... tempered in the wind that informs us ... tempered in the fire of our own essence and existence to tell it ... tell it like it is to anyone who will listen ... that's the vocation we all share on one of the easy assumptions in history that we can make ... the enlightenment made a mistake ... deism ... not born of its despair but prior to its birth rising with its conception ... giving birth through pride to horror

Monday, March 08, 2010


but who are you ... I know who I am when I'm in the student's place ... and I know where I'm going ... from this vantage point looking back all those years to the ten-year old I know what he's looking at ... I can still see the attraction ... I see now the chaotic mash of material we grew through from five to thirteen and the slow institution of order we realized incrementally painfully but surely ... by the natural appeal of that order the question and the answer ... the matter the form the appeal drawing each of us on ... the agency the push that I thought was mine alone ... the glide along the form of the question to the answer could be clever and smooth but I see now there was more than form to it ... and more than technique ... there was grace ... from the first question to the final answer there was more than effort and style ... the answer beckoned ... the form mapped the route ... the effort climbed the ladder ... but all the long way from start to finish the middle ground the middle ground was you ... alpha and omega and each iota through ... the spirit the spirit of it all was you

Sunday, March 07, 2010


knowledge is then perhaps we may conclude innocence ... perhaps ... because it may just produce innocence as a byproduct ... an epiphenomenon the philosophers say ... I'm a philosopher just not yet a good one ... too vague too imprecise I'm sure ... all too eager to float an attractive idea while not conscious of the ground beneath it ... inconsistent contradictory absurd ... nonetheless I trust something in the air here ... something sound imperturbable eternal in the connection here ... between the knower and the known ... the question and the answer ... but it's nothing that the picture shows ... none of the objects in the room give it away ... not the wood desks the finger of the student in the corner plucking his nose the second hand on the clock frozen in its place ... not even the teacher's expectant smile although that's close ... everything else is posing ... pretending to be the common ground ... the middle term working as it should to make the argument valid ... there is a midddle term between the question and the answer ... one that doesn't pretend to be ... about whom there is no subterfuge cleverness or deceit ... it's you ... you're the middle term

Saturday, March 06, 2010


think of yourself ... say as ten years old in the classroom ... your hand raised quietly ... devoted to answering the question ... now freeze the picture ... what is it that you see ... pan back widely first ... see the rest of the classroom ... the other students you would remember if recalled ... the friendships the tensions the forcelines running between the cliques ... the sociology of the little society ... now focus back in on your hand ... on your face ... the posture and poise of your body ... now let's say directed to your classmates and not quite to the teacher because somehow through her ... through her to the question ... change the angle ... go in a 360 degree orbit round yourself now as the object ... the object as a statue ... but full of color flesh and life ... you at ten years old ... but not you ... not only because it's a small slice of time but because of the look on your face ... in particular the look in your eye ... this is what I think convinces ... the picture the statue is not quite you ... it misses the context not of the classroom but of the question the answer was made for ... the question completes and makes you ... a picture of what

Friday, March 05, 2010


I have a snapshot of the human mind ... there are only twelve or fifteen pieces of furniture in it ... there's a billiard table on which we play causation ... and set-in window benches for time and space ... I would ask you now just to consider these two pieces ... the web of relation and the block of substance ... the first may have begun in some long away corner but I can tell you now it covers the whole room ... now from any nexus in this web of relation we might catch a glimpse of this black box of substance ... it is as are all the pieces in the room covered by the web ... covered and recovered by so many plot lines fault lines communication lines and con lines ... lines of advance and lines of retreat of intention protest and desire ... we can't see the box through the surface of the lines ... we can't see the box itself ... only its indentation in the web ... but of so many angles ... of such unexpected configuration ... who can say there's a box at all and that these twists and turns are not the whim or even perversions of the lines themselves ... playing with god making him up

Thursday, March 04, 2010


understanding said the old man is the key to ultimate reality ... that's because the content of what's really real must be understandable because it's understood ... understood already by the mind that designed it ... you might accept this but for the definite article ... you might want to replace it ... say with the word one ... understanding is one key to ultimate reality ... what about the others ... love say ... love and understanding are keys to ultimate reality ... I'll agree but say as long as we assume love and understanding are ultimately the same thing ... as it is whenever you see one the other is nearby ... even when you're mistaken and your love deceived you why is it then the truer your love the deeper your sorrow the less your anger ... you did not understand what you should have ... that you did but your love did not understand the love there was for the two of you ... the loss of that presence is the cause of your sorrow the diminution of your pride and the death of your anger ... in the depth in the greater depth of your sorrow what's the use of your new understanding without your old love

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


part of you picks up a book as if it were an idea ... preferably a noun ... maybe a gerund ... but an idea ... a universal ... these things have meaning ... they can be understood ... they are what you've been looking for ... but the spinster pays no attention ... the spinster spends all of her life whenever she can reading a book ... but not just reading for she's a highlight fanatic ... she began with a red pen and checks in the margin ... finessed into pencil dashes and plus signs ... and now paints the words in bright yellow ink ... banners above the nave in the cathedral of her soul ... at first she was wild with her pen ... more discriminating with her pencil ... now all her banners ring true ... while her body and mind matter and one form take each night off ... long hours to sleep deep ... her soul on a spree runs through the cathedral town from church to church parade to parade procession to processsion in celebration of the spirit that let them be said ... those words on the banner ... that let them be read ... her mind and her body in their attendance during the day ... her soul understanding in the night

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


my formal study of philosophy was similar to yours ... that is I expect you began with descartes ... since then a healthy generation long ago I've heard the man criticized for being too selfish ... I think therefore I am ... but I've come to disagree with that opinion ... and with what must be a radical disagreement for rather than too selfish I find the cogito not selfish enough ... he may start with I but he's really talking about think ... the therefore isn't for me it's for my thought he must be saying ... and this is so selfless as to lose the self completely ... and where's the self lost but in a huge wilderness of thoughts without thinkers ... of predicates without the first subject ... of a world not just without a soul but the whole universe without a self ... not even one ... and just because of this simple initial gamble on a thought ... even if THE thought ... we go to work today as well as relax in a thicket of chaotic predicates thorny but never fruitful as a result ... descartes descartes you've lost us in thought and now that's lost too