Too often we hear that people were raped, or are depressed, or are suffering from being a certain religion, color, gender, or orientation as a matter of choice. To say that suffering of any kind is a matter of choice is one of the most absurdly invalidating notions I believe I have ever heard. No one chooses suffering. Suffering, for the most part, is a result of history. Heritable and learned factors that we encounter as children, long before any developmental hint of “choice.” The good news is that what can be learned can be unlearned. Even if we never encounter true “freedom” we can learn what is healthy (to do more of this) and what is unhealthy (to do less of that). That’s science. That’s escape from culturally learned absurdity and invalidation. That’s what I call freedom.

Cliff hanger

Until photography, all art was inscription, and showed the artist herself, honestly. Photography trades on the illusion of anonymity. An invisible gate to the noumenal. Bring back the inscribed surface by a mark and you can re-dis-cover the arrogance of its technology. Is this what we need?

In probably the most famous speech by a fictional character in the English language, Shakespeare presented the problem of decision under uncertainty. “To be or not to be.” That is, to continue or to change? Hamlet is suicidal at the time, stuck in emotion mind. As are millions, still. Yet the question persists whether to step off any more metonymous cliff? The artist faces it. The teacher. The business person. The therapist. The student. I myself consider it every day and can’t find the courage. Self-hate lives there: “The itch for death is like a turn in a wire.” The death of what for what? To overpaint a prior joy? Wherefore? By the time I hear the knock on the door, I’m already under the bed.

Where on earth did we learn to entertain this notion that an operation performed on a finite set will yield the same result when applied to an infinite set? I am personally convinced that a world is a collection of facts, which are finite, not of things, which are infinite.

I want a poem to be the kind of thing that someone reads and then says “what the hell just happened?”

I think the most important fact
in the world now is the fact that
an elected leader was recorded
advocating sexual assault
as a benefit of fame. It is our
present duty to repeat this
fact again and again without
fear or restraint. To inform,
by any means necessary.

What mad events led a single person to replace “God thinks, therefore I am” with “I think, therefore I am?” Self as divine context supplanted by self as inalienable right. Now we as acrobats and contortionists of “mind”…?