Archive for April, 2013

every poem, every essay, is an opportunity to do something with words.
we should not waste it.

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in the places where we most need compassion, often we find only blame. why is that?

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i met a young man who already had tears in his eyes

i said, why grieve young man
            the saddest day already contains everything
            in its

he said, i did not know that when it happened
            time would spare me for a while
i said more’s the worse for you young man
            because you wore out your


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Because there is no end to cruelty, there must be no end to strength.

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What I feel I have in common with Kant is a life of disconnection. From which words flow.

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Is our will forever relativized to the march of infinite time? Is the weight of endless number always heavier than our desire? Since I was young I have had a tirelessly frustrated vision of a life worth living. Is something like that worth speaking until the last syllable of a recorded life?

If not, then—what else to say?

Kant proposed that the noumenon of [ought] could be described as several elements:

            -the idea of a free agent, capable of making a promise and avoiding a lie
            -a transcendent will to universal action that supplants utilitarian              considerations
            -other free agents that we value as such, rather than as objects for whom              respect is prudent

This is not meant to describe any living creature that has ever actually lived in such a manner. A noumenon is an object of thought only, not something that is ever given in experience. It is the sum of the series, the unifying abstract principle that communicates to others a poetry of experiences and hopes. Nothing more. Nothing less.

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The problem with liberal economics (which manifested most recently as Reaganomics) is that it makes assumptions about human existence that tend to destroy cooperativity and the capacity for growth and critical thinking. Liberal economics is the political assumption that government exists merely to secure life, liberty and the pursuit of property. That in our so called “natural state,” we would exist as nothing more than a society of individuals with no claim on one another, beholden to an inefficient system of barter that takes no account of mammalian traits like altruism and reciprocity. That government in its proper function should do nothing more than prevent immediate, physical destruction of one person by another, and secure the means of efficient exchanges of goods (i.e. guarantee the supply of useful currencies). Liberal theory is silent about the long term destruction of an entire portion of the body politic by another portion, about politically enabled abuses of currencies, or conversely about the utility of things like education, growth, critical thought or ethical development. In our postmodern world, these are seen, by the left and the right, as the proper provenance of “personal values” and are considered off limits to others. This is most stridently articulated in the so-called separation of church and state, a principle more honored these days in the breach than the observance. What this deprives us of is the opportunity to have civil debate about our most entrenched social problems: questions of life and privacy, the right to marry, the notions of public benefits and public debts as applied to rich as well as poor. When we assume that we have nothing to say to one another, how can we be surprised that speech is frozen dead and all our problems threaten to swallow us whole?

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