Archive for January, 2014

Kant’s life work was nothing other than a head-on confrontation with an ancient problem: is the world best described by nature or nurture? Contingency or necessity? 1 And remember: his answer was given without the benefit of Darwin. Darwin, who gave us the most satisfying synthesis to date of this ancient dialectic, thanks –in part—to Kant’s titanic struggle with the hitherto indissoluble lexicon of western philosophy. Is it at all surprising that, following Kant, we see the birth of all that we call the social sciences? The study of nature in nurture? Contingency in necessity? That we turned our attention once again to the classic dialectic of enlightenment, calling it instead the new reason of living and of life?

1 “Can you tell me, Socrates, whether virtue is acquired by teaching or by practice; or if neither by teaching nor practice, then whether it comes to us by nature, or in what other way?”


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Angels tended by professors in large books
bound to calculations, corsets and calendars spent on
control – these the rambling
divisions whose very
end is night,

when words enter your unguarded ear. Come
with me and leave guesswork behind.
I told you already to approach

intensity from the lee side, redraw the map,
jump your chance to be a seller in the market.
Or climb a slide and leave

your karyotype behind.

Where is the midsummer moon tonight? Is it one under which
pressed lips might together sing about? Mountains might be won?
No matter how busy I get,

or clever I become, I must learn that the essence of practice
turns on a key of continuous narrative, a question mark riven right
between the sea and the questioniers,
forgotten by the sand they walked on,
moved by the tears they dried.

How everyone should change their name once slowly
and fall in love before they die.

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Why do I want readers to make connections for themselves? Why write vague and evocative poetries? Because I think the journey to yourself begins with a question seamless enough only you can afford to unthink it. The one declaration you can never begin, to unhear.

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                                    a consensus of brief poems (interrogated,
                                    as to their commonalities)

if we write our history as a tribe of endless funerals
the nails in coffins melted together adding
up to one large memorial statue on the lawns
of nameless cities

burial within burial must end somewhere

if you wish to send me back my voice use your
own address – copy it over lovingly letter for letter
and garnish what space the open page reserves
for poetry

                        don’t trash the little ones for being different
                        time made them what they are and
                        morals are no more than lazy words
                        for things we don’t see immediately

tired of all their letters by last light
the man and his daughter rhymed a bit
and laid

their guitar to bed

                               they will see truth upon truth heaped up by ages
                               alimony paid for unwed couples laden with many
                               memories of children and will
                               not want for joy

                               resting in plato’s cave

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