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Posts Tagged ‘philosophy’

The story,
smelling of vellum
with bandages
still covering
fresh ink
unfolded her
meandering plot
thusly;
naked and face up
on my desk.

The distance
between beginning
and ending
is razor thin
and tucked
in the curves of
open pages
where clean light
cuts shape
into the darkness.

Words and words
and words
have piled and collected
to give density
throughout her middle
like a Russian novel
with ordinary details
arranged in extraordinary ways.
Open and confessional
she had been saved
from the firing squad.

Not a word wasted
I devoured every detail.
My youthful
education
is finally serving me.
Precious meaning
having been hidden
with metaphor
and misdirection
was now stripped
and blushing.

This story
made me a novice
again.
Bad habits of pressing
your hand
too firmly
on the spine
bending
it against the heft of
the book,

sloppily ear
marking spots to return
to later, and highlighting
every detail.
She is soon covered
by my own ink
rather than the authors.
Too curious,
I remove the bandage.

We both flinch.
The sting
that flesh
is heir to.
Here is our
denouement;
Gauze removed
slowly
to reveal
a cross,
the smile
of Dostoevsky.

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A Moment

You’ve already outgrown
a pair of overalls
now covered in finger paints.
But you don’t care,
you are old enough now
to climb onto the chairs
that surround my kitchen
island.
Your eyes dawn over my
laptop’s open screen.
Without provocation
you begin your assault.
Your questions
remind me of a college
philosophy course
stripped of pretension.
Natural like a waterfall,
it makes me wonder how
I got so dammed.

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Philosophy is a foreign language
to us.
A dead one.
The harrowed phalanx
that once blocked the path
against countless
hateful men of old,
was flanked by a horse.
Driven as fast as the wind
by a new kind of master,
Odysseus would blush.
These beasts carried
men on their backs
rather than in their
womb. Who needs
to hide when you are
faster than the wind.
We often imagine
our lineage in
those noble shields,
but we are more like
the horse riders.
Odysseus’ words, to them,
are dead.

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The obstacle I
don’t see.
Don’t hear.
It don’t do anything.
The obstacle I
justifies
endlessly.
The obstacle I
answers
joyfully, proudly.
It don’t care
It don’t feel.
Not the obstacle I.
It exists to pad
changing forces
of sweeping earthquakes
called decision.
The obstacle I
makes sure you
don’t drown in
the boat you built
to keep afloat
in yourself.
But it don’t float
by itself.
Figure that out.

A truth that is stranger than any lie
a stranger to any truth is the Obstacle I.

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Mr. M’s cat’s tail curls like a question mark
and punctuates a body of work
that begins with an Augustinian smile.
It’s paw bats the black coffee
the old man drinks to slake
his thirst for imagination –
the nectar of his operations.

Mr. M drinks down slow soft suicide,
the kind nature once provided,
mixing contemplations,
while his cat caters
with all the birds it can kill –
but not for thrill or satisfaction,
for salvation
and it licks its theology from its skin
in the name of a humane God.

Mr. M’s cat’s tale turns like the world
its kitty cat calls are cries at the television
and its all for the moving image
his master doesn’t pay attention to.
A history channel special on a Cold War
he lived through,
the anatomy of the modern man
he has grown into,
documentaries on mantises –
lovers devouring, love devoured.

Mr. M’s cat has arthritis
so it’s steps are purposeful
like a poet’s pause.
It doesn’t pity itself though,
it pities the man
who scratches his terror
with pen and ink
rather than play outside.

Mr. M pauses to think
about his cat’s curled body
sleeping under the
crucifix of a risen lord.
After jotting down some notes
he grabs his coat
and while his cat sleeps some more
he walks the streets
speaking to people
who don’t know his language.

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Music Hall Heroes

Eighty people stir restlessly
in a pit of a basement
drinking cheap beers.
Couples pair off in the back
waiting for the main act
under a maximum occupancy forty sign.

The four live outside Worcester
but work inside its city lines
until night falls and another life begins.
The two, whose vocals are bound
like a double helix,
share a union and a child.
They work during the day
making pants you put on
one leg at a time.

The girl with the bass
writes the lyrics.
She was a philosophy major
with too much passion.
Her songs are the children
of Plath and Nietzsche,
the Peloponnesian War and Iraq.

The last man is loveless and plays
anything proficiently
but nothing great. For the four
he is a drummer.
His paint stained jeans tell
the story of his long day.
The kind that only beating
a thin layer of skin stretched
over a barrel can unwind.

Together they have had many names,
never famous ones,
but every Thursday they play
and in the chills of winter
the hills of Worcester
are lit only to lead people there
to hear pure music.
Simple, rhythmic, pure music.

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The unfortunate truth for those who hide themselves behind ration relativism is that what they are really looking for is justification, for ethical orders, for a completely irrefutable fact amidst a sea of turmoil – they are looking for truth. Oh sure, like the sophist they can speak around this issue but they cannot hide forever. They use the metaphysical nature of words against it. They turn her and make her cut her own arm off. They say she is limited because she speaks above the reality of the senses and then timestamp her body with the word “philosophy”. The one-handed, ravaged, dirty language of man is no longer something within herself she is nothing higher than a whore being used by every self-defined genius who aims to be novel by undermining all previous assumptions. They push her around a circle of bloated, unshaven, brutal men each taking there turn at removing her garments; imagery, metaphor, meter, rhyme, symbolism, and finally the jewel of her navel: poetry. They condemn her by calling her a liar, and justifying every vicious act they perpetrate on her with envious and insidious logic. Her once mirror-like eyes are too dirty to reflect the ugly faces of the darkened madmen who now parade her naked body through the streets calling themselves by the names of forgotten deities.

A boy sees her from the windows of his family’s house. He blushes and weeps for shame. In the innocence of his childhood he still knows to avert his eyes. But does he know to fight back? He blindly screams out the window to the crowd but their chanting is too loud. They carry her past the boy who never sees her go and to the church where they force her to stare at her shadow.

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