Aphorisms 1

Often, the cry of the cynic is one of jealousy towards hope. I know this from personal experience.

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When someone gives up on a joint project, it takes on the features of glass – cold and transparent. And behind it you see the back of the one who left. If the joy you shared was real, the project will feel emptied by their disavowal.

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I love it when it rains, I love it more walking in rain, living it. I love thinking on the memory of a good storm, but sometimes that is easier than going out and making new memories of the storm happening right now, outside.

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There is something beautiful in taking something meant as an insult, and wearing it as a badge of honour. It throws light back up the ass of the insulter.

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A translation is an excuse to write something new under another authority.

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“Whatever such a mind sees is the flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.” A state we should strive for, so long as we remember that, not only beautiful, still, and peaceful, the flower has the nesting insect, eating it from the inside out. And the moon is bright, and hangs outside of our world, but lunar craters are cold, dead and sterile.

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In poetry it is sometimes easy to look for crunchy language, rather than a true picture, or letting one build its surface over the other. But then, capturing things is not the kind of thing language does, like a graph, or a sum, or a photograph, despite these all having their subjective aspects, or hardly capturing anything at all. It evokes, but must evoke on the terms of the reader. But do I do any of this? Do I even think it when I’m writing?

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The writing feels right, it isn’t like what has already been said. Some of the language that comes is new, in new ways, some of it is couched in dull or dead forms, which have to be revised. But what does this feeling of ‘needing revision’ consist of? Of resentment, of defining the succesful in terms of what I am not? Not old, not hackneyed, not used up? Writing a poem is equal parts what I like, or think is successful, and what I don’t like about what I have written, what is unsuccessful. It can’t just be one or the other. And it can be more. Sometimes I feel nothing about a sentence. Does that matter?

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Resentment as a concept, a superiority of approach, defining yourself against Them, ‘what they do is bad and I don’t like it’, this concept has a lot to do with how taste develops. And this is okay, so long as we know it.

V.36

Something in form like a poem
so in form you may sit and read
poetry. In form, the writer
can then be a poet and yet,

the content is impossible
to talk about. An excellent
trick. But think if this caught on. Books
full of lines of garbled text would

soon align along shelves, and talk
of impossible things would grow.
And I for one, welcome this course.
Better than poems about kings

and queens and other antiques. More
poems about the love life of
tomatoes, and beaches falling
through giant hourglasses. More

poems about witches on trains
poems about poems written
by ancient pale worms, confusion,
the arc of the covenant as

an interstellar alien
heart. More poems where love is not
quite expressed in a throwaway
half list-verse talking poetry

V.35

I fear the dark, like anyone
that grows along the surface like
moss. Dear friend, I fear I am done
writing outside of fashion

and that is life. Lichen grows in
me, letting out its frost tendrils.
I am clean and clear throughout when
I have the better understood

moments. But to reach those I need
suns and locales I am far from.
I am out beyond the long range
of the beautiful. Juxtapose

this evening, alone, and unpained,
with an evening we knew by sea
where I had pain, yes, but also
peace. I live, now, to reach that peace.

Moss, you will note, is oft unsung.
Though it arrives first, and fastens
black rock for the later aeons
who soon forget it. I lie here

reaching for soft Erato’s hair,
or the bend of her ear, to breathe
whispers and promises of things
she wants me to do to her yet