Saturday, July 13, 2013

No Optical Significance

Income payments
To figure deduction
Misplaced cash

You smell the sulphur
In the ear as on the page
They almost rhyme

The great outdoors
The body at each instant

Etymological river runs
Words but no music
All dignity

Sentiments and found philosophy
Questionable credit card activity
Whatever edge they might once have possessed

Sad penguins
Vivid loyalty
Cognitive maps

Down to the last trace
Parents will be sacrificed
Out of sheer boredom

We barked like dogs
Like sweating blankety-blanks but worse
Sanctified by the executive

Monopoly privilege
Glories of a long reign
Because of isotopes

Because of insolvency

Monday, July 8, 2013

Work Man

"Violence in art as a mirror reflecting the bleakest version of humanity..."
   -Amanda Manitach

Every selection, every decision is a little violence.  The artist who cut off his right hand to display it in a self portrait. The end of the hand in contemporary painting. Disclaimer: it was a kind of multiple self portrait. A phantom limb.

Do not think you're like me
Not very much alike
I did it for the money
whispered sotto voce
one has to play the game to win
He closed his eyes
ran his prosthetic hand over his face

It's my book
The whole world is a coincidence
I'm sorry my phone wrote this
The whole world is a coincidence
Maybe that is what freedom is

Suffering accumulates said my phone and that's a fact
The greater the suffering the smaller the coincidence
In the hurricane we find communion
Strange vindictive creature, said Dr. Smith

Dear Will Robinson
Dear Robinson Crusoe

Until a poem begins to exist
Hannah Arendt's existential couplet
symptoms hold me till I slump or peak
till words exceed
that old fool analysis

Broken letter in my hands
like a life raft
face value or smile
to perform enjoyment
misery conceals my exploit

Thank you very much

No longer enough
is an enhancement
a feature not a flaw
feels my need
to feel invested
This I submit
steps twice
my wager dismembered
the river
after history left me

my layer mask
the effects of cold cash
Global warmth
Bermuda triangle or
Arctic circle
Will pay for good time

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Disinterested Interests

In the end the principle of my choice really will be my own feeling of painful or not- painful, of pain and pleasure. There is Hume’s famous aphorism which says: If I am given the choice between cutting my little finger and the death of someone else, even if I am forced to cut my little finger, nothing can force me to think that cutting my little finger is preferable to the death of someone else.

So, these are irreducible choices which are non-transferable in relation to the subject. This principle of an irreducible, non-transferable, atomistic individual choice which is unconditionally referred to the subject himself is what is called interest. 

   -M. Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, 272.

In fact, what links individuals in civil society is not maximum profit from exchange, it is a series of what could be called “disinterested interests.” What will this be? Well, Ferguson says, what links individuals to each other in civil society is instinct, sentiment, and sympathy, it is the impulses of benevolence individuals feel for each other, but is also the loathing of others, repugnance for the misfortune of individuals, but possibly the pleasure taken in the misfortune of others with whom one will break. This, then, is the first difference between the bonds that bring economic subjects together and those that bring together individuals belonging to civil society: there is a distinct set of non-egoist interests, a distinct interplay of non-egoist, disinterested interests which is much wider than egoism itself.  
   -ibid, 302.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Courtesy Leaps (or the leap of courtesy)

Comrades - I write to ask Stalin to decide
There is no correct answer
What I really want is good imperialism
Kindness - that's the shit

Paris spleen
Fidelity at cost
Please remind me to mind myself
On Monday democracy looks lost

My fortune cookie said charm is severe
Tuesday's undoing
It sails into the blinds
to quell the noxious fumes

Greek splankhnon (from the same PIE root as spleen) was a word for the principal internal organs, which also were felt in ancient times to be the seat of various emotions. Greek poets, from Aeschylus down, regarded the bowels as the seat of the more violent passions such as anger and love, but by the Hebrews they were seen as the seat of tender affections, especially kindness, benevolence, and compassion. Splankhnon was used in Septuagint to translate a Hebrew word, and from thence early Bibles in English rendered it in its literal sense as bowels, which thus acquired in English a secondary meaning of "pity, compassion" (late 14c.). But in later editions the word often was translated as heart. Bowel movement is attested by 1874.