Sunday, September 18, 2022

Treatise on Spit and Eternity

Owner of proper nouns

this body prefers the high horse

barefoot in a barrage of images


No stocking feet

no voice better than

a kiss against itself


Against the unity of representations

could this really be poetry’s plan

how to abolish itself


How to take that categorical imperative &

shove the value form

how to spit out the old master


Preoccupied before each bodily fault

drinking in each caress

Raised buttons


where muscles park

How to pronounce 

the marbleized swarm


Tracing gravestones

dead letters

astonished to be alive


Here to celebrate the broken hammer

lost in a cathedral of trees

carnivores in pursuit of a body to be divided


The bird beside me

as white collar primitives

picked me clean



Monday, August 24, 2020

Meta-Preface on the Hegel Phenom


Here’s an attempt to give some prefatory remarks about this preface that Hegel was squeamish about writing. 

Jay Bernstein says (paraphrasing) the preface assumes knowledge of the whole [and there is a hugely important emphasis on whole/part for H]. The preface expresses anxiety b/c we cannot begin. There is no beginning. We are already in the middle.

So while it would be nice to write an adequate meta-preface here, for Mr Hegel, an adequate preface is not possible to write.  

For H, it is impossible to present the “whole,” which can only be inferred – via the story of the unfolding of the self-moving-thing-IN-itself — towards becoming the self-moving-thing-FOR-itself. (29: “being in itself needs to be converted to being for itself”). In vs For here I think goes to ‘purposiveness’ – or that which gets actualized – sort of the drive for self-actualization via the labor of the negative.

It’s almost like the subject-predicate grammar is inadequate to his grand schema. And i say grand b/c H is ushering in a new era of Philosophy (literally love of knowledge). It is no longer love of K but a "science of knowledge" that H is trying to push forth. The original title (in English) was something like System of Science: 1st Part, The P of S.

I think most teachers don’t want to start with the preface b/c it infers the whole philosophy, which isn’t intuitive at all. 

So, I’m already out of sequence. It is very hard to maintain the continuity of this becoming of Geist. I’ve read that Hyppolite says that PS is like a Bildungsroman - or coming of age story for the heroic protagonist Geist (who should be smoking unfiltered Spirits etc). Actually this is a brilliant metaphor - i do think it works.

(J Bernstein presents a one line distillation that sounds a bit like a Hollywood elevator pitch without a punchline: God becomes man; man becomes Holy Spirit; and Holy Spirit is Geist)

H is “completing” (or maybe better, abolishing) Kant in this book. In other words, he is rectifying the history of philosophy (which is one of the problems for me - i distrust rectification - it feels like the endless succession of avant-gardisms).  

H wants to invert much of Kant. Instead of Universal/Particulars (or the debate between Rationalists and Empiricists), H emphasizes Whole/Part relations.  

He wants to abolish singularities ("if you start with universals they swallow particulars; if you start with particulars you get nominalism/skepticism/relativism").  

H wants to overcome empiricism. Anti-epistemological. Interested not so much in knowledge (subj k in itself) as in recognition or self-consciousness. That self-moving-subjectivity.  

Kant’s transcendental unit of apperception is replaced with Spirit (which unfolds in time or that which includes history). Hegel is arguing for Absolute/Infinite Idealism (unity of thought & being) over Kant’s formal/subjective/finite idealism.

You could say modern Philosophy starts with Descartes, and H corrects Descartes too - not “I think” but “we think.” Subjectivity discovers self-relation. And this mediation is negation – or maybe the process/labor of the negative. This movement of the negative, aka opposition, is the driving force of the self moving subject.

For Hegel — one might be the loneliest number — but also two is a lonely number.  You need at least two to have self consciousness. But H wants an I that is a we and a We that is an I. [There’s a joke about three dog night here but it’s not a good one.] 

Everything is mediated. H is against unmediated intuition dominant in Kant and other philosophy. He is also against Realism precisely b/c it is unmediated and suggests things (sic?) exist independent of conceptual schemes.

Of course for H, the “we that is an I” is conditioned by history - again the continuity of becoming (or of historical movement) is important. 

Ps/on this “continuity of becoming” - as a theory of temporality i think it is wrong. It is in line with Bergson - and maybe just an inadequate way of thinking about history. The Whiteheadian inversion makes a lot more sense to me: humans construct continuity and presume that there is a continuity. So i think it might be more usefully thought of as a “becoming of continuity.” The real is more discontinuous...which probably makes it more difficult to propose revolutionary theorems, but more optimistic about inevitability coming discontinuities.


Saturday, July 18, 2020

Prior art

We captured

opposing threads

How antecedents get up

on the downbeat


How the coffee mill killed

Groove, the crosshatch

Origin unknown

Diagram insufficient


Was it enough that we sold out

Vertical axis‎

The pronoun’s fatal lean-in



Thumbdown song‎s

trapped in the corridor

of thought

Syncope of words


Which brings me back

to what the White Wing wants

Montegreens up past the snowline

The rebel splice‎


Killed by contrail

No mirror phase no cordial view

‎Queered by clouds

Embraced by tears

Monday, July 13, 2020

Ghost of a lion

-after Charles Ray

Skinnier here

at the back of the neck


I couldn’t eat my way out


Caught tying shoe

dreaming without pants

‎I wore all my clothes

imagining some other future


All mocktails & shebrews

onions and crust

delectable transit

smooth in the rough


all the children

Lucian & Lucy

the smallest punch for whatever purpose

My gut said this is my field


the Rock said this is my relation to field

No orchestration

no hang time no banished theatre

no inner resolve for outer cruelty

No artifice and body

no broken vertebrae

just Jiminy & Cricket

old names in the hour of death

Friday, July 3, 2020

St Ann M’ass

       (after AH in spirit of RG)


To control gas

Burn the bottle

Ban it!


Let us liberate

Fingers, sentient noun

Whirligig mount & dismount


Sutures that thrive

& cut to the quick

Hold expansion slot & turn


Litany of names

How much per head

How much per likeness


Dear Calvin & Hobbes

Whose Rabbit Ears

Have lost the image


Monuments to monuments

Lochness monsters

Till it hurts


Image of music

Blue acetate thread

Below Crow sky


Let's haul flesh

Bell curves

to spin and contrive


Clothes to gather what

Command singed

Bred in smoke


& dressed in ranch

A little pepper yes

Table racked


For bifocal vision

Landless aperture



Red & black

Unanimous swing vote

Mailed the pigeons home

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Direct Action Donut (or Latent Construct for Decoy)

            “Creative compatibility is undervalued, creative dissent is overvalued.” – J.K.

Drawn so that lines
Cavalry from green recruits 
Slim Pickins' body English
James Caan as the con
Answering the call to play
(which might be funnier if I knew the movie better.  The Glory Boys based on the novel The Dice of God.  Sam Peckinpah’s Little Big Horn.)

The recipe says
Too much tomfoolery
So that the donut vibrating next to us
testifies to its family of gulls
of Gullivers

‎Each pulled thread
Flight lines to contradict
Synonyms I subscribe to
To incinerate deep freeze

Splayed on countertops
My emulating machine‎
Which is an ear
Regulated registered regimented
Pedagogy's birthmark
Scratched in concrete
Skin particles & parchment
Sticks and stones
Did I say intersectional bliss
Latent construct for decoy
Blacked out
Resonating boxcars
Going all 666


Saturday, February 29, 2020

Junkyard hammer

  “if all property is theft then all intellectual property is detournement” –M Wark

Sworn to silence
I have become the unfriendly ghost
gone to swim with the fishes
to protect the capsized dream
Ballast inverted
to write down the terrific
facts which appear thrice
first as tragedy (where are we?)
then as farce & finally 
behind our backs 
as intellectual property
What we value is self-abolition 
camouflaged & crossed out
when we danced against ourselves
learning to move elsewhere
against weaponized clouds
against the abrogation of treaties
Geneva 1977, Seattle 1865
against mud on the Ho Chi Minh Trail
we danced to impede the flow of bodies
against the sign that said
be the algorithm you want to be
This mission should you choose to accept it
Salt dropped from sky
to counter intelligent fog
transparent yet sworn to silence