:: Do not add up
I have often heard "The eyes are the windows of the soul". This
little expression hides one of the major philosophical issues. Namely, that
you can either look out of a window or look at a window, but you can only
look out of your eyes.
"What shall I do but sit in a room and tell my story?"
"Well then, pick a subject."
"How about a single day?" "
"Yes, let's limit our subject matter to that of a single day."
"Well, it would be fine to say that we were going to limit our subject
matter to a single day if we excluded the thoughts of the people acting in
"Well, once you get somebody thinking, some of their thoughts will have
to do with the past and some will have to do with the future. So, in that
case you haven't really limited your subject matter to a single day because
the people's thoughts would expand that subject matter to include all sorts
of other things."
I want to write a book called "Imaginary Book". I guess naming
something does not take away its essential properties.
I was reading this book called Imaginary Book and in it there's this quote:
"In Nietzsche's book The Gay Science there is this quote of Goethe's
referring to Wagner's conception of the German landscape." That quote
just struck me as so strange. It means that the author of Imaginary Book
was inventing Nietzsche in such a way that he could be inventing Goethe
in such a way that Goethe would be inventing Wagner in such a way that
Wagner would be inventing the German landscape. What a long chain of
There is a strange hidden harmonious whole of an answer underneath all of
this, but I can only get at small scraps of it by pulling at the roots of
trees, which are, by the way, only minute imaginative explications of that
implicate harmonious whole.
My imagined purpose:
I am writing words that are meant to be parts of sentences and then parts
of a book and then parts of a library and then parts of a house and then
parts of a community and then parts of a city and then parts of a
conversation and then parts of a state and then parts of a country
and then parts of the world...
I'd like to put the "imagined reader" into a book. That is one
of the things that Calvino tries to do in If on a Winter's Night, a Traveler.
But it's almost impossible to do because the imagined reader is, in a
non-technical sense, in a superposition of states, he/she has
any imaginable possible characteristics and background. The things that
one could write in a book about an imagined reader would have to be, in
some sense, a loose definition of an humanity which reads.
"define as I go, as the
purpose changes, so does
the elaboration of the definition."
The object that drops out between us; first there was a thing between us
and then somewhere along the line the thing got stolen by Big Brutus and
in the very next frame there you and I are without the thing, but there
we are in the wind, with this new object of the first thing -- that
object is a word -- but that is not really the thing that used to be
between us, though I choose to think of it that way. I think of a word as
an object though a word is really a quality of a material -- a quality
that you and I make to represent and negate that first thing. The new
object is just a quality and is, as such, not a physical object but a
mental one (rethink this, it's wrong). A word is more like money than it
is like a dollar -- a word is a vow of trust. You and I vow to have
the word mean the same thing, ohh I trust that you will. Now, our original
thing is gone and we are left with a word -- ohh how I miss our
Twenty-six matchsticks in a box,
neat and straight. I think of them as honest,
I get bored with honesty
And dump the matchsticks onto the floor.
Ohh what new pearls I make
With so few letters.
In these sounds,
In this mess of matchsticks,
The cement floor
Seems to quietly
Into the mirror of these sounds --
Now the floor is less solid than before.
It seems to be just more of the pile of pearls
Just more of the sounds.
Now there is no room in the house,
Not even any house in the house
Just this magnificent pile,
Filling all wondrously --
Filling even the spaces
That I had once perceived to be
Between the individual pearls.
A day is an answer to a question. What question? "How will things
turn out?" The day moves along and in its motion its form is unfolded.
In that same motion the question of the next day is enfolded, like a napkin
folded a couple a couple of thousand times around the small nugget of a
scribbled poem -- the day's becoming.
I'd like to get to a point in my life where everything I do will become
part of my entire life's work: everything will be part poem, part love
letter, part work, part discovery, part lesson, etc...
It seems that when you write "etc."
Most of the time it can be replaced by "...")
"A marriage of bread and water"
Not so strange a sentiment;
"Companion" means "the one who you share your bread
And the water, ohh the water, the flow of life between two.
I move quick over surfaces -- taking merely atoms from each form
and then proceeding to attempt a new form of thought alchemy.
A mixture of forms that attempts to get at the tortured quiet heart of
Should I say that I am a poet-philosopher or a philosopher-poet?
I suppose the poet part will always come first. And if I never write another
poem this will remain true and I will never be able to tell you why.
Emerge dear sentence from these small letters, I do encourage you. I do
dare you to make meaning out of these named bricks.
I have battled in the strange waters of life to retain the murkiness of
my name; let me signify many modes of transmission.
Calm, though lifting; I need access to a difficult question. How about
the question of a person? Very unresolvable; the same bones keep getting
picked over; the same questions arise throughout life.
I admire the land; the petals of reality folded in upon themselves;
implicated (an etymological return).
The unbearable constant of my depth -- thus far and no further.
Somehow it seems like the floor that I walk my life upon; so solid, so
impenetrable. And yet, at times, I seep like viscous fluid beneath this
depth and sit as a puddle sits at a new constant depth.
I'm making pictures again, stumping myself on their connection to reality.
But in the stumping, in that secret stumping place, I am doing the work of
building; knocking off small chunks of cement one by one and then using
them as stones in the construction of my new wall.
I'm saying "The rose is red." Please take this to mean that the
rose is identical with redness and not that redness is a quality of roses.
Please do this. Please, for instance, obey me when I ask you to believe
that there really is nothing else to a rose than its redness and likewise
nothing else to the color red than roses. Please, if I mean anything to
you, do this.
There are some philosophers, artists and writers that make us feel that
we too could be philosophers, artists, and writers. They open the possibility
of doing things that way. I think it depends upon your personality who those
philosophers, artists, and writers are. For me, Joseph Beuys makes me feel
like I could be an artist, the later Wittgenstein makes me feel like I could
be a philosopher and W.S Merwin makes me feel like I could be a poet. But
there are other philosophers, artists and writers that seem to close the
possibility of you becoming that thing. About these people's works, I often
think, "How the hell did they do that?" Aristotle and Kant are the
two philosophers that make me feel like I could never be a philosopher, Rilke
and Eliot are the two poets, and Picasso is the artist who makes me feel
like I could never be an artist.
"the writer moves slowly through life, because each experience takes
ten times as long to write out as it does to live."
"somehow quoting someone seems more authoritative and powerful than
just writing something yourself."
i'd like to start giving people my proses...i wish so much that you could
have been the first to see it starting to become a whole... it's weird seeing
it as a whole makes me sort of realize what it is better... i've come up with
a new design for it... it's gonna be called "do not add up" and one
of the ideas is that you can't really add up a writer artist from each page
that he has written... you can't really add up a person from each of their
actions... well sort of... but themes and problems begin to emerge... so,
it's a question... but i've just started to cut some of the proses... i can't
wait to give it to you at valentine's day... but i'm redesigning it so that
there is one main section and a couple of appendixes, one for poems, one for
stories and maybe one for art ideas... what do you think>? i'm trying to
get a lot of different kinds of readers to read it, so that it will be really
good... i think if i do it right it'll be the best thing i've ever written...
169 paragraphs so far... i think i'm going to try to get 250 this year all
edited and arranged... but then i realized that i'm studying philosophy next
quarter too so i thought i'd try to keep going at it and make it into a real
This place in life rhymes with another, not quite deja vu but a similarity
of form, and I have always said that the purpose of rhyme was an imitation
of the way the gods breathe.
Do not add up ::