Ptarmigan

a grouse with completely feathered feet

12/13/2004

I'll start with a picture:


Remember, Victor is on the right.

Aristotle said:
"Now to remember the future is not possible, but this is an object of opinion or expectation (and indeed there might be actually a science of expectation, like that of divination, in which some believe); nor is there memory of the present, but only sense-perception."

I've been thinking lately how writing is a remembering and sense-perception of the future and a memory-system of the present. And how speculative writing of various sorts highlights this possibility (or predicament). At the same time, my mind isn't wrapping itself around this concept well. I wonder if I say things like this without really fathoming the consequences. Like a metal-detector for "deep" paradoxes. One of those guys on Civil War battlefields looking for shells. But (especially in poetry) how do philosophical systems integrate into the practicee of a work? Not gracefully at times. 90% of everything that I've read or listened to lately just deadens me to the quick. And not because it's crap. NPR is just un"bear"able to me now--the tonal argument that the entire network makes is concessionary. They really work on that tone, mince over it. I don't know if the problem is everyone or me, or whether it's a problem at all. Enjoyment. I don't do enough of it. When you're writing a 104 pg. (and counting) poem called Sever Decay, one needs to learn how to relax. I'm holding firm to the believe that this life of mine is pretty much uninteresting. And a great deal of my work--well, who knows whether it will be read or not. But even this isn't a consolation. Iif a writer fades...the only way that work is read is if another writer champions it. A champion in medieval times (or rpg parlance, at least), would fight the battles in an arena for another not willing to fight. So we are back to the slippery language of competition, battle. It is difficult to escape, and maybe at this point not even desirious to. So, fuck it. Doesn't matter either way.

In the skyway where I work, it's easy to snicker and call others broken: so and so who worked at Target corporate, or the construction worker. But they were not in an original state of grace that's now lost: every person is of supreme, incalculable value. And yet it's the most difficult thing to remember, much less enact. Writing gives me the memory of the present, to remember this.

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