“People are hungry for the imaginative language of poetry and for the authentic voice of one another, the heart-language, because so much of our experience is mediated now by propaganda, by commerce, by social media. We’re being sold to all the time. So we’re hungry for more authentic experience, and that’s what poetry is: It’s idiosyncratic language; it’s weirdness and wildness.”
Poets & Writers interview
I think the word ‘blog’ is an ugly word. I just don’t know why people can’t use the word ‘journal.’
Well, I like that. I’ve never cared for the word “blog,” either. It’s up there with “moist” and
“hangnail” on my list of words unworthy of creative expression on any level. But this website isn’t my journal.
I’ve kept an occasional journal of exceptional events for many years. At some point several years ago, I switched from a fountain pen to a computer. I’ts just not fun, doesn’t draw me in. I prefer pen and paper now. I write in it twice a day, since resuming in earnest last fall. Since Halloween I’ve filled a 240 page notebook and half of another. I write about gratitude, my sleep patterns, my sensations of well being (or unwell), about Being and Time and how hell is mostly other people. Present company excepted, of course.
I’m a big old introvert, so writing time also makes me feel recharged.
We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and privacy: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.
— C.S. Lewis
In my journal, I’m trying to hold on to my life: to people I genuinely care about, to frustrations and celebrations and gifts and sorrows and everything that’s draining away. So it goes.
Wow. I wrote that then told my Echo to play songs by Moby. This is the first one it played. I kid you not. A kindred thinker.
If I could choose
the last thing, I wonder.
The last thing I would ever see.
You understand me: I mean the last thing
I would see before I die. It should be
wonderful, like a bird. No, a bird
would never remember.
A dog running.
A little dog running to me.
A dog laughing and running.
I wish for a dog running and watching
the small birds alighting in the grass.
A dog of my own forever, just
a dog forever and ever.
J. Kyle Kimberlin
Creative Commons Licensed
Sitting in the drive-through of the bank today, I looked up between the buildings and saw a gull catch a gust of wind. I thought, What if that was the last thing I ever saw? It’s beautiful. What if people could plan ahead and choose their last vision. The poem began forming in the next minute or two, so that I had to pull over and start scribbling it in my handy pocket notebook. Jack London was right:
“Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up into your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.”
Now I wonder, friends, what would be your choice? What would be the image you’d like to carry with you into eternity? Feel free to leave a comment or create your own expression and share a link to it.
This blog has ads on it sometimes, doesn’t it?
I don’t notice them very much from my end, but recently I was talking with a friend and wanted to show them a post on my blog. When I opened the post on my iPhone, it had 3 huge ugly ads about Bitcoin. It was atrocious, embarassing.
I usually don’t mind if free services are tastefully monetized, but it was gross. Why on earth would WordPress think anyone would benefit from the same ugly ad 3 times? Whoever paid for the ad is wasting their money.
I’m thinking about spending some of my money to upgrade this blog to ad free. If anyone has comments or suggestions on this idea, I’d appreciate hearing from you.
“This life is fleeting, as we all know – the Muse we serve is not. John had a way of taking life’s most difficult things and framing them as challenges, therefore adventures – by their nature awakening and maybe even fun. He was to be admired for that, even emulated. He’ll live on in the songs we wrote…”
– Bob Weir
Faring thee well now.
Let your life proceed by its own design.
If I tell you the mums
by the driveway are blooming
that is holy.
If you tell me the crow
in the tall palm sounds like a dog
If I remind you there are children
in this town who went to bed hungry
that is holy.
If you say the rain is light, the sea is calm
and this town can change
When I tell you our love will die
but first these things matter
we become holy.
J. Kyle Kimberlin
“To be a poet in a destitute time means: to attend, singing, to the trace of the fugitive gods. This is why the poet, in the time of the world’s night, utters the holy.”
Today, we eat a rich and decadent buffet of brainjunk — of useless tweets, of photos of people we don’t know, of articles that were written in ten minutes to stoke the content boiler. The dopamine cycle ensures that we keep on craving more content, the exact same dopamine cycle that makes a Happy Meal a happy meal.
This article makes the argument that we should pay for the content that serves our interests. (And by implication, tells the truth?) Free content isn’t worth what we’re not paying for it. It serves the interests of advertisers, not consumers. And because people won’t pay for quality, purveyors of quality content are crashing and burning, or deciding instead to generate the crap that people demand for free and advertisers will buy in bulk.
I agree, which is why I’ve been struggling to break the dopamine cycle and finding content that I’m willing to pay for. I’ve cut the TV cable in favor of services like Netflix and YouTube Red, where I can find what I want without commercials. And I subscribe to magazines*, even those that have a lot of free content online. It is essential to support what matters because The Big Cheese is trying to kill it.
I recommend The Nation, which I first found in College, back in the 1980s. It was already a formidable 120 years old back then. It’s published weekly and the Kindle subscription is $1.99/month.
I skim other political news once a week, because watching the nightly effluvium of MSNBC is like deliberately choosing the slow drip of Chinese water torture. You might approve of washing your face, but nobody thinks that’s a good method. Sure, it’s infinitely better than Faux Spews, which is water-boarding its braindead viewers with tanks of raw sewage. Still, no thanks for the nightly news from any direction. After all, we have lives and trumpism is somebody else’s problem, as I’ve said before.
Long story shorter, my friends, if you don’t prioritize your brain, somebody else will. Guard it vigorously.
*I also subscribe to print versions of
Poets & Writers, Poetry, and TIME.