Be Dismissive

Re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency, not only in its words, but in the silent lines of its lips and face, and between the lashes of your eyes, and in every motion and joint of your body.

Walt Whitman
From the preface to Leaves Grass

Conversation With The Dog


I have some questions for Brookie
who knows what to do
when I go to the couch.
She runs, jumps, climbs
to my chest.
I ask about her day.

Did you have time in the yard
in the sun? And did you see
the squirrels on the wire overhead?
Did you drink your water
and chase the birds to make them
scatter to the sky?

Was there an hour for a nap,
where the sunlight falls
short and slanted to your chair?
And did you, will you, can we
play with your toys? The sun
is setting hard and fast and I
have been too much alone.


J. Kyle Kimberlin
Creative Commons Licensed

Subversion


Reading and writing are in themselves subversive acts. What they subvert is the notion that things have to be the way they are, that you are alone, that no one has ever felt the way you have.

Mark Vonnegut

I’ve been neglecting my blog. I’m writing a lot but it’s mostly journaling. I’ve become a rabid – I mean avid – journaler. There is a new poem about our dog, which I might post later today. And there’s a blog post about the death of focus and deep work in the epoch of screens. But it’s only half done. I keep getting distracted. I think I’m learning, though, that distraction isn’t exactly the problem. It’s an epidemic of addiction to psychological stimulation. The smartphone-enhanced brain of 2019 is constantly seeking the dopamine hit of incoming stuff.

What New with you?

Fleeting Matters

Speeding arrow, sharp and narrow
What a lot of fleeting matters you have spurned. [1]

We arrive at the time and place
that we think is most real,
most bright and keen,
most worthy of outrage
in all the long distance
that the Earth has come.

Surely these terrors
will matter to history
and our angst will ring
through the years.

We’ve been deceived.
Vision only goes so far and all
that matters must remain.
The soul stirs behind a curtain
in conversation with the dead.
The spirit moves upon the waters
where we sleep.

J. Kyle Kimberlin

Creative Commons Licensed


[1] St Stephen, The Grateful Dead

Aspirations

What can a pencil do for all of us? Amazing things. It can write transcendent poetry, uplifting music, or life-changing equations; it can sketch the future, give life to untold beauty, and communicate the full-force of our love and aspirations.

Adam Braun

My Teachers

Now all my teachers are dead except silence.

So said W.S. Merwin, poet who died today aged 91. In college he was one of my teachers. At a remove – he didn’t teach at my university – but genuinely, mystically. In a way that mattered.

I mourn his passing, also remotely, as a poet and reader of poetry mourns the passing of all poets. In this destitute time, we need all the poets we can get. But Merwin was no stranger to destitute times, and he earned his stripes.

Farewell, then. Peace.