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

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[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.

Fuzzy Consolations

We are all powerless against the force of disorder, the sheer chaos, of a universe fleeing the scene of its own creation. But at least we have dogs.

That’s just a brief note copied from last night’s journal entry. And it’s funny: that looks so much more formidable handwritten in that little notebook. It’s half a page! Looks more profound too. But such is the writing life. Sometimes you think you’ve caught a dragon by the tail, but it’s just a hummingbird with other flowers on her mind.

Whitecaps

Someday I will think about you
for the last time.
It might be the last time I think
about anything, or it might be
sooner than that.
It’s hard to calculate the curve,
to plot the diminishing rate
of remembering your hair,
your hugs, the smallness
of your shoulders as you
receded into memory,
upon the obscure arc
of my remaining life.
But I know the point
is out there somewhere,
like the luminescence
of whitecaps in moonlight
on a night of dying wind.

J. Kyle Kimberlin
Creative Commons Licensed