Monday, January 6, 2014

Antiphon to a dissident

I elicited an angry al-
beit evidently gratify-
ingly orgasmic response
from a fellow to whom I
wrote today, to ask why
he had abandoned rmbl -

I must be stupid since
I can't understand what
the fu** you are talk-
ing about 90 percent of
the time. There. I've
said it. Wishing you a
happy new year.

The project of my page
is not distinguishable
from those which never 
see publication; often, 
like them, it adapts no
more than coincidental-
ly to publication's ex-
pectations. It is plain
to me, that a pretense
is always available, of
one's being unintelli-
gible, given the lati-
tude someone might wish
one hadn't claimed, to
project the acquisition
of understanding. Show-
and-tell and how-to 
were never my better
classes. I don't write 
for the sake of the in-
formation. It would be
peculiar to expect this
page to betray Wolfgang
Pauli's dilemma: it is
there, but I cannot see
it. The more I fail, the
closer I am. I am not e-
ven sorry, this is hard.
I write for the sake of
those who know it is.

   The fog I call the world is not a cloud of atoms
   only, but a cloud of feelings, and ideas. I mind
   my little bumps. I grieve. I think about non-being.
   All I do is what my flesh can do, yet everything
   my flesh can do feels strange. I am the swelling
   of a salt sea onto an armature of chalk, the calm
   of a tidal pool where brain cells live, the wind, 
   the lightning storm where thought flares into thought.
   I taste damp sparks inside my tongue. If sayings
   gather under the name of Faith, or Art, I let them
   when they let me let them, and my mind clears.

Brooks Haxton, who composed this poem, thought of it as an antiphon to the phrase in the 40th Psalm, And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. I don't think it unfair, although his lawyers might, to adapt it to the seemingly secular problems of physics, a contingent kind of loan on the strength of a noisily seconded guess, that confusion may be our style.

Brooks Haxton
  Antiphonies to Psalms
  I Am
op. cit.


  1. I also feel stupid 90% of the time when reading your blog. But I enjoy 90% of it 90% of the time anyway.

    1. Oh, of course we know better than to credit the boast of feeling stupid, in the broadside cited above; it's simply a nasty cliché, along the lines of "and your mommy, too." But a genuine celebrant of the condition, such as yourself, flaps the serenity of the whole room, as if one were captive in a restaurant with a tipsy serving person tottering by, hoisting a trayful of borscht past one's noggin at insufficient altitude. You might have stepped out of Voltaire and I suppose you did, but I cringe in fear of verification, either way.