Friday, August 03, 2007



...the extremity of premise three, that only the present experience exists, self is thus a mental construction by which experience through time is interpreted as belonging to a cohesive whole. Hobbes' clock, striking twelve. Absent this sense, whether this sense is illusory or no, the self, when defined in communicable terms, fragments.

Language--of whatever form--being a primary form of thus communicating a possibly illusory sense of a cohesive whole by which experience through time is seen as continuous--thus exposes itself as inadequate to the task: any single name for what one is, at the moment of any given experience, is insufficient to describe the experience.

Anecdotally, I am at some moments a teacher, at some a father, at others husband, at others, possibly a poet. At still others, my actions and/or perception of events is such that I feel compelled to claim many of these names at once. For the purposes of the present inquiry, I am interested in claiming the name of poet, but there are moments--indeed, the majority of moments--in which I am neither acting or perceiving as my understanding of a poet would direct me to.

I perceive myself, however, at all times, as a player upon the stage of language.

(BTW, as these individual thoughts may pertain to something larger, you could do worse than to give a squiz to Sven Birkerts' piece, "Lost in the Blogosphere," over at Can't say I'm 100% in agreement, but the piece does identify most of the really salient points, and reinforces my own feeling that the greatest danger a poet--and co-incidentally/co-respondingly any form of "culture" that is at all reflective--faces today is the danger of distraction. Take that as a thought from someone who wrestled hard with the religion of Hope and took great joy at the democratizing potential offered by internet-based forms of publication. One day, perhaps, I'll again be able to write that last sentence in the present tense.)

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