Entry 1556 –Some Moaning.

September 1st, 2014

I’m in another of my despondent moods.  One reason for it is that I sent one of the essays I’ve been working on the past month or two to someone who’s been a good friend of mine for over sixty years.  It was on my idea of the exploratory instinct–the fact that it is triggered by the boredom-reduction instinct.  He didn’t think much of it–because, it would seem, I am a mere layman in neurophysiology and psychology.  I didn’t get angry at him but in trying to explain myself very likely convinced him I was a crank (although I didn’t compare myself to Copernicus or Galileo).  His last email to me said, “I can’t disprove your construct,” no more.   Very depressing because (1) he didn’t reply to the two emails I sent him after that, (2) I was after a discussion of an essay, not an attempt to disprove the theory behind it, (3) he certainly didn’t find my essay at all entertaining, although my intent was to provide entertainment for intelligent laymen like I consider him, (4) he doesn’t seem to come close to understanding me, and I thought he did, which makes me wonder if anyone can, and if no one can, is it because I’m incoherently wrong-headed?

True, I do believe it’s different in the field of poetry.  A lot poetry people disagree with me, but they do so intelligently, and I’m pretty sure several understand just about every I write about poetry–at least the parts I understand myself.  Basically, I’m just confused and despondent.  Which is why I’ve been thinking a lot about how few truly happy moments I’ve had, and how short they’ve been.  Life seems 99.999% filler.

I wonder if the fact that I’m reading Bertand Russell’s Wisdom of the West, a history of philosophy has anything to do with it.  So much mental energy expended by so many superior minds on such crap!  My dead-headed view is that the cause of almost all philosophy is an inability to take existence as it most simply and clearly is: the final face of existence as one’s conscious mind perceives it, and otherwise unknowable, as is the conscious mind.  The two exist because they exist.

Interestingly (or so I think), I have no desire at all to commit suicide; I feel like I’m stuck here and there’s nothing I can do about it, and even if there were, I’d only end up in some other meaningless as bad or worse.  I have to admit, things could be worse.  Pain is worse than feelings of worthlessness.  I guess.

Meanwhile, I’m now working on what I hope will be the final draft of The Atlantreality Box, the science fiction novel I wrote in 1998, and half-revised eight years later.  It’s not going well–I’m have to repair lots of small lapses of narrative logic.  Nothing seems especially clever or deep.  I wanted to put an unusually intelligent protagonist in a plausible more or less standard science fiction thriller but my story isn’t that great and my hero (me–he even has my name) isn’t all that bright as far as I can tell.  I’m up to Chapter Four after five days.  I’d wanted to get through a chapter a day, but have had to rewrite the first chapter twice so far.  It’s long: over forty chapters, I think.

There.  Aren’t you glad you aren’t me?  Alas, as little as I like being me, there’s no one else I’d rather be.  How can that be?  I’ll have to think about it.



Scientific American Blog Relocated

August 31st, 2014

My Scientific American Blog is now here–with a complete table of contents.

AHOY!  I finally got Entry 18 done.  It is now here.    Comments Welcome! Please let me know of any typos or gross factual errors. Warning: it’s me at my abstrusest worst–for over 8,000 words.

Later note: From time to time, I will be revising Entry 18.  I hope eventually to correct all the many mistakes in the version first posted.

Entry 1555 — “Manipulate Beauty”

August 31st, 2014

Here’s an uncharacteristically weird poem by Endwar (which is one more from Marton’s pages in Kalligram:

I can’t say I’m too clear about it, but sense the bottom as a strange machine capable of taking beauty through chocolate.  Aside from that, the mere image/idea of taking beauty through chocolate, or an extreme abstract through a gooey concrete intrigues me.  In short: sumpthin’ to think about.


Entry 1554 — Two by Roy Arenella Today

August 30th, 2014

Like all the work that’s been in my blog recently, these two are from Kalligram–in particular, from the section edited by Marton Koppany called “Reducalt Nyelvek,” with an accent on the three a’s in the preceding Hungarian words:


I think I may like bright, instantly likable, pure visual poems like these more than just about anything else in poetry.  I think the way I’d put it is that there are days when no other kind of poem could be so welcome–and no days when such poems would not be welcome.  Well, just about no days.


Entry 1553 — Back to “Silencio.”

August 29th, 2014

Another simple post so I can quickly go to one of my Major Projects. It’s from Kalligram, the one at the top being Eugen Gomringer’s famous “Silencio”:


It is slowly inspiring as many variations, including several by me, as Basho’s “Old Pond.”  Definitely one of the world’s majorest visual poems.



Entry 1552 — Another from Kalligram

August 28th, 2014

This one’s by Geof Huth:


One of many interpretations of this is that it expresses my present melancholy about all the musts of my life that have turned to mist–do, needless to say, to missed opportunities (and mussed opportunities).  The addition of the thick portions to the letters is, by the way, an extremely deft move.  The F seems appropriate but I don’t know why.  The beginning of some standard salutation?


Entry 1551 — 2 by Nico Vassilakis

August 27th, 2014

The following are from the same issue of Kalligram that the Poem poems I’ve been featuring here are from:


Shifted A

Shifted L

I call these textual visimages–visual art whose subject is the visual appearance of language.  These are much more than simple designs, but I can’t quite put what they do into words yet.  Something about alteration. Or are they about building simple things that will prove to have vast consequences?  Of course, they are also “just” variations, highly elegant variations, on letters.



Entry 1550 — Back to the English

August 26th, 2014

Here are the original versions of two of the Poem poems I posted two entries ago:



Poem is my alter-ego, so sometimes me, but sometimes an imaginary me. The first poem in some strange surrealistic way (my intuition tells me) sums up my attempt to become a known writer, of plays mostly, during the fifteen years I spent from 1968 to 1983 in Los Angeles.  I think maybe the ocean of the poem is Poem’s alter ego . . .

The second poem is about my life from 1983 in Florida, where I still am and will probably be for the rest of my life.  The scene is more or less real; the heron is definitely real.  My mood and thoughts (authentic) are from more than one different scene.



Entry 1549 — Translation Translation by Google

August 25th, 2014

I wasn’t sure what poem of mine was the bottom one in the set of Hungarian versions I posted yesterday, so had Google translate “vecen.” It gave “plumbing” for that. I thought the poem concerned was probably one I remembered with “toilet” in the title but couldn’t find it in my book, Of Poem (dbqp press, 1995), which I thought all three of my poems were from.  So I had the first line translated.  “Verse engineering sectors during?”  That didn’t help.  By then, however, I thought it’d be fun to have Google translate the whole poem back to English and put the result here:

The Toilet

Verse engineering sectors during
almost bllinding certainty recognize
o the greatest lines in the poem
the history of the universe.
Kuncognia had to, because he thought
how much
hold for what everyone
I admit that.

By adding “a” before “vecen,” I got an accurate translation of the title, but most of the rest of the text was a bit off. Close enough, however,  for me to find the poem in my second collection of Poem poems, Poem Demerging (Phrygian Press, 2010):

On the Toilet

Between movements, it occurred to Poem
with an almost bllinding certainty
that his were the most superb works of any art
or science
in the history of the cosmos.
He chuckled as he thought of how long
it would take the rest of the world
to realize this.

Much thanks to Geof Huth and Arnold Skemer for publishing, respectively, Of Poem, and Poem Demerging.



The Great Advantage of Books

August 24th, 2014

Books can not be harmed from afar the way Internet texts can.

My apologies for the stupid bold-faced enlarged blue words in my recent entries, and for the misspelled words I’ve replaced them with because misspelled words don’t bother me as much as big blue ones.  Nothing I know of to prevent them, nor the miscounts I’m now getting.

Verily, I say unto you, spammers should be beaten severely, for the pain of the mental violence they visiteth upon their superiors can be as great as the pain of physical violence that should be visited on them.