Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Clamor of Today


But this study reminds us that there is a vast difference between knowingness and knowledge. Knowingness can be achieved simply by scanning your Twitter account. Knowledge requires more discipline, direction, and—the quality perhaps most absent on social media—patience. Knowledge is power; knowingness, by contrast, risks creating a world of Know-Nothings.

Trash collected by the eyes and dumped into the brain;
Discriminate, said Schopenhauer. Learn when to abstain.

Or perhaps you may prefer his student Nietzsche's point of view.
An aristocrat's indifference to the world he passes through.

(He might say, were he here today, of media old and new:
Give a book a face and it might gaze back into you.)

Monkeys chatter, bluebirds tweet. Withdraw and go your way.
Restore your soul with knowledge and let knowingness decay.

Friday, June 10, 2016

They Ain't Heavy

Yahdon Israel:

He asked if the books were for class. I told him they weren’t. He asked if I was selling them. I told him I wasn’t. He asked why I had so many.

“Because I’m reading them.”

“All of them?”


“Why carry them all? Why not just get a Nook or a Kindle?”

A trap, Yahdon! Don't answer that!
His premise is flawed. The logic is pat.
Resist the urge to justify;
Instead, reply with Bartleby,

"I would prefer not to."

Turn the tables, flip the script,
No, flip the tables, scatter wide
the coins of realm, and thus equipped
with self-respect, retort with pride,

"What sort of man are you?"

Why truckle like a serf to please
the monarchs of our modern age?
Convenience and Efficiency
still lock their subjects in a cage

with no aesthetic view.

Why trickle like a stream pursuing
least resistance to the sea?
One of us should be reviewing
options, but it isn't me.