Taboo

Shatner & Nichols, 1968 I think the purpose of taboo is sort of as a last resort: When people cut their love lives short & isolation walls them off, like a collective urge to cough, taboos are broken, & people open up to the nakedest of things— love, which is why the caged bird sings.

poem for Socrates

Jacques-Louis David, 1787 If words transcended time I’d say thanks, Socrates, for to my day you set a golden standard & example, stand in sanity when truth is trampled, immortalize humor, lead leaders to love being wise & remind me there are always times to fly by the seat of your conscience.

poem for Jordan Peterson

Only after your time will Time decide how well you’ve served our species as a guide, but, since a leader’s life’s the life you lead, here’s how I hope (& think) we both agree: 1 A good teacher won’t preach what he thinks; instead, he shows the thirsty where he drinks. 2 The more he […]

poem for Ayn Rand

When Reason, man’s most perfect power, is exiled from the Ivory Tower, you stand outside as fearless proof of its unconquerable truth. While institutionalized minds grow coddled, sheltered & unwise, you teach bright people to be free & draw their strength from liberty. You set the tone, you set the stage for freethinkers of every […]

Counterpoint & the thirst for clarity

I steal the ancient idea of counterpoint from music theory & use it as a kind of mental model to clarify my worldview. In music, ‘counterpoint’ simply means ‘contrast.’ Broadly, there are two kinds of counterpoint. The first is contrast between sounds happening at the same time: voices singing harmonies, multiple instruments playing unique parts, […]

Two Freudian Dreams

Dream #1: I’m in a house that’s standing upside-down, shingled roof wedged weirdly in the ground. I’ve seen this house on many other nights. My love is there. We’re in some kind of fight. I lose myself, I’m dizzy, my eyes fail — then, when I’m finally returned to sight, despair descends. I see his […]

4 questions

How can something as dainty as a rhyme stretch to accommodate a paradigm? How could stone slabs, slowly inscribed by hand, carry the weight of 10 divine commands? How did the founding fathers—all mere men— give birth to a nation with a pen? How do hearts split apart by loneliness let themselves be vulnerable again?

island Utopia

word count: 90 On my island, Utopia, philosophy is king: we all get off on copious, prolonged examining; we all know we know nothing (which is all we need to know) & more than anything, we want to grow. Of course, like every paradise, it’s bound to self-destruct: something’s always sacrificed; someone’s always fucked. Whether […]

labyrinth

Though close friends often know it before you, no one can tell you what you’re born to do. There is no Oracle who sees your fate. there is no guarantee it’s not too late. There are no pre-made maps to travel with; there is only a vast stone labyrinth whose pathways wind & wander to […]