On the Origins of Distinction

September 2, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Posted in poetry, sheer selfindulgence, writing | 15 Comments
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A very long and scholarly article like a purple sash
for making the distinction between the word and the thing.
Unless we should spend eternity spinning
new and more dead metaphors to create
a carnival literature of image.

Speed would have to count for something
an unwillingness to stop just short
of hems.  Some hermits
are best left sleeping son, he says,
the old bastard never said much anyway
especially when too long standing
with sun overhead
acting up the drunken cartographer
arguing with his dresser.

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15 Comments »

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  1. written well, great idea here. really enjoy the first stanza
    Thankyou. I was just thinking I might mix the two stanzas up a bit but then it would lose a little continuity.

  2. I like the contrast of images between the words and the things.
    Cool, I like your Oops story a lot Ms Squirrel.

  3. Purple is so regal – demands respect. Sunoverhead? haha… I bet he prefers to go nekkid.
    Well he is arguing with his dresser. I’ve got a bit of clothing on him now, at least he’s got a sash. By this time next week he should be fully dressed, Narnie.

  4. Purple sash, just perfect…and the ending, i love that it is surprisingly unexpected,but not contingent…
    Cool, how is your examination of the subjunctive and translation from the Romanian going, Annamari?

  5. More great stuff here Paul. A carnival literature of image is a wicked line, as is the idea of a drunken cartographer designing dresses. I don’t exactly know what it all means, but I like the blissful dizziness you cause me as I spend eternity spinning. I’ll imagine myself a blue bubble filled with the captured sunlight of all our time together on this endless hemline of poetry.
    Blissful dizziness, that is cool. I could reverse engineer the whole poem, Derek Motion style, but that would take all the fun and magic and subtle understanding below the conscious threshold out of it, and I am too lazy. Maybe tonight. I am thinking of visiting Melbourne soon, Alec and will be looking for sofas and empty cars to sleep in. Any suggestions?

  6. Excelent poem, I loved the first half. I like that you refer to metaphors, because some theories propose that all words are invented based on them. Here are a couple of short definitions , that where left in my blog on the post http://singyourownlullaby.blogspot.com/2009/07/meaning-theories.html by a couple of friends, you can pick what best fits your thouhts.
    Uncle tree said:
    What do I mean if I say what I mean by saying ‘this means this’, when really I meant to say ‘this means that’, and you have no idea what I mean, because you never meant to meet that mean old me that meant to meet you in that first mean looking place?
    troylord said:
    All meaning is context dependent. Nothing has inherent meaning. Which leads me to think that meaning is in the relationship and interaction between things. It is dynamic and fluid rather than being concrete and decided”
    I personally woud pick both
    Troylord sounds a lot like me, Mariana. Thankyou.

  7. love the second stanza and that last line. great write.
    Thanks, Michelle.

  8. Well, I’d love to meet the man behind the legend that is Gingatao. You’ll have to tell me when you’re coming to town. I’ll ask around and see if I can find a place for you to crash for a few days. Shouldn’t be too hard.
    Fantastic. I’ld love to meet the infamous Alec Patric too. Now all I need is to bum a ride down there. I’ll check the frieght train schedules.

  9. I couldn’t get past the first couple of lines of that linked article – article over head (duck!)- it’s a puzzle. Love the ‘carnival literature of image’.
    The Tao Lin article, I was just reminding myself of the gold old days, Gabrielle. It’s not at all important. I still have a hamster poem to write too, must get onto that. How are the chickens?

  10. Not the Tao Lin article – the ‘Literature and its cognates’ Dictionary of the history of ideas. The chickens are very well – I am working on a story about Blanca and Madame la Pompadour at the Beauty Salon and Aletha and Benedicte are working on illustrations (just for fun)!
    Oh that will be sensational.

  11. I like the break of the two stanzas and I feel as though one compliments the other. Love the tone, which you do so well…you make intangible more tangible to me. If that makes any sense.
    It makes sense to me M’Lady and it is a wonderful compliment, thankyou.

  12. for making a distinction between word and thing, I can be forgiven for saying I like the rock you are holding — it is very nice of you to let us have a look at it too — one finds so many really marvelous rocks in life but mostly people don’t share them and that is really an awful shame, don’t you think?

    So, the rock, the words, the meaning — I’m trying not to be purple sashish about this — so I’ll quit now, just saying again that it’s a lovely lovely rock
    Thanks, Aletha. It is a lovely rock and the photo turned out surprisingly well. There is an eye in the rock, if you look closely.

  13. ‘Unless we should spend eternity spinning
    new and more dead metaphors to create
    a carnival literature of image’ My fav of the whole.

    I like your words, you. I like that they make me think and feel in different parts of my brain.Always a pleasure to read; you.
    I like your words too, SarahA, your poetry is beautiful.

  14. Paul, I think there’s an eye in the poem and an I too, the I below the threshold of consciousness who sees. ak
    Aletha, I am researching Horus and also some more Mayan glyphs.

  15. as always Paul… all roads lead to gingatao. together we will spin in eternity.


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