M: ?; 1. our ability to exist in language is a living thing. it ages, its fullness becomes gradually depleted. it is as if the ability at its fullest is represented by the entire alphabet. the possible combinations of letters are incredibly numerous. and so too then are our abilities to express ourselves. the aging of this ability can be thought of as the gradual loss of letters from the alphabet. as letters are lost the number of possible words we can make decreases and so too do our possible ways of expressing ourselves. however, the change is not noticeable until the process is near its end, when the reality of it can no longer be denied. then we can only sit back and watch and wait until we at last are left with a single letter: the letter M. then all we will be able to do is utter m m mmm mmm m m m m. a single letter, a single sound to express everything. but for all we will have gone through to get to this point, it will have been nothing as compared with what comes next, with what comes after the M is taken from us. 2. “the letter of creaturliness and trial, of discontinuity and limitation, of death, and of the illusory aspect of everything”. - Anne Marie Schimmel.
machine: n; if a machine were to ruin the earth, annihilate humanity, at least the pretense of good intentions would not accompany the destruction. a machine will never claim to be your savior.
madness: n; 1. “the mind seeks refuge in madness from the mental suffering that exceeds its strength”- Schopenhauer. 2. gaps in the historical memory of a people function in the same way as gaps in the memory (repressed incidents) of an individual— a foundation for madness.
madonna: n; 1. the madonna is synonymous with the soul or things of the spirit. my fibreglass madonnas are empty things. they are equivalent to modern souls. they need to be filled (flowers) they are vessels for life. they are eternal vessels that support temporal life (flowers). as a metaphor for the modern soul they are artificial beings, things cast- off (old clothes), forgotten things. they are things that are made to stand artificially, things inert in themselves, sterile, yet able to support life for a brief time. 2. any influence of surrealism carries with it an influence of misogyny, that is, it adopts the tradition (which is itself adopted from Romanticism) of “the male subject seeking transformation through a female representational object” [Surrealism and Women ed. Mary Ann Caws p.8]. the use of feminine iconography has a responsibility to answer such a charge, to own up to it, and/or to show how it is trying to move beyond such a limitation. such representations will often depend on stereotypes of the female, will often be uncritical of male power structures and male domination, and will often do nothing to change the state of affairs. a solution to this problem comes in two parts: the first is that there needs to be much more expression of female identity by female artists so that any expressions of male fantasy can be understood in the context of a pleroma of accepted female identities / possibilities; the second part depends on the male artist in question. the male artist who wishes to make use of feminine iconography must somehow show that he is not attempting any definition / limitation of the female but is instead attempting, as Dorothea Tanning said is the purpose of all artists, “to express the whole being”. How this is done is the problem, is what must be worked out by the artist. I, for instance am attempting to do this by using images / materials which are second-hand (that is, by using them i am critiquing their original use / message) and as well i am making images which are glaringly incomplete, which are overwhelmed by absence. this (obvious) absence is in fact the human dimension, the dimension where any definition of female for instance, would be located. this dimension us unknowable but is pointed to by the image. by introducing such an absence i hope to show that popular representations of women (by men) conceal such absence, and therefore conceal a sinister inhumanity. whether i am succeeding at this i do not know.
magic: n; 1. the magic experience occurs when one understands how the events of one's life at a single moment are somehow, inarguably of a mythical shape. one's past then unfolds like a myth that has been told but you have not listened to it. at such a moment one understands that one's whole life and as well, the lives of those around you are all mythical. it seems impossible in fact that one would desire to view things in any other way. 2. perhaps the experience of magic is a primary response, the experience being the world of which i am a part is magical, that is there are hidden symmetries, sympathies, which produce effects which I may experience. at the heart of this experience is mystery. the cultivation of this experience entails faith and method. in fact, i believe that it is possible that organized religion developed from a very old and understood field of magical experience. the same i believe can be said for science; that is, science developed out of a similar basal experience, namely magic. 3. magic (occultism) is reasoning by analogy to an extreme and uncontrollable degree.
magus: n; in particular, the renaissance magus is an example of mechanical poetry or metaphorical engineering. in such a personality there is the desire to measure and to understand as well as the ability to render in its entirety the particular subject of this urge. the magus is analogous to the musician who makes its own instrument.
malady: n; most people would rather that those around them, especially those that they love or are responsible for, suffer from a physical ailment than some sort of metaphysical malady. sometimes they might even make sure this is the case (torture, abuse). for those sensitive enough to suffer metaphysically, the failure of those around them, those that love them, to acknowledge the real, physical basis of their metaphysical malady only reinforces it, worsens it, and makes it all the more inescapable for the victim.
mall: n; the blindfold of capitalism.
man: n; 1. sometimes people are frightened of a homonym. 2. if man was as Aristotle claimed, a political being endowed with the power of speech, man is now a schizoid being able to resist the necessity of speech.
Mandelstam: n; “it is easier to save a manuscript than a man.”
manifesto: n; 1. at the core of one's being there is a hand. the hand is not angry. the hand is not yours. 2. tædium vitæ. tædium esse.
manipulation: n; when you stop listening to what is attempting to soothe you, when you open your eyes to that which is urging you to sleep, you will discover that you are immobilized and that the world is busy operating on you. when you discover what the world has done and what the world is in the process of altering it will not be long before you beg for an anaesthetic.
map: v; marginal art practice.
margin: n; 1. in canada you don't have to go very far in writing until you find yourself on the margins. part of this may be because almost everyone claims to be / longs to be central. 2. marginality is a critical station for an artist. it is ambiguous; it is where living stops and it is where living is stabilized. nothing is in itself marginal, the margin is a moorage. failure often regresses into an identification with marginality. in such a case the anchor must be lifted and the expanse of living must once again be tested, explored.
market: n; 1. a life worth living must be purchased. it costs exactly one life. 2. “the computation of dust” – Nelly Sachs.
marriage: n; 1. if one wishes to live amongst human beings one should never marry an idea. 2. the gate on one side of which lies the landscape of birth and growth. on the other side lies the landscape of decay and death.
martyr: n; 1. the martyr has found a permanent escape from the repugnance of futility. 2. the true martyr cannot bear the conception or the phenomenon of martyrdom. 3. the thing that a martyr dies for is no-thing. it is non-existence which the martyr seeks and it defends this void by occluding it with a death. 4. to exist is already martyrdom.
massacre: n; to conceive humanity in its entirety, the image of acres upon acres of sedentary, grazing masses is unavoidable.
master: n; time wants to be our slave but has grown hoarse commanding us to be its master.
matter: n; 1. a severe limitation of time-space. (like origami) it is a folding and re-folding to such a degree that it is impossible to move through the object. this is because there is no way through it at all. all that happens, as one attempts to move through an object is to encounter the maze of time-space which leads you instantly to the object. think of it as a road that is so twisted and knotted that every step leads you nowhere. the best thing you can do is to avoid the twisted paths, avoid the severe limitations of space-time. such avoidance, such a recognition of an impasse is what we call the experience of an object, of a thing. 2. in a crowd the point of its greatest density is the locus of its discharge, of its negation of the other, of that which would negate it. a crowd may be an example of such a folding as described above. the other is then that which has the ability to unfold it.
mature: v; one morning the woman who wanted everything woke and could not find her hands. they had evidently snuck off during the night, though they didn't make it far. they were in the house next door, crying in the lap of a neighbour, praying they wouldn't be found.
maturity: n; the rejection of utopia as a concept that has any value to life is the first sign of intellectual maturity.
maxim: n; let me die before i need a god in order to live.
may: n; 1. i was born in may. one could say i was also born in perhaps. 2. may is the month of banishment.
meaning: n; 1. as Wittgenstein says, sometimes in order to understand the meaning of a word/name, we must look to the bearer of the word/name. as my poetry progresses, as my metaphorical precision becomes greater, i discover new names for the same bearer; it is this other that i am purposely striving to look towards. each metaphor, each neologism, is a name, an approximate name of this unnamable other. 2. interpretation is to meaning what a square is to a cube. the volume contained within a cube spreads out in all directions over the square. 3. etymologically meaning is the sign one follows. therefore, it is created as one proceeds, the path one makes determines which sign has been followed. 4. meaning is the assumption, the standing-up, the persistence of human-being. to live without meaning, without this persistence, is a denial of humanity. 5. it is impossible for something to mean nothing. when i say that something is without meaning i am saying that i am either unable or unwilling to appropriate, to include, the experience in question into my thought, into my understanding. the explicit meaning of a statement/event may in some cases be nothing (e.g. oxymoron, paradox) which may prompt me to say that the statement/event is without meaning. this is only half-true. any hermeneutic event is a dance between partners. in the above extreme cases one of the partners cannot dance, cannot move. therefore, if any dancing is to be done it will require my assuming the entire responsibility of dancing and supporting my partner. faced with an empty (semantically) statement/event we are prompted to identify it (relate to it) semantically (meaningfully). there are two extreme and opposed examples of reactions to such a semantic crisis. the first i would call an optimistic reaction which is prompted intentionally by zen koans. a koan introduces a semantic void which in effect introduces a participant to her/his ability to fill this void. it is an exercise in self-authority, self-control, and self-understanding where one becomes responsible for and aware of the nature and process of one's thought and belief processes. opposed to this would be the pessimistic or cynical reaction. such a case is epitomized in political rhetoric when a semantically empty statement is produced. it is anticipated (as it is in the optimistic reaction above) that anyone confronted with such a phenomenon will attempt to fill this void meaningfully. however, it is hoped that the vast number of people will be lazy or will be unable to perform this task. in such a case there is always an accompanying interpretation offered by those who uttered the empty statement in the first place and it is hoped that the vast number of people simply accept this interpretation thus relieving themselves (their perceptions at least) of the momentary confusion which they were confronted with. 6. meaning has much in common with identity. meaning is an activity or a set of possible activities of a locus with respect to other loci. for there to be meaning, as for there to be identity, there must be more than one locus, there must be differentiation. meaning can be thought of as an influence or a possible influence between loci. 7. a tenuous closure (pragmatism) of indeterminacy. 8. meaning cannot be repaired— it is always perfectly fit. to speak of an absence of meaning, of a gap in meaning etc. is evidence either of blindness or of an attempt to focus at an incorrect level of magnification.
measure: n; 1. this is the comparison of phenomena to a standard using a measuring device. language is such a device and with it we measure the world of our experience. 2. the infinite cannot be measured. if language is a tool of measurement then it follows that it can never yield an a complete measurement of experience/reality. that is if reality is infinite and therefore unmeasurable. furthermore if there is something we cannot know, or perceive, then our reality is finite. if there is another reality, an infinite unknowable, unmeasurable aspect of reality and if it participates in our finite lives, if it is not distinct and inert with respect to our lives and our being then our being is dual, that is it is composed of the finite/knowable/measurable and the infinite/unknowable/
unmeasurable. 3. saying is a measuring which alters the object of its attention. 4. man is not an adequate yardstick.
media: n; 1. in its assumed role as medium/mediator it defers its responsibility to its (pet) technologies. instead of being informed, instead of questioning deeply, the reporter will point a camera; instead of building context the reporter will develop graphics which are nothing more than aesthetic creations devoid of substance. such deferrals are seen by media to be if not honorable, at least unavoidable. 2. if you eliminate the ability to inform from a media source, if you regard media as not having the ability to inform, then media will lose its ability to inform you. and this loss is not insignificant. of course you will have to find some other in-formation source; nevertheless, relieved of the attentions of media this can only be a welcome adventure. 3. when those in the media speak of truth it is because they they do not have the courage to be in its presence. 4. “a profound discontent with the actual”- Nietzsche. 5. the habit of media immersion, or more specifically, media subjugation, ensures that if one is not in the direct service of evil, one is at least part of the mass of conglomerated silence and inaction which offers no obstacle to the practice of evil and so, practically speaking, condones it. 6. “would you believe that when we artificially belittle and infantize adults we get better results than we do with children in their natural state? ” – Gombrowicz. 7. media suffers from and promotes the delusion of independence. 8. “the lust to communicate by socially sanctioned and rewarded means, the manipulation of discourse towards approval and success, are an irreparable waste of spirit”. - G. Steiner. 9. what is the value of listening to someone who refuses to admit reality, someone who doesn’t have the courage to encounter fact? apart from an interest in human pathology and perhaps an interest in the corruption of human conscience there is no value.
mediation: n ; 1. an experience of art is metonymous with an experience of mediation. any questions raised by an experience of art are questions concerning mediation. mediation, of course, presumes power/privilege. 2. there is nothing but mediation. there is no inside or outside of the process— we are living forms of mediation. if there is only mediation the only thing to mediate is itself. in other words, what mediation thinks as its objects are only the fictive/distant reaches of itself mistaken for something other than itself. 3. being able to recall an analogy that was media-generated is not knowledge. scientists (and the media) should tell things the way they are. scientific discourse is not jargon, it is not intended to mystify. scientists (and the media) should talk to the public as though they are peers. and if the public does not understand (most people will not) then those who are ignorant should educate themselves. it doesn't provide any benefit to scientists or to the public to live as though authentic communication and understanding are realities. if ignorance exists it shouldn't be occluded by pathetic appeals to analogy.
medicine: n; 1. if one accepts the first teaching of the Bhudda, that is, all life is sorrowful, and if one also believes that the proper role of medicine is to lessen human suffering, then the success and one may almost say obsession of medical science to prolong human life no matter what the ailment is in reality increasing human suffering. therefore, medicine ultimately though a bold idea, is a failed one. medicine is properly the art of healing, of caring for and making whole those who are ill. although the prolongation of life logically results from this, the prolongation of life for its own sake is not the practice of medicine. 2. morality is being pharmaceutically circumscribed. 3. is it better to be a doctor where most people are sick or where a few people are sick? the choice would depend on what type of doctor you were, on what you understand a medical practice to be. and so, is it better to be a poet where most people are illiterate or where most people are literate? i would rather be a doctor where people are sick and i would rather be a poet where people are illiterate for the only reason that in such as setting there is an obvious need for my work
melancholy: n; 1. this is the sensation of floating above things while at the same time this very lightness of being arouses the sense of the overwhelming heaviness which infuses everything. 2. a runner is exhausted after a race. it doesn't ask why am i tired? or, maybe i could take something that would ensure that i could never get tired? such questions would render the sport irrelevant; limitation, fatigue — these are the essential factors which define the competition and differentiate the participants (on the basis of their performance). a person who is melancholy should not ask why am i melancholy? or, how can i stop being melancholy? instead they should ask what kind of race have i been running? and, why? and, can i run another type of race? 3. melancholy is where pleasure reclines, closes its eyes and imagines a better life. 4.
memorial: n; in order to properly memorialize the needless suffering inflicted on those whose only transgression was existence every flag in every country every hour of every day of every year should be flown at half-mast.
memory: n; 1. history/lived experience distances yourself from new experience. our lives are like a house which grows around us, where the moment is precisely the front door of the house. however, each experience of ours causes a new room or ante-room or hallway or staircase to be added to our house which serves to distance us from the front door. for this reason we rarely if ever open the front door of our lives to see if someone was knocking there or if it was only the wind. most of our lives are spent in the depths of our labyrinthine dwellings. and more often than not, the only time we do manage to reach the front door of our lives, the only time we really experience something as it is and as it occurs is when it is our death that is knocking. 2. memory is a physical representation / manifestation / of knowledge in the manner that our bodies are physical representations/manifestations of our lives. 3. as above, memory is a house which i did not build, i only live in it. 4. as language/image is a manifestation of memory, so is memory a manifestation of experience. 5. the past is not something that is gone, that has happened. it is only apparently so. what we refer to as memories are encounters that are still occurring. like ripples in a pond these happenings proceed until the pond's edge is reached (death, or forgetting, or destruction of memory, or transformation of memory). 6. our encounter with things-at-hand are historical encounters. i can grab a pencil only because i reach for it where i saw it milliseconds previously and it has not moved. it is a similar thing with memories, they are the encounters, the fumblings and the graspings of the tiniest hands. what these hands hold are as real as pencils, only they are real in a different manner (that is, they are held or ascertained in a different manner). 7. the paradigm of memory as the contents of a storehouse is mistaken. the physical reality of memory is related to the content (specifics) of memories in the same way that an alphabet is related to an encyclopedia (or any linguistic creation). our memory is a system of inevitabilities implicit in certain dynamic physical structures. the order represented (or chaos implied) by our system of memory has successfully transcended the sum of its parts. for instance, to remember a ball leads inevitably to characteristics of spheres etc. which do not have to be physically represented on a one to one basis since they are inevitabilities proceeding from a parent structure. the key to memory then is building very complex parent structures (via experience, learning, creating) which are very fertile. by fertile i mean that they lead to many inevitabilities each which would preferably lead to other inevitabilities creating a vast world of experience capable of expressing itself through action (living). 8. a reparation, a compensation: something has been lost, something no longer is present and so there is anger, there is a care and a worry for what remains, for what has been given back— the reparation. 9. memory speaks in action: in positive action/desire, and in negative action/restraint. 10. a trouble, an anxiety, a care that is re-presenting itself. (see representation). 11. an unripe pear has the taste of memory. 12. a box filled with needles and unused stationery which has been sealed and forgotten in a child's unkempt future.
mentor: n; Campbell says that the individual who is untouched by the authorized signs of a mythology will be come dissociated and will find him/herself on a quest within and without for life/meaning. if there are enough of these questors it is indicative of disintegrating myth and it is these people who are the only ones who will find a new myth or transform the old one.
meritocracy: the ideological diaper worn by the privileged, by those who benefit from the unequal distribution of power.
Meslier: n; “opinion is a weak rampart against the despair of the people.”
mess: n; if you do not take your mind for daily walks it will shit in your house.
message: v; a poet is a messeuse, or a messeur. its fingers work their way into the complications and tensions that people have difficulty understanding are their own.
messiah: n; 1. my favorite word. 2. it seems that social/political situations arise which appear to demand a charismatic leader, that is a messianic type figure seems to materialize out of nowhere. it is as if such periods are natural conditions of a culture. that is, a messianic need, or rather a need for complete renewal or resurrection becomes realized in the form of a leader who always appears in the light of history to be a savior, or in other words one who was completely vital and who was completely and perfectly prepared for the life he/she was to lead so that their vitality flowed into their dead culture and resurrected it. 3. the messianic concept is lunar, the second coming, the emergence of what was once present but which receded into shadow, this concept and the imagery which describe it are of a feminine quality akin to lunar imagery. the messiah is, i believe, very different from the warrior / savior whose symbology is masculine.
messianism: n; tradition is to revelation what interpretation is to history. tradition in this sense is viewed in a positive (and literal/etymological) sense as a delivery, as a handing-over, as a freedom-transferring process. in the above formulation interpretation is equated with tradition (tradition is interpretation and vice versa) and revelation is equated with history (revelation is history and vice versa). the process of freedom-transference is then equated with understanding. one could say that freedom is possible only where there is understanding (interpretation). i feel that any modern person would arrange the above formulation in another way, as follows: tradition is to revelation what history is to interpretation (tradition is history and vice versa; revelation is interpretation and vice versa). in this way, tradition is equated with history instead of with interpretation. the process of freedom transference is therefore dependent upon history, upon what happens, and not upon understanding. the crucial human participation (interpretation) in its history, this freedom, is then exiled and history is free to carry on without human intervention.
metaphor: n; 1. metaphor is classically defined as a comparison by which information can be gained about either or both of the two things being compared. this i call the positive role of metaphor (no ethical meaning intended). the negative role of metaphor, or the dissipative I find to be undiscussed. this dissipative role can be exemplified in the example: the world is a knot. in the positive role, one considers aspects of both world and knot, compares them, and looks for similarity so that the meaning and sense and therefore information content of the above can be extracted. however, in the dissipative role of metaphor, one would not do this. instead, one considers the essence, or identity of the two things and from this standpoint, the world is not a knot. however, the metaphor says that the world is a knot. this contradiction is the essence of the metaphor's power. this contradiction is dissipative in that the identity of the world and the identity of the knot fuse into a single identity at a level which is beyond our understanding. the metaphor is a window which allows us to glimpse this union, or this dissolution, of identities without rationally understanding what is going on. in this way then, metaphor regenerates identities by making us consider identities. in this way then, it also regenerates language. metaphors that aim to consider and make use of the positive aspect of metaphor are rhetorical devices which serve as ornamentation at best. such use of metaphor is a literal use. the dissipative aspect of metaphor in contrast is a metaphorical use of metaphor and utilizes the full, regenerative (destructive/creative) potential of metaphor. 2. metaphor is a recombinational event analogous to that which occurs in DNA. As in DNA, it serves to maintain variation. this variation is precisely a living, evolving (non-homogeneous) language. 3. similes are adjective constructions. they are descriptions, surfaces. metaphors, on the other hand, are essential constructions. identifications, interiors. 4. it is a movement back and forth, a carrying across from here to there and back again and so on. etymologically it is a bearing across. but meta also means between. meta-phor also has this sense of maintaining a middle ground, of resisting either side. metaphor is a bridge, an excluded middle. 5. a metaphor is a suffering; it is a state of being stretched and bound between two poles. if man dwells poetically, then a human life is a metaphorical dwelling, then a human life is suffering. 6. metaphorical competence (for instance, in the statement the pond is a mirror) requires only that one understands, or is aware of being confronted with what i would call an is-statement (to understand a particular metaphor, one of course needs an understanding of the elements involved in the comparison). an is-statement is really the essence or the be-ing-ness of language and of our participation in language (our language faculty). to experience the is-ness of language is then metaphorical competence. this is-ness introduces an indeterminacy to language, to discourse, to naming, to expressions of truth. to experience such an indeterminacy is to be at play in the fields of language, in the field of being. this competence is something which we un-learn all of our lives: in our schools, in our relationships, in our occupations, in our leisure. from this un-learning (in which so much effort is spent by so many who really have no business removing this competence from us) the existence of poets (and of other artists) are protests as well as testaments to what has been taken from so many. 7. metaphor has the ability to name a semantic region which has been understood to exist, or sensed, or experienced , but which has not yet been named. in this sense, metaphor would act to discover such a semantic void. at the same time it is creative in that by naming this void it links it semantically to a larger structure and therefore gives rise to something new. 8. if a simile is a mis-apprehended metaphor, and if a metaphor is mis-apprehended being, then what has being mis-apprehended ? 9. popular media (news broadcasts etc.) have perfected the negative application of metaphor. when considering a metaphorical proposition one can say it is a case of negative application when the situation (context) demands explication. in such instances what we get instead is a highly programmed and selective evasion, a cowardly ambiguity and unaccountability. on the other hand, when explication is impossible, and moreover, where explication is insisted upon the application of metaphor is at home and can be thought of as a positive application. 10. the movement of any statement or activity from the specific to a more general statement or activity is a metaphorical act. 11. people search for a diagnostic for metaphor. they want to know when something is to be understood as a metaphor and when it is to be understood as literal. the dilemma can be dissolved if one says that every statement is potentially metaphoric. if one adopts the general model of a metaphor, which is: A is B, then what is understood to be literal is an extreme case of this model, that is, A is A (where A=B, where what is thought/expressed/understood as A, which is understood to be a system of relationships, is identical for that of B). in other words, when one thinks or says A one cannot help but say or think B. this does not mean that a difference between A and B cannot be found. for instance, if i were to say, pain is a word the statement could be taken literally (pain [ which is a word] is a word). however the statement could also be understood metaphorically simply by conceiving (or insisting upon) a more complex system of relationships which pain represents. 12. a deliberate metaphorical act is an instance of creative transgression. fascists despise poets because they are threatened by such insolence. 13. “The idea is, beyond merely keeping the lines of communication open, to invent new, startling, and barely communicable communications, for there can be no end to the novelty and otherness that arise when people get together” - John Caputo. 14. metaphor, as an act of bearing across, implies the existence of otherness. this bearing, when perceived as approaching you, is re-ference; this bearing, when perceived as retreating from you, is de-ference. any reference is then, from the point of view of an other, deference; as well, any deference, from the point of view of an other, is reference. 15. in German it is common practice to form compound words. this forced semantic collision stresses the inseparability / co-dependence of that which is involved. as metaphor in its severest form it is my favorite poetic technique. below is an example showing metaphorical power increasing from relatively benign to severe (as well it shows the evolution/direction of my poetic experience):
the heart opens like a purse i
the heart is a purse ii
i - iii are mediated whereas iv has lost its mediator— it could not be any more direct. 16. our ability to understand, to learn, to exist and change in the world is attributable to our ability to experience reality metaphorically, that is, we can and always do experience one thing in terms of another (see name). it is this indirect experience which forces our conceptual systems to collate experiences, to link them and form coherencies, syntheses. this is how understanding grows; it is how understanding is possible in the first place. if we were able to experience things directly, that is, things as they are in themselves, there would be no pressure for experiences to be linked into understanding. understanding and conceptual systems would not exist because such experience would be too slippery for them to take hold and grow. 17. “metaphor is not merely a matter of language”. then again, language is not merely a matter of language. 18. metaphor (and so, the poem; and so, language) is a created, shared experience, it is an occasion. an effect of this occasion is bringing into proximity unshared experiences. the proximity of such experiences makes it possible for them to be shared. the effect of such sharing is a broadening of understanding. 19. if we cannot perceive anything directly / as it is then metaphor is the only way we can begin to(wards) reason, to understand the world. if we believe there are instances when we do perceive the world directly / as it is these instances are in fact evidence that the world has been forcefully contained and has become our world. the greater the belief the greater the chasm between the (informing) world and what is in effect only self-projections assumed to be the (informing) world. to be is the medium of reflection and the basis of our understanding. understanding is a metaphorical operation, literally an ability to perform 'this is that' (where is is the reflecting medium). therefore, any claims that metaphor cannot lead to knowledge mean that knowledge of any kind is impossible for the reason that metaphor is all we have. 20. metaphors delimit the passage from private spaces to public and political spaces as well as every return to privacy. 21. metaphor is a form of endurance.
metaphysics: n; every inquiry, if taken to its proper limit, if taken to completeness, becomes an inquiry into being. any topic on which there is debate eventually must come to this: the metaphysics, the ground one holds. one's relationship to being (specifically, the being of being) determines one's relationship to everything else that exists. one's position is nothing more than one's relationship to being.
metempsychosis: n; whoever can read the word transmigration, whoever can even contemplate the concept of metempsychosis, without shuddering, has never been alive.
method: n; for the poet, there are two possible methods or ways to travel (to proceed or to recede, to pursue or to withdraw). the first is to hold fast to an object with one hand and reach into the unspeakable with the other (seeking the unspeakable through the grounding of a particular object). the second way and the path i prefer is to dive into the unspeakable and then re-enter my living (the world of objects) poem-first. in this way one attempts to grasp the world (and its objects) in terms of the unspeakable, in terms of poetry. the difference between the two paths may only be that the second example exists in the province of failure and is solely maintained, cleared for use, by failure.
metonymy: n; 1. poets and politicians are experts at exploiting the device/process of metonymy. metonymy is a semantic change of a word that is substituted for another word to which it is related (for instance, saying Ottawa to mean the Canadian government). it is the relation between the two words (or the word and concept) which is exploited by the poet and the politician. the poet who says, in a love poem, my wound for you is deep implies a relationship between wound and love. in order for one to understand the meaning of the poem one will have to understand the relationship between wound and love. in this example, both semantic fields of wound and of love are considered, are unsettled, as they are brought into conjunction. the nature of the politician's exploitation of metonymy is of a different sort. for instance a politician might say current immigration policy takes jobs away from Canadians. the metonymy here is a substitution of immigration policy for foreigners. what the politician is saying, what the politician means is that foreigners take jobs away from Canadians. what the politician depends on in its followers is that they understand (agree with) the association of foreigners with immigration policy. however, there is a deliberate confusion in the politician's exploitation in that the concept of immigration policy is presumed to be identical with foreigners (which is an error, since an immigration policy can never hold a job, and therefore can never take a job away). the understanding reached between a politician and its followers is also a defence against its opponents. when an opponent challenges the politician saying, do you mean that foreigners take jobs away from Canadians? the politician simply says, that is not what i said at all. 2. the moment a metaphor is understood, is limited and fixed in some way, it becomes metonymy. a metonymic statement or action can be re-experienced metaphorically— this would just entail a forgetting, or a muddling, of the relationship that is understood to exist in the metonymy.
middle class: n; i experienced and reacted in the strongest way possible to the pathology that is the necessary consequence of the middle-class world-view.
military: n; a society which can come up with nothing better to do with their young men than to arm them and drill into them the necessity of following orders is a failed society.
mimesis: n; 1. not a copy (see prologue note in Short Films) it is a communication, a coming-together, a bearing-across as is exemplified by the plant that takes the name of mimesis, the mimosa. the mimosa reacts to touch. it is sensitive. in becoming itself, in differentiating itself from what is around it, in becoming mimosa and not something else (or, not nothing) a distance has arisen, a chasm has opened up between it and the world. the world is able to touch it, is able to bridge this chasm. and the mimosa accepts this bridge, reacts as though it were an extension of the world's action. and this is exactly what it is, an extension across a chasm which exists and at the same time does not exist. it is this bearing-across which is mimesis. it is a bridge making which demonstrates that there is an existing apart-ness (at times) and there is (at times) a unity. 2. for critics of popular culture (movies, books, visual and performing arts) the paradigm of criticism is outlined as follows: is this real? is it how life is? do i know people like this? is this how people really talk, think, act? Yes to any of the above questions qualifies the experience in question to be granted the status of art. the hermeneutic at work here is a child of the hermeneutic of realism which is itself the darling child of mimesis. all the offspring of mimesis stand in opposition to (and in fear of) art as possibility (that is, art as window / door / chasm). instead they defend the position of art as inevitability (art as mirror). 3. the painter's wheelchair. 4. the passivity implied/demanded by mimetic behavior (in an artist/writer) is the same passivity which is implied/demanded by consumer culture and pseudo-democratic institutions. 5. the concept of an exact copy, of direct plagiarism, is as ridiculous and creatively stifling as the concept of original creation. 6. if one cares to be precise, mimesis is an empty concept... in reality, there is nothing to compare. the writer knows this. proceeding by the power of mimetic authority a world is presented in contrast to the real world. however, if successful the writer eventually leads the reader to the point where the world that has been presented is the real world. this is no mimetic achievement but is the ultimate metaphorical (and perhaps tautological) condition of our being (i.e. something is always something). 7. what is understood as mimesis is the assumption of an ideal (in the way that one assumes that a king really is a king) in order to maintain a symbolic relationship with reality / alterity. the specific nature of this ideal assumption is that there is something stable, something which endures long enough to be re-presented. in truth, these re-presentations are presentations; nothing endures, the king is just like all of us.
mind: n; 1. the Cartesian dualism was a reactionary proposal. its motive was as F. Yates suggested to establish a world-view, an objective method of perceiving and measuring the world, which was distanced from the magical animistic subjective traditions prevalent in the late Renaissance. It implies, and rightly so, that science has its own realm within which its measurements and descriptions are meaningful. this in turn implies that there is an aspect of existence which is unknowable, unmeasurable by science or the scientific method. An untouchable aspect. The mind belongs with this realm and is precisely then, that aspect of our selves which is not comprehensible, measurable. It is that aspect of ourselves where we are permeated by the unknowable and are aware of this communion. 2. the mind is a space which exists by virtue of what has been built around it and within it. it is analogous to a city. the mind is also a gateway to many other spaces which one might think of as existing by virtue of various levels of organization which define them in the same way that in a city there are houses and rooms and offices and many levels of organization (police, government, sanitation etc.) which may or may not interact. creativity is an act of mind. it is a discovery, exploration, mapping, inhabiting, of new spaces. repression, in all of its forms from personal to global is essentially the forbiddance of an individual to access certain spaces. as well, it is a sequestering of individuals into spaces which one might call null spaces. a null space is the opposite of an active space. an active space would be defined as any space where power exists (the term sphere of influence, for example, illustrates the idea). a null space then is a space where power is absent; moreover, it is a space with limited or at least rigidly controlled access to an active spaces. video games, organized sports are examples of null spaces and are effective ways for those in power to imprison others without these others even being aware of it (imprisonment is, after all, an exile from what matters, from sphere of influence, and from spheres of participation). 3. a child scribbles something on a piece of paper. this scribble, and this piece of paper are called mind. the world we can experience, cognize, consists of the paper, the scribble. we have learned how to move, to communicate. parts of the paper (microscopic fibers), bits of the ink, are able to move. this movement is called learning. in our learning we have discovered that the makeup of our mind ( our mathematics etc.) which is, paper and scribble, corresponds exactly with what we call external reality (again, paper and scribble). we are amazed at this correspondence but we should really be amazed that we are amazed because how could their be anything but correspondence? that aspect of our minds which are eager for verifications, proofs, have no business with what lies beyond the paper and the scribble. in fact, that aspect of our minds tries to fool us into thinking that there is nothing but the paper and the scribble. but there is more, there is everything that is not the paper and the scribble and this is what we are told, constantly by that aspect of ourselves, of our minds which was scribbled originally by the child but did not fix itself to the paper... those drops of ink, those seemingly insignificant molecules which rose, along with some fibers of paper which the act of writing may have dislodged, above the paper into an exile of transcendence. 4. “the idea of the body”. -Spinoza.
minimal: adj; poetry is a quest for the pole, the axis mundi, across a sunless, lifeless arctic landscape. in order to survive and to even be able to approach the pole (and of course, to return alive from the pole) one must travel lightly, with the barest essentials. if someone were to travel with their entire estate they wouldn't make it very far at all before the landscape overcame them, before their intentions collapsed beneath their burden of useless baggage.
minimalism: n; poetic minimalism often elicits a melancholic response because it rejects on principle the illusion of the fullness and adequacy of language. people seem to want this illusion upheld. i don't know why they want to live in a world where language is completely adequate to express anything. this desire of their's i find, not melancholic, but depressingly defeatist.
miracle: n; 1. there are only two ways to reconcile opposing positions. the first, which validates each position, is compromise. the second, which reveals the absurdity of the positions, is miracle. 2. a miracle is a phenomenon which denies any context for the premises which it invokes. for instance, the wish that with a snap of your fingers a billion dollars could appear denies / occludes the reality of money: how it is made, how it circulates, how its presence somewhere implies its absence elsewhere, etc. miracles, in this sense, serve as expressions of a desire for the eradication of a lack; at the same time they express a denial of the real conditions which support this lack. 3. a miracle is a deviation from the natural order. that a poor person does not engender responses of it's a miracle! implies that the poor are a part of the natural order. a poor person who suddenly appears as rich, as powerful, influential etc. is a miracle— nature is not supposed to do that! again, the implication is that the poor are poor. they have always and will always be that way. it is obviously their (deserved) lot in life etc.
Miranda: n; 1. i have come to see that i am the closest to my self when i become a servant to whatever visions come to light inside me. and of this kingdom of visions you are the princess and as the princess you are able to grant me one wish so long as i remain a servant in this kingdom of visions. in this wish you become real and i become yours. 2. if you were a poem people would misread you. you would be taken literally, misunderstood. others would want to read you aloud in a room filled with people who don't know how to listen; people would want to read you aloud when you are intended to be contemplated soundlessly, in private. if you were a poem i would have to compose you. but if that were not possible, if you have been the work of another hand, then i would lie, insisting that it was me and not another who was your poet. regardless of whether i was your poet or not, i will have read and re-read you. you will have been written inside me. my days will have been the recurrence of you, word-moment to word-moment.
misanthrope: n; the true misanthrope reveals itself in its love of animals, or in its love of plants, or in its love of anything natural, biological… just so long as it is not human.
misanthropy: n; 1. everyone is born as a potential poet. keeping this fact in mind it is difficult not to be misanthropic. 2. the true misanthropist always starts with those he loves.
misconception: n; the common or vulgar conception of cloning which assumes that one can create a copy of an individual betrays an ignorance of life and of being which could not be greater.
misfortune: n; 1. when the metaphor becomes tyrannical, that is when it commands and therefore becomes something dictated, something which must be lived into, then one will find they are living in a house of misfortune. but when the metaphor supports one's life, when it informs and plays a supportive role then the house of misfortune dissolves and the house in which one lives then becomes a very quiet place. 2. the house of misfortune is an evocation of delusion. 3. in the house of misfortune i have noticed an ironic distance between the poem and its object. the evidence of this ironic distance is the presence of in-essential metaphors, that is, metaphors which are not emphatic enough (or even at all) and appear as linguistic flourishes, as decoration. this ironic distance arises from an encounter with the end-words of my understanding. these end-words are fences. on the other side are fields of silence. confronted with this silence i turned my back to it and returned my gaze to what had already been travelled. the object of the poem lies beyond the fields of silence (in actuality, the object of the poem is the travelling of these silent fields towards an object/goal which doesn't exist). ironic distance is that (vastness) which i had turned my back to (in fear or in ignorance) and which presents itself in the manner of a background for all that i had turned towards, for all the old paths that i occupied myself with. with a hand for the drowned and especially so in the wedding cage, i climbed over my end-words into silence. every step in these fields is a word that must be.
mistake: n; the influence of the past received/appropriated wrongly. a wall-raising or fence-building (as opposed to a road-building or path-clearing). a mistake is a specific limiting of the influence of the past, a defining of the space available for living.
misunderstanding: n; 1. in a simplistic way one might say that the christian doctrine is a misunderstanding of bhuddism. an example is the christian stress on relationship to divinity rather than the bhuddist identification with divinity. many christian heresies were in essence examples of a person transcending their christianity by dissolving within themselves their misunderstanding and adopting the bhuddist stance of identification with divinity. i.e. christ is in me. all things are bhudda-things or christ-things. to see the example of christ from a bhuddist standpoint then effectively dissolves the misunderstanding and along with it the christian doctrine. christian heresy then is the overstepping of the realm of christian doctrine. that it is possible for their to be heretical views suggest that their are views in existence which challenge the christian doctrine and which may call it into question or negate it completely. it would be interesting to know if their is a sanskrit word for heresy or if in bhuddism there is no such thing as heresy, only misunderstanding. 2. any work of art that does not cause you to alter your life, even a seemingly minor alteration, is either failed art or has not been understood.
mob: n; the mob is comforted by the erroneous belief that the abyss is one person wide. in other words, as long as one is not alone it is geometrically impossible to fall in. what the mob misunderstands is that the mob is the abyss in an especially mobile and adaptable form.
modern: adj; 1. the concept of character in pre-modern fiction was of a total objective entity. like a landscape it was capable of being rendered. depending on one's skill it was possible to render it as it was, in its totality. in the modern age such a concept was exploded from within. character became just another fiction, an inflection of the impossibility of knowledge and an example of man's incomplete knowledge. the individual, as the centre of the cosmos has been supplanted by the fractured being participating fully in the cosmos but only able to experience a mere fraction of it. that the rendering of a character in its minutest detail will in itself create a world and support that world is then for me a belief and form of expression which is hollow and archaic. 2. a dance of complexity and brevity. 3. the assumption that modern art is alienating, that the general public has no attachment with modern art seems to presume that this general public is inviolable, perfect— if there is any problem it is due somehow to modern art. of course it is this presumption which is the problem. the general public is in fact completely guilty of refusing to encounter the experiences and the (often unanswerable) questions that modern art presents in all their complexity and ambiguity. artists have always been working; their half of the social contract has always been honored. the public at large (and the powers which represent it and speak for it) cannot say the same thing. 4. a good way to integrate modern art with modern life is to make art yourself.
moment: n; 1. it bothers me to be confronted with this insistence upon something being incomplete if there is no cause evident. for instance, if in a piece of fiction one is unable to see how a present state could come to exist, or if one is not provided with some clues as to what may happen in the very near future. is such fiction incomplete? what if one visualizes this typical story structure: cause-situation-effect, as being false, as being something artificial and derivative. what if one is simply interested in the moment? a moment is definitely incomplete but when the moment becomes the artistic unit that level of incompleteness is at the same time as complete as one can ever attain. a moment is a lost child. it is sometimes frightened, sometimes brave, its existence very tenuous, very much at the mercy of its immediate environment. it is above all unpredictable. it is alive. the predictable cause and effect is not life at all. it is boredom and death. it is everything expression strives to overcome. 2. a knife.
monad: n; the concept of unity is archetypically represented by the circle. the concept of tri-unity or trinity, which is the reality of our lives, that is a dualism (right and wrong, yes and no, etc) and the logical progenitor when where this dualism ceases to exist (unity) is therefore (just add it up) three things, or a figure composed of three sides. the triangle therefore archetypically represents this. all polygons then, where the numbers of sides go from 3 to infinity are basically the area swept out by a triangle where the number of sides indicate the number of triangles used to construct it (for instance a square is four equal triangles placed one next to the other around a common center or focal point). as the number of sides of the figure increases, that is, as the number of triangles required to construct the figure approach infinity, then the polygon approaches the ideal figure of the circle or unity. in other words, as the image of the triangle or principle of the triangle is multiplied to infinity so does this image it creates approach the ideal of the circle. (note, in one more dimension everything above holds true except that the circle has become a sphere and the triangle has become a triangle pyramid).
money: n; 1. a weed which so many struggle to tend. 2. money saves us the trouble of being human.
monster: n; why produce more monsters? the least troubling monster i could engender would be one that is my opposite— i can live in boundless disgust; after this, a monster that is neither me nor my opposite but some faceless, undetermined, herd animal— i can also exist confined within an inescapable hopelessness; but, by far the worst monster that i could produce would be a monster who is exactly like me— i would know exactly what such a being would be feeling, thinking, enduring… and what could i possibly say to such a creature, how could i ever apologize? such a being would negate me, absolutely.
monument: n; a violence against a (living) experience of history / continuity. in the place of which it is an erection of forgetfulness followed by a formal, sanctioned and unified re-collection. after enough time has elapsed the (original) event considered appears dead / self-contained / factual.
mood: n; the principle of negative moods states— when of two terms one may be denied, and the other is affirmed, of the same thing, they may be denied particularly of each other (Arnauld).
e.g. some anger is not blameworthy
all anger is a passion
some passions are not blameworthy
morality: n; 1. according to Kant, “morality can only exist if reality, if the way things are, has a transcendent dimension”. 2. morality is a momentum and an agility, a means of ideological navigation. 3. morality is an uncertain enterprise. those who attempt to maintain a hyper-moral existence (e.g. religious fundamentalists) are compensating for their lack of moral competence. 4. someone who says, “i had no choice, i had to do it”, may be attempting to evade responsibility for their actions; however, they are always complimenting themselves since they presume to be acting in accord with a universal principle. to be commanded by an imperative is to be beyond moral reproach. 5. a cautionary tale must have no readers.
motor: n; 1. the will's inherent antagonism is the motor for all action. 2. “the more one obtains, the more one desires”.- Rousseau. 3. consider a motor that delivers more than was put into it. language is such a motor.
mountain: n; mountains are explicit, literal things. they are not for poets. they offer banal challenges and passive admiration. it is a false writer who clings to their crowns. every poet requires unresolved vistas, horizons that retreat behind an illusion of similitude.
Mozart: n; there has never been any such person as mozart. mozart is a fabrication, or, more accurately, a fantasy. and as there has never been such a person as mozart there has never been any music by mozart. i could go into a record store and pick up a record which i would be told is by mozart but when i returned home to play it i would find that there is nothing , that my turntable is empty. and so we have created, through the ages, the greatest collective fantasy, the life and personage and music of mozart. and nothing has never been more beautiful.
muse: n; the muse (the musting) has always allowed those who receive it to speak of the past (and its twin the future). speaking of the past is not simply relating history, it is a more essential ability to communicate what has happened (specifically) along with communicating the nature of happening (generally). the past is not only ancient, it is also recent. our encounter with the past, with the happening of the past, can take the form of master and slave. the muse has always allowed slaves to escape their bondage, which has always been, the inability to communicate what has happened, the inability to word the happening of their lives.
music: n; music is a brief ability to escape time by subduing it and climbing on its back and riding it until it throws you off.
mutation: n; the biological principle of persisting is mutation, that is, an imperfect repetition, a creative misunderstanding. the possibility for adaptation (or any understanding at all, e.g. at the level of the personality) relies on this principle of creative misunderstanding manifesting itself (e.g. the self as a mutation of some preceding self, a creative misunderstanding of this preceding self and therefore of its [involvement with] reality).
mute: n; we are all mutes; however, most of us are too stupid to remain silent.
Mydral: n; in communism the communistic fiction (underlying unity with regards to human social and political being) is explicit whereas in capitalism it is implicit.
mystery: n; mystery sharpens my life, making writing easier... and more legible.
myth: n; 1. it is a ceremony, the wedding of the individual / psyche to the world. as such, if the psyche is unbalanced or deranged, it could be a terrible wedding, one of violence and destruction, an end and not a beginning. 2. a functioning / generative myth is truth's ultimate destination. 3. currently used in the sense of describing something as being untrue (or a dangerous misrepresentation of reality). it is common to refer to a myth as something to be dispelled (as though a myth were a pest or a threat that must be driven away). a myth is an eye-closing, an organizing principle (a knot instead of a not) which works through us and which we are a part of. the current popular denigration/inversion of myth's original meaning betrays a hostility towards the reality of this involvement and wishes to suggest that one exists apart from these myths in some ideal living-state (free from any involvement). myths are not to be dispelled, they cannot be dispelled. they must be and can only be understood (one can also in this read myth as ideology). 4. a mother who approaches with her hands filled with ashes and sand her mouth. her speaking is a wintering.