Preface

October 1, 2016

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These so-called poems are gambits, which I’m always making, whatever I’m doing, then cultivating, shepherding, & managing, or failing to manage to deploy.

I don’t seek to join cliques of poets, artists, analysts, or those who have agreed on this or that set of doctrines, tho I often find insights I need in those doctrines, & borrow freely from all. I don’t even claim to be this or that sort of professional, & struggle to avoid becoming a specialist—except sometimes briefly, when the alternative is starvation.

I try to face both the physical & social worlds raw.

For want of a better way of satisfying others’ need to categorize my activities, I let them consider me a writer, tho I’m only rarely writing.

Mostly, I’m occupied changing the world forever for better.

Oh, I don’t mean that I’m terribly effective at it, only that that’s what I’m up to.

Since I’m scarcely able to make a dent in humanity’s injustice, suffering, & confusion, mostly I’m occupied changing myself, becoming more capable of changing the world forever for better.

Occasionally, I try to apply what I’ve learned to do since the last time, then scramble to deal with the consequences, at the same time that I deal with problems that have accumulated, & the build-up of the never-ending pressure to obey this or that set of rules & expectations, & attempt to provide for myself a while longer.

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Understanding & skills are equipment. Items of equipment wear out sometimes, or are no longer appropriate to situations newly evolved—which is inconvenient. But it’s better to outlive your equipment, than to have your equipment outlive you.

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Poetry is not my cause. I don’t even like most poetry, tho the poetry I do like, I value very highly. Likewise, writing, art, even communication, even attempts to improve situations.

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I manage to snatch the so-called poems, occasionally, like rare chemical reactions or electronic sequences suddenly triggered, out of & at the end of long periods of mainly scrambling to survive, or concentrating on acquiring new understanding or skills, or doing a task as conscientiously as I am able—periods which go way beyond the limits of my patience til that point.

I’m always struggling for a way beyond every one doing the best he or she can for him or her self, & others’ suffering none of their concern.

Not just to live selfishly or defensively. Not just to live as I was programmed. Not just to operate in the way that gains me immediate encouragement or reward.

Like everyone else, I must provide for myself, & am surrounded by rivals for resources, attention, & authority. Like yours, my costs keep going up.

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Many of these so-called poems have been posted or published, in the USA or elsewhere, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 years ago, or more & more recently. The viewpoints of the publications & websites have varied remarkably, from very pious to the most provocative, from many angles.

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Common sense is a set of understandings & algorithms shared by a group in common. It works fine when the group is all-inclusively just & changing in the same way at the same rate. Otherwise, it is a cudgel to punish those too weak or too strong, too foolish or too wise, to pledge allegiance to it—& a dream subject to rude awakening, by those with different understandings & algorithms, or by trends & physical forces insufficiently comprehended & taken into account.

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Occasionally, I change this or that one of the so-called poems (& this Preface) in accordance with new understanding or insight, or write a new so-called poem so good, it seems to me, that I replace the one that I can most bear to part with. More often than not, this happens over a period of a few days or weeks, then stops for a longer, relatively peaceful or tumultuous, period.

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I am not a success, but not a failure, either—not dead yet, still budding deeds, more & more effective (at least, that’s the intention)—so, this collection & its consequences are developing.

Without your attention & the consequent effects on & thru you, nothing I’m attempting here is realized.

Truly, I beg you to use these so-called poems, which cost more to bring to life than anyone is likely to be able to imagine.

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(Earned) improved understanding & habits (habilitation)
+ critical masses of capital ($ &/or equipment & skills)
+ (earned) right organization
—> critical intensity of increasingly coherent force
operating on current conditions & entities
—> ± spherical or channeled waves of intended & unintended
effects of various modalities, angles & angular momentums
& rates of accelerating & decelerating growth & decay
interfering with & interfered with by
various other physical & spiritual waves
including common sense clinging, consolidating, drifting
& oscillations of various frequencies, directions, & sorts
doubts, indecisions, breaking up of old certainties
+ innovations variously just & unjust, wise or foolish
tyrannies, oligarchies, glum obedience, resentments
deliberate or impulsive rebellions, or some combination
every sort of system of genius, stupidity, awkwardness, & grace
relatively strong or relatively weak
starting from all times, places, & beings
maybe already struggling to be born
or yet to struggle, yet to start.

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