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            They brought me a pencil.

Just as easily broken, but the softness and variations of shading are gentler, and it emits a soothing sound (whatever “soothing” might mean for me here).  As well, I am able to watch it exhaust itself, and must keep rotating it within my fingers to fashion readable markings.  I do enjoy whispering in these lines with graphite.  Its liminal appearance and capacity for subtlety and starkness.

A pencil accomplishes something (I am thinking).  Makes tangible the dust and fog – our weathers of uncertainty.  You have to squint a little to make it out when used for forming language, and it quickly evaporates, fades.  Feels more made of matter than an ink pen…more temporary and inevitably fragile, decomposing.

They led me to the library today, accompanied closely, of course.  I saw more colors, shapes and forms than I have seen for weeks.  Selection was limited but there were some illustrated texts on natural science and even a few collections of art.  “What do you think these pictures express?” they asked of paintings or sculptures I paused upon.

“Look” I said, “look.”

I pretended sullen and began to ecstatically absorb – lines with dozens of colors peeking about the edges, throwing some other sector of the painting into bright relief, leading my eyes like young tight calves signaling, dashing about in summer.  My eyes leapt about after splotches and strokes, sunk slowly into (imagined) vast planes of layer upon layer of shading and tone (what an interestingly borrowed term!), scratched back, built over, washed in and out.  I danced through sprays of evocative squiggles, hyphens, circles, blocks and splatters, all in the space of half of an hour (does ‘space’ really apply to sequence?  To time? – “Don’t get hung up on words” again, always afraid I’ll disappear more fully, remove to too far a distance).

And why should they (or you) care?  Why should anyone?

broken pencil


            Too much shading, pencil evaporated, disappeared (literally “before my very eyes!” – what a ridiculous statement – as if eyes were anything without the information of the hands!)

Why distance is required.

This pen appears to be blue, although by the light I am provided to scribble by, it is difficult to tell (Ha!  Eyes even need speech to operate!)

What messages are all our so-called senses constantly inundating our poor cerebrum with?  Life is one massive assault on minds from birth until its end.  It’s no wonder then, is it?

One requires a kind of distance to “see” (observe, perceive, etc.).  How might one achieve this necessary gap from what one must inevitably be the substance and content of?  One needs a mirror and a separate self.  I believe this is variously referred to as “dissociation,” “transference,” “schizophrenia,” “writer.”

It is suggested that I attempt to describe further what I am noting down.  I already know that is not possible.  “Ouroborous” I say, and close my lips and eyes, quieting my hands.

The Holidays

Within this 3-week, no, 2-month, no, now nearly half-year era

misnomered “the Holy Days” -

I want everything -


to come due later,

in January,

in what’s new,

to BE new

and newly different.


For now – 

to simply endure,

and that – blithely.

For there to be lights and laughter

and a certain sort of gladness.

Not this anxiety, this stress,

this hurry-up and choosing.


What is “holy” of these days

must be a kind of wanting.

Beings filled of wish

and momentary joys.

We list them:

I want …….

and I am thankful for …..


Hooray! – these days are holy!

I get to say and give and get …




We ache.


And it begins again.



“he accepted each moment

shocked by having a face in the mirror

or torn away from it by the beauty of the world”

- from Zen by Stephen Berg

“…its mumbled inadequacy reminds us always

In this world how little can be communicated.

And for these, they too are only tokens

Of what there is no word for:…”

- from To Dido by W. S. Merwin

Then this is my canvas, my clay, the space I am allotted to “begin.”  “To write what I feel” as they put it.  From a palette of words, of letters, the shapes of sounds.

What color would they be?  What lines and outlines?  What surfaces, form?  What I am representing onto this blank?  When or where or what or how is it / was it present before this?  Had I more than a pen I might draw.  Monochrome doesn’t suit the subject I observe.  (“The greater the challenge” I suppose they or you or I might suggest – ack).

As if it were a can to pour.  A brush to dab or spread.  A chisel to pound or some multi-dimensional possibility.  No – one color, a flat surface, and whatever twisted lines I might make with this dark blood.

“Don’t simply regurgitate your story,” I heard, “write things we don’t already know or are able to find out in multitudes of ways.”  This is why “feelings” you say (they say).  Do we really have feelings bereft of ideas?

I imagine this is what is meant by declension.  Some traceable undoing.  Some fodder to deconstruct, patterns or plot recognition: analysis.  Is that so?  “Feelings” you say?

“I began to write down the things I feel,” I wrote, firstly, quoting them, but quickly realizing that that was a quote of a quote, and perhaps out of context, perhaps accidental, of another I have great affinity for, of mind, form and content, but would not dare or hope to repeat or revise.  Stillborn.  Abort.

“Feelings.”  And how might I gain access to this?  These?  Are not, spoken, emotions dissolved?  Transformed into some other reality?  Or fiction?  Does anyone even know yet what we talk about when we talk about “emotion”?  (I suspect there is a sort of object to them/it out there somewhere to be found and to dissect, describe, observe or experiment with – on the in-fernal-ternet or recordings of the surgings of the brain, the body, our systems).  Probably it goes without saying, but I have no “access” here.  “In” here.

How then should I represent void?  And again I ask – where/who/how ever might void have ever been presented in the first place as some natural sign I might re-present?  This is what a medium is for, no?  An intermediary between?  A vehicle or method of expression, disclosure, communication, power?  So what is this barely material of ink and pulp (one color or hue each, mind you!) between?

Them or you and my emotions?  Is that it?  One unknown and untranslatable to another?  I might describe here or caricature the you or them I imagine examining this frame, this “picture,” but who would pretend or proffer that I might, in that process, be knowing them to you?  And like the immateriality of an inner world, even if I could copy all the pulses, darts, knots and dashes of a stenciling electric light on some screen or render a mapping of neuronal activities imaged in all my various “states.”  What would be revealed in that?  What more would ANY of us know?

The electricity and charges my brain produces we might label “agitated subject,” or “concentrated subject,” “depressed subject,” “gazing subject,” “excited,” “disregulated,” and so on.  Within each of which (and millions of others besides) the terms occur so ambiguously and objective-arbitrarily we end further away than we began.

Alas, it wearies me to consider.  Efforts doomed and erroneous at the outset…scoffable.  How did such a project even crop up amongst us?  What did we think we might uncover?  (Ah, back to the mysterious ocean or caves from which we may have sprung!  Our reptilian selves, our triune brains, conjectures, conjectures, wild-ass-hairs of a nightmare!)

“Fine” they gently, politely nod, “fine.”  You (me/I) are doing well.  Don’t get hung up on “feelings” “emotions” terms – just put pen to paper, let’s just see what comes forth.  Don’t get “hung up on words” eh?  Yet make more words.  Is not inquiry senseless?  I rest my case.  I drain and break the pen.  If only I had flame at my disposal.

A Narrative Construction

This weird stuff:

This Stuff

            The sky is “cloudy.”  This is part of who he is, just now, in this case.  She’d said “______ ___ _______, _____!” in just that tone, this manner – another aspect constructing him.  That he’s a “he” is also not irrelevant.  Of so many “years,” “locations,” “relations,” “activities” and “behaviors,” “interactions” and “learnings” ought not be ignored or left aside.  There’s no other way to identify him, along with appearance, but that depends (and has changed dramatically from those first cells).

The man is “of an age,” as some might say, keeping track in the ways that people will.  Is “like” (comparing as they do).  Says and does, makes and thinks, with categories shared among the lot of us.  A male human, then, within the commerce of the world, regardless of distinctions, and because of them.

“Specialness” is a classification reserved for none and all.  A sensuous “unique,” observable and rich, endless and utterly common.

And yet we’ll pay attention, for awhile, to THIS ONE.  The one recounted and described, gradually revealed (such as it is), and selected for this tale and task (a narrative product of our genes).  We abide.

Recording “life” – an optional project at our disposal, and “communication” – a capacity shared.  Let’s do this then, with “me” – teller, author, scientific artist; and “you” (all) – necessary “others,” listeners, readers, hearers, respondents.  Composing and perceiving, interpreting, creating – the ways we get along and mean, “make sense of,” all that “happens”

as we’re “in it.”

as we “are it.”

Let’s begin.

We have begun.

And “long” ago, in its beginning – wherever (whenever) – that might be for any one of us.  “Us” – that spreads the lying truth of it – that we are “We” and never “one” or “me” or “he” or “she” or “it” or “they” without the others.  Simply being – substances and structures interactive in “their” ways…

We, the happening, as we perceive it.

What we make of it.

(Whomever we are).

Squirrel, fir tree, trout.

Stone, astronaut, wetness.

“We” – bound by our conditions.

Let’s begin.

[I’m glad we’re sharing] (he says).


Contingent Narratives

                                                …and for her,

whose face

I held in my hands

a few hours, whom I gave back

only to keep holding the space where she ws,

I light

a small fire in the rain*

Narrative Construction

Tyranny of Transition

Greetings all – I wanted to apologize for the sloppy frenzy of disregulated writings I’ve been releasing with little meditation or editing of late.  “In the midst of things…” somewhere near the crossover looping of composition, storage, digestion, excretion, and growing…I’ve found it somewhat difficult to know what it is I am doing aside from what must be done.


Feeling change,

an entering of halves and fractions

tired and ecstatic

sad and delighted

moving on and along.

Having lost and lost and lost

while ever continuing to gain,

such simple equations

of little sense

yet filled with meaning

a meager promise

and maximal joy.

Existence is the Cusp – A Journal Entry

cursive journaling

It’s December, and I’m writing outside, lucky by so many counts.

  • It’s December, and 45°
  • My partner in love and life instills health and wellness in me
  • I’m writing
  • James is serving me coffee, ice water and double greyhounds enabling me to work without interruption

I’m in what you might call a “Cusp Area.”

The present is always a liminal space.  I am a few days away from completing a Master’s degree in Library & Information Management, and months away from embarking on a PhD in Media & Communication coupled to the Arts at a University in Switzerland.

I work very part-time (10-20 hours / week) for the United States Postal Service, attend regular psychotherapy sessions, parent 4 children, read and write as much as I can, cook and clean a LOT, and spend as much time as I can with my beloved (a brilliant, gorgeous, amazing, resourceful, intelligent and creative human).

I rest very little.

We (my immediate family) will not survive January on my income (sans school loans).  Cusp.

Change is imminent, and yet NEVER is NOT.

Every day relationships morph.  What could be termed “stability” in life must be radically redefined to have any resemblance or “fit” to reality – which is always, ALWAYS in enormous, factually ubiquitous, tremendous FLUX.

There is something like “similarity” – of persons, circumstances, situations, emotions, experiences… which we occasionally tag “familiar” or “repetition,” (providing a modicum of regularity, “consistency,” “normativity”) but none of it, EVER!! – is “identical,” “same,” “repeated.”  Not even ourselves, one “moment” to the next (i.e. in spans of cursive time – what seems utterly continuous is still difference – otherwise could not be noticed).

I am writing this in cursive in attempts toward continuities of form and content.  And yet there is vast uniqueness with each stroke.  “Distance,” difference, change.

I delight in working in language – a symbology for expressing experience – a fabric, social set and structure – a shared and flexibly rule-bound medium.

Possessing or harboring…containing vast incommunicable DIFFERENCES – between ethnicities, cultures, geographies, genders, contents, shapes, habits, practices, processes…REALITIES.  And yet useable.  Useful.

I am writing outside in December, in Kansas, in the United States of America, in cursive, in English, in black ball-point ink, in a ruled soft-covered notebook, in 2014, in attempts partially to think, to recount, to visualize, to express, to extend, to discover, remember, critique, perceive, view… understand a curious unstoppable flow –

The Experience of Being a Living Organism

with billions of particularities – both structures and substance, arrangement and order, experience and resources, habits, capacities, learning, abilities, perceptions, interpretations, emotions…

THIS kind, type, genus, species, instance, sort, occurrence, happening of this one/many, living (active, interactive, interacting, linked, dependent, individual, functioning) THING.

Differently now and now and NOW.

I cannot curtail difference.  I can hypothesize similarities.  I have agency, but an energy and forcefulness utterly dependent and constrained by countless systems, substances, processes and constituents.

I have a kind of power – corralled by everything within and around me.  I am at the mercy of – the support and boundary of – all else + the combinatory elements and activities of WHAT I exist of and the rest of existings.

I do not fool myself into thinking I am a cause or blame, and yet I am utterly response – able / – ible.  “My” interactions and interactivities, are mine / “me” / THIS.

THIS & THAT, Yin/Yang, Individual/Environment, “self”/”other”, – difference without discontinuity, ever in exchange: molecularly, actively, REALLY, and wholly.

cusp area


I love while / as / if / because / in spite of (or in contradistinction to) I am loved.

I move with / against / into / around / while / within / because of / in distinction from, possible movements, contents, and affordances / constraints of everything about / within / around me.

I “exist” (stand-out) because I am, in a swarm, a sea, of existences, existings.

I have no other chances to be…

…outside of my surrounds.

I am.  Within a lifeworld.  Without which – I am not.

And still, “I am.”  Singular / plural.  Similar across space-time, an appearance and occurrence of similarity marked by difference.

The safest expression (for one seeking at “truths” or reliable, testable regularities) is:




We, the living.

architectural animal

I thank you.

And so, the story, such as it is


We start.  We start out.  We dance into a light.  We are seen.  We have become.  We are embodied.

This is how it begins for us.  We are noticed as a being, as a living, as living beings.  Addressed.

Some one, some thing, is aware of “us.”  We become.  Something.  Someone.

I am born.  I have…”be-come.”  And that, a result…a result, resolution, resolublution, happenstance, happening of cum.  Plus.  Cum (sperm, spermatazoa, DNA transport system) PLUS egg (potentia, potentiality, amorphous stew – DNA resourcing, inchoate, unpredictable, predictable)

CUM + EGG = possibility

A be-cumming.  A chance, a shot, a gumbo – ME.

And then I AM.


And that “I am” is a simply recognition, a simply acknowledging, acknowledgment, an awareness, a “noticing” – a THAT – THERE IS – a “There is: That.”

A “Nathan.”

A nothing be-cums (in collusion with egg) a “Nathan” – named, cognized, acknowledged, noticed and noted: Nathan is NOT a Nothing, but is a Some Thing… a “Being,” a “human,” a “boy,” a “creature,” even…a “Person.”

And I become.  We.  Become.  A combination of things cognizable in individuality and commerce.  A singularity in multiplicity…

THIS combination of possibilities = Nathan

= THIS one

= ??????

this ITEM is accounted, is sensed, perceived, listed, catalogued – BECOME.

And so, we start out.  Cells of a particular way.  Become.  Noted, recognized, be-come, be-came, be-CAUSEd.  IT.  THIS.  YOU.  (ME).

Held.  Cooed.  Coddled.  Nursed.  Murmured and whispered as an “I,” a “You,” an “It,” a “They,” an “A,” a “Him.”

I am a Definite Article.

A/The Some Thing.  Being.  Organism.  Combinatory intricate systemic reality object of cellular operations – genetic, bio-logical(?), “existent,” “happening/happenstance,” as… THIS ONETHING, REALITY.

And so, we begin.


I try to go back there.  To the beginning, that initial “noticing.”  (“Honey, I think I might be pregnant”).  Effect.  A.  The.  This one.  Son.  Boy.  He.  It.  Him.  Here:  a coagulation of cells.

Biology.  Psychology.  Chemistry.  Anthropology.  Philosophy.  Science.  Metaphysics.

“I” began.  By being accounted for.  Taken note of.  Recognized.  Attached or detached from.  Signaled, symbolized, named and noted.

Here comes a new “One.”  (that is, Many).  – A “Person.”  Awkward, precedented (unprecedented) amalgam equaling a “You” “It” “He/She” “Being” “Person” “Human” “Child.”

NAMED (accounted for and acknowledged, reported AS…)

“Nathan Wayne Filbert”

A-ha!  So – this one!  That, right there…different from and the same as this other kind…

An observable being, a kind of individual sample, remarkable and marked down, documented, evidential data…A, The, It, An…

Here begins a definite article.

An individual.

An example.









Instance of.


And life goes on.


Takes shape.








Here rises/lies Nathan Wayne Filbert,

named and acknowledged,

become, begun, existent,

(such as it is)

(from time to time)


cough, cough






"Denn die Kunst besingt Gott und ist letztendlich sein. For art sings of God, and ultimately belongs to him" -Patti Smith-

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