“A proposition is only a pretext to go over the limits of what’s proposed…A man in a room does not have strict boundaries until the moment when something forces him to take up one or another activity…

…I don’t have to write all this to be convinced that what is written exists.”

-Arkadii Dragomoshchenko-

“Don’t blame me.  I measure the shadow of the shadow with the shadow,

signifying here.”

-Arkadii Dragomoshchenko-

“To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees” (Paul Valery)


I hear a bewildering variety of birds – singing, cawing, chirping, saying.  It exists whether I say so or not.  Some things exist because I say so.

Like dolumbritz and community.

The steps being easy and difficult between.

They leave shadows.  Sometimes.

Metaphor avoids this.


If we got to the bottom of it all, we would fall.  Perhaps upward, if direction had anything to do with it (it doesn’t).  So we say “alas.”  Which once was short for the bottom – a-ha! “at last!” there is (here is) THIS.  But now is code for sigh.

She said so, and I heard her, at last.  I sigh.

“I have the feeling that the meaning of things will never be sorted out” is a paraphrase of a poet.  Alas.

Like philosophy: the sequence of excitable sighs, then exhaustion.


I am here (wherever that is).  I could describe it and become able to forget, having given it you.  But once described, something else, and then poetry – “always something else.”  Metaphor.  Not likeness but difference.

I am here.

I would know this insofar as it were validated – verified : affirmed.  But that would change and then unknown.  I reach out as like to open without a demonstration, only signs or their perceivers.  Senseless gestures filled with sense.  First one and then another “like meanings smashing each other (I don’t say metaphor)” (Dragomoshchenko).


A family of deer just walked in front of me, led by the elder, stopping to curiously stare (extending their field) – a simultaneity.  I gazed back and added noise to which a tail flap and head cock, followed by a smile and a welcoming.  While you notice people on the street, in the office, over lunch.  And a child hears a fairy’s call.  What is and what is not need each other to exist.

“Imagination differs from fantasy as the form ‘is’ from the form ‘if.’  The scope of my imagination is no less than the scope of desire” (Dragomoshchenko).  If he seems to make more sense or to express it is because I provide a context and steal a fragment, thus expanding what it is by what it’s not, which also is if only ‘if’ therefore as written.

“I do not have to write all this to be convinced…”

In fact an opposite’s expanding here

N Filbert, Pike’s Peak CO, 2012

Random Idea


something like…while i’m doing a bit of this

you can just hit “random post” up under “manoftheword”

and visit stuff i can’t remember

something new will (hopefully) arise

in my journeys

and hopefully

you will find it interesting

but for now…

you guys keep working

so i stay inspired

upon return

Sneak Post

Hey everyone – this is basically what i’m looking at for the next 8 days (and climbing).  Happened in to town for groceries and water…and a cafe-created coffee (which happened to host wi-fi) – thanks for reading, for your comments and i’m sure your posts – i’ll get to as many of them as i can when i return next week for two days of Kansas’ hell-hot heat and then we’re off for another week until BOOM school/work/etc. starts!

I can tell you that thusfar feeling high-altitude breezes, looking at deer, marmots, chipmunks, rabbits, and an amazing variety of birds and flora – my mind is cruising into a calmly-breathing state I haven’t known in a very long time.  Hopefully much will soothe and settle and i’ll notice something interesting or beautiful to share upon my return.  For now, I’m resting, climbing, loving, and exploring these mountains 🙂

Thanks and happiness to all

Why I Write (?)

What Occurs : What Prompts : Whatever


I’m prepared to admit that I am moody…(significant others would readily attest this).  My range of expression is evolving.  Formerly I drank vodka so as to physically present a Zen-like kindness and placidity.  My family didn’t fall for it.  Many other medications have been recommended me wherewith to alter my individual chemistry and be a finer, better human.  Different.  Okay.  It’s almost two years now since I’ve drank with regularity for balance.  (Imbalance).  Almost two months since I’ve managed on a braid of nicotine and tar.  I’m at the mercy of the winds.  In me.

I’m moving, frighteningly, toward “what you see is what you get” – some reckless combination of a voracious and highly informed neurotic intellect, strange aesthetically, theory-laden embodiment, and a high-voltage bundle of emotional attachment needs…a kind of human specimen to myself…and whatever literature I imbibe and an incredibly courageous family that somehow stays around me, thusfar regardless of…


If pressed, I would say I survive by language.  By art.  Whether visual, musical, or literary, I always feel (believe?) that there’s some place for me, some haven to inhabit, in the tremendous world of frivolous human invention/concoction/creation.  Though there is overwhelming evidence from my spouse, children and immediate/extended family and friends that I’m safe and accepted as the crazy creature I am, that’s a slow-growth root for relative paranoia (or shame).

All that, to highlight a miniscule moment that accentuated an obvious stimulant to my own commitments to compositions in whatever media or form.

A mood obtains.  Like clothing, I often feel surrounded and represented by my emotional states.  When this occurs, I look for “matches.”  Things in the world to mirror or affirm me – that I might maintain some sense of individuality and worth – i.e., “self.”

Something happens that I don’t pretend to understand, shifting my contextual fabric of existence into a new whereabouts/whatabouts/howabouts, and I look at the literatures that I saturate my living spaces with, the sounds I ensure are in queue, and images / persons / environments (etc.) arranged so as to secure or anchor me, and I ask for resonance, reflection, validation.

That isn’t fair.

I see that.

Thus I relate, to what’s around me.


Not so subtly (as my whomabouts can attest) I seek what mates with my singular in-sperience.

Not fair.

I see that.

It’s what I do.


Often there is very little in my surround “feeling WITH me.”  I.e. identical to myself.  Therefore, bigotedly, I feel alone.  And seek.

Today – in some combination of emptiness (moving away from four children and ‘home’ to be with two other children and beautiful mountains) and rich anticipation (my beloved ONLY flying back to me from another country – my spouse, my dearest deepest friend, my survivor); grief (two years of self-directed study and creation drawing to a close); irritation (growing consecutivity of 3-digit temperatures and a scalded environment – these Midwestern plains); an only partially confirmed/verified confidence (in mental avarice and aptitude, linguistic and theoretical comprehensions and abilities); excitement (of movement, vacation, escape, in-drawal with significant others); terror (maturing independence of children, un-necessity as parent, annoyance, superfluity, archaism); erotic desire (days spent apart from spouse + discipline + commitment + theory + desire); hope (renewed relationships, devotion to integrity, celebration of fidelities); melancholy (death is always the next thing); pride (I’ve managed thusfar); luck and sorrow (the ridiculous imperilments of tragedies)…

I’m realizing as I write that this list is a quick abyss of connections and trajectories.  Life is endlessly sourced and indiscriminately smeared…


In this molten, cumulative state I perused my essential companions – literary, musical, and visual…and…NO MATCHES!!!  All so far beyond me in each of their strengths – stretching, compelling, inductive… but not “mating”/”conflating”/”reflecting” to my own present presence…

and so…

…I write…

…seeking what I need…

…to create it…


And one day?

To find?

Scribbling. Toward purpose.

Summer is quickly departing.  In the next few weeks – school supplies, a trip to the Rockies to a rustic cabin, a trip to Branson with little children and wizened parents, work, deadlines, textbooks, and BAM! the “Fall” begins.  I don’t know if I’m easily overwhelmed, perhaps so, I can say I am overwhelmed.  I think I’m good at surviving things, at persistence, but in a rather melancholic way, steeled and a little removed.

I am not certain what will become of this blog as two years of a most incredible opportunity that cost us so much is coming to an end – the ability for Holly and myself to devote ourselves to our personal passions, our internal vocations: our families, our art.  Enormous changes are afoot.  I will be back to work and a full-time graduate student, Holly will practice more therapy and a little less creating artifacts, two high schoolers ever increasing their busyness, fullness; and two young ones growing ever so fast.  Our older children are fairly self-sufficient, but also ever growing and expanding, and keeping up with all requires our hearts.

In a recent interview, my interviewer looked at me and addressed the cliche “Change is difficult.”  Pause.  I agreed all over my body.  She resumed: “change is NOT difficult, it is always occurring, ALWAYS.  What we experience as “difficult” during the endless changing is perspective.”

She was right.  My mind and body were not.  I create the difficulties by my approaches and interpretations.  The difficulties themselves often becoming creative catalysts of change.  “I am proud to be melancholic.” (see following quote).  It is empowering to gradually claim responsibility for one’s self and one’s constant choices of outlook, intake, response, action.  Thus I enter the ensuing flow.

This morning has been spent reflecting the feelings I’m having of loss in relation to this blog, more open time for reading/writing/composing, family-time, couple-time.  The feeling that perspectival anticipation re: these ensuing shifts has slumped me, lessened my determination, devotion.  I countered it with Lynne Tillman (as I often do), and read the following, from Madame Realism Lies Here (everything is intentional in her writings :)):

“In her waking life, as in her dreams, she concocted art that confronted ideas about art.  

So life wasn’t easy; few people want to be challenged…

…Madame Realism’s work wasn’t her child.  But, inevitably, it was related to her, often unflatteringly…

…what if art can’t tell the truth?  What if it lies?…

Art was a golem.  It had taken over.  It had a life of its own, and now she feared it was assessing her.  What did it say about her?…

What I make is not entirely in my power, as conscious as I try to be.  It’s always in my hands and out of my hands, too.  I like to look at things, because they make me feel good, even when they make me feel bad.  I’m proud to be melancholic.  I like to make things, because they usually make me feel good.  I am not satisfied with the world, so I add to it.  My desires are on display.  What I make I love and hate…

…She made a spectacle of herself from time to time, mostly in her work, trying to tell the truth and finding there’s no truth like an untruth.  She kept pushing herself to greater and greater joys and deprivations, which were invariably linked.  And like any interesting artist, who can’t help herself and is in thrall to her own discoveries, Madame Realism shocked herself most, over and over again.”

(from Lynne Tillman, This is Not It)

It’s like this.  So onward I go.  Be assured I will try to stay up with all of you wonderful creators.  And I will (“can’t help himself”) keep making at each opportunity.  And I thank you all so much for these past 8 months or so where I have had the inception of experiences of finding an audience, truly being read and responded to, a sort of community of creativity.  It has greatly influenced my life and practice and confidence in keeping to my dreams.  Thank you!

Be well everyone.  Be well.

Here and There

Threw this one together quickly…not sure it can be kept up with in its leaps.  Apologies.  But I made something.  Thanks always Friday Fictioneers


Blue Walls & Vines

The blue of the walls was brighter than sky, made peaceful by children’s playthings.  The Other was far.  Another place, other time.  Among grapevines and meadows.

Both worlds had clouds.  I remember.  It takes time to conjure this up.

Her sky and those vines reminded me where I was – in a room full of chatter, chaotic with toys.  One is peace; one is peaceful.  Both are fraught.  Both are ripe.  There’s a difference.

We had hoped that it wouldn’t be great, but would carry.  And it does, in its longing, its loss.

Both are fraught, both are ripe.  Both are lovely.

N Filbert 2012

The Secret(s). The Key(s). For Everyone. The Next One.

“He opens Nothing, with a nothing key” (Macedonio Fernandez)

 (Arkadii Dragomoschenko) “Everything begins as an error of vision…”


            Time.  How it fluctuates.  The excruciating and seemingly eternal wait…and that which occurs suddenly.  Whether it exists or not, we live on its terms.  Experienced, as with everything, to varying intensities.



Topical, temporal, terms.

Age-old commonplace: does movement (spatial) fragment a continuum (temporal)? or does some urge toward continuance (temporal) spawn diverse actions (spatial)?  Chicken or egg?  Or chicken in egg withwhile an egg in the chicken?  Choose your poisons.  Or not.  The terms preside.


When are we most apt to accede to the passage (spatial) that is (of) time?  Alternately referred to as “aging,” “progress,” “growth,” “erosion,” “deterioration,” “process” and so on.  Some quote/unquote “motion” variously rendered (perspectivally perceived).

Serial designations.  Arbitrarily “first,” “second,” “third,” “last.”  “Beginning,” “middling,” “end” (-ing).  Sounds and rhythms (consonant-verb syllables) tick-tock du-thrum heartbeat breath clock gesture

Everything marking something.  But what?

“Signs kill things” (Fernandez).

I hold a nothing key.

It’s a sign.

It unlocks the mysteries.

The secret heart of being.

All those questions.


If you’d like to know, I can begin writing them down for you.  For my duration here.  Or find them yourself (the keys, the mysteries, the secrets at the heart of existing) – simply add a question mark to every thought, dream, emotion, hunch, word, sight, sound, sense or reason that occurs to you.

Which will leave you withIn.

Smackdab in the center of it all.  Ever-presently.  At always.


WITH/IN will synonym you, so that you will be.  Always.


            The wise are correct when they say that everyone has access to the (nothing) key.  The slender cracks in the thresholds doors, available indiscriminately.  Received the same way you take language.  Inbreathed.  Freely (you have been given) freely (you receive).


From knee-crease tracing the calf to the fine-pointed ankle bones is a passage, preferably a smooth and easy one, knowing age and growth.

As she departs, time stretches into space; when she arrives all compresses.  Only machines are regulated (for a time).  Heart’s skip, muscles seize, organs expand and contract.  Movement is erratic.  Composed.  Fluid.  Harmony and dissonance make melody.  A sentence.  A phrase.  Selah.  Gaps.  Seams.  A nothing key.



            Do you get my meaning?  Meaning is an interrogative juncture.  Is all.  The nothing key to open it.


We tell by our surroundings, i.e. specific spaces at particular times (or vice-versa), i.e. contexts and structures that hold us…allow us recognition, description, difference.

In other words, hiking in the Rockies is not taking dictation at an office desk.  But both mark something, at varying tempos.

There are no true clocks.

Or standard times, any more than we all may inhabit the same location.

Or enter the same stream.


Only meaning to say I am hoping to open a door with my simple key.  A possibly operative threshold.

Into the secret heart of things…


“why does an intense mental state happen?  Why does it pass on to others?

These ‘whys’ do not exist: this is how it happens, and that’s all.”

-Macedonio Fernandez-


Holy Longing

First Love in 79 words (+ commentary by Papa)

What begins in desire, for Therese, is experienced as yearning, vague and fierce and embodied.  Like smoke writhing through her muscle tissues, a sudden carbonation of her blood.  So she prays and seeks the spirit, concave galaxy she hopes is large enough to receive her unnerving drive.  She moves that way, shimmers, shakes and passes on.  Out.  To where?  Preacher says to paradise, momma says to hell for too much writhing, too much lust.  Preacher likes the ways Therese seeks.  (Papa says it’s all perspective).

N Filbert 2012

79 word epic

An Epic in 79 words

In the beginning was the word, and the word was god and became human in the dialogue between, imagining; imagination becoming the domain of the humangodword – that subject/object constituting between or the recognition of being – that is, difference, fluctuate identities, change-charting actions of passing marks reanimated with each kenosis and subsequent in-dwelling, in other words, words began the perceiving that learned us something like self, necessitating others to be being, i.e. recognizable in varying contexts, backdrop origin…language.

N Filbert 2012