Dear Michael, Dear Jonathan, Dear Scott, Dear Laurie, Dear Lydia, Dear Sam; Dear Meghann, Dear Summer, Dear Tyler and Karl; Dear Edie, Dear Sara, Dear Mari; Dear Albert, Dear Paul, Dear Denise; Dear Tristan, Dear Aidan, Dear William; Dear Andy, Dear Pippin, Dear James; Dear Timothy, Dear Jada, Dear all of you who save my life from time to time, by being:

Perhaps I should not own a phone.  It’s Short Message Service, in my employ, allows a nearly ubiquitous, immediate reach of the text, from my thumbs.

Thank you for telling me about the exhibition, I have the retrospective tome near me even now, attempting to go in and near the two-dimensional images on paper.  It is not the same as being present to the sculptures and paintings, their ambience.  But now I know I could not move around them, nor touch them, I’d have only to use my eyes and very little of my body.

This obsession with connection.  Once I would have had to go to work unlinked to any of you for hours at a time.  Once my going home would mean your absence unless we arranged for sharing space and time.  Now I reach, I report, I ask and beg, and enter your lives like someone shoving a newspaper, pamphlet or flyer into your hands at will – without contact – propaganda blaring from speakerless speakers.

Your mails and email show deference and thought.  I am happy to have your works near at hand to consult and resort to time and again.  I see the care in the hand-writing, the pacing of thoughts, the reasoning reflection, the sense of your audience.  They lie about me on the floor, I can feel them, turn them, taste them if I wish.

Your phone makes a hum or a buzz.  An ejaculatory missive from Filbert again.  He’s lonely, he’s excited, he’s drunk.  He wants to share.  He needs to share.  He needs communique.  He wants connection.  He is not thinking of us, he suffers the duress of himself.  He spouts, he shouts, he slurs.  He insists he needs solitude and rest, needs quiet, less public.  At any hour, at all hours, these textual packets flow.

Perhaps I should not own a phone.

Where do the gaps that make the heart grow fonder bloom?  What is banal and what evental?

Thank you for your poem.  I will read it again and again.  Thank you for that clip of music, I repeat it throughout the days, when the mood demands an answer.  Thank you for your books, your artifacts, your gardens, your hands.  Thank you for your eye-contact (those of you I’ve sat or walked, camped or climbed with).  Thank you for the melodies of your particular voices.  Thank you for your hugs, your nourishing, your care.  Your listening.

I do remember the ground there, how it fell away desperately or rose violently into sky.  What the birds did.  Where the fire flowed.  Yes, the leaves.  Yes, the sleeping bags.  Here’s to the unknown trails, the stumbling, to whatever’s discovered.

I am sorry I flood your phones with less than thoughtful driveling – explosions of fear, anxiety, want.  Am I alone?  Am I alone?  Do I matter?  Does anyone want my voice?  Am I also missed?  But also love.  Yes, sometimes I merely wish to tell you the difference you make to being alive, that I feel you out there, somewhere…

Perhaps I should not own a phone.

A Letter in Employ

I am performing a task for my employer.  I am writing a professional letter.  I am letting you know that I labor.  I am here to be useful, and used.  I submit.  My actions indicate that I accept structure and system as representative of survival.  I will do what you ask.  I recognize organization as power.  In fact, any kind of organizing indicates a position of imaginative power and control.  To differentiate, to specify, to label, name, assign – all are a fiat of power and authority or authorship – a claiming of superiority over things named, situated, recognized.  Supposedly if I comply dutifully – bow and behave in ways that signify structure as something larger (or more important) than me – I will have internet access, some food, air-conditioning, coverings, a car, and someplace to live (in certain mountainous areas, none of these are beneficial).  “Teamwork” is misnomer.

My philosophy is simple:

  • The mind or brain is an intermittent trickle of the rivers of the body which are hardly discernible in the waves of the world.
  • “I” am No one, Nowhere, which is to say Everyone, right Here. A poet wrote of presenting his face as a smashed window baring open sky – I thought that was me – No one Nowhere = Everyone right Here (whenever/wherever that happens to be).
  • Experience is what happens. What happens is what is.  If criticized as “for us” (whichever ‘experiencer’) I ask – what else could it be?
  • Knowing limits. If “for-this” is all my experience can be, then those are my limits.  Once I sense my limits I can attempt to challenge, question, and extend them, for alternate experiencing.
  • Ideas/Thoughts/Concepts/Theories [abstractions/imaginings] (like structure, perception, systems, organization, self, number, truth, etc.) are compelling because the limits of their effects are unknown to us. Ideas (ideologies) allow us to ‘experience’ power and control and compliance of the world around us (apparently), even though the dripping-trickle-stream-river-ocean of our limited participation in world flows always and is unalterably changing and miniscule.  Bodies die.  Each every/no-one where/when-ever.
  • The propensity or lust for belief – in ‘observation,’ ‘experiment,’ ‘objectivity,’ ‘analysis,’ ‘deduction,’ ‘ideas,’ numbers or language or effects of imagined power and control (technicity) – are wishes against the body, against dying, against limitation, against what happens, anyway.
  • Thoughts and effects do not make experience longer.
  • Experience is living, is limited.
  • Living is the extremely limited experience of dying.

Admitting or confessing that I exist to meet needs, that this is my employment, may be a Credo of Little Import.  A submission of insignificance in accepting others’ systems, structures, and arbitrary claims to power.  Compliance.  Resignation.  Complaisance.  Dependence. [Co-dependence – opting out of experience/living exits the submission-religion].

My voice dribbles, a hardly perceptible microorganism in the ocean of world.  My experience a parenthetical waving particle.  My living its effective dying.

In a beginning that never began, the ending already comes.

World is an intermittent trickle of the rivers of living, barely and scarcely discerned.

We are Here Now, how would we like our fleet experiencing of dying to be?

Compositional Caveat

Greetings any readers.  I wanted to let you know that I am quite aware of the imperfections of my recent series of draft blogs.  These are first draft typings that I am doing mostly to convince myself that I am not ONE thing (a graduate student) and to have an outlet for unrestrained creative work outside of my studies.  I apologize that I currently do not have the time, attention or energy to perfect them prior to posting – and beg your latitude and generosity in browsing them.  Being that they are first occurrences of these words and this strange little trail, I more than welcome any and all feedback as to what might capture your attention or what is off-putting about their style, content or formal appearance.  I thank you for your graciousness – perhaps more time will open for more careful production by the first of the year….

N W Filbert

Dismantling the Art(s)

Interviewing Correspondence (-ts)


Composing letters is good exercise for writing.  Imagined audience and relation, fitting language to a function with a purpose.


Dear WordPress Users:

                        I regret to inform you.  I’d like to congratulate you.  It has come to our attention.  In the matter regarding.  Allow me to introduce myself.

            The address sets a tone.  There is little to waste.  Readers can be lost in a matter of moments, of letters, of marks.

Sex.  Hate.  Cookies.  Pups.  Nudity.  Self-loathing or injuries sustained.  Rants.  Cuss.  Sexual organs.  Deviant tastes or behaviors.  Righteousness.

            These terms as keywords capture the bulk of contemporary humanity.  Money, sugar, self-sustenance/survival/success, fame.  Beauty, distress, the hideous, tragedy and laughs work as well.  Also superlatives.  And challenges.

You’ve never seen a _____ this size!  Fires burn out of control, lives lost…  Wowza! She’s got _____!!   You have no idea _____!  Did you ever imagine _____ could be so good?!

            Direct-ion.  Scan billboards and headlines, logos and slogans – these things are devised to capture attention, activate interest.  Use imagery and images – somehow we’ve evolved into a very visual culture – we taste, hear, touch and listen – with our eyes!  Watch a video with the sound turned off.  Gaze at some pictures of food.  Read poems.  I challenge you (smiley-face) – what are you unable to sense…just using your eyes?  (Whatever it is will cause you to act).

Action works.  Activate.  Stimulate.  Request.  Invite.  Offer.  Command.  Insult.

You really have no concept of what you’re doing here, do you?  I mean, reading this?  Hoping for some pleasurable payoff of insight or delight!  Something succulent or soothing, entertaining or erotic, secrets or solutions.  You selfish bastards!  Give a little!  It’s all ‘what’s in it for ME!?’  Sucking the world dry like these pages…

            Give people something to find that they’ll consider “wrong” – people LOVE to feel “right.”  Scapegoating works well – and it can be anything – people will follow: bottled water, big government, Christianity, children, homosexuals, genres, stupidity…the lemmings will leap.


Dear WordPress Users:

            I regret to inform you that the following letters are not art. 

“Works of art represent webs of sounds, movements and ideas… Human beings are contradictory… Freedom is the law of human nature…At the basis of every artistic work, every stage in artistic construction, lie similar principles of revealing the contradictions… artistic compositions show the fallacy of simple solutions… one can do anything, but there is no purpose…”

(all Viktor Shklovsky, from “On the Dissimilarity of the Similar”)

            Dear WordPress Users:

I urge you: exercise freedom and complexity!

Utilize everything!


da Man-O’-Word(s)

Wonderful World of Texts!

Mystery Text #1: Of Origins and Ends


Many have participated – untranslatable translations and definitions undefined – signals of the ineffable.

Speaking of texts…writings and utterances, organizations of alphabets.

Writingreading, readingwriting – with an existing text – pray tell me the difference?


On the one hand – anyone.  On the other – the same.

Between = a text.

Words on a page are a circle.

No origin, no conclusion.


Who writes this?  Is it me?  Who is “me”?  Was it you?  Who were “you”?

Who deciphers?  Is it me?  And when “I” read again – is it the same “me”?  Later this evening in the quiet?  Saturday at the cafe?  In bed while a movie plays?  Is it you?

Reading as continual rewriting in the same alphabets, same words and phrases.  But the content?  Denotation(s)?  Connotation(s)?  Connections?  Disjunctions?  Referents?  References?

Who leads?  What follows?  Who follows?  What leads?


I venture to commend the signs of the text are the subject, the object we observe and receive, perceive and interpret.


Who authors?  And what is authored by that who?

Author following, adapting, borrowing and conceiving the text’s arrangement.  Or reader authoring the significations, meanings, referents(-ces) and possibilities of thusly arranged words?


Double absence.  Absence of the one constructing the text, absence of the possible recipient.  Anyone (or no one) at the origin, no one / anyone at the end.  Text(s) of no closure and of ever-questionable intent.

Text as ever-ready presents(-ations), like letters – always between the past, the void of dead, or the future, the empty potential and the unformed future, unknowable recipient.


Remarkable, to me, to be capable of participation in such a vital and energetic, ever-evolving and malleable, yet lifeless matter – able to be as stable as an inscription in marble –

the artifact:  word or image, painting, photograph, text: gestures of the dead or the missing, yet constantly enlivened, resurrected with each encounter!  This is passing strange!  Out of the unknown, toward the unknown and lifeless in-between!


Ever a-rising out of no-more and availing the not-yet:  unnecessary necessity of authorial entities – the necessary unnecessary of receipt.  The still spinning wheel of lifeless matter on a page… in potentia.

A marvelous mystery to behold