Everything Trying


Kurt Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems

Everything Trying: Practical Philosophy

I’ve been thinking a lot this weekend about a kind of “credo,” or some sort of explicatory description regarding foundational experiencing that informs my perspective on being / world / living.  I.e., what have I experienced in 45 years of surviving as a human organism – as a bookseller, musician, philosopher, father, academic librarian, various conventional-cultural-relationally-roled son / spouse / sibling / friend / coworker / writer; student of multiple disciplines – that comes so close to a similarity or repetition, a near-consistency, that it evinces as near as I can imagine to a belief or pattern, a compiling evidence or seeming-steadiness, structuring a framework for my perception and navigation of being a living thing.

As a bookseller, librarian, and philosopher (“professionally” for nearly two decades) – I find I operate with a kind of conviction (yet to be foiled) – that ANYthing ANYone can concoct or intuit as a query, theory, illusion or idea, dream / hope / fantasy or wondering, can be uncovered pre-existing SOMEwhere in the recorded history of homo sapiens.  I interpret this as indicating boundaries and borders of our specific kind of organism – albeit changing, adapting, extending and diminishing over and throughout time – limits or inherent finitude to our capacities, contextual whelmings, procedural experiencings of being human kind.

Conceptual development, creative expression, technological or theoretical “advance” or novel efforts or elucidations, all seem to come about as recombinations, complex reformulations, convergences or collaborative emergences and collusions of ever-present conundrums.  The sphere of human being bubbles at mysteries and limits, “realities” intrinsic to our kind of existing.  We seem to design and develop varieties of “tools” with which to supposedly plumb and plunder the ever-expanding cosmos of unknowing, but also seem to be simply drilling differing holes into an amorphous void – conjuring observations and explanations, combining fanciful analyses and results – constrained and directed by our “tools” of inquiry (whether conceptual hypotheses, technological apparatus, socio-political experiments, mythico-religious imaginings, practical experiences, and so on).

We are limited beings, with (to our aspect) unlimited potential.  Over millennia, this would not seem to be the ‘case” of the world.  We are limited at every angle and turn – another being alongside many other sorts of beings and organisms, each restrained by our compositions and abilities, our frailties and affordances.

(Apparently) potentially endlessly individuated differings and nuances of activity-in-the-world / also (apparently) insuperably restricted frontiers to our possible activities-with-the-world.  Like any other species (given our “ways-of-inquiry” or “points-of-view/sensing”) we arise or arrive via incredibly (and genuinely unknown) complex processes and will likely desist and depart via incredibly (and genuinely unknown) complex processes.

Given the limitations of our kind of being – with ALL things composing our surround and withins – it would appear:

  1. There is an inherent IRREDUCIBILITY to our existing and its conditions
  2. There is an apparent INEXHAUSTIBILITY to its potential recombinations, convergences, deformations and in-formations, and
  3. These things are essentially UNSAYABLE / INEFFABLE – non-computable, sayable, expressible, conceivable – to the kinds of being we happen to occur as.

Principles we only (it seems to me) slightly comprehend – incompleteness, complexity, irreducibility, relativity, and so forth – whatever these ideas’ standing might be in relation to anything we might posit as “reality” – (only ever from our miniscule, or relatively very limited sphere-of-experiencing) – combine to intimate that:

  1. We are “of the stuff” that any/every-thing else is, and therefore (in the conjectural “scheme-of-things”) are likely to appear and vanish in similar fashion…with any consistency / repetition (or “universal”) occurring as something we might term CHANGE, and…
  2. We are faced with options on a scale of AFFIRMATION / MEANING / SIGNIFICATION or PASSIVISM / NIHILISM / SURVIVALISM / ENDURANCE in regard to our occurrence and election/selection of guiding behaviors, traditions, emotions, sensations, intentions and interpretations of existing.

Innately, as it were, we elect/select these recursions and available gamut-of-human-existing ideas, processes, habits and practices (beliefs, behaviors, relations, stances) – all funded and founded on arbitrary groundings in individuated recombinations and experiencings suited to an effort at survival, that might be characterized (scalarly) on a wave-patterned range of “living” – each variable individuating occurrence (“self”) may characterize from “more-thriving” to “more-surviving” – or roughly resembling individuated differentiations of what we might interpret as experiencings of “pleasure” or “pain” and ever-changing self-selecting imaginings of ends or goals (telos).

For some of us, the very play and experimentation of extending and investigating limits and grounds, via the widest variety of human endeavor and activities we can surmise or imagine (currently) is a sort of curious “thriving” in itself.  I would call this something along the general web of “philosophizing” – but finds its application and practice in ANY human capability.  Whether adventurers, scientists, artists, inventors, warriors, parents, killers, children or politicians – ANY human might be experimenting and investigating, attempting to extend and elucidate (for their particularized occurring) their limits and grounds… what distinguishes what we might think of as philosophy or conceptual-knowledge involves a notable self-illusion-conviction of “reflection” or “recursive inquiry” (something variously nominated “awareness,” “thought,” “wisdom,” “faith,” or “fantasy”).

With the caveat (doubling as a confession of faith) – that the “whole ball of wax” as we are able to conjecture it – is ALWAYS BECOMING – with never a moment of stasis or rest.  There is never a moment to pin down or set grounds or fundamentals on – multi-relational interactive complexities never cease BECOMING other.  So even this “credo” is in flux…and will alter without notice.  Exactly as the living…

Compulsion, I suppose…

par example: https://creativisticphilosophy.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/formalizability-in-the-english-language/

Discursive Tangles


Increasingly I find myself filled with the desire of simply saying what I think about.  To some generative effect.

“We live.  We die.  We wish the living mattered.”

But “that’s too simple,” you say.  “Everyone knows that.”

And you’re right, again, and it’s the best that I can do.

Not that I don’t do other things, in living.  I hold jobs and work for pay (at nearly ANYthing) to keep a home, feed and educate my children, and attempt to convince them to try to try.

And then there’s the dynamo of desire.  Urges and drives, lusts and obsessions simply to have someone who will allow me to be close to them – to touch them and smell, listen and taste, copulate and serve and talk back and forth.  I don’t expect them to love me.  I’ve long given up being wanted or desired.  Can’t imagine I’ve ever considered myself necessary to someone or something.  For connection – to world, to literature and art, to thoughts and conversations, to knowledge and nature.

“No matter,” He says, “Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better,” He says.

I cannot.  Oh I try.  I try.  I try again.  But never imagine proximity of others not involving pity, and my failure seem ever further from their marks.  Not better.  I’m 45 now!  Or 80!  No matter.

No matter, indeed.

No matter, at all.  Perhaps.  I know this, that, some other stuff.  No matter. So I crave and wish and hope.  Failing further, and worse, never better.

Long hours of days pleasing others (or trying).  No matter.  Family and employers, students and friends.  No matter.  Perhaps?

But to say something simply.  How that?  I feel caught in a tangle of discourses.  What language to say in?  What field?  How to be heard, perhaps evaluated, to “count” or to “matter.”  I read something years ago by Nathalie Sarraute comparing the dreams or demands of Dostoevsky and Kafka to be recognized…no, acknowledged  (“From Dostoevsky to Kafka” in The Age of Suspicion). To matter.  Appear.  Have a voice.

Said simply:

“We live.  We die.  We wish the living mattered.”


The Want for a Story : Texts for Nothing


The want for a story.  For a ‘reason’ to be.  A far place, an illusion, the stomach knows its illegitimacy, its fantasy, irreality…yet the brain (mind?) dying toward, for, craving, starving after it.

A thread in a narrative…a plotline…a characterization – some momentary identity.  To be witnessed, accounted-for, counted, taken note of, recognized.  The mad dream of anOther aware of me, acknowledging my presence, sidling out of my way.  “Made way”…I exist.

The madness of atoms.  Nonsensical.  Not “to be” – a sort of fact as it goes – but “to be in awareness” – and not only, but much more – “to be in An-Other’s awareness!”  Too much!  Pure delusion.

We infect alt-awareness only via disturbance and/or unavoidability – interruptions, intrusions, sign or accident/event – a scream, a tragedy, an obstacle.  Interference.  No one selects for intrusion…it is managed and dealth with, endured or survived.  We (humans) don’t “mean to,” don’t “seek out” inconvenience.  (Or maybe we do?).  But no matter.  Not our ‘purpose,’ ‘intent.’ Not our ‘drive’ (to survive).

Others become aware of “me” when (and ONLY when?) I get in their way.  “Intrude.”  Otherwise – sans dependence, accident, harm, or some assumed respons-ability (‘obligation’) – I find it hard to imagine drawing the care of attention of an/other.

We spread too thin.  Period.  Once we engage/respond/encounter/experience, it is blatantly evident: WE ARE NOT ENOUGH.  Perhaps nothing is.  Perhaps learning, relating, experiencing, engaging, life…NOTHING is.  Perhaps this differentiates us as a species – UNSATISFIABLE : UNMET.

And…perhaps this is a synonym for “Life/Living” – some ‘thing’ ever striving ‘further’ or ‘beyond’ itself…

Is the ‘definition’ of “Life” simply WANTING FOR MORE?

i.e. – entities remaining alive, period – according to DESIRE?

The want for a story.  A ‘reason’ to be.  To be meaning.  To signal.  To call & respond.  To exist.

But all those are “more-than.”

The Myth in the Verse

The River of Bees


In a dream I returned to the river of bees

Five orange trees by the bridge and

Beside two mills my house

Into whose courtyard a blindman followed

The goats and stood singing

Of what was older


Soon it will be fifteen years


He was old he will have fallen into his eyes


I took my eyes

A long way to the calendars

Room after room asking how shall I live


One of the ends is made of streets

One man processions carry through it

Empty bottles their

Image of hope

It was offered to me by name


Once once and once

In the same city I was born

Asking what shall I say


He will have fallen into his mouth

Men think they are better than grass


I return to his voice rising like a forkful of hay


He was old he is not real nothing is real

Nor the noise of death drawing water


We are the echo of the future


On the door it says what to do to survive

But we were not born to survive

Only to live

  1. S. Merwin, “The River of Bees” from The Second Four Books of Poems(Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 1993). Copyright © 1993 by W. S. Merwin. Reprinted with the permission of The Wylie Agency, Inc.


Not-Belonging, Chapters

I feel somewhat apologetic, but here is one more selection from my archives.  Another that when I re-read I am unable to see how I might do better, or how I ever got it done at all, yet all my work un-published or rejected, so I know it is not “good enough” per whatever the current cultural milieu would prefer.  “No matter.  Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better.”  Perhaps.  In any case, it circles around for me like the tail-eating snake I am, in hopes it might engender something new, no, in hopes it might be put to rest.  For any who read it, I would be hard pressed to metaphor my astonishment, humility, gratitude and begging-of-patience, including a sheer and sharp ache of deep appreciation for your life’s time and likely unwarranted, gracious, attention.


Chapters That Don’t Belong

(please click image or title for text)

many thanks




“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

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-


A Contradiction

A Contradiction in 73 words

A principal aspect in being human is opening to change.  First one thing, and then another.  To be deceptive.  By which we mean adaptive and successful.  The insurance one will thrive.  If only one.  “That which differs from itself is in agreement” (Heraclitus).  I understand.  We’re talking tension, balance, strain – a relation.  Stitching together in hopes it will hold while everything tears.  If we equate human being with living.  It changes.  We adapt.

Where Am I?

Where Am I?

“Space seems to be either tamer or more inoffensive than time; we’re forever meeting people who have watches, very seldom people who have compasses.  We always need to know what time it is (who still knows how to deduce it from the position of the sun?) but we never ask ourselves where we are.  We think we know…”

-Georges Perec-


            Feeling displaced, it seemed like the time had come to ask into it.

Judging by the quilted charcoal sky, this must have occurred in the hours between night and day or that malleable period in which what’s bright becomes the dark.

I discovered that I was uncertain as to where, indeed, I was.


I cast about, but given the diffuse and myopic atmosphere, my bearings were difficult to draw.

My question just grew longer.


Within the nondescript what seek we to describe?


My whereabouts.  For even about can provide a circumference of radial lines, fashioned carefully.

It seemed to me that I must have been partway.  Having begun some time ago, though ill-remembered, I must have set out in some direction, making this a point along that plane or trajectory, on the way to the someplace I am going.  But where?  Whereto?  And wherefrom?  (the brain adds wherefore?)

I’m uncertain.

Most people do certain things at certain times, so time must be a deed, I guess.  Needing neither to eat, nor to relieve myself, it must not be too early or late, nor a mealtime.  The dim and the greys, they confuse me.

The ground being solid, but whether a road or a path or a field lying fallow, I could not say.  A fogging has thickened and the chalky gravel pierced with grasses and weeds does not provide location.

The best I can wager is midst.  I appear to be in the midst of things:  of my life, of this land, of my journey and day (or evening) – beyond this it just is not clear.


By the look of my hands and my feet – we say “character” – it would seem I am no longer “young.”  Hair has grown dark in places, I have visible veins, and numerous scarrings and wrinkles.  I never expect them to grow and they haven’t for many years, yet they can’t be called webbed with their linings, nor aged.  The skin is tanned and supple, not spotted, the knuckles aren’t gnarly or constricted.  Improvement or beauty I do not anticipate, but it appears I am not quite undone, not decrepit.

I’d guess I am “over the hill,” as they say, but still in reach of my prime.  A certain flair or panache, but the style of the action requires more will.  And attention.  Strong, yet not powerful.  Active, not quite agile.  Competent, not convincing.


I sit down.  The weeds and the grass are grey-green, grown in tufts.  The gravel is packed and yet dusty.  The stones are not worn but all small.

I trace my palms over the surface.

My legs feel the pain of my back.

I rise up.

I would find it much easier to lean.

I step forth.


I smell no particular smells – almost rain, dusty remnants, a particular quality of air, but what?  (From where?)  Neither salted nor briny exactly, I must not be near to the sea.  Not fuelly or floral, musty nor pale, I scratch off city and countryside, forests or plains.  And not fertile.  The air is just as you’d imagine it wherever the sky meets the land – in the absence of obvious effects (are they causes?) – just me.


It hasn’t grown lighter, nor darkened.

I breathe.

From the sound of it (silent) and its fullness, my lungs must be doing their job, performing their roles without much complaint.  As also my heart and my brain, liver and plumbworks.  I think I may have heard insects or birds, but the distance so vast I’d fail to call the sense knowledge.  And I mentioned I cannot see far.  These conditions.


I’d say it’s uncanny – to find myself here – but that’s exactly what I cannot find.


I reach out.

I step forth.

I breathe in.


Where am I?


If my memory served, as to where I’d last been, such info would greatly assist me.  But the best I remember is “home,” and that has been so many places.

I spread my arms and slowly spin, they cut the air like freedom.  I feel like a ray of light or drop of rain, something passing quickly, staying still.  As if I belonged…

belonged just here…

but where…

…am I?…


(How long do I have?)

Happy Monday this Tuesday. Begin.

Today I woke up.

I woke up in love.  In joy.

A song was sparrowing to and fro in my mind’s sky (Boxer Rebellion – Soviets)

We have new puppies and they are loving and cute.

The heat has broken and there were clouds in the sky.

we have twins of these

In love?

In joy?

What might those mean?

We danced the pups to trauma to the Lumineers “Ho Hey”.

Like coming out of a slump.

Like post-coital bliss.

That full, that relaxed and open.

For no particular reason.

For so many particular reasons.

plus we made a pistachio bundt cake

How does the brain chemistry experience?

How do the senses collage reality?

How are we?

this is your brain on joy


I woke today in bliss and joy.

I woke today in love.


Happy Monday this Tuesday.


“You Must Revise Your Life”, and, Kudos to You Excellent and Hard-Working Bloggers All

I’ve been sort of swirling in a kind of malconfident funk of late…performing exercises and blatherings just to keep the language flowing…today felt like a threshold…one of those – “if the flow don’t show – i’m constipated” sorts of things… many of my favorite bloggers have been moving toward a very free and open bursting of expression/language/image this summer and it’s really been fueling me, but i haven’t been able to open my own valves for some reason.  I want to say – wow – there are a bunch of really talented creative persons making stuff on WordPress – and the virtual company means more than I think (I think).  So thanks to all of you for working so hard to MAKE and BECOME – it’s inspiring – believe me…and whether you knew it or not – today you all conspired to inject or confront me with the Archaic Torso of Apollo – a magnificent accomplishment – and Rilke’s “you must revise your life” – a fine firm foot to me arse…

Instigating Change

And then things simply have to change.  Some blogger posted (today) that “this is a little silly” and “let the world tell you what you need to do” – but the world hasn’t said anything, and still it made felt sense.  Someone else (somewhere in the world) decided to go home for the very tawdry reasons that make anything profound, while another (clearly from another section of the globe) has been taken by the moon.

What does that tell you?

Things have got to change.  It’s not working.  You’re not working (but of course you are, (I am) which isn’t what I meant, what I mean being of very little effect).

There are the readings…

Plus all over the world (that is telling you nothing) there are people traveling and taking photographs – but those show, they don’t tell.

A friend did email to say ‘don’t give up’ from a far different location on the earth, but perhaps the “earth” is not the “world,” perhaps world is an elsewhere?  Or simply a voice I cannot hear, something divine.

I keep calling myself “you” as if that might make me other, but even I know you can’t escape yourself.

So I don’t.

I’m intrigued by folks who can write about themselves as if they were themselves and a part of world or simply made it so by writing.  That stuff moves me, true or not.

I spent my day designing characters.  Jim could never lie because he didn’t believe in language (or was it people?).  Leonhardt could always tell the difference but is unable to comprehend the same.  An author left an erotic drawing on his desk upon his death, causing great anxiety for his biographer, utterly incapable of fitting it into his knowledge of said subject.

Those aren’t me.  So something needs to change, you tell yourself.  You’re lost in language, but the labyrinth is becoming a pattern.

There’s a trove of “prompts” out there to help you find your way (is that the “world”?) but inspiration keeps feeling artificial.

You think it might just be the heat, a metaphorical dehydration, you read about a wife who tells her husband he should find someone else with whom to talk about nothing, and you heard echoes of the voices in your home.  Like the world saying things that almost register but you simply can’t believe.  It’s nothing, like that.

You challenged yourself this past year to ‘get personal’, if you wrote real near what hurts others might hurt too, and people like that – empathy, identity, a pingback from the world – but it never became interesting, the personal, you kept sounding like yourself.

And wrote these letters you called journals, out of some idea (I guess) that a world might be within you that could tell you what you need.  Or like Laurie Sheck said (she’s really in the world); that “skin has no choice but to converse with the world” – but does yours listen?

I guess what I am saying is that today brought clouds and wind (a welcome change) and those were world, and I heard something.