Naming Influences: In Retrospect

Naming the Influence : In Retrospect


Things designed to grow

often get away from us


One look at my yard

or my children

would evidence why

this might be of concern

to me


disease and debt,

dust and doubt,

all maintain this quality;


It’s not a bad thing really –

imagination, desire,

patience and hope

are also items that accrue

over time and with attention


It’s the sort of thing one,

well, simply notices:

that desire and decay

operate on similar terms


both of which catch us unaware.


“They feed they lion”

it’s been said

and I know

what it means

(at least in part)


what we emphasize

while naming our influence

is suspect at least –


“side-swiped” we declaim,

“should have known”

or “could have seen coming”

of this, that and other

ever going, growing,

right along, alongside,


perhaps unseen,

perhaps simply ignored

(and that prior to perception)


all our –isms, habits, beliefs

in their cumulative gentle violence


what our mouths spray

our lives belie


in retrospect.


It’s said that “readiness is all,”

yet the readiness required

has no subject, and its object

can be anything

which portends – what – ?

we do not know

which is the point

and is beside it


Turns out that knowing

neither how nor when nor what

nor where nor why

can still be useful –

ever-unprepared is our preparing

for all we cannot fathom


getting used to

every there becoming here

drawn by perception

and a yes however secret

she arrives

and I, unready


open eyes

and take her in

with an open-handed


is all,

and I receive

these many things I cannot fathom


into this here

where I, bewildered

and ever-unprepared

and open-handed


allow her to arrive

and arrive

and arrive

in waves of all

and getting ready

Mood Construction

because I have been wanting to share the subtlety and nuance of Elena Tonra & band “Daughter,” and after a day on repeat words became…

mobius, ever,

turning ribbon gyre


under foot, a soaker hose


a sprinkler fountain




an emanation –

tangled collisions –

of stars.  of light.


and here, supine




in aimless ache


while there, ever,

slight twist in the band,

an error,

a mark-miss,


and bypass.

N Filbert 2013

Drawing a Blank ________________ …

Okay, it really isn’t my preference to clutter you with personal information / process…but the month of July turning into August has been something of a whirlwind of large changes for our family.  Traveling for three weeks and all the saturation that implies (very GOOD – but overwhelming for one like me who likes to control the pace and type and style and content of input 🙂 )…now registering everyone for school, gathering supplies, moving into new vocations or returning to vocation outside of our home studio…enduring a home burglary in which one of our children was assaulted and some irreplaceable valuables stolen…you get the picture.  After spending most of yesterday trying to “touch base” with our home and our lives, I found a few moments personally directed.  What I encountered felt like a Void.  The last I’d recorded in my reading list journal was July 8.  The last I’d written in my private journal was July 6.  I couldn’t remember the projects I’d been in the midst of when we took to the mountains, the road, the lakes, the cabins.  I was bewildered.  I drew a blank…some empty fullness…and here is what tumbled out:

Drawing a Blank _________________ …


So that after long whiles, some sometimes, nothing

nothing left or right remembers stirs reminds

conjures therefore a kind of empty fullness emptied

of what seems everything but is nothing for we feel

pretty certain (what is called “knowledge”

i.e. “belief”) that nothing empties, nothing

moving nowhere neither expanding nor

retracting, not replete or depletable,

so to say a blank is begin, as you see it

__________________________ …

indicates (is a kind of sign) indexes you

elsewhere toward or away, that is, movement

what we might apply another sort of signifier

otherwise (a.k.a) simply known as “blank”

becomes arbitrarily a point of action (more

accurately a line) trail train of efforts

here, like god, as I understand the term,

to name without knowing or under-

standing:  “begin.”

__________________________ …

empty trajectory boundary border

line emptied of nothing (not possible)

remains only to be filled with doing

which I’m doing, once a word like “god”

enters as a placeholder, rhythmic beat,

disregulating reorganizer that empty

fullness reveals itself full indeed

by which I mean synonyms collect

(as I experience them) through action

upon within the emptied track

(emptied of nothing, nonsensical)

or trace, that is, “god” =

_______________________ …

metamorphosing in my apparatus I

once perceived as empty, better

said “lost” or “chaos-crossed”

too full in a way to recognize it-

self until such a thud as god

should stir the matter like a magnet

drawing unto after it syllable

after syllable sounds sounding as

“death” as “human” what resounds

in my cranium with deity, but death

of which or both at once, such

emptied fullness I think, led by

__________________________ …

because I’d though how much humans

were like god in their deaths and invention

death like a horse dragging a sledge

without sleds grinding splinters shafts

“substances” to naught, limbs undone

what we thought were wholes – holes

skull shrinking withered of hopes

and fears, identity’s loss, how

death depurposes unknowns…all

the strenuous loves and desperate

frights I gave names and space and

time during life that were not

anything actual only possibilities

but words worries made them seem

death immediately deletes leaving

______________________ …

like character or personality, what

is memorable or terrifying even

unimaginable things we imagined

treating, relating to, engaged as

real entities death erased, again

the emptying, of nothing, no thing

to be rid of but a sound, a rhythm

a term – god, human, death –

superadditives, ideas, beliefs, myths

theories without basis no matter

observation perception interpretation

super-imposed on

________________________ …

emptied of nothing as nothing being

undiminishable death demons-

trates depurposing de constructions

we attribute fully to emptiness

what is unknown its own sort

of impossible excepting conjecture

consideration deleted at death

by death what life had spent

on deities and persons, ideas or myths

where nothing was, actually empty

but for matter beneath and slowly

ground back down toward away

emptying the nothing to fullness

_____________________ …

drawing a blank

N Filbert 2012

Fathers Day 2012

Fathers Day 2012

(for Tristan, Aidan, Ida and Oliver)


I would use the word “foundational”

but it’s much much more than that.

“The child is father to the man”

in so very many ways.


Fundament comes closer

expanding in us a sense

of ever-expanding edges

of universe and galaxies

within which everything that is,



But, personally, it’s larger,

and deeper, and wider

and exponentially more important


these children that father me

to fatherhood.

Giving me these things they’ve made

of me.


I look at them.

I long for them.

I love them.

and I marvel.


I come from this! I sing

these four amazing

and tremendous beings

making me their father,


shaping me as man,

a human,

a relationship

after all.


I’m not much of one for ‘truth’

but will say ‘this I believe.’


N Filbert 2012



The Essence of Place

“To record the essence of a place, so that it can be inhabited by something outside itself, is to start a story.  This means searching for a language, one that we know intuitively but cannot spell out.”

-Lukas Felzmann, Landfall

“The time has come to talk of whatever we want”

-Arkadii Dragomoshchenko, Xenia

“the work drives beyond promise, craving and time”

-Louis Zukofsky, Prepositions

            Sometimes there were birds there.  They passed through in groups, in swoops.

I’ve seen people there too, but not swooping or grouping.  It just isn’t that kind of place.


It felt large and open yet cloistered, contained.  There were large trees all around and throughout.  Somehow it seemed level.

I don’t recall there being water, but I believe it staid nearby.  As if it were ready for when it was needed.

I’ve no memory of critters or pets, cycles or frogs.  Only birds that might swarm like the leaves filling trees as they swayed.

Oh my, but the blur!  The soft focus in apprehending!  It rocks and it waves, it flows through you while sitting, I say!

I wonder the eyelids of storms.  I leap lying down.  I silently sing out the shrieking of birds.  I love in this place.  As wild or as calm as is needed, a respondent surround.

When I’m here I try to tell you, by searching for words or the making of pictures.  That don’t capture.

Have you wandered here before?  To the essence of a place?

Please do tell me or show me what’s yours…


N Filbert 2012