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Deep-diving generalist with a background in philosophy and math. Writes: poetry, song, essay, satire, and more. Can freelance: rocksoxer@gmail.com.

POETRY

A poem about memories that take on a life of their own

Is a wound not a city?

— teeming, unclean, mayor
called for a sweep-through
as I rush through, talk
all my demons out of leaving
their gushy take-out
on the street. It rots
there, festers, spore
food, I walk here —

each building, an echo
gravel stuck on location.

each door, jaws —
the teeth of memory,
yawning out in each
forgotten crack, glass,
chattering, that random
spattering mutant
of its origin —

this place has the plague, rats, all of It — leave it be and It expands as any dark web — pluck it, and putrid ghosts make…


PHILOSOPHY

The simple question has more philosophical subtext than you might realize

Author’s note: after writing this article, I noticed that Roy Sorensen published an academic paper, The Egg Came Before the Chicken, in the philosophy journal Mind. The premise of that paper is sufficiently similar to this article that you might take what I say here to be an accessible (and relatively amateurish) summary. When an idea is thought up more than once, it may very well be onto something.

The phrase, “the chicken and the egg,” is so hackneyed that it invokes its own abstract meaning: any cyclic, unending process with no beginning. If you like math, the limitless series


HUMOR

Some poetic humor

I love cherry blossoms, but I’d love them more if I didn’t suspect them of attempted murder. Something or other is leaving me breathless, and those blushing guilty petals are just in the wrong place at the wrong time — or, the right place at the right time, if they do in fact have criminal aspirations.

How could I catch them in the act? Any wind of suspicion would send those petals fluttering their escape into the sky. And even if I did manage to get those rascals to court, no one would see them as the dark masterminds they…


PROSE POETRY

A prose poem that may or may not be intended in jest

Who are you to tell me that I look like my skin and not what I see?

There’s choice in seeing, you see. Only so much can be seen, and with every sense available, there is certainly more creativity in seeing than in photography — more permutations of experience to pick from, that is. An itch here. A crack there. Coolness. Each leaf, I pluck off with my eyes. Is this not a choice? And have not some perfectly sane people said that you are what you choose?

Now, I see a plate. With crummy remanence. A plate, in my…


POETRY PROMPT

Epistemology can be a tricky business

These are the fundamental questions of epistemology: “What is knowledge?” and “What knowledge do I (or we, as humanity) possess?”

The most famous conception of knowledge is that of true, justified belief. By this conception, Person A knows Declaration B if and only if the following conditions are met.

  1. Declaration B is true.
  2. Person A has a sufficient justification for Declaration B.
  3. Person A believes Declaration B.

Each of these conditions is a bag of worms in itself. “What is sufficient justification?” has filled ages of philosophical inquiry. And the answer to “What is belief?” is not as simple as…


THIS IS US

A song of anger in the aftermath of trauma

I think this is the most vulnerable thing I’ve shared in my life. I might squeem at expressing some of these sentiments to a therapist. But, here I am, putting this song on the internet.

It’s been a long time in coming. During the #MeToo movement, when it seemed like everyone and their mother had a story, I was silent, and in denial. My throat would physically close whenever I tried to speak.

This song sounds personal, with its “You” and its “Somebody.” To write this song was personal. The phrase, “There’s been no conviction, but I’m living out your…


POETRY

Some humorous verse

Toilette paper puzzle — you have
done us a great service, but now
we must bid you fare well to
the coffin of your puzzle-box
in the cemetery of our closet.
But, who would we be to put
you away without first honoring
your likeness? This poem
is your parting gift and eulogy.

Your pieces — so uniformly pale.
Your subject —so symmetrically
tessellated with vaguely off-white
shading. You might be our most
memorable Christmas puzzle ever.

Now, toilette paper puzzle, you
will be taken apart, but still remain,
to test another poor soul’s vision
& patience. …


POETRY

A philosophical poem

The good life is not the house by the sea,
a cup of tea, spring breeze —
I love those things, but the good
life is more of the in-between —

In-between what things?
the beach & the wave —
the out-breath & the song —
the updraft & wings rising —
& people — could you ever
forget people? …

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