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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.

MUSIC

An original song

What am I supposed to do?
What am I supposed to say?
What kind of world is this?
Just some game —
I’m ‘sposed to play.

What happened here?
What went wrong?
Cherry blossoms in the air,
but I can’t hear our song —

And I don’t know, what you
don’t show — anymore.
And I can’t see, what’s in front
of me — what you mean to me —
I’m lost, apparently.

Close your eyes now.
You’re keeping me awake.
Rest your heart now.
I’d like to dream I’m safe.
I’d like to dream.

There…


PROSE POETRY

A prose poem with commentary

I feel frazzled. unclean. unkept. irresponsible. a doddler. rickety. soft & at the same time too sharp. This morning, while I woke, sprouts crept out of the 7th vertebra under my neck — that one that hasn’t been quite right since the fall.

Later, I was a trumpet, howling. To be a trumpet, you must be shameless, and so for that moment, I must have been unashamed. But, it seems that shame grows like ivy out of the broken bits. Overwhelming, if left forgotten. And I neglected my sight. “I am unkept,” shame says. “Not on my skin, but in…


HUMOR

An uncomprehensive list

  1. Digging a very large hole
  2. Sitting on a yellow-jacket
  3. Taking a shower with a broken water heater
  4. Slowly sinking into the very large hole of shame I dug in step one
  5. Bringing the yellow-jacket with me into the hole and naming it “Fred” so it can sting me indefinitely
  6. Filling the hole with cold water
  7. Complaining that, for some indiscernible reason, I’m stuck in a large, muddy hole filled with cold water and a yellow-jacket that insists it is named “Fred”
  8. That one time I had the flu on a hammock in 95-degree weather while hundreds of mosquitoes surrounded me…


A poem on the little indications of before


POETRY

A poem with commentary

Cinnamon in cake — a room —
familiar — coals — that burn —
people — hearth — showers of —
fire — children — laughter—
— the girls — dead now.

There’s smoke. Whistle, warning,
the streets — tea. Not now. Will there
ever — again? That man — who begs —
— fire — frozen — hand out —

Now. Feet. Trample. A dream? Back
before — the street I grew in was —
everything — earth — sea —
bloated — to expulse — bits —
— of body — boiled — a thigh —…


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…

Rowen Veratome

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