Ruellia

think twice when you plant the Ruellia
it spreads like the devil I tell’ya
this wild petunia
takes over and soon’ya
be sad that this curse has befell’ya

(I like that the last line feels
forced into submission by an angry man
with a mallet, which is not far
from the truth.)

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it’s still here

a sour feeling in its stocking feet
the drip coffee brujo divining
a caffeine poultice in the
filter basket, his sweat lodge
as his supplicants pace the ceramic tiles
eager for blessings

a fitful sleep is begging to be recalled
to stake its claim on waking territory
already invaded by packs of wild obligations
our noses in our notes
obstacles of tempered steel loom
that still life painting
in the hallway taunts me
with its confidence, its sense
of fulfillment, its dubious claim
that things can bypass the madness
and simply come to rest

what appears to be real
does indeed appear as real
it’s all an inexhaustible network
of causality where even
impertinence is sustained
and the logic of what’s allowed
to be admired, or to be shunned
the judgment
ease back, ease up
the rough edges can be deburred
by the embrace of ease
and small talk, clinking glasses
can later be heard at
the judge’s chamber door
if you listen, really listen

that exquisite stillness just before dawn
I slept through it again
but it was here, it’s still here

That Fucking Moon

refracted in the moondust
saucer round, the light
it comes our way, obey
her, cyclic lunatic
the hounds and wolves
have paced all day
come out, come out
come out and play
but soft what light the
tidepull on your hunger
and your wolven groin
she’s close enough to fuck
with tides and passions
nerves and hormones, luck
to man and beast alike on
land or sea or airborne tern
that fucking moon
we never learn

In honor of this evening’s full moon. Get
out there and sing to her then, shall we?
PgR 10/15/2016

Occult

A dream world, where money is thought to be real and intelligence is the artifice of enmeshed gears having turned, is now fully realized within the vacuum of the cloud by machines incapable of wondering exactly what happens to you when you die.”

The meaning of death is that you can’t think your way through it, and meaning is something always arrived at by thinking. So it’s kind of confounding, a paradox, and a bit frightening because we depend on thinking to get through everything. And yet, some of us want machines to think through things for us in a kind of dereliction of duty, a kind of meta-mistake where we shift responsibility for increasingly important, mission critical activities to a churning host of algorithms which we think can’t make mistakes. If that is an extension of our own thinking (the one place in the universe where mistakes can happen) then it isn’t necessarily bad, but it must share space within the same confines.

“I think, therefore AI.”

Thinking likes knowledge, the accumulation of correlated things, but wisdom just wants to see clearly. Wisdom has no bonafides, it shuns accomplishment. It sheds credentials the way a snake sheds skin. You see clearly. The material which appears when the light shines, it appears to the wisdom in you. If you want to reflect upon it afterward there’s nothing wrong with that, unless that thinking supplants the view. And that is what thinking tends to do. It is sometimes called reflection because thoughts can become the cause of more thoughts, leaving us even more removed from the glimpses of wisdom which are endlessly obscured by that wall where the pride of intellect displays all its trophies. In this sense, the material world, the world we embrace through thought, becomes the occult. And AI is just one of the many monsters hiding in its darkness.


Update 20170925 – Aside from my dark ramblings about death and the forces which obscure wisdom, this:

“Should Zuckerberg or Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey be summoned to Congress and peppered with questions about the inner workings of their companies, they may well be ill-equipped to answer them. Because while they might be in control of the broader operations of their respective companies, they do not appear to be fully in control of the automated algorithmic systems calibrated to drive engagement on Facebook and Twitter.

And they have demonstrably proven that they lacked the foresight to imagine and understand the now clear real-world repercussions of those systems — fake news, propaganda, and dark targeted advertising linked to foreign interference in a US presidential election.”

(emphasis added)

Also, the irony of having to have a Facebook account to comment on this article.

Poacher’s Grip

our jeep tracks on the savanna
under shimmering GPS satellites
my hands on these tusks
your DNA on this currency
we see the world like ivory
we see ivory

a tusk, a carving
a little dragon made of ivory
rare, valuable, and like a child
I’ve been told not to touch
as the money march of days, the trades
the deals gone sideways, the dancing
obscene jig of shifting market values
stampede through the grass huts
of all my efforts, my wrongdoings
the dream chasers, now the prey
my own teeth thought valuable
apart from my mouth
like a smile, apart from my face
on each side of my trunk, reaching
down and then up
from below my seeing eyes
to above

the border has fallen
defend us at the tree line
the village has fallen
defend us at our cottages
the perimeter is breached
defend us at the closet door
the door is opened
defend us at our honor

with our cache of ivory
and the betrayal of our
childish love of elephants