reading list


Semantic Diagnostics

The natural world is easy to look at, the patterns
of the undesigned; the human world, less so.
The biological is always logical, but all things depend on us
to put them into words, semantic diagnostics,
the temporarily temporal editors of the world,
a conjury of one's peers, executing with erratic reactions
the deployment of impediments, facilitating the release
and the retention of metaphors with unknown referents,
a compendium of lost antecedents, pawns of misconduct
conveying the envy in shortcuts and workarounds,
for whom the predominant mode of communication
is misunderstanding, a failure to incorporate the addenda,
the inconsequential sequence.  I am less concerned
with an excess of judgment than with a dearth of it.

If only what is real were as committed to realism as we are!
What combination of discovery and creation?
The price of life is to grow a soul; the cost of death is to lose it.
But are great achievements enough to confer greatness?
Sensitivity and passion fare poorly in isolation,
all music reverting to the metronome.  The innovation
of redundancy leading to the redundancy of innovation.
Soon we will meet the consummate materialist,
recently evicted from the unseen Eden of reason,
still allergic to ambivalence.  Unity is always a construct,
and therefore always subject to dissolution.
The investigators vs. the investors.  Paper pauper puppets
purporting to reconcile our understanding of love
with our experience of love.

And then we realize that all narrators are unreliable,
the magician pulling a hat from his rabbit,
gluing two sexy assistants together.
We are gist engines seeking redemption from exemption.
Everything is discrete and everything is partial.
Every error can be explained; every explanation can be in error.
The most we can say with certainty of what is
is that it is (and sometimes not even that).
Yet misinformation gestates misfortune.
A multifunction malfunction.  Viola da gumbo.
Though we may wish to marry pure reason,
it is certain that we shall dally with the attitude of the age.
A life spent arguing for resistance, ended in surrender.
A life spent arguing for surrender, ended in resistance.

Which is more powerful, a thing or the idea of a thing?
Which more valuable?  Are we addicted to irrelevancies?
To the seductive impossibilities?
To aesthetics that don't sustain?
We love the implausible; we hate the impossible,
the inauthentic, the things we half-learned,
the mudding of the marvels.  Plastic plenitude.
Dissonance is the fuel that feeds cognition.
Disheveled, we remain proud of our beveled edge.
Perhaps we aspire to be the irrational element
in a rational universe, reminders of the remainder.
Perhaps we have no choice.  Perhaps we shall always gather
for the the Recitation of Regrets before the golden larnax.
Though even the bitterest resolution is sweet.

All poems are written and copyrighted by Michael C. Rush.
None may be republished or repurposed without permission.