against the poets


It is a sad thing to be a poet.
Pick out a few strands of impermanence.
Sit and write in fever and sweat
on how the ash is sweet and immense.

But it is in vain
I tell you.
Nothing will remain
beyond the faded terrain.

For art’s sake. Can there be anything more pathetic?
All we do is lace pigment on fragments.
All this perversion of language, an erratic
falsification of meanings and judgments.

I am being honest finally.
I tell you.
Don’t even care how this ends really
because I’ve started to drink myself silly.



Melancholy towards the self-destructive tendency of all creation is perhaps the most common trait in the images of the poets. There is to be found both frustration and excitement in the disappearing of all things. We become disappointed with the passing away of the things we cherish but there is always the seduction of resurrection urging us to keep our tear-drowned eyes open to discover what novel creation comes forth from destruction. The transit of days is unavoidable yet it appears as if we encourage their dissolution by ignoring the small miracles that constitute the realm of human existence. The chest in which we store all our memories is sadly not buried in the depths of a recondite island where it can be dug up by some daring explorer. Even if it were possible to leave a map to our most intimate experiences with the record of words, the explorer will never rescue the living spring of our lives but only sterile fossils that portray nothing of the effusion of lived experience. He will find only scraps of descriptions and explanations signaling to things and events, never the chest itself with the treasure of life. The chest that contains life as we alone experience is coiled inside our brains and it will perish mercilessly with our own destruction.

We experience a secret we will never get to share.

What sort of material do we put inside this isolated chest? That’s a matter of personal decision. In history we find a hierarchy of values presented by the most clever thinkers and writers. Each pretend to have found the quintessence of life. They speak of knowledge, god, morality (virtue), and love principally as the sources of most profound joy. But how are these things of any value with the awareness of their ultimate death in us? For these things exist only through us: they are born and die in us.

It is then not surprising to see our age waning in the enthusiasm for an ultimate goal in human life. We seek small and individual goals in this disillusioned world. Nothing of ever-lasting duration is conceivable anymore; we paradoxically live for all the things that die. Neglecting the temptation to feel depressed by this fact our perseverance is not yet defeated; and we continue to make our tortuous journey through a reality of constant change.

In a civilization with no universal interpretation of what life is to be, the free-spirited explores the potential of existence with new experiments carried out each single day, unveiling tiny miracles never again to be experienced, as he recites in the hollow confines of his soul:

Insignificant and transient experiences,

Profoundly and joyfully—lived.