A fragment from the paper archives. Not going to back-date this one, though it probably belongs in the period prior to 2001.
(The poet discourses with the reductionist…)
you ask is there meaning in my roundup of these words
that is to say is the tapping of my fingerkeys of eternal value or does it reveal in its own way truth
or is it perhaps the remnant of excessive youth?
Okay mr wiseguy, that’s what you think
that there is no truth extractable from a long cool drink
because you think all truth is scientific
and cannot conceive the extent of the horrific
reaction such a narrow reductionist view
can have on my personal opinion of you.
There is you say no such as poetic truth
inquotes of course, as if you are referring to something uncouth
because you want truth to be information for the mind
you think it nonsensical to speak of any other kind.
You of course also cannot distinguish dream from revelation
or vision from hallucination.
All of it is to you the product of (how pitiable!) imagination.
Can you imagine a truth that is not logic
Reality not subject to syllogism
Perception that cannot be rendered on a graph?
You want the mystic’s content to be contentless, and so perhaps it is,
but then you want to ask what information this experience gives
I’ll tell you. It informs me that we alike are fools
Who want to order all that is according to the rules.
(on the obstacles to communication…)
I tell you, ” I see an apple.” What you actually perceive is a pattern of vibrations on the sensitive parts of your ear. A pattern recognition mechanism in your brain associates this pattern with a highly organized set of concepts which you identify as me, my voice, speaking to you – you perceive first of all that you are being addressed. In the highspeed processing mode in which you operate, it seems simultaneous that you also associate this particular set of vibrations with a series of stored images, including perhaps the spelling of the word, the memory of one or more particular apples that you have seen, felt, tasted, picked peeled bit dropped found to be red or green or bruised or….. and you think you have understood what I said.
“you” “think” “you” understand” “what” “I” “said.” Each of these words in its context requires unpacking, analysis, in order to begin to have an idea of what just happened when you heard me say, “I see an apple.”
Phenomenologically, all that you have perceived is contained in the hearing, if for simplicity’s sake we say that this conversation took place, not face to face, but by phone, or while you were gazing at the fire. There need be, necessarily, no “you” nor any “I”, merely the firing of some neurons in your brain that leave you with the impression, as it were, that you are dealing with a number of what we can call external referents, such as my voice, myself, and, indeed, the alleged apple (and the notion that apples all belong to a category identifiable by use of the vocable which you appear to have perceived), along with my capacity for sight, which is also assumed to be analogous to your own. You assume, operationally, as it were, that some stimulus on a physical mechanism such as the eardrum precipitated this particular neural sequence. All of the other components then come into view as (apparently) necessary adjuncts to this (assumed) fact. Logically, then (though not phenomenologically), my speaking is necessary for your hearing to take place, and furthermore, my existence is necessary for me to have spoken. You have made a judgment concerning whether or not your experience is, as is said, real or illusory, and based on that you have determined some informational content (what you scientifically call “truth”) concerning the “real” or “objective” world. This still has to do, however, entirely with the (alleged) fact of my existence based upon what you think is your experience of hearing me say certain words to you. We still have not yet gotten to the apple.