Not every Christian is a conservative
Not every Muslim is a terrorist
Not every Wiccan is an idiot
Not every Buddhist is a pacifist
Not every Academic is a genius
Not every Atheist is a materialist
Not every Yogi is enlightened
Not every Pagan is a fascist
Not every Visionary is a schizophrenic
Not every Cop is a rapist
Not every Paranoid is wrong
Not every Introvert is your personal therapist
Not every Social Worker is fucking useless
But every C. N. Graham I’ve ever known is (fucking useless)

Posted by: Dan | July 18, 2019

June Reviews

Discussed in this post: 12 Books (Anxiety; Male Fantasies [2 Vols.]; Insurgent Supremacists; Discourse on Colonialism; The Femicide Machine; She Has Her Mother’s Laugh; I Contain Multitudes; Evolution and the Levels of Selection; A Mind Spread Out on the Ground; The Ministry of Utmost Happiness; and Grimorium Verum); 2 Movies (Together; and The Guilty); and 3 Documentaries (The Creeping Garden; Starless Dreams; and The Pass System).

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Posted by: Dan | July 17, 2019

Fourth Meditation on Love

My lovers have always taken from me
And I have always wanted to be taken from
Take from me

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Posted by: Dan | July 15, 2019

I Went Up to the Woods

I went up to the woods, or what’s left of them—little more than a copse of trees—and I brought a magnifying lens with me. A Bausch and Lomb fifteen times magnification. I looked at the mosquitos that dined on my left forearm while I sat under a tree that still remembers what life was like before colonization. There were two different species of mosquito. One with a furry round brown thorax. One with a black abdomen with silver stripes. The antennae that appeared to sprout from their ears were fractaled like TV antennae from the 1950s. Some sunk their proboscis so deep into my skin that their ommatidia were nearly touching me. Others supped with one back lag thrust up into the air, like a dog at a fire hydrant. I guessed that this leg served as an early warning system pertaining to any threats in the environment. But I don’t know. One expelled a few drops of water from its abdomen while it drank. Tiny silver balls, so small that they clung to individual hairs on my arm. Another appeared to have trouble getting what it wanted. It moved its proboscis in and out of me. In and out, in and out, now deep, now shallow, now at a slightly different angle. This tiny wound did not swell up any faster or larger or itchier than any of the others, although I thought it might. My people have been doing such a good job of indiscriminately killing everything since we came to these lands that I figured the least I can do is permit the mosquitos to suck my blood unhindered.

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Posted by: Dan | July 12, 2019

Hey Mama

Hey mama,

I looked back through the pictures I still have from when we all lived together and it’s hard to miss that you’re almost never smiling.

And, hey mama, I read a book about the ways in which angry and controlling men abuse their partners and manipulate everyone around them and I got real sad thinking about you and me and him and all of us.

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Jacques Lacan famously asserted that “to love is to give what one hasn’t got.” When I first encountered this line, I associated it with the Lacanian notion of desire and how it is related to the eternally elusive object and the ways in which we project desire onto others (even though our own subjectivity has been constituted by the desire of the Other [i.e., L’Autre, A], which is why “desire is always desire of the Other [A]” and why the Subject [S] is constantly barred by the signifier  imposed by A, leading it to be recorded as S). We attempt to objectify others–to seek a within them–but we are forever frustrated in this effort. Thus, when the subject is objectified by A, S responds lovingly to A by seeking to fulfill A’s desire, but S does not know what A actually, really, truly desires, nor is S capable of adequately being a, and so S attempts (but fails) to give A what S does not have to give. But this is not what Lacan actually asserts. I read his statement in the following way: “to love is to [attempt (but fail) to] give what one hasn’t got” but what if this is not the case? What if love actually succeeds in giving what one hasn’t got?

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Posted by: Dan | July 4, 2019

Lament #17,484

My son fell asleep hugging the doggie and, before I went to bed, I saw pictures of Brown boys in cages and one of a Brown father who drowned with his Brown child in a brown river by a brown land and, while I looked at those pictures, I read about Men In Blue who rejoiced when they saw the same things.

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Posted by: Dan | June 16, 2019

Father’s Day

About a year after I moved back to the forks of the Antlered River, I decided to reconnect with my father. It had been quite some time since I last spoke with him (it’s a long story), but I emailed him and he agreed to meet me at the local Village Pub.  I was unsure as to how I might react to seeing him. Having sometimes deeply regretted that I never fought back, I thought about punching him. I also thought about hugging him. Sitting on the pub’s patio, having a beer while I waited for him to arrive, I figured things would sort themselves out one way or another.

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Posted by: Dan | June 10, 2019

Third Meditation on Love

Love is doing the dishes. And cleaning the apartment when the mess is stressing you out. Love is trying to stay on top of these things so that it doesn’t get to the point where it stresses you out—it’s just tricky sometimes when you live with a little girl who moves through space like a tornado intent on transforming, reorganizing, creatively redeploying, and otherwise repurposing everything she touches.

Love is sleeping on the couch while the trucks rumble by like 18 tonne tumbleweeds composed of scrap metal on the road outside our front window because my snoring, too, is like an 18 tonne tumbleweed—only this time composed of grizzlies and orcas forever locked together in mortal combat—and you need to get a good night’s sleep so you’re not too tired at work tomorrow. Love is being happy to be on the couch knowing that you’re just two rooms away. And when I sleep, you’re only as far as the next dream.

Love is having a quiet moment to myself and wanting nothing more than to write you a poem to say that I love you.

Love is putting on The Bachelorette so that you can watch the show and I can watch you and pretend that I’m watching the show when you look over at me. Love is being astounded that you, you, Jessica, are even here at all on the couch beside me. How did I get so lucky? How is this even possible?

Love is waiting to use the bathroom until you’re done in the bath.

Love is teaching myself to pay attention to things that I never paid attention to before because they are things that matter to you. In this regard, amongst other things, love is making sure I actually clean up *all* the hair I leave around the sink after shaving, instead of just cleaning up enough of the hair to make the sink look, mostly clean or clean enough (apparent “clean enough” for me is not the same standard as “clean enough” for most other people).

Love is not putting on my music while we putter around so that you can play your playlist.

Love is learning all the little things that annoy you and drive you crazy and then only doing them sometimes.

And, as you fall asleep, love is lightly scratching the back that you turn to face me and singing the songs I make up about you and our love and this tender, wondrous, ridiculous, and oh so precious life we share together. Love is not caring that my voice cracks and that I don’t always (or often?) hit the notes I aim for. Love is not caring that my lyrics don’t flow or rhyme, and not caring that I hardly know what I’m going to say until I say it. I have never known a love that moved me to spontaneously burst into song, but now that I know it, how could I not sing? Love is singing anyway.

Love is all day, every day, it’s sacred and mundane. It’s an adventure and a homecoming, a teaching and a game. It’s a glacier and a mountain, and the intimacy of how one rises and falls while the other flows. It’s a boat and an ocean, and we’ve barely left port. Once you find it, it’s everywhere.

Love is what we are and what we do. Love is us.

Posted by: Dan | June 7, 2019

May Reviews

Discussed in this post: 7 Books (Critique of Pure Reason; Suffer the Little Children; Making a Killing; Capital City; This Accident of Being Lost; The Remainder: and #IndianLovePoems); 2 Movies (Last Year at Marienbad and Slack Bay); 2 Documentaries (Señorita Extraviada and All This Panic).

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