Google Query Subtexts

Am I a horrible person
Am I selfish
Am I dying
Would my grandparents say
Where did my grandparents come from
Where did their beliefs come from
What will I regret in twenty years
Am I dying tomorrow
Am I lazy
How can I help another human with all of their interiority
Will my child learn how to live without me
Will he feel loved and know how to locate happiness
and how to reach for it
Will my child be ok
How long do we have together
All of us who love each other what do we get to keep
What portion Any of it
Using what I already have what can I eat
How does one prepare this strange vegetable
Can I ask an imaginary great grandparent how they would do it
What crucial step have I forgotten
Why haven’t I learned this yet
Can I prevent regret
What will stop the world’s insistent imploding
Does how I look become a portal into my self
Am I accurately communicating my values
through my home
How is this other human doing
How do other humans live
Am I doing this right

Hannah Stephenson

my comrades

this one teaches
that one lives with his mother
and that one is supported by a red-faced alcoholic father
with the brain of a gnat.
this one takes speed and has been supported by
the same woman for 14 years.
that one writes a novel every ten days
but at least pays his own rent.
this one goes from place to place
sleeping on couches, drinking and making his spiel.
this one prints his own books from a duplicating machine.
that one lives in an abandoned shower room
in a Hollywood hotel.
this one seems to know how to grant after grant,
his life is a filling-out of forms.
this one is simply rich and lives in the best
places while knocking on the best doors.
this one had breakfast with William Carlos Williams.
and this one teaches.
and that one teaches.
and this one puts out textbooks on how to do it
and speaks in a cruel and dominating voice.

they are everywhere.
everybody is a writer.
and almost every writer is a poet.
poets poets poets      poets poets poets
poets poets poets      poets poets poets

the next time the phone rings
it will be a poet.
the next person at the door
will be a poet.
this one teaches
and that one is living with his mother
and that one is writing the story of Ezra Pound.
oh, brothers, we are the sickest and the
lowest of the breed.


Relational Epistemology

‘It’s whatever you want it to be,’ said my father
after he bisected My Little Pony and used her in a sculpture.
At bedtime he read me Kafka’s short fiction.

‘All men are not idiots,’ my mother advised,
‘but beware of Structuralists;
life will never be a matter of signifiers and signs.’

She gave up her copy of Some Day My Prince Won’t Come
with a dedication: ‘Darling, Don’t be limited
by propositional modes of representation! xx’

Preparation of Rich Cherry Genoa was methodological.
My father paraphrased Merleau-Ponty: ‘the toucher touching touched.’
His hands around the mixing bowl, she sifted sugar.

It helped them contextualise the relationship between Self
and Other. Phenomenology at the dinner table was not unusual.
My brother queried so-called ‘pepper’, so-called ‘ketchup’,

ingested as if objective fact. The colour ‘red’ is not universal.
Mainly, my sister slept at any hour.
‘See!’ said my mother,

‘The claim that all experience might be mediated by language
is one all women know to be preposterous.
And besides, Wittgenstein is dead.’

Over dessert, however, she absolved him
on account of her cake and his raisins. ‘It’s like Ludwig said,
raisins may be the best part of a cake

but a bag of raisins is not better than a cake.
My cake isn’t, as it were, thinned-out raisins,
as you will know from experience.’

Heather Phillipson, via

One Train May Hide Another

(sign at a railroad crossing in Kenya)
In a poem, one line may hide another line,
As at a crossing, one train may hide another train.
That is, if you are waiting to cross
The tracks, wait to do it for one moment at
Least after the first train is gone. And so when you read
Wait until you have read the next line–
Then it is safe to go on reading.
In a family one sister may conceal another,
So, when you are courting, it’s best to have them all in view
Otherwise in coming to find one you may love another.
One father or one brother may hide the man,
If you are a woman, whom you have been waiting to love.
So always standing in front of something the other
As words stand in front of objects, feelings, and ideas.
One wish may hide another. And one person’s reputation may hide
The reputation of another. One dog may conceal another
On a lawn, so if you escape the first one you’re not necessarily safe;
One lilac may hide another and then a lot of lilacs and on the Appia
Antica one tomb
May hide a number of other tombs. In love, one reproach may hide another,
One small complaint may hide a great one.
One injustice may hide another–one colonial may hide another,
One blaring red uniform another, and another, a whole column. One bath
may hide another bath
As when, after bathing, one walks out into the rain.
One idea may hide another: Life is simple
Hide Life is incredibly complex, as in the prose of Gertrude Stein
One sentence hides another and is another as well. And in the laboratory
One invention may hide another invention,
One evening may hide another, one shadow, a nest of shadows.
One dark red, or one blue, or one purple–this is a painting
By someone after Matisse. One waits at the tracks until they pass,
These hidden doubles or, sometimes, likenesses. One identical twin
May hide the other. And there may be even more in there! The obstetrician
Gazes at the Valley of the Var. We used to live there, my wife and I, but
One life hid another life. And now she is gone and I am here.
A vivacious mother hides a gawky daughter. The daughter hides
Her own vivacious daughter in turn. They are in
A railway station and the daughter is holding a bag
Bigger than her mother’s bag and successfully hides it.
In offering to pick up the daughter’s bag one finds oneself confronted by
the mother’s
And has to carry that one, too. So one hitchhiker
May deliberately hide another and one cup of coffee
Another, too, until one is over-excited. One love may hide another love
or the same love
As when “I love you” suddenly rings false and one discovers
The better love lingering behind, as when “I’m full of doubts”
Hides “I’m certain about something and it is that”
And one dream may hide another as is well known, always, too. In the
Garden of Eden
Adam and Eve may hide the real Adam and Eve.
Jerusalem may hide another Jerusalem.
When you come to something, stop to let it pass
So you can see what else is there. At home, no matter where,
Internal tracks pose dangers, too: one memory
Certainly hides another, that being what memory is all about,
The eternal reverse succession of contemplated entities. Reading
A Sentimental Journey look around
When you have finished, for Tristram Shandy, to see
If it is standing there, it should be, stronger
And more profound and theretofore hidden as Santa Maria Maggiore
May be hidden by similar churches inside Rome. One sidewalk
May hide another, as when you’re asleep there, and
One song hide another song; a pounding upstairs
Hide the beating of drums. One friend may hide another, you sit at the
foot of a tree
With one and when you get up to leave there is another
Whom you’d have preferred to talk to all along. One teacher,
One doctor, one ecstasy, one illness, one woman, one man
May hide another. Pause to let the first one pass.
You think, Now it is safe to cross and you are hit by the next one. It
can be important
To have waited at least a moment to see what was already there.