Category Archives: There is no justice in poetry

Excess motivation

Every corpse on Mount Everest was at one point a highly motivated person. They looked at what it would take to get where they wanted to go, assessed all the available means to get there, negotiated the process of acquiring these means, faced inevitable logistical setbacks, eventually got to the mountain, and started ascending. They could, at any point, have given up and returned home to a comfortable bed, a marked lack of extreme physical hardship, and a stable altitudinal situation. But they didn’t. They persevered, because they thought that was the thing to do.

Fortunately, our protagonists were only climbing a relatively small hill.

Disaster preparedness

She had it better these days. Over the past weeks, she had made many new friends, heard many new stories and shared many a meal. For the first time in a long while, there was no lack of food, warmth or company. Things were, when all important things were considered, better.

Her new friends often talked of some sort of catastrophe. How global finance had collapsed, how the internet had stopped working, how there appeared to be a war on some far-off continent. She knew very little of such things, and at present did not care too much. Such things were abstract images, something only known in general notions, irrelevant when compared to what mattered.

Food, warmth, shelter.

The others didn’t seem to care that she was homeless. Why would they – they were homeless too, now. The only difference was that she had lost hers years before they did, and knew how to keep going without one. When the disaster struck, the one thing that changed was that they now noticed that she was there.

Food, warmth, company.

All things considered, things were better now.

Soulsearching for modern people

Get in touch with your feelings! the helpful people said. So you decided to take a look. Survey the terrain. Familiarize yourself with the lay of the land. Get to know yourself.

This is what you saw:

Nothing lived there. The ground was craggy and hard to navigate due to the constant artillery shelling, and it was hard to determine what it might have looked like before the war. Bombers flew overhead, occasionally dropping their deadly payload, occasionally becoming the payload as fighters drove them screaming into the ground.

This was not a recent battle site. That is not to say it was abandoned, or that fighting had ceased. Quite the opposite. Fighting had commenced for many moons, and any hope of peace had long since died, along with the best of several generations. This was not a recent battle site, and the bodies did not linger long enough for it to become a graveyard. Neither living nor dead prevailed. Only war.

The onslaught of feelings never ceased. At all times, they threatened to overrun the understaffed ramparts. They roamed the trenches, lurked the shadows, sprung upon those caught unaware. No place promised safety. No wall could be too high. No measure could be too extreme. All that mattered was keeping them at bay. By any means necessary and possible.

As a result of this, those areas that are not constantly reformed by the eternal explosions, are desolate hellscapes where even the thought of ecology has long since perished. Succumbed to the forces atomic, (anti)biological and chemical, nothing will ever grow there. No matter how many rays of sunshine (in the form of cheerful aphorisms ) find their way there.

As you take in the details of the scene, you notice that this isn’t the only site. In fact, it is but one of many similar theaters. The battle lines stretch out for as far as your inner eyes can see, and if the strategic maps are anything to go by, the only limit to the scale of it seems to be entropy itself.

This is your inner life. These are your feelings. This is your soul.

Get in touch with your feelings! they said.

Your only rational response is: no.

Love is an invasion

Love is an invasion. If you’ve ever experienced it, you know what this means. Anything and everything you had going on before love invaded had to make room and make way. No matter how important, no matter how urgent, no matter the matter – the invader seized the means of cognition and rejigged them for its own ends. Your opinion was not consulted, and your well-being was not an issue during the course of further internal conquest.

Thing is, though. Love is a greedy invader. It does not stop at your borders. You are but a means to an end, and that end is the one thing you can think about. The war is on, and the mobilization is total. There is no such thing as dodging this draft. You are going to cross boundaries, and you are going to invade everything there is to invade on the other side of them.

If you’ve ever been the war aim of a love campaign, you know exactly where this is going. Straight at you. At all times. Using any means necessary, until either of you break. Everything is collateral damage.

Love is an invader with a terrible sense of tactics. And strategy. And any notion of appropriate measures. And of when the victory conditions are achieved and the invading can come to a halt. It is, to be sure, the very best countermeasure against its own success. Any time you need to undermine it, just remind it that it exists.

It worries too much. And it makes you do it, too.

Worry is a call to action. That is to say, another invasion, since that is the name of the game. The worry has all to do with the profoundly impossible question of how to be sure that the Other really loves you back. There is no way of ever really knowing, yet the worry compels you to seek out signs that it is so. Using any means necessary.

The biggest undermine is that any declaration of love is meaningless unless it comes freely and without prompt. If it is coerced then the worry remains, and if it is prompted then it is merely a grammatically and socially appropriate response to the situation. It has to be freely from the self to the Other, and with the Other being in full invader mode at all times due to the very nature of the situation –


I would suggest doing something less warlike. It has better long-term prospects.

Change becomes you

We’re all done here. However, we must advise you that you will not return to the life you left. You will most likely find that the home you live in is not, emotionally, your home. This is common, usual and, rest assured, healthy. When you wake up tomorrow, you will most likely feel the need to change things, throw away old objects and alter your habits.

Do these things. It’s normal, and it is part of the reason most of our customers come to us.

We must emphasize that you will not feel quite yourself during the coming weeks and months. We removed some of your memories and their associated emotional pathways, but we did not alter your way of life up to this point. A way of life that was, in more ways than you will ever know, determined and hedged in by these memories and emotions. Most of the things you did were a result of your effort to avoid or manage what you felt or feared, and most of these things will not make sense without these emotions. You might find yourself wondering why certain things are the way they are.

Do not linger at these things. You are a new person, not limited by who you were. If certain things don’t make sense to you, it’s because they don’t. You have changed, and we encourage you to change your environment to suit you. Change becomes you.

We have, to the best of our ability, talked to those around you (as per your request and as ethics requires) about the new you. However, they remember what you don’t, and can’t be made to forget. It is only natural that you would want to find out what you have forgotten. We suggest you postpone finding out until you’ve settled into your new self. Your friends and family will understand, and will tell you everything when you are ready. There is no rush.

Should you be in need of counseling, guidance, or assistance with moving heavy furniture, feel free to give us a call.

Remember: Your new life begins now.

Not much to crew about

The water gushed through the hole in the hull.

“It’s too late for us! We cannot hold! Abandon ship!” the Captain roared, captainly. The crewmembers, crewingly, heard both gush and roar, and made haste to abandon as much ship as possible as fast as possible.

They knew authority when they experienced it.

The Captain, being Captain, remained on board for as long as possible. The heroic notion of going down with the ship was more than just a heroic notion – is was ethos incarnate, and he was it.

Two weeks later, he was still on board. He was still roaring. The water, though, had done its share of gushing, and was more keen on heeding the order of abandoning ship than anything else.

Water is sublime, you see.

The crew, not so much. They are back on board, and they are (without success) trying to convince the Captain that the ship isn’t sinking. And that, if it was, they would have plenty of time to repair it, seeing as they were safely parked in a harbor, with plenty of supplies.

The Captain wouldn’t have it. He was determined to go down with the ship, and like that other captain, Ahab, this made him rather narrowminded when it came to seeing alternative ways forward.

The crew, being both unsubtle and loyal, did what Ahab’s crew should have done. They sank the ship, Captain and all, and went on living their lives knowing that duty sometimes takes a strange toll on those who sublimate too much.


Love overpowered

Behold! The power of love! the young lover said. And did indeed demonstrate the power of love, beyond the bounds of what any sane person would consider reasonable doubt. It was Seen, it was Beheld, it was Understood.

Peripeteia is a good starting point.

As it was understood, it was put into systematic use. The power of love could heal all wounds, and thus, only true lovers were allowed to be soldiers, to cut cost. The power of love could overcome every obstacle, and the mining industry had a few lucrative things to say about that. The power of love could traverse space and time, which soon made the NSA acutely obsolete. The power of love could turn friends into enemies, and not a few neoliberals saw the potential political and market exploits inherent in this fact.

The young lover didn’t ask for this. And the anagnorisis was brutal.

All is fair in love and war. Even mutilated literary tropes.