The End Times Ball [Common Meter]

A sign that hangs on down the street
proclaims to one and all
that coming soon there will be
a Lonely-Hearts Club Ball.

A dance of manic turbulence
where singles 're all & none.
You can come all by yourself, but
you'll never leave as one.

You'll be swept into unity
with undulating hoards.
Bound by bindings you'll feel, not see;
you'll never cut these cords.

So, welcome to the end of you,
as only you can know.
And welcome to the beginning
of the everlasting flow.

For an end is a beginning
of something bold and new.
And a beginning is an end:
'cause we're just passing through.

Westward Run [Free Verse]

Put the sun at your back
run headlong toward the darkness.

Killing days at record speed,
leaning into the terminus,

and you wake up in the light
prepare for another westward run.

Cyclone in a Cup [Free Verse]

coffee flecks swirl
in a steaming cup

cyclonic do-si-dos,
swinging and folding,
merging into clusters

between the cyclones
there are highspeed byways
cutting across the surface

a jitter of the table
seems to stop the dance,
but then it resumes

entropy falls to 
eventually follow its imperative --

entropy rising:
using order
to turn all that energy
into a lukewarm 
cup of joe

this same fluid clockwork
played out in 
primordial soup
to begin the dance of life

Squirrel Grind [Common Meter]

The squirrel's life 's an acorn hunt:
forage and hide the nut.
But a feeble mind requires that
it hide them by the glut.

Squirrel happiness is fragile
no cache is big enough
to be certain it'll make it through
should the winter get rough. 

Oh, give me the tardigrade life,
not a doubt it'll survive.
No food, no water, vacuum of space
and the thing 's still [bleeping] alive.

Rather than gathering plenty,
I'd rather need much less,
or, at least, not be so mindless
to hoard in great excess.

BOOK REVIEW: The Romance of Reality by Bobby Azarian

The Romance of Reality: How the Universe Organizes Itself to Create Life, Consciousness, and Cosmic ComplexityThe Romance of Reality: How the Universe Organizes Itself to Create Life, Consciousness, and Cosmic Complexity by Bobby Azarian
My rating: 5 of 5 stars Page

Out: June 28, 2022

This book presents a metaphysics based on the relatively new (but increasingly mainstream) sciences of complexity, chaos, and information. It boldly explores some of the major questions that consume both philosophers and scientists, such as: how life came to be, what life’s purpose is (to the degree it has one,) what consciousness is and does, and how come we live in a universe finely-tuned to generate and support life? (Particularly, if one doesn’t like explanations that are audacious and unprovable like “god did it” or “there are infinite parallel universes.”)

The book starts out in territory that is fairly uncontroversial among physicists, arguing that life comes about (and does so with striking speed – i.e. fast abiogenesis) by a process through which nature moves the ordered / useful energy that Earth has in abundance into disordered / useless energy (e.g. waste heat,) a process that runs on rules not unlike Darwinian evolution (molecules have an informational existence that allow something like hereditability [passing down of “blueprints”] and mutation [distortion in copies, some of which will make the molecule or organism more efficient at using energy.])

The book then ventures into territory that is quite controversial, arguing that life has a purpose (beyond the tedious one of moving low entropy energy into a high entropy state,) and that purpose is to be an observer – i.e. to be the first stage in a self-aware world. I should point out a couple things. First, when I say this part is controversial, I mean that it couldn’t be called the consensus view, but that’s not to say that these ideas don’t have a following among some high-level intellects. Second, I think we need people to consider ideas that might seem a bit “out there” because there is a danger of not progressing because we’re trapped in morass of assumptions. Science has quite a few self-appointed guardians who mock as pseudo-science any idea that strays from scientific consensus or from a rigidly reductionist / materialist / Copernican worldview. The author doesn’t abandon a scientific point of view, even though it might seem he does to some because he abandons the nihilistic view that’s taken as a given by many in the scientific community (i.e. that life is a happy accident without purpose, significance, or influence on the universe – and that life consists of automata, playing out programs — devoid of any kind of free will.)

I don’t know how much of Azarian’s metaphysics will prove true, but this book was superbly thought-provoking and opened up to me whole new vistas of possibility about the big questions of philosophy and science. I’d highly recommend it for readers interested in the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

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The Thoreau Life [Common Meter]

What a way to live one's life, in
a cabin made of wood;
never to be governed by: "I
have to! I must! I should!"

To set one's sights on the day's needs
as one's only master,
and not be told, "you move too slow,
you must live life faster." 

To start the day by a cue from
rays of the rising sun.
To end the day when the day ends,
not only just've begun.

In Medias Res [Free Verse]

Journeys start with a cattle-prod jolt 
& a kick in the soul --
not at an airport,
or a ferry dock,
or a taxi stand,
or at the curb.

By the time you've gotten that far,
you're already traveling.

By the time you've "decided" to go,
you're already traveling. 

Travel begins earlier,
if in the dark,
because travel is not a dream,
only dreams start 
in the middle of nonsense.

Real life flows down 
a continuous and unbroken
stream of nonsense, 
drifting at a rate slow enough 
for your brain to make a movie of
so that your brain can tell you: 
that you're in control,
that you know what's going on,
that you know what will happen next,
assorted and sundry bullshit like that.