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28 June 2011 @ 11:11 pm
 you are writing equations again
when i feel you're all shaking, so i take your hand
when numbers are rotten in your plug and chug problems
just retrace ancient proofs in your mind

I will love you as hard as I can.
Always too much at first, not enough towards the end
as we spoon here like this, we can fit curves to bliss
but for large enough x we diverge

So assume painful points have no mass
and you breathe shameful secrets in an ideal gas
you can't solve for the fear on this near perfect sphere
that glimmers now blue and now green

The reductionists claim "you'll be fine
reverse the reaction, there still might be time
entropy can't decrease (in closed systems at least)"
so let's try letting everything in

when I wake up at noon you're asleep
so I open the textbook and flip to the key
all the answers are gone, and instead there's a song
about missing the dust of the road

my mirror neurons always fired
when I saw you in pain, when I saw you inspired
but oxytocin's dispersed, all affections recursed
guess our base case has finally arrived
These are the books I'm attempting to read recreationally this semester, organised completely arbitrarily, with the likeliest in italics.

The Book That If I Do Not Read It I Will Never Forgive Myself:
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Douglas Hofstadter and the Fluid Analogies Research Group

Puzzles for programmers and pros / Dennis E. Shasha.
The art of computer programming / Donald E. Knuth. (Ha.  This will doubtless be on my list every semester for the next year or so)
Thinking about Gödel and Turing : essays on complexity, 1970-2007 / Gregory J. Chaitin
Neural-symbolic cognitive reasoning / Artur S. d'Avila Garcez, Luis C. Lamb, Dov M. Gabbay
Head First Java :)
Bio-inspired and nanoscale integrated computing

What is "I"?
Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern by Douglas Hofstadter
I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter
The Mind's Eye: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul by Douglas Hofstadter
A madman dreams of Turing machines / Janna Levin.
(This book made me cry)
Symbols and embodiment : Debates on Meaning and Cognition de Vega, Glenberg, Graesser

Language and Intelligences
The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language by Steven Pinker
The stuff of thought : language as a window into human nature/ Steven Pinker
How the mind works / Steven Pinker.
Symbolic worlds : art, science, language, ritual / Israel Scheffler
The development and education of the mind : the selected works of Howard Gardner
Multiple intelligences : new horizons Howard Gardner

I also adore the textbook for my Automata class, Introduction to the Theory of Computation by Michael Sipser and would absolutely read it for fun, even if the cover wasn't totally steampunk.

When I was in elementary school, I would think of Harry Potter and get butterflies in my stomach.  I'd think of casting spells, of strange worlds, of adventures, and my whole body would get chills all up and down.  Reading anything by Hofstadter is like that.  It's a reading-Harry-Potter-in-middle-school sort of sensation, a 'This must be the world I really live in' sort of sensation.  I've been sad my whole life but some things are worth living for, patterns, art, whimsy and paradox.  The chance to laugh at some strange new insight, the idea that maybe things aren't quite so straightforward and procedural as they may seem at first.  I need to pursue this, need to be it. 
I read an essay by this experimental musician who calls himself a cognitive nihilist, which I am not, and his claim is that it is foolish for us to suppose that our minds, evolved as they are from survivalist necessity, are not reliable sources of information about the universe.  He asks why we are so hubristic as to suppose that our approach to science is the correct one.  How can we make objective tests.  Why would we have that ability? 

And there's aleph_0 questions, like did math exist before us, or we before math?  And is our strange-loopiness, our ability to introspect and empathise, really special?  And why do we see the things we see, and how.  There are rules patterns, and I crave insight.

My other books are:
Oxford Guide to the mind
Cognitive Science (a textbook by George F. Luger from 1994 that includes and introduction to PROLOG)
The Roots of Reference (Quine!)
Minds Brains and Computers: The Foundations of Cognitive Science(an Anthology)
Interdisciplinary Collaboration: An Emerging Cognitive Science
 Blindsight: the Nature of Consciousness

And here's a big thank you to Library of Congress call numbers starting with BF311

failures = 'forgetting' is 'easier'
regrets = 'that' is 'that'
fears = failures or regrets + ('this' is not 'me')
dread = regrets and ("you're" not in ('good', 'hands')) + fears
desire = dread and regrets + fears + ('she' is not 'returning')
wisdom = fears and regrets + desire

despairing = 'this' is 'it'

while fears:
await = wisdom ** desire
betrayal = - wisdom ** dread
despairing += await + betrayal
fears = fears - regrets

you = not 'worth it'

while despairing:
loveable = you % wisdom
pretty = you % dread
if not pretty or not loveable:
 failures += you
you += regrets
if you / despairing :
print failures
from sys import argv

wicked = int(argv['He' is not 'merciful'])

righteous = []
sinners = []

blasphemers = 'God' is not 'Holy'
while wicked / blasphemers:
    blasphemers += 'evil' in 'devil'

del(sinners['burn' in 'hell'])

while len(sinners) > ('the sin' in 'their hearts'):
    forgiven = sinners['she stands' in 'the light']
    righteous.append(sinners['she' is 'amongst the righteous'])
    del(sinners['for she' is 'saved'])
    condemned = []
    corpse = 'howling' in 'agony'
    while 'sinners walk' not in 'bonds':
        if corpse == len(sinners):
        if 'your flesh' is not 'pure':
        if not (sinners[corpse] % forgiven):
        corpse += 'live' in 'evil'[::-('go' not in 'peace')]

    for soul in condemned:
for blessed in righteous:
    print blessed,
08 January 2009 @ 02:38 am
stone turns to bird and says
i wish ... bird brays an
impetuous squarck
who are you, you igneous,
or sedimentary or, dare i imply...
metamorphic? what right have you in fantasy?
you have no right to wish
what leaden granite dreams could you produce?
you dream of iron and aging
of millennia and grey evolution, running slower and
sloblier through solids, through gravel jell-o.
poetry is for iridescent fliftering
feathers flirting with zephyrs
poetry is for lovers, desperadoes and the lost ones
and dreams...
dreams are orange
stone, you should not be here
your soul is not a brilliant fire
there is no cholera for you tonight

but stone:
my body is molten plutonic magma
cooled yes, forged a thousand times
beneath my crust, the empty echoing of sledgehammers
and no postindustrial pastoralization or crenelations or tiny
white lace wisps you crocheted with that kit your sister gave you from the
local independent craft store will do
bird, your bones crunch like strained puns made by the unpopular unloved victim in my maw
bird, your heart beats like sewing machines and fear, like pocket calculators
i beat like galaxies
and i wish

a quietude settles
bird plucks every iridescent feather
and writes a love letter
to the eons, while stone
crumbles a little faster
04 January 2009 @ 04:06 am
i was falling into his eyes when
he called me the wanderer then
wandered off. but i was waiting.
was waiting, watching, no wanderer
i but sometimes i just want to
laugh with someone sober. make bad
decisions with me, we'll be okay
you forget we're invincible with
these superpowers (starry eyes and
tonedeaf ears, recursing minds and
unsliced flesh) i followed myself
through baltimore barbed wire bristles
tearing this trenchcoat with every last
chain link until now it shivers in
200 count threads around my ankles.
My shivering bones spell out H-E-S
R-I-G-H-T in morse code so i catch
the bus to Wisconsin, to Minnesota,
to Seattle and Pendleton and Pittsburgh
Baltimore Philadelphia Boise
Chicago New York Richmond DC, always
catch one more Greyhound away
13 August 2008 @ 12:15 am
why do we name the stars?
for our gods, ourselves
what blushing bronzeoiled egyptian
laid on riverbanks or pyramids
hand pressed to lips to ear to

and that is Isis
that is the old Pharaoh
and this, so bright-this is your father
smiling on our sin

later each took new lovers, whispering
the same tomfoolery, flim flammery
telling new secrets to the moonlight

we are made of stories
and maybe the most any of us can be is a child
naming the stars, loving chaos into order

tonight my bed is concrete church steps and a blue nylon sleeping bag
blood caked on my face from the last clumsy fall
and no one's named these stars yet
so it's time to start putting my world in order

if we dance with fire that never fades
we can never die

for we are nothing but stories
take away the stories we are nothing but love
we name the stars after ourselves

me, i'm just trying to find a place to stand
between two oceans
sidewinding through skyscrapers and
over bridges and bike paths
trying to grab onto something i'll call you

i will name a star for everyone i miss
and when i'm alone you'll send ancient particles of light
bouncing into my cornea padding through my aqueous humour
like ghosts
an optical nerve can detect
a single photon

daytimes i huddle to your warm chest
your heart beats comfort into my ears
i never knew stardust smells of old spice and coriander

you say we're damaged because we smile differently
too slowly at everything but the blackest jokes and eachother
damaged only because television and medication aren't
bandaids for us
let's pursue pain over filaments of hope

and your star is still watching me from aeons away

the giant's coming now
he never leaves
i'm afraid
if i close my eyes tight enough, you'll hear what's in my ribcage
this chipped jade elephant, this is my truth
and here under the dusty singed mattress i keep my damage--
-don't look
there, in the fireplace, regrets
never melt down, they've been burning for years now and
here, under my pillow
the tarnished candlesticks i promised i'd never show anyone because
they got wet a few times and i can't light them anymore
but the giant's gnashing closer so you try

my truth is a stained glass window
light never shines through and i tried burying
my regrets but they keep heaving up like tombstones, like nausea
a match
a spark

and for tonight there's warmth so who could care about tomorrow
because we just loved each other
and while that might not mean we can love ourselves
it's a damn good start, the candles lit,
the glass is shining and
i'm a jew the oil only burns for eight days
but no one can say god hasn't blessed us now

our faces form golden fibbonnachi ratios
our truth together is a dirigible
ballooning across the sky and
it's been three days since the last cigarette
we're remembering how to do this
like kneading dough into dough
or crossing your eyes to make two stars

i forget your name
09 July 2008 @ 11:26 am
I am sitting in a Portland Public LIbrary with a limited allotment of time in which to write. I have bicycled hundreds and hundreds of miles, hitchhiked, slept in churches, by churches,in public parks, in a cemetery, on the concrete steps of Boulder, and and a field lying fallow. Read Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, pushed myself physically till I was sobbing. I have eaten more junk food than I have ever previously found the appetite for, and I'm tied with the past on the dehydrated beans front. I made it as far as Pendleton, almost all the way to Portland, when the night terrors became too much for me and the fear of being shot or slashed or set on fire with kerosene or raped was overwhelming, then I hopped on a bus and I'm spending a few days in a hostel, and exploring Portland.
I am pleased with myself because I know that no matter how hard anyone pushes me in the future, no one will ever push me as hard as I have just pushed myself. After twelve hours of bicycling in the heat, when every movement you make is excruciatingly painful and you still have twenty miles of hills until the next place you can sit down and refill your water, your energy stops coming from your mind and your body, and it starts to come from somewhere else. And for me that somewhere else was a deep pit of sorrow, an infinite well, so every inch I inched up that hill made the tears flow harder but I was laughing, too. This is what we all spend our days trying to get away from, the reason we can't be alone, and I faced it. I backed down eventually, but I faced it, dirty and small and tired and scared so that even the people I did see wouldn't make eye contact with me because I was so wrecked. But I unlocked something within myself, and now I am just slightly more than I was before.
Of course, right now I am just talking about the night terrors. It wasn't all like that. I saw things, noticed things. Oregon has two obsessions, unavaoidable and ostentatious. They are espresso and country music. Every town had a CAR WASH AND ESPRESSO or a FURNITURE AND ESPRESSO, and from every window came the irrepressable crooning of Tim McGraw over the radio("Today's contest-Let's find out who your friends are!) I had always previously assumed espresso and country music were, except in extremely rare cases, mutually exclusive as sources of satisfaction. Shows what I know.
Idaho was different. The people of Idaho didn't seem to be as unique, all though one family I got water from did give me an excellent comic book (starting with two ugly little girls picking flowers, the first one-"I have a new best friend", the second, eyes watering-"but I thought I was your best friend", the first-"It's Jesus! He's building a mansion with Barbies and chocolate for me in Heaven!" the second-"WAAAAHHHHH") Go Christianity! But Idaho's real obsession was historical sites. Just generic, historical sites. Every mile or two there was a sign-Historical Site next right, Historical Site 5 miles, but never any indication of what exactly this history might be. I personally think there's nothing, Idaho just sprang into existence in 2004, and the government is executing a coverup consisting of placing these markers. Sort of like God with the "fossils," only less creative.
One of my favorite pieces of real estate I visited in my journeys was the intersection of North Cemetery Lane with East Cemetery Lane in the town of Helix, Oregon, population not very many. At this intersection lies a nursery school.
I will write more later.
you always craved seeming important
you never succeeded you probably won't
with too many morals and not enough cleavage
pretend that you put out we all know you don't

you really bore us
so why do you bother
just shut up and go home-this ain't middle school
leave us alone
we've got something important
but you're splashing around in some lame kiddie pool

read your crappy novels and pretend you could live them
wipe away your lame tears and act nonchalant
write a meaningful poem but no one will listen
until you can give us something we want

and i know it sucks
that we'll never love you
in this subdued century you're always alone
despair right now
but pretend that you're happy
and you'll die without what you've always postponed

and sometimes you'll see her nibbling his earlobe
and what you call disgust we know is jealousy
you'll pinch yourself, slash your wrists wide open
parody depression and destroy beauty

and sure it's sad
everyone ignores you
but no one gives a shit since you're not pretty
so buck that chin up
suck in your stomach
and someday you too can be a trophy
23 April 2008 @ 05:02 pm
I never
mentioned an ugly death; lying iridescent nothings
proved reassuring. And you escape regularly
on fast foolish errands raising
sorrow. Oh, my emerald
stop making angry lonely lovers.
Instead, never kiss lies. I never gave
beauty everything. Forget our raunchy empty
life- eternally avenge, vowing in no god.
Enter venomous, exit renewed. You tried honey, interweaving nebulous gods.

(In maudlin prayer, offer some small inkling before leaving everything)



I know this one has fewer layers. But still