après dinner





[slight postprandial burp. dabs at corners of mouth with napkin. says excuse me. a third bottle of wine is opened.]




marcy postulates, if what we perceive,

that is, read in each other's poetry,

is written through the writer's sensibilities,

and if those sensibilities are unique to him, 

for example, a writer of poor eyesight 

whose empirical view of the world

is different than, let's say mine, how in the world

are we, or i, or anyone, to read

and interpret his work with any degree

of accuracy, even accuracy of intent?


colin plays the devil's advocate. he says

accuracy and intent will be interpreted

by the reader uniquely in itself, no matter

the writer's point of view or intent.

accuracy is by nature subjective, so it is

irrelevant to the reader if he is interpreting

what he reads as intended by the writer.


i question the notion that accuracy 

is subjective.


colin cites some examples. a leaf is green,

has veins and stomata, has edges

that are either smooth or rough, and et cetera.

that is an accurate description as far

as it goes. there are many leaves that don't

mean that description enough to satisfy 

the term accuracy. that is an example

of a term, leaf, used to describe a broad class

of something, it is accurate to a degree,

enough so to be useful in a classroom

of non-botany students. another example

is anthropology, in which eras or epochs

are defined and described, and considered

accurate, until they are not, which, historically,

has been fairly often. the tendency 

for anthropologists to be dogmatic, i.e. accurate,

in their reasoning is almost certainly doomed

by the next discovery at a deeper 

or more remote locale. their sense of accuracy

is, in fact, opinion based on the empirical 

evidence at hand. another example would be

an atomic clock, which is, apparently, the most

accurate way to relate time, as we perceive it,

to the reality of our lives. there is no accuracy

greater than the relationship between

the atomic clock and time as we know it.

it becomes subjective only when the observer

is outside the existence we know. it could

be wholly inaccurate, yet serves our purpose,

with a degree of accuracy beyond refinement.


marcy tops off our glasses. 


annie says something about universal

harmonic chords and asks if anyone

would like more soup, or a back rub.


kurt says the übermensch is the writer

that cannot be understood because

of the unique empirical observations he makes,

that this uniqueness, though unintentional,

allows him to break free of common concepts,

and to be understood is inherently to be

misunderstood. kurt allows that nietzsche was insane.


the conversation turns to evidence 

perceived by the individual as empirical—

a schizophrenic's perceptions,

an artist's perception of a cathedral

in the harsh summer sun versus a cloudy day,

the perception of a rainbow by two people

standing shoulder to shoulder, the perception

of time, how it seems slow or quick, depending

on circumstance—she says you're too quick,

he says you're too slow, it becomes a matter

of who is perceiving, the writer or the reader.

we agree on this, except annie, who allows

we are all right if that it is what we believe.


colin requests that marcy give an example

of what she means, poetically. she thinks

for a second and says, john clare, and she says

it is a matter of degree. our uniqueness, 

by definition, which makes our objectivity

subjective, our own version of objective,

will cause every reader to bring their own perceptions

to the table, and, in fact, their own morality.


colin says i was about to say duh, but then

you last few words caused me not to. say duh.


thank you for not saying duh, says marcy.


no problem, says colin. we cool?


we cool.


annie twirls.


kurt talks about rugby.


i mention that the farmer's market

was particularly crowded yesterday.


marcy is wearing a white hat.


colin speaks to the notion of free will 

and individuality, as expressed by

kierkegaard, leading to free choice,

hence, writing is an act of free choice

which can be perceived by another

only judgmentally, that accuracy

is one way of looking at it. either way,

it is free will leading to subjectivity.


i look at colin and wonder why,

for the hundredth time, he and marcy

aren't an item. she is gorgeous 

and he is handsomely divine, in a 

handsomely divine way. i don't get it.


annie smooths her skirt

and puts on her hiking boots. ties them.


kurt asks if anyone wants to go out

for slushies.


no one does.


what about drug impaired writing, marcy asks,

how is the reader to perceive that?

what about the beats who were perceived

by society and the literati as ignorant . . . typists.


what about them?


i don't know. i'm just asking.


what about the anonymous writer?


what about him?




him, her, them, they, us?


anonymity, is it inherently honest 

or dishonest?


are you talking about anonymity

or pseudonyms? give me an example.


um, pseudonyms. george eliot. did she 

write as a man because her publishers

knew her books would sell better

being written by a man, or was she using

a male's identity to to break free,

to perceive her own experiences

from a new and different point of view,

and are her books perceivable

as being written by a man or a woman?


does it matter?


that's the question.


writing anonymously, or using a pseudonym,

is one thing. deception is another.


how do you differentiate?




it's late.


i'm tired. 


more wine?


we have to go.


me too.


me too.


alright. hasta luego y buenos noches.




annie skips out the door.


marcy sighs and begins doing the dishes.









Poetry by one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 615 times
Written on 2015-08-17 at 03:11

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Jamsbo Rockda The PoetBay support member heart!
What an interesting discussion. I tend to go along with Colin that perception is everything and that it is subjective so there can be many layers to what we call reality. This is a marvelous piece for people like myself who are very interested in these things.

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
This is fun on a couple of levels. The discussion itself is amusing, a little pretentious, definitely one taking place in the vicinity of a university. The descriptions of the characters reveal their unique features. Marcy and Colin are completely into the conversation. (Yeah, why aren't they together?) Kurt's off a ways. Perhaps he's one of those peculiar intellectual jocks. Your interest starts to wane, and you think about Marcy and Colin. Annie, I'm sorry to say, sounds as if she's rather shallow, not really in the right place.

Very interesting conversations over dinner and wine. The answers I imagine we each have our own idea of what we believe, so perhaps another time when we can all be invited to share the dinner and we can talk about it some more? *